Let's talk hunter numbers...

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Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby Baymen Moe » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:05 pm

I've brought this subject up in the past and would like to get some input again. I suppose this all differs by region but hear me out. I have hunted lot's of private ground and public through the years. I'd say I have had equally good hunting on each. Some of the private areas have been strictly private, meaning me and no one else, but a few private areas have had the odd sneak in hunters, whatever.

The public ground I have favored for the past 5 years, to me, is a waterfowlers dream. Great atmosphere, easy access and never a shot not fired. For the past few years I have seen only 2 other parties besides me. This year, for three hunt's I have seen no one, including yesterday, A SATURDAY...To have this area to myself is fantastic but puzzling as well. I am by no means complaining about the lack of hunters, but what I am looking for is why am I not seeing other hunters.

I am a die hard duck hunter. Maybe that is the difference. I go, and don't care whether or not I get birds. I'm in this for the experience, the process, the end result. And that does not mean I have to be successful. I figured I would at least see a few weekend worriors yesterday, but none.

So share with me your "other hunters" observations, and tell me why I'm not seeing more... :beer:
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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby MIKE J. » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:50 pm

Moe,
Your public area is sweet, I think most folks are familiar with it and respect the fact that you and Baymen Dave hunt it on a regular basis and stay clear. I have seen an increase in the numbers of new hunters and that is great for the most part. The only issue I have is watching them shoot at birds that are well out range and no concept of species ID. One local public spot this weekend really pounded the cormorants. :no:
"Kill counts are for snipers, fighter pilots and Novice duck hunters."
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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby Joser06 » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:10 pm

I will say I don't see many people inland but see a lot in coastal. I will say there are a few spots I hunt with regulars but not many are newbies.


Mike I will say I know it is illegal but that cormorant story makes me smile. I hate them things. Very destructive birds, but still against the law to kill.
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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby woodduck14 » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:23 pm

I've seen and heard more hunters this year than I ever have.

Like Mike said, great to see that, but hate to see skybusting/terrible duck id.
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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby Baymen Moe » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:58 pm

MIKE J. wrote:Moe,
Your public area is sweet, I think most folks are familiar with it and respect the fact that you and Baymen Dave hunt it on a regular basis and stay clear. I have seen an increase in the numbers of new hunters and that is great for the most part. The only issue I have is watching them shoot at birds that are well out range and no concept of species ID. One local public spot this weekend really pounded the cormorants. :no:


Mike, I would never expect any hunter to "stay clear" of a spot just because someone else hunts there on a regular basis, public is public. I don't think Capt Dave and I have any hold on a particular spot anyway. And I would not expect anyone to stay away just because we are there. Frankly, Capt Dave has a spot in the heart of cranberry country that he does not hunt often enough. I don't know why, but it's one of those private spots that get's a few slip in's. I am the last person to discourage somebody from taking advantage of good hunting. I'm just surprised that more hunters are not taking advantage of what I am.
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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby MIKE J. » Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:25 pm

Joser06 wrote:Mike I will say I know it is illegal but that cormorant story makes me smile. I hate them things. Very destructive birds, but still against the law to kill.


I agree and wish they had a conservation season on Shags :biggrin: , but if individuals are shooting cormorants thinking they are geese then I am willing to bet they are shooting loons, grebes and multiple black ducks etc. The sad thing is the group this weekend had several young hunters who now think it is okay to shoot first and then worry if you can take it home.
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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby MIKE J. » Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:35 pm

Moe I agree with you, Public is Public! just not my style to crowd the regulars in other areas. But if you are needing a few more guns in the area to keep the birds moving just give me a yell :thumbsup:
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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby McManusClan5 » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:16 pm

I think some of it is that many (well, at least a good portion of) hunters came into the sport later. Like me (I hunted as a kid with uncles, but then stopped for a couple decades when "all" I did was fish - like a fiend, but just fishing). That makes it tough to actually figure out how to do it right when you get back into it (or start for the first time - as it seems a lot folks are doing recently). Couple that with these days needing to move more frequently for a LOT of people for work (me included - grew up here but have moved away and back a few times), and it's hard to figure an area out.

I have been waterfowling for about 8 years and am still VERY much learning the ropes. Each time I move, I have to learn a new way to hunt. Came back to MA last time and learned seaducks. Then moved to OH and all that was not so useful, so had to learn how to field hunt (and some swamp/pond hunting), but not there long enough to find the honey holes. Never mind divers on the big water (Erie) - that's a whole 'nother set of learnings. Then moved back here, but to Concord. Now I'm trying to learn rivers and fens, and almost nothing of what I learned elsewhere applies, and never mind trying to find places to hunt! At least when I get a boat that works for seaduckin', I'll be able to get back to the salt - but then probably only bigger water… until I buy ANOTHER boat (?) that's small enough to hunt the skinny water and such…

ARGH!

