worst season ever?

Discussion in 'Louisiana Flyway Forum' started by t-boy3, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Gmack

    Gmack Refuge Member

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    What’s a sky carp?
     
  2. bang you'r dead

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

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    I've seen where over pressure in an area can move the birds out permanently. We had great diver hunting on Reader Lakes in the late 80's early 90's. On a given day 4-6 boats might be out on the lakes and there were marked routes that you could use a motor on, and if you went off, you had to oar or paddle off the designated routes. They got rid of the designated routes, and then DU Inc. had an article in the mag about the lake, and the next season, on one day, there was 72 boats on the lake, penetrating into areas that never got hunted (roosts) and within a couple weeks of that intense pressure, the birds were gone. For good. Hunting was never the same after that. We probably have 1/10th the birds now that we did back then. I think a lot moved further west where there was less pressure and that became their new home. I find that if I go to areas where you have to do a portage, or do a little work to find the birds, you will find them , and thick.

    The birds go somewhere. Food , water, and low pressure are the keys. If they can find flooded corn and open water after season's end further north, why would they keep going south? You also have private clubs that hunt only 3 or 4 days a week, and the rest of the time the club , and some clubs have dedicated no-hunting roost areas, the birds can rest comfortably within the confines of the private land, and you won't see them. Hunting is changing, and with better management (to maximize the ducks of course) you may see less and less birds coming that far south.
     
  3. Rick Hall

    Rick Hall Elite Refuge Member

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    No limb there, though it was all but abandoned when I rehabbed it, it's probably always been a spot traffic doesn't mind coming to when hunted by someone with a clue. But the point I was making is that increased area gun pressure now leaves far, far fewer places the birds actually want to be.

    I'll try to make a point of asking Gerrard where he was in Missouri - and didn't miss the part of the report you read that spoke of "blizzard like conditions with strong winds and snow across the northern half of Missouri. Four to six inches of snow was widespread snow and strong winds, which with considerable accumulation (4-6 inches) in the northern half of Missouri, with some locations receiving 8-10 inches." Don't 'spose there've been similar conditions north of there?
     
  4. ducaholic

    ducaholic Elite Refuge Member

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    Snows and Blues
     
  5. ducaholic

    ducaholic Elite Refuge Member

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    Always good chatting with you Rick Hall. I may have to book a hