Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge
Mountain-Prairie Region

Migration Update January 5, 2010



Welcome to the new decade! Lacreek started the new year in the grip of winter. Recent storms have accumulated deep snow drifts anywhere there is something to block the wind. The main Refuge road and most surrounding County roads are passable by all vehicles currently, however this could change with high winds and new snow. The road into the Little White River Recreation Area has drifted completely shut. Some ridge tops and grazed, hayed, or farmed areas have blown free of snow. All of the wetlands are frozen, with a handful of small openings created by spring flows. This is one of the most challenging times of the season for wildlife that remain at Lacreek NWR through the winter.

A survey conducted today showed 9,338 Canada geese on and around the Refuge. The general Bennett County Canada goose season will open January 9th through January 17th, 2010. Regulations regarding this season can be obtained online at: http://www.sdgfp.info/Publications/HuntingHandbook.pdf There are no set patterns established for the geese. Their activities vary from day to day based on the weather, moon phase, etc. Hunters are encouraged to invest time scouting before hunting.

Refuge staff completed a deer survey on 12/16/2009. They counted 47 mule deer (6 buck, 25 doe, 16 fawn) and 808 white tailed deer (87 buck, 411 doe, 310 fawn) for a total of 855 deer on the Refuge. Colder weather has likely increased this number since the survey was completed.

In addition to the concentration of deer, pheasants and sharp tailed grouse have moved onto the refuge from surrounding lands. A large number of bald and golden eagles are now found on and around the refuge. In addition, ferruginous and rough legged hawks are spotted every day near headquarters. A gyrfalcon has been spotted hunting birds around headquarters off and on over the last 3 weeks. A careful and patient observer can spot these raptors pursuing waterfowl, jackrabbits, pheasants, grouse, and other prey.

If you are planning a trip, feel free to contact Headquarters (605-685-6508) during normal buisiness hours of 7 AM to 3:30 PM MST Monday through Friday excluding Holidays to check on road conditions. Bundle up!


Thinking of making a trip to Lacreek NWR?  Check out the latest weather forecast for the Lacreek area at http://www.weather.com/weather/local/57551    

Previous Migration Updates:

December 7, 2009
November 19, 2009
November 2, 2009
October 14, 2009

September 29, 2009
August 24, 2009
July 10, 2009
June 1, 2009
April 30, 2009
April 28, 2009
April 14, 2009
April 7, 2009
March 26, 2009
March 2, 2009
February 2, 2009
January 7, 2009
December 18, 2008
December 10, 2008



Last updated: November 2, 2012