Jump to content
Rick (VA)

NBC News Report on Arkansas Duck Hunting

Recommended Posts

Rick Hall

Saw it on a waterfowl board (where it spawned a climate change debate) and thought it a pretty fair presentation of some of forces at play. 

 

Could be, though, that one of the toughest challenges for those new to the sport is seeing past the veteran "memories" of blackened skies and limits-on-end to enjoy what should be the neat parts of most every hunt, whether game is plentiful or sparse  - as has perhaps always been the case.  Know that a fellow who was trapping one of our prime Louisiana coastal marshes back in the '50s recently told me that even back then they saw a winter of such poor migration that seeing a mallard was newsworthy.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mccuha

The warmer winters definitely affect the migrations.  It seems that we have one good consistent season on my lease in ms about every 5 years. When I first got that lease we consistently had good seasons.  Some weeks were better than others but the last several years it’s a lot more down days.  I think as well the birds are a lot more wiser due to being pounded from the breeding grounds all the way to the winter grounds. They stay up north a lot longer  due to the lack of snow cover. As long as there is open ground to feed they can find open water to roost.  The flights just stay just ahead of the snow lines. And I guess that can be due to warmer winters associated with global warming.   The ms farmers are a lot quicker to plow harvested crop ground a lot quicker than Arkansas farmers this in turn takes a good bit of habitat out of the picture.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacksdad

https://www.louisianasportsman.com/hunting/waterfowl-duck-hunting/ducks/flyway-federation-hot-cropping-a-big-reason-for-poor-louisiana-duck-seasons/

 

past few seasons my hunting partners have been lamenting the impoundments being built around us on private lands.  When I saw this article I forwarded it to them and to a man the said ‘yep! That’s our problem!’

 

the worst of it is DU is the vehicle for much of this.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rick Hall

Hell, there's so much pressure on habitat that's gone to crap due to changing land use and improved ag practices here in Louisiana that I'm thankful as can be for the rich guys who can afford enough land to actually hold birds to hunt.  If not for they and those "evil" refuges the deep-thinkers cry about giving birds a place to put their butts in water and chance to eat without getting blasted, those of us who can't afford places to hold our own birds wouldn't even still have the traffic between such to hunt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mccuha

That’s an interesting article.  Never heard about that or really thought about it before.   I know a lot more birds stay north a lot longer than they used to and as soon as a strong cold front pushes threw they begin to reverse migration a couple days later. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacksdad
6 hours ago, Rick Hall said:

Hell, there's so much pressure on habitat that's gone to crap due to changing land use and improved ag practices here in Louisiana that I'm thankful as can be for the rich guys who can afford enough land to actually hold birds to hunt.  If not for they and those "evil" refuges the deep-thinkers cry about giving birds a place to put their butts in water and chance to eat without getting blasted, those of us who can't afford places to hold our own birds wouldn't even still have the traffic between such to hunt.

 

if we are going to manage habitat such that only the rich have access then I'd like to make sure I'm not paying one dime towards it. 

 

btw, those rich La guys have counterparts to the north.  And those counterparts are buying ice eaters for their flooded corn/milo impoundments.  IOW there will be no reason for the birds to go any further south.  Nor will there be any reason for the birds to leave the impoundments other than the one day every several weeks the wealthy owners opt to shoot it.  They are wise though as they rotate amongst each others property such that the birds are never pressured. 

 

If ducks are no longer to be a public resource then lets be up front about it and make ANY and ALL funding that benefits them optional for the rest of us. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
charlo slim
On 4/4/2019 at 6:34 AM, Rick Hall said:

one of the toughest challenges for those new to the sport is seeing past the veteran "memories" of blackened skies and limits

 

Oh come on now, Rick!  Surely you are just not quite old enough to remember the really good old days.  Yup, back when we had long seasons and high bag limits, birds everywhere, all season long.  No competition, free and easy access, and our dogs were all perfect (or least WAY above average).  Not to mention that we knocked all our birds dead at 50 and 60 yards, every time, with good old lead "Duck and Pheasant" loads!  

