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Duck numbers

Discussion in 'The Duck Hunters Forum' started by JBM SteelSlinger, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. JBM SteelSlinger

    JBM SteelSlinger Senior Refuge Member

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    Have tried to look up waterfowl numbers before the country was fully settled.Just wanted to see if farming practices were helpful overall or detrimental. Seeing how waterfowl like to use harvested fields on all the flyaway. But nesting conditions i guess is the key factor .I guess what I'm trying to find out are there more in the modern era then before
     
  2. blkduck

    blkduck Senior Refuge Member

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    I don't think they have any sort of solid estimates.

    From https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1372&context=usfwspubs

    Prior to the mid-1800s waterfowl were extremely abundant in North America, and hunting occurred throughout the year by both market and recreational hunters. Waterfowl appear to have been perceived as an infinite natural resource, meriting no management intervention.

    Around the turn of the century was when numbers went down. Clearing and ditching farmland was one major issue. That was the demise of the Grand Kankakee Marsh, which was once a million acres in IL and IN. Over hunting was another.

    I don't think anyone could say farming was beneficial to waterfowl. Farming destroyed more habitat than any perceived "benefit" they get from eating waste grain could offset.
     
  3. Neighbor Guy

    Neighbor Guy Elite Refuge Member

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    County ditches and tiles have been no benefit to any birds. Regardless of any waste grain they might have gotten to eat.
     
  4. JBM SteelSlinger

    JBM SteelSlinger Senior Refuge Member

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    Thanks thats about all I could find too
     
  5. blkduck

    blkduck Senior Refuge Member

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  6. nobands

    nobands Elite Refuge Member

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    Nothing positive, at least for the waterfowl .
    I'll probably be wrong , but in Iowa its like a million acres of wetlands lost , nothing good is coming out of that .
     
  7. OneShotBandit

    OneShotBandit Elite Refuge Member Supporting Member

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  8. mpkowal

    mpkowal Elite Refuge Member

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    Out here a lot of ranchers have gone to Pivot Irrigation, so water soaks in before it can create sheetwater.Better for them but not for the hunter.

    I hunted the Grand Kankakee area in Indiana in the 70s and there were a lot of Mallards but I hear its not like it was even back then.
     
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  9. OneShotBandit

    OneShotBandit Elite Refuge Member Supporting Member

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    I kinda agree AB- we NEED to do more on the breeding grounds ie: DU’s & Delta’s Mission. I’ve also noticed if there isn’t food in the fields during migration the ducks will move on.
    Ex. A rice field in Humphrey, AR where my friend had a lease was pretty good hunting for the first 3 years I went down there w/him. The farmer sold it & the new owner had another farmer farm it.
    We noticed that it didn’t have half the waste grains as in years prior hence the hunting fell off & we didn’t sign another lease.
     
  10. JBM SteelSlinger

    JBM SteelSlinger Senior Refuge Member

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    No water this year,
     

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