WAG Thread

D3Smartie

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There are 9 open issues right now. Snows not being one of them directly. Please do make a comment regarding snows if you think it should be prioritized for the next meeting.
 

Guzman

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There are 9 open issues right now. Snows not being one of them directly. Please do make a comment regarding snows if you think it should be prioritized for the next meeting.
I think snows should be brought up. I don’t know if changes should be made but it should be on the radar.

The reason is and I can’t speak for the entire flyway but where we are in moses they are doubling in numbers every year by our estimate. Between the birds on potholes and moses lake I am estimating 50k up from 20k last year. I don’t see this being sustainable. I know farmers first hand that are complaining and taking to shooting rifles at them. What happens if they double again? And again? Maybe they won’t but it should just be on the radar to keep an eye on and how it starts to effect farmers and potentially other waterfowl.
 

D3Smartie

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I think snows should be brought up. I don’t know if changes should be made but it should be on the radar.

The reason is and I can’t speak for the entire flyway but where we are in moses they are doubling in numbers every year by our estimate. Between the birds on potholes and moses lake I am estimating 50k up from 20k last year. I don’t see this being sustainable. I know farmers first hand that are complaining and taking to shooting rifles at them. What happens if they double again? And again? Maybe they won’t but it should just be on the radar to keep an eye on and how it starts to effect farmers and potentially other waterfowl.
A lot of it comes down to when it will be addressed. Snows are on the radar. Just not the priority for this immediate meeting.

And if farmers want snows out, let the public have access. Nothing like over run public ground to keep birds off.
 

EWUEagles

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A lot of it comes down to when it will be addressed. Snows are on the radar. Just not the priority for this immediate meeting.

And if farmers want snows out, let the public have access. Nothing like over run public ground to keep birds off.
Best thing I’ve read in a while. Part of the problem is a lot of the access is already leased. Like Ben mentioned the geese went to a different field he had access to. If the farmer really want them gone let everyone at them.
 

Guzman

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Best thing I’ve read in a while. Part of the problem is a lot of the access is already leased. Like Ben mentioned the geese went to a different field he had access to. If the farmer really want them gone let everyone at them.
The one story I was telling it was more that I couldn’t figure out where they would go. They were in our field but kept hopping around. Every hour a different field and we just couldn’t pattern them. The next day they just flew a different direction. One thing that makes them tough to hunt is they are inconsistent, but they all group together. Even a lot of scouting and the next day you could be miles from them. If they are in corn the farmers don’t care either.

I do see opportunity down the road for farmers to open up access to green fields to hunters. Maybe someone can develop a sign up program where it is feel free to hunt for snows.
 

Guzman

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A lot of it comes down to when it will be addressed. Snows are on the radar. Just not the priority for this immediate meeting.

And if farmers want snows out, let the public have access. Nothing like over run public ground to keep birds off.

I don’t know what the WAG would really bring up? As long as it is on the radar as a potential hot topic. I doubt we get a full conversation season anytime soon.
 

EWUEagles

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I don’t know what the WAG would really bring up? As long as it is on the radar as a potential hot topic. I doubt we get a full conversation season anytime soon.
My brother in law set up 2-3 times on 10k birds this year and I’m not sure they pulled a trigger this year on snows haha. I think they had 8 dozen DSD snows. I like the idea of some sign up for fields.

This meeting for the wag is going to be 90% or more on sea ducks. They are in a bad place and need to be addressed sooner rather than later. I don’t think David is saying we won’t ever cover snows, it’s just not going to be covered in this meeting.
 

Guzman

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My brother in law set up 2-3 times on 10k birds this year and I’m not sure they pulled a trigger this year on snows haha. I think they had 8 dozen DSD snows. I like the idea of some sign up for fields.

This meeting for the wag is going to be 90% or more on sea ducks. They are in a bad place and need to be addressed sooner rather than later. I don’t think David is saying we won’t ever cover snows, it’s just not going to be covered in this meeting.

I feel like what isn’t in a bad place for waterfowl in this state? Lesser Canadas? Diver ducks? Now sea ducks?

I just don’t understand why we have these long seasons and big limits on birds that have trended lower every year.
 

EWUEagles

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I feel like what isn’t in a bad place for waterfowl in this state? Lesser Canadas? Diver ducks? Now sea ducks?

I just don’t understand why we have these long seasons and big limits on birds that have trended lower every year.
You and me both. Talking with some people on the WAG they feel the same. It will be interesting.
 

D3Smartie

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You and me both. Talking with some people on the WAG they feel the same. It will be interesting.
A lot of it comes down to data. And actionable data. For years we have sided with the consumptive user and not the resources for who gets the benefit of the doubt. We may see that change here shortly.

Sea ducks have been relatively stable for the last 13 years. Working off a harvest management plan at 5% of winter index and 3 year average. We have now seen this huge pressure increase based on covid plus H41 & Social media. not sure how anyone could have planned for that but it certainly happened quickly. Maybe we should have got to it for this current season(21/22) but it has to be data based at that data wasn't available.

In speaking about change, so much comes back to the data. And we as hunters are our own worst enemy. We have a ~50% return on harvest cards. How do we account for 2000 missing harvest reports? One of the topics for this upcoming meeting is what do we do about that? Should we make hunters go through more steps to secure a card every year? (We have lot of issued cards that say they didn't hunt) There are issues with vendors, duplicate cards, people gaming the system etc. Do we need a greater impact than $10 for not reporting? There is a bill to make the penalty $20 but my guess is that won't fix our data issue.

On the snow goose front. It's bigger than just the snows. Loss of lessers, tavs, cacklers etc... It's recognized and studies are already in the works on pacific flyway geese.
For the current season setting and feedback that has to be done by the middle of March and there will be no data that moves the needle on snows. Wdfw can move quickly on the seaducks though.

As far as a conservation season my understanding is no, pacific flyway won't get one until it impacts the wrangle island breeding grounds. It doesn't sound like that's going to happen any time soon.
 

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