Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

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Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby PSUbuzz » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:30 am

Im continuing my gripe on a new thread instead of hijacking the other one. Ohioboy mentioned "why we see so many birds when we arent on the major flyway" in the RP zone. I responded by saying there are birds in the RP zone, they are just concentrated more on private land where they are safe. It is MY OPINION, that if we had more refuges like the AP zone has, then we would see more birds, and the migration would adjust to the opportunities farther west to winter safely. That just seems logical to me. It is also my opinion, that if the migration moved west because of more wintering opportunities to the west, then states to the south of us in our flyway would also start seeing an increase of birds. Ive heard stories that Lake Mattamuskeet used to be the canada goose wintering capital of the Atlantic Flyway but now they have short stopped that area and have wintered around MD for the last decade or so. It also has been discussed here, and on other forums, that NY and NJ are becoming major wintering grounds for fowl, and PA and MD have been on the decline the last few years. I am not foolish to say that weather doesnt play a significant part in that, obviously... but where does our money go that we put into Fed stamps, MD state migratory stamps, banquet tickets, raffles and our DU/Delta memberships?

I am going to play dumb here and ask someone else to find the real answers because the answers in my head are hear say from the old timers I hunt with. I have been told the following things; whether or not they are true, I do not know but someone correct me if I am. Politely of course :biggrin:


1. Our DU dollars mostly get spent on preserving other flyways, mainly the "duck factory" and prarie pothole region because it is "better spent" and more ducks get use out of it.

2. Maryland state waterfowl stamp money gets used mainly for refuges and projects that are all in the AP zone. Some gets allocated to DNR, which I can understand, but no projects for waterfowl get funded in the RP zone from this money.(Pretty please, if someone finds some RP zone projects, or knows who is in charge of them, post contact info. I would like to help when I can!)

3. Reasoning for not doing any local projects in the RP zone with funding from DU, Delta or DNR is because we are not in the migration flyway. There are no migratory birds coming through the RP zone so why spend money there to purchase wetlands or fund projects?(Total bs, put 5 of the guys on our hunting crew together with our bands and I can tell you 80% of them are shot in the RP zone of MD are from out of state, some out of country)

I have many more questions, and can only speculate the answers that I think are total BS from DU, DNR, Delta etc. I have been approached before about helping with DU banquets, helping on the local chapter board, or coming to meetings with the board from our local chapter. I responded by saying let me know when our local chapter is willing to start doing projects locally and stop sending all our fundraising money elsewhere. I have done private projects around the county to give back to the ducks(Yes on areas that I hunt(food plots, wood duck boxes, mallard tubes). I would love to volunteer to do projects on refuges where nobody is allowed to hunt or even public places that are huntable. I continue to pay my annual dues and spend money at the banquets. But someone give me a reason why my money isnt used locally in the RP zone! Sorry to sound selfish too, im sure this post probably sounds that way to some of the AP guys out there. Just remember, this was all things ive heard, and never have seen written evidence on DNR's website. Im reaching out for answers, hopefully proving me wrong.
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby Montauker » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:55 pm

You have a lot of questions in your post and I will try to answer or provide some clarity for a few of them.

Check out www.ducks.org specifically http://www.ducks.org/media/_global/_documents/stateFactSheets/Maryland.pdf for specific Maryland state information.

Yes it is true that a lot of DU's money goes to the prairie pot hole region and into Canada. Simply put, that is where the ducks are hatched and where the greatest impact with the least dollars can occur. DU's mission isn't to supply hunting areas, it is simply to support habitat conservation. Maryland raises about .75 million a year for DU, to date about 10m has been spent in the state, and 125M in the Atlantic FW. There is a lot behind this number that I don't have access to, but DU often works with States and Feds to chip in on state projects, so while 10M may not seem like a lot, it doesnt take into account what the Feds, MD State, Nature Conservancy and others have done in conjunction with DU.

Some people don't see eye to eye with this approach, particularly when DU is quiet on hunting and 2nd amendment political issues, but DU's neutral stance has been effective over the long term in achieving their mission, regardless of what politicians or party are in office.

Most of DU's project in MD are focused on the Shore, but again that is where the majority of ducks and geese are.

RP geese aren't just local golf course geese, RP geese include birds hatched in PA, NJ, NY, and even parts of southern Canada. These birds do migrate, but are still considered RP under the Federal framework.

