Harsens Island Managed Waterfowl Hunt Area Manager's Update

Important: See updated 2020 draw procedures here.

Review for week ending

  • 12/06/2020


  • Finally got some cold temps, snow and some skim ice in the mornings. Super windy on Monday and Tuesday.

Waterfowl abundance

  • We lost nearly half our birds this week with the arrival of some ice and cold. Mallard numbers dropped substantially and most other species trickled down a bit, but a small number of shovellers showed up on the wind.

Hunting conditions

With the regular season wrapped up, we have started pumping down the hunting zones. Fields will be dry for the late split.

Hunter numbers

  • We had a total of 659 hunter trips this week, our highest participation since October. Party numbers were the highest we may have ever had for the last week of the season, with a high of 95 on Saturday, a low of 63 on Friday and a weekly average of 79 parties per draw this week.

Waterfowl harvest

  • The hunting was much better this week as the cold weather forced the ducks to feed during hunting hours a bit better and brought in a handful of fresh birds. The crazy winds and precipitation Monday and Tuesday led to some great hunting, with 452 ducks shot and an average of 2.01 ducks/trip for those two days. The total for the week was 781 ducks in 659 hunter trips, for an average of 1.19 ducks/trip. 

  • This week wrapped up the regular season split. Our totals for the year are 6,207 ducks and 123 geese in 5,355 hunter trips, for an average of 1.16 ducks/trip for the season. For comparison, the season average for the previous five years was 1.2 ducks/trip. Though we were reduced to only 6 draws a week instead of our normal 14, there was only a 26% reduction in hunter trips and a 29% reduction in total harvest compared to the previous 5 year average.

  • These totals only represent the regular waterfowl season; early goose and teal totals are not included.

What to expect this week

  • We are continuing to pump out water before ice sets in so that we’re ready to harvest corn after the holidays.

Upcoming events

  • We will be open and conducting draws for the late split, barring unforeseen circumstances. Conditions can change rapidly depending on weather so call the office the week before the split for updates.

Other comments

  • The use of all motion winged decoys remains prohibited at the managed area.