Jump to content
Mike Connally

The new Southern game bird

Recommended Posts

tut
39 minutes ago, mccuha said:

I thought the limit was 3 everywhere 

 

It is 3 everywhere now.  However back in the good old days the limit was 5 everywhere.  Believe in Canada you can still  shoot 8 per day. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mike Connally
15 minutes ago, WPG Gizmo said:

As with anything when you rely on input from people to give you a accurate account of what they take your going to get low numbers.  The unfortunate fact is that the only way to get the numbers is to rely that the ones you get are true. 

 

The low down dirty fact is that with any game that people hunt some will lie about what they take.   I have known deer hunters that never check a deer in they take it home and butcher it then go out for more same with bird hunters that get a limit in the morning go home then go back out later in the day.  It is the nature of the beast that someone will always try to beat the system.  This is not all hunters I would say that 90% are honest hunters but there are plenty that are not that never get caught.

 

About 1400 hunters only harvest about 2300 birds does not really tell you much according to their numbers each hunter only got 1.6 birds what they should be asking is 

How many hours did they hunt, how many days afield

How many did they see and not shoot at or shoot at and miss

 

 

How would they know that 1400 hunters killed 2300 birds? The survey is 0-30., 30-45. 

How do you get a 1.6 average from that? 

How do you get any average from that? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Craig Doherty
14 minutes ago, tut said:

 

It is 3 everywhere now.  However back in the good old days the limit was 5 everywhere.  Believe in Canada you can still  shoot 8 per day. 

Limit in New Brunswick and Quebec is 8 and the season starts September 15th.  Went to three first in the NE and then the midwest.  The big difference between waterfowl and woodcock is Ducks Unlimited and their conservation efforts in Canada to preserve and protect nesting grounds.  The number of woodcock is only limited by the available nesting habitat and we went through a cycle in the mid-20th century where many northern farms were abandoned and reverted to alders and poplar.  My Grandparents farm in in central Maine was a perfect example -- 80 acres of pasture and hay fields on a big bend in the Sebasticook River in Burnham, ME.  When my parents retired there in the early 70s it hadn't been farmed for 20 years.  it was loaded with grouse and woodcock.  Now  it's mostly mature forest with no birds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brad Eden

Limit of 3/day in Maine, possession limit of 9. It was a possession limit of 6 until just a couple/few years ago. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WPG Gizmo
11 hours ago, Mike Connally said:

Thanks for your input.  We only have around 1,400 woodcock hunters and harvest only about 2,300 birds

2300 birds taken by 1400 hunters works out to 1.6 birds per hunter if each hunter takes a bird. 

 

All I am saying is that the number of 2300 birds is very low even if each hunter only took 3 birds total the number would be 4200 taken 

 

This is from the NH F&G site 

Quote

In 2016, there were an estimated 2,000 active woodcock hunters who took an estimated 6,600 woodcock while spending 10,300 days afield. With a per season harvest per hunter of 3.27 woodcock, New Hampshire compared very favorably with other eastern and central states

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GraceinVA

Mike - do you think there are 1400 WC hunters in Virginia? 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Two Barrels

I hear of more people hunting woodcock in SC, but never see them.  I have been hunting them for about 20 years and have never not been able to hunt a cover because someone else was there first.  I do think there is a younger generation of hunters (including me at 46) that hunt them.  I suspect more of these folks are hunting them with Cockers and Labs than pointing dogs too.  The popularity of English Cockers has exploded here in the past decade.  Most older quail hunters that I once knew hated when their dogs pointed a woodcock.  Wild quail are few and far between anymore.  I do not even really talk about hunting woodcock around home, I guess I am just really protective of the resource.  Even if I run into a rabbit hunter, I am always “bird” hunting.

 

Now if the opportunity arises, I will take a youth hunter on a woodcock hunt in a heartbeat!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mike Connally

Mike - do you think there are 1400 WC hunters in Virginia? 

 

 

 

I really don’t know. I believe that 1400 hunters answered that they were. My point is that there isn’t a reliable mechanism to track the harvest. 

