Mallards

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Re: Mallards

Postby ShootThemInTheEye » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:19 pm

Campdaddy, Suppose California used the North America deer herd count to set the harvest In California. Then year after year you see a steady decline in deer numbers because we are harvesting too many. Doesn't it make sense to question the system that clearly isn't looking at California's deer but the overall deer population in North America to set It's harvest? Then some guy comes on a forum saying there are 27 million deer in north America so shoot as many as you want. All the while you have hunted the last 3 years with 20 of your best friends and only seen one fork horn.....

Substitute Mallard for deer and that is the point that this thread is trying to make.
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Re: Mallards

Postby clampdaddy » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:12 pm

ShootThemInTheEye wrote:Campdaddy, Suppose California used the North America deer herd count to set the harvest In California. Then year after year you see a steady decline in deer numbers because we are harvesting too many. Doesn't it make sense to question the system that clearly isn't looking at California's deer but the overall deer population in North America to set It's harvest? Then some guy comes on a forum saying there are 27 million deer in north America so shoot as many as you want. All the while you have hunted the last 3 years with 20 of your best friends and only seen one fork horn.....

Substitute Mallard for deer and that is the point that this thread is trying to make.


But parts are being left out that could be attributing to why some people aren't seeing the birds. Weather for one. No weather, no big push. The rice up north. I saw an instant drop in duck numbers down here when they stopped burning off the majority of the stubble. I'm sure that the rice is good for duck numbers, but unless we get some serious weather we just aren't getting the ducks to move down here like we used to. Why would they want to move? If I were a duck I darn sure wouldn't. I'd set my butt down in a rice paddy and eat until the weather convinced me to leave or I was to fat to fly. More closed zones. Ducks are quick learners and they figure out where to go in a hurry. Late water deliveries to refuges is another.

I'm just saying that there's a lot more to it than "We aren't killing as many birds as we used to so there must not be as many birds.".
If their numbers really are hurting then yes, cut the number back, but I don't believe that a few guys chatting on the internet about not seeing many ducks is a very scientific way of going about it.
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Re: Mallards

Postby jmonte35 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:48 pm

clampdaddy wrote:
ShootThemInTheEye wrote:Campdaddy, Suppose California used the North America deer herd count to set the harvest In California. Then year after year you see a steady decline in deer numbers because we are harvesting too many. Doesn't it make sense to question the system that clearly isn't looking at California's deer but the overall deer population in North America to set It's harvest? Then some guy comes on a forum saying there are 27 million deer in north America so shoot as many as you want. All the while you have hunted the last 3 years with 20 of your best friends and only seen one fork horn.....

Substitute Mallard for deer and that is the point that this thread is trying to make.


But parts are being left out that could be attributing to why some people aren't seeing the birds. Weather for one. No weather, no big push. The rice up north. I saw an instant drop in duck numbers down here when they stopped burning off the majority of the stubble. I'm sure that the rice is good for duck numbers, but unless we get some serious weather we just aren't getting the ducks to move down here like we used to. Why would they want to move? If I were a duck I darn sure wouldn't. I'd set my butt down in a rice paddy and eat until the weather convinced me to leave or I was to fat to fly. More closed zones. Ducks are quick learners and they figure out where to go in a hurry. Late water deliveries to refuges is another.

I'm just saying that there's a lot more to it than "We aren't killing as many birds as we used to so there must not be as many birds.".
If their numbers really are hurting then yes, cut the number back, but I don't believe that a few guys chatting on the internet about not seeing many ducks is a very scientific way of going about it.


Ok one last time...talking mallards not migrating ducks.

Take out from your mind any other duck and take out anything that migrates in. It is a FACT that the majority of mallards killed in California DO NOT migrate.

Ok we've got that far.

Mallard numbers have been strong in California for many years up until about the last 10 years from my research. Really about the time they went to a 7 bird mallard limit. There have been a few ups and downs likely due to habitat. The last 5 years have been steadily decreasing. I don't see any relief in at least the near future for mallards.

Whether you want to believe it or not if California continues shooting up all its local population of mallards while being compounded by habitat issues mallards will have big issues.

There's a reason why people constantly hope for greenhead a but rarely see them anymore. Sure weather plays a role in hunting scenarios but both bird counts/personal observations and biologists in the area are painting the grim picture.

So why aren't the regs changing well simple...I'll explain.

Mallard populations are on the increase or very little change according to the flyway councils which is correct. So why would the flyways be concerned??? They're not! They care about MIGRATING mallards. They have no reason to reduce current limits.

So now you are depending on asking CA DFG to make a decision based on Science that isn't there.

Do you really think hunters would pay Any org to go back to the drawing board after finally getting these Ludacris limits and reduce them? Hell no. There are very few hunters here that would support that out of greed. Furthermore, the big money donors also own the big money clubs which basically hatch their own local mallards that are basically park ducks. You won't see those ducks in the rice or refuges unless they fly way off course.

So here we are depending on a local mallard population that has been ravaged and people are happy with 1 or 2 in the bag now a day.

My OPINION is both the habitat and the limits cannot support a healthy local population of mallards for hunters to enjoy. So shoot em up don't change anything and keep being happy with spoons. Up to you I'm leaving this state but I do care.
Take a kid hunting,
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Re: Mallards

Postby clampdaddy » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:40 pm

Ok. So in your research, what were the mallard hatch vs harvest numbers over the last 10 year's?
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Re: Mallards

Postby jmonte35 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:03 am

clampdaddy wrote:Ok. So in your research, what were the mallard hatch vs harvest numbers over the last 10 year's?


I'm not going to appease you. I have explained to you 10 different ways to Sunday but sometimes people gotta believe what's not there.

Do your own research....here's a couple clues. Most major refuges post bird counts by month or some general guideline. All refuges complete surveys but some post them. Than go to those refuges harvest data and look at the numbers vs. population estimates.

If you want to go by harvest you're in for a real scare......this isn't rocket science it's public information. Shoot talk to the refuge managers. Talk to anyone who has hunted California for the last 10+ years. Mallards used to be far far more common....not just in the bag but locally.

We used to hunt local ditches and always pick up a pair or two. Now I rarely see them at all. In the spring months there used to be mallards in every flooded pot hole now I have to really search for them. They seem to be very concentrated and declining.

Oh did I mention the botulism outbreak up north as well?? Yeah that's not helping things. With this years lack of water i don't have high hopes for disease loss as well.
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www.suisunmarshdu.com (website down until we have next years date and info nailed down)
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Re: Mallards

Postby clampdaddy » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:19 am

jmonte35 wrote:
clampdaddy wrote:Ok. So in your research, what were the mallard hatch vs harvest numbers over the last 10 year's?


I'm not going to appease you. I have explained to you 10 different ways to Sunday but sometimes people gotta believe what's not there.

Do your own research....here's a couple clues. Most major refuges post bird counts by month or some general guideline. All refuges complete surveys but some post them. Than go to those refuges harvest data and look at the numbers vs. population estimates.

If you want to go by harvest you're in for a real scare......this isn't rocket science it's public information. Shoot talk to the refuge managers. Talk to anyone who has hunted California for the last 10+ years. Mallards used to be far far more common....not just in the bag but locally.

We used to hunt local ditches and always pick up a pair or two. Now I rarely see them at all. In the spring months there used to be mallards in every flooded pot hole now I have to really search for them. They seem to be very concentrated and declining.

Oh did I mention the botulism outbreak up north as well?? Yeah that's not helping things. With this years lack of water i don't have high hopes for disease loss as well.


Appease me? You said you've done research and I was curious as to your findings. I figured that a guy who is a DU chairman would be pretty quick on the draw with those kind of numbers. I'm not trying to ruffle your feathers, just trying to carry on a conversation.
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Re: Mallards

Postby Privileged hunter » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:25 am

Read this in your cwa magazine. years ago we would have flocks of fifty mallards come into the decoys. No days youll see pairs and maybe a group of twelve at the most.
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Re: Mallards

Postby yellowdog53 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:38 am

So after all these pages of facts and figures, name calling and so much more what was the bottom line on all of this? Nothing has changed nor is it going to until the powers to be and the numbers people change it.

You guys can banter and carry on forever and unless the powers to be change it all this really doesn't mean a thing..


Good read though for sure and a great space filler too....

If you think the last few years were tough just wait without the water it will get much harder....

Yes I know some of you had a "great" year but I assure you most of the state had a poor year overall...

