Nesting Habitat

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Nesting Habitat

Postby quigby979 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:44 pm

I did some reading today about the mating and nesting habits of ducks and geese. I did learn why our hunting seasons are influenced by the breeding and nesting of these birds. It seems to me that their habitat for nesting is most critical from March- June. The available wetlands with sufficient cover and water is very important for a good hatch. The birds that migrate back to the north should be in good shape. But, the birds that remain here in California might have poor conditions. Hopefully these recent storms will improve that. I wonder if a split season or even a reduced bag limit at the beginning of the season is a feasible idea??
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Re: Nesting Habitat

Postby Privileged hunter » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:52 pm

Nah. That would be the smart thing to do. Who wants to do that?
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Re: Nesting Habitat

Postby mendotakiller » Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:23 pm

I think I remember my dad telling me that back in the day they would have a split season. Like a week or two off. I could be wrong about this but for some reason it comes to mind. They should do this later in the season....it would be lights out shooting for the first hunt day back. Similar to the jr hunts.
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Re: Nesting Habitat

Postby quigby979 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:43 pm

Most of the duck species pair up in the early fall and remain this way through the winter. If through predator or hunter one of them is killed the surviving duck will attempt to find another mate. In February the birds start their return back or close to where they were hatched. Now, our local ducks that were hatched here in Calif will also return to their nesting area to mate and produce offspring. Most lay between 6-8 eggs. The other factors to consider are habitat, food, and predation. But on opening weekend and until the Northern birds migrate we as hunters pound the crap out of the locally hatched birds. They do learn the safe zones and santuaries but still receive alot of pressure the first 4-6 weeks of the season. The drake stays with the during the nesting but once the chicks hatch the drake bales and the hen does most of the rearing of the chicks. In Sept He will look for another mate for the next season.
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Re: Nesting Habitat

Postby ditchbanker » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:30 am

We hunt mostly local birds in the early season
and migrators late season

...the split seasons I recall were closed during the late Nov doldrums anyhow
...I never understood how shutting the season in the middle benefitted birds
...I used to think it had more to do with giving dfg staff a break :wink:
"Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment." - Will Rogers
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Re: Nesting Habitat

Postby friedcoot » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:35 am

Save some ducks. Gig some bull frogs and eat their legs. Shoot some raccoons and make a hat. Catch some big bass and fry em up.
Trap a skunk and drop it off @ your local PETA house.
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Re: Nesting Habitat

Postby Bootlipkiller » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:59 am


:yes:
join the Coot Crusaders!!!
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Re: Nesting Habitat

Postby AKPirate » Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:02 am

Bootlipkiller wrote:
:yes:


What a duck you are :hammer:
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Re: Nesting Habitat

Postby Calikev » Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:00 pm

We just don't get as many northern mallards as we used to. So I'm not sure what a split season would accomplish? We basically hunt local mallards from start to finish with a few coming in from other areas along the way. When I say "local" I mean California and some of the locales in Nevada and Oregon. Those places produce birds vs. just providing seasonal habitat like many other States do. So those locally produced birds move around from region to region as water dries up and newly flooded habitat comes up. We do get some early migrant other ducks but they basically hang around until more usually come in early December.

Recent years have proved to be different. We have had a few years where a bigger influx comes in late November but very few mallards are turning up from up north. Most of the band returns are showing local birds while a few are showing Canada. If you spend enough time hunting mallards you know when you see some new birds to the area. It is obvious and one thing most of the guys I know agree with is that we are seeing less and less of that where we hunt these days.

Wet years = better hatch = better early season hunting

Then we need a little weather along the way to keep the birds moving around.
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Re: Nesting Habitat

Postby calikid » Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:40 pm

There's more than local mallards that nest here.lets try to improve what habitat we can with what we got for all ducks and geese!
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Re: Nesting Habitat

Postby Huntsprig » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:08 pm

mendotakiller wrote:I think I remember my dad telling me that back in the day they would have a split season. Like a week or two off. I could be wrong about this but for some reason it comes to mind.


You remembered correctly.


ditchbanker wrote:
...the split seasons I recall were closed during the late Nov doldrums anyhow


Yes, it was.
The split never bothered me very much, I just switched over to chasing Pheasants.

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