Just one Pintail ?

Discussion in 'The Duck Hunters Forum' started by callinfowl, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. bill cooksey

    bill cooksey Elite Refuge Member

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    I can't count the days in my part of the world when we've been praying to see a wigeon mixed in a flock of sprig. There are times we are covered up in pintails.

    I lived in CA when you could shoot seven. It had dropped to three by the time I left. We don't have them as consistently, but when the weather is right it's pretty close. Back when they were ten points, it wasn't all that unusual for folks to kill out on them.
     
  2. callinfowl

    callinfowl Kalifornia Forum Moderator Flyway Manager

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    No in layman's terms it makes duck hunting a sliver of what it used to be, because the birds don't need to search out food or water even with prime weather
    conditions.
     
  3. TheDuckSlayer

    TheDuckSlayer Elite Refuge Member

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    Before there were locks and dams and levees, I wonder if Native American duck hunters whined when the rivers flooded about "the birds being spread out."
     
  4. callinfowl

    callinfowl Kalifornia Forum Moderator Flyway Manager

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    Not whining at all, just stating the facts.
    Decomp water has changed the hunting in CA.
    Has it kept me home? nope!
    But it has caused a lot of the older hunters and hunters that bought stamps and Lic to hunt a few days a season to quit buying Lic. and waterfowl stamps and pick up other hobbies. CA can't afford to lose hunters, our voice in management is already pretty much a mute point.
    Coming to a marsh near you soon enough!
     
  5. Squaller

    Squaller Elite Refuge Member

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    It is not whining.

    I am very fortunate to have some decent hunting opportunities, pretty much due to pure luck.

    But, hunting opportunities continue to decrease, with more crowded refuge systems. More and more un-hunted water for birds, and less and less opportunity for hunters.

    At some point, hunting in California (or at least successful hunting) will be an elitist activity, at which point hunters and hunting will lose ground.

    With very few areas holding any concentrations of mallards in California, and with pintail being one of the most prominent species, and being our "trophy" species numbering over 3 million birds, it seems counterproductive to both ducks and duck hunting to limit these birds to such a degree...

    And then we have canvasbacks, with a 2 bird limit and a population of 600,000 or so? A bird that does take a pounding from hunters (due to flying low and not being nearly as blind-shy). And, I would say for every bird taken home by hunters, two more are hit and fly off. As much as I enjoy shooting and eating these birds, I would not balk at lowering limits of these birds.

    Talking to federal biologists, it is my impression that what is said publicly is quite different from what they actually believe. I believe as hunters we should encourage scientific decisions, as opposed to political ones... Current limit regulations are set by long-term population averages (which was seemingly more politically based than scientifically), that without significant habitat changes will never be met...
     
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  6. The_Duck_Master

    The_Duck_Master Elite Refuge Member

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    I live and hunt where pintails are often as thick as flies. Growing up on the eastern fringe of the Pacific Flyway in Montana where they were rare (even in the 70's), I considered them a trophy when I first moved to western Oregon. Now, I don't shoot them often. They are too easy and dumb due to no pressure. That said, with the amount of time that has passed since the population was so high, it may be time to recognize that conditions have changed and maybe the 1950's should be considered the anomaly. I think rather than using the LTA back to 1955, perhaps a 50 year rolling average might be a more realistic model as a basis for limits.
     
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  7. DesertMallards

    DesertMallards Refuge Member

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    Yes ^. I am a CA State Biologist. But it does not take a degree in wildlife management to understand this issue and the flawed management. Yes, we all understand the regs are set this way because it is a federal, flyway wide management plan. I believe it should be revised given that 20 years of restrictive harvest has not made a difference.

    California winters 35% of the North American pintail population in the Central Valley alone. Another 5% from the states estuaries up and down the coast, and the salton sea. That's 40% of the North American pintail population. Pintail populations are below the long term average mostly due to increased croplands in the Canadian prarrie region. Simply put, nests are being destroyed by spring cultivation. Farmers are also no longer resting and alternating fields for summer fallow. These dangerous nesting conditions have severely impacted pintail recruitment. Why do we see so many more drake pintail than hens? Because hens are dying on the nest. Of course bag limits are important - But the long term goal set for this species is now unrealistic. We do not have the same amount of habitat that was once present during the historic highs. There has now been over 20 years of restrictive harvest for pintail, with very little to no real increase in overall population. So as managers, we're still failing. Habitat is everything.
     
  8. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator Flyway Manager

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    So, the population is holding its' own.

    What would have happened over that 20 years if the limit was doubled, or tripled?
     
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  9. Allan

    Allan Elite Refuge Member

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    My exact issue with doubling the black duck limit in the East.
     
  10. wingmatt

    wingmatt Elite Refuge Member

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    In the Pacific Flyway? From 1 to 2 or 3? Mostly likely nothing.
     
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