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Discussion in 'California Flyway Forum' started by Ducks Bucks&Bulls, Dec 26, 2017.
Sutter habitat is atrocious.
Thanks Dan, that makes sense to me so I now get it.
I don't know about many of the refuge managers today, but apart from Bill Cook at Los Banos are any of them hunters? Most clubs are having a tough year this year too but the degradation of habitat on so called "wildlife refuges" is an across the board phenomena it would seem. It calls into question the very purpose of these areas that are supposed to sustain birds during migration and provide enough food for them so that crop damage in the valley is mitigated. Nothing even close to that is happening today and if conspiracy theorists have energy to chase the truth I suspect that they might find a possible deliberate attempt to thwart hunting. The problem with that is that no one wants to pay a bunch of people to manage weed farms up and down our state and hunters, through CWA, licenses and DU, have paid millions for actual refuges.
I was at Del Evans today at shoot time. I can honestly say I never saw a mallard, not one. Now, I wasn't in a classic mallard hole, but I would have expected to see a mallard at some flight level. Nope.
I took a walk around the north half a week ago.. since there were zero ducks..what has taken place with the 9's 11's an 12's.. is a crime. broken record I know but it's crazy to think how completely different it is from the 80's 90's and even early 2000's..
15 and 16... don't get started
meanwhile the triangle has ample smartweed and even a few TREES. when are we as hunters going to get together and take some action, clearly CWA and ducks unlimited is NOT getting it done. Don't feed me the we got pumps going line--what has been done with the habitat--i have stared at a CWA/DUCKS UNLIMITED (one of both of them--non memorable) habitat improvement sign near the brood ponds at the triangle for the past decade. What exactly was done or is being done other than advertising? Serious question. Inquiring minds want to know.
LDC outmanaged by the $$$ clubs around it.
Water management is the key to keeping the birds. That place no longer does it the same and those birds have found better places.
How much of that is by intent? Easy to pass the buck these days.
Do you find that LDC is too shallow or too deep or in what way deficient vis a vis the neighboring properties?
Pete certainly knew how to create phenomenal habitat. He knew how to imprint birds on the hunt area and how to hold them during the season. That knowledge still exists there but simply isn’t utilized. I’ll stop there on that.
There are many issues that arise that can throw a wrench in the works these days trying to get good habitat. Mosquito abatement, pumps going down, equipment failures,water availability, drought, man power etc. But when the stars line up and none of that is an issue and you still grow 6’ cocklebur that you have to stubble disc in your best mallard ponds, its pretty frustrating.
Bonderson isn’t helping LDC any. Scwabs place was a far cry from what’s there now.
Pete knew that pressure and habitat were key. When he tried to make changes at LDC and HS ( which failed) to reduce pressure at the time we thought he was nuts, he may have been on to something. He was talking about not even allowing folks to leave the check station until 8 and then have one or two refill periods, say 11 and 2 if the pond was open. His thinking was let the birds leave the pond on their own and get them on the return. His plan mostly did away with FR as well and that caused a fire storm.
The two main problems with LDC are habitat and we simply loved it too much. The hunting was so good everyone wanted to hunt there. There were so many birds in the closed zone 10 blinds went in there. The quota was upped and then refilled. Meanwhile Super Clubs were being developed with superior habitat and almost no gunning pressure. Rice flooded for miles and a lot of that not hunted. Go on google earth and look at all the natural habit that exists north of Hwy 80 to Durham.
I always here ducks are in Washington. I don’t think so. Add up all the acreage and divide the amount of mallards into that. They are having a good life now. I think if Pete still managed UBB the numbers would be better but not like before unless hunting pressure was severely restricted and then folks would have a coronary.
Can you imagine if Pete managed the Sac Complex? Hunt areas surrounded by closed zone and most of the surrounding land is just rice fields. I don’t think the top birds would be spoony, gads and teal.
I’ve been at meetings with the managers regarding habitat, last few years with CWA as well. Take the Sac Complex for example. Honestly I’m not a fan of their habitat model. But they kill a ton of birds and have folks beating down their door to get in to shoot spoons and gads. They consistently shoot the highest averages. Folks sure seem to like the open water and the birds that go along with it. Myself excluded. But they are very successful at what they are doing. That was the beauty of the East side refuges when they opened. Thick dense fields loaded with food and the ability to work birds in tight.
Some refuges have seen the habitat greatly improve not sure the waist deep water in the ponds is helpful for dabblers though.
More people need to show up to the hunter meetings that DFG now does every year. Lots of bitching on the internet and the same ol folks showing up to the meetings