Duck Hunting Forum banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,091 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Council suggests liberal limits 60-day duck season proposed in flyway
Posted on Sun, Jul. 25, 2004

BY PETER PASSI and SAM COOK

Duluth News Tribune

Minnesota and Wisconsin waterfowl hunters probably will see no greater restrictions placed on their harvest of birds this fall.

Representatives of the Mississippi Flyway Council have been in Duluth discussing waterfowl management since Monday and their findings won't take official shape until a final vote occurs this morning, but they have agreed to recommend maintaining relatively liberal limits. Their recommendations will be passed on to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which approves final season frameworks.

Council members are recommending a 60-day duck season and a six-duck limit for states in the flyway, including Minnesota and Wisconsin. If the recommendations are adopted, as expected, 2004 will mark the eighth straight year of a 60-day season in Minnesota.

The flyway council is made up of representatives from 14 states stretching from Minnesota to Louisiana as well as three Canadian provinces.

Duck seasons, if approved as recommended, will open Sept. 25 in Minnesota and Wisconsin and continue through Nov. 23. The daily mallard limit will be four, with no more than two hen mallards. The maximum daily harvest for other waterfowl would be three scaup, one black duck, one pintail, one canvasback, two wood ducks and two redheads. Hunting of pintails and canvasbcks would be limited to 30 days.

The flyway council uses various data, including spring breeding counts and wetlands surveys, to determine the status of waterfowl populations. Using a framework called Adaptive Harvest Management, the council then recommends a package of regulations that is either liberal, moderate or restrictive. Liberal regulations have been in effect for the past several years.

This spring's survey estimates the North American breeding duck population is down 11 percent and that some species, including pintails and scaup, are experiencing chronic population declines. The mallard population is estimated to be down 7 percent from last year across the continent.

To help protect duck populations, Minnesota proposed placing federal restrictions on the use of spinning-wing decoys but was unable to generate support for the measure.

Tim Bremicker, Minnesota's flyway representative, said one study showed that duck hunters using spinning-wing decoys were able to increase their harvest rate by 4.7 fold. He suggested that regulating the use of the decoys would be consistent with other rules against using electronic calls or bait.

Richard Bishop, representing Iowa, said he doesn't personally care for spinning-wing decoys but still felt uncomfortable restricting their use.

"I know there are hunters in my state who would like to get rid of them, but they're not in the majority," he said.

Dave Erickson, representing Missouri, questioned the wisdom of a blanket federal regulation. He said acceptable hunting customs and methods vary from region to region.

Several states besides Minnesota have already placed restrictions on the use of spinning-wing decoys. That list includes California, Oregon, Washington and Pennsylvania.

While states may regulate as they choose, Erickson suggested it would be improper to take a unilateral approach.

"The horse is already out of the barn," Erickson said of the decoys. "These are considered normal, acceptable devices."

While Minnesota failed to garner support for federal restrictions on the use of spinning-wing decoys, five of eight representatives of states in the northern tier of the flyway voted in support of studying the impact the devices are having on waterfowl populations. Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin backed the study. Representatives of Iowa, Ohio and Illinois voted against further research, maintaining that money could be better spent on other work.

While rules for the approaching hunting season will likely differ little for Northland hunters, there will be at least one change. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has already announced that duck hunting will begin at 9 a.m. on opening day. In the past, the season has opened at noon on opening day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,091 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Last update: July 25, 2004 at 6:42 AM
Dennis Anderson: Unity, but concern
Dennis Anderson, Star Tribune
July 25, 2004 ANDY0725

DULUTH -- When last the Mississippi Flyway Council met in this town -- 28 years ago - some representatives of the 14 member states were feuding.

A hot topic in 1976 was the special September teal seasons hunters wanted in the South. Time and again this and other issues Southern states considered important came before the council, and time and again the South was outvoted 8-6.

Finally, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi had enough, and quit the council.

Now it was 1976, the Mississippi Flyway Council was meeting in Duluth, and all of the flyway's representatives were in town, even those from the three dissident states.

At the time, Roger Holmes was the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wildlife chief, and he, among others, believed that for ducks to be managed properly, the council needed to be reunited.