AP geese come from northern parts of Canada, and have traditionally used MD as a wintering ground since about the 1950s, prior to that North Carolina was the X. This shift coincided with the increase in chicken farming and feed production on the shore and is the reason, as many people suspect, that geese shifted from the Carolina wintering area. The same may be happening with NY, PA, and MD now.

I hope this helps.
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby PSUbuzz » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:12 am

It kind of confirms what I thought. I do understand why DU remains nuetral to keep their foot in the door politically. I also understand why DU is more concerned with the conservation aspect than hunting, and I am fine with that. I just wish they would realize the potential to create wintering refuge opportunities with dollars locally, not just down on the AP zone. What is the point of a Frederick County DU chapter raising money to be sent down to the shore or to Canada? Why not use half for projects IN frederick county, and send the other half to the breeding grounds? Once again, I realize it sounds greedy and I know most of the birds are going to be down in the AP area. But I feel like the point of me being part of the Frederick County DU chapter would be to raise funds for waterfowl that will use this area. The Potomac River DU chapter should raise funds for projects on the river. I know tons and tons of woodies nest in the swampy areas along the shores of the Potomac, their funds could be used for boxes to be put up and maintained. Create a refuge stretch or buy a orivate area of the river, make it a refuge zone with no hunting. Put in crops on the islands, things like that. I feel like there is so much we could be doing better allocating our funds. Man do I love griping after the season is over. This is what happens when I dont have to scout or hunt anymore. I spend my free time complaining haha
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby Montauker » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:49 am

The answer that you will get, and one with which I agree to a degree, is"what's the point in building wintering habitat, if the birds don't have places to nest and hatch on their breeding grounds?"

DU can conserve an acre of land in the prairie pothole region for about $250 (they match that with Federal, State and other grants for a higher total, buts roughly what they need per acre). What does $250 dollars get you in Maryland?

If you want to do something locally reach out to the DU biologist in Annapolis or look up the Maryland Wood Duck Initiative.

Won't matter anyway, Maryland will soon outlaw all guns and you guys won't be able to hunt :wink:
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby ohioboy » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:08 pm

If birds do move through, and lots do, then it would make sense to have better food and rest spots here in md. I am thinking about ducks more than geese. I can think of lots of areas where a little work and some equipment could plant some crops for migrating birds. I would bet some people would even allow projects on THIER land IF it did not come with the DU stipulations I have heard of.
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby Montauker » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:38 am

So you think DU should fund local duck clubs and property owners? They tried that, and it went over like a lead balloon. Imagine if 50% of your DU money went into projects on private property owned by the same guy who beat you on every live auction item at the banquet.

I'm not saying that what they do now is perfect but they are about increasing duck numbers, not creating hunting spots.

Ducks have plenty to eat in MD, lots of private impoundments, some built by DU under a previous program, that are now planted by private owners. I do not believe that DU actively manages any land in the AF, they help conserve it and let others manage it.
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby PSUbuzz » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:29 am

Montauker wrote:So you think DU should fund local duck clubs and property owners? They tried that, and it went over like a lead balloon. Imagine if 50% of your DU money went into projects on private property owned by the same guy who beat you on every live auction item at the banquet.

I'm not saying that what they do now is perfect but they are about increasing duck numbers, not creating hunting spots.

Ducks have plenty to eat in MD, lots of private impoundments, some built by DU under a previous program, that are now planted by private owners. I do not believe that DU actively manages any land in the AF, they help conserve it and let others manage it.


Definitely not on the duck clubs or property owners. I dont neccessarily want DU to fund hunting spots unless they are public hunting like McKee Besher WMA(that place is another world or Fluster Cluck), but to fund projects that encourage wintering waterfowl to come to this state instead of short stopping in NJ or NY. I wish there would be a easy way to enforce it, but if property owners wanted funding from DU dollars for coservation, I wouldn't be opposed to it on the condition that the property either became public hunting or else remained closed to hunting for everyone for 5-10 years after the project is complete. But how would that get enforced? Treat it like a loan and if loan conditions are broken then the property owner has to pay the money back? I have never been, but I heard out in NODAK and Canada, there are signs in the pot hole region that property owners put up that say "walk in hunting welcome". I also know in years past, there was some sort of land grant or tax break available to property owners that did stream bank restoration projects and let people fish through their property. Im not sure how either of those works, but could DU do something along those lines?
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby Montauker » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:17 pm

Nothing you do in MD will impact the "short-stopping" of birds.
If there is food and open water in NY/PA then birds will continue this pattern of only moving as far south as necessary to winter.