And I'm also a die hard duck hunter. I will go out and sit for hours even when nothing is flying. Even when I KNOW nothing will be flying. Just love being out there. However, I haven't had time to successfully get permission on private land around here (I've tried at a number of farms, but they're either hunted by the owners/owners' family or they are VERY anti-hunting).

So, where do I hunt? The only places I seem to be able to get on to. The NWR's, some public land in Groton and the like (not real productive) and now and again at the Concord Rod & Gun Club (which seems to repel ALL waterfowl). :lol3:

OK, so my reeeeeaaalllllly long winded point (sorry - you can tell it's a habit) is that maybe there are hunters, but for a variety of reasons we might be on public lands that kinda suck, and you wouldn't see us. I'm hoping to finally get at least one place I live dialed in, and I'm most familiar with the Plymouth area (having fished there all my life) and hope that familiarity will eventually translate into waterfowling knowledge, but even with all that, you probably won't see me very often there (a long way from Concord to scout and such, except the deeper salt - which I know better from years of being on it and probably will translate better).

I hope this doesn't come across as whining or bitchin' about hunting. I don't feel that way at all. I'm happy ANY day I can get out - even if it's on a river in the middle of "anti" central and there are no birds! OK, I admit it would be better with birds… :yes: Just giving one example of why you might not see newbies in your regular haunts.

Oh, and the first time I EVER went seaduckin' was with Capt. Dave. Awesome day over by Clark's Island, and I've never looked at the bay the same way again. Dang you, Capt. Dave! :lol3:

Hope to eventually figure out how to do this better and bump into some savvy hunters out there someday!!

Until then, see you on DHC. :wink:

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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby McManusClan5 » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:42 pm

And I'm 100 percent with you on cormorants.

Wish there was a legal way to :hammer: :hammer: :hammer: those nasty buggers!

They keep eating my herring. :wink:

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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby PghDuckHunter » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:27 am

I have no statistical basis to really from an opinion, but I can say coming from the hunter friendly mid west that its not quite as hunter/firearm friendly here (obviously). Additionally, no one in the mid west f's with hunters like they do here. All that together may lead to lower hunter totals (a perceived high barrier to entry if you will).

I was on very easy accessible public land this morning, with a nice amount of ducks and I didnt see or hear another gunner at all and the coastal season closes on the 26th so I was a little surprised. Im not complaining, it was a gorgeous morning and I shot a nice teal and a black duck drake.
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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby Joser06 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:43 pm

Good to hear you had a nice morning, PGH. I heard only a few shots down by the Merrimac this morning. Not a whole lot of pressure this year up there.
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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby james1981 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:49 pm

McmanusClan5

I know of some decent spots out near concord or closer to the central part of the state,
If you want some pointers, I would check out the DCR land and WMAs close to you... I would also look at google earth and use that to your advantage. There are limited spots out near concord area but within a 30 min drive you can be near decent places in central ma. If you are looking for ideas, I can prolly help you out with some spots over near that area, I dont hunt there yet because of the drive from North Central Ma and some productive holes up where I am.

If you are looking I can point you in the right direction... You can PM me and prolly give you some Ideas....

I would expect in that area you Should make sure you have everything to make yourself legal LOL... If the town bans water bottles i cant imagine what they would do to a guy in full camo with a shotgun...
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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby McManusClan5 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:50 pm

james1981 wrote:McmanusClan5

I know of some decent spots out near concord or closer to the central part of the state,
If you want some pointers, I would check out the DCR land and WMAs close to you... I would also look at google earth and use that to your advantage. There are limited spots out near concord area but within a 30 min drive you can be near decent places in central ma. If you are looking for ideas, I can prolly help you out with some spots over near that area, I dont hunt there yet because of the drive from North Central Ma and some productive holes up where I am.

If you are looking I can point you in the right direction... You can PM me and prolly give you some Ideas....

I would expect in that area you Should make sure you have everything to make yourself legal LOL... If the town bans water bottles i cant imagine what they would do to a guy in full camo with a shotgun...


Going to check out Oxbow tomorrow morning. And, yes, I make sure I have all my "papers" with me, ALL the time here. You'd think that shooting a bird now and again was positively un-American by the looks I get. :lol3: At least the town police force is hunter friendly (easy to renew the CC permit and they were all great).

