GDW—good duck weather
SC—season closes (or closed)
OVG—outlook very good
SO—season opens (or opened)
ALBERTA: Ducks Unlimited reports southbound migration from Alberta now 80% completed, but large flocks of mallards and Canada geese still rafted on rivers in east central area near Oyen, 190 miles east of Calgary, where they are feeding on unharvested grain. OG for week ahead as warmer weather should thaw sloughs and provide last minute GG.
ONTARIO: Provincial OF with SF most areas. FG in Luther Swamp in Lake Huron-Gait area for blacks and mallards, with a few pintails, buffleheads and other species present. Most novel bag of week, however: two inflatable rubber decoys mortally wounded and sunk by frustrated or at least myopic hunter.
MAINE: Early-season scowlers now smiling as GDW arrived last week along with EF of honkers and blacks at fabled Merrymeeting Bay, Penobscot and Kennebec river watersheds. EF/EG for honkers also in Bagaduce marshes. OVG as long as GDW holds.
MASSACHUSETTS: SO Oct. 26 but Bay State duckers plagued by BW and only SF of birds. 11,000 ducks and over 1,000 geese residing in Plum Island National Wildlife Refuge, but agent reports that most stayed put as hunters ringed fence surrounding refuge and fired at everything in range and out. GDW should push EF of blacks and honkers into Cape Cod area, but only FG can be expected until end of month when weather hardens.
CONNECTICUT: SO Oct. 26 in GDW and OG. Estimated 6,000 broadbills now offshore between Guilford and New Haven. Likely spot: off Branford. FF of blacks now at mouth of Connecticut and Housatonic rivers and OG as season progresses.
PENNSYLVANIA: SO Nov. 2 in Philadelphia, Delaware and Bucks counties and in Delaware River bordering those counties. OVG as Delaware only river in state up to normal water level. GF of pintails reported along with blacks and mallards and EG expected. OVG/EG also in Pymatuning area, where EF of blacks, mallards, baldpates and honkers are moving through daily. OP only along Susquehanna River, which is so low that birds are bypassing it despite GDW.
NEW JERSEY: SO Nov. 2 and OVG as ducks and brant build up steadily in coastal bays and marshes. EF of brant in Barnegat Bay along with blacks, widgeon, pintails, greenwing teal, and Bluebills. Excellent opening day prospects at 1,700-acre public shooting area of the Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge north of Atlantic City, where state has built 20 blinds to be allotted on a daily first-come, first-served basis. Sneakboxes may also be used, and Captain Eugene Leeds, Leeds Point, Oyster Creek, will ferry sportsmen from landing at Oyster Creek to ducking area. OF only in inland areas, such as Tuckahoe and Egg Island public shooting grounds, which badly need water. Tuckahoe, nevertheless, will offer EG when water level rises to flood impoundment areas.
MARYLAND: SO Nov. 7 and OVG. Federal Game Agent Joseph Withers comments that there is "the best growth of feed on the Susquehanna Flats in many, many years." Three hurricanes in 1955 badly damaged celery grass crop in this area, which is considered finest canvasback shooting site along the Atlantic Flyway. But Withers explains that storms also destroyed dense, choking grass, which for 20 years had been making inroads on celery. Celery grass now coming back strong and unchoked with EG expected for cans on opening day. Honkers now concentrating near Bay Bridge in Kent County, and last week state warden counted 5,000 feeding in fields along roads in that productive area.
NORTH CAROLINA: SO Nov. 7 and OVG lor honkers, which are already infesting Currituck sound. GF of Canadas also in Mattamuskeet Lake region, but don't expect peak there until late November. Then, Mattamuskeet shooting will rank with finest in nation.