ND has a lot of public and private/public partnerships and access programs, but you simply can not compare the two. MD has a lot of people and little land, ND the exact opposite.

If you owned a 1000acre farm in ND, you probably couldn't find anyone to lease the hunting rights from you for a price worth even asking. In MD you're looking at 10-50K per year to lease that size, as a land owner why would you give that up?

Basically if you live in the east you pay a premium for property and land owners just aren't interested in allowing people free access.

The best bets for increased accesss in MD is opening up Federal and county owned properties.
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby ohioboy » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:17 pm

Montauker wrote:So you think DU should fund local duck clubs and property owners? They tried that, and it went over like a lead balloon. Imagine if 50% of your DU money went into projects on private property owned by the same guy who beat you on every live auction item at the banquet.

I'm not saying that what they do now is perfect but they are about increasing duck numbers, not creating hunting spots.

Ducks have plenty to eat in MD, lots of private impoundments, some built by DU under a previous program, that are now planted by private owners. I do not believe that DU actively manages any land in the AF, they help conserve it and let others manage it.


My money goes thousands of miles away. I would like to think if there was more habitat and food it would benefit numbers in my area. I am fine with private land I can't hunt, once again i can't hunt most of the areas that are in others areas of the continent.
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby Montauker » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:12 pm

You money helps grow ducks thousands of miles away, then a lot of them fly here and you shoot at them. :grooving:
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby ohioboy » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:48 pm

But could grow some here, not all ducks migrate. Small projects could help, small dollar projects.

I currently live in an area named for lakes. Tons of ducks and geese are hatched and raised in these lakes. Why not put money into these?
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby Montauker » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:04 am

If tons of ducks and geese at already using the lakes then what's the problem?

BTW - most AF states are trying to reduce the number of RP birds, not increase them.

Again, how far does the dollar go in MD v ND?

Also DU is doing or has done projects on the Western shore, look through the ducks.org/Maryland site? DU has put a pretty good amount of effort into the Potomac.
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby ohioboy » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:58 am

Montauker wrote:If tons of ducks and geese at already using the lakes then what's the problem?

BTW - most AF states are trying to reduce the number of RP birds, not increase them.

Again, how far does the dollar go in MD v ND?

Also DU is doing or has done projects on the Western shore, look through the ducks.org/Maryland site? DU has put a pretty good amount of effort into the Potomac.


are you telling me ducks dont already use the areas that DU is working on in the upper midwest or canada?

good point on RP birds.
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby ohioboy » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:03 am

Montauker wrote:If tons of ducks and geese at already using the lakes then what's the problem?

BTW - most AF states are trying to reduce the number of RP birds, not increase them.

Again, how far does the dollar go in MD v ND?

Also DU is doing or has done projects on the Western shore, look through the ducks.org/Maryland site? DU has put a pretty good amount of effort into the Potomac.


were on the potomac? i cant find that info.
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby Montauker » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:20 am

A lot more ducks use that area than here. I think something like 75% of the birds that winter in the AF come from the prairie pot hole region. Plus most of the work up there is saving very small ponds from getting plowed under, unless you've been there it's hard to imagine the number of small ponds in that region, really amazing.

On the DU site select MD and then look around in the local projects section, it doesn't get real specific but the Potomac shows up in a few projects/programs.

If there is a specific project that you think would be beneficial locally you should reach out to the biologist in DU Annapolis office.
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby PSUbuzz » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:11 am

