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Old 09-05-2021, 08:46 AM   #1
texashunter
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Default Thoughts on lack of doves?

I know there are a lot of you around the state that have been hammering the doves, but my question is for those of us that aren't seeing many if any at all.
Here is my situation, I hunt a spot outside of Temple that has a pond, that always has water, big open fields and plenty of trees to roost in. We are surrounded on three sides by fields that grown corn, these fields are always cut by the start of the season, and have plenty of corn left for them to snack on. I have been hunting this place almost for about 12 years. The first 7-8 years, the place was covered in birds the entire season. The last 4-5 it is like they have disappeared. You might shoot a limit for the whole season.

Just doesnt make sense, with the water, habitat and corn fields still there. The same has happened for our duck spot, which is about 15 miles from where we duck hunt. It is like the birds just left. Any thoughts as to why, or anyone else is the same situation?
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Old 09-05-2021, 08:49 AM   #2
Smart
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The obvious thought is the big freeze in February killed a bunch of them that didn't make it as far south as some..
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Old 09-05-2021, 08:50 AM   #3
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The freeze hit them.
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Old 09-05-2021, 08:51 AM   #4
150class
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Freeze did way more damage then expected I’m guessing
Others haven’t migrated around really
I’m currently S/SE of Dallas and every pond is full which doesn’t help

Curious to what the big dogs might do to limits next year
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Old 09-05-2021, 08:56 AM   #5
glen
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You want good hunting in Central Texas. Hunt on a city limits area. Beat shoots ive had have been in areas that are against some city. Seems birds get everything they want in neighborhoods
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Old 09-05-2021, 09:03 AM   #6
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Itís obviously not the freeze if itís been the last 4-5 years. However it could have been drought related. Thereís so many variables. If they are being pushed by weather until later on then that could be a factor. Iíve always been under the mindset that early season birds are locals and late season birds are migratory. The local birds learn quick when itís time to stay inside the city/no shooting zones.


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Old 09-05-2021, 09:10 AM   #7
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More doves than I've ever seen at my daughters place in Kingsbury. I think it because most of the corn fields around here were planted in milo this year.
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Old 09-05-2021, 09:14 AM   #8
Smart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrdwrkncwby76 View Post
It’s obviously not the freeze if it’s been the last 4-5 years.
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I missed the 4-5 year part of his post..

BUT... its been pretty solid for us the last 4-5 years in a couple of my places. This is the first year I have heard so many complaints about no birds in places that are normally hot all around the state with buddies I check in with. Our May Eurasian shoot which is usually a barn burner was pathetic this year. Horrible. I think we killed 4 birds over a pile of discarded wheat. Usually would kill 70-80 in two hunts between 2 of us. Plenty of water and plenty of feed says freeze to me.
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Old 09-05-2021, 09:14 AM   #9
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I had the same results as you last yesr on a spot near a tank and cornfields out near taylor. Always had birds but this year right before season it had nothing.
Opening day went to another spot between Georgetown and Round Rock close to neighborhoods and a big lake. No planted fields. Man we limited out in 1 hr. Craziest thing Ive seen as i woulda swore it would have no birds. Outta 15 guys like 7-8 limits and everyone else at least 10 or so.
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Old 09-05-2021, 09:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smart View Post
I missed the 4-5 year part of his post..

BUT... its been pretty solid for us the last 4-5 years in a couple of my places. This is the first year I have heard so many complaints about no birds in places that are normally hot all around the state with buddies I check in with. Our May Eurasian shoot which is usually a barn burner was pathetic this year. Horrible. I think we killed 4 birds over a pile of discarded wheat. Usually would kill 70-80 in two hunts between 2 of us. Plenty of water and plenty of feed says freeze to me.

Yeah I definitely feel that.

That collared hunt sounds like a blast!!


