It seems that what you said about the farmers realizing that they can charge high prices for leased land is pretty similar to what I was dealing with where I hunted in NJ. The only private land that people were willing to let people hunt on was leased to all the hunting clubs in the area. There were clubs in the area that had access to ridiculous amounts of land. Fields would go untouched for a year or two if they were able to find success elsewhere but they still held onto the land with a death grip. I will definitely take your advice in trying to make contact with the local chapter of DU as I've been a member but never really active with any of the chapters that I've been near.
As far as trying to sniff out the properties that may not be committed to others or aren't being leased, is there anyway to get property maps in PA? Does the state publish anything like that?
About your trips to Barnegat Bay, I made it down there this past season and saw the same things. We got out there early and spent the first half of the day in two different spots late in the season. Ended up with a gadwall and a couple of mergansers. Tons of birds in the area, we saw thousands of canadians, hundreds of snows, and the smaller groups of buffleheads, megansers, etc. There was a group of 5 green wings in and out of the potholes that I was surprised to see as well as 3 pintails, With all of the restrictions in Barnegat the birds know where to hang out. With all of the little drop holes just outside and in between the hunting zones they always seem to find the wrong place to be. I didn't necessarily expect the production out here to be comparable to the coastal areas but I'm content to shoot on pairs throughout the day rather than the big numbers that Barnegat puts out. Thanks again for the advice guys.
NRA, DU, NAHC