I have to say that the weather this year has been dreadful in the Northeast, and certain that this has affected the spring woodcock migration in 2015. I have struggled with bouts of denial and could not believe that there was the amount of snow on the ground after so many days of warm weather. Constant contact with many of my hunting buddies who live in the area I bird hunt and they were insistent in letting me know that many of our normal haunts were still loaded with snow.
RGS Spring Woodcock Migration map
The Ruffed Grouse Society has a great Spring/Fall Woodcock flight tracker on their site that I have been religiously following. When I saw that the woodcock were nearing my area…I found every way to make it to my favorite spots. According to the map there was a banded woodcock in our area. Make no mistake, the information is accurate! BUT, we have to account for Central NY snow still on Northern, Western and Southern exposed faces of these hills to have a decent amount of snow cover remaining. I found only Eastern exposed faces to be free of snow for the most part and many of our spots are still hard to get to. Temperatures for the week are to be above freezing for the most part and I have a hunch that many of these migratory birds will be making their way through this area during this week.
I spent the day getting to spots where I can maneuver through and moved 3 Grouse and zero Woodcock. Although It was disappointing not being able to get to some spring dog work on Woodcock this weekend, I managed to see the dog work the cover and land a few really nice points. We will try to get back to the woodcock spots next weekend. I will keep you posted.