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Where have the ducks gone discussion #7708635 01/05/20 06:33 PM
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So a friend from Arkansas showed me this video about LA however it has to do with all the southern states. I have my own opinions on it but wanted to see what others thought.

It has 2 parts but is very informative. As a quick rundown it is a video from a Foundation in LA in which statistics and data are compiled from a waterfowler professor. It speaks to the issue of there are more ducks due to conservation efforts however the harvest counts have declined.

What don't all think of this?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=EkE3NvSuF8E#

Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: Jobst] #7708689 01/05/20 07:52 PM
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I live in Idaho, we still have Blue Wing Teal. I think that explains it. Lots of food and no real arctic blast.

Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: Jobst] #7708691 01/05/20 07:54 PM
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It’s very simple: when there is weather that forces birds to migrate, they will migrate. When winters up north are mild, migration will be poor.

I’m not supporting flooded corn, but it’s not the reason migration has been poor. Louisiana has other issues, such as habitat loss, poor access to public land, etc that are impacting duck numbers and duck harvest numbers in that state. Hunting isn’t a guarantee. Because your blind used to be covered in ducks does guarantee that will always be the case, and that’s more evident in poor migration years. It might mean you have to scout more, or make your spot more inviting to ducks. Or it might mean you have to travel a little further to find the birds.

I don’t understand how flooded corn is allowed under baiting laws, but I also don’t think it’s the same as dumping 50 pounds of corn 20 yards from your blind.


Originally Posted By: bill oxner
I just turned it on . I was looking bird dogs in the butt this morning.


Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: Jobst] #7708719 01/05/20 08:26 PM
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This has been a really good series that I'm currently watching.



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Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: Duck_Hunter] #7708721 01/05/20 08:28 PM
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One of his points was that not just in flooded fields but where conservation efforts have been made and truck loads of corn were placed the winters ceased or dramatically slowed the initiation of migration. There was one part in which he covered examining different weather/temp/rain patterns and it didnt change the data. The decline started in 99 forward.

I agree scouting etc helps and nothing is guaranteed but when the data and evidenced numbers point in a different direction we as waterfowlers need to be aware and consider the causes and effects.

Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: Jobst] #7708917 01/06/20 12:24 AM
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I think there is merit to alot of their arguments.
I think you could also make many more arguments of factors that may not be beneficial to duck populations

With that said, what is the answer? How much government control do you want involved?

Do you want to see spinning wing decoys and all other electric/motor powered accessories banned? Do you want to see hunting ending at noon? No hunting on Sundays? No surface drives/airboats or engines that exceed a certain decibel rating? Seasons/limits shortened?

Here's one for ya, should the government put a cap on guides/outfitters? I see alot of pile pics all over social media. It's not uncommon in other states for them to limit the number of outfitters/guides on a certain body of water or national forest.

Should waterfowl be placed on a quata and once that quata is hit all hunting is stopped? Seen mt lion seasons controlled this way. Also it is common practice in the offshore commercial fishing.

I guess one of the biggest questions is what kind of financial/economical ramifications will some of these restrictions cause, if any were to be implemented.


If there is one law change that I think evens the playing field it would have to be no artificially flooding agricultural crops. You could legally hunt over naturally flooded crops. Naturally defined as flooding from rain water. But the second you turn on a pump or open a well it would be illegal to hunt over such area.

Last edited by 2flyfish4; 01/06/20 01:41 AM.
Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: Jobst] #7708969 01/06/20 01:14 AM
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Numbers are down?

Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: 2flyfish4] #7709214 01/06/20 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 2flyfish4
I think there is merit to alot of their arguments.
I think you could also make many more arguments of factors that may not be beneficial to duck populations

With that said, what is the answer? How much government control do you want involved?

Do you want to see spinning wing decoys and all other electric/motor powered accessories banned? Do you want to see hunting ending at noon? No hunting on Sundays? No surface drives/airboats or engines that exceed a certain decibel rating? Seasons/limits shortened?

Here's one for ya, should the government put a cap on guides/outfitters? I see alot of pile pics all over social media. It's not uncommon in other states for them to limit the number of outfitters/guides on a certain body of water or national forest.

Should waterfowl be placed on a quata and once that quata is hit all hunting is stopped? Seen mt lion seasons controlled this way. Also it is common practice in the offshore commercial fishing.

I guess one of the biggest questions is what kind of financial/economical ramifications will some of these restrictions cause, if any were to be implemented.


If there is one law change that I think evens the playing field it would have to be no artificially flooding agricultural crops. You could legally hunt over naturally flooded crops. Naturally defined as flooding from rain water. But the second you turn on a pump or open a well it would be illegal to hunt over such area.


