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Changes a gonna come to a WMA near you

Discussion in 'Alabama Flyway Forum' started by stevena198301, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. stevena198301

    stevena198301 Elite Refuge Member Supporting Member

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    Heard a rumor from a good source that there will be changes on several WMAs beginning next year, or the year after. Think; limited spots and draws. Think; if you aren't there at draw time you forfeit your blind (and decoy spread around your blind) for the day to the next guy in line. This apparently stems from a new management philosophy.

    Again, this is a rumor I heard, but I heard it from a reputable guy who keeps up with things like this.

    This will impact Swan Creek, as well as other N. Alabama WMAs. Plan is to still do draws for blind placement in dewatering area, but cut the number down from what it is now. The empty holes will be marked, and folks will be able to draw for those empty holes and bring non-permanent blinds to set up for the day. If you aren't there for the morning draw, and you have one of the permanent blinds, you forfeit your blind for that day. The lucky draw will be allowed to hunt over your decoys if you so choose to leave them out around your blind (it's legal to leave them out still). I have not heard if folks knee-booting in (the way I hunt all N. Alabama WMAs) will be required to do a draw, have no restrictions, or not be allowed at all.

    I have to say, I do not agree with a draw for Swan Creek. Not the year after you change the rules to restrict the number of days it can be hunted (as was done this year, no Tue-Thur hunting this year in dewatering unit). Swan Creek can be a circus at times, but I just avoid it when it is. There's other public land places I could be in a short enough time it doesn't matter.
     
  2. Sunklands

    Sunklands Senior Refuge Member

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    There's some guys from your way, that hunt about mile from me. They're mostly guys in there 60's and I've had small talk with them a couple times, they seem alright. When's you guys opener? Does the whole state open all at once?
     
  3. stevena198301

    stevena198301 Elite Refuge Member Supporting Member

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    Opens Friday til Sat, then splits for a week. All opens at once. I don’t think the cranky ones leave the state. All but one guy I hunt with are 62. The youngest whipper snapper (besides me) is 48.
     
  4. mister gadwall

    mister gadwall Senior Refuge Member

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    Spent a lot of decades free lancing in N Alabama. I could care less what happens in the Big Zoo (de-watering) areas. However if the regs are changed to draw hunts only ( or specified hunting locations)for the smaller Zoo on the NON dewatering areas that are technically in the boundaries of the Management Areas it will certainly drastically affect the history and future of the "true" public hunting in the state.

    Even the Zoo is unattractive to me now, and its just too busy for my tastes. But those areas DO provide a real opportunity for true free lancing. Taking that away would be a real blow to the average bama hunter , as well as the non residents who are brave enough to still go there...
     
  5. TheDuckSlayer

    TheDuckSlayer Elite Refuge Member

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    I totally understand the frustration with overcrowding... it's really sad that so many people try to hunt the few ducks that come to Alabama.. but I'm telling you a draw is not the answer... the AL DNR would love a draw because it makes enforcement 1000x easier.. I've seen first hand how draws have ruined Mississippi WMAs... and the thing about it, once a draw is implemented, it never goes back to how it was before.. if anyone reading this hunts anywhere where they are talking about putting in a draw, you need to do everything in your power to stop it... write letters, protest, lay down in the street in front of the courthouse.. anything and everything.. you do NOT want a draw system, period.
     
  6. TheDuckSlayer

    TheDuckSlayer Elite Refuge Member

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    The whole state opens the day after Thanksgiving... Believe it or not, Alabama WMAs get almost as crowded as Arkansas, but with about 1/100th the ducks.. it's insane.. I wish the duck fad would end, and errbody would go back to flyfishing or something
     
  7. Sunklands

    Sunklands Senior Refuge Member

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    Them boys from AL, that don't hunt far from me, packed up and left this past weekend. They must think highly of themselves , Cause they were driving new suburban's and yukons with hunting and fishing stickers all over the sides of there rigs. Each one of the four had a side by side UTV, and they never rode together. Left from the same place and parked their toys all in a row. They sure liked the spinners cause they'd put nearly a dozen out in front of they're pit. Kinda funny to see all this at 100 or so yards off the black top. I just figured they left cause AL had greener pastures than SEMO.
     
  8. Sunklands

    Sunklands Senior Refuge Member

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    I know what you me about the "fad". It's gotten Eff'n out of hand here too. Only reason I'm still hunting the way I always have is cause I farm. I've tried my best to isolate myself from the encroachment of the mellinial waterfowler's, but I guess I can't blame them, cause once upon a time I got hooked too. We got the "draw" b.s. as well, here at our 3 local duck parks. I used to go and try to draw out back in the 90's quite a bit, but there was 1/2 the hunters back then and double the ducks.
     
  9. stevena198301

    stevena198301 Elite Refuge Member Supporting Member

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    This is supposedly only going to affect the dewatering area, but I doubt it. Like TDS said, wardens will love the easier enforcement. I do a lot of knee-booting during the week over there. Do a lot more across the river from there on the other WMA, which may also be affected by this (same management, etc).

    If they are going to a draw, they need to install permanent blinds. How do you tell someone that even though they own a blind, if they don't show up, anyone else can get in it and hunt? You know some douche-canoe is gonna start tearing up blinds, shooting blinds, stealing stuff, etc. It's gonna be a cluster.
     
    mister gadwall likes this.
  10. JP

    JP Elite Refuge Member

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    Indian Territory, Oklahoma
    The blind draw at the (SCWMA) Harris-Sweetwater Dewatering Unit (aka: Shooting Gallery) has always been shrouded in controversy with the same guys (allegedly) getting the primo spots year after year and newcomers having their blinds "disqualified" at the drawing making them ineligible to participate, el al.. IIRC, FCMCWMA(s) never had permanent blind draws although I have observed fixed, floating blinds anchored in FCWMA in years past. Can't speak for the current crop of CO/LEO's there but the one's I encountered were either badge-heavy, incompetent or outright dirty which likely was a catalyst for the way things rolled thereabouts in the past. Sounds like you still have to signal for a fair catch once a bird is shot at that circus. Are the stump beds still there on the Beulah Bay mudflats or have they eroded away like many out on the main channel?

    Several COE reservoirs here in NE Oklahoma have annual blind drawings wherein the blind owner has dibs on it until ~7:00 each morning with it becoming public after that time, for the day. There's a movement to eliminate those (as was done on one of the reservoirs ~14 seasons ago w/o adverse consequences) with day (temporary) blinds only and a spacing requirement (although practically speaking, unenforceable) for those.

    With the apparent change in weather patterns, it's somewhat academic as (around here) if you really want to get into the birds (the past ~3-4 seasons) you'd best head north into Kansas and Nebraska.
     
    ED Vanderbeck likes this.

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