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Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: RiverRunner] #7726974 01/24/20 02:37 AM
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What someone pays their guide to do ie "pay your guide to put you on birds" is between the customer and the guide not the state or federal government and the guide.

That's coming from a guy that doesn't like guides. I sure wouldn't pay a guide to drag me around on public. But pretending stopping a guide from shooting birds will make a difference in the quality of duck hunting... Come on.

Last edited by ducknbass; 01/24/20 02:38 AM.
Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: RiverRunner] #7727002 01/24/20 03:07 AM
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I agree and see what your saying.

There are alot of great guides who give back through du and delta chapters, 4h, chamber of commerce and their local communities.

There are also alot of guides who do it just to fund their sd rigs, they move in from out of state to hotspots like arkansas only during duck season to guide hunters and make money bc that is all it's about to them. Maybe if those guides cant shoot birds it would cut back on the guides who only take.

Again, why the state says fishing guides cant do it, but hunting guides can I'm an not sure. But I do think it should be uniform. Will it make that much difference in the quality of hunting. Maybe, maybe not

Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: RiverRunner] #7727061 01/24/20 04:16 AM
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The best quote that says it all was someone on the Migratory Birds forum."I'm in Idaho and still shooting Blue Wing teal" (I paraphrase)

I stated taking detailed species counts on our little club of potshooters about 4 years ago...360, 320, 410 total ducks last three years (last year was crazy with 150 BWT) (NOTE: these stats do not include teal season). This year as of today we have 95 ducks with only 9 BWT.

My opinion this year for our lease is simple. Biggest issue was the quote above. No sustained cold weather north of us forced enough ducks down here to south texas. Why come south when it's warm, not iced over at all and food is available? Great Lakes are only 10% ice covered right now (google it), I saw a quote that in March last year it was 90% ice overed. We had only one freezing day (day meaning some hours overnight) the whole year and that was in November down here.

Our 2nd biggest issue on our lease was lack of food as they did not plant rice like last year, but without ducks this impacted us less IMHO...and good news is they are getting ready to plant rice all around our lease for next year.

I don't think human hunting pressure impacted our numbers much at all. Look at the yearly hatching reports. Good hunting.

Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: 2flyfish4] #7728077 01/25/20 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by 2flyfish4
Originally Posted by ducknbass
Originally Posted by RiverRunner
2flyfish4,

You make some great points that I agree with. Guides shouldn’t be able to take a limit. Mud motors need to be quieter too.

I run a mud motor and will be going to a much quieter exhaust as soon as I can afford it.

8-10yrs ago it wasn’t a problem as there weren’t many mud boats running around. Now everyone has one and jumps up birds constantly.

I’m going to scout in the morning and will be using the binoculars as much as possible so as not to disturb the birds.



Why shouldn't someone who has a license and a federal stamp not be able to shoot ducks? That's a ridiculous statement.



Yep I figured that wouldnt be a popular opinion of mine. Some of the reasons I feel this way. 1. You pay a guide to put you on birds not for them to be a paid hunter. A fishing guide is licensed why cant he take a limit of fish on guided trips? If the law applies to fishing I think it should apply to waterfowl and all game animals/fish. 2. It will cut down on all the fly by night social media guides that are "guiding" only to help fund their new surface drives. I've always thought guiding needed to be better regulated in texas, guides need to go through background checks, CPR and basic first aid training, and limit licensed guides per body of water or county depending on what that said area can handle harvest wise. Guides/outfitters should report to the state every year their clients harvest. Think of the data that would provide. Guide x who is the only licensed guide on x lake has years of data and for some reason it is showing a decline in duck harvest. Isnt it easier to regulate or come to a conclusion of causes if you have hard data like that. This is common practice in other states when it come to fish and game. In texas all you have to do is go buy a guide license from Walmart and start a facebook page and now your a guide.


