“Spring” has sprung a leak! At least for now as a February-like blanket of snow covers much of our viewing area from Wisconsin to the Dakotas.
Despite single-digit mornings and daytime highs in the 30s in mid-March, I am seeing robins flittering around the bird feeders next to jays and chickadees, deer appear plump after a rugged winter, and on a mud road before the March snow arrived I even witnessed a woodcock in its spiraling mating flight.
Turkeys are still grouped, but a week ago coyote hunting in early light around La Crosse we heard our first gobbles and observed males in full strut putting on their glitz for the hens.
Until the cold descended upon the region, open water fishing on the Upper Mississippi had been good for saugers and walleyes. High-water slowed the action some and threats of flooding remain, although they’ve been slowed on the tributaries waters by the recent heavy snow and cold.
Panfish action is holding up on inland lakes although boat landing drive-on accesses are getting a bit slushy with run-off.
There’s plenty of migrating waterfowl passing through. Big flocks of Canadian Geese and swans spotted almost daily. Snow goose migration in the Dakotas is getting constant attention from hunters eager for the spring hunt. Hunters had excellent shooting for three weeks or so in northwest Missouri, a bumper crop of juveniles providing near point blank shooting opportunities. I’m told to expect the same in the Dakotas as the birds follow the slowly receding snow line extending from Sioux Falls to Mobridge in South Dakota and on up northwesterly through North Dakota. Maybe I’ll see you out there.
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This post was written by bkurtenbach on March 24, 2011