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Old 09-05-2021, 09:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longhorn_cop View Post
I had the same results as you last yesr on a spot near a tank and cornfields out near taylor. Always had birds but this year right before season it had nothing.
Opening day went to another spot between Georgetown and Round Rock close to neighborhoods and a big lake. No planted fields. Man we limited out in 1 hr. Craziest thing Ive seen as i woulda swore it would have no birds. Outta 15 guys like 7-8 limits and everyone else at least 10 or so.

Was that a lease or day hunt? Iím looking for places in the area.


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Old 09-05-2021, 09:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smart View Post
The obvious thought is the big freeze in February killed a bunch of them that didn't make it as far south as some..
I didnt give much thought to the freeze, but you are right, that could be a big factor for this year.
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Old 09-05-2021, 09:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longhorn_cop View Post
I had the same results as you last yesr on a spot near a tank and cornfields out near taylor. Always had birds but this year right before season it had nothing.
Opening day went to another spot between Georgetown and Round Rock close to neighborhoods and a big lake. No planted fields. Man we limited out in 1 hr. Craziest thing Ive seen as i woulda swore it would have no birds. Outta 15 guys like 7-8 limits and everyone else at least 10 or so.
Glad yall had a good hunt
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Old 09-05-2021, 09:34 AM   #14
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IMO just changing weather patterns have them moving slightly different times and areas.

Far wetter than ever near San Saba for 2 years. And coolest summer I've seen. Now it just dried out like a desert.

Could also be the freeze.
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Old 09-05-2021, 09:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DUKFVR View Post
The freeze hit them.
Hummingbirds also.
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Old 09-05-2021, 09:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glen View Post
You want good hunting in Central Texas. Hunt on a city limits area. Beat shoots ive had have been in areas that are against some city. Seems birds get everything they want in neighborhoods
It seems ours never leave and nest here also. Wife has numerous feed stations.................
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Old 09-05-2021, 09:40 AM   #17
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Iíve seen a bunch around San Pat and Bee county. Not sure if they will be here for the opener or not though.


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Old 09-05-2021, 10:06 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smart View Post
The obvious thought is the big freeze in February killed a bunch of them that didn't make it as far south as some..

TPW made a statement on the dove population being drastically affected by the freeze. Around my house/town we found dozens of frozen dove along fence rows. Crazy! I have never been In Weather cold enough to freeze anything alive.


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Old 09-05-2021, 10:23 AM   #19
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Been awful here around Lubbock. Fields that I have never NOT shot a limit are producing 2 birds. Normally I get a bonus birds of Eurasian and pigeons, barely seeing any.

Hadn’t really thought about the freeze, and while we were cold here, we have more severe freezes before and I don’t recall them having this impact on local birds.

Cool front pushed through last night, but the sept full moon isn’t until 9/22. May be a better late season year once northern birds start pushing in
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Old 09-05-2021, 10:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckwheat View Post
TPW made a statement on the dove population being drastically affected by the freeze. Around my house/town we found dozens of frozen dove along fence rows. Crazy! I have never been In Weather cold enough to freeze anything alive.


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I think most of our birds opening day in north Texas are resident birds. I think many of those died during the freeze but most migrated south during it and didn't come back leaving fewer birds. The ones in the city may have been able to find shelter/warmth to tough it out. In 45 years of dove hunting I've never seen as few birds as I have this year

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Old 09-05-2021, 10:34 AM   #21
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We have hunted the same land for dove the last 28 years. This was the worst opening week we have seen. I think the freeze killed a lot of the birds and spring storms wiped out a bunch of nest. We killed very few first year birds this week.
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Old 09-05-2021, 11:20 AM   #22
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Its global warming. Orange man did it.
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Old 09-05-2021, 11:23 AM   #23
rolylane6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarGuy View Post
Its global warming. Orange man did it.
Isn't that one of the things puddin' cup said he'd fix though?

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Old 09-05-2021, 11:39 AM   #24
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Alot of mourning doves stop in Oklahoma now. I think its the eurasians and white wings here have displaced them. We used to hardly have any in NW Oklahoma and now covered.
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Old 09-05-2021, 11:40 AM   #25
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Saw two birds yesterday no shots, no birds even seen this morning. 12 miles west of Lampasas. Heard a few shots to the south early but don't know what they were shooting at.
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Old 09-05-2021, 11:41 AM   #26
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Here in Deep South Texas they’re flying good.
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Old 09-05-2021, 11:41 AM   #27
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I got the same issue at my place.