Good luck I'm headed North to Canada again to kill as many as I can before they get here :) Wanna go just PM me... :welcome: :welcome:
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Re: Mallards

Postby Privileged hunter » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:40 am

I have come to the conclusion this is a amature ( rookie ) website
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Re: Mallards

Postby 3200 man » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:58 am

As a lot of waterfowl organizations officers and Duck gear promoters go North or South out of the US and kill thousands
of young Mallards each year and don't bring most of them home , I see your point and I think we need to start ,There !

I also don't believe there are many hunters killing straight limits of Mallards every time they go out ! Just the privileged Few
that hunt most large acreage clubs with only a hand-full of Members .

Yes , we really don't need ( for food ) 7 Mallards every day and without the weather , it's pretty damn hard to do !
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Re: Mallards

Postby Calikev » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:25 pm

jmonte35 wrote:
clampdaddy wrote:
ShootThemInTheEye wrote:Campdaddy, Suppose California used the North America deer herd count to set the harvest In California. Then year after year you see a steady decline in deer numbers because we are harvesting too many. Doesn't it make sense to question the system that clearly isn't looking at California's deer but the overall deer population in North America to set It's harvest? Then some guy comes on a forum saying there are 27 million deer in north America so shoot as many as you want. All the while you have hunted the last 3 years with 20 of your best friends and only seen one fork horn.....

Substitute Mallard for deer and that is the point that this thread is trying to make.


But parts are being left out that could be attributing to why some people aren't seeing the birds. Weather for one. No weather, no big push. The rice up north. I saw an instant drop in duck numbers down here when they stopped burning off the majority of the stubble. I'm sure that the rice is good for duck numbers, but unless we get some serious weather we just aren't getting the ducks to move down here like we used to. Why would they want to move? If I were a duck I darn sure wouldn't. I'd set my butt down in a rice paddy and eat until the weather convinced me to leave or I was to fat to fly. More closed zones. Ducks are quick learners and they figure out where to go in a hurry. Late water deliveries to refuges is another.

I'm just saying that there's a lot more to it than "We aren't killing as many birds as we used to so there must not be as many birds.".
If their numbers really are hurting then yes, cut the number back, but I don't believe that a few guys chatting on the internet about not seeing many ducks is a very scientific way of going about it.


Ok one last time...talking mallards not migrating ducks.

Take out from your mind any other duck and take out anything that migrates in. It is a FACT that the majority of mallards killed in California DO NOT migrate.

Ok we've got that far.

Mallard numbers have been strong in California for many years up until about the last 10 years from my research. Really about the time they went to a 7 bird mallard limit. There have been a few ups and downs likely due to habitat. The last 5 years have been steadily decreasing. I don't see any relief in at least the near future for mallards.

Whether you want to believe it or not if California continues shooting up all its local population of mallards while being compounded by habitat issues mallards will have big issues.

There's a reason why people constantly hope for greenhead a but rarely see them anymore. Sure weather plays a role in hunting scenarios but both bird counts/personal observations and biologists in the area are painting the grim picture.

So why aren't the regs changing well simple...I'll explain.

Mallard populations are on the increase or very little change according to the flyway councils which is correct. So why would the flyways be concerned??? They're not! They care about MIGRATING mallards. They have no reason to reduce current limits.

So now you are depending on asking CA DFG to make a decision based on Science that isn't there.

Do you really think hunters would pay Any org to go back to the drawing board after finally getting these Ludacris limits and reduce them? Hell no. There are very few hunters here that would support that out of greed. Furthermore, the big money donors also own the big money clubs which basically hatch their own local mallards that are basically park ducks. You won't see those ducks in the rice or refuges unless they fly way off course.

So here we are depending on a local mallard population that has been ravaged and people are happy with 1 or 2 in the bag now a day.

My OPINION is both the habitat and the limits cannot support a healthy local population of mallards for hunters to enjoy. So shoot em up don't change anything and keep being happy with spoons. Up to you I'm leaving this state but I do care.



I agree with most of what you say here.

The indicator of the mallard number isn't the harvest. I don't like to look at harvest because it is so dynamic based off of weather, etc. so the numbers don't really mean all that much. The best way to look at harvest is wing studies or band reports. Those will tell more of the story of what is going on. You like to see good ratios of young birds to mature birds. When those ratios narrow then we have issues with reproduction and recruitment.

