GDW—good duck weather
SC—season closes (or closed)
OVG—outlook very good
SO—season opens (or opened)
ALBERTA: Ducks Unlimited reports southbound migration from Alberta now 80% completed, but large flocks of mallards and Canada geese still rafted on rivers in east central area near Oyen, 190 miles east of Calgary, where they are feeding on unharvested grain. OG for week ahead as warmer weather should thaw sloughs and provide last minute GG.
ONTARIO: Provincial OF with SF most areas. FG in Luther Swamp in Lake Huron-Gait area for blacks and mallards, with a few pintails, buffleheads and other species present. Most novel bag of week, however: two inflatable rubber decoys mortally wounded and sunk by frustrated or at least myopic hunter.
MAINE: Early-season scowlers now smiling as GDW arrived last week along with EF of honkers and blacks at fabled Merrymeeting Bay, Penobscot and Kennebec river watersheds. EF/EG for honkers also in Bagaduce marshes. OVG as long as GDW holds.
MASSACHUSETTS: SO Oct. 26 but Bay State duckers plagued by BW and only SF of birds. 11,000 ducks and over 1,000 geese residing in Plum Island National Wildlife Refuge, but agent reports that most stayed put as hunters ringed fence surrounding refuge and fired at everything in range and out. GDW should push EF of blacks and honkers into Cape Cod area, but only FG can be expected until end of month when weather hardens.
CONNECTICUT: SO Oct. 26 in GDW and OG. Estimated 6,000 broadbills now offshore between Guilford and New Haven. Likely spot: off Branford. FF of blacks now at mouth of Connecticut and Housatonic rivers and OG as season progresses.
PENNSYLVANIA: SO Nov. 2 in Philadelphia, Delaware and Bucks counties and in Delaware River bordering those counties. OVG as Delaware only river in state up to normal water level. GF of pintails reported along with blacks and mallards and EG expected. OVG/EG also in Pymatuning area, where EF of blacks, mallards, baldpates and honkers are moving through daily. OP only along Susquehanna River, which is so low that birds are bypassing it despite GDW.
NEW JERSEY: SO Nov. 2 and OVG as ducks and brant build up steadily in coastal bays and marshes. EF of brant in Barnegat Bay along with blacks, widgeon, pintails, greenwing teal, and Bluebills. Excellent opening day prospects at 1,700-acre public shooting area of the Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge north of Atlantic City, where state has built 20 blinds to be allotted on a daily first-come, first-served basis. Sneakboxes may also be used, and Captain Eugene Leeds, Leeds Point, Oyster Creek, will ferry sportsmen from landing at Oyster Creek to ducking area. OF only in inland areas, such as Tuckahoe and Egg Island public shooting grounds, which badly need water. Tuckahoe, nevertheless, will offer EG when water level rises to flood impoundment areas.
MARYLAND: SO Nov. 7 and OVG. Federal Game Agent Joseph Withers comments that there is "the best growth of feed on the Susquehanna Flats in many, many years." Three hurricanes in 1955 badly damaged celery grass crop in this area, which is considered finest canvasback shooting site along the Atlantic Flyway. But Withers explains that storms also destroyed dense, choking grass, which for 20 years had been making inroads on celery. Celery grass now coming back strong and unchoked with EG expected for cans on opening day. Honkers now concentrating near Bay Bridge in Kent County, and last week state warden counted 5,000 feeding in fields along roads in that productive area.
NORTH CAROLINA: SO Nov. 7 and OVG lor honkers, which are already infesting Currituck sound. GF of Canadas also in Mattamuskeet Lake region, but don't expect peak there until late November. Then, Mattamuskeet shooting will rank with finest in nation.
LOUISIANA: SO Nov. 2 and OG, although doubtful in southwest of state where Hurricane Audrey flattened grass in marshes. Areas once covered with grass 8 feet tall now lakes after fall rains, and hunters can't find enough grass to build a blind. Agent not disturbed, however, as over-all state OG and coastal areas east and west of Audrey's path are in good condition and full of birds.
OHIO: GDW last week drove EF of mallards, blacks, baldpates, pintails, gadwalls and canvasbacks into Lake Erie marshes from Toledo eastward to Sandusky. With wood duck back on the legal list in Ohio, wildfowlers enjoyed EG with many limits reported. OVG as more GDW expected to step up duck and goose movements. Correspondent recommends Indian Lake in Logan County, Rocky Fork Creek in Highland County and the Maumee River in Wood and Henry counties. EF all species should peak there by mid-November and OVG for sporting Buckeyes.
