TBS wrote:Spent a few hours on the phone with my good friend from TN last night. He was sharing some stories about the "cylce" that duck hunting has gone through in his part of the world. What he noticed about 15 years ago was that duck hunting became VERY popular amongst the younger generation. For years, everybody knew everybody and there was a certain respect each party had for the other. Traditions were valued and a man's reputation was more important than anything else. He feels that as the years passed by, the addition of new faces at the boat ramp gave way to the erosion of respect and decency amongst competing parties. Guys no longer knew each other by name, and it was much easier to set up too close, shoot swings, and call at birds working the other guy's spread. Each year, more and more unethical behavior would occur, and it got to where you just expected some sort of conflict every time out. That is when the old guys began to give it up. Some of them went on to private leases, others gave it up completely. I fear this is what is going to happen around here. Guys like you and I who want to experience the "traditional" decoying duck hunt are fewer and fewer these days. Just think about it, if all you really want to do is pass shoot birds overhead, what do you do? Yep, set up on top of another group, don't worry about concealment, and bang away! I see it on big water and marshes. The abundance of activity on our few public waters dramatically impacts the QUALITY of hunting for the traditionalists among us. I have contemplated giving it up, and finding something else to do but still have the urge to hit the water often. I've found that more often than not this season, my enjoyment of the hunt has been directly impacted in a negetive way because of other hunters. I guess I am going to have to decide between hunting amongst crowds and disrespectful people or staying at home. In TN, the majority of traditionalists just gave it up, I wonder what will happen here as we continue to see additional pressure and hunter participation on our limited wetlands?
What's say you?
Your friend hit the nail on the head. I may have posted this before here and if so I apoligize. But, once upon a time (even around here) there were the faithful duck hunters. You had the bird hunters who hunted until bird season opened then they quit waterfowling. You also had the fair weather guys who did not spend the dollars for fowl weather gear and once it got cold they quit as well. The faithfuls may not have known each other by name but we recognized trucks and people. Now there is a different truck everyday. Some parties even go as far as driving multiple vehicles to the area so it appears as though there are a lot of hunters.
The bucket brigades are alive and well. Phil Robertson and gang along with all the others who have made videos and tv shows have made cammo very popular and duck hunting as well.
The boom in waterfowl populations switched many from upland hunting to waterfowl hunting. These guys for the most part are out there for the kill. They are the ones who want to kill birds no matter the cost.
The rudeness of some of these younger generation of hunters along with the "need" to kill not just a few birds, but limits of birds each time is unreal.
I always said if you pull the trigger on a duck or goose you need to be a member of DU or Delta waterfowl. You need to put at least a little bit back into them.
If these young guys had mentors other than the TV duck hunters who portray the sport as something other than a bunch of hooping and hollering when they see 5 ducks die out of a flock,(half of which are hens) and spend more time talking about conservation, ethics, and good dog work I think we would see a better bunch of young hunters overall.
I've gone to the marshes before and found them too full to feel comfortable setting up so I would end up scouting, walking a field for upland, or just watching from the truck. Just because you go there and the marsh is full by no means says you HAVE to hunt and set up on top of another party.
I've done this for 40 years now and last year I threw in the towel pretty much. I'd seen enough. I'm still a life long member of DU and always will be. But my days of going to the public marshes with all the young duck killers are done.
It's been a good run. Time for the youngin's to battle it out in their own way. Hopefully those that aren't exactly ethical in their ways of waterfowling will change their ways as they age, and I think if they do, they will find it much more enjoyable.
I'll still hunt my personal pond for geese but the days of marsh hunting are over for me.
Now for me it's on to bird dogs, specifically English Pointers. I've had more fun raising, training and running these dogs the past years than I have had the past 10 battling the public marshes. Much more pleasant and enjoyable. I find my blood pressure levels much lower after a days hunt.