The 2015 Waterfowl Season Primer While some unseasonable warm weather are currently gripping some of the Midwest bringing above average temperatures, high humidity, and soon heavy rains it won’t be long until the winds will change. It’s time for our 2015 – 16 waterfowl primer. For our 2015 season primer we will start by looking at the current waterfowl populations and breeding activity and what that means for duck hunting and goose hunting opportunities this fall. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services recently released the results of their breeding bird’s surveys and despite continued habitat loss in the high plains either due to dry conditions or habitat conversion, waterfowl numbers remain high and are similar to last year’s numbers. This year’s count show the breeding bird numbers at 49.5 million breeding birds which is extremely exciting if you love to pull the trigger of waterfowl as much as we do! Many species of waterfowl saw increases during the spring of 2015, however, other species such as Northern Shovelers and Northern Pintails saw sharp declines. Waterfowl biologists attribute the high waterfowl number to the productivity of the Boreal forest region of the waterfowl breeding grounds, indicating that many species of waterfowl are dependent on this area during times of low habitat availability in the prairie pothole region. As waterfowl hunters, it’s important to always put conservation first, to ensure that there are plenty of duck hunting and goose hunting opportunities to enjoy in the fall, for generations to come. Organizations such as Ducks Unlimited and Delta Waterfowl are very important to waterfowl and wetland conservation, and here at Hard Core we tip our hats to their efforts. Whether you are ducking hunting or goose hunting, unless you live in the Canadian provinces, you are most likely dependent on cold temperatures and cold fronts to the waterfowl to your area. As waterfowl hunters, hunting in the snow and cold is in our blood. It’s what we live for! Well, if you 2015 and early 2016 could prove to be very interesting in terms of winter weather. According to NOAA, the North American Continents weather could be greatly influenced by what could be the largest El Nino event in the history of recorded weather. So what this could mean is warmer than average temperatures for northern states including the high plains states. This weather pattern can also have a direct impact on the amount of precipitation that certain areas will receive. This type of weather pattern is still not greatly understood, however, meteorologists seem extremely confident that North America will experience some interesting winter weather, they are just not sure exactly what and when. If you have duck hunted or goose hunted long enough you have certainly experienced warmer than average conditions. While we it appears that we may be in for some warmer weather this winter, one thing is certain, at some point there will be snow, wind, and cold temperatures. As Hard Core Hunters, you need to be ready when it happens. As waterfowl hunters, we are used to facing adversity and tough challenges. 2015 is looking promising so far, but time will tell. As the season draws closer, we will continue to keep you updated on the latest information regarding waterfowl numbers, habitat and migration updates!