Not so fast there Sir! Your statement isn't correct. To take folks on public waters for any compensation one must go through a series of training to get a Captain's license. During that school they undergo training for CPR, First aid, background checks..... It isn't an easy license to obtain. Then they are subject to drug testing at the whim of the coastguard. To get a Captain's license isn't just a bullsmack ordeal. So far as more state regulation, why? Why would you ask the state to get more involved in any of our private lives. Have a problem with a boat title and go ask TPWD for help. That is about as smart as asking a fox to take care of your chickens. So far as a guide not being allowed to take his limit, I don't agree with that at all. Who are you, who is the gov, who is anyone to tell another man he can't have the same rights as anyone else. Let me spin it. What if it was my buddy who got effed up in the sandbox. About all he can do socially is hunt and fish. He relies on what the money and the game he brings home to support his family. You really wish to tell a man that gave so much that he can't shoot a limit just like the rest of the men sitting next to him. I think not Honcho!


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Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: RiverRunner] #7728197 01/25/20 04:53 PM
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As to the guides hunting.. Fellows, if the guides didn't shoot on certain trips where his clients can't shoot they would not get any birds. They help with cripples. Would you rather the clients bang away crippling birds or have a guide back them up? The guides we have hunted with always put their guns down after they determine we can shoot. If they leave the blind after a downed bird that sailed they will take their gun in case. Would you rather he not have a gun to dispatch the bird if found alive? It is between you and the guide if he hunts let's leave it that way..

Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: RiverRunner] #7728277 01/25/20 07:10 PM
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Honestly I dont care if a guide shoots a limit or not. No need to further discuss. As regards to a captain's license that is true on the coast but not freshwater lakes. I would be in favor of any guide, tour guide, hunting, fishing guide that is running a vessel on public water with paying clients to have to obtain a captain's license.

I do have a question that I havent seen brought up and it's a two part question. First, are the duck numbers being reported by the usfws accurate? Are they telling us we have more ducks than what we really have. And the second questions is are harvest numbers being reported accurately? Why do we report HIP 8 months after the season. Why do we just report total duck numbers and not individual species numbers? Even further broken down to the sex of the bird.

Really I think an app or a website to go to and report numbers to the usfwsafter every hunt would be beneficial. I keep a running log of all birds I harvest and my group harvest. Total bag, number of every species and sex of every bird, date, location, water levels, etc.

I think that would provide much needed additional information on how many ducks we are taking, how many of a specific species, if that species can withstand that harvest rate, if we are taking to many hens, etc.

If we could report duck harvest daily and was linked to a location it would show some incredible data. You could see how everyone across the country is doing and watch how harvest rates go up and down based on weather patterns, hunting pressure or other factors

Last edited by 2flyfish4; 01/25/20 07:21 PM.
Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: RiverRunner] #7728285 01/25/20 07:39 PM
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I can honestly say if I had to link up my harvest report with where I was hunting I would lie 99% of the time assuming that was public knowledge that anyone could open up an app and say well look they're shooting ducks down in this area.


I do agree the harvest report being 8 months later it's probably not real accurate. I also agree that we are probably not getting honest numbers in the surveys it does not appear that way to me anyways but I could just be wrong we don't see everything being down here in Texas

Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: ducknbass] #7728316 01/25/20 08:41 PM
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I wouldnt want location being public, or really any of the numbers being public, just data for the usfws to use to get better data on duck harvest.

I believe all wmas in texas require a harvest log to be submitted after your hunt.

Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: ducknbass] #7728667 01/26/20 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ducknbass
I can honestly say if I had to link up my harvest report with where I was hunting I would lie 99% of the time assuming that was public knowledge that anyone could open up an app and say well look they're shooting ducks down in this area.


I do agree the harvest report being 8 months later it's probably not real accurate. I also agree that we are probably not getting honest numbers in the surveys it does not appear that way to me anyways but I could just be wrong we don't see everything being down here in Texas


I guarantee the hip info is wrong. I can't remember the amounts so I just make them up. It's a dumb [censored] program.


