Hope everyone had an enjoyable opening weekend. I know over here in southern Wisconsin, where I’m located, the birds bird have lots of places to go after recent heavy rains. Ponding is frequent in many fields, forests and even lawns, providing ample hiding spots for waterfowl to escape to. This also has led to newly restored wetlands filling quite quickly, and those can be some of the best places to hunt. The newly disturbed soil and annual seeds, which many times are floating in 2-6 inches of water, are waterfowl magnets.
I heard hunting stories of success on some new projects we completed on both private and public lands. Having more wetlands available not only helps the waterfowl, but also helps the waterfowlers. A much more enjoyable hunt can be had when you spread people out over many areas, which is the result anytime a new wetland restoration happens. More habitat aids in less crowding. Something to think about is talking with your local biologist during the summertime to see where, if any, new restorations have happened. Many times there are small wetland restorations happening every year on our state wildlife areas, mostly funded with waterfowl stamp money. If you’re into trying new spots take advantage, some of these don’t show up on aerial imagery because they are too new. I know I have looked at google earth and have not seen some of WWA’s restoration sites show up for up to 3-4 years or more, depending on the part of the state you’re looking at.
If weather cooperates I will be heading to Jackson and Green Lake counties to complete two restorations in the coming month.
The above photo shows a project we finished in July and geese quickly taking advantage, even with minimal water initially occurring on the site. This same site, as of a week ago, had 2-8” of water over large sections, flooding short annual and perennial vegetation, and I expect it to be holding birds this fall. Quite a change from the 30 acres of agricultural ground it was just one year ago.