I would like to think our local DU chapter would be the one to reach out to if we wanted something done locally with our local DU dollars right? Of course they would need to get budget approval yada yada, but should the local chapter board have the know how, plus the DESIRE to better the habitat, duck numbers, wintering opportunity in the region that the chapter "governs"? I know that feds want to decrease the number of RP geese, but I do not think that is the case in AF states for ducks. I think the more ducks that we can get to come out of the pothole region to the atlantic flyway would be better. Which takes me back to my original point of creating wintering habitat for ducks in our area. I think if we Noah's Ark the Atlantic Flyway (if you build it, they will come) then more ducks will come to this flyway. I must also say, I have never heard of anyone saying birds out of the pot hole region come to the AF. Band wise the farthest west anyone I know of that was shot in Maryland was one I took last year in late season that was banded outside Toledo, Ohio. I would say between the about 100 other bands that myself, or guys I hunt with have taken over the last 10 years, everything else has come from East of that mark. Canada bands have all been from Ontario or Quebec, mostly in the finger lake region. Most of the ones that said they were banded when they were too young to fly have come from northern NY and Ohio, Ontario, and Conneticut. Those arent just speratic one or two banded birds either, there is a consistant region that we get migrator bands from. I think that is where our Atlantic flyway birds that show up in MD come from. That, if anywhere, is where I believe our DU dollar should go if you truly think that building wintering habitat is a waste, and it should go to the breeding grounds
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby Montauker » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:24 pm

PSU

DU chapters are run by volunteers, entirely. No one is paid and they really only deal with the grass roots fundraising aspect of DU. Projects, funding, and similar programs are handled by small regional offices, Annapolis is the closest one.

Bands - are you talking ducks or geese? Go to the Ducks.org site and you can see where ducks harvested in MD were banded. This info is also available at http://www.flyways.us/surveys-and-monit ... ss-america. A large portion do come from the areas that you stated, but a lot also come from ND and Canada.

BTW- if you're talking banded geese then that is an entirely different deal and my guess is that most of your bands are RP birds from NY, PA and lower Canada. Migrating geese come from Nunavet and other places that are very far north of where most ducks breed. The only conservation challenge they face is snow geese eating the marsh.

Back to your theory of "build it and they will come", why would ducks come here if they are getting exactly what they need north of us and not being forced out by cold weather? Think of it this way, you want to go to the beach, all you care about is nice temps, warm water, sand and beer. Would you drive to OBX or Myrtle Beach when you could just go to Ocean City?

Migrating ducks can't come here if they don't exist because they weren't hatched in the first place because of lack of breeding habitat in areas north of us, where most of them breed.

I think the disconnect here is that you think there could be more ducks in your local area if you build projects. What I'm saying is that while that is probably true it won't actually increase the AF population of ducks. This is why DU focuses its money into high duck prroducing areas.

BTW- there is a stream clean up in Alexandria VA on a Saturday in April if you want to do a hands on project.
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby PSUbuzz » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:26 pm

Most of what im talking about is geese, only a few duck bands have been harvested by guys I know in the MD/PA region. I wish there were more but I feel as though a lot of ducks we harvest are resident mallards, blacks, and woodies in the RP region. We do some resident duck habitat/breeding projects privately in hopes that we can increase the amount of ducks we see around here. I just figured volunteers would probably help out with local projects if they knew it would attract ducks to the area, and if the organization and the money is here, I think it could happen.

By the way, Ive been to OC a few times and I think its a terrible beach, cold water, lots of jelly fish, and a lot of trash on the beaches. I do the 6 hour drive to OBX in the summer, while the sand might be the same, there is warmer water and less things to hurt me. I guess its quality over the quantity of miles driven that takes me to OBX and Myrtle. I wonder if ducks feel the same way about the water they sit in and the food they come down to eat.

The first cripple I get next season is getting held over bacon grease til he tells me all of his kind's secrets.
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby Montauker » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:42 pm

Better women in the OBX too.
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby ohioboy » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:47 pm

Montauker wrote:Better women in the OBX too.


So by that logic we need sexier hens. :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :clapping:
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby PSUbuzz » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:48 am

ohioboy wrote:
Montauker wrote:Better women in the OBX too.


So by that logic we need sexier hens. :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :clapping:


:lol3: Alright, thats it, im using more, and better quality looking hen decoys next year
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby ohioboy » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:51 am

PSUbuzz wrote:
ohioboy wrote:
Montauker wrote:Better women in the OBX too.


So by that logic we need sexier hens. :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :clapping:


:lol3: Alright, thats it, im using more, and better quality looking hen decoys next year


Bigger breasts maybe?
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Re: Where does our banquet, membership and Stamp $ go?

Postby ohioboy » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:11 pm

I emailed local DU to see if I can find some concrete answers. Will let you all know as soon as I do.
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