Pintail Population Up By 10%

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Pintail Population Up By 10%

Postby HydeMarsh » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:25 pm

The annual breeding survey says that the pintail population is up 10% over last year. USFWS, in their infinite wisdom, cut the limit from two per day to one. In addition their leading expert says that hunting has almost no affect on breeding populations. This really hurts some of our coastal hunters where redheads and pintails are the primary ducks.
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Re: Pintail Population Up By 10%

Postby Paul26 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:00 am

Hyde: Interesting. I shot my first Northern Pintail last year at Mattamuskeet. In each of my previous annual end-of-the-season trips all I saw those birds do was circle. And circle. And circle. After that, they circled some more. It was maddening, and my experienced host was frustrated as well.

Last year they decoyed like champs. We nearly limited out each of the 3 days.

And now the population is up, and the limit is down. Weird.

It is the most beautiful bird I have ever taken. Next to a drake canvasback, it was the bird I most wanted.

Note--I now question whether the canvasback species actually exists, or if it is a grand conspiracy put together by the decoy and ammunition industries. The day I kill one you will hear my holler from Salter Path to the Tennessee border.
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Re: Pintail Population Up By 10%

Postby dasimmon » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:06 pm

yup..sucks..i dont get it
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Re: Pintail Population Up By 10%

Postby echoduck » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:20 pm

Black ducks down 11% from 2016 to 2017 and the limit goes from 1 to 2.
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Re: Pintail Population Up By 10%

Postby trx480ryan » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:30 pm

The LTA(Long term Average) on pintails is down 25% is the reasoning for there actions, yes up 10% this year but down 25% over what ever the span of the LTA is, defiantely sucks to loose. but if it helps in the end, could see it changed in the upcoming years
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Re: Pintail Population Up By 10%

Postby HydeMarsh » Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:45 pm

a couple of years ago Pintails were down 35% from Long term Average and they raised it from 1 to 2, go figure. In addition one of the big reasonstheir population is down have been the abysmal breeding conditions on the pacific flyway. that situation is turning around and hopefully we are in for a wetter cycle there. wonder why DU does not build hatcheries in the primary breeding areas instead of repairing private impoundments in Maryland?

Paul, a can is at the top of my list. Since they will not come to me I am seriously considering going to them. Also glad you had a good hunt in Hyde last year.
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Re: Pintail Population Up By 10%

Postby trigger22 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:36 pm

Goes to show the guys making the regs don't know a duckin thing
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Re: Pintail Population Up By 10%

Postby skydog » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:06 pm

Yea I think the limit drop is a misguided attempt at helping to curb the LTA decline.

LTA pintail #s will continue to decline as the birds have been poor to adapt to changing farming practices in their nesting grounds....lowering the limit is not going to do anything to change this.
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Re: Pintail Population Up By 10%

Postby Shurshot » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:53 pm

Good observation skydog. When pintails have to "over fly" the ppr to breed further north, their brood success rate falls considerably. Result is fewer birds for the fall flight. But I believe in weather cycles and birds will adapt to them.
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Re: Pintail Population Up By 10%

Postby Theduckguru » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:15 am

The disconnect is partially the blame of the state DNRs. The 2017 season and bag limits were established using 2016s data. This is so the states could set their seasons earlier in the calendar. In case you have not been following the weather, the prime pintail breeding areas are in a really bad drought and pintail numbers next spring will be down a lot.
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Re: Pintail Population Up By 10%

Postby HydeMarsh » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:19 pm

Theduckguru wrote:The disconnect is partially the blame of the state DNRs. The 2017 season and bag limits were established using 2016s data. This is so the states could set their seasons earlier in the calendar. In case you have not been following the weather, the prime pintail breeding areas are in a really bad drought and pintail numbers next spring will be down a lot.


I have been looking at the moisture reports and the west coast is better than it has been in years and the Canadian prairies are not in bad shape, some are good. the forecast for this fall is for more Pintails. On a recent trip to northern Saskatchewan I saw good conditions and a goodly amount of breeding Pintail pairs.

I have not read anything to suggest "pintail numbers next spring will be down a lot". If there are more birds this fall what is going to greatly reduce the returning breeding pairs? help me understand by proving references for your comment.
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Re: Pintail Population Up By 10%

Postby Galactic Ricky » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:58 am

Paul26 wrote:Hyde: Interesting. I shot my first Northern Pintail last year at Mattamuskeet. In each of my previous annual end-of-the-season trips all I saw those birds do was circle. And circle. And circle. After that, they circled some more. It was maddening, and my experienced host was frustrated as well.

Last year they decoyed like champs. We nearly limited out each of the 3 days.

And now the population is up, and the limit is down. Weird.

It is the most beautiful bird I have ever taken. Next to a drake canvasback, it was the bird I most wanted.

Note--I now question whether the canvasback species actually exists, or if it is a grand conspiracy put together by the decoy and ammunition industries. The day I kill one you will hear my holler from Salter Path to the Tennessee border.


Was hunting a slow day last year but decent nonetheless. My mind was drifting when a drake canvasback flew by just barely in range. Had maybe a 1 second window and I missed the opportunity to shoot. I actually prayed that it would turn around. It did not.
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Re: Pintail Population Up By 10%

Postby skydog » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:59 am

Delta Waterfowl just announced the pintail limit will be going back up to 2 for 2018-2019 season.
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Re: Pintail Population Up By 10%

Postby HydeMarsh » Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:46 pm

Thanks Skydog, good to know.

Ricky, I wish we had more Canvas backs come here so those types of events would happen more often. I had a shot at a canvas back hen last year but did not shoot. that was it. There are a couple of guys who kill a few every year in Hyde but I am not one of them. They used to come here before the big trawlers destroyed the bottoms and developed the technology to cover every inch of our sounds.

I am planning a trip to go to them this season.
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Re: Pintail Population Up By 10%

Postby Shurshot » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:14 pm

Cans tend to stay up in the Chesapeake where they have more SAV's. A harsh winter will push them further south for us. The good news is our sounds have a lot more grasses for them this year than in years past. Let's hope they will get down this way.
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