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Author Topic: Rate the 2019-20 Season  (Read 1217 times)

Offline RobinHoodlum

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Rate the 2019-20 Season
« on: January 27, 2020, 08:58:08 PM »
I realize there are still a couple of limited hunts coming up in the next few weeks. But for most of us, the season is a wrap.

For me, the season seemed to be about as bad as last year, which wasn't very good. I harvested slightly fewer ducks and geese than my annual average, however my level of effort was up significantly. I had very few hunts where the birds cooperated and the flight was steady. This was offset byngetting to observe the new pup come into her own with solid water retrieves, chasing down cripples, learning to sit and scan the skies, etc...

I am interested in hearing how everyone did and how they feel this season compares to last year and the recent past.

Offline WSU

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Re: Rate the 2019-20 Season
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2020, 09:13:31 PM »
Better than last year.

Offline h2ofowlr

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Re: Rate the 2019-20 Season
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2020, 10:23:49 PM »
We consistently harvested birds and were close to where we normally are.  Having said that, I had to do twice as much scouting, travel a lot further for birds and I did some learning this season.  I had to get more creative on my hides and better decoy setups.  Many days it seemed like I was working late season educated birds.  Some spots I would hunt, birds would come right in and others if the blind or hide kind of stuck out, the birds would pick us off.  We hunted many days that were warm with no weather or we would have to much wind and be flooded out.  No happy medium this season.  Many club guys struggled and some did very well as the September rains made it impossible to harvest the majority of corn.  I know a few spots that had a ton of corn left over, but the birds didnít start hitting it until the cold hit.  Definitely an interesting season.
Cut em!
It's not the shells!  It's the shooter!

Offline The Deacon

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Re: Rate the 2019-20 Season
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2020, 06:05:37 AM »
More ducks in the bag than in 2018-19; fewer geese. Two Go-To goose properties never did pan out, and can only guess at why. Got back into diver (bluebill) hunting, and was able to introduce three high schoolers to a 20' Bankes and long-line rigs. Two great puddle duck hunts with one of my HS seniors early in the season. Mallards came and stayed, and got awful tough. Never did see the pintails, widgeon, and GW teal here (SW Washington) that I normally see in the places I normally see them. Increase (it seems) in gadwall, bufflehead, and hooded merganser numbers for another year. They appear to be doing well. Like "H2Ofowlr," I learned a bunch of stuff this season; always do. NOTE - Did notice an increase in hunting pressure from 2015-Present. Guys in places I've not seen them before. More with Aquapods, Marsh Rats, and kayaks. Maybe the YouTube Influencers ARE having an impact (?) Shooting tall and wide seems to be in vogue right now...."But the camera makes it look farther away than it really is!" Sorry. Couldn't help myself. All in all, a good season with some fine folks. Onto fishing -
Maggie, January 1994 - 5 May 2008

Offline EWUeagles

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Re: Rate the 2019-20 Season
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2020, 07:20:26 AM »
Last year I had the best October-December ever but the worst January. This year worst October-December but the best January I ever had. I'm down from my normal numbers but it would have been real rough if it wasn't for the last couple of weeks. Birds never showed up where they normally do so had to work harder to find some.

Offline frazierw

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Re: Rate the 2019-20 Season
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2020, 07:41:40 AM »
The warm weather hindered us.  We dont hunt like most, mostly jump shooting, averaged about 10 ducks a trip.  I would say that is below average, year to year.

Offline Stein

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Re: Rate the 2019-20 Season
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2020, 01:19:41 PM »
I didnít get out as much and the birds seemed to be stale all year. 

There was a loss of several publicly available spots and they never showed up in numbers to my favorite.

All in all it was my lowest harvest season.


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Offline hunterednate

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Re: Rate the 2019-20 Season
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2020, 02:04:14 PM »
Better than 2018/19. Still worse than it was 5 years ago. Like H2ofowlr and The Deacon, I had to try a lot of new spots this year to make it happen, and learned a lot.

In terms of bird numbers, the migration in the Columbia Basin seemed like a fairly normal year. Didn't see the pintails/mallards I'm used to seeing in SW WA until the last week of the season. Wish we could still shoot them into February here!

Taking a first time youth hunter out on Saturday, so hoping to end the season on a high note.

Offline RobinHoodlum

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Re: Rate the 2019-20 Season
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2020, 07:02:15 PM »
Thanks for the responses everyone.

My experience from the past two seasons is that if the hunting isn't super productive, the competition for the few productive hunting spots where a landowner is willing to grant limited permission is much greater. Also, if you don't have weekday flexibility to hook up on the right weather days (which I do to some degree), it's going to tough. Speaking of weather, while we had great wind at times, the temps were ridiculously warm. Anyone else concerned about how increasingly warm winter temps will influence future waterfowl hunting?

Okay, so one last question - I understand why we are stuck with a limit of one pintail, but do you think this restriction is warranted based on what you observed this season?

Offline Stein

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Re: Rate the 2019-20 Season
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2020, 08:23:35 PM »
The weather certainly was not helpful this year.  I never hunted ice and didn't see tons of ducks in areas where they usually were because they were up in Canada.  I took the train to Vancouver BC twice during the season and there were tens of thousands of ducks just out of reach of most of us and I think they just never migrated down like they usually do.

This is coupled with a consistent chipping away at public areas.  Between WDFW and DU flooding public hunting spots and loosing some of the good FFTH and reservation sites, it's a big double whammy for the average hunter.

Honestly, I hope next year is better otherwise I'll probably end up just going east on one or two guided trips and looking at combining out of state big game with some waterfowl.

I did see tons of pintail, but it's hard to correlate what we have here with what is going on in the rest of the country.  We get a ton of pins here like we get a ton of swans, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are doing well in other places.

Offline metlhead

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Re: Rate the 2019-20 Season
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2020, 04:55:26 PM »
I rate it top notch. Had a stellar season till the end of the year, with a large number of multi limit days. January slowed, as I normally switch to late season divers. They were consistent as usual, but because of the rainfall totals, the puddlers were really scattered. The afternoon flights just didn't materialize as in the past. I contribute sucess to mobility and constant outings that allow me to really watch where the birds are. One more trip out this weekend to put a wrap on it. Come on summer steel

Offline Mfowl

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Re: Rate the 2019-20 Season
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2020, 06:36:17 PM »
I had a better season than 18-19 but also hunted a bit more. This year was feast or famine, my successful hunts were action packed and my slow hunts were agonizing. Very little in between. Even with having some considerable success I don't feel like I saw the numbers of birds I'm used to seeing on either side of the state. I do most of my hunting on the eastside.
Fish hard, hunt harder!

Online bigdub257

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Re: Rate the 2019-20 Season
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2020, 06:57:32 PM »
Very few days in the field this year, however managed to scratch out limits each time we were able to make it out.  All east side.  Bird numbers did seem a bit lower overall.

Offline Jimmer

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Re: Rate the 2019-20 Season
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2020, 10:04:58 AM »
Did real well on geese compared to previous years. The ducks were in the area, but didnít concentrate on them.

Offline pens fan

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Re: Rate the 2019-20 Season
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2020, 10:57:59 PM »
It sucked. Period. Over 100 hours for three ducks.

 


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