What is the deal with the Tentative Dates?

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What is the deal with the Tentative Dates?

Postby teaves2257 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:48 pm

What made the dates change?

Im from Nwla, Im concerned with why the opening day was set back a week and our split only closed for 5 days. Thats less time for the birds to rest. Also we like to take advantage of our past splits and hunt the east zone during that time, this allows us more days in the field.

Im also concerned about the Youth Hunt date changes.
Why was the 2 days split?
From my past experiences kids love to hunt non pressured ducks that work and commit to your decoys easy. They love to see multiple groups of birds and want to shoot limits. Your not going to do this in our area the weekend after the season closes. Kids dont want to go hunting and kill 2 ducks or watch only 4 birds work and then fly away. They dont want to hunt pressured ducks.
The ducks we kill towards the end of season take alot work to hunt successfully, Its alot easier to take kids when the ducks are not pressured in the area.

Am I the only one with these concerns?
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Re: What is the deal with the Tentative Dates?

Postby Rick Hall » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:02 am

LDWF biologist, Larry Reynolds, has done a great job of explaining the date selection process in a couple threads on the LA state forum on the refuge forum board. Basically, though, what you got is probably what most west zone hunters who bothered to participate in the online and mailout surveys wanted.
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Re: What is the deal with the Tentative Dates?

Postby teaves2257 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:05 am

I understand the survey, I don't remember there being a section to say you want to split the youth hunt weekend. Only people I've talked to that don't want the youth hunt before the season are the guys that don't take kids and think we run the birds off before they can hunt.

I emailed Larry about this already. Waiting for a response.
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Re: What is the deal with the Tentative Dates?

Postby Lreynolds » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:55 am

Let me know if you didn't get my e-mail.

Also, when I get to my office this afternoon, I'll post the results of the youth hunt question on the survey. We gave 4 options: 1) the weekend before the opening of the first split, 2) the weekend after the closing of the second split, 3) the Saturday before the first split and the Saturday after the closing of the second split, and 4) no opinion.

The responses were summarized by Zone from hunters who indicated they actually hunted in each particular zone. I don't think I've posted those slides, as opposed to the season-date preference slides, so I'll post them here.
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Re: What is the deal with the Tentative Dates?

Postby teaves2257 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:31 am

Sorry Larry I did get your email and have responded. :thumbsup:
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Re: What is the deal with the Tentative Dates?

Postby Lreynolds » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:54 pm

No worries ...... I appreciate our exchange today.

Here are the data from the youth hunt survey questions:

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The reason I recommended dividing the 2 youth hunt days in the East and West Zones but not the Coastal was because if you sum up those that wanted either the weekend after the second split OR a Saturday before the first split and after the second (in other words, the guys that wanted at least 1 day after the second split), that total was higher than the number who wanted the 2 days before the first split on all surveys in both the East and West Zones. But in the Coastal Zone, that total did not exceed the number wanting it before the first split on any survey.

Combined with the input I get from guys that don't have water or birds the week before the first split opens (mostly from the East Zone) and thus don't have the opportunity to provide or participate in a youth hunt, I thought it justified giving the divided youth hunt days a shot in those zones.
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Re: What is the deal with the Tentative Dates?

Postby Assault » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:52 pm

Why don't we have a longer break between splits? 5 days isn't a lot of time for the birds to rest
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Re: What is the deal with the Tentative Dates?

Postby dog walker » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:46 pm

The sad part is with the amount of duck hunters we have in this state we have a very low percentage participating in these surveys.
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Re: What is the deal with the Tentative Dates?

Postby teaves2257 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:06 pm

dog walker wrote:The sad part is with the amount of duck hunters we have in this state we have a very low percentage participating in these surveys.

You sir are correct
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Re: What is the deal with the Tentative Dates?

Postby Lreynolds » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:59 pm

Assault wrote:Why don't we have a longer break between splits? 5 days isn't a lot of time for the birds to rest


Mostly because to have the normal 12-day split we would have to open the season earlier or run it to the end of the framework, just like the East Zone, neither of which was in the best interest of West Zone hunters according to the survey and harvest data. I'm not going to repost those data here; you can see the 6 slides at: http://www.refugeforums.com/refuge/show ... p?t=945981

One complicating factor this year was that Thanksgiving is so late. In most years, the season in the West and Coastal Zones opens on the second Saturday of November which is normally 2 weekends before Thanksgiving. This year, 2 weekends before Thanksgiving would be the 3rd Saturday in November and the hunter-opinion survey clearly favored later season dates.