I also agree it is useless to account for the mallards coming from up north. The focus has to be on California mallards as those will be the birds that account for most of the mallards being taken in the State. This is especially the case from Oct-Nov-into Mid December. So we really have to focus on aerial counts during the spring and then into December. Looking at mallard numbers from Klamath to the Grasslands in 2013, what is the thing that stands out the most about the mallards? What I saw was the numbers are way down from previous years. This started with the BPOP which was 26% below the average. Couple that with virtually no water around and you have a small chance for brood survival. Early reports from the Klamath Basin told the story. We had no way to protect the mallards on what little habitat we had out there for them so we had massive die offs.

We could see early on in the pre-season in the Grasslands that the mallards were fewer than previous years. Not to mention most of them were paired up. Another indicator of older birds as young birds tend to hang in family groups together. So we knew from that and seeing the survey numbers being down from the get go we were in for a tough ride. The lack of weather made it even tougher to fool the older birds so the mallard harvest stayed down but again...........I don't like to use that as a good indicator of how many we actually have.

It should come as no surprise to anyone the California mallard is in big trouble. Pretty basic stuff from what I see. 3 years in a row we have been without great winter and spring rainfall. This past year was EPIC by anyones standard. In all the years of record keeping there has never been a dryer calendar year. So expecting a dwindling BPOP mysteriously produce good numbers of young birds on invisible habitat is like believing in the tooth fairy. Folks who have been around for a while can tell you straight up that California mallards have never had it worse than where they are right now. The BPOP is going down, epic dry conditions, next years water report is devastating and we continue to apply 100 day seasons with liberal limits of them. This makes abs no sense but the biologists have a threshold and know what they are doing. That threshold has a very narrow moderate option so we can go straight from liberal to restrictive in a heartbeat. We continue to lose more and more habitat and this drought is not going to help.
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Re: Mallards

Postby jmonte35 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:32 pm

Calikev wrote:
jmonte35 wrote:
I agree with most of what you say here.

The indicator of the mallard number isn't the harvest. I don't like to look at harvest because it is so dynamic based off of weather, etc. so the numbers don't really mean all that much. The best way to look at harvest is wing studies or band reports. Those will tell more of the story of what is going on. You like to see good ratios of young birds to mature birds. When those ratios narrow then we have issues with reproduction and recruitment.

I also agree it is useless to account for the mallards coming from up north. The focus has to be on California mallards as those will be the birds that account for most of the mallards being taken in the State. This is especially the case from Oct-Nov-into Mid December. So we really have to focus on aerial counts during the spring and then into December. Looking at mallard numbers from Klamath to the Grasslands in 2013, what is the thing that stands out the most about the mallards? What I saw was the numbers are way down from previous years. This started with the BPOP which was 26% below the average. Couple that with virtually no water around and you have a small chance for brood survival. Early reports from the Klamath Basin told the story. We had no way to protect the mallards on what little habitat we had out there for them so we had massive die offs.

We could see early on in the pre-season in the Grasslands that the mallards were fewer than previous years. Not to mention most of them were paired up. Another indicator of older birds as young birds tend to hang in family groups together. So we knew from that and seeing the survey numbers being down from the get go we were in for a tough ride. The lack of weather made it even tougher to fool the older birds so the mallard harvest stayed down but again...........I don't like to use that as a good indicator of how many we actually have.

It should come as no surprise to anyone the California mallard is in big trouble. Pretty basic stuff from what I see. 3 years in a row we have been without great winter and spring rainfall. This past year was EPIC by anyones standard. In all the years of record keeping there has never been a dryer calendar year. So expecting a dwindling BPOP mysteriously produce good numbers of young birds on invisible habitat is like believing in the tooth fairy. Folks who have been around for a while can tell you straight up that California mallards have never had it worse than where they are right now. The BPOP is going down, epic dry conditions, next years water report is devastating and we continue to apply 100 day seasons with liberal limits of them. This makes abs no sense but the biologists have a threshold and know what they are doing. That threshold has a very narrow moderate option so we can go straight from liberal to restrictive in a heartbeat. We continue to lose more and more habitat and this drought is not going to help.


I agree 100%. I never said kill counts were a good indicator but there are relations to kill counts to population. You can't kill ducks that aren't there.

