Nisqually NWR information series

Discussion in 'Washington Flyway Forum' started by All Day, Dec 25, 2017.

  1. WidgeonmanGH

    WidgeonmanGH Elite Refuge Member

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    If you really believe that then I have a management plan I would like to sell you.:doh :rolleyes: lol They absolutely did know it would negatively impact the duck numbers and hunter numbers in the refuge. I had a number of conversations with the fellow who took the data. He said that he told them that very thing multiple times in various meetings and public "forums" (aka - complain-so-we-can-say-we-consulted-you-we-are-doing-it-anyway-meetings). And you have the DU stamp of approval with the ever popular caveat of "well it was the best we could do" and "urban sprawl" and yada yada yada as they reduce hunter numbers and access.

    Make no mistake it has not had an impact on duck populations or anything like that, it has merely shifted the migration patterns. I am guessing and of course it would be impossible to know, but I suspect the private farms and ponds and clubs have seen a nice bump, and Chehalis/Elma area as well. From my logs, what I have noticed is that the number of birds that actually winter in the Nisqually is down. I don't even bother with the last two weeks of the season any longer. In the long term, the migration probably has a greater shift to the greys harbor/costal route.

    Point is the deed is done. As long as wildlife management has a "bambi bias" ( Dramatic music - "Man is in the woods.") and feel that man can only harm wildlife and that management should always seek to return it to pristine, then we will have more of these "improvement" actions. I happen to think that man can do a number of really good things for wildlife (like fresh water flooding) that while artificial is beneficial both to the ducks and to recreation. Just ask the clubs, or look at the forest land that has been turned into farmland. Funny how they don't want to return that back to forest.

    It is a shame but what the Nisqually was is not coming back no amount of information etc. will change that. Glad I got to see it for a couple of years prior to the "improvement". The best you can hope to do now is produce a cautionary tale for the next dike system they want to remove, and try and purchase the farmland when the farmers get old and their children have left the farm, otherwise we will see more of the same. Folks in Oregon are probably going to be happy though as ducks pop from Skagit to the Willamette valley in one overnight hop.

    Best of luck with your project.
     
  2. All Day

    All Day Elite Refuge Member

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    I didn't say they didn't know about the negative effect but that they didn't consider it in the plan. What they did spout off about was that returning the delta or a big part of it back to it's natural state would improve the area for the migrating "birds" while re-creating a salmon estuary. These are the exact words that were told to me by DU members right here on this forum. This was what they used to convince their members to support it. My poll(s) on the fuge had the support at exactly 50%.
    It can't help but to effect the numbers of all species involved. Eliminate the wintering food and next seasons numbers will be lower. THAT'S nature! This Refuge was created for a simple purpose and that has evolved to nothing more than an "education Center on wildlife and salmon". The ONLY reason we are allowed to hunt the 60 or so acres is that they are funded hugely by stamp money.
    The private hunting hasn't completely played out like you have described. Private hunting the first two years after the destruction was phenomenal (I'm told) but the numbers are down and so is the hunting opportunities public and private in the whole area surrounding the refuge. The numbers are way down in Willapa Grays Harbor and the Chehalis River valley and its tribs. I believe for other reasons.
    Yes, the deed is done. The waterfowl have suffered and "they" will continue to destroy these areas in the name of salmon restoration until things become critical and then we may get the hunter support we need to fight this.
    On the Nisqually I know I'm not alone when I say "Told Ya So". It was predicted by people much smarter than me and THAT is why I became involved.
     
    WidgeonmanGH likes this.
  3. Constructeur

    Constructeur Senior Refuge Member

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    Anyone else read the Who moved my Cheese book?

    [​IMG]

    We as a group have decided that fish matter the most at this time. No amount of complaining will change that, scientifically backed or not.
     
  4. sully

    sully Elite Refuge Member

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    The fish won't matter for much longer, they are doing a magical disappearing act everywhere you look. Wave goodbye to the fishies...
     
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  5. WidgeonmanGH

    WidgeonmanGH Elite Refuge Member

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    Fixed it for ya.
    lol

    I am surprised that numbers on the coast are down and would be curious as to why that is. I was actually going to suggest that rather than doing a Nisqually Information Series you do a Grey's Harbor series. I hunted John's river once with someone on this board, but haven't gone back. I always figured that should the Nisqually completely peter out that I would have to start investigating the bays over that way.

    May do it anyway but it is tough learning new areas.

