Rodney, your reponse demonstrates that there are thoughtful, educated waterfowl hunters in GA. I no longer even try to hunt in GA because it's that bad and I now have the means to go out of Ga to hunt. I still care about the good people who deserve much better than they get here in GA. Unfortunately many of our DNR personel believe that the public is simple minded and does not possess the skills to influence waterfowl management. Not only is this wrong but it shows the arrogance in the DNR culture toward the public. Waterfowl management does not exist as a priority in GA. Waterfowl hunters do not have a voice to challenge or support our DNR's waterfowl management policies. In years past there was a strong effort to have a state organization of waterfowl supporters. There was a great response but there were two competing groups that diluted each one's efforts. I personally tried to get them to merge but their were competing egos that were the start up funding source on each side. No one was willing to give ground for the overall good. SC is organized and has a paid waterfowl biologist who can give professional challenges to the state's policies. Now the voices of GA waterfowlers are limited to comments or editorials in GON magazine. Many in GA are not aware of the number of birds that fly thru our state into the decoy spreads in FL. The major reasons that waterfowl move are depletion of food sources, loss of water from ice and pressure from human activity, hunters, or natural predators. The two main reasons for food loss are: they simply eat what's there and the other is their inability to access the food because of ICE . We can not control the weather but we can manage food and pressure.
I was in ND during the first week of November 2009 and witnessed thousands of snow geese flying north into Canada. That fall the Dakotas were very wet putting the corn harvest at only 10-15 % complete. It was very simple to understand why the birds were flying back up north. They were returning to a known and accessible food source! That same year thousands of acres of soybeans were lost to standing water, up to 15 inches. The ducks had a feast! They had every thing they needed and no reason to leave. You could not hunt them because they would simply move to the next field with no reason to leave or move around. No way to hunt with 10-20K mallards in the fields next to your set up. No human can call or decoy that well! Biologists later reported there were an estimated 1 million plus mallards in a 50 mile radius in that area of SD that I had witnessed. These are just a few examples that I have witnessed. They show there some GA boys with personal experiences that have taught them the facts of waterfowl behavior.
My experience has been our DNR already knows everything about waterfowl and shows no willingness to learn. My guess is they don't know the difference between a duck shooter and a complete waterfowler. We who continually strive to hone our skills and learn all components evolved in waterfowling are trying to earn the right to be called a complete waterfowler. We know we don't know it all.
I wish you good hunters in GA well and will support any effort you undertake to improve waterfowl opportunies here. Remember that because we are on the edge of two flyways with much smaller numbers of birds traveling through GA, we have to work harder and smarter for our opportunies. If it wants to, GA can do much better! In the meantime my Lab and I will put another 5-10 K miles on my truck this fall and go to where things are managed with professional skill. It's no longer about killing a limit every time out, but having the chance to call and work birds into my decoys. Take one or two for the dog and look forward to returning soon. Don't forget that scouting, which requires more time afield, is just as satisfying as hunting and never hunt in the evening!
The people that need to here these words will probably never go to this forum to be enlightened as well as the many that agree with my thoughts. Here's to the birds filling your sky, Chuck Thompson