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Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: RiverRunner] #7729494 01/27/20 12:32 PM
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Regarding Oklahoma, at least our hunting there, worst in many years up in Northwest Oklahoma. Birds just never made it down. Mallards were way down. In Texas, my numbers were up - but I hunted more. Had good shoots on both openers and a few good days in between. But lots of poor days. I tried a hunting club for the first time, won't be rejoining. They had a few good big water properties, but they were always crowded and hunted hard, even with rest days on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. I did some hunts around Eagle Lake - poorest I have seen it there ever. My brother won a free hunt down near Port Aransas, so I tagged along. I was surprised we did not even kill our red head limit. Though I did get a nice mature bufflehead in full winter plumage for a mount.

Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: Hopedale] #7729850 01/27/20 05:57 PM
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The internet:
Originally Posted by Hopedale
I believe we don't focus enough on the factory (breeding grounds in Canada) thus you see a reduction on Pintails for example.


DU: Raises $1.88B specifically for the PPR with the Wetlands for Tomorrow campaign, says "Hold our beer and watch this", raises additional $2.34B for PPR with Rescue Our Wetlands campaign.

Also the internet:
Quote
DU is ruining duck hunting! Changing the migration! Short stopping birds! *incoherent idiot noises*



Last edited by Threecurl; 01/27/20 05:58 PM.

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Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: Threecurl] #7730461 01/28/20 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Threecurl
The internet:
Originally Posted by Hopedale
I believe we don't focus enough on the factory (breeding grounds in Canada) thus you see a reduction on Pintails for example.


DU: Raises $1.88B specifically for the PPR with the Wetlands for Tomorrow campaign, says "Hold our beer and watch this", raises additional $2.34B for PPR with Rescue Our Wetlands campaign.

Also the internet:
Quote
DU is ruining duck hunting! Changing the migration! Short stopping birds! *incoherent idiot noises*




It's kinda ironic isnt it. On one hand we know the healthier the ducks return to their breeding grounds the more successfull they will be with raising a brood of chicks. But in the other hand we dispise any cause, reason or factor that may prevent us from making piles.

Last edited by 2flyfish4; 01/28/20 01:45 AM.
Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: RiverRunner] #7730557 01/28/20 03:12 AM
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Surface drives are not the problem and I disagree they are to loud. They are louder than outboards though. Guys making modifications is what makes them really loud. I've been sitting in my boat the last 2 years on a Friday morning sipping coffee at dawn and watch a couple thousand birds come in...a few hundred yards away...knowing dam well the opener tomorrow morning I better be somewhere else....and I don't listen to my gut instinct only to be there and watch a pathetic morning evolve. Guys running up amongst the birds scouting are THE reason the birds are gone the next morning.....not the dam loudness of their motors. That said one can get the birds up and still have a great hunt the next day but you better be about the only one getting them up the day before.

Guides shooting with the clients....yawwwwn, next.

And just think about this....all we need is about 5% more birds and maybe just 3% or 4% coming south than whats came the last 2 years, and everyone will be throwing an end of the season party.

This season was my worst, last year was before this season. But I made bad decisions last year and was to busy this year with work and a new house.

I think things will get better its just human nature for some to go off after a bad year or 2.

Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: RiverRunner] #7731329 01/28/20 09:50 PM
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I can't expect birds to migrate south when most of the temperatures this season were in the 50's & 30's since November. Spent 10 days in Kansas during the middle of December and had 1 morning in the mid 20's. Without snow cover and plenty of open water to the north, why would the birds push south with more options available with where they are currently at.

Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: RiverRunner] #7731538 01/29/20 12:56 AM
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Our Kansas hunts in late November were near shirt sleeve weather. 38-40 in the morning up to 60 in the afternoon. Well educated birds that didn't decoy in the morning and came in after shooting time in the evening. This wasn't a good year for us but we didn't hunt that much. I'm looking for a boat for next year. It is hard to scout from a kayak when you need to motor in about 2 miles. It's even harder to get there before everyone else.


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Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: 2flyfish4] #7733047 01/30/20 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 2flyfish4
Honestly I dont care if a guide shoots a limit or not. No need to further discuss. As regards to a captain's license that is true on the coast but not freshwater lakes. I would be in favor of any guide, tour guide, hunting, fishing guide that is running a vessel on public water with paying clients to have to obtain a captain's license.