Hunters this fall in Minnesota will have a 60-day season with six birds allowed daily. So Holmes did what any good wildlife manager would do.

He bought a fifth of whiskey.

"Bert Angell was Louisiana director of wildlife at the time, and I invited him to my hotel room," Holmes said Saturday in Duluth, where the council is meeting after a nearly three-decade-long absence.

"We drank the entire bottle. That was the beginning of patching things up."

One of four such groups nationwide, the Mississippi Flyway Council gathers each July to propose season lengths and bag limits for duck and goose hunters. From these recommendations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fashions restrictions that affect waterfowlers from Alaska to Florida, Maine to California.

Compared to 1976, and to the equally contentious flyway council meetings of the late 1980s -- in which Northern and Southern states disagreed not only about bag limits, but about the amount of duck poaching that occurred along the Gulf Coast -- the gathering in Duluth this weekend was downright sedentary.

Gone were North vs. South arguments over how many ducks hunters should be allowed to kill. Gone also were other divisions that in past years led Northern and Southern states to forward separate sets of recommendations to the Fish and Wildlife Service.

In fact, though representatives of the two regions split for a while Saturday to consider regulatory matters specific to each, the council this morning is expected to unanimously approve recommendations to the Fish and Wildlife Service for the autumn seasons.

They will include:

• A season framework allowing states to offer duck hunting between Sept. 25 and Jan. 30.

• A 60-day duck hunting season.

• A per-hunter daily bag of six ducks, with 12 allowed in possession. Four mallards would be allowed, no more than two could be hens; three mottled ducks; three scaup; one black duck; one pintail; one canvasback; two wood ducks; and two redheads.

• Pintail and canvasback seasons could last no longer than 30 days.

• In Minnesota, Canada geese could be hunted in the West Central Zone for 25 days, with a limit of one. Elsewhere in the West Zone, one Canada goose would be allowed in a 35-day season.

• In Minnesota's Northwest Canada Goose Zone, the season would be 40 days, with a bag of one, and in the remainder of the state, a 60-day season would be allowed, with a daily bag of two birds.

A sobering outlook

However smoothly the council's meetings transpired, the gathering nevertheless seemed founded on an undercurrent of concern for the future of ducks.

Indeed, in opening remarks to the council, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Deputy Commissioner Mark Holsten indicated that if the Mississippi Flyway Council is still meeting 28 years hence, in Duluth or elsewhere, ducks and duck hunters can consider themselves fortunate.

Holsten attended the meeting with his 10-year-old son, Cody. The elder Holsten was almost exactly the boy's age when he was initially taken duck hunting.

"That was my first introduction to the hunting world, and speaking to the flyway council this morning was an opportunity I didn't think I could miss," Holsten said.

Holsten warned the council that Minnesota was poised in coming years to lose more than 1 million acres of Conservation Reserve Program federal set-aside land, and that the Dakotas could lose much more.

Such lands are crucial to nesting ducks.

"I ask you to ensure that 28 years from now we're here again to talk about seasons and regulations, and not what could have been," Holsten said.

Little about conditions currently affecting ducks that the council considered Saturday was upbeat.

Much of the Dakotas was very dry this spring and early summer, and duck brood production there is likely to be lower than a year ago, according to Fish and Wildlife Service biologists.

The same was true on Canadian prairies, where the number of May ponds counted by the Canadian Wildlife Service was 30 percent below the 2003 survey.

In all, breeding ducks in traditional survey areas were down 11 percent from last year.

The service nonetheless found enough mid-continent mallards to justify its recommendation for another "liberal" hunting season, lasting 60 days with limits of six ducks daily.

That recommendation surprised some waterfowlers in Louisiana, Arkansas and Minnesota, where hunting at times was poor last year. Some hunters were braced for a season this fall reminiscent of those in the late 1980s, when hunters were given 30 days in the field, with three ducks daily.

Now retired from the DNR, Holmes for the past year has been part of a group calling itself the "Concerned Duck Hunters Panel."