The biggest change I want to see done is opening up all "bird refuges" for hunting. There is no reason we (tax payers) should pay for land, and not be able to access and utilize it. There is no evidence to show that bird refuges help duck populations.

The second thing I want done is whoever dropped the pintail limit from 2 to 1 get a swift kick to his back side. I see more pintails then any other species of big duck. This has been constant from the Lubbock plains all the way to the rice fields, over the past 5 years. There is no way they have had any population decrease, and I guarantee if they did their bird surveys farther south the teal and pintail numbers would be drastically different.

Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: 2flyfish4] #7709312 01/06/20 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 2flyfish4
I think there is merit to alot of their arguments.
I think you could also make many more arguments of factors that may not be beneficial to duck populations

With that said, what is the answer? How much government control do you want involved?

Do you want to see spinning wing decoys and all other electric/motor powered accessories banned? Do you want to see hunting ending at noon? No hunting on Sundays? No surface drives/airboats or engines that exceed a certain decibel rating? Seasons/limits shortened?

Here's one for ya, should the government put a cap on guides/outfitters? I see alot of pile pics all over social media. It's not uncommon in other states for them to limit the number of outfitters/guides on a certain body of water or national forest.

Should waterfowl be placed on a quata and once that quata is hit all hunting is stopped? Seen mt lion seasons controlled this way. Also it is common practice in the offshore commercial fishing.

I guess one of the biggest questions is what kind of financial/economical ramifications will some of these restrictions cause, if any were to be implemented.


If there is one law change that I think evens the playing field it would have to be no artificially flooding agricultural crops. You could legally hunt over naturally flooded crops. Naturally defined as flooding from rain water. But the second you turn on a pump or open a well it would be illegal to hunt over such area.


All good questions, especially about what amount of government regulation is appropriate. I know, out of principle, I want as little government intervention in everything as possible.

When it comes to migratory birds, it’s tough.

One thing I’ve seen brought up and I can see makes sense is about electronic spinning wing decoys and their impact on duck populations. The theory is, they do major damage to juvenile ducks, which, in turn, has a lasting impact on populations and hunting in general.

I have never had good luck hunting over mojos, and I actually would go as far to say I hate hunting over them, but again, should the government outlaw even more of the tools hunters use? But then, I’ve also heard up north where field hunting is more prevalent, that mojos are dynamite, especially on younger birds.

It’s a tough situation in general, with a lot of moving parts.


Originally Posted By: bill oxner
I just turned it on . I was looking bird dogs in the butt this morning.


Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: tdogg] #7709315 01/06/20 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by tdogg
Originally Posted by 2flyfish4
I think there is merit to alot of their arguments.
I think you could also make many more arguments of factors that may not be beneficial to duck populations

With that said, what is the answer? How much government control do you want involved?

Do you want to see spinning wing decoys and all other electric/motor powered accessories banned? Do you want to see hunting ending at noon? No hunting on Sundays? No surface drives/airboats or engines that exceed a certain decibel rating? Seasons/limits shortened?

Here's one for ya, should the government put a cap on guides/outfitters? I see alot of pile pics all over social media. It's not uncommon in other states for them to limit the number of outfitters/guides on a certain body of water or national forest.

Should waterfowl be placed on a quata and once that quata is hit all hunting is stopped? Seen mt lion seasons controlled this way. Also it is common practice in the offshore commercial fishing.

I guess one of the biggest questions is what kind of financial/economical ramifications will some of these restrictions cause, if any were to be implemented.


If there is one law change that I think evens the playing field it would have to be no artificially flooding agricultural crops. You could legally hunt over naturally flooded crops. Naturally defined as flooding from rain water. But the second you turn on a pump or open a well it would be illegal to hunt over such area.


The biggest change I want to see done is opening up all "bird refuges" for hunting. There is no reason we (tax payers) should pay for land, and not be able to access and utilize it. There is no evidence to show that bird refuges help duck populations.

The second thing I want done is whoever dropped the pintail limit from 2 to 1 get a swift kick to his back side. I see more pintails then any other species of big duck. This has been constant from the Lubbock plains all the way to the rice fields, over the past 5 years. There is no way they have had any population decrease, and I guarantee if they did their bird surveys farther south the teal and pintail numbers would be drastically different.


100% agree on the pintail issue. I’ve seen more this year than ever.


Originally Posted By: bill oxner
I just turned it on . I was looking bird dogs in the butt this morning.


Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: Jobst] #7709324 01/06/20 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Jobst
One of his points was that not just in flooded fields but where conservation efforts have been made and truck loads of corn were placed the winters ceased or dramatically slowed the initiation of migration. There was one part in which he covered examining different weather/temp/rain patterns and it didnt change the data. The decline started in 99 forward.

I agree scouting etc helps and nothing is guaranteed but when the data and evidenced numbers point in a different direction we as waterfowlers need to be aware and consider the causes and effects.


I understand their point, but I don’t think it’s correct. This group has been around for a while now. They’ve been stirring it up since this summer, threatening law suits. They have a FaceBook page, and their behavior was shameful.

I’ve been following some of this off-and-on on another duck hunting forum and there is plenty of data to contradict what they’re claiming about flooded corn. Add in the way they’re packaging their message, and I’m just not going to jump on board.

I think weather is the biggest issue and always will be. I think flyways may sometimes shift for a host of reasons, none of them being man-made reasons.


Originally Posted By: bill oxner
I just turned it on . I was looking bird dogs in the butt this morning.


Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: Jobst] #7709349 01/06/20 03:46 PM
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I'm not sure whats going on but something is. Might be the weather. Might be the flooding in the northern states. Could be the flooded corn. What I do know is that in 2012 we killed almost 800 ducks on our place in near Midfield. This year less than 50. Food looks great. I have 20 acres of millet that has only had birds in it one day. Its crazy.

Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: Jobst] #7709400 01/06/20 04:33 PM
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People like to tell about flooded corn (as do I) but good flooded native grasses, moist soup units etc etc etc will all have the same results. I do not think flooded corn Should be legal. But I also don't think that making it illegal will dramatically change the patterns we are seeing. Simply because the corn will be replaced with other legal vegetations. I also hate big government. Outlawing flooded corn brings up a slippery slope. If Corn floods naturally?


Basically the market for duck guides/ outfitters etc etc etc is ever growing. As that continues to grow it will continue to get worse. 30 years ago ducks were where you find them. Today build it and they will come.

Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: Jobst] #7709434 01/06/20 05:15 PM
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Flooded corn isn't the 'end all be all' some people make it out to be. Habitat Flats has taken a lot of abuse and, in some cases, singled out as the sole reason ducks don't migrate south. After listening to some podcasts with the owners of HF, they do have flooded corn, but it is in much smaller tract than their moist soil units.

Weather is a factor. Not just cold, but also rainfall and where it is falling. There is a lot of water from Kansas north. That spread the birds out. Last year, there was high amount of water everywhere in the Central and MS flyways that spread the birds out.

I have been on a band wagon of the Population Numbers are NOT accurate...there may still be some truth in that, but I am starting to see a different pattern. PRESSURE.

Pressure on the duck population is at an all time high. Read some of the aerial survey data from Forbes Biological Station, AGFC, and LWDP...some of them come right out and say it, and others you have to read between the lines....but where there is heavy pressure the birds have left or gone nocturnal.

I am seeing birds scatter out more and finding them outside of their traditional haunts. This is in an area I have been hunting for the last 20yrs, pretty broad are. Talking with some of my friends who hunt OK, the panhandle, central TX....we are all seeing the same things. Birds are not in their normal spots (in general, not saying you can't find them where they should be) and/or have gone nocturnal.

That holds true except when there is inclement weather that forces them to feed during the day because they are having to keep water open overnight.


I believe there are several factors, but hunting pressure being one of the biggest....

I would be all for shorter seasons and reduced limits to take some pressure off the birds. I have been hunting for 30+ years and been through shortened seasons, liberal seasons, etc...we are in a period of the longest liberal seasons/bag limits me or my family has seen. I believe a few years of shorter seasons with more/longer splits would drastically improve hunting quality.

Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: RiverRunner] #7709447 01/06/20 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by RiverRunner


I believe there are several factors, but hunting pressure being one of the biggest....

I would be all for shorter seasons and reduced limits to take some pressure off the birds. I have been hunting for 30+ years and been through shortened seasons, liberal seasons, etc...we are in a period of the longest liberal seasons/bag limits me or my family has seen. I believe a few years of shorter seasons with more/longer splits would drastically improve hunting quality.




This. Take us back to the points system. Give is a 20 day split.

In 3 years the boat ramps will be empty and we get to hunt again.

Last edited by ducknbass; 01/06/20 05:25 PM.
Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: Jobst] #7709784 01/06/20 09:57 PM
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The thinking of using the courts to stop somebody from flooding their cornfields is about as much of a bitch move as as I have ever heard.