I do have a question that I havent seen brought up and it's a two part question. First, are the duck numbers being reported by the usfws accurate? Are they telling us we have more ducks than what we really have. And the second questions is are harvest numbers being reported accurately? Why do we report HIP 8 months after the season. Why do we just report total duck numbers and not individual species numbers? Even further broken down to the sex of the bird.

Really I think an app or a website to go to and report numbers to the usfwsafter every hunt would be beneficial. I keep a running log of all birds I harvest and my group harvest. Total bag, number of every species and sex of every bird, date, location, water levels, etc.

I think that would provide much needed additional information on how many ducks we are taking, how many of a specific species, if that species can withstand that harvest rate, if we are taking to many hens, etc.

If we could report duck harvest daily and was linked to a location it would show some incredible data. You could see how everyone across the country is doing and watch how harvest rates go up and down based on weather patterns, hunting pressure or other factors


2 seasons in a row I have been asked by the USFWS to do a harvest survey. Last year they just wanted numbers and species, a log of sorts. This season, they asked me to send in a wing from each duck I harvested and also wing tips and tail feathers of geese. They did not ask for species info. Apparantly they store these wings and feathers until spring then they use them to determine Species, age and sex of the birds harvested. They will send me the data afterwards. Kind of cool.

I'm assuming that they ask a certain number of hunters to partake in these types of surveys in each region. This would give them a "snapshot" of the bird harvest. Obviously not super accurate but it would give a good ballpark when you compile enough of the numbers...

I also assume this is where they get some data to predict bird numbers....


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Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: olducker] #7733111 01/30/20 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by olducker
As to the guides hunting.. Fellows, if the guides didn't shoot on certain trips where his clients can't shoot they would not get any birds. They help with cripples. Would you rather the clients bang away crippling birds or have a guide back them up? The guides we have hunted with always put their guns down after they determine we can shoot. If they leave the blind after a downed bird that sailed they will take their gun in case. Would you rather he not have a gun to dispatch the bird if found alive? It is between you and the guide if he hunts let's leave it that way..



So you're saying a guide is shooting birds for a client?
Did you know that is shooting a group limit and that's illegal?

I completely understand them taking their gun to take care of a cripple that sailed.

For an outfitter to be completely safe though, guides should not hunt with their clients. It exponentially decreases the chances of them getting jammed up by the feds.

Personally, I don't want a bird that I didn't shoot. I like to shoot my own birds with no discretion, so I'm not a fan of group hunting.
If I suck at shooting that day and you've already got your six, relax, take pics, etc, but you best not be trying to fill my limit. And if I have mine and you don't have yours, you now have someone to retrieve your downed birds, to take pics, and call if you want me to.


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Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: yakinthebox] #7733185 01/30/20 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by yakinthebox


2 seasons in a row I have been asked by the USFWS to do a harvest survey. Last year they just wanted numbers and species, a log of sorts. This season, they asked me to send in a wing from each duck I harvested and also wing tips and tail feathers of geese. They did not ask for species info. Apparantly they store these wings and feathers until spring then they use them to determine Species, age and sex of the birds harvested. They will send me the data afterwards. Kind of cool.

I'm assuming that they ask a certain number of hunters to partake in these types of surveys in each region. This would give them a "snapshot" of the bird harvest. Obviously not super accurate but it would give a good ballpark when you compile enough of the numbers...

I also assume this is where they get some data to predict bird numbers....


Since you did the wings this year, you will be asked to do it again for the next 2 years. At least that's how it worked when I and some fellow hunters were selected. After the 3rd year they will send you a letter saying 3 years in a row is all they can do with a single hunter in order to keep the surveys somewhat random. It was interesting that in a span of 5-6 years 5 hunters (including myself) out of my family/friend group of 10 hunters were selected.

Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: RiverRunner] #7735884 02/02/20 10:51 PM
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IMHO, I don't think there as many ducks making it all the way to us. In 2012-14 I hunted west of Priddy, tons of ducks. 2015-16 I hunted N of Lk Brownwood, lots of ducks the first year, not as many the second year. 2017-18 I hunted Mullin, decent the first year, almost a bust till late season in 2018. This year, I was back at Lk Brownwood. We didn't really hunt till December and it was terrible. First years we had lots of Mallards and a few Gads. This year we had Mallards one weekend, the rest were Gads and female Spoonies.


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Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: hoof n wings] #7736287 02/03/20 12:59 PM
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Bird population is in decline overall. We can all play a part.


https://www.npr.org/2019/09/19/762090471/north-america-has-lost-3-billion-birds-scientists-say


Duck and geese hunters are actually doing a good job.

Last edited by takewhatyoucan64; 02/03/20 01:01 PM.
Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: takewhatyoucan64] #7736393 02/03/20 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by takewhatyoucan64
Bird population is in decline overall. We can all play a part.


https://www.npr.org/2019/09/19/762090471/north-america-has-lost-3-billion-birds-scientists-say


Duck and geese hunters are actually doing a good job.



But, we keep hearing about Record numbers of waterfowl and well above LTA population....the duck numbers are a farce. I am more inclined to believe the article you have posted than USFWS surveys

Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: hoof n wings] #7736401 02/03/20 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by hoof n wings
IMHO, I don't think there as many ducks making it all the way to us. In 2012-14 I hunted west of Priddy, tons of ducks. 2015-16 I hunted N of Lk Brownwood, lots of ducks the first year, not as many the second year. 2017-18 I hunted Mullin, decent the first year, almost a bust till late season in 2018. This year, I was back at Lk Brownwood. We didn't really hunt till December and it was terrible. First years we had lots of Mallards and a few Gads. This year we had Mallards one weekend, the rest were Gads and female Spoonies.



I don't disagree with lackluster migration, i.e. birds not making it down. What is really bothersome to me is the lack of the photo migrators. Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, etc...migrate more so on the length of day than weather. Mallards are definitely only going as far as they have to.

We don't have the Ag in the N TX region to hold mallards like we used, so it is understandable and the weather has to be right. The 'early' or, photo migrators, are the ones that should be here. These are what I've seen decline the most over the last 8yrs or so. And that isn't from weather not pushing them down as we've had weather some of those years.

Pressure on the birds has increased in that time span though. I have a group of about 8 different lakes that I have hunted for the last 20yrs. Until about 8yrs ago, I would see 1-2 other groups the ENTIRE season. Just a couple years ago, on the season opener, there were about 10 trailers in the parking lot for a lake that has maybe 2-3 spots to hunt. Pressure on those lakes has increased 10X and the birds aren't there like they used to be.

Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: RiverRunner] #7736427 02/03/20 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by RiverRunner
Originally Posted by takewhatyoucan64
Bird population is in decline overall. We can all play a part.


https://www.npr.org/2019/09/19/762090471/north-america-has-lost-3-billion-birds-scientists-say


Duck and geese hunters are actually doing a good job.



But, we keep hearing about Record numbers of waterfowl and well above LTA population....the duck numbers are a farce. I am more inclined to believe the article you have posted than USFWS surveys



Well in that article it states that Duck numbers have increased. So there is that

Last edited by ducknbass; 02/03/20 04:25 PM.
Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: RiverRunner] #7738628 02/05/20 10:09 PM
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Wonder what the laxing of some of these laws will do to duck populations
https://www.google.com/amp/s/news.yahoo.com/amphtml/trump-targets-migratory-birds-why-083000717.html

Re: Is Pressure really changing ducks/hunting [Re: 2flyfish4] #7738855 02/06/20 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by 2flyfish4
Wonder what the laxing of some of these laws will do to duck populations
https://www.google.com/amp/s/news.yahoo.com/amphtml/trump-targets-migratory-birds-why-083000717.html



There are a lot of birds protected under that act that do not need protected egrets water turkeys crows. That is an outdated treaty that needs to be rewritten

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