Migratory Game Birds

Hunting / Hunting Guide / Migratory Game Birds

Wyoming’s spring weather was considered to be normal and contributed to local breeding conditions within the state being ranked as good.


Re-nesting efforts by mallards and other species that failed their first attempt at nesting was likely also good due to favorable conditions.  Hunters can expect better than average local populations of ducks across the state. Wetland conditions were similar or improved across the survey area from last year. Canada goose numbers across the state will be good to great, with populations rising to all-time highs.

Migratory Game Bird Biologist Nate Huck says mourning dove numbers have increased slightly in Wyoming over the last 10 years. “Production in 2018 was excellent,” said Huck. “The majority of doves will migrate out of the state with the first cold snap, which usually occurs between late-August and mid-September. However, doves from northern areas migrate through the state in mid-September, and good hunting can still be found after the first few days of the season.”

Sandhill crane numbers dipped slightly but remain within the population objective. Cranes in Areas 4 and 6 roost and feed in the same general locations every year.  Roost locations in Hunt Area 4 are Hidden Valley, Riverview Valley, and the south side of Ocean Lake. Roost locations in Hunt Area 6 are located north of Worland, the Otto area, from Powell to Ralston, and Ralston Reservoir.  

“For best success, scout for cranes prior to the season and obtain permission to access the fields they are using,” said Huck.

For all migratory birds, migration chronology and weather, as well as the efforts of scouting for birds and obtaining permission to hunt private land when necessary, will ultimately influence the success of migratory bird hunters throughout the state.

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