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Duck numbers

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

  1. salthunter

    salthunter Moderator Moderator

    Jun 14, 2002
    SE Idaho

  2. dux/24 7

    dux/24 7 Elite Refuge Member

    Jan 29, 2006
    SE Kansas
    Wish i Could find the whole movie on you tube or similar channel....
  3. waterrat

    waterrat Elite Refuge Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    catching fish in OK
    I'm sure wiley natives fed a thousand generations on the abundance of birds in the old times. I daydream of those days. Can you imagine 5 bows hiding in the grass waiting for the birds to swim in?
    burgawboy likes this.
  4. burgawboy

    burgawboy Elite Refuge Member

    Sep 5, 2002
    Tarheel Country
    Out of focus and Sam Ortmann like this.
  5. pintail2222

    pintail2222 Elite Refuge Member

    Oct 8, 2002
    Collier Co. Florida
    Farming has been detrimental in western MN and ND where I waterfowl hunt, Farmers put down drain tile and then burned up pot holes and slews to plant crops where ever they could. But they’ve done most of it already going back 10 - 20 years. I own land in ND that won’t be drained.

    It’s been discussed on here a few times over the years.
    OneShotBandit likes this.
  6. wprebeck

    wprebeck Senior Refuge Member

    Feb 4, 2019
    USGWS maintains data here:

    You can look at BPOP (breeding population), age ratios, hunter numbers, midwinter counts, harvest estimates and a few other things for each flyway. I think there are data from as far back as the 50's, but I don't recall the exact dates.

    The site also has information about NAWMP and other valuable tools concerning waterfowl. I make use of it frequently as my research is using data derived directly from the books.
  7. nobands

    nobands Elite Refuge Member

    Dec 27, 2015
    We had some heated debates about tilling on the old iowa waterfowlers page.
    I can't help but see how tilling doesn't add to more and faster runoff. There were some that believed tilling , by removing excess allowed the ground to absorb more lessening the impact.
    Don't think I could ever be convinced of that .
    That being said i do understand farmers needing to farm the ground effectively. .
    I think that wetlands/ holding ponds should be used to slow the rate of runoff.
    Funding that will probably never happen, but here we seem to find no shortage of funds to spend on flooding after the fact.
  8. riverrat47

    riverrat47 Elite Refuge Member

    Feb 14, 2004
    nw illinois
    I don't imagine that Illinois is much different from other states in the corn belt regarding wetland loss. Informed estimates are that Illinois has lost over 90% of it's wetlands. I don't know how many acres, but I would have to assume many millions. Hell, Chitcago was a swamp...then the politicians upgraded it to a sewer. The whole NE portion, down to below the Kankankee River, was a big marsh.
    Journals from the Joliet and Father Marquette explorations, in the 1600s,report giant trees, huge deer, waterfowl that blackened the sky and that even the rivers freezing wouldn't drive south.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  9. pluffmud

    pluffmud Senior Refuge Member

    Jul 15, 2017
    Based off of recent years surveys from DU and the USFWS, duck populations are relatively stable, and high. Also from listening to Ramsey Russel's Duck Season Somewhere podcasts, in which he talks with many leading waterfowl biologists from all over the North American continent, birds harvested from hunting has almost zero impact on bird populations. They are actually arguing that raising the limits on certain species (such as the pintail) and eliminating hen limits (ahem mallards) will help duck production in the summer, as the hatvest regulations for the past decades have proven ineffective and are dated. They are saying that loss of habitat mostly, and predation affects population numbers. SOOO, if duck numbers are high, where are the ducks??? I believe the reason the average middle class duck hunter isnt seeing ducks for 3 reasons: loss of habitat, lack of weather, and limited access for the common man to hunt areas that hold waterfowl. Since habitat is being destroyed, we are having to dump lots of money into creating wetlands and food sources that hold waterfowl. Many of these areas are refuges in which you cannot hunt, or have areas within the hunting grounds that are not open to hunting, in which the birds stay in daylight hours due to pressure, because theres only so many places left to go that have ducks in which the common man can hunt. Couple that dilemma with the lack of weather, and there is no reason for a bird to move any further south if he has access to food and liveable habitat. To combat this, the rich man has funds in which he can "put water in the corn" and have access to good hunting, so long as the birds show up. The common man does not have the funds to put "water in the corn" for the most part. At the same time, he is not allowed to put "corn in the water," so he is basically screwed for private access, unless he is fortunate enough that access. So, the lack of weather, and the abundance of private/govt provided food/habitat creates a lifestyle of luxury and unwillingness or a duck to migrate, let alone fly outside of the impoundment during daylight... everytime i do that i get shot at! This is why I believe the average duck hunter believes "there are no ducks."

    Ok, so Ive identified the problems. What about solutions? Im just throwing out ideas so dont crucify me, ok? Would it be better if...

    We opened the refuges to some hunting pressure to get birds to move and create hunting opportunities? Afterall, if people dont start shooting ducks, we are going to stop spending our money on stamps/licenses, and the revenue generated for conservation generated by those sales will be lost.

    How about let me put corn in the damn water so I can have some good hunting on my grandpas 2 acres I inherited?

    What if we created the habitat, but limited the food? If we limit the food, birds will be forced to migrate.

    Take away power from the federal govt has in choosing our season dates, lengths, and bag limits (lol yeah right like we will ever get that back)

    Thoughts? Tear me a new butthole via keyboard maybe???

    *Just wanted to add... take a look at the limits in Mexico and the "lack of ducks" down there. Can someone from DU explain why I can shoot 8 ducks in Alberta in September and 5 of them be pintails, and why that not the case in ND? Preferably someone who is high up in DU and owns watefowl hunting land in Alberta...
    Miker17, WHUP ! Hen, whitey11 and 2 others like this.
  10. bill cooksey

    bill cooksey Elite Refuge Member

    Oct 20, 2000
    Bartlett, Tn., USA
    I won't bother with the liberal argument about the horrible rich duck hunters vs the deserving poor. I will however suggest you spend some time reading up on the bird migration changes being noted all around the northern hemisphere. Once we accept the issue isn't just occurring in the ducks we hunt, we can discuss how to deal with it. Until then it's just mental masturbation.
    WHUP ! Hen and riverrat47 like this.

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