2021 Central Flyway Duck Hunting Forecast

By author of The Duck Blog

Opportunities for duck and goose action in the Central Flyway abound. Here’s how Duck Hunting Nation ranks the states

Our second Duck Hunting Nation roundup covers the broad vistas of the Central Flyway. From huge flocks of mallards and geese whirling over heartland grain fields to endless lines of redheads and pintails near the Gulf, this flyway offers unlimited potential. We’ve updated each state’s page with license costs, links to current regulations and other vital information.

From the prairie pothole duck factory to the fabled Texas coast, the Central Flyway offers incredible waterfowling opportunities. Photo by Images on the Wildside

Colorado

Big game might bring most hunters to Colorado, but surprisingly good duck hunting and solid goose opportunities earn this state a high Duck Hunting Nation grade. Big river corridors provide good duck action — especially late — and the Front Range is a bona fide goose destination.

Full Colorado Duck Hunting Nation report

Kansas

The Sunflower State has become more popular with traveling waterfowlers, and it’s no secret why. Kansas holds mallards all winter and is also a prime goose area. Further, it has fantastic public access to private lands via its Walk-In Hunting program. Kansas gets a solid B from Duck Hunting Nation.

Full Kansas Duck Hunting Nation report

Montana

Like Colorado, Montana conjures visions of big game and big mountains. But it’s also a prime waterfowling state, earning a B from Duck Hunting Nation. Local ducks abound early, and Montana also sees lots of migrants from Canada. The state is also a goose magnet. Best, it has loads of public land.

Full Montana Duck Hunting Nation report

Nebraska

Only one factor prevents Nebraska from earning an A from Duck Hunting Nation: somewhat limited public access. Otherwise, this state is a major duck and goose hunting destination. Late-season field hunting for mallards and honkers can be especially good, and the North Platte River is a must-see migration hotspot.

Full Nebraska Duck Hunting Nation report

New Mexico

New Mexico has many fine qualities, but it just isn’t waterfowl country. Its Duck Hunting Nation grade reflects that. Actually, duck action here can be decent. You’ll just have to search to find it. On the bright side, more than half the state is publicly owned, so access shouldn’t be a problem.

Full New Mexico Duck Hunting Nation report

North Dakota

This production and migration heavyweight is one of the country’s most famous waterfowling destinations, and it merits every bit of its A rating from Duck Hunting Nation. Early geese? Check. Early ducks? Loaded. Great late-season action over cut grain fields? Yep. And there are plenty of public spots to hunt.

Full North Dakota Duck Hunting Nation report

Oklahoma

The Sooner State has become a go-to waterfowl destination in recent years, and its A grade from Duck Hunting Nation reflects that. It offers an almost unmatched array of public hunting opportunities, many at properties managed for ducks. And late-season field action can be otherworldly.

Full Oklahoma Duck Hunting Nation report

South Dakota

Well-traveled hunters know that the eastern half of South Dakota is every bit as good for waterfowl as the state’s more famous northern cousin. Only one factor limits it to a B grade from Duck Hunting Nation: The state limits nonresident waterfowl hunting licenses. Otherwise, the endless network of potholes, sloughs, big water and agricultural fields here will amaze even veteran fowlers.

Full South Dakota Duck Hunting Nation report

Texas

The Lone Star State is a great place to hunt ducks and geese, and its massive annual harvests reflect that. Names such as Eagle Lake (geese) and Laguna Madre (redheads) are legendary among waterfowlers. Public access can be challenging, and that’s the only reason Texas scores a B from Duck Hunting Nation.

Full Texas Duck Hunting Nation report

Wyoming

Only a lack of waterfowling quantity limits this state to a C grade. The quality of duck and goose hunting in Wyoming is pretty good. The state has lots of river drainages and gets a nice spillover migration from Alberta and Montana. And prairie pothole hunting in the state’s eastern parts can be productive.

Full Wyoming Duck Hunting Nation report

Note: Portions of Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming west of the Continental Divide are considered to be in the Pacific Flyway. We’ve listed them here to avoid repetition.

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Don’t miss our first Duck Hunting Nation Roundup on the Mississippi Flyway.

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