2017 Second Waterfowl Weekend Update

Mallards and pintails dominate. Divers scarce.
Week Two of the waterfowl season continued a trend from Week One -- lots of mallards and pintails around along with quite a few widgeon.  Teal are around but scattered -- as many green-wings as blue-wings.  Harvested one beautiful GW drake yesterday.  Swans have arrived, not in big numbers but enough to make their presence known each morning.  Geese seem to have increased, big ones.  Nearly all the geese working the sets or sloughs are greaters, only one flock of cacklers so far.  Cranes are spotty; a few around but not enough to merit setting up on them.

Early season mallards
PLOTS is closed to nonresidents this week, because of pheasant season, and as a result there are few hunters pushing the birds around. There are many birds just loafing on the PLOTS lakes and sloughs.  Unless pushed they don't move.  Makes for great jump shooting, if you are a resident.

We have only seen one group of cans this year, although bluebills were working our big lake this morning.  Spinning wing decoys seem to help.  Mallards decoying relatively well, pintails are in pretty thick but decoying poorly. We've already seen some nice drakes however.  Geese are working late; best to stay put until 9:30 or so in order to take advantage of their movements. Gadwalls are present but not in great numbers.

Pheasants are hard-won this year, our latest group has taken a couple; seen more sharpies than pheasants. This writer dined on Hungarian Partridge (side of prairie plum sauce) tonight, the spoils from yesterday's pheasant foray on a nearby PLOTS tract.  Put up huns twice, blanked on pheasants, bolstered by two black dogs.

Scouting hidden corners of the ranch and nearby areas will be the trick until we get some new birds in.  Our current group has a nice spot they've saved for tomorrow morning; I expect it might be a big shoot on big ducks.  Starting Saturday nonresidents can hunt PLOTS again and that will move some birds around. Another hard freeze expected tonight.

Check back for periodic updates from Prairie Smoke Ranch.
2017 Opening Weekend Report
2017 North Dakota Duck Hunting report for Oct. 12

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