Water bottles I can smuggle in from neighboring towns (possession is not YET a crime), but having to leash a cat might just make me move (and we don't even HAVE cats)! :fingerhead: That has come up for vote twice in the last couple years… :no:

Matt

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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby Mike M. » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:56 pm

Crowds are rarely a problem for me. I hunt exclusively public land. The only time there are any number of hunters out are opening days, holidays, and some saturdays.
A serious reduction in the population of black ducks would mean the end of waterfowl hunting for the majority of the New England sportsmen.

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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby Mike M. » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:59 pm

And at the rate I'm at, hunter numbers will remain no problem. Especially, since I haven't been out yet this season. :lol3:
A serious reduction in the population of black ducks would mean the end of waterfowl hunting for the majority of the New England sportsmen.

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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby dmurano » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:03 am

Have seen more hunting pressure in the in some of the spots I hunt not sure if low water has anything to do with it with some of the smaller holes drying up . Hopefully with bow season open and small game it will take some of the pressure off.
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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby PghDuckHunter » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:38 am

I found some statistics in American Hunter Magazine that 79 percent of Americans approve of hunting. The highest level since 1995. Hunting participation has increased 9% nationally since 2006. I suspect that MA lags these national numbers, but I would be curious to see ifthe state numbers mirror the percentage gain of the national nmbers. The 79% seems really high to me. In a liberal hot bed like MA and just the general ignorance of the shooting sports that typically prevails in that type of environment I would be surprised if its much higher than 60%....
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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby Professor_Leakey » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:39 pm

i try to hunt in places where i do not run into too many people....in the spots that i do, i have mostly encountered very friendly people who wish me well. i have also returned to my truck and found little plastic baggies of dog poop tossed in the bed. :no:
only ever once had the police called on me...and they could not have been more friendly. no questions asked just a handshake and 5 minutes of chootin the chit.

so far in only two hunts this season, i have not seen any more or fewer hunters than in seasons past. although i did find a few spent shells in the blind that i thought i had to myself. i shouldnt say my blind, it is public land and belongs to whoever gets up the earliest :hammer:
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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby Bunker » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:52 pm

Professor_Leakey wrote:i try to hunt in places where i do not run into too many people....in the spots that i do, i have mostly encountered very friendly people who wish me well. i have also returned to my truck and found little plastic baggies of dog poop tossed in the bed. :no:
only ever once had the police called on me...and they could not have been more friendly. no questions asked just a handshake and 5 minutes of chootin the chit.

so far in only two hunts this season, i have not seen any more or fewer hunters than in seasons past. although i did find a few spent shells in the blind that i thought i had to myself. i shouldnt say my blind, it is public land and belongs to whoever gets up the earliest :hammer:


What type and make of casings were they that you found?



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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby Bunker » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:56 pm

I was unable to account for a couple of hulls from the opener...


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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby Professor_Leakey » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:40 pm

well i know you werent shooting black clouds or a single winchester xpert so they werent yours...but like i said whoever gets there first owns it but for God sake at least clean up when the party is over.
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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby DanCassidy » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:24 pm

My first post - been a lurker for a long time.

I live in Concord and thought I'd add to the conversation re: McManus

Would enjoy talking with you about the places I hunt (mostly with my father-in-law). We may have met at pantry brook sometime - one of our go-to places.

re: Concord, I live on the Assabet and my neighbor has about 10 acres and his land is "legal". However, when I hunt there, I am always met by the Concord police - who are super nice - but it takes away from the enjoyment. FYI - the neighbors (and their kids) don't seem to mind when I come out with some geese/ducks from the hunt - makes for some good conversation at the bus stop.
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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby Baymen Moe » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:34 pm

Welcome Dan :beer:
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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby MIKE J. » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:25 pm

Welcome back Dan :beer:
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Re: Let's talk hunter numbers...

Postby McManusClan5 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:02 pm

DanCassidy wrote:My first post - been a lurker for a long time.

I live in Concord and thought I'd add to the conversation re: McManus

Would enjoy talking with you about the places I hunt (mostly with my father-in-law). We may have met at pantry brook sometime - one of our go-to places.

re: Concord, I live on the Assabet and my neighbor has about 10 acres and his land is "legal". However, when I hunt there, I am always met by the Concord police - who are super nice - but it takes away from the enjoyment. FYI - the neighbors (and their kids) don't seem to mind when I come out with some geese/ducks from the hunt - makes for some good conversation at the bus stop.


Welcome Dan! Good to see that there's another hunter in Concord. :thumbsup:

I'm thinking of plucking some ducks in the front yard - I can only imagine the looks... :wink:

PM sent shortly.

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