Images for a larger View
At the Cabin
Devil's Lake 2011 still on the rise.
Same Picure as Above 2010
Old Hwy 281
Jim & Diane's Barn on West Bay
On October 8th we will
be en-route to Devils Lake North Dakota on our annual Waterfowl
Hunting trip. Like last year we will be staying at Westbay
Resort in Minnewaulkan and hunting with Curt Kenner owner of
Kenner Farms and Kenner Guide Service (701-438-2451 Cell 701-866-4841).
The long range weather forecast looks to be in our favor with sunny
to partly sunny skies and temperatures in the 50's and 60's. If
this forecast holds.
Like last year, we will be posting daily updates during the week.
So check back often to see how things are going on this years hunt.
10-8-11 3:00PM EST-
We left Grand Rapids about 4:00am and we are making great time with
only 90 miles left before we get to North Dakota. Weather has been
good with a mix of clouds and sun, temps have ranged from a high
of 78 degrees but the further north we get the cooler it gets, the
temp in Devils Lake is currently 58.
10-9-11 - Our first
day has been rather slow, we scouted our favorite sloughs this morning
and did not find much. After lunch we headed in a different direction
and found a couple more without much success. Tomorrow the plan
is to hunt geese in the morning and ducks in cut corn in the afternoon,
10-10-11 - Our plans
for today changed overnight do to the storms that came through making
the fields way to muddy to get around in without messing up the
crops. So we waited this morning, for the rain to pass. At 9am we
left the cabin and headed to a slough that we knew was holding a
bunch of birds. We set up on the far west end to play the strong
west wind. It took us a while to coax our 12 bird limit, but we
waited them out and took 10 Gadwals a Bluebill and a Redhead. It's
becoming apparent that the sloughs are at least a foot deeper than
last year and a lot of the cattails are gone leaving just a little
bit of grass to hide in. Its also making it hard to get the decoys
out far enough away from shore to make the birds feel at ease to
come into them, causing just a little extra work. The plan for the
morning is to go after the geese, there seems to be plenty in the
10-11-11 - This morning
our goose hunt went off as planned, we joined up with Kurt at 6:30am
at his farm. He had already set out the decoys in a cut wheat field
that had a lot of re-growth in it. At shooting time there were ducks
moving and we managed to take 6 mallards before the geese began
to fly. At about 9:15am 2 geese came right over the slough that
we were using for cover and we took both, a few seconds later 2
more did almost the same thing and we could only managed one. At
about 10am 2 more came straight over head and we downed both of
them into the decoys and about 30 seconds later 2 more slipped the
edge of our hide and we dropped them into the slough and once again
Kodi our 10 year old lab did a great job of digging them out of
the thick cattails. That was it for the morning 2 geese short of
our 3 man limit, with some bonus mallards one great hunt. This afternoon
we we will try and get the rest of duck limit. Tomorrow the plan
is to shoot mallards in a bean field west of Kurt's farm
In one word - 'SLOW' there is a lack of mallards in the area. The
local Conservation Officer can't believe that two years in a row
there has been a reverse migration due to warmer than normal weather.
So warm in fact that this evening we were chased out of the field
by a Thunder Storm.
Back at it again this morning, hoping the front that came through
last night would have brought some new ducks in. The decoys were
set up in a harvested corn field next to a large slough, in a very
thick fog for the first two hours. Unfortunately ducks never did
work the decoys but we did manage to take seven birds that got to
close. Three redheads, one mallard and three gadwals.That's it for
another year, can't believe how fast this week goes by, seems like
we just pulled up to the cabin, on the road home in the AM.
8:00AM EST - On the road home, currently we are about 110 miles
north of St. Paul Mn, there are fair skies and cool temps, there
wind may become an issue later with North West wind gusts to 40mph,
hoping to arrive home at about 6:00PM.
Trip Wrap Up:
- All our favorite sloughs, that we have hunted in the past had
way to much water and the plant mass that attracts the ducks was
not there, thus no ducks. Later in the week we did find a couple
of new sloughs that where holding birds and we will hunt these in
in the future.
#2 - Two years in a row we have been hit with above
normal temperatures, that has caused the birds to head back north
into Canada. Normally we see all kinds of ducks raffed on Devils
Lake as we drive along Hwy 19 between Devils Lake and Minnewaulkan,
not this year. We did see a few ducks but the migority of the birds
we seen were Coots,
these birds along with the local Giant Canada Geese had an exceptional
nesting year . So next year we are going out a week later. Hopefully
there will be better duck conditions.
#3 - A few words about our Black Lab Kodi,
four years ago he was diagnosed with severe artheitis and at that
time the vet also thought he most likley would not be able to hunt
any longer. Our sponsor Black
Gold dog food has a Field Trial Blend that has the suppliments
Glucosamine and Chondroitin for joint health. Well over the last
four years he has had some bad days, but we know that with out this
food and these suppliments there would be no way he could have continued
to hunt. This year he was in my opinion exceptional. On Monday he
made several 100 plus yard swims to retreive birds that were blowing
away in the strong winds. On Wednesday he made several great reteives
on downed geese including digging two of them out of heavy cattails.
As anyone who has done this, it is truly very hard work and on Thursday
morning he was up and ready to go, all week he just never seem to
slow and was always ready to go.