The whole refuge system at Fern is a joke. They got the idiot Brad bales to go for this mOst soil management bullshit so they don't have to plant corn anymore. When I was a kid the whole refuge was in crops and the refuge often held the better part of 30,000 ducks when they did counts.
This held a crap ton of ducks in our end of the valley. The north side was also heavily planted in corn and flooded.
The whole thing started to slide down hill when they started hunting it. Further slid when they stopped planting good amounts of corn.
Then they started the stand by system and always having 14 blinds or 12 or whatever the hell number it is hunting it 3 days a week.
all those moist soil mud holes enabled people to shoot teal and spoon bills and that upped the bird count to more killed birds then ever but ZERO quality unless you have one of a choice few blinds. Wayne points out how many birds are killed and thinks he is a hero. The dept is providing opportunity and that us all they care about. They don't give two shits if you shoot good birds or if the refuge holds birds in our end of the valley. They provide a wet hole for all kinds of other birds and wildlife with our money and provide us with crap duck hunting.
The whole situation is so sad it makes me want to VOMIT.
I used to kill 150 Mallards a season on the East side of the road ( royal/fisher butte) and that was when the hunting over there was nothing compared to the refuge hunts! Now you would be lucky to kill anything. Jeff