The Mississippi Valley and The Upper Mississippi Headwaters are Minnesota places. Minnesota is the first U.S. destination for waterfowl migrating South through The Mississippi Flyway Migration Corridor.
“I noticed that outdoor writing in our area has been stalled out for many weeks. The outdoor sections of the largest local newspapers are sleeping, except for a few strawy opinions about neighboring states. Probably for the first time in history, ice fishing conditions remain unsafe well after Christmas and the New Year. I decided I should publish some reports I‘ve been sitting on.” -TRF
The 2010 Minnesota Duck Season ran October 1st through November 27th. There was a special early weekend hunt September 24th&25th to disprove any remaining claims of missed hunting opportunities for early migrators, as well as to prove that UV index alerts must be taken seriously (Generously Apply Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, seek shade ect.)
A tree-lined lake
A tree-lined lake
In Minnesota, the weeks before Thanksgiving had daytime air temperatures of around 50F, however most natural water areas were already deeply frozen from freezing nighttime temperatures. Only areas with strong bottom current remained open.
Heading out for one last hunt on “Black Friday”, it was on the part of wisdom to bring a heavy spud chisel and a shovel for ice removal.
Attempting to create a more naturally defined area of open water by applying upward pressure on ice can easily injure your back and is no longer recommended.
Huge flocks of ducks and geese flew overhead, but at unbelievable altitudes and speed. None were interested in this artificially created opening in the ice.
This Minnesota Giant, Northern Leopard Frog had succumb to the combination of high daily air temperatures, nighttime low temperatures and spontaneous nucleation (ice).
P.S.- Now that the Minnesota Duck Season is over, huge flocks of ducks are finally showing up under birdfeeders.