Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

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Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby charlie beard » Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:54 pm

Down by the river today and seen a pot hole open with lots of mallards on it.
Appeared to be about 10 drakes to each hen.
Anyone else notice this and your thoughts?

This is why I try to shoot drakes only.
One drake will take care of a dozen hens easy.

Now I know some are going say if it flies it die's.

All boils down to scruples in my book.
Shooting a hen on purpose or water swatting is for the young fellows that have not been taught better.

I know (Stats) say it makes no difference.
If that's the case why can you shoot more drakes then hens?

So let the sarcasm begin.
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby TexasPuddleJumper » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:02 pm

If it flies, it... Who am I kidding? I can't hit chit anyway. I just like to look cool with my barrel sticker :sarcmark:
I'm not saying that it shouldn't be done, I'm just saying it is ill advised...
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby aunt betty » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:15 pm

I noticed an abundance of drake mallards this year. Only shot four hens this season. Drakes are bigger.
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby CrazyDrake » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:15 pm

Depends on the day for me, with not getting to hunt as much as I would like, if there are a limited number of birds flying, then I will shoot what flies. When there are good numbers, I will pick out the green.

If I do shoot a hen, I do not feel bad about it. It all boils down to the fact that I just tricked that duck into thinking my plastic ducks and marginal calling was real birds. So that's her fault
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby KRB » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:22 pm

TexasPuddleJumper wrote:If it flies, it... Who am I kidding? I can't hit chit anyway. I just like to look cool with my barrel sticker :sarcmark:

That's funny. I shoot more of those black mallards than anything else, tuff to tell in the air, try to shoot the bigger one.
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby TXducksanddeer » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:39 pm

I once heard in a nature show on ducks that there are more drakes produced than hens.
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby Lreynolds » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:22 pm

An old favorite ........

One drake will not take care of a dozen hens; mallards are not polygynous. If that was the case, they would not form pair bonds, and we all know they do. This time of year, un-paired females get a lot of attention and photographers get those great photos of one female being chased aerially by many males. The male of a pair tries to keep his female away from unpaired males, and expends a lot of energy doing it.

Sex ratios are skewed because of lower female survival, especially during the breeding season.

Mallards are the only species for which there are sex restrictions, and they are in place only because of hunter preferences. They serve no established biological purpose as evidenced by population trends in mallards vs other species without sex restrictions. That should be expected when you consider the harvest rate for mallard hens is only about 8%, which means 92% are unaffected by harvest. Furthermore, hunter-killed ducks have been shown, on average, to be smaller, in poorer condition, have higher rates of lead ingestion, and higher rates of parasitism than birds of the same species caught using more random methods in the same areas. So hunters tend to kill birds with lower probabilities of surviving to reproduce the following spring, which may be one mechanism of compensatory mortality. However, 100% are effected by habitat conditions on the breeding grounds and the lower survival probability, which is why the effects on the breeding grounds overwhelm any effects we might see from hen restrictions during hunting season.

With no sarcasm whatsoever, shoot whatever you makes you feel good about yourself. But there is no population-level biological justification for your "scruples" or believing that you've been "taught better".
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby possumfoot » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:19 pm

Lreynolds wrote:An old favorite ........

One drake will not take care of a dozen hens; mallards are not polygynous. If that was the case, they would not form pair bonds, and we all know they do. This time of year, un-paired females get a lot of attention and photographers get those great photos of one female being chased aerially by many males. The male of a pair tries to keep his female away from unpaired males, and expends a lot of energy doing it.

Sex ratios are skewed because of lower female survival, especially during the breeding season.

Mallards are the only species for which there are sex restrictions, and they are in place only because of hunter preferences. They serve no established biological purpose as evidenced by population trends in mallards vs other species without sex restrictions. That should be expected when you consider the harvest rate for mallard hens is only about 8%, which means 92% are unaffected by harvest. Furthermore, hunter-killed ducks have been shown, on average, to be smaller, in poorer condition, have higher rates of lead ingestion, and higher rates of parasitism than birds of the same species caught using more random methods in the same areas. So hunters tend to kill birds with lower probabilities of surviving to reproduce the following spring, which may be one mechanism of compensatory mortality. However, 100% are effected by habitat conditions on the breeding grounds and the lower survival probability, which is why the effects on the breeding grounds overwhelm any effects we might see from hen restrictions during hunting season.

