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Harvest Delays

Discussion in 'Canadian Hunters Forum' started by 870, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. 870

    870 Senior Refuge Member

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    Waterfowl Heaven Alberta Canada
    3/4" rain last night,,, more forecast every day till Monday along some possible snow with the cool temps. Not enough rain yet to add anything back to our dry sloughs, but a significant harvest stopper just the same!!!

    This is also enough wet weather to turn the peas into mush. Right now peas are the major fields holding most of our birds in the area. Geese generally don't like mushy peas, they will usually turn off the peas once the peas swell, split and sprout.

    Sprouting barley on the other hand usually becomes the menu of choice (followed by sprouting wheat),,,, problem in our area is not of cereal fields harvested yet.
     
  2. in2b8er

    in2b8er Refuge Member

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    Rochester MN
    Looking at central Alberta weather.....cold the next 7 days...like snow and highs in the low 30’s...send em down
     
  3. PorkChop

    PorkChop Elite Refuge Member

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    ND
    Every day the little trickle flocks (5 to 20) of honkers out of Canada seems to be increasing. All have been pretty high up.

    BTW thank you 870 for explaining the Pea fields. I have always noticed once the regrowth came that the birds stop using them but I just never knew the reason. Mystery solved hahaha

    Do you guys have chickpeas up there? Last year was the first year I saw them around here and they were like crack cocaine for the birds. Could not seem to keep the birds out of them. Kind of like beans though in regards to finding cover to hide in.
     
  4. 870

    870 Senior Refuge Member

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    Waterfowl Heaven Alberta Canada
    No chickpeas in central part of the province, our peas are known as regular field peas which are similar to chickpeas,,, the chickpeas are typically a blockier, slightly larger pea than our field pea. In southern AB and Sask, they do grow chickpeas.

    Birds are really pouring in today with this weather. New groups are flying all over looking for a field with good eats. They are still hitting the peas as we haven't got to the mush stage yet. Barley is also drawing birds now.

    We are seeing snows coming in flocks of 20 - 100 now as well. Suspect they would be molt migrants from last years bumper crop of juvies. At least, I hope that to be the case and juvies seem non existent in these flocks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
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  5. 870

    870 Senior Refuge Member

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    Update on the snow fall,,,,Seeing groups of 2000 to 10000 snow geese on fields covered with 2 - 3 inches of snow! Still more snow coming in as in both the warm blooded type and the cold wet type!!!!
     
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  6. PorkChop

    PorkChop Elite Refuge Member

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    Would this be considered early for your area?
     
  7. 870

    870 Senior Refuge Member

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    For these kind of numbers,,, yes,, normally it would be end of Sept, early Oct for what we see now. Sill hoping these are mostly last years juvie / molt migrants as I have seen only a handful of immatures ,,, we did have flocks last year that appeared to be in excess of 50% juvie, so a large molt migrant migration this fall would not be out of the question.
     
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  8. 870

    870 Senior Refuge Member

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    Waterfowl Heaven Alberta Canada
    Continued rain snow / mix across central Alberta today,,, appears to be wet over western and central parts of Saskatchewan as well.

    Some areas seeing a couple inches of accumulation of wet heavy snow that Is causing significant lodging of standing crops. Will make for difficult harvest conditions when combine can start again!!!

    Migration seems to have stalled in our area as not seeing any new birds in last few days. Feeding activity also waning to some extent,,, birds have been on all day feed bag for almost a week now,,, ducks definitely backing off on fields.
     
  9. bang you'r dead

    bang you'r dead Canada Forum Mod. Eh! Moderator Flyway Manager

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    I have seen what sprouting barley will bring in, but I have actually found it is #2 for ducks, with, believe it or not, canola being the #1 preferred food. Found it out quite a few years ago. Stopped for a pee after scouting some fields, and I could hear the sound of several thousand ducks feeding nearby. It was already dark, and I used the map to locate the field, and double checked the distances to the closest road, and was curious, as the front of the field was swath canola. When I asked the farmer , he said the entire field was canola, and the birds must be in the barley next to it. No, I was adamant that the birds were in the canola somewhere, so I thought maybe a volunteer crop or something was available. Farmer said no, but that the back part of the field had flooded and had 6" of water in it. Got permission to hunt it next evening. Went into the field after work and there were feathers everywhere. Set up right in the swath, and noticed all the canola had been shelling, and a lot had been sprouting. This is what the birds wanted. It was like duck heroin. Shot a limit in about 10 minutes and was picking up decoys and had birds land in this less than 100 yds away , and didn't fly off. By the time I walked out to the road, probably 3,000 mallards had landed in behind me, and as the sky darkened, they poured in. The barley field (in swath) next to it.......not a bird. Everything was in for the canola.

    I tell this story to 100 hunters, and 99 call B.S. on it. The other guy I hunted the field with.
     
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  10. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator Flyway Manager

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    I believe you. I didn't know grain types when I first started going up to SK. 2nd or 3rd trip I took some 'new to waterfowling' guys with me. We set up in a canola field because it was loaded the evening before. Quick limits for 3 guys.

    I guess it was good I didn't know it was canola, or I would have gone somewhere else.
     

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