Ducks down 50%

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Ducks down 50%

Postby NDH2OFOWLER » Mon Jul 30, 2007 3:06 pm

Taken from the NDGF website.


Duck Brood Index Down from Last Year

North Dakota's 2007 fall duck flight is expected to be down about 50 percent from last year and similar to the fall flight of 2004, according to Mike Johnson, game management section leader for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

Even though the 2007 brood index from the department’s annual mid-July survey was down from last year’s record high index, it is still 72 percent above the 1955-2006 average. Average brood size was 6.4 ducklings, down slightly from last year. The long‑term average is 7.1 ducklings per brood. The water index observed during the survey was up 84 percent from 2006, and 49 percent above the long-term average.

Average age of broods was similar to the long-term average, Johnson said. Brood survey results, Johnson expects, may be somewhat low due to tall dense vegetative cover on many wetlands and high water levels and flooded vegetation from heavy rains. Recent rains have improved brood habitat across much of the state and should improve the survival of late-hatched broods.

The index does not count every water body or duckling in the state. Instead, representative transects across the state are sampled each year. Over time, survey results provide biologists with trend information that allows annual comparisons of waterfowl production in the state.

:thumbsdown:
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Postby portahunter » Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:37 pm

That sure pops my bubble. I thought with the large increase in numbers in the Eastern Dakotas that there'd be more broods this year. Guess I was wrong.
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Postby NDH2OFOWLER » Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:18 am

I live in S.E. N.D. and with a month of 90 degree + heat and no rain sloughs are drying up fast. Many of the birds are standing out in the middle of dried up sloughs. I think our wet cycle has come to an end.
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Postby chessieman » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:45 am

NDH2) -

I am planning on hunting the La Moure area in October. I get out to Whapeton, Fargo, Grand Forks, and Drayton on a regular basis (sugar industry). Things looked fantastic earlier in the summer, but I was surprised to hear how dry SE ND got since then.

Would your opinion be to head further north where they have done better on rain lately, or stick with SE? I know there are some larger bodies of water in the La Moure area, but would they be enough to hold ducks if the potholes are dry?
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Postby NDH2OFOWLER » Sun Aug 12, 2007 1:57 pm

The birds will be where the water is. With the smaller potholes drying up and the bigger sloughs being left, field hunting will be key. If birds are being pounded on the water they will leave the area and find a body of water that they can rest on without being shot at. Hunt the fields and you will have success day after day in most cases.
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Postby chessieman » Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:25 am

Thanks NDH2O - I was just out in the area I am planning on hunting, all looked well. Couldn't agree with you more with regards to water or field hunting. Hopefully the water won't be pounded too hard prior to us getting there. Not much we can do about that portion of it, though.
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