Future of the 107 Special Sea Duck Season?

Discussion in 'Diver Hunters Forum' started by Pitboss, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. 733SubDucker

    733SubDucker Elite Refuge Member

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    I agree, you are spot on. "Missing from Maine" I should have said. I have a good friend that is a bio down in Rhode Island and has shown me the birds in eastern Rhode Island and the south shore of Cape Cod and so forth. We still have good numbers of Scoter and Old Squaw here but Eider are largely passing over. Many feel it is an effect of reduced food sources (not the right size mussel) or a combined effect from the habitat / food degradation due the explosion of the European Green Crab numbers in Maine of late. That is a real issue. I don't believe overhunting is a primary or major catalyst for what is happening. In either case, the population MAY be in a vulnerable state right now...
     
  2. seaduckhunt

    seaduckhunt Elite Refuge Member Sponsor

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    Having hunted sea ducks for many years, one thing that I've learned is to move, and move often. The preassure that these birds are getting now, has pushed them way offshore. So, biologist or hunters not seeing them = to the population declining :doh

    Ducks eat, when their food is gone, they move... another reason for the so called decline, IMHO.

    Personally, I welcome a bag reduction... but with real, good scientific backing. Not a knee jerk reaction.

    107 day season does not mean, guides or hunters are hitting the water those 107 days. Most of the waters I frequent, I rarely see other hunters. So to sit at a computer and try to estimate, how many ducks are being shot, is simply not accurate. Personally, I don't take folks out till the birds are in mountable plumage, so right there, there is an example how the 107 days does not equate...


    There have been some good points in this thread, and some silly off the cuff , off the radar stuff too.

    The unfortunate thing about this topic is that the only thing the FEDs are willing to control is the hunters. They are not willing to take on the seagull depredation, or any other predators for that matter. Too much of a public relations fall-out!

    My whole take on it is to quote Doris Day... "Que sera, sera!"


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  3. DownEastFowler

    DownEastFowler Senior Refuge Member

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    I have hunted sea ducks here in Maine for years. There is no shortage of eiders in Maine if you know what you are doing and where to look for them. A lot of guys and some guides for that matter, just keep trying the same spots and can't figure out why they aren't seeing birds anymore.

    The game definitely has changed up here for guides and hunters. Someone has to know what they are doing if they want a successful hunt. Not gonna just go sit on a ledge anywhere in the ocean and smack a bunch of eiders.

    Maine hasn't seen a big increase in guides that some states have. I would say we have stayed pretty steady in outfitters over the past 10 years or so. Granted, may be some fly by night guy that starts but usually barely lasts a season. A couple of outfits have changed hands and the newer owners don't really seem to have a clue so they definitely aren't hurting the birds up here.

    No doubt more birds are wintering to the South of us. But I have also seen areas that were over harvested by draggers or fed up by birds start to rebound and the birds are returning to them.
     
  4. Waterfowl fool

    Waterfowl fool Elite Refuge Member

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    Video killed the Radio Star analogy uh?

    I will say that I think a lot of people saw the fun in what was out there and seemed to jump on board some years ago all at once. Guides seem to be everywhere were there was just one or two in a few states. I think it was bound to happen, but to put blame on one guy, which in essence what you are doing, is nothing short of ludicrous.

    Sad to see as there are some really great guys out there busting their butts to make a living and try damn hard at making some dreams come true. I see them having to become extremely diversified over the next few years, maybe taking on other occupations in the off season. Maybe even guiding for other fowl or even in other areas to make a living at what they love.

    I for one feel very sad to see this happen and hope to make it back up north in2016 before they close it completely. Which seems to not be so crazy as you blaming one guy. Just my thoughts, no dog in the fight.
     
  5. Wild Rice

    Wild Rice Senior Refuge Member

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    That wisco chap knows everything about every duck and hunting in every state.:reader
     
  6. seaduckhunt

    seaduckhunt Elite Refuge Member Sponsor

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    Well, you need to contact your state waterfowl biologist and let them know that there's no shortage. From everything I've seen coming from them, they are crying doom and gloom. :scratch

    It seems that if your right, then it's info like this they need to know, so there's no reactionary adjustment of season's and bag limits!

    From what friends of mine that are guides are telling me, you are loosing your birds early , and they are ending up here in Cape Cod...

    Regardless, it's the fact that no one really knows, no hard study has been done , that is disturbing! They want to regulate because it seems like lot's of folks are hunting these seaducks. What many fail to realize is that not everyone goes out day in and day out and get's a pile of birds.



    My question to Jeff Coates is where did you hear this day reduction, and how set in stone is it supposed to be as in they will be doing it starting such and such date?



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  7. havenhunter

    havenhunter Elite Refuge Member

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    Ok. So I have been hearing talk from guys in CWS for some time that there are a lot Eiders missing from their counts. cws has already reduced our bag. I believe season length is next with talk of eliminating our February sea duck season. I don't know if the numbers are down in the population but the hunting certainly isn't what it was. 10 years ago I would typically get a three man limit every time I went. In the last three years I've been skunked more times that I care to admit.
     
  8. WoodyWMG

    WoodyWMG New Member

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    Not only do I like the way they taste, it upsets me to know so many people shoot them with no consideration of eating them... that should be outlawed. It is a dispicable thing to do in any case other than a conservation hunt. period.
    Are you blind? I know they started letting blind people hunt, but I didn't know they were allowed to bird hunt.

    You can tell me anything you would like, but scientific evidence tells me, in this case, you are likely wrong. :tu


    I don't know enough about the sea duck life cycle to say for sure what is causing a decline or if there is a decline, but there have been good arguments made for the side saying they are just moving to new grounds. I do know that their reproductive cycle/life span is far different from other ducks and that suggest that harvest should be treated different. With so much being unknown it would likely be wise to reduce the hunting to level to something resembling other ducks until more information is available, IMHO.

    It is for sure an interesting topic!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014

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