People keep blaming weather and wind direction and moon. I mean fill in the excuse. The reason that biologists aren't concerned is because these mallards aren't "counted" like other birds. Regulations are mostly based off migratory birds. The science is there but no one wants to report it.

California is different than many other states which is the only reason we have enjoyed our rediculous mallard limits. No where else in the states will you find limits like ours. It was because of strong local populations and a huge push from CWA and company.

My question is if we are really in the business of conservation than where is the push to reduce our mallard limits??? Once again greed is why. Until someone pushes the right buttons with the DFG there's no reason to change.

Like you said Kevin they don't look at kill numbers to base duck numbers. They look at counts in the brooding areas up north. Mallard populations are "fine".

We'll see what happens but 4 mallards would be more than justified. The local mallards need any relief they can get. I hope it happens but I'm losing faith in our duck hunters to step up and I've lost faith in the DFG a looooonnnggg time ago.

I mean look at this thread....it was all a big joke. Haha lets all laugh at the guy that wants to make a difference. Ludacris. If people don't realize California is in real trouble. I hope everyone had a good laugh.
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Re: Mallards

Postby 3200 man » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:26 pm

Understanding both of you have good points so , I read it as if no duck hunting was allowed / no one bought a license
to hunt , along with all the organizations that take care of our habitat , birds will come back fine ( in numbers ) ? :no:

Why would these people that take care of our habitat in (the past and now) , never thought of how important Tule Lake
and Lower Klamaths water was to birds in California and the Migration of wintering birds ? I don't understand , with NO
Pumps to insure a quality , maintained Habitat , with all the resources from hunters this hasn't been implemented , already ?

A lot of BS is being passed along our way and it's time to huddle-up and expect real answers , with yours being one ?
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Re: Mallards

Postby jmonte35 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:24 pm

3200 man wrote:Understanding both of you have good points so , I read it as if no duck hunting was allowed / no one bought a license
to hunt , along with all the organizations that take care of our habitat , birds will come back fine ( in numbers ) ? :no:

Why would these people that take care of our habitat in (the past and now) , never thought of how important Tule Lake
and Lower Klamaths water was to birds in California and the Migration of wintering birds ? I don't understand , with NO
Pumps to insure a quality , maintained Habitat , with all the resources from hunters this hasn't been implemented , already ?

A lot of BS is being passed along our way and it's time to huddle-up and expect real answers , with yours being one ?


I'm a little lost in exactly what your questions are but ill try. First hunting will continue but mallards limits should be reduced dramatically in this state. What that number is I don't know. Lets say Kevin's numbers are correct 25% less than the year prior. From my research I believe in the last 3 years we've seen a lot more than 25% overall. So maybe the total bag stays the same but mallards at least mirror the rest of the migratory flyways as 4 since local populations have been devistated. To be honest 2 would probably help a lot more but I don't see that happening because migratory mallards are still strong.

There are also theories out there that local non migratory populations are essentially worthless kinda like golf course geese. My opinion is that hunters and conservation groups are going to have to lobby for reductions just like they lobbied for raising mallard limits.

Now onto your habitat question. No doubt about it....the single biggest problem facing mallards is habitat in Cali but that's long term and also takes the longest to repair. Cutting hunting is a quick fix to try and conserve what we have. The lower Klamath probably one of the most important areas needs help but California has huge issues with water as if you didn't know. So it is a political nightmare....it's going to come down to two choices. Water for humans (I.e. drinking, farming, etc.) or water for ducks. Well humans relatively always top ducks. DU, CWA and company can't pump water the state won't give. All orgs know there is a problem but politics and drought are killing us. It's easy to blame our orgs but they do the best they can with what they have. This last part is my opinion....I think our orgs spend a little too much time on private property and big money donors....but it's a double edge sword....if we don't take care of big money donors than we are screwed. Also private clubs are very helpful in developing habitat....will it help your bag...NO but it's good for ducks.

What id like to see is something like DU did for the prairie potholes. Where you can donate money to a specific project. I think many California duck hunters would put some cash in for that. However, we better see some results otherwise that could be damaging to the reputation of DU or CWA. So I don't know we'll see but even if they get funding projects take time and we could be out of this drought by then. But that doesn't mean we can't try to prevent this from happening again
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Re: Mallards

Postby 3200 man » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:16 pm

Faith in what and where donations are spent ,in the past , is the question ?

