I wish TN would end the season on the 31st

There.is.no.ST

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Of any poster on this entire forum you are probably one who I think is the most knowledgeable and logical.

I have to respectfully ask, do you quit hunting after the 20th when the pairing begins?

My thought is: since they have extended it to the last Sunday instead of the 20th...they may as well extend it to the 31st. I don't see us hunters destroying the bonding if TN would have finished this past Monday vs this past Sunday.
I'm not knocking Bill at all, but there are people who lurk - and occasionally post - here that are waterfowl biologists with decades of experience in the field. I know of one former state manager and a couple of feds that are around, among with other biologists that don't necessarily manage waterfowl as a career, but do deal with them as a primary part of their field.

The problem most of them have is that the know-it-all hunters attack the managers personally when discussion occurs. While experience in the field is fine, it's not rooted in the scientific method. Essentially, what we have as hunters is anecdotal experience that doesn't necessarily match up with what science has found through research. When biologists - most of whom are also duck hunters - post comments that are contrary to what Billy Bob in Camden Bottoms says, the biologists get attacked...so they eventually stop posting.
 

There.is.no.ST

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I can't speak for southern Florida, but I've met many of the waterfowl biologists, wildlife biologists, refuge managers, and fishery biologists in the states adjoining the Mississippi River and I've yet to meet a waterfowl or wildlife biologist that wasn't a hunter, and most refuge managers and fishery biologists were also hunters.
I know for a fact that a former Florida biologist, now in TN, hunts ducks - and doves. Had him out to my place for a dove hunt, and despite our best efforts, we never managed to get together for duck season.

Both the waterfowl biologist and the migratory bird coordinator for KY both hunt, the former manager for LA hunts, pretty sure the AL guy hunts, same with the AR guy. Many of the DU scientists and a lot of academics hunt, as well. My grad advisor is well known in the field as a scientist and hunts, Dr. Kaminski from Clemson hunts...the list goes on.

I attended a conference in 2019 for waterfowl managers and scientists and was fortunate to meet a lot of people in the field. I've also been fortunate enough to meet a lot of folks from the MS flyway tech section in a professional setting. The vast majority of those folks hunt....
 

Wanderer

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While experience in the field is fine, it's not rooted in the scientific method. Essentially, what we have as hunters is anecdotal experience that doesn't necessarily match up with what science has found through research.
TinST,

Can you point to any scientific research that shows the effects of hunting ducks past Jan. 20th on Mallard breeding effort and success after it was instituted in 1998 (if my failing memory serves me)?

Thanks, Will
 

There.is.no.ST

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TinST,

Can you point to any scientific research that shows the effects of hunting ducks past Jan. 20th on Mallard breeding effort and success after it was instituted in 1998 (if my failing memory serves me)?

Thanks, Will
Let me dig thru some papers and see what I can find.
 

There.is.no.ST

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TinST,

Can you point to any scientific research that shows the effects of hunting ducks past Jan. 20th on Mallard breeding effort and success after it was instituted in 1998 (if my failing memory serves me)?

Thanks, Will
Here's a few (one of which was authored by my grad advisor, lol). This is just from a few minutes on Google Scholar. I don't have access to Web of Science any longer, since I graduated, and I'm not as familiar as I should be with some of the basic papers that address this topic. In any case, this is a start - I included the cite and the abstract. Finding the actual paper to read is up to you, because I'm not paying for them, lol.


Dugger, Bruce D., K.J. Reinecke, and L.H. Fredrickson. 1994. Late Winter Survival of Female Mallards in Arkansas. The Journal of Wildlife Management 58:1. 94–99.

Determining factors that limit winter survival of waterfowl is necessary to develop effective management plans. We radiomarked immature and adult female mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) after the 1988 and 1989 hunting seasons in east central Arkansas to test whether natural mortality sources and habitat conditions during late winter limit seasonal survival. We used data from 92 females to calculate survival estimates. We observed no mortalities during 2,510 exposure days, despite differences in habitat conditions between years. We used the binomial distribution to calculate daily and 30-day survival estimates plus 95% confidence intervals of 0.9988 ≤ 0.9997 ≤ 1.00 and 0.9648 ≤ 0.9925 ≤ 1.00, respectively. Our data indirectly support the hypothesis that hunting mortality and habitat conditions during the hunting season are the major determinants of winter survival for female mallards in Arkansas.


Kokko, Hanna, H. Pöysä, J. Lindström, and E. Ranta. 1998. Assessing the Impact of Spring Hunting on Waterfowl Populations. Annales Zoologici Fennici 35:4. 195–204.


Harvesting prior to the breeding season is widely considered 'unwise' since it has the bearing of deducting from the capital. However, spring hunting is still a common practice in many parts of the world, and its true effects remain uninvestigated. We present a model to investigate the range of possible effects of spring harvesting on waterfowl populations. The cost of spring harvesting is defined as corresponding loss in harvest opportunities in autumn; this cost may be sex-specific. Factors increasing the cost are monogamy, high breeding output, high summer survival and weak density dependence in summer, such that the population is mainly regulated through winter conditions. If the relative success of unpaired individuals is high (as in polygynous species if males are abundantly available after spring hunting), the cost of killing females may increase while that of killing males is reduced. Spring sex ratios may be more important in determining the cost than whether hunting occurs before or after pairing. Killing males can have surprisingly high costs and they may even exceed the cost of killing females if sex ratios are female-biased.

