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Hunting Report

Klamath Basin waterfowling slows dramatically

BY PHIL BROWN/WON Field ReporterPublished: Oct 18, 2018

TULELAKE — Waterfowl hunting in the Klamath Basin slowed considerably this past week with mild temperatures and steady sunny weather. It seems like there have been a lot of birds leaving the area, so the Klamath Basin is between migration flights.

It has been tough to find a good hunt lately. There are few if any birds in the flooded grain fields on the Tule Lake side during hunting hours the Lake 1a has been really slow unless you are up for a spoony shoot.

Sump 1b was the best bet for a good shoot, but there have been more hunters than usual in the basin and there are not too many spots to find a a good shoot, so it has been tough for most.

On the Lower Klamath side the story is the same: Unit 6a has just started to flood up and the birds have not started using it yet. Unit 7b is flooding, but it is hard to walk in and the birds are really only going in there after shooting hours. Unit 9a is flooding and it does have good potential for a shoot, but there really isn't enough water in there for the birds to feel comfortable.

The Klamath Basin refuges are very dry this year. White Lake closed area, an area that has been flooded every year the refuge has been around, will remain dry this year, as well as Unit 3 closed area. With those vast loafing areas dry, the birds might just pass the Basin by this year. I am still hopeful that the refuge will be allotted some more water this year.

We are definitely between migration flights right now, so unless there is some winter weather and new birds on the way, expect a tough hunt in the Basin.


A HONKER LIMIT of 10 birds was shot by 8:30 a.m. opening day of the early honker season, now closed, near Fresno by Eric Foster. He hunted with Ryley Rerucha, who also got his 10 birds. He is having the biggest one mounted by Bob’s Taxidermy in Fresno.


oregonopener2OREGON OPENER — The opening of duck season in Oregon was good for Jimmy Young, son of WON Staffer Pat Young, and his buddy, hunted a decoy spread along the Crooked River just north of Prineville, Oregon, on opening day, Oct. 6, and shot their 7-bird limits of mallards and wigeon in just 62 minutes!

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