New Spot. Duck ID question

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New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby NHDuckHunter » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:42 am

Tried a new spot this morning since everything around me has been slow. Drove North and West until I saw the next river and tried there. Pretty good shooting. Didn't see a lot more ducks, but I think the ones we saw, we made count. I made a jerk string last night and tried that out. I think that was the ticket. It was either that or my new BG Brads Reactor call. The ducks we saw were working great in to the decoys. I ended up with 5 ducks including my first triple in a long time. I shot one duck that I thought for sure was a drake mallard, but when the dog brought it in it confused me. I think it may be a cross wigeon/mallard? It just seems too late in the year to me to have one in its eclipse plummage. It was a big duck, as big as the other mallards I got. The stripe on its head was very distinct too. :help:
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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby Shark Bait » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:58 am

Pictures? :huh:

Not much to go by, "big duck, stripe on the head"
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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby NHDuckHunter » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:17 pm

Shark Bait wrote:Pictures? :huh:

Not much to go by, "big duck, stripe on the head"

The computer was winning the battle. :mad:
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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby vt.honker » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:22 pm

:clapping: Congrats on your sucessful hunt and the finding of a "NEW" spot :beer: .My guess would be the same as yours:Mallard/Widgeon hybrid :beer: ...THANKS for posting the pics :thumbsup: !
So many geese,so much ammo,so little time left!
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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby poor_duck » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:38 pm

That is black duck X mallard. Good job!!! :thumbsup:
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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby NHDuckHunter » Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:38 pm

poor_duck wrote:That is black duck X mallard. Good job!!! :thumbsup:

Thanks P-D, I guess I took an extra half a black. :lol3:
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New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby Duckcommander727 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:33 pm

Black/mallard for sure. Good killing.
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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby duck envy » Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:27 pm

Very nice! Always a good feeling to be successful in a new location too. Congrats.
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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby capt1972 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:52 am

Defiantley a Black/Mallard X
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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby Mike M. » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:46 pm

I too would say mallard/black hybrid based on the black duck feathers on the ducks back, and head color. That bird has more mallard traits than black though and as such I would feel safe counting that one as a mallard.
A serious reduction in the population of black ducks would mean the end of waterfowl hunting for the majority of the New England sportsmen.

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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby sasusbp » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:51 pm

That is clearly a black duck with to much eye shadow. your welcome for the help and if you ever need another ID just ask.
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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby capt1972 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:52 pm

Mike M. wrote:I too would say mallard/black hybrid based on the black duck feathers on the ducks back, and head color. That bird has more mallard traits than black though and as such I would feel safe counting that one as a mallard.



Now correct me if I'm wrong, but.........I thought hybrids don't count in your daily bag limit cause "they" don't want them to continue breading?
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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby poor_duck » Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:56 pm

capt1972 wrote:
Mike M. wrote:I too would say mallard/black hybrid based on the black duck feathers on the ducks back, and head color. That bird has more mallard traits than black though and as such I would feel safe counting that one as a mallard.



Now correct me if I'm wrong, but.........I thought hybrids don't count in your daily bag limit cause "they" don't want them to continue breading?


That is a good one yes they count and this one count as black Depending on the game officer :wink:
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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby NHDuckHunter » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:52 am

Thanks everyone. I looked up some pics of mallardblack hybrids and I think you are all right. Definitely looks like that is what it is.
As to how it counts against your bag, I have heard it two different ways- Either it counts as a mallard, or it counts as an "other" going toward your six duck total limit. I have also heard that different CO's have told people different things. Well, stuff like that scares me so I like to go to the source, and then save it in case it comes down to me fighting it. I emailed Fish and Game, law division. Waiting for a reply still.
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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby Mike M. » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:13 pm

Personally, I have shot a lot of hybrids that I have called black ducks just to be safe. I'm not sure about the whole "all other duck species" argument. There is no classification in the abstracts for hybrid ducks. I have always called hybrids mallardxblack crosses either a mallard or a black as part of my bag (usually a black just to be safe).

