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Illinois waterfowl survey

Discussion in 'Illinois Flyway Forum' started by greenheadIL, May 10, 2019.

  1. riverrat47

    riverrat47 Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    nw illinois
    Any time I think I've got fowl or fowl weather figured out, turns out I don't.
    One year, I watched most of our decoys go thru L&D 16, encased in ice flows, on the second weekend of the season. Ducks came a few weeks later, as most of us poor folks on the pool were trying to cabbage on to enough decoys to have a little spread.
    A couple of years later, I was hunting the last day of the season in a T-shirt.
    Murphy says, "Whatever can go wrong, will." Duck hunter, by now, should realize that Murphy was an optimist.
     
    DuckyPhe likes this.
  2. greenheadIL

    greenheadIL Elite Refuge Member

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    gaddieville,IL
    I hope you guys get the later season and it works out for you. I don't hunt much up that way but I would rather zone "3" be larger than what is in the 2nd picture spread out hunters some ect...
    But let me play devils advocate for a second here. After xmas you are seeing more ducks when the central zone has closed. Do you think you really have more ducks or is it the fact that they aren't being pressured makes them leave refuges and become a little more visable?
     
  3. rism

    rism Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    West Central, Il
    greenheadIL - good point - only time will tell (hopefully). If the late ones after a thaw are reverse ducks or new late arrivals then it won't matter much. If they are refuge ducks then the same thing will happen w/ the pressure. We have discussed for a few years now some options for shooting some of the refuge ducks. Sanganois is a good example. You have to quit hunting daily @ 1:00. If you are going to hunt 7 days then go to different hours every other day or M-W-F or T-Th-S. Shoot from noon to quitting time on those days. Or just hunt 4 days a week. Sat, Sun, Tu, Th. Just need to do something to keep the ducks moving instead of sitting on their azzes watching the clock.
     
    riverrat47 and Jon C like this.
  4. auto5

    auto5 Elite Refuge Member

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    My pop got the survey but I didn't .... yet
     
  5. greenheadIL

    greenheadIL Elite Refuge Member

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    rism- I think managing pressure is almost if not just as important as managing habitat when it come to killing ducks these days. Not sure about you but a majority of my time waterfowl hunting is on public land. Luckly I still have a few options to pick from that are truely freelance and sometimes with scouting you can find some birds in out of the way places that aren't seeing the same stick huts and spreads everyday. They say there are less hunters out there but I find that hard to believe.
     
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  6. Il. MudDuk

    Il. MudDuk Elite Refuge Member Supporting Member

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    Southwestern Illinois, U.S.A.
    I'm not here to argue, but having staffed areas run til dark /sunset I doubt would happen due to lack of staff and /or having them stay late.

    Guys who work afternoons will bitch that they couldn't hunt the mornings.

    Not hunting 7 days per week at areas accustomed to doing so ? Um, no thanks and heads would roll if that was suggested much less implemented.
     
  7. greenheadIL

    greenheadIL Elite Refuge Member

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    We get only get 60 days I agree it would to a very hard pill to shallow if they state were to come in and say you only get to hunt 1/2 of those days. And you know the days you couldn't hunt would be the days to be there. The days you could hunt would all be cloudy with no wind.
     
  8. riverrat47

    riverrat47 Elite Refuge Member

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    nw illinois
    No offense to many of the younger guys, but rism, myself and some other senior citizens remember the 25 day, 2 duck seasons of the early 1960s. It's only been in the last two decades that we've routinely had longer seasons. There have been numerous years with seasons lasting 30-40 days. Many of us remember when there were ONLY the regular season, period. No early teal and Canada Goose season and no Conservation late season.
    Duck stamp sales are down significantly, nationwide. Illinois state duck stamp sales dropped over 26% in the past decade, according to IDNR sales records. IMHO, public areas are more crowded because leasing, mainly by trophy deer hunters. I know of a half dozen small duck clubs that went belly up in my area because they couldn't or wouldn't pay the money to compete with deer hunters. These guys had three choices: try to find private spot, hunt public or quit waterfowling. In most cases, finding another honey hole or a club is often a lost cause, so the guys take one of the two latter options.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  9. rism

    rism Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    West Central, Il
    riverrat - agreed- A lot of the hunters I see at the check stations have no idea what a 30 day 2 duck season is. Actually I hope they don't ever see that - But something is going to have to give or we will just continue to see the "REFUGE" ducks sitting on their azzes and watching the clock. Then we have to listen to the moaning and groaning about how bad the duck season was, USFWS gave us a wrong count on the duck population etc. etc.. MudDuk - one of my suggestions was hunting all 7 days but changing the hunting hours every other day. I don't hunt for the convenience of the IDNR employees. The site personal are understaffed to begin with - BUT- changing hunting hours every other day would basically give them a 24hr period off every other day. Not very many sites operate like Sanaganois (are there any others) ? But it is truly a lot more diverse than others. Check station closes at noon so we check in after hunting w/ the blind cards left in a cubicle. I know a couple of guys that hunt your area. They think changing the hours would help tremendously. Woodford County would also see a tremendous benefit. Randy Root's ducks would be all messed up !!!
     
  10. Il. MudDuk

    Il. MudDuk Elite Refuge Member Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Southwestern Illinois, U.S.A.
    Rism,
    "Help tremendously " how?
    Last year was a fluke. I'm not a "sheep" but I have no reason to doubt the duck population counts via the state or Feds.
    Last year was just "off".

    The place I frequent has taken over 3k birds 12 of the last 18 years. 4 of those years had 4k taken.
    Room for improvement should be any managers goal, but 3k in 60 days is damn good considering the amount of blinds we have.
    I'm not saying to "settle", but I wonder every day if people realize what they already have and just how good they have it.
     

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