With no sarcasm whatsoever, shoot whatever you makes you feel good about yourself. But there is no population-level biological justification for your "scruples" or believing that you've been "taught better".

:clapping:
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby sprigpig1 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:36 pm

Let me put on my ornithologist cap and explain....

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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby Indaswamp » Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:37 am

Lreynolds wrote:An old favorite ........

One drake will not take care of a dozen hens; mallards are not polygynous. If that was the case, they would not form pair bonds, and we all know they do. This time of year, un-paired females get a lot of attention and photographers get those great photos of one female being chased aerially by many males. The male of a pair tries to keep his female away from unpaired males, and expends a lot of energy doing it.

Sex ratios are skewed because of lower female survival, especially during the breeding season.

Mallards are the only species for which there are sex restrictions, and they are in place only because of hunter preferences. They serve no established biological purpose as evidenced by population trends in mallards vs other species without sex restrictions. That should be expected when you consider the harvest rate for mallard hens is only about 8%, which means 92% are unaffected by harvest. Furthermore, hunter-killed ducks have been shown, on average, to be smaller, in poorer condition, have higher rates of lead ingestion, and higher rates of parasitism than birds of the same species caught using more random methods in the same areas. So hunters tend to kill birds with lower probabilities of surviving to reproduce the following spring, which may be one mechanism of compensatory mortality. However, 100% are effected by habitat conditions on the breeding grounds and the lower survival probability, which is why the effects on the breeding grounds overwhelm any effects we might see from hen restrictions during hunting season.

With no sarcasm whatsoever, shoot whatever you makes you feel good about yourself. But there is no population-level biological justification for your "scruples" or believing that you've been "taught better".

Thank you Larry.
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby Indaswamp » Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:39 am

sprigpig1 wrote:Let me put on my ornithologist cap and explain....

Total sausage party.

You should know that Larry is a biologist and on the flyway counsel. He knows that which he speaks of.
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby sprigpig1 » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:33 am

Indaswamp wrote:
sprigpig1 wrote:Let me put on my ornithologist cap and explain....

Total sausage party.

You should know that Larry is a biologist and on the flyway counsel. He knows that which he speaks of.


Awesome! Wasn't poking fun at Larry. Just making a female/male ratio joke. But thanks for the Larry lesson :thumbsup:
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby OHIODUCKA5 » Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:08 am

Thanks Larry.

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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby Boatman » Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:04 am

possumfoot wrote:
Lreynolds wrote:An old favorite ........

One drake will not take care of a dozen hens; mallards are not polygynous. If that was the case, they would not form pair bonds, and we all know they do. This time of year, un-paired females get a lot of attention and photographers get those great photos of one female being chased aerially by many males. The male of a pair tries to keep his female away from unpaired males, and expends a lot of energy doing it.

Sex ratios are skewed because of lower female survival, especially during the breeding season.

Mallards are the only species for which there are sex restrictions, and they are in place only because of hunter preferences. They serve no established biological purpose as evidenced by population trends in mallards vs other species without sex restrictions. That should be expected when you consider the harvest rate for mallard hens is only about 8%, which means 92% are unaffected by harvest. Furthermore, hunter-killed ducks have been shown, on average, to be smaller, in poorer condition, have higher rates of lead ingestion, and higher rates of parasitism than birds of the same species caught using more random methods in the same areas. So hunters tend to kill birds with lower probabilities of surviving to reproduce the following spring, which may be one mechanism of compensatory mortality. However, 100% are effected by habitat conditions on the breeding grounds and the lower survival probability, which is why the effects on the breeding grounds overwhelm any effects we might see from hen restrictions during hunting season.

With no sarcasm whatsoever, shoot whatever you makes you feel good about yourself. But there is no population-level biological justification for your "scruples" or believing that you've been "taught better".

:clapping:


Larry, don't you think that the 8% harvest rate would go up if the 74% of hunters did not avoid shooting hens? A 1991 survey said 74% of hunters avoid shooting hens.
Last edited by Boatman on Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby aunt betty » Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:14 am

Boatman wrote:
possumfoot wrote:
Lreynolds wrote:An old favorite ........

One drake will not take care of a dozen hens; mallards are not polygynous. If that was the case, they would not form pair bonds, and we all know they do. This time of year, un-paired females get a lot of attention and photographers get those great photos of one female being chased aerially by many males. The male of a pair tries to keep his female away from unpaired males, and expends a lot of energy doing it.

Sex ratios are skewed because of lower female survival, especially during the breeding season.

