North Dakota duck hunters could be in for good hunting conditions this coming fall. Migratory game bird management supervisor Mike Szymanski says the mid-July duck brood survey yielded some encouraging numbers.
“…It's up by about 9% from last year. So, we're in pretty good shape. Production was mostly good across the entire state. Some areas were lacking a bit, but overall a good number.”
Szymanski says at 4.5 broods per square mile the count is 52% above the long-term average…
“…A lot of our wetland conditions this year were driven by our precipitation we had late last summer and early fall going through October with all the rain we had and then that October blizzard. And then it was kind of dry this spring so it was a little bit of a weird year for water. We had some storms run through about a month ago that replenished some areas. And then the northeast area getting a fair bit more water. Quite a bit of variability on the landscape.”
Szymansky says while there is a lot to be encouraged about, the state’s mallard population did see a dip in March and April. He says the dry conditions of that time may have deterred Mallards from nesting or renesting.