    After yesterdays hunt on the Nisqually, it looked as far as bird numbers go, very similar to Jan. 20th of last year. On December 29th last year I killed a limit of wigeon in about 2hours and my son struggled to get two with a shooting slump. This year on that date there was nothing there. I wonder if that Christmas eve snow has moved them south and out. It could have also just been the weather tides combo meal. Still we got there at low and I was surprised at how few birds there were on the mud.I know there are still birds on the Nisqually, there is always a group of birds there year round. But these locals are generally educated and very wary.

    I appreciate the effort, however, I do not share your optimism even with the "may". Unless you can leverage the millions and the social political connections that some of the conservation groups can, you are not going to fight anything. If the hunting sucks here that is ok "they" will go to the east side to a flooded corn complex, or pop over to ND for hunt , or Argentina when they are bored. I know it sounds very cynical, but I am not overly convinced that "they" care at all about grass roots hunters. Donors, political nice nice, and feel good conservation and education efforts, and of course salmon are the order of the day.

    I wonder what they will do when they discover that all their "salmon restoration" was not only not effective, but turns out that wasn't the problem? I contend as long as there are nets in the rivers there will be no restoration.

    Who moved the cheese is a great book and exactly the thinking that is needed. Find birds where ever they are and hunt them how you can. The powers that be are going to do what they have in mind to do.

    I may hit the Nisqually one more time if weather and tides provide a good opportunity but I also may just hit my local lake blind and smash divers and the odd assortment and do a couple of bow/duck hunts to finish out the season.
     
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  6. ckp160

    ckp160 New Member

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    I'm probably not the intended audience for this discussion, but **** it.... here's my 2 cents.

    I am a new hunter. I live in Olympia, so the Nisqually is right in my backyard. I don't even consider hunting it. Biggest reason: I don't have a boat. Getting into duck hunting is expensive. Add a boat on top of it and it's really expensive. I have been very unsuccessful as a hunter, and at times I've considered that perhaps this is not the past time for me, so no way I'm going to invest in a boat.

    Some of you would say, "Well you need to find somebody with a boat and tag along." That's a great theory, but how many of you are willing to take some guy, you have no idea who they are, out on a notoriously sketchy area on YOUR boat. Don't forget that they have no idea who YOU are either. Plus, I've discovered that duck hunting is a lot like surfing when it comes to learning. Guys wax nostalgic about how great it is in the blind, the beauty, the ruggedness... but damn if they don't guard all their spots. They don't want others to potentially taking their areas. I've heard of guys DOWNPLAYING success in areas to keep others out. I get it... you gotta pay your dues. I'm nowhere near done paying my dues. Got it. You can't bemoan that hunting numbers are down if you make it harder for guys to learn the sport. Being unsuccessful early makes the chase hard to endure.

    If I'm going to keep at this, it's easier to drive 2 hours north to the Skagit area and try my luck there. Yes it's crowded, yes it's probably overhunted, but it IS available to me. I don't have to rely on somebody else to get me there. I'm on my own and can try to figure it out. Its waaaaay less daunting. I've asked a couple questions on here, and I genuinely appreciate the feedback. I have NOT, however, asked about specific spots that will garner success. I've surmised that is a major faux pas in hunting. In turn, this has basically limited my choices to land accessible spots that information is available on the WDFW site. It is what it is.

    Mr. Snyder, you're the president of the Grays Harbor WWA. According to your website, you guys meet Jan-Oct on Thursdays. That's out of season, essentially. How do you propose new guys LEARN in season? You want to figure out why numbers are down, maybe you should consider that HUNTERS as a whole have aged, and are not going out as much. As they go, so does the knowledge.

    I don't want to sound like a Debbie Downer here. My point is this: the established hunters are going where they go. If you want to try and make a change to an area for improvement, you have to figure out a way to make it so more hunters CAN go there. In my mind, this means introducing hunters to the area. It's an interesting dilemma you have in regards to the Nisqually. How can you get hunters to go to an area that is limited in ways you can go to the area? Having to have a boat is a major obstacle.

    Hope I haven't stepped out of my lane, and certainly hope I haven't offended anybody. I simply wanted to give my perspective as a new hunter.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  7. Constructeur

    Constructeur Senior Refuge Member

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    ^ you need to spend more time on the DFW page researching options, you need to spend more time looking at maps/google earth, and talking to your local warden about where it's legal to shoot in your area. You have tons of more places than it seems you found. I won't be name dropping because I personally think part of the fun is finding those spots on my own. Have fun, and best of luck. You have a whole year to research, burn gas and scout spots, and come up with some options.
     
    john4wdh likes this.
  8. ckp160

    ckp160 New Member

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    ^Yes, I know there are a TON of areas. I spend a fair amount of time (don’t have the internet logs... sorry) on WDFW website, onX, and the various forums checking things out. I used the Skagit area as an example of my willingness to travel waaaaaaaaaay farther as it’s actually more accessible than the Nisqually. Perhaps I wasn’t clear.

