Waterfowl Season Update, November 15, 2021
The 2021 Waterfowl season is underway, and we are all hoping that it’s going to be a better season than 2020. So far so good, storms are lining up, its already wetter than last November and we are already seeing plenty of Geese with the ducks starting to come down.
Most of the ducks we are seeing this early are resident ducks with some migratory birds coming down every day. Most the mallards you are seeing now are resident birds that living in the valley all summer raised some ducklings and have hung around eating all the rice. When the bigger migrations start the teal will usually come down first arriving in September and filtering in throughout the fall, then you will see more Wigeon and Ringneck ducks. Although Ringnecks or as they are usually called “Ringers” are diver ducks they along with Bufflehead usually beat feet out of the Canadas and into California early arriving right around or after the teal start getting here. When you start seeing loads of mallards and big flocks of wigeon, and pintails that usually means the migration has begun or is full swing.
When the storms start coming in and hitting Alaska and down through Canada along the coast and hitting the Oregon coast you will see the Divers ducks coming in like Golden Eye and Scaup or blue bills as we call them on the west coast. Its starting to build up and I think when the next big storm hits in Alaska and down through Canada you will see a big push into Northern California.
I hunted Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday November 10th, 2021. I was not able to hunt the morning and actually did a midday to afternoon hunt and packed up and was out before end of shoot time. There was very little action, and most birds were high or just sitting on the closed zone. I did shoot one Shoveler Drake and two Ringneck drakes and trained the dog on a could of coots but other than that it was slow. I shot Blind 5D, so the photos are of the water around that blind. The mosquitos were unreal! Not so much at the blind but on the walk in and out they were horrible so if you hunt Sac be sure to spray down. Blind 5D is a good blind to shoot when you have winds out of the North but because is has water on all four sides you can hunt this blind in any wind and figure out a good decoy spread.
Facing North from blind 5D
Facing South from Blind 5D
Facing East from Blind 5D
Facing west from Blind 5D, note I like to put my decoys out by the small island to the right, so the birds will circle overhead as they come in.
Sadie bringing in a Ringneck Duck