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Warm winter cools hunting for ducks and geese
By Scott Willoughby, The Denver Post
The air of optimism pervading the start of the 2011-12 waterfowl season no longer lingers in most of Colorado's traditional hunting grounds. And with only days remaining in a season considered average at best, duck hunters in particular are hoping for a change of fortune.
Skiers haven't been the only ones to suffer through Colorado's mild early winter, as waterfowl hunters have found themselves staring longingly to the north for signs of irds and the snows that drive them southward. There's a reason it's called fowl weather, after all.
"There are two main things that the weather has hurt us on," said Jim Gammonly, waterfowl biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "One is that even as late as a couple of weeks ago, there were still tens of thousands of Canada geese and ducks — mainly mallards — well north of us. Places like Montana have not had much of a winter either.
"The other is the weather here. We haven't had a lot of cold weather, so even if we had a lot of birds around, they'd be harder to get to because there are so many places for them to get away from the gun. So I expect the harvest data will be pretty spotty and probably pretty slow this last month or so."
Read more about this winter's hunting season and why some dedicated waterfowlers say there's light at the end of the tunnel.