Mallards are the only species for which there are sex restrictions, and they are in place only because of hunter preferences. They serve no established biological purpose as evidenced by population trends in mallards vs other species without sex restrictions. That should be expected when you consider the harvest rate for mallard hens is only about 8%, which means 92% are unaffected by harvest. Furthermore, hunter-killed ducks have been shown, on average, to be smaller, in poorer condition, have higher rates of lead ingestion, and higher rates of parasitism than birds of the same species caught using more random methods in the same areas. So hunters tend to kill birds with lower probabilities of surviving to reproduce the following spring, which may be one mechanism of compensatory mortality. However, 100% are effected by habitat conditions on the breeding grounds and the lower survival probability, which is why the effects on the breeding grounds overwhelm any effects we might see from hen restrictions during hunting season.

With no sarcasm whatsoever, shoot whatever you makes you feel good about yourself. But there is no population-level biological justification for your "scruples" or believing that you've been "taught better".

:clapping:


Larry, don't you think that the 8% harvest rate would go up if the 74% of hunters did not avoid shooting hens?

If Larry is right. (I think he is) Then why the #@%$ does that pesky ranger insist I only shoot one or two mallard hens a day. Make up your collective mind.
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby Rick Hall » Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:23 am

aunt betty wrote:If Larry is right. (I think he is) Then why the #@%$ does that pesky ranger insist I only shoot one or two mallard hens a day. Make up your collective mind.


Wildlife management is bio-politics, with sparing hens being a bow to the political side and appeasing hunters who think it helps.
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby Rick Hall » Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:26 am

Boatman wrote:Larry, don't you think that the 8% harvest rate would go up if the 74% of hunters did not avoid shooting hens?


Wondering where that 74% figure came from and if it would make a meaningful difference even if 74% of hunters avoided shooting drakes?
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby Boatman » Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:39 am

Rick that was from a 1991 survey of Il hunters,that 74% said they avoid shooting hens. And with all the( dead hens don't lay eggs) mentality today that may have gone up.
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby aunt betty » Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:43 am

86% of statistics are just made up numbers so someone can make a point. Believable stats??? It's about 50/50 that any given stat is true. :)
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby Rick Hall » Sat Mar 15, 2014 3:38 pm

Boatman wrote:Rick that was from a 1991 survey of Il hunters,that 74% said they avoid shooting hens. And with all the( dead hens don't lay eggs) mentality today that may have gone up.


Perhaps a regional thing. I recall that period as the hay day of "voluntary restraint" and have to suspect "avoid" quite broadly defined. Know I've not seen a time in the places I've lived when anywhere near that many folks intentionally spared hens unless they expected to limit without them. And even then a majority still appeared to be targeting "ducks".
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby aunt betty » Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:05 pm

I try to shoot Drakes. Ideally five or six different species. Royal Flush.
Ever do it?
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby Indaswamp » Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:07 pm

aunt betty wrote:I try to shoot Drakes. Ideally five or six different species. Royal Flush.
Ever do it?

Yes. Lots of times. But it's easy to do where I hunt.
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby QH's Paw » Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:17 pm

I agree, this whole spare the hens thing is more about "feel good" politics than biology.
The term "avoid" let's them remain "purest" while still being able to target hens when they feel it is OK.
I have not met one single duck hunter who can honestly say they never shot a hen in 10 years or more of hunting.
When I try for a drakes only limit, of any given species, it is just my way of challenging myself. I don't kid myself that I'm saving the species.
Like Swamp said, if it turns out to be one of those days, sometimes I switch gears and shoot other species and/or hens.
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby aunt betty » Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:28 pm

Well, if you ask anyone if they'd rather eat a hen chicken or a rooster...that changes everything.
Ducks ain't chickens thank God or we'd be killing all hens on purpose and this argument or discussion would be different.

Hens are better for baking imo.
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Re: Mallard Drake to Hen Ratio...

Postby Rick Hall » Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:48 pm

aunt betty wrote:I try to shoot Drakes. Ideally five or six different species. Royal Flush.
Ever do it?


If I've done it, it was without thought to, but an interesting notion in an area like ours where six or more species days are fairly common. When hunting by myself or with friends, I'm apt to take a fit to shoot just drake this and/or thats, but working birds is my first love, so I'm even more inclined to insist on them finishing just so before I'll pull a trigger. Easy to be fussy when I'm out there every day, and I don't blame the guys who aren't - unless they're just wailing away at crippling ranges.
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