It will depend on your jurisdiction and interpretation of the individual game warden. I don't know about in NH but in MA I would feel safe to count that bird that you shot in this thread as a mallard and would be prepared to defend my argument if asked to do so by a warden. My interpretation of the bird is that it has much more mallard traits in it than black duck.

Another way to think about it when making these decisions is this. What did you think it was when you shot at it?

Even if you get an email response from fish and game on this particular duck, every bird is different and so is the interpretation of the individual officer.

I have had conversations with EPO's in MA who have told me that they try to give the hunter a lot of latitude in defending why they might call a particular bird a hybrid. But again, it will all depend on a case by case basis.
A serious reduction in the population of black ducks would mean the end of waterfowl hunting for the majority of the New England sportsmen.

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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby mojo » Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:25 am

My partner and I had a hunt where we both got our blacks and he shot a hybrid with a lot more black duck traits that this bird. We were checked by F&G at the ramp and the officer never batted an eye about it. Told us nice hunt and we were on our way.
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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby Hevi-D » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:10 am

Black x mallard.....and it counts toward your MALLARD limit.......very common around here.
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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby JTR » Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:43 am

But it isn't a mallard. :huh:

Hybrids are other ducks. A fully eclipsed drake mallard doesn't count as a hen, just because it looks like one. Same thing here - a mallard/black hybrid doesn't count as a mallard just because it looks like one. Would you say it counted as a black if it looked more like a black? The argument doesn't make any sense, considering that their genetic makeup is obviously mixed. That duck most likely had brother/sisters that looked more black than mallard. So are they blacks or mallards? All I know is that a hen mallard can't have mallards and black ducks at the same time, unless someone has become incredibly successful at transplanting duck fetuses.

If two black duck x mallard hybrids breed, can they have pure bred mallards? How about pure bred black ducks? You can't take two halves and put them together genetically... just doesn't work.

If your lab breeds with a GSP, but has puppies that look like labs - are they labs, GSP's or some "other" kind of mutt.

I've never understood the argument that hybrids count as one species or the other.


All I know is that if I would have no problem shooting 6 hybrids that look like that and having a full limit of them. I don't think I know a game warden that would hassle me for that either. Ask any biologist - they are not good for the breeding population, especially for the ever disappearing pure black ducks.
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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby phutch30 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:44 pm

black x mallard for sure but no way Id count that as my black.
its has-
a white ring on the neck
green on the head
red breast
mallard tail
even as anal as NH wardens are I cant see one trying to make a case with this bird.
....its like taking x-lax when you have a bad cough. It wont clear up your lungs, but it sure stops you from coughing
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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby NHDuckHunter » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:20 pm

Well, like I said, I was going to the source. As much as I like you guys and all, when it comes to my license, and my money, I want to be sure. So I asked the Laws Division of Fish and Game... yah, they don't know either. :lol3:
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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby rjbadfish » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:44 pm

Several years ago during a NH waterfowl hearing, Ed Robinson, the State of NH waterfowl biologist came out in the hearing and said if it has any white on the speculum, treat it as a mallard. Not sure that I would go that far but I would definitely count that one towards a mallard.
In my experience the EPO's in Mass and the federal guys are more restrictive and regardless of wing patch markings, if the bird looks primarily like a black duck that is what I will count it as.

We are seeing more and more hybrids every year. It would be nice if the Feds came out with a scale or at least a policy so that everyone (including those enforcing the laws) is on the same page.

From a couple years ago on a quick morning hunt with Cub.
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Re: New Spot. Duck ID question

Postby HuntsCTRiver » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:05 pm

rjbadfish wrote:Several years ago during a NH waterfowl hearing, Ed Robinson, the State of NH waterfowl biologist came out in the hearing and said if it has any white on the speculum, treat it as a mallard.

Ray,
I remember Ed saying that at the meeting. Personally I feel comfortable calling a bird a black x mallard hybrid if it has 2 white bars on the wing.
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