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Pacific
Flyway

Duane Dungannon has served as editor of Oregon Hunter magazine, bimonthly magazine of the 10,000-member Oregon Hunters Association (www.oregonhunters.org) for the past 20 years. An avid duck hunter since he was 12 years old, he began his 25-year career in outdoor writing and photography as an intern for Field & Stream in 1987.

Pacific
Real-Time Updates From The Pacific
  • January 24, 2013

    Good Signs for Great Late Goose Hunting

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    By Duane Dungannon

    The sun sets on duck season this week in the Pacific Flyway, and now geese are the only game in town. Hunters like Jason Haley of My Outdoor Buddy, pictured in this photo, took one last shot at duck hunting before moving on to late-season geese, which offer limited but excellent opportunities until March 10, when the federal framework governing waterfowling hunting closes all seasons until fall. [ Read Full Post ]

  • January 17, 2013

    Northwest Duck Hunting Goes on Ice; California Has Hot Spots

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    By Duane Dungannon

    Duck hunters will find nothing great about the Great Northwest as the season comes to a close this week, but the forecast continues to be fair in sunny California. While only a few hearty ducks and geese remain in the Pacific Flyway’s colder climes, it only takes a few to make your day, as Richy Harrod of Harrod Outdoors shows in this photo during a goose hunt with Alex Yerges of Pacific Calls near Moses Lake, Wash., last week. [ Read Full Post ]

  • January 10, 2013

    Ducks Are Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

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    By Duane Dungannon

    Now you see them. Now you don’t.

    Northwest ducks have been hatching a shell game of sorts with the region’s hunters, showing up one day and disappearing the next, proving that the hen is quicker than the eye.

    Ducks continue to streak south in the Pacific Flyway, but hunters like Richy and Ron Harrod of Harrod Outdoors say the birds are just making whistle stops, so you better be at the station when they pass through. [ Read Full Post ]

  • January 3, 2013

    Hunters Toast New Year with Cold Duck

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    By Duane Dungannon

    When my son Tyler’s knee surgery ended his college basketball season at Eastern Oregon University, it also cut short his duck hunting season. Because he was hobbling around the house on crutches during the holidays like Tiny Tim, I bought him the duck hunting game for the Wii. Don’t feel too sorry for him, though; his virtual hunting seems to be better than real thing for virtually all West Coast waterfowlers this week.

    In northeast Washington, hunters like Kent Conteras and Allen Riggs of Avery Outdoors started the New Year with cold duck on ice. [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 28, 2012

    Unsettled Weather Brings Mixed Reports

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    By Duane Dungannon

    It was almost quiet on the Western front this week as many West Coast waterfowlers chose to deck the halls with boughs of holly rather than deck the hull and bow with camo. While many Pacific Flyway’s ducks and geese may have enjoyed a brief holiday from hunting, hunters may receive a gift in return if the short ceasefire makes birds a bit less wary. Last week many hunters lamented that hard-hunted ducks and geese had become skittish and difficult to decoy and call. [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 21, 2012

    Winter's Arrival Brings Ducks Down the Flyway

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    By Duane Dungannon

    West Coast waterfowlers are counting on Jack Frost to make it a happy new year. The latest push of cold, wet weather that dumped snow even on valley floors in mild coastal climates has put waterfowl on the move in the Pacific Flyway, but some hunters have complained that flooding has scattered the birds to the point where they may not be few, but they may be far between.
     
    My friend David Wei, who hunts on the frontline of the flyway in British Columbia, said the ducks and geese in his area have turned into chickens.
     
    “There are lots of ducks around from the coast all the way up the Fraser Valley, but they are quite skittish,” he said. “They've been pounded pretty hard this fall, and with lots of water in the fields, they can hop over to a safe location right in the middle of a field.” [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 13, 2012

    Duck Hunters Dream of a White Christmas

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    By Duane Dungannon

    West Coast duck hunters want not only a white Christmas but also an early one that will deliver all the ducks on their wish lists. But the recent warm weather is saying “Bah humbug!” Ron Lara of Western Wildlife Adventures (www.wildlifeadv.com) in Chico, Calif., managed to beat the odds last week and offered this photo of his lucky seven mallards. “I went out to a honey hole last week and took seven mallards in one hour. But it's been slow otherwise,” Lara said. “It's always about weather. Cooler temps should pick up the hunting.” Curt Wilson of Avery Outdoors (www.averyoutdoors.com) in the Sacramento Valley said the warm weather has cooled off the duck hunting. “All of the water from the latest storms and rains has the birds spread out,” Wilson said. “Warm weather has slowed things down, and we need new birds to migrate into the area. I did kill three mallards on Sunday, but there were very few birds around.”

    North of the Oregon state line, it’s been a similar scene on the west side of the Cascades, while the onset of cooler weather in eastern Oregon has duck populations literally on thin ice. [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 6, 2012

    Most Sources Report Good or Great Hunting

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    By Duane Dungannon

    "Moby Duck seeks thee not. It is thou, thou, that madly seekest him!”

