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lawaterfowler

Conservation and Attraction

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Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 9:40 am Post subject: Conservation and Attraction

 

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I live in SE Alabama. About the only ducks we ever see here are Woodies, except for the few late, late season north birds. This year has been terrible for duck hunting. It seems that about the third time we shoot our ponds there are no more birds to be seen. It just seems like there are no new birds flying in here. Anyone have any suggestions to keep the birds coming in all season and what we can do in the off season to attract more birds to our hunting spots. Most of our hunting is done over rivers, beaver ponds, and fishing ponds. Everyone I talked to this year says that there are no ducks here like there have been in years past.

 

Anyone know of a really good hunt in north or south dakota. Some frinends and I are planning a hunt there next year.

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This is a can of worms..but-

 

One thing we do here in south central WI is change hunting spots often and not over hunt an area. Concerning our 'local' birds - the few guys I hunt with are always scouting new areas and traveling away from home to keep these families of ducks coming back to our hide-aways. We want to keep them there and keep them coming back. So heavy hunting preasure is something we stay away from.

 

The weather is another major factor ... too dry and too warm is another key factor in certain spots. Obviously not enough rain in southern areas like where you are is going to effect thier stay for lack of available water and possibly food. Too warm in the north to drive the birds south is another factor ...

 

Now add in record harvests in the mid to late 90's and obviously somethings got to give.

 

If a guy hunts all season as much as he can and shoots everything he can year after year ... How does that help populations??

 

Especially when populations were on the rise in the 90's everybody and thier brother went out and bought a 3-1/2" mortar cannon, a mojo-duck, 60 decoys, 5 duck calls, and a dopey lab (i have nothing against labs thier just dopey) ... Now all these guys are lookin' around wondering where the ducks are and complaining about #'s

 

One thing i recomend highly is getting involved in your local Ducks Unlimited chapter (if your not already) and donate as a sponsor if posssible.

The more money your local chapter is able to raise the more thier able to pump into local efforts for habitat and the likes.

Another is getting involved in an active sportsmans club.

 

These two avenues will be able to better aid you in what will help most for the habitat

 

Another place you might consider before driving 24+ hrs to the Dakotas is Texas or Oklahoma. Both states have seasons around the 90 day mark, moderate climates and plenty of ducks.

 

for what its worth...

 

[ 01-13-2004, 05:22 PM: Message edited by: birddog ]

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We need a 30 day season for a few years and if both DU and Delta do not advocate this for next season, they will not get my support.

 

The Fed counts are bogus and this year, " due to lack of funding ", they are not even doing a count. This adaptive harvest management stuff is not adding up.

 

The rest is in God's hands as He sees fit. You will not kill ducks in the South when it is 65 in January in St. Louis or Pekin, IL-----------ain't gonna happen.

 

It is time for DU and Delta to level with us and tell us they really don't know what is going on and they need our help.

 

Again, we need to stop these ridiculous 60 - 80 day seasons AND REDUCE THE DAILY BAG LIMIT-----------------------OR ELSE!!!

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I couldn't agree more with you on the reduction of the season lengths and bag limits. I find it pretty gut wrenching that the Feds, DU and Delta have not pushed this harder but, I feel there are other factors besides these two that if recognized and acted upon will effect our numbers of ducks in a more positive manor.

 

My entire family is involved in DU and Delta and we've been for years and will continue to do so religously! What other organizations out there have done anything? My brother guides waterfowl hunts on the weekends on the Mississippi River and it's tributaries so there is plenty of talking done among us about the situation... (not that we ever say anything though - haha)

 

This is only my opinion - I feel that our #1 adversary at this point and time as wingshooters are Varmints/Predators.

 

I think we've done great things as far as 'habitat' is concerned in the last twenty years or so but, I think we lost predation concerns along the way - specificaly while nesting and brooding. Sure we've 'built' habitat for the birds to feed, wallow and nest in but I think we've done a poor job at managing the population of predators that thrive in this 'luxurious' habitat.

 

For instance: South Dakota Fish and Game has full time trappers and varmint control agents running 24-7. I see them every so often when I'm there pheasant hunting. Constantly working with farmers, private land owners and tending state owned land with pick-ups loaded with fox, racoon, opposum, coyotes and everything between.(Don't get me started on hawks and owls.... I've seen a hen pheasant get plucked out of the air once). I believe that this kind of predator management aids in South Dakota's Pheasant and Waterfowl populations tremendously!!

 

Predation is definately something that needs to be addressed quickly before we do much else.

 

for what it's worth....

 

[ 01-14-2004, 12:45 AM: Message edited by: birddog ]

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good points guys. got my head thinking about doing some coyote and fox hunting maybe some coon hunting but that's a bit tough w/o dogs.

 

another thing you might look into lawaterfowler is your fish and game department there. I know of some folks that had some ponds put in and some wetlands dug out and improved by the fish and game dept and army corp. of engineers for basically nothing. I think they had to allow the public access for a few years but nobody but them has ever hunted it. they installed box nests and a few trees and bushes too. this is something you might want to look into.

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