Manipulation of grain fields --legal or not legal

Discussion in 'The Duck Hunters Forum' started by bang you'r dead, Oct 27, 2017.

  1. JohnBZ

    JohnBZ Elite Refuge Member

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    A couple years ago I was helping out at a benefit hunt that had a big goose contest. I was manning the weigh station and recording weights and names. One of the parties that came in to have their birds weighed and asked if there was a catagory for the most game violations. What happened was there was a couple pretty good spills on the field that was recently cut. The individuals who had permission set up a hog panel blind before the hunt. Unknown to them they were being watched by a state conservation officer. Come the morning of the hunt the officers were watching again. They ended up getting tickets for hunting over bait and the guy who set the blind up and wasnt there at the time got an accessory to hunting over bait ticket, which i had never heard of. I believe most if not everyone got out of it. They did have a couple things going against them. Apparently Someone put a decoy right on top of a corn pile and someone laid down and made a corn angel in another pile :l
     
  2. TheDuckSlayer

    TheDuckSlayer Elite Refuge Member

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    LMAO, pics or it didn't happen!!!
     
  3. Circle Hook

    Circle Hook Senior Refuge Member

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    here is a direct quote from the USFWS website. "Lands planted by means of top sowing or aerial seeding can only be hunted if seeds are present solely as the result of a normal agricultural planting or normal soil stabilization practice"
     
  4. bill cooksey

    bill cooksey Elite Refuge Member

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    I'll have to look at the applicable CFR again. As of a few years ago the paragraph included verbiage saying it was only for doves, and waterfowl was not allowed. Quite possible it's changed since my last reading. I know even the dove stuff changed a bit two years ago and prevented us from top sowing wheat after bushhogging sunflowers. The target moves often.
     
  5. bang you'r dead

    bang you'r dead Canada Forum Mod. Eh! Moderator Flyway Manager

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    Regardless, my corn field is frozen out, and I won't get a crack at hunting the corn this year. Another question related to this....is corn preferable to the birds over other field grains? In dry fields, I've found that the birds tend to prefer peas, barley, then wheat...in that order. If the fields are wet , I've had three flooded fields in swath beside each other, and the birds preferentially went into the flooded canola (seeds were sprouting--mallards gorged those little green plants), then the barley, with wheat third. I don't have any experience with corn or soy beans, but I would be interested to know where they fit into the mix.
     
  6. GUNNERX2

    GUNNERX2 Elite Refuge Member

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    Down this way, corn is king. It's not often we see ducks feeding in dry corn fields but they do. I've never seen ducks in a dry soy bean field, just specks & some snows. In other parts of the south, peanuts tend to attract ducks & geese. Wheat has been long harvested and the field has been planted in something else. I've never heard of barley being planted down here.
    Rice is great if flooded and usually is. Never heard of ducks using a dry rice field if they exist down here. Duck hunting in the south is usually associated with water.
     
  7. Empty Skies

    Empty Skies Elite Refuge Member

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    Common practice here that once tobacco is cut, wheat is broadcast for doves err cover crop.
     
  8. bill cooksey

    bill cooksey Elite Refuge Member

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    I've killed ducks in dry beans and dry corn in TN. Also killed them in dry rice in AR. Deal is, that only occurred in extreme weathere conditions when most hunters think everything is frozen and every duck has been gone for a week.
     
  9. Banded1

    Banded1 Elite Refuge Member

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    https://www.fws.gov/le/waterfowl-hunting-and-baiting.html

    There is or at least was a fed warden in WI who I had several conversations with regarding baited vs non-baited fields and waterfowl. He claimed and I believed him that he was basically an expert on the subject. He essentially told me to look at a field and if anything was unusual about it compared to another field regarding the amount of grain in it, it was likely considered to be baited. It took awhile to convince me but he kept hammering the "normal harvest" having taken place.

    Plants are planted and harvested for monetary gain. A farmer isn't "normally" going to drop $20 bills in the field just because. They're also not going to "normally" leave waste grain in a field. The accidental piles of grain spilling while being loaded into a wagon, is not "normal". It may happen, but that grain was not planted with the intention of being left in the field, therefore it being spilled is not "normal". Grain that is swathed and left to dry but ends up being in the field longer than "normal" for any reason, is no longer "normal" and not legal to hunt irregardless of why it was left longer than "normal".

    "Normal" is seed being planted, plants growing, grain harvested and removed. Weather affecting the plants resulting in grain being left behind, is not normal. EX- A heavy Sept rain comes and washes a small gulley into a corn field across the rows. When harvest takes place, the combine also has to go across the rows along the gulley. The combine isn't able to operate in its "normal" fashion, plants are knocked over and corn is left behind. This field would then be considered baited because a "normal" harvest did not occur.

    Basically if it looks too good to be true, it likely is too good to be legal.

    That all being said, fed wardens are the ones that know baiting laws more than most state wardens. State wardens often will not realize what a baited vs non-baited field is.
     
  10. bill cooksey

    bill cooksey Elite Refuge Member

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    This is very true. The rest, well is simply an interpretation. Different equipment can greatly vary how much grain remains. Different varieties of seed can do the same. Even slight differences in moisture content can cause the same farmer and his equipment to leave far more grain in one field than the other.
     

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