MISSOURI: EF/EG for geese and mallards and OVG as Conservation Officer Ward Garret at Council Bluffs tabs honker influx "marvelous...probably best goose hunting in 10 years, and the peak should be coming yet."
WISCONSIN: OVG for ducks and geese as stiff winds and cold from the north got under duck tails last week and pushed EF into Wisconsin. Warmer weather forecast for this week should hold birds in the state. Particularly EF of mallards and canvasbacks reported in northwestern state areas and OVG. EG/OVG at Horicon Marsh. 37,000 honkers still there, and kill since October 15 opening is above average at 1,314. Best blinds: Nos. 3 and 49, but all producing limits.
MICHIGAN: GDW last week sent down best flight of honkers in many seasons, but kill was light as gunners concentrated on pheasant. OVG, however, and EG for honkers can be had in western state stubble fields. Redhead flight now at peak in Misery and Squaw bays and in Saginaw Bay from Fish Point to Sand Point. GF of canvasbacks now in Misery, Thunder and Saginaw bays. GF of mallards reported the length of state from Munuscong Lake to Point Mouaille. General OVG.
OKLAHOMA: GDW forecast and EF of redheads and mallards expected. SF mallards now in northern half of state at Great Salt Plains Reserve, Grand Lake and at Canton and Fort Gibson reservoirs. Cold weather prodding them down Cimarron and Arkansas rivers and OG as more birds will soon move.
NORTH DAKOTA: EG now for mallards in Valley City area, where floods have prevented corn and wheat harvest. Both ducks and gunners in paradise. EF/EG also for geese with blues and snows in the east and canadas all over. Last week Advertising Manager Bob Downs of the Valley City Times-Record downed two honkers, found both wearing leg bands of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and one sporting a yellow plastic collar probably applied months before in the Hudson Bay area. OVG for mallards in other sections of state as potholes are frozen and birds are rafting on larger bodies of water like reservoirs at Ashtabula, Devil's Lake, Jamestown and Garrison.
SOUTH DAKOTA: Some geese arriving in Chamberlain area and in Sand Lake area near Aberdeen, but so far big flights have not appeared and OF. EF/EG for mallards near Watertown. GF of pintails and OG.
NEBRASKA: GDW with snow last week brought' first EF of ducks and geese into state. 50 flocks of honkers reported north of Lincoln with one gaggle numbering between 600 and 800 birds. Honkers also building up at Gavins Points on the Missouri River, along the Platte River and in the Fremont area. GF of snow and Hutchins' geese sighted near Columbus. EF of canvas-backs now in Alliance area and EF/EG mallards, bluebills and redheads in south-central portion of state; OVG.
UTAH: BW holding down bags at Great Salt Lake, but FF of pintails, widgeon and mallards expected to become EF with GDW which is predicted for this week.
IDAHO: FG on Boise River and Lake Lowell last week with FF of mallards. EG, however for geese on Boise and Snake rivers and in Lake Lowell area; OG.
CALIFORNIA: Tule and Klamath lakes refuges still offering GG for pintails and mallards, but goose kill is down from last year. To date 6,862 hunters have retired 14,002 ducks and 1,359 geese. Comparable period last season saw 5,671 wildfowlers bag 13,300 ducks and 6,565 geese. State managed shooting areas at Grizzly Island, Los Banos, San Luis wasteway and Mendota producing 3 to 4 birds per gun which is well above the 2-bird average at Finney-Ramer and Hazard-Wister areas in south of state. EF of pintails, mallards and teal, however, are general, but GDW needed to bring them into shotgun range.
OREGON: EF of honkers now in Lakeview area in southeastern Oregon. Last week Vic Matthews of Salem pinked limit of three including a 14½-pounder. OVG/EG until F. Malheur public shooting grounds enjoying EF of canvas-backs, pintails, widgeon and teal and OVG as cold wave in Canadian prairie provinces promises to send laggard birds winging south. Areas 1 and 3 at Malheur best for cans, and they are averaging 3½ pounds.
WASHINGTON: BW blighting hunters in spite of EF ducks. GG, though, for mallards and pintails in Columbia River Basin grainfields and on Grays Harbor tidal flats. Honker population building up in eastern Washington, but OP until GDW.
BRITISH COLUMBIA: Lower mainland hunters enjoying GG as GDW brought GF of mallards, but main flight still to come. Evening producing best bags. GF of snow geese moving into north of Thompson River area and GDW promises GO.