The September rain was a game-changer for Iowa duck hunters, improving habitat conditions across most of the state by creating a number of shallow water areas where food is available.
“The continuous rains have really changed the habitat from the early teal season,” said Orrin Jones, state waterfowl biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “Habitat that didn’t have water before has it now.”
Add in an active weather pattern up north that sent a large migration push into Iowa recently, creating a nice mix of early and midseason ducks. The combination of quality habitat and available birds will give hunters an opportunity for success.
“We’re hearing about large numbers of ducks at Red Rock and at Riverton, as well as other areas,” Jones said. “And while that’s good news, the bulk of the migration and hunting activities has yet to occur.”
Duck season is open in the north zone through Dec. 3, in the south zone through Dec. 10, and will be open in the Missouri River zone from Oct. 26-Dec. 17. The Iowa DNR posts a weekly duck migration report on its website at https://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/Migratory-Game-Birds.