    The original question was why aren’t there more people using the Nisqually? I gave MY perspective as a new hunter still checking spots out. That’s all. It’s not the same as you more experienced fellows, but it IS a reason.
     
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  9. JEG

    JEG New Member

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    Hey ckp160, I hear ya. You've hit on a huge issues with hunting. Our sport is dying, and it's really hard to recruit new people because it's dang expensive, and people really are territorial if not about their opinions, then at least their honey holes. It quickly becomes a big PITA to hunt, and one or two negative experiences (and I'm not talking about getting skunked, but instead dealing with some @$$wipe fellow hunter who wants to get in your face about "taking" his spot, or run you off the road to get ahead of you in the race to the public spot, or watching him jacking around and shooting 6 hen mallards and stomping them in the mud so he can keep chasing greenheads ... all sh!t I've seen/dealt with over the years) will turn people off on the sport. Tho' we hear lots and lots about "take a kid hunting," I've seen little of that actually executed in the field. Instead, it seems most the folks I encounter in the field are dudes like me: middle aged white guys with disposable income. One of the things I learned about "taking a kid hunting" was the youngsters would get one or two special seasons starting at age 16, the weekend before opening weekend before the great unwashed masses would hit the field, and they'd get a taste of success, but once they turned 18, all bets were off, and it was Lord of the Flies/Survival of the Fittest for them, like the rest of us. And then they're stuck working for crap wages, or starving in college, and they don't have the $$$ to support hunting, and then they find other things (families, careers, etc) that take them away from hunting. It's always struck me as interesting to learn how many dudes came back to hunting only after they had disposable income and the time and connections to make it worthwhile. I know I took a break in my mid 20s because I was busy working 50 hours a week and trying to keep bread on the table for a wife and baby, and it was really hard to tell my wife, who worked all week, to watch the kiddo while I went to spend money to go shoot a ducks on the weekend. Right? But there's nothing about taking a 20-something or 30-something hunting. I'm sure some guide service will be happy to take your money and maybe put you on some ducks ("man, you should have been her yesterday ... we had to shoot our way out of the pintails like it was Fort Apache" is the standard line from those guys), but I recommend against that. Save your money, and keep pounding away at off-season scouting, getting to kno2 people who do this for a hobby NOT to extract your money from you. So, I'll make a deal with you. If I can start to break the code of this hunting in Wash State thing, as in finding a place to hunt, you can join me on my boat next autumn. I reckon by mentioning you're concerned about staying in a lane, you're (or have been) probably a GI. That lane thing is Army speak. Is the 160 from the SOAR? You'll knoe what I'm talking about, or not. Anyway, I'll take my risks that you're not Charles Manson. Remember, hunting with me, I can't promise you much -- a good day for me is being on the water, watching the sun rise, all that esoteric and aesthetic stuff; a better day is if I can a couple decent shots at some cupped ducks over my dekes (pass shooting is for commies LOL); a best day is if I splash one or two puddlers or a fat honker -- but you're welcome to join me as I figure out the ropes. My $.02: Keep lurking about forums like this -- I've already learned a lot from what the fellas (the locals, maybe "old hands" at the Nisqually game) have had to say ... their "corporate knowledge" is good to have. From what I can tell, WWA looks like a good organization ... me, I'm not much of a DU guy ... note I took a friend to "get his elk" years ago, and in a gesture of thanks, he purchased a lifetime RMEF membership for me. I went to one banquet, and was appalled at the commercialization of it. It frankly was disgusting, and not much more than an advertising forum for guides who want you to pay 5 large to shoot an elk (which last time I checked was the property of every American citizen, tho' the animal just happened to be on private property). I've never done a DU banquet, because just reading the magazine convinced me that's not what I'm about. I am considering the Feb Nisqually banquet, but I'm torn. Maybe I'll see you there. But a more "local" org like WWA holds promise. Try giving it a try ... I intend to when I finally get up to JBLM. Cheers, John
     
  10. ckp160

    ckp160 New Member

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    JEG,
    PM sent so we don't send the topic off on a tangent.
     

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