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va dgif permit system is a joke

Discussion in 'Virginia Flyway Forum' started by KAHunter, Aug 26, 2019.

  1. The Hilljack

    The Hilljack Elite Refuge Member

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    Ducktard Free, VA
    Still beats letting it grow up in russian olive like a lot of the WMAs. I know several that used to get co-oped and even if the farmer cropped 100% it still kept the land open and there was some benefit.
     
  2. KayakEvan

    KayakEvan New Member

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    I’d say most of you commenting about the impoundments at Princess Anne haven’t set foot on the property in the last 3 years. I’m the manager there and the impoundments have been flooded the past 2 years and this will be going into 3 this fall (did have a little delay on the Beasley side due to equipment issues but such is life). The corn that’s planted is done by a contract farmer and he is required to leave 10% standing crop. He plants 2 of the 14 impoundment cells. There is Japanese millet planted in at least part of 5 others and a few with at least some draft corn. The rest are managed in moist soil management for native vegetation beneficial to waterfowl and shorebirds. They are managed and maintained and they are improving every year. There was a 5 year gap before me where we didn’t have anyone managing them due to hiring delays after the last guy left so they did get a little messy. We only hunt it one day a week so that it can provide refuge and resting area as the ducks migrate through. That also benefits everyone hunting around Back Bay because it keeps the birds in the area longer.
     
  3. The Hilljack

    The Hilljack Elite Refuge Member

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    I wonder if there's any way that hunters could "buy" corn to leave it standing in the impoundment? I have no idea of the scope of the farming dollars wise, but could fees collected be used to increase the standing crop to 20-30-50% and still have the farmer make his money?
     
  4. KayakEvan

    KayakEvan New Member

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    There really isn’t any way for people to give money to a specific WMA. You can donate to the agency but there’s no telling where in the state that money will get allocated.

    To be honest with you the corn seed itself isn’t really that beneficial in terms of feeding ducks. What’s probably the biggest benefit of corn is the habitat it creates for aquatic insects. That habitat for the insects is there regardless of whether the corn is harvested or not. The stalks don’t get mowed so they are still standing even after being picked. Some of our heaviest use on the corn fields in the impoundments come in late winter when the ducks are moving back through the area. By that point the corn that was left is long gone, but the birds work the fields hard eating the insects. I know it goes again everything hunters want to believe but the native grasses that produce good seed heads provide a longer lasting food source than corn. The seeds from the native grasses hold together much longer in standing water so they are available for ducks to eat all winter.
     
    TMWtrfwler likes this.
  5. creedsduckman

    creedsduckman Elite Refuge Member

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    The place definitely took a sharp nose dive when Lionel retired, I tried to get his job when he left. I hope you get it back on track because it use to hold alot of ducks, sounds like you've got a good start. I've had a few good hunts on the bay from the ducks coming out of there. I as well as most of the people I know quit putting in for those hunts when it started getting neglected. I wish you could get the float blind draw back the way it use to be. I haven't put in for that in years either because of how it's done now.
     
  6. Deadrise

    Deadrise Senior Refuge Member

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    Tidewater
    What’s the way it used to be?
     
  7. creedsduckman

    creedsduckman Elite Refuge Member

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    The float blind draw? You showed up every morning and put your party in and they drew at 5:00. Now you get a list of numbers well up into the 500s, last time I put in, before the season. So instead of having a chance every day now at best I get a couple halfway decent chances before the season even begins. They can say all they want that the old way benefited locals more but that's bull. Everyone had an equal chance every morning of getting first draw whether you lived 5 minutes or 5 hours away, you just had to be there by 5am.
     
  8. Tailfeathers

    Tailfeathers Elite Refuge Member

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    So flooded corn wouldn't work at the WMA but works everywhere else?
     
  9. Deadrise

    Deadrise Senior Refuge Member

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    Have fun down there Kayak Evan. Your success will be partially driven by the health of the bay. Good SAV years will keep the ducks and hunters happy. The impoundments will boom and bust. The old “squirrel cage” selection system was the best thing to ever happen to the locals. The volunteers and number system work well for the average hunter. Maybe you could post up the water and habitat conditions down at the impoundments and on the stakes themselves. No cyber scouting fresh meat, just an assessment of what you and Mother Nature are working on.
     
  10. KayakEvan

    KayakEvan New Member

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    That’s not what I said. I said that flooded corn isn’t pulling in ducks because of the corn. It’s pulling ducks in because of the habitat for the ducks and also habitat that promotes aquatic insects.
     

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