Was also at Smithfield H.S. and Creeds Elementary School in Back Bay for those quota hunt meetings. Although the budget factors into most DGIF moves, the change to one day a week hunting at Hog Island was also made to offer improved gunning opportunities. The folks on the ground suggested that hunting one day a week encouraged more waterfowl use by creating less repeated disturbance. Their observations were that the area is more or less devoid of ducks for several days after each hunt. My math might be off slightly, but the end result was that more blinds (nine v. five) were hunted under the current scheme but only once per seven days. The number of people allowed in each blind was increased by one person to three. The net goal was to have the same number of hunters per week while shooting the area just once during that period. The primary gripe at that time was that the stand-by program was abolished.
The budget aspect is/ was that the DGIF is reimbursed three dollars for every dollar spent by the US Fish and Wildlife Service for the majority of the work that DGIF does. This reimbursement is referred to as Pitman Robertson monies and is derived from an excise tax on bullets and firearms. It is the lifeblood of wildlife agencies across the U.S. The catch is that the money has to be used, generally speaking, for wildlife habitat restoration (planting, tilling, flooding, purchasing land, burning, erecting gates, technical assistance on private lands, surveys, etc.) but can not be used for running quota hunts. The result is that DGIF staff time costs us, the license buyers, three times as much when the staff member works quota hunts v. other work. The genesis of the volunteer efforts at Princess Anne, and elsewhere, can be traced to declining revenue from decreasing license sales which has lead to tough decisions about how DGIF spends our license dollar monies.
If you think twice a week is better; have different ideas; speak for a group; etc. don't hesitate to communicate your thoughts to the DGIF. Typically if your ideas are not addressed to your satisfaction there are probably underlying reasons e.g. budget, push back from other hunters, lack of resources, unsupportive data, etc. and not b/c the folks at DGIF are from the government and "know better" or are lazy. As a result of comments about stand-by's the program at Hog Island was re-instituted and one was kicked off for the Princess Anne impoundments.
Last edited by Deadrise
on Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.