Representing that group, and addressing the flyway council, Holmes advocated a more conservative approach to duck hunting than is presently the case.

The duck season is too long, Holmes said; shooting hours begin too early and end too late; and the current method the Fish and Wildlife Services uses to manage mid-continent mallards "may lead to unintentional overharvest of other mallard populations as well as other species."

Retired Fish and Wildlife Service waterfowl biologists Art Hawkins and Harvey Nelson also are part of the concerned duck hunters group.

The council didn't act on the panel's recommendations. Nor was it expected to. But the presentation marked the first time such words of caution were officially conveyed to the council by fellow professionals.

"I think the council has the framework to get into some of the broader issues affecting the future of ducks as the regulatory process becomes less contentious," Holmes said later.

Whether that occurs -- if it occurs -- before the continuing loss of habitat nationwide deals what some believe might be a death blow to ducks, is unknown.

What was known in Duluth on Saturday when the flyway council's meetings ended was that hunters this fall will get another 60-day season.

The limit will be six ducks daily.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,225 Posts
Anti-gun liberals trying to take our hunting again.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,694 Posts
me2

The guy who is terribly worried about the future of ducks needs to go to the hospital my wife works at. They have a duck and goose problem in that the ducks and geese nest in the flower-bed by the main entrance. Ducks aren't so bad but the GEESE are attacking people and knocking them down. :lol3:

Point is that ducks and geese are very adaptable and will find somewhere to make a nest and have babies. Around here the rooftops of the big box-stores at the mall are loaded with ducks and geese. Apparently they think black roofs are waterfowl nesting areas...Someone HAS to do something....LOL :yes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,596 Posts
I'm pretty sure he said that mallards and canada geese adapt, but all the other ducks don't do so well, so your story about mallards and geese doesn't really prove anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,225 Posts
goldfish needs to just bite the bullet and pay his PETA membership dues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,926 Posts
As soon as anyone can prove to me that a diver can and will nest in an urban environment I won't be convinced. Goldfish understands completely what I'm getting at. It's really easy for you guys to sit in your flyway states and say how my state should be managed.... :huh: this kinda sounds familiar to the argument you have been making against me
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
591 Posts
aunt betty said:
me2

The guy who is terribly worried about the future of ducks needs to go to the hospital my wife works at. They have a duck and goose problem in that the ducks and geese nest in the flower-bed by the main entrance. Ducks aren't so bad but the GEESE are attacking people and knocking them down. :lol3:

Point is that ducks and geese are very adaptable and will find somewhere to make a nest and have babies. Around here the rooftops of the big box-stores at the mall are loaded with ducks and geese. Apparently they think black roofs are waterfowl nesting areas...Someone HAS to do something....LOL :yes:
I hunt with an old outlaw a few times a year. He is 73 and tells me that his' best season was 1969 when we had a ONE Mallard limit(1). He and a buddy shot 89 one day by letting one guy load one shell in his' gun at a time and then swapping and doing it again. Shooting Win SX high brass #4s he would wear two 50 shell bandoleers drapped over him like Pancho Villa... A grouper trooper asked him why he needed so many shells one time. He said he just wasnt' a very good shot... That same season also caused a divorce when he switched to crow hunting after duck season closed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,873 Posts
I've been told that there is going to be a 30 day season and that the duck stamp will increase to $50 this year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,083 Posts
goodkarmarising said:
I've been told that there is going to be a 30 day season and that the duck stamp will increase to $50 this year.
With a name including the word "karma" you should know better than to even put that out into the universe.... :fingerpt:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,696 Posts
goodkarmarising said:
I've been told that there is going to be a 30 day season and that the duck stamp will increase to $50 this year.
as long as it starts after deer season I'd be ok with that.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
77,184 Posts
jehler said:
goodkarmarising said:
I've been told that there is going to be a 30 day season and that the duck stamp will increase to $50 this year.
as long as it starts after deer season I'd be ok with that.
if it's 30 days....the indas will live at the camp for a month.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,484 Posts
depending on how the seasons are set, possum may move in with the indas for a month.. :lol3: :yes: :hi:

the down side is i would probably gain 50 pounds.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top