Lercel, Barbara A., R.M. Kaminski, and R. R. Cox. 1999. Mate Loss in Winter Affects Reproduction of Mallards. The Journal of Wildlife Management 63:2. 621–29.

Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) frequently pair during winter, and duck hunting seasons have been extended until the end of January in several southern states in the Mississippi Flyway. Therefore, we simulated dissolution of pair bonds from natural or hunting mortality by removing mates of wild-strain, captive, yearling female mallards in late January 1996 and early February 1997 to test if mate loss in winter would affect subsequent pair formation and reproductive performance. Most (97%) widowed females paired again. Nesting and incubation frequencies, nest-initiation date, days between first and second nests, and egg mass did not differ (P ≥ 0.126) between widowed and control (i.e., no mate loss experienced) females in 1996 and 1997. In 1997, widowed females laid 1.91 fewer eggs in first nests (P = 0.014) and 3.75 fewer viable eggs in second nests (P = 0.056). Computer simulations with a mallard productivity model (incorporating default parameters [i.e., average environmental conditions]) indicated that the observed decreased clutch size of first nests, fewer viable eggs in second nests, and these factors combined had potential to decrease recruitment rates of yearling female mallards 9%, 12%, and 20%. Our results indicate that winter mate loss could reduce reproductive performance by yearling female mallards in some years. We suggest caution regarding extending duck hunting seasons in winter without concurrent evaluations of harvest and demographics of mallard and other duck populations.

Kokko, Hanna. 2001. Optimal and suboptimal use of compensatory responses to harvesting: timing of hunting as an example. Wildlife Biology 7:3. 141-150

The sustainability of exploitation is based on density-dependent renewal of populations: when population density decreases as some individuals are taken, the remaining individuals compensate by surviving or reproducing better. In general there is a trade-off between two desired outcomes: a high yield and a high remaining population size. A hunting strategy is Pareto optimal if it balances this trade-off without wasting possibilities of improving the performance in either aspect. Lack of knowledge concerning the age structure, mating system or density dependence operating in a population will very easily cause suboptimality in this sense, whereas utilising knowledge of density dependence may, in some cases, even overcome the conflict between the goals, so that harvesting can increase rather than decrease population sizes. Suboptimal timing of harvesting is an example which not only causes unnecessary harm to a population, but also hampers estimation of the compensatory or additive nature of mortality. A bias towards additivity will be found if hunting and natural mortality overlap in time, and even ‘superadditive’ results are possible. A mortality pattern that appears additive cannot, therefore, be used to deduce that overwinter survival is density independent. These results have consequences to harvest planning. Adjusting the length of the open season is a tool frequently used to regulate the harvest. Since estimated slopes of compensation cannot be assumed to remain constant if the timing of the open season is changed, the effect of a prolonged season will be more drastic than a mere change in kill rates would predict. Such factors are likely to have the strongest effects in species with long harvest seasons, such as many migratory European waterfowl.
 

Small Bore Hunter

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It’s the uneducated vs the educated. It amazes me what I hear compared to actual information. If Billy Bob says it, then it has to be true. If you don’t think so start a discussion on the speed of Teal and the hearing ability of ducks.
 

Wanderer

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Thanks TisnST.

I take is since the Legislature got involved the need and funding for additional study became moot.

I can only infer that since there has not been a dramatic shift in the AHM regulatory matrices toward more restrictive and closed seasons in the last say 20+ years that the observed numbers in both following year populations and subsequent breeding survey data have not warranted any tightening of those regulations or parameters.

Not that the additional hunting pressure has not affected them, but other factors must have offset/balanced the increased harvest/decreased production. IE they have adapted (Endeavored to persevere).

Sorry I have been away for a few days.

Will
 

prairie hunter

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I love the breeding flight photos from March, April, and May taken by so many waterfowl photographers as packs of male ducks mob females when they come off the nest.

The number one reason I love these photos is because it shows what a bunch of clowns many wildlife biologists happen to be that comment about hunting seasons affecting breeding…..

Not that the genetic studies of brood genetic relations shouldn’t shut that junk down.

3/30 and start the season January 15th…..
Or there are not enough hens, thus the constant harassment and gang banging.
 

H20DAD

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Or there are not enough hens, thus the constant harassment and gang banging.
Well, when most of the hens are sitting on a nest, simple statistics would say that the hen that gets off the nest is outnumbered. Almost like it was designed that way so the strongest males pass on their genes. But don’t let the theory of natural selection get in the way of your political science.

I started to leave it out, but I think
“dips h i t” needs to be added here so you get the point of my emotion in my response.
 

bill cooksey

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Well, when most of the hens are sitting on a nest, simple statistics would say that the hen that gets off the nest is outnumbered. Almost like it was designed that way so the strongest males pass on their genes. But don’t let the theory of natural selection get in the way of your political science.

I started to leave it out, but I think
“dips h i t” needs to be added here so you get the point of my emotion in my response.

Sure, but they’re doing the same thing in January.
 

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