I remember growing up, we’d get our limits every hunt in a couple of hours.

But the last 6 years. I’d see ay least 5 or less a hunt maybe get one or 2 if I’m lucky.

My property is surrounded by hundreds of acres of corn, and milo fields.

I think the issue is there’s just too many dove hunters in the area, that we’d get the left overs from what people missed.
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Old 09-05-2021, 11:44 AM   #28
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Historically our dove numbers are the worst on wet years for early season, but the second splits are usually better with more feed more birds stay over with the migration. On years that we have all the rain/wind storms there nesting success is lower.
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Old 09-05-2021, 11:52 AM   #29
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Take the 12 hour drive (from central TX) to Southern AZ. Awesome public land hunting. Good food. Cheap places to stay. Past 3 yrs I have hunted north of Tucson, from Oracle, Casa Grande and Marana.
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Old 09-05-2021, 11:53 AM   #30
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Way too many variables

Iíd bet the birds are around, just not utilizing your land for whatever reason.
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Old 09-05-2021, 11:59 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texashunter View Post
I know there are a lot of you around the state that have been hammering the doves, but my question is for those of us that aren't seeing many if any at all.
Here is my situation, I hunt a spot outside of Temple that has a pond, that always has water, big open fields and plenty of trees to roost in. We are surrounded on three sides by fields that grown corn, these fields are always cut by the start of the season, and have plenty of corn left for them to snack on. I have been hunting this place almost for about 12 years. The first 7-8 years, the place was covered in birds the entire season. The last 4-5 it is like they have disappeared. You might shoot a limit for the whole season.

Just doesnt make sense, with the water, habitat and corn fields still there. The same has happened for our duck spot, which is about 15 miles from where we duck hunt. It is like the birds just left. Any thoughts as to why, or anyone else is the same situation?
I have lived around Belton/Temple for almost 50 years and have never seen it like this. All summer there were tons of birds around my house and a few at the farm. Since Saturday I have seen 1 dove. I believe the freeze had some effect but it doesnít explain this vanishing act.
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Old 09-05-2021, 12:13 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glen View Post
You want good hunting in Central Texas. Hunt on a city limits area. Beat shoots ive had have been in areas that are against some city. Seems birds get everything they want in neighborhoods
I wonder if city-roosting white wings were less affected by the freeze for some reason. I hunted almost in the city limits and they were thick, mourners were very scarce. Usually that place is 50/50
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Old 09-05-2021, 01:25 PM   #33
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I hate to say it, but first quail hunting got bad, then geese,duck hunting, and now dove. The freeze played it's part, but we just have too many people, To many developments. You cant fix that with shorter seasons or reduced bag limits.
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Old 09-05-2021, 01:35 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClayW View Post
Way too many variables

Iíd bet the birds are around, just not utilizing your land for whatever reason.
They is not many dove in central texas. 9 days of the high below 32 degrees and a low of -5 here. We did have several spring storms with high winds too.
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Old 09-05-2021, 01:44 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big pig View Post
They is not many dove in central texas. 9 days of the high below 32 degrees and a low of -5 here. We did have several spring storms with high winds too.

Does ďcentralĒ Texas ever have that many birds?

