– Something New for South Dakota Duck Hunters
Hunter’s Choice uses an aggregate bag (1 hen mallard or 1 pintail or 1 canvasback) to limit harvest on species needing additional protection while maintaining full hunting opportunity on abundant species or stocks of ducks such as drake mallards. For birds included in the aggregate bag, the harvest of one will ‘buffer’ the harvest of the others, thus reducing the harvest of all. For the past several years, South Dakota hunters have had a 39 day season-within-a-season (SWAS) for pintail and canvasbacks within the 74 day duck hunting season.
The Central Flyway plans to conduct a 3-year evaluation of Hunter's Choice starting with the 2006 season. For the duration of the evaluation, 5 states (ND, SD, KS, TX, WY) will be under Hunter's Choice regulations and the other 5 Central Flyway states (NE, OK, MT, CO, NM) will use the SWAS framework.
Objectives of the Hunter's Choice Evaluation are to:
Determine if the harvest of pintail and canvasback under Hunter's Choice regulations are similar to those obtained with SWAS regulations.
Determine hunter preferences.
Determine the harvest of hen mallards under Hunter's Choice regulations