I feel confident that almost everyone who hunts wild birds with a pointing dog in Virginia is a WC hunter now and then. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Randy S
2 hours ago, mccuha said:

I thought the limit was 3 everywhere 

I'm not certain when the limit was reduced to three, maybe 20-25 years ago??? Federal limit was 5 per day and possession of 10 prior to the reduction. I believe it was the USFWS reaction to dwindling numbers of woodcock. As I recall the conversations, they had no idea what the real cause was, just that they could control hunting pressure. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Steelheadfred
2 hours ago, Mike Connally said:

How would they know that 1400 hunters killed 2300 birds? The survey is 0-30., 30-45. 

How do you get a 1.6 average from that? 

How do you get any average from that? 

Statistical modeling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mike Connally
8 hours ago, Steelheadfred said:

Statistical modeling

How does that work? They know that every WC hunter in Virginia shot from 0-30 WC. 

How did they get 1.6 per hunter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GraceinVA
10 hours ago, Mike Connally said:

I really don’t know. I believe that 1400 hunters answered that they were. My point is that there isn’t a reliable mechanism to track the harvest. 

I feel confident that almost everyone who hunts wild birds with a pointing dog in Virginia is a WC hunter now and then. 

My gut feeling tells me there is far fewer than 1400 TRUE woodcock hunters in our state. 

 

So that begs the question, what is a true woodcock hunter? I have a buddy that I took with me several times last year. He had so much fun, he went and bought a new gun this past summer just to hunt WC with me this year. If you ask him, he will tell you he is a woodcock hunter. He has not been a single time this year. I can think of (2) other guys that I have taken in the past that would tell you they are woodcock hunters also, yet the only time they would even consider going is if I invited them.

 

Now that I think about it, I wonder if there is even 1400 people in our state that even know what woodcock are? 

 

For the record, I agree with you there is not a reliable mechanism to track the harvest. I think its so small it would be hard to track, and I do not believe it has any impact on population status.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GraceinVA
14 hours ago, Craig Doherty said:

The worst thing that has happened to woodcock is the discovery of them by people along the migration.  It always upsets me that my training birds have to survive the barrage all the way south and back to get back in my training covers for the next summer.  Finally, I don't shoot any native woodcock -- just becasse from Quebec.

Here fishy fishy fishy....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cooter Brown

There are some woodcock hunters in Georgia, but I have no idea how many.  I've got a couple of friends I made after I met them hunting in prime woodcock country--one of them has gone to the UP twice with me.

 

There is a thread on the local Georgia hunt/fish forum specifically about woodcock hunting.  Four or five guys seem to be pretty active on it.

 

Guys who've been at it for a while around here tend to be pretty circumspect about it.  Ten or so years ago on that same forum a guy specifically named one of the better areas in the state, down to where to park.  The place got clobbered and a delicate resource was definitely affected.  When I finally saw it I jumped on the guy with both feet and contacted an administrator who edited the post, but the damage was done.  This is a notorious incident among serious bird hunters in Georgia.

 

The last three years have been pretty dismal as far as numbers, at least in my covers.  The numbers seemed to be better along the coast, but that's too far for me.  Fortunately it seems to have turned around a bit this year, and I've been able to get my puppy into some birds in some of my better covers.

 

When I first discovered the resource and found some good areas, I spent a fair amount of time pursuing woodcock.  As time went on and my dogs got more experienced I concentrated more on grouse--a woodcock hunt or two in prime country served as a nice productive break during a season of low flush rates and tough slogging in the mountains.  Of course when I got a young dog my time in woodcock cover went up.

 

The last three years of poor woodcock numbers changed that somewhat, and with an experienced dog it made more sense to go to the mountains--if I'm only going to get 3-4 flushes, they're going to be grouse, not woodcock.

 

I have a puppy this year and fortunately this year the woodcock seem to be back somewhat.

 

Keeping our mouths shut (for the most part) about the thing cuts both ways.  And there's just not a huge amount of the type of cover that really gets good numbers of birds on public land In Georgia--how many serious hunters would it support?

 

The effect of these factors--probably not a lot of hunters, and the ones there are keeping their mouths shut for the most part--means that we don't have much of a voice when it comes to addressing habitat issues.  In one of the better areas in the state work is being done that I think will very much negatively effect the birds, and woodcock hunters--small game hunters in general--are way down on the list of "Customers" for Georgia DNR and USFS.

 

Sorry about the long ramble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
charlo slim

Here is a little bit more info I found about the monitoring process.

woodcock monitoring

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×