Season Dates for next duck season

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Season Dates for next duck season

Postby grayhouse farms » Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:01 pm

For the past two years when NCWRC asks for info on how we want the seasons set up, I talk to about 20 hunters and send in the same request. Nothing ever changes. Now I understand that over 90% of the duck hunting is east of Raliegh, and I live west of Statesville and that could be the difference. The request that we forward is to keep the Oct. at least the same 4 days or make it 1 week. Then open back up on the week of Thanksgiving and go till the end of Jan. The 3 season setup has been giving us a good wood duck hunt that first week of the Nov. season then the season stay open 3 more weeks with the woodies gone and big ducks are not here yet. Then the 2nd season closes for two weeks while ducks are coming in. Is it different down east, is the hunting good in that mid-season 4 weeks or would you also like to have it pushed over towards the later, colder dates? Let me know how you feel.....maybe with numbers we can make it change.
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby Dingbatter 2 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:45 pm

Regular Duck season...

Nov. 23 through Dec. 1.
Dec. 7 through Jan. 26.

Excluding early teal and seaducks.

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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby grayhouse farms » Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:52 pm

On the west side of the state we would hate to give up the woodies and our only shot at a blue wing teal by not having the Oct. dates, but really Ding your dates would work better than what we have.
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby HydeMarsh » Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:04 pm

I would like:

Nov 22 to Dec 1. then

December 13 thru Feb 7th.

Increase the Bluebill bag limit.
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby grayhouse farms » Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:10 pm

I think the Fed. limit is a Jan.26th cutoff, total days 60, no more than 3 splits.
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby KAhunter » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:36 am

The season cant go any later. If it were to change, we should keep the october season, Then I would rather have all of november and get rid of december and then all of january. December is usually good the first hunt or two but then it usually gets slow until we get into january.
To be honest I am fine with the way it is now. Every year people bitch about it and I never get get it. Seems to me like its set up pretty well. I also never understand why people want to get rid of the october season. They tried to get rid of the october season 2 years ago and a bunch of us sent in letters and made calls and they decided to keep it. Cant make everyone happy i guess.
"If you have to be crazy to be a duck hunter, i dont wish to be sane" Robert Ruark

Its always duck season, there is just a long break from february to september.
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby merg » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:35 am

KAhunter wrote:The season cant go any later. If it were to change, we should keep the october season, Then I would rather have all of november and get rid of december and then all of january. December is usually good the first hunt or two but then it usually gets slow until we get into january.
To be honest I am fine with the way it is now. Every year people bitch about it and I never get get it. Seems to me like its set up pretty well. I also never understand why people want to get rid of the october season. They tried to get rid of the october season 2 years ago and a bunch of us sent in letters and made calls and they decided to keep it. Cant make everyone happy i guess.


Agree with all of this
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby grayhouse farms » Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:10 am

I agree that the Oct. season is a great asset, would even like to see it go for 1 week or sat.to sat. in early Oct. Was not just out to "bitch" about the set up, but more to understand if those last 3 weeks of the mid season was getting any use in other parts of the state. Not looking for a fight, but if a better season setup works for us east and west. I am new to the DH chat so maybe this shows up a lot.
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby KAhunter » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:18 pm

grayhouse farms wrote:I agree that the Oct. season is a great asset, would even like to see it go for 1 week or sat.to sat. in early Oct. Was not just out to "bitch" about the set up, but more to understand if those last 3 weeks of the mid season was getting any use in other parts of the state. Not looking for a fight, but if a better season setup works for us east and west. I am new to the DH chat so maybe this shows up a lot.

Grayhouse That wasnt directed at you and i am not trying to start anything. It just comes up ALOT. Its set up pretty well (could be tweaked a little like I said in my first post ) for the eastern half of the state. I cant speak for the western half as I have never hunted west of raleigh.
"If you have to be crazy to be a duck hunter, i dont wish to be sane" Robert Ruark

Its always duck season, there is just a long break from february to september.
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby NCfowl » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:42 pm

It doesn't matter anyway what the seasons are....the birds always show up in February!
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby HydeMarsh » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:24 pm

I agree that birds are really here in February, this is why I suggested extending the season into February. I know the Fed's set late January as the end date - that does not make it right nor is it best for NC hunters. If the question was what dates would we prefer then I would like to hunt later in the year rather than earlier in the year.

