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Original Issue


SF—spotty flight
FF—fair flight
GF—good flight
EF—excellent flight
GDW—good duck weather
SC—season closes (or closed)
BW—bluebird weather
PG—poor gunning
FG—fair gunning
GG—good gunning
EG—excellent gunning
OP—outlook poor
OF—outlook fair
OG—outlook good
OVG—outlook very good
SO—season opens (or opened)

NEW HAMPSHIRE: GF of geese and black duck in Great Bay area on coast but best nights yet to come. PG inland as drought has dried up many ponds and marshes. OG, however, in coastal waters with GDW.

VERMONT: EF of geese reported in Champlain Valley where they are generally expected in three waves: one about now, one late November, one late December. BW holding down bags, but FG near Champlain Waterfowl Management Area at Addison, Panton and Bridport.

RHODE ISLAND: SO Nov. 6 and OG for bluebills with estimated 8,000 birds in Narragansett Bay along with 4,000 widgeon and 2,000 coot. SF of native blacks near Worden Pond and in inlets of Narragansett Bay; OG.

CONNECTICUT: Gunners still waiting for GF of northern blacks and GDW but GG available now. Last week Oliver LaPlace of Essex, shooting guide on Connecticut River, reported 42 birds downed in three days by his gunning parties. Bags include native blacks, widgeon, bluewing teal and canvasbacks. LaPlace believes state breeding program is improving mallard supply. Bluebills still building up on Long Island Sound from Branford south. OG although GDW would be welcome.

DELAWARE: SO Nov. 1 in driving nor'easter made for ducks, not ducking. Most gunners slogged home soaked after an hour. OG, however, as early season state duck population, 32,000, is promising. GG for blacks, pintails and mallards in Smyrna River marshes, some of which are state-owned and open to public gunning. GG also in areas near Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge and near Leipsic, north of Dover.

MARYLAND: SO Nov. 7 and final check shows EF blacks, mallards, pintails and other puddlers present in most sections of the Eastern Shore. OVG and EG expected, particularly in Chester River area. BW has slowed arrival of diving ducks. Some rafts of canvasbacks now on Susquehanna Flats, but very few redheads or bluebills as yet. Sneak boat shooters and body-booters can expect limits, but GDW needed to chase birds off water within range of shore blinds. Honkers well distributed through central counties of Eastern Shore and EG expected in fields.

MISSISSIPPI: SO Nov. 7 with excellent water conditions after autumn rains. EF ducks in Sardis Reservoir, Bluff Lake and along Mississippi River from Bolivar County southward. Expected EF of mallards has yet to materialize but local soothsayers maintain OVG.

SOUTH CAROLINA: SO Nov. 7 and OG although BW is slowing duck influx. 8,000 birds, including teal, gadwalls, pintails, shovellers and mallards in residence at Bear Island State Wildlife Refuge, but nearby clubs report PF. Santee-Cooper area, which includes thousands of acres of public shooting grounds, advises FF/GF of mallards and highest water levels in six years expected to hold birds. OG for honkers, with several thousand birds already in state and federal refuges near Summerton.

WISCONSIN: BW holding birds in state and holding bags down. Honkers still sailing into Horicon Marsh. EF widgeon and mallards along Mississippi River. GDW needed to improve shooting.

OKLAHOMA: OVG/GG with GDW forecast. 16,000 ducks, half of them mallards, concentrating at Tishomingo Refuge with 9,000 geese. Northern half of state reports FF of blue- and greenwing teal, canvasbacks, redheads, gadwalls and widgeon. Likely spots include Canton Reservoir, Great Salt Plain, Grand Lake, Hulah Lake, Lake Texoma, McAlester Lake, Fort Gibson Reservoir, Arkansas River from Tulsa to Fort Smith, Ark. and Cimarron River above Oklahoma City.

UTAH: OVG with GDW expected this week and EF of ducks reported in Great Salt Lake area. Agent reports lady wildfowlers becoming very numerous at North State Gun Club and at other gun clubs as duck-hunting husbands duck distaff complaints about being duck widows (SI, Nov. 4).

OREGON: EF/EG for canvasbacks, mallards, snow geese and honkers in Malheur public shooting grounds. Summer Lake public shooting grounds boast 200,000 snow geese and knowing gunners are limiting on ducks and snows. Knowing, explains informant, means staying away from levee, which is studded with wild shooters, and wandering off into nearby marshland where birds are plentiful and less spooky; OG.