When times like this drought happen , this shows that our refuge habitat is in jeopardy as we saw in last years die-off .
But , spending our money on private lands continues to be , more important , with funds going to drill wells and manage
water with new water structures as a cost share to the land owners . Well , that's great but , isn't it time that money is used
to create more opportunities for hunters that don't have money to buy into one of these privileged clubs ? And use it where
most birds coming down the Pacific Flyway migrate to . Clubs owned by members can afford their up-grades for habitat ,
as long as the birds get down this far ,with weather !

I do understand farmers are in deep ---- but , that's the gamble they take . Ground Water belongs to the people of this State
not investors growing crops to send overseas !
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Re: Mallards

Postby jmonte35 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:04 pm

3200 man wrote:Faith in what and where donations are spent ,in the past , is the question ?

When times like this drought happen , this shows that our refuge habitat is in jeopardy as we saw in last years die-off .
But , spending our money on private lands continues to be , more important , with funds going to drill wells and manage
water with new water structures as a cost share to the land owners . Well , that's great but , isn't it time that money is used
to create more opportunities for hunters that don't have money to buy into one of these privileged clubs ? And use it where
most birds coming down the Pacific Flyway migrate to . Clubs owned by members can afford their up-grades for habitat ,
as long as the birds get down this far ,with weather !

I do understand farmers are in deep ---- but , that's the gamble they take . Ground Water belongs to the people of this State
not investors growing crops to send overseas !


I agree with you....unfortunately it's not real life right now. Maybe it's time for a new conservation group...problem is CWA and DU are bound to creating habitat...where that is doesn't seem to matter. They don't have unlimited funds like people may think. They utilize grass roots dollars to leverage gov't grants. I believe it's around 10 bucks for every dollar we donate. The big donors get "perks" and keeps the money flowing. Most often DU and CWA offer to do work to big donors because they are paying for it and DU doesn't have to come out of pocket. You can do the same.....if you have a million dollars and ask CWA and DU to do a project in the LK believe me they will. Big donors always have a say in how their money is used if they want.

DU and CWA have a purpose and that's to save ducks....they try to get the biggest bang for their buck. Spending 10 million dollars of grassroots money to save 500 acres in LK doesn't make sense when they can spend 5 million and save 1500 acres on a private club. It's just a matter of biggest bang for the buck.

Do they care about the every day hunter? I believe they do...but they have to do what's good for the ducks and sometimes that isn't what's best for hunters. Whether you like it or not big money is always going to win. If we lost all of those big money donors many projects would not be done and we would be in 10 times worse shape.

Back to farmers.....the farming output out of California is one of the single greatest export this country has. Do you really think they will allow farming to not continue. Although it may piss you off...duck hunting is a hobby....farming is peoples lively hoods. And like I said before migratory ducks are what really matters in terms of duck numbers.

So realistically....expect to not see many mallards in the bag unless you have big money or find the little pockets they sit. But shooting 7 birds a day in those pockets are unsustainable....reduce numbers to say 3 or 4 it limits the big money clubs and helps mallards a little bit.

As it stands right now it will take a few years for them to recover....but it starts with a little bit of common sense.
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Re: Mallards

Postby clampdaddy » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:29 pm

jmonte. Honest question for you so don't get worked up. What backlash do you believe the DFW would get for reducing the limit? It's not like we get upset when the pintail or canvasback limits get adjusted. I think that most all duck hunters understand that they do it because it needs to be done. Why would the reaction to a reduced mallard limit be any different?
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Re: Mallards

Postby jmonte35 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:41 pm

clampdaddy wrote:jmonte. Honest question for you so don't get worked up. What backlash do you believe the DFW would get for reducing the limit? It's not like we get upset when the pintail or canvasback limits get adjusted. I think that most all duck hunters understand that they do it because it needs to be done. Why would the reaction to a reduced mallard limit be any different?


I would hope the reaction would be fine. Like I said if duck limits ever go back to 4 like we've seen people would still hunt and likely more would be happy. Imagine if limits were 4? How many more people would get on to refuges.

Like I said there's no felt need for change because mallards as a whole are not suffering. The only people suffering are the every day California hunters. There would need to be a push from someone. Once again the same push that led us to 7 mallards would be needed to get us back to say 4.

