The early storms we had here in California filled the lakes, rivers, farm ponds, and sloughs. This provided fresh water to natural habitat in and around all the areas I waterfowl hunt. During this time I concentrated on the river, primary hunting the forks and tributaries of the San Joaquin. We had several successful hunts shooting primarily mallards, widgeon, teal, and wood ducks.
As the water levels dropped the hunting on the river got tuff. We decided to head north to the Willows area, to hunt a rice blind we had exclusive permission on. The rice provided lots of snow goose/speckled belly geese, along with a variety of ducks.
The cold weather moved in and pushed the birds further south. We located these birds feeding heavily right in the heart of the California Delta. We capitalized on these birds by hunting open water where the birds like to loaf. These birds found the fresh water irresistible after filling their gullets full of rice and corn.
With no significant weather in sight, and the temperatures plummeting, we decided to rotate our hunting areas between all three locations. Over the past 25 years of duck hunting, I’ve found that being diversified in your duck hunting locations maximizes your opportunities at killing ducks/geese throughout the season. Hopefully January will provide us with a few more storms to keep the birds moving south. Good luck hunting on your next outing.
RBBASS Angler Christopher Evola