    That’s the tale told in southwest Washington, where Karl Shaffer, pro-staffer for Avery Outdoors reported that a white-phase duck was spotted and has become the obsession of some area hunters. Meanwhile, Shaffer noted an uptick in goose numbers—mostly larger varieties of Canada geese with a few whitefronts—and plenty of ducks, too.

    “Mallard numbers are very good, as well as pintails and greenwing teal,” he said. “Ducks have responded well to decoys if the spread has movement in it.” [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 30, 2012

    After Turkey, Feast on Ducks and Geese

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    By Duane Dungannon

    Even after stuffing themselves with Thanksgiving turkey, hunters in the Pacific Flyway left room for duck. Between family, food, and football, guide James Rice in Corvallis, Ore., got some hunting in, too.

    “I had a chance to get out and harvest some waterfowl bounty on Thanksgiving weekend,” Rice said. “The flooding from all the recent rain spread the birds out a little, but even with all the sheet water in the fields and creeks out of their banks, you could still find birds if you worked at it. New food sources became available when the water started rising. A lot of wigeon are in the here, but pintails seem to have moved. Mallards are getting more educated, but they are still callable and looking for corn and millet to feed on.”

    It was a similar story in southwest Oregon over the holiday for hunters like Steve DeBerry of the Southern Oregon Chapter of Delta Waterfowl. [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 15, 2012

    Oregon('s) Ducks Are Number One!

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    By Duane Dungannon

    Ducks provided top-ranked entertainment last weekend for Oregonians, both on the football field and in the frozen fields.
     
    “It was a good weather weekend for duck hunting,” said guide James Rice of Corvallis, where local Oregon State fans always take shots at Oregon ducks. He offered this photo as proof the ducks can be stopped. “I am sure a lot of limits were taken this weekend. I know that in my area around Finley, the birds were flying early and often.” [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 8, 2012

    Birds on the Move, and Wounded Warrior Earns His Wings

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    By Duane Dungannon

    Duck hunting can’t heal all wounds, but it can soothe the soul.

    Many who serve our country say that what they most look forward to when returning home are the simple pleasures and freedoms for which they fought—and in some cases made supreme sacrifices. Injured veteran Joey Lowe lost the use of his legs in an IED explosion in Iraq, and last week, he got to enjoy one of the simple pleasures he fought for when he joined Avery Outdoors pro-staffers Allen Griggs and Kent Contreras for a duck hunt in eastern Washington.

    “Each year my hunting partner Kent Contreras and I donate a guided hunt to the Wounded Warrior Program,” said Riggs, who snapped this photo of Lowe with the day’s bag of birds. “We had a great time, and Joey shot several nice birds.”

    An influx of new birds helped the hunting, he said. [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 2, 2012

    West Coast Waterfowlers Enjoy Cold Duck

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    By Duane Dungannon

    Temperatures throughout the Pacific Flyway went down last week, but so did migrating ducks, so West Coast waterfowlers didn’t get too frosted about it.
     
    My man on the front  line of the action, David Wei in Vancouver, who recently enjoyed a good day afield with friends in the photo here, said the cold weather brought a flurry of migration activity into the region.
     
    “The sudden cold snap that brought snow to the BC Interior – and frost on the coast – has made the northern mallards and lesser Canadas move down into our area,” he said. “Huge flocks of lessers teased me this morning, but didn't like where I was set up, and wouldn't decoy right in. Still, I shot a limit of mallards, including a few big northern drakes. Fairly easy shooting with a limit in just over an hour on singles and doubles that hovered over dekes about 25 yards out.” [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 23, 2012

    Wet Week Keeps Hunters Busy

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    By Duane Dungannon

    A week of wet weather swept through the Pacific Flyway, sparking a flurry of activity among West Coast waterfowl, and hunters reported putting more birds in the bag.

    Goose hunters like Richy Harrod of Leavenworth, Wash., who hunts east of the Cascades in both Oregon and Washington, enjoyed good hunting ahead of the recent storms.

    “Our goose hunt near Cheney was very successful,” said Harrod, who took this photo of Mike and Dax Harrod with the day’s bag of honkers. “My cousin had scouted a couple hundred local geese coming into a stubble field. Geese were coming in as small groups of 6 to 40 and were relatively easy to decoy into shotgun range. We gave them a little education, so we will leave them alone for a week or two so that they will start coming to the field readily again. ” [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 18, 2012

    Much-Needed Rain Boosts Bird Movements

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    By Duane Dungannon

    The first rains in weeks—months in some areas—arrived just in time for the opening week of waterfowl hunting across a good portion of the Pacific Flyway, and that certainly did nothing to dampen the spirits of hunters from BC to Baja.

    My friend David Wei of Vancouver reported that snows are following the rains. "I took a look at some fields yesterday morning in Richmond along the Fraser River,” he said. “The greater snow geese are here! Thousands of these birds have moved in from their summer breeding grounds in Russia for their annual stopover in Richmond and Delta, including lots of younger blues this year after a worrisome hatch last year.” [ Read Full Post ]

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