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Discussion in 'Minnesota Flyway Forum' started by MN Divers, Jun 29, 2021.
I doubt that, scout and you will have no problems
I'm expecting the places i'll be killing teal during the early season will be full of teal by the opener.
Agreed 100 percent bullet
The places I'll be hunting teal are usually void of teal by the opener. Blue wings that is. Green wings are few and far between during the season.
As an old guy with younger kids - I really don't bother taking my kids out much - which means that the MN DNR is missing the boat on recruitment, license fees, Delta and DU don't have my kids at banquets, etc. etc.
Examples of why:
1. Hunted a public slough for YWD last year. This particular body of water has ALWAYS (say, over the past 20 years) held a good number of teal and wood ducks early season, as it can be somewhat of a ball buster to get into. Last year, some over the water goose hunters found an easy way in and, by the look of things, had been there before. Total shots fired by 2 youth hunters - 3. Total number of ducks seen - 7.
2. Going back to the mid 70s when I had my first shooting based outing as a youth (during the "terrible" noon opener - 4 pm closure days), I remember the first Sunday of opening weekend that I was allowed to shoot. I was using a Remington 1100, and was allowed to have 1 shell in the gun. 63 shells later, I finalized my first duck limit. Total ducks seen - hundreds if not thousands.
The race towards never ending "opportunity" as it relates to waterfowl hunting is killing the sport. This season should be interesting.
Two issues with your post.
1. You don't take your own kids out, but it's the DNR that's failing at recruitment?
2. Think of the continual loss of opportunity they have to battle against. You used to be able hunt any old farm pothole you wanted to in general. Now, most of them are tiled and plowed, and private access is rare or expensive. Most people's only other option is the few public spots. No sh** they get shot out.
1. Kids can see sunrises and the other wonders associated with duck hunting in their back yard or the local park. So, that begs the question - why go through the hassle of duck hunting if the ducks ain't there because the teal guys and the goose guys got there first?
2. It's interesting that you choose the word "battle", as I've never thought of duck hunting being some kind of battle that must be won. I always kind of thought of it as something fun to participate in. But yes - given the over access to the resource - it has become somewhat of a battle.
In the time since my initial duck hunt, this state has added innumerable public hunting properties, while losing about half of its duck hunters. What's changed the most? The expansion of "hunting opportunities" in the name of recruitment/increased revenue streams. Open all waterfowl hunting on the last weekend of September or the first weekend of October, close at 4 (or rotate open-closed areas) to keep birds around - 2 very simple methods for improving the quality of waterfowl hunting.
I have no idea how you could be an "old guy" duck hunting in MN and think that the only thing that's changed is season structure.
You know what would make hunting easier?
If the western half of our state didn't have 90% of our historic prairie potholes under corn.
If every single lake wasn't ringed by mansions with putting green lawns and beaches instead of cattails and bull rushes.
If land access was still easy to come by and you could actually hunt the birds and not the few spots you have left.
Actually - I never said that "the only thing that has changed is season structure" - so, there is that....
Anyway, we are getting way off topic, so to right the ship - what has happened to hunter numbers after the addition of hunting geese in August, hunting geese over water, having an early teal season, having a youth waterfowl day, etc. etc. etc.? I mean - with "expanded opportunity", we should be seeing a bunch more duck hunters, right?
If we truly want more hunters and more ducks - think that it might be time to re-examine the state mandated recruitment/revenue philosophy of having people killing birds in the swamps for roughly 5 months?
The lack of creative thinking on the part of most duck hunters (take comfort that you aren't alone) and and the DNR folks relative to this topic is mind boggling.......
Recruiting new waterfowlers starts with the parents where alot of them have views as to not go because of no place to go, no shells in stores, see sunrise in back yard etc. How many kids today would rather sit on the tablets, computer, etc than enjoy the outdoors. The more opportunities allowed will hopefully entice more hunters to the field.