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Black Duck Management Update

Discussion in 'Chesapeake Flyway Forum' started by jhomyack, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. jhomyack

    jhomyack New Member

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    One pager from the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway Councils explaining some of the reasoning behind the changes to the federal framework leading to Maryland's proposed 2 black duck daily bag for the 2017-18 season. Currently posted on MD DNR hunting in Maryland webpage "in the news" section and linked below.

    http://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Documents/2017-2018_BlackDuckHuntingRegUpdate.pdf
     
  2. Allan

    Allan Elite Refuge Member

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    jhomyack, thanks for the post.

    One line in there makes me go huh?

    "Since the late 1990s, the combined black duck harvest in the two countries has dropped from more than 300,000 birds per year to less than 200,000. However, during the same time span the black duck population size has been stable."

    I read that as while the hunting mortality has dropped over 50% the population has not been affected. Okaaay... Perhaps hunting mortality is so small that is has little if any affect. On the other hand increasing it by 50% (probably an exaggeration) may not keep the population stable.

    I thought I had read that the change had something to do with a decreased mallard population in the Atlantic Flyway, but this piece doesn't mention that, or I missed it.

    I HOPE that this does not adversely affect the black duck population, as it is almost a daily contributor to my bag, and will likely be a bigger part now. Like wood ducks though, I see fewer now since the increase in bag limit. I tend to lean towards "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

    Thanks again for the info.
     
  3. Montauker

    Montauker Elite Refuge Member

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    Allan- here is the reference, pages 23-26 has the full language(beware there are funky pages numbers/non sequitor graphs in that page range).

    Optimal country-specific regulatory strategies for the 2017-2018 hunting season were calculated using: (1) the black duck harvest objective (98% of long-term cumulative harvest); (2) 2017-2018 country specific regulatory alternatives (see Figure 11); (3) current parameter estimates for mallard competition and additive mortality (see Figure 12); and (4) 2016 estimates of 0.61 million breeding black ducks and 0.41 million breeding mallards in the core survey area. The optimal regulatory choices are the liberal package in Canada and moderate package in the U.S (Table 7).
    https://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/pdf/management/AHM/AHMReport2017.pdf

    Figure 11 in the document (pg.26) predicts that the harvest rate in the US and Canada will remain the same under the new regs. Page 28 - Table 7 lays out the mallard/black duck matrix
     
  4. Ruination

    Ruination Senior Refuge Member

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    Did limits change in that time?
     
  5. Allan

    Allan Elite Refuge Member

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    I can't speak to Canada's limits, but I think the black duck limit has been 1 or none the entire time. Last time I remember being able to shoot 2 black ducks in a day was during the point system in VA back in the 1970's. They were 70 point ducks, so you could shoot 2. I don't know what other state's limits were at the time.
     
  6. Trevor Shannahan

    Trevor Shannahan Elite Refuge Member

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    The limit during my lifetime has never been more than 1
     
  7. Allan

    Allan Elite Refuge Member

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    Thanks Max. I guess time will tell if hunting mortality rates stay the same.
     
  8. Woody

    Woody Elite Refuge Member

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    I would like to see them keep it at 1. Yes - we are seeing more BD's the last few years and there were days this year we literally had dozens decoying. We are also seeing more and more hybrids, more this year than any I remember.

    Too many factors to mess around with on a relatively small population. One bad year from any number of circumstances + 2 per day would lead to the season being closed for several years and that would be even worse.
     
  9. SAXIS ISLANDER

    SAXIS ISLANDER Elite Refuge Member

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    The limit could have been 20 this year and it wouldn't have mattered to us. We simply didn't have any black ducks. The total black duck harvest from our shack typically averaged about 80 per year. This year we took home 4. Last year it was 8. There seemed to be more of a population along the coast, and I'm sure that those who hunt "under the beach" will appreciate the increased opportunity. Jersey will as well. As for VA Bayside, we'll keep pickin on the buffies, hoodies, and the occasional surf scoter.
     
  10. Montauker

    Montauker Elite Refuge Member

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    I'm not a proponent of the 2 bird limit for many of the reasons stated above, which I honestly never thought I would see in my life time.

    However, it seems that the harvest is low and seemingly not at the current or proposed level going to drop the breeding level, which is the highest of all ducks in the eastern survey area (612,000 breeding). So maybe at 2 birds the balance remains between take and replacement. I do wonder with black ducks if part of the harvest issue is weather. My experience has been that a good portion of them wouldn't come too far south unless forced by weather.
     
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