Why can't we ask that we they make it latter?
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby NCfowl » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:15 pm

Personally I would say start later around Thanksgiving and take away at least one week of the split. I have heard that a few people who have some pull with the seasons are pushing for a latter date for end of the year. Who knows.... :huh:
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby Dingbatter 2 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:48 pm

The increase in birds in February is most likely a combination of early migrants staging and moving north well as reduced hunting pressure. I mean, the big migration south is over! By late February and March a lot of our birds have already left!
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby NCfowl » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:50 pm

The biggest problem for here and all across the "southern" states is so many people are building impoundments and flood able units while being able to keep the water open and the weather not getting unbearable... so the birds have no reason to leave until the bad bad weather in Jan and the foods all gone.
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby KAhunter » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:30 am

Dingbatter 2 wrote:The increase in birds in February is most likely a combination of early migrants staging and moving north well as reduced hunting pressure. I mean, the big migration south is over! By late February and March a lot of our birds have already left!

I agree. People dont realize that alot of the birds everyone sees in february where already here. They had just adjusted there patterns to avoid hunters and have concentrated in the refuges and no hunting areas. Once the hunting stops, the birds can once again spread out and use alot of the places that they hadnt been able to during the duck season. You also dont want to go into february because alot of birds are pairing up and hunting would really disrupt that, which could hurt the brood success in the spring.
"If you have to be crazy to be a duck hunter, i dont wish to be sane" Robert Ruark

Its always duck season, there is just a long break from february to september.
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby EastBound&Down » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:00 am

I'm calling BS.
Every year I see ducks show up in multiple different areas around the first of February that are refuge areas. If the ducks where already there, then why haven't they shown up in these spots before hand :huh:

KAhunter wrote:
Dingbatter 2 wrote:The increase in birds in February is most likely a combination of early migrants staging and moving north well as reduced hunting pressure. I mean, the big migration south is over! By late February and March a lot of our birds have already left!

I agree. People dont realize that alot of the birds everyone sees in february where already here. They had just adjusted there patterns to avoid hunters and have concentrated in the refuges and no hunting areas. Once the hunting stops, the birds can once again spread out and use alot of the places that they hadnt been able to during the duck season. You also dont want to go into february because alot of birds are pairing up and hunting would really disrupt that, which could hurt the brood success in the spring.
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby Shurshot » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:41 am

EastBound&Down wrote:I'm calling BS.
Every year I see ducks show up in multiple different areas around the first of February that are refuge areas. If the ducks where already there, then why haven't they shown up in these spots before hand :huh:


KAhunter wrote:
Dingbatter 2 wrote:The increase in birds in February is most likely a combination of early migrants staging and moving north well as reduced hunting pressure. I mean, the big migration south is over! By late February and March a lot of our birds have already left!

I agree. People dont realize that alot of the birds everyone sees in february where already here. They had just adjusted there patterns to avoid hunters and have concentrated in the refuges and no hunting areas. Once the hunting stops, the birds can once again spread out and use alot of the places that they hadnt been able to during the duck season. You also dont want to go into february because alot of birds are pairing up and hunting would really disrupt that, which could hurt the brood success in the spring.



No BS, why wouldn't you see large concentration of ducks everywhere once ALL hunting pressure stops just as importantly, all boating activities cease? Doesn't take long for the birds to start ganging up again once these events stop. Been seeing this activity for many decades.

What refuge areas and type of birds are you talking about, divers and/or puddlers? If puddlers, could be a change in their dietary needs, i.e. to moist-soil plants and invertebrate requirements. And divers, particularly bills are notorious for bouncing around in February. Most are here, they just need their space unmolested.
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby grayhouse farms » Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:00 am

Thanks for all the comments and input. The NCWRC comments time is maybe 3 months away and just wanted to test the waters to see if there was a direction that we could pull together to improve the season framework. I very much understand that the east is the big play here... In my area, most years we take as many ducks in the 4 days of the Oct. season as we do in the 19 days of the 2nd season (did not count Sundays), and that 19 days is about 1/3 of our total season. I think NC Wildlife will always try to catch Thanksgiving, and they should, hunters are off work and family hunting traditions. The earlier days of Nov. may be of greater use by adding a few to Oct. section and giving us more hunting days in Dec. or Later. There is a pond across a pasture in front of my house that I have been planting and flooding for the past 20 years, we I get home I can watch them fly out to the Catawba river at dark, to open for woodies just have ducks when Mallards and other bigs move in. Most years they show up the 1st week of Dec.
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby EastBound&Down » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:09 am

Every year I observe a lot of divers and a fair amount of puddlers show up in bodies of water that are not hunted. This includes areas inside of city limits, tracts of land that do not allow hunting, etc....
Makes zero sense for the ducks "that are already here" to stay out on the huntable areas and get pounded all season long and then just so choose to wonder into these refuge zones after season is out when they could have been there all along.

