|Waterfowl numbers||1,200 ducks were observed on 11/24. Mostly Mallard. Approximately 200 Canada Geese are on the area. Bird numbers are fluctuating daily. The area saw a lot of hunting pressure over the last four days. Managers have been picking up a lot of trash left behind in the marshes. Hunters MUST take their trash with them out of the marsh.|
|Mallard Migration Rank||Current Rating - 2 The rank is subjective and is from (0= No Mallards, 1=Very few Mallards, 5=Moderate numbers, 10= Peak numbers).|
|Water levels|| |
The area had a significant flood event during the first week of August. This washed out all of the moist soil food production in Gun Club Marsh. However, the moist soil production in Buffalo Creek and Pintail Marshes remain excellent. Due to the warm weather in September and early October, we have lost some water to evaporation and will need some timely rains to put water back on wetland areas still containing food.
Gamekeeper Marsh is full with an average water depth of 12 inches, Gun Club Marsh (a.k.a. Sportsman's Lake on Google Maps) has an average depth of 28 inches, Marsh Creek Marsh has deep water along the creek channel and shallower water along the flats and all the off channel storage pools have huntable water. Buffalo Creek Marshes have 10 - 20 inches of water (hunters need to be cautious of the main drainage in Buffalo Creek South Marsh, this water is around four foot deep), Pintail Marsh has mainly sheet water with several small, shallow pools as a result of the August flooding. Puddler and Ringneck marshes are both dry. Managers will finish pumping some of the off channel storage pools along Marsh Creek by early next week.
|Hunting conditions|| |
Fair, hunters are encouraged to scout prior to hunting and be mindful of other hunters that are already set up. Bird numbers are fluctuating daily.
REFUGE IS CLOSED
|Expected hunting success|| |
Hunters will need to scout out areas birds are utilizing in order to be successful. Hunters averaged 4.3 birds per hunter during the last week. Managers have been seeing flights of Sandhill Cranes move through the area. Be mindful that with the flights of Sandhill Cranes, there have been reports of Whooping Cranes spotted with the Sandhill Cranes. If Whooping Cranes show up on the area, the marsh they are staying in will be closed to any activity until they move on.
There was a significant increase in Mallards and geese with last weeks cold front. Conditions should improve with the forecast, however with colder nights, ice will become an issue.
Hunters are now required to check in using the electronic permitting system.
HUNTERS NEED TO CREATE AN ACCOUNT IN iSportsman BY GOING TO https://kdwpt.isportsman.net AND FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE DIRECTIONS:
Hunters need to make sure they have all the appropriate licenses and stamps for hunting waterfowl. The following are required:
PUDDLER AND RINGNECK MARSHES ARE DESIGNATED FOR YOUTH AND MENTORS ONLY. EACH HUNTER 16 YEARS AND OLDER MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY ONE OR MORE YOUTH UNDER 16 YEARS OLD.
Marsh Creek Marsh is for non-gasoline powered boats only, this includes electric motor boats and boats with no motors. Gasoline engines are prohibited.
HUNTERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO :
THE REFUGE IS CLOSED FROM OCTOBER 1 TO JANUARY 31 on the north half of Gamekeeper Marsh.
Please introduce youth and novice hunters to the outdoors. Pass it on!