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Milford Wildlife Area Waterfowl Report

Waterfowl numbers

Regular duck season opens on Nov 1st and closes Jan 4th.

Late duck season is Jan 17th-25th.

Only 200 ducks were seen on the survey this week, primarily mallards.  The wetlands are still iced up due to freezing temperatures.

Waterfowl counts given on this report are based on what was observed on the day the report is updated. Waterfowl numbers vary greatly from day to day and weather conditions and hunting pressure will affect the numbers of waterfowl on the area.
Lake level 1146.51 conservation Pool 1144.4 The dam is releasing 100FS. Republican River is flowing at NA.
Hunting conditions

Fair due to icy conditions and relatively few birds.  Wetland areas are icing over due to frozen pumps and lack of water flow.  River has ice flows and calm water areas are iced over.  Water levels and vegetation are good to excellent.  Warmer temperatures are forecasted and conditions could improve greatly by Thanksgiving.

No activites/hunting allowed in the Steve Lloyd Wetland/Refuge.

Motorized boats are only allowed in Mall Creek wetland, electric motors are considered "motorized". All other public hunting wetlands are open to NON motorized boats and walk in hunting.

Lower Smith Bottom and the Gatesville boat ramp have been reopened since the 2013 fall hunting and fishing season.

The lower refuge dike has been repaired and both the upper and lower refuge pools are holding good amounts of water which should help to attract waterfowl to the area.

Expected hunting success

Hunter survey report: 

Nov 10th- 17th 52 hunters had harvested 132 ducks with an average of 2.5 ducks/hunter.

Vegetation and water levels are adequate. High water has filled most Mall Creek and Sugar Bowl wetlands.  


Do NOT drive on dikes. Vehicles disrupt and discourage waterfowl from using the wetland areas. We have had several dikes being damaged due to unauthorized vehicles driving on them. Scouting is best done on foot to evaluate bird numbers and habitat conditions.

Please report any vehicles on dikes and anyone seen disturbing our pumps. Without the pumps in optimal condition we are unable to pump the wetlands to their greatest potential.

Remember- a free permit is required to hunt waterfowl in the wetland areas on Milford Wildlife Area. These are available at all of the marsh parking areas, or hunters can register and check in using the new I-sportsman system from any rotary phone or internet device. The information collected and comments received are very useful in establishing future management goals for the area.