And once again....who pays for these studies??? CWA and DU. And once again who are the major donors?? Millionaires who have a good local population.

Duck regs are vastly made using counts in far away places. California's local hatch hardly plays any role when comparing duck numbers up north. There would need to be a local push. Maybe it happens this year maybe not. I don't know.
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Re: Mallards

Postby clampdaddy » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:36 pm

jmonte35 wrote: ....who pays for these studies??? CWA and DU. And once again who are the major donors?? Millionaires who have a good local population.........


Makes sense. Even if they did decide to reduce the limit on mallards, I don't see any need to bust us back to a four bird total limit. There are plenty of shovelers and divers to go around. :lol3:
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Re: Mallards

Postby jmonte35 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:22 pm

clampdaddy wrote:
jmonte35 wrote: ....who pays for these studies??? CWA and DU. And once again who are the major donors?? Millionaires who have a good local population.........


Makes sense. Even if they did decide to reduce the limit on mallards, I don't see any need to bust us back to a four bird total limit. There are plenty of shovelers and divers to go around. :lol3:


Yup. No real reason right now to go to 4 overall. Although I still believe 6 is plenty. I wish they would be more similar to geese and target ducks with very high populations. Example..total is 7... 5 any species not already limited... 7 total spoons/teal. Something like that. Where in order to complete a limit you have to take a duck with very high populations.

It would be funny to see how many guys that are "purists" would shoot spoons just to say they shot a full limit. It's funny. I see guys have a great morning shoot get 5 or 6 then stick out the entire day just for that last spoon. Just to say they limited. It's funny to me.
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Re: Mallards

Postby Beretta06 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:02 pm

I'm surprised to see this conversation. Way to much thought is being put into it. I for one am not a mallard purist! I will take one Bull sprig to 7 mallards always. Personally I like a big puffy headed drake gadwall over mallards. But here's what I don't get if you look at CAs historical annual rain data it coincides with mallard CA's historical Mallard population Data as well as overall Duck population Data.

This is why they are called waterfowl? When the limit was 4 it was the entire North American population was down. I have 1 mallard band I took the mallard in December in Los banos it was banded in Canada. Yet some dude here said mallards killed in CA are from CA? Huh? The only band I have that was banded in CA is a Gadwall that was banded in Stevenson CA I shot it in my home town of Buellton in the Santa Ynez River.

The deer population analogy is like comparing apples to orange crayons. I didn't realize the herd in Wyoming could migrate to southern CA. If you are really worried about local populations of ducks then voice your opinion to start duck season at the end of November or go back to a 60 day split. Doesn't matter to me. Go to a point system.

As for the rice! Being a grasslands hunter, rice is bad, it's not even the weather that pushes the birds south it is the fact that the farmers do not flood all the checks at the same time like they did in the beginning, they rotate water, so the rice doesn't rot after a few weeks. Keeping the birds in the rice longer. Rainy winters is when we see more birds in the grasslands simply because the rice rots after it gets wet.



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Re: Mallards

Postby Privileged hunter » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:12 pm

It's already proven most of the mallards harvested in california are local birds. Up 70 percent local. I have seven mallard band , three are from lk and three from richvale area . Only one from Canada.
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Re: Mallards

Postby jmonte35 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:05 am

Beretta06 wrote:I'm surprised to see this conversation. Way to much thought is being put into it. I for one am not a mallard purist! I will take one Bull sprig to 7 mallards always. Personally I like a big puffy headed drake gadwall over mallards. But here's what I don't get if you look at CAs historical annual rain data it coincides with mallard CA's historical Mallard population Data as well as overall Duck population Data.

This is why they are called waterfowl? When the limit was 4 it was the entire North American population was down. I have 1 mallard band I took the mallard in December in Los banos it was banded in Canada. Yet some dude here said mallards killed in CA are from CA? Huh? The only band I have that was banded in CA is a Gadwall that was banded in Stevenson CA I shot it in my home town of Buellton in the Santa Ynez River.

The deer population analogy is like comparing apples to orange crayons. I didn't realize the herd in Wyoming could migrate to southern CA. If you are really worried about local populations of ducks then voice your opinion to start duck season at the end of November or go back to a 60 day split. Doesn't matter to me. Go to a point system.