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Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: ducknbass] #7709785 01/06/20 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ducknbass
People like to tell about flooded corn (as do I) but good flooded native grasses, moist soup units etc etc etc will all have the same results. I do not think flooded corn Should be legal. But I also don't think that making it illegal will dramatically change the patterns we are seeing. Simply because the corn will be replaced with other legal vegetations. I also hate big government. Outlawing flooded corn brings up a slippery slope. If Corn floods naturally?


Basically the market for duck guides/ outfitters etc etc etc is ever growing. As that continues to grow it will continue to get worse. 30 years ago ducks were where you find them. Today build it and they will come.


I agree with you on flooded corn. I don’t think it should be legal, but I also don’t think it’s the end-all, be-all, like RR said.

Moist soil units, from my understanding, are better. No way to legislate that.


Originally Posted By: bill oxner
I just turned it on . I was looking bird dogs in the butt this morning.


Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: wal1809] #7709788 01/06/20 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by wal1809
The thinking of using the courts to stop somebody from flooding their cornfields is about as much of a bitch move as as I have ever heard.


roflmao

Well said. 100% agree.


Originally Posted By: bill oxner
I just turned it on . I was looking bird dogs in the butt this morning.


Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: wal1809] #7709810 01/06/20 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by wal1809
The thinking of using the courts to stop somebody from flooding their cornfields is about as much of a bitch move as as I have ever heard.



Bout like using the courts to keep a poor boy from chunking some corn on his pond? scratch

Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: Jobst] #7709829 01/06/20 10:30 PM
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Interesting. I would really like to know how year to year hunting pressure changes duck migration patterns, but even if there if it does affect flyways and patterns, haven't we been hearing about how numbers of duck hunters have generally declined for the last 30 years or so? The LA presentation definitely indicates less hunters how than in the 80s, but I haven't found that data for Texas. So I could be wrong.

Habitat changes are significant, and we know crop selection has changed drastically in Texas.

Average temp has gone up by a few degrees in states north of us (the link below is for Kansas), but I'm not sure how big arctic blasts that freeze up a whole region have changed.

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/state...&filter=true&filterType=binomial

Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: wal1809] #7709836 01/06/20 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by wal1809
The thinking of using the courts to stop somebody from flooding their cornfields is about as much of a bitch move as as I have ever heard.


Why is that a bitch move? Does it just not need to be done?

Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: zbot11] #7710083 01/07/20 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ZachW
Originally Posted by wal1809
The thinking of using the courts to stop somebody from flooding their cornfields is about as much of a bitch move as as I have ever heard.


Why is that a bitch move? Does it just not need to be done?



And that's the problem, no matter what is decided or done will be fought in the courts. To much money in spinning wing decoys for then to go silently away if they were banned. To much money in high end hunt clubs and outfitting if they made it illegal to hunt man made flooded crops.

I dont think flooded crops is the whole cause for poor seasons in the south, nor spinning wing decoys, nor the lack of cold weather. I think there is a whole slew of factors that affect duck migration.

Overall I think we have been our own worst enemies and as hunters have significantly contributed to the problem.

I also have never believed the yearly number/bird counts. But again what is the solution.

In comparison texas has a very volatile quail population. Some years are good some are bad, over all the birds have been on a decline for decades. But tx doesn't change the bag limit or length of season yearly to reflect the population strength.

So us duck hunters aren't the only ones wondering where the birds went.

Last edited by 2flyfish4; 01/07/20 02:06 AM.
Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: Jobst] #7710348 01/07/20 01:46 PM
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I'm telling y'all to watch that series I posted the video on, it answers every single thing with science y'all are trying to discuss.

Btw, whoever said to open up refuges for hunting, please tell me you're not serious, that's about a retarded statement.


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Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: KWood_TSU] #7710415 01/07/20 02:38 PM
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I'm for opening up refuges on a controlled hunt basis. Im in dfw so hagerman is close, they do controlled deer hunts on a draw basis. Odds are steep but I'd like to see some draw hunts to let a handful of hunters in there to hunt on a few select days.

Re: Where have the ducks gone discussion [Re: 2flyfish4] #7710422 01/07/20 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 2flyfish4
I'm for opening up refuges on a controlled hunt basis. Im in dfw so hagerman is close, they do controlled deer hunts on a draw basis. Odds are steep but I'd like to see some draw hunts to let a handful of hunters in there to hunt on a few select days.



This. Let a couple people in on a controlled drawn situation. Go look at a refuge in Arkansas. Those birds imprint the locations. If there is food on the refuge they have no reason to leave. Make them a bit less comfortable. Don't pressure them out but a Wednesday with a couple guns on a refuge ain't gonna push them out of the country.

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