Numbers seem to be normal here in New Braunfels. Mixed reports coming further south but that is typical IMO
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Old 09-05-2021, 02:45 PM   #36
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Good point. Guess it depends on definition of central Tx.
We had lots of mourners and white wings here in brown co last year
And shooting all around the entire first week
Very little this year

Sure was a lot of hunters in the area this week. It’s been a dry dusty week for them.
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Old 09-05-2021, 03:34 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smart View Post
The obvious thought is the big freeze in February killed a bunch of them that didn't make it as far south as some..
This is the only thing came to my mind.
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Old 09-05-2021, 03:42 PM   #38
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Agh they just decided to migrate to the West or maybe they are getting smarter.
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Old 09-05-2021, 04:03 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClayW View Post
Way too many variables

Iíd bet the birds are around, just not utilizing your land for whatever reason.
LOL, I can tell its not the same with my ears, it usually sounds like WW3 opening weekend of September, NOBODY IS SHOOTING!!! Crazyness never heard it like this for 30 years.
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Old 09-05-2021, 04:06 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC-001 View Post
LOL, I can tell its not the same with my ears, it usually sounds like WW3 opening weekend of September, NOBODY IS SHOOTING!!! Crazyness never heard it like this for 30 years.

Maybe they were all shot Wednesday?
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Old 09-05-2021, 04:25 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckwheat View Post
TPW made a statement on the dove population being drastically affected by the freeze. Around my house/town we found dozens of frozen dove along fence rows. Crazy! I have never been In Weather cold enough to freeze anything alive.


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My buddy said he heard TPWD say 60% of resident birds hit by freeze. I can tell you that a field I hunt year after year that I usually shoot 5-6 boxes at was a two shot field on Friday-Saturday
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Old 09-05-2021, 04:59 PM   #42
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I've hunted Throckmorton County since '91, never have not limited out the first 2-3 days of the season. I saw 3 birds Wednesday, 2 Thursday, put the shotgun up and night hunted pigs Friday and Saturday. Local GW and one from Baylor County stopped by Saturday morning as we were helping the rancher feed.

They said no one they stopped had a limit, best was 20 birds for a party of 6. We have the best volunteer sunflower crop ever, tanks are full, just no birds. Deer are looking healthy, so I'll take that.
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Old 09-05-2021, 05:27 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huntingfanatic View Post
My buddy said he heard TPWD say 60% of resident birds hit by freeze. I can tell you that a field I hunt year after year that I usually shoot 5-6 boxes at was a two shot field on Friday-Saturday
I can’t fully get on board with this. That freeze was mid/late feb, our resident birds that nest in spring and summer would have migrated well south at that time of year, right? Wouldn’t the birds here in Feb have been birds that migrated from the north?

And if that is right and we have a down year on resident birds, shouldn’t we expect a bad year all around as the migrators would have been the hardest hit with the freeze?
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Old 09-05-2021, 05:27 PM   #44
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Usually limit every hunt last few years N of Abilene. Didn’t even shoot through a box of shells in 3 hunts this year. Very sparse and unlike any year I remember in the past 4-5 years. I heard the freeze got them good too
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Old 09-05-2021, 05:32 PM   #45
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They are coming. They are still eating hi dollar corn enjoying the weather
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Old 09-05-2021, 05:37 PM   #46
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Quote:
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Its global warming. Orange man did it.
Well of course.. I figure as much.
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Old 09-05-2021, 05:39 PM   #47
ClayW
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Just curious

Did you guys hunt Wednesday? Or wait til Friday?
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Old 09-05-2021, 05:49 PM   #48
Playa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClayW View Post
Just curious

Did you guys hunt Wednesday? Or wait til Friday?
I hunted Thurs in a field that wasnít hunted Wednesday. But regardless, any other year, itís good for 4-5 days before itís shot out
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Old 09-05-2021, 05:50 PM   #49
rolylane6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Playa View Post
I canít fully get on board with this. That freeze was mid/late feb, our resident birds that nest in spring and summer would have migrated well south at that time of year, right? Wouldnít the birds here in Feb have been birds that migrated from the north?

And if that is right and we have a down year on resident birds, shouldnít we expect a bad year all around as the migrators would have been the hardest hit with the freeze?
I always thought the resident birds were year round birds that don't migrate. No?

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Old 09-05-2021, 06:05 PM   #50
hrdwrkncwby76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClayW View Post
Just curious

Did you guys hunt Wednesday? Or wait til Friday?

5 hunts so far. One bird down last evening


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