2018 Preseason Update

Dry conditions; lots of birds


We are dry. We had a wet spring, and our food plots took well but then it dried out and we began to lose potholes. By mid-season most of our smaller sloughs will be dry.  The waterfowl hatch was very good and we are overrun with birds right now – lots of teal, gaddies, mallards on the small water.  As the smaller water dries up the birds move -- to the point where some of our small ponds will have 150-200 ducks on them in the evening.  Our Bluebill Lake had about 400-450 birds on it the other evening.  And at 50 acres and 12 feet deep it will only get better as the season progresses. With thousands of potholes within 5 minutes flying distance of us, less water is better. 

Our other big water is the Pass, and frankly it has not gone down much since last year.  I had hoped the big point would grow and the pass area shrink, but it’s about the same.  Still, it will hold water and birds from now until freeze-up. 

Upland Birds

We had good carryover of pheasants but have not seen much in the way of broods. ND Game and Fish predicts about the same # of birds as last year.  The dogs have been bumping all three upland birds on the property – pheasants, sharpies and huns.  The birds are working the food plots and we even ran into some in the alfalfa. They are eating grasshoppers right now…in fact if you’re not careful YOU will eat a hopper. They are everywhere.

Cash crops around us are poor, wheat/canola was OK but corn/bean yields will be way down.  Have not seen any sunflowers around us at all.  It has been a dry, weedy summer.  We will have a lot of burrs again – so bring the dog brushes.

Summer News from Prairie Smoke Ranch
2018 Youth Waterfowl Hunt results

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