Louisiana has never had 5-day splits or divided youth hunts, and I'm undecided about both. For guys that hunt weekends, a 5-day split is no split at all. I also don't have a good feeling for what it will mean for the birds, but I've heard a growing number of arguments from West and East Zone hunters that the split causes a loss of good hunting days in December, when birds are migrating into the state, only so we can hunt later in January, when the hunting is tougher and less successful. That attitude clearly was NOT shared by the majority of people who participated in the survey, where the 5-day split option was overwhelmed by the later-date option.

So West and East Zone hunters have a couple of new season components, and I'll be very interested in getting your feedback as the season progresses.
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Re: What is the deal with the Tentative Dates?

Postby deliriousII » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:06 am

So these "tentative dates" are more than likely going to be the ones we have to follow?

I only ask because I am trying to figure out what days to tell my boss I wont be here. And it actually helps me because I wasn't going to be able to hunt opening day in East Zone when it usually fell on the 16th! Now I can make the best day of hunting in our club since it is pushed back a week!
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Re: What is the deal with the Tentative Dates?

Postby Lreynolds » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:36 am

deliriousII wrote:So these "tentative dates" are more than likely going to be the ones we have to follow?


That is correct.

Only once since the Flyway system was implemented have the regulations changed after the tentative dates were set by the LWF Commission. That was in 1988 when Frank Dunkle, Director of the USFWS, decided he knew better than everyone else and changed the regulations that had been submitted to him for final approval. Older hunters will remember that as the year the point system was disallowed and shooting hours began at sunrise instead of half-hour before sunrise.

In every other year, the tentative dates set by the Commission were the final dates. The reason they must be considered "tentative" is because they must be approved by the USFWS, which requires a federal comment period and other bureaucratic protocol. What really got approved at the Commission meeting was a Declaration of Emergency, which allows the Secretary of LDWF to set the season dates approved by the Commission immediately after USFWS approval, which usually occurs the last week of September.

Go ahead and talk to your boss because unless something really rare happens, those are the season dates.
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Re: What is the deal with the Tentative Dates?

Postby deliriousII » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:14 am

Thanks for clearing that up Larry! Im stoked that I wont have to miss opening day!
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Re: What is the deal with the Tentative Dates?

Postby Ducaholic » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:41 am

Lreynolds wrote:
Louisiana has never had 5-day splits or divided youth hunts, and I'm undecided about both. For guys that hunt weekends, a 5-day split is no split at all. I also don't have a good feeling for what it will mean for the birds, but I've heard a growing number of arguments from West and East Zone hunters that the split causes a loss of good hunting days in December, when birds are migrating into the state, only so we can hunt later in January, when the hunting is tougher and less successful. That attitude clearly was NOT shared by the majority of people who participated in the survey, where the 5-day split option was overwhelmed by the later-date option.

So West and East Zone hunters have a couple of new season components, and I'll be very interested in getting your feedback as the season progresses.




If my memory serves me correctly that's not true. When I made my first presentation before the Commission for more December days you provided me with information that showed we have in fact had 5 day splits in the East Zone on two occassions. Coincidentally those two years were the leading harvest years for mallards at that time since the inception of AHM. Seems like the 2000 and 2004 seasons come to mind. Robert Helm was still the Waterfowl Study Leader at that time so it's been a while.
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Re: What is the deal with the Tentative Dates?

Postby Lreynolds » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:03 pm

Ducaholic wrote:If my memory serves me correctly that's not true. When I made my first presentation before the Commission for more December days you provided me with information that showed we have in fact had 5 day splits in the East Zone on two occassions. Coincidentally those two years were the leading harvest years for mallards at that time since the inception of AHM. Seems like the 2000 and 2004 seasons come to mind. Robert Helm was still the Waterfowl Study Leader at that time so it's been a while.


Although I don't recall that (I'm getting to where I don't remember a lot of things), I think you're right. I've had a couple of guys call to complain about the 5-day splits and tell me how they didn't work and weren't popular in the past.

I better get my facts straight ...........
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Re: What is the deal with the Tentative Dates?

Postby Ducaholic » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:42 pm

No big deal. Just thought I would let you know what I recalled.
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