As for the rice! Being a grasslands hunter, rice is bad, it's not even the weather that pushes the birds south it is the fact that the farmers do not flood all the checks at the same time like they did in the beginning, they rotate water, so the rice doesn't rot after a few weeks. Keeping the birds in the rice longer. Rainy winters is when we see more birds in the grasslands simply because the rice rots after it gets wet.



Dwight


You make some good points about water but you are way off base on just about every other thing you said. Because you shot a banded mallard in Canada and its your first you believe mallards are coming from Canada. Not sure where you are going.

Why don't you go through the band thread and give me a percentage of how many ducks are banded in CA vs. any other state. Let me know what that number is and come back here and tell us your findings.

Then you contradict yourself. You say we were at a 4 bird limit because migratory duck numbers were bad because all habitat was suffering. Which you agreed with. Now we already know the majority of mallards come from CA and their populations are greatly suffering because of a loss of habitat but you suggest we keep limits the same? Sounds pretty off to me.

Another example of clueless thinking. Mallard limits in CA should coincide with habitat in CA. Limits should have dropped 3 years ago. At a minimum they should have dropped last year. This year is looking drier than last. Which was the driest year on record and you're suggesting that the California mallard is fine?? Lol. Glad you love gadwall and pins cuz those will continue to be top birds and yet another selfish comment in a forum of "conservationists"

As for the deer reference....when it comes to mallards it's not way off base. But not the best to compare. Even better is park geese. Early goose season limits are high because local populations of geese are very high. Do you think if geese numbers saw a drop like mallards we would still enjoy an early season?
Take a kid hunting,
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Suisun Marsh D.U. Chapter Chairman
2013 3rd annual Military Appreciation Dinner Date TBD
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Re: Mallards

Postby Beretta06 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:31 am

Well let's see I personally could careless if the mallard limit was zero. We don't see mallards unless the N/W wind blows. We don't provide habitate for mallards we grow swamp timathoy. Our 119 acre property in the grasslands has 1 90 acre pond ankle to thigh deep. Mostly open water sparadic tulies and cattails. Our place is managed for pintails, we shoot 50 to 60% greenwings lots of gaddies and widgeon, late in the season the middle blinds #1,3 and 4 kill redheads and cans on a regular basis, the 2 blinds on the east side in the shallower water and grass kill specks in the afternoon pretty regularly. I personly killed 2 mallards in the 18 days I got to hunt in contrast to nearly 30 pintails.

As far as the limit being 4 I believe that was in the 80s when the entire North American waterfowl poulation was suffering. Local poulations were suffering not only from drought but also from the chemicals farmers were using that were harmful to waterfowl reproduction. Which was the worst at the kesterson Refuge but affected a much broader area.

My point about the band is mallards do migrate, deer not so much.

Early goose season? I don't shoot it there are zero Canadians in our area. Wouldn't allow the club to be disturbed before the opener.

If you want to save mallards if you really think the harvest #s are effecting population so adversely push for a points system force hunters shoot other birds. But as soon as we get a good winter this thread is void. All of you that are bitching about overshooting mallards will be out doing it yourself.

I'd rather shoot a nice mixed bag than mallards,


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Re: Mallards

Postby ShootThemInTheEye » Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:59 am

"But as soon as we get a good winter this thread is void."

This is where I believe you are wrong. The mallard decline has been going on long before the drought. I think the problem lies in the lack of a migration of northern birds which causes a ton of pressure put on the local population and after years of pressure you get low local mallard numbers and it will hit a point where they just wont bounce back no matter how much rain you get. Hell Remember when we shot 7 sprig? Granted there are different problems with them but they still haven't bounced back. Geeze you don't need to look at the stats just look at the skies NOWHERE IN THE STATE ARE THERE ENOUGH MALLARD FOR A 7 BIRD LIMIT. and I am not just talking this past season.

And while you may not kill many mallard at your club, the grasslands used to be loaded with them. Hell San Luis held a couple hundred thousand all by it self in the 70's. Whens the last time you saw a flock of 100 mallard flying high over your club?

I think it's great this is being talked about because the powers that be are as blind as some hunters on this forum. Note to everyone there isn't 500,000 mallard resting in the rice waiting for a storm so you can shoot them.
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