The 2020 mid-winter survey conducted by Maryland DNR showed a substantial leap in the wintering population of Canada Geese despite the mild winter. Production in 2019 on the Ungava Peninsula, Quebec, Canada, was sited as very strong due to normal temperatures during the nesting season as opposed to the almost total freeze-out in the 2018 nesting season. This points to continuing population surges if temperatures remain normal in northern Quebec.
The Eastern Shore Maryland migratory wintering population of Canada Geese is composed of the Atlantic Population which nests on the eastern shore of Hudson Bay (Ungava Peninsula) and some input from the North Atlantic Population which nests in Labrador and Newfoundland, Quebec, Canada.
This past season as with any season our Guides pull tail feathers from harvested birds. Many thanks to Head Guide Tommy Tucker and Guide David McFarland for performing this task. My brother, William Hester (biologist, retired USFWS) analyses the tail feathers and is able to determine the age of the birds. This past season, 36% of the birds harvested by Wild Wings Maryland were young of the year. This again, points to the exceptionally high breeding performance of migratory Canada Geese from the Ungava Peninsula in the 2019 breeding season. It is of interest to note that in every year our age determinations correlate with USFWS.
WORKING FOR 2020/21 SEASON
As is normal for us, we are already preparing for the upcoming hunting season. A huge new pasture zone is being implemented on the Hester, Hanson Farm that is most important to migratory geese. We are updating a number of blinds to make them more accessible and easier to hunt from. As to Northern Whitetail Deer (with the big racks) we are placing more areas for hunt opportunities. Deer Hunters – interested in a trophy rack? Call us for the rut times on the Eastern Shore. In regard to migratory Canada Goose hunting, we have a very limited number of people we take (two blinds per day max.) Please advise if you have an interest in the 2020/21 season.
TIME TO PLAY? GO FISH!
Maryland DNR has announced the Trophy Striped Bass two-week season beginning May 1st. This is the opportunity to catch the magnum Striped Bass on the Atlantic Coast. From year to year the success rate changes – but the opportunity exists to land a trophy! Also, the Rock Hall Striped Bass Tournament will be hosted this year on June 5th and 6th -- only about twenty minutes from our Lodge. We have the expert charters and will set you up for some great fishing. Whether fishing with friends or the entire family this is a must experience.
Fishing is great on the Eastern Shore whether it is Striped Bass or Channel Cats in Still Pond Creek on our “Home Farm”. Give us a call and we can make it happen. Bring the family! Photo of Vance & Wortley Forbes with a Trophy Striped Bass
SEVERAL PARTIES HARVESTED THE SOUGHT AFTER RICHARDSONS’ CANADA GOOSE
On the Atlantic Flyway there exists one known flock of the diminutive Richardsons’ Canada Goose. We are extremely fortunate to have the place where the harvest of these birds happens. Richardson adults weigh appx. 4.3 lbs. Compare this to an adult mallard duck that weighs in at appx. 3.5 lbs. Richardsons’ belong to the Cackling Canada Goose family of extremely small geese and this sub-flock nests on the northern portions of the Ungava Peninsula. If this very cool, small wild goose interests you, we can target hunting the farm where they winter. Photo of Richardsons Canada Goose and AP Canada Goose
LOOKING FOR AWAY TIME?
We have a beautiful Lodge, Dairy Barn with darts, displays, shuffleboard, pool table, foosball, badminton nets, canoeing, fishing all wrapped around a 150 acre farm for a great relaxing vacation on Maryland’s Eastern Shore – plus, Chestertown, home of Washington College (1792) with all the amenities and great shops and restaurants. Let us know if we can be of service.