Shurshot wrote:
EastBound&Down wrote:I'm calling BS.
Every year I see ducks show up in multiple different areas around the first of February that are refuge areas. If the ducks where already there, then why haven't they shown up in these spots before hand :huh:


KAhunter wrote:
Dingbatter 2 wrote:The increase in birds in February is most likely a combination of early migrants staging and moving north well as reduced hunting pressure. I mean, the big migration south is over! By late February and March a lot of our birds have already left!

I agree. People dont realize that alot of the birds everyone sees in february where already here. They had just adjusted there patterns to avoid hunters and have concentrated in the refuges and no hunting areas. Once the hunting stops, the birds can once again spread out and use alot of the places that they hadnt been able to during the duck season. You also dont want to go into february because alot of birds are pairing up and hunting would really disrupt that, which could hurt the brood success in the spring.



No BS, why wouldn't you see large concentration of ducks everywhere once ALL hunting pressure stops just as importantly, all boating activities cease? Doesn't take long for the birds to start ganging up again once these events stop. Been seeing this activity for many decades.

What refuge areas and type of birds are you talking about, divers and/or puddlers? If puddlers, could be a change in their dietary needs, i.e. to moist-soil plants and invertebrate requirements. And divers, particularly bills are notorious for bouncing around in February. Most are here, they just need their space unmolested.
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby EastBound&Down » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:18 am

Another fine example was a couple seasons back when the big ducks didn't arrive in numbers until the closing weekend of January season. We saw more ducks the last few days than the entire 3rd split combined. I you listen to the blah blah blah "the migration is over and done by November and NC has all it's ducks by then", why in the world did all those ducks not wait another week unitl they came out of hiding and spare their lives? Must have been a mix up on dates when they wrote down season end on all their calanders.
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby NCfowl » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:42 am

EastBound&Down wrote:Another fine example was a couple seasons back when the big ducks didn't arrive in numbers until the closing weekend of January season. We saw more ducks the last few days than the entire 3rd split combined. I you listen to the blah blah blah "the migration is over and done by November and NC has all it's ducks by then", why in the world did all those ducks not wait another week unitl they came out of hiding and spare their lives? Must have been a mix up on dates when they wrote down season end on all their calanders.


^^^^This. :clapping:
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby DuckMauler » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:47 pm

Agreed with EBD 100%. Happens every year. We're still on this 1970s migrational season framework. I wouldn't want to lose a couple weeks in November because most people are chasing deer and it isn't nearly as crowded and we do have a good push of birds then. But it would be fine with me if it would stay out until new years and then stay til the middle of February. But I still wish more than anything that our turkey season came in march 1st. That burns me way worse than duck season dates. Makes no sense.
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby Dingbatter » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:31 pm

We need to go back to the way it was in the late 80's and early 90's. 3 days in October, 3 days at Thanksgiving.Then beginning in early December and ending the first week of Jan. That would get rid of 50% of the hunters we have today. Then change the shooting hours like the 1988 - 89 season, sunrise to sunset.( The WEO's had a field day passing out tickets for all the early shooting that year). That would probably eliminate another 25% of the hunters today. To many spoiled hunter today with 60 day season, you guys need to see what it was like in the lean years.
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby grayhouse farms » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:56 pm

You forgot to cut the Mallard limit to 3 drakes or 1 hen and 1drake.
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Re: Season Dates for next duck season

Postby On the X » Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:23 pm

Dingbatter wrote:We need to go back to the way it was in the late 80's and early 90's. 3 days in October, 3 days at Thanksgiving.Then beginning in early December and ending the first week of Jan. That would get rid of 50% of the hunters we have today. Then change the shooting hours like the 1988 - 89 season, sunrise to sunset.( The WEO's had a field day passing out tickets for all the early shooting that year). That would probably eliminate another 25% of the hunters today. To many spoiled hunter today with 60 day season, you guys need to see what it was like in the lean years.

I remember those years very well. I had more quality days per days hunted back then on average. The Oct. season was the 2nd week of the month instead of the 1st week. We had 3 days at Thanksgiving which grew to 6 days of thanksgiving week a few years later with a 50 day season. Back then We would see way more birds on the split openers because they had time for their numbers to build without being constantly harassed non-stop. Boy I miss those days.
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