 

I just skimmed the article, but nothing real egregious popped out at me.  Mostly I was just surprised and pleased to see something decent about hunting show up on a mainstream news source.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rick Hall

For every acre privately or publicly farmed for waterfowl, there are thousands and thousands more of no-till farms feeding birds below the deep snow line, and for every acre of water kept open by ice eaters or pumps, there are thousands and thousands more kept open by power generation.

 

If we want to relive "the good old days," we'll have to start by reversing population growth and agricultural advancements. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacksdad

So we are to ignore the construction of private berms using non profit dollars?  Said berms concentrating the local duck population and making useless public locations that would otherwise be wildly attractive to waterfowl. 

 

Hotcropping----the practice noted in the article I linked, is legalized baiting.  It impacts the natural migratory routes and does so not to house an increasing human population, not to help grow more food for the world....it does so to put more wild ducks in the sights of the well to do.  It takes from the public resource. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rick Hall
1 hour ago, charlo slim said:

Oh come on now, Rick!  Surely you are just not quite old enough to remember the really good old days.  Yup, back when we had long seasons and high bag limits, birds everywhere, all season long.  No competition, free and easy access, and our dogs were all perfect (or least WAY above average).  Not to mention that we knocked all our birds dead at 50 and 60 yards, every time, with good old lead "Duck and Pheasant" loads! 

 

Afraid I'm old enough to have crippled a lot of birds with lead and watched the advent of hunting retriever testing raise the gun dog mean.  

 

But I didn't get to start hunting Jacksdad's part of the country (or at least the Eastern Shore's Kent and Queen Anne's Counties) the until 1980, when the good goose hunting was already largely tied up by those who could afford to and what ducks remained were largely "divers over on the Bay".   The Maryland Guides' Association was then an embryonic movement aimed at getting their Canada goose limit lowered from 3 to 2 in an effort to ease a bit of the tremendous pressure on them - but very soon found itself fighting to maintain even a single bird limit when a plummeting migration shut the season down entirely for a spell.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rick Hall
1 hour ago, Jacksdad said:

So we are to ignore the construction of private berms using non profit dollars?  Said berms concentrating the local duck population and making useless public locations that would otherwise be wildly attractive to waterfowl. 

 

Hotcropping----the practice noted in the article I linked, is legalized baiting.  It impacts the natural migratory routes and does so not to house an increasing human population, not to help grow more food for the world....it does so to put more wild ducks in the sights of the well to do.  It takes from the public resource. 

 

 

 

Since said berms and crops are helping keep birds in areas they'd otherwise abandon after getting blasted out of the "public locations that would otherwise be wildly attractive to waterfowl," I'd be thankful for them.  Envious of the guys getting to hunt them, to be certain, but thankful that they have the wherewithal to do so all the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tim Frazier

I'm going, somewhat reluctantly, to a DU banquet next Friday.  Our waterfowl scene has change dramatically since I got out of the Army in 1994.  The biggest change is in the numbers of rural geese.  When we had a bag limit of one bird a day during the regular season we had hundreds of birds come in on many days.  Then the "resident" seasons started and we slayed birds in September and soon were allowed 3 birds in October.  I blame the TV shows and the commercial outfitters that showed up but I'm sure it is much more complicated.  Now I see maybe 10% of the birds and the days of a group shooting 20+ birds in a morning are likely gone.  Wood duck hunting seems to have held up other than changes to access.  Of course everyone knows what happened to our grouse 😞5ae099b013ecf_FullSizeRender(002).thumb.jpg.454048e60953d5c3cab2c3ede1372a20.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacksdad

Rick we're just not going to find agreement on this one.  All good though!

 

Tim our woodies still use the same waters as well.  Im assuming this is because they don't tend to frequent flooded fields in the way mallards, blacks and the like do.  there is also a group in our area that puts up woodie boxes everywhere to give them safer breeding locations.  money hasn't ruined that little bit of water fowling just yet.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rick Hall
25 minutes ago, Jacksdad said:

Rick we're just not going to find agreement on this one.  All good though!

 

And on this end. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×