The only constant in hunting is that no two seasons will be exactly the same! The 2011-2012 season was certainly no exception with Mother Nature throwing curveball after curveball. Leading up to the season we saw everything from areas of drought and crops needing a timely drink, to areas along the Missouri River experiencing record flooding. By and large, we were extremely fortunate at Habitat Flats and despite the hot temps and dry (for the first in five years) summer, our crops and moist soil habitats received a couple crucial rains which allowed them to flourish.
Our early pushes of ducks we call 'calendar ducks', they come at the same time of year based on the hours of light in the day. When the early ducks came this year, they came in big numbers and the hunting was excellent! Overall, duck season was unseasonably warm and after the calendar ducks came we never saw the large mid-late season pushes we are accustomed to. Luckily through our extensive habitat management practices in the offseason and pressure management practices during the season, we were able to maintain excellent hunting from the beginning to the last day of the season and put together our best duck season ever!
With the ending of duck season on December 27th, the New Year was ushered in with near record high temperatures and a January Canada Goose season filled with it's share of struggles. The warm temps had what Canadas were here, spread out and not in near the numbers we normally have. Not once were snow covers put on the blinds or did open water become a hard thing for the birds to find. We were forced to do a lot of bouncing around, hunting one small group of birds and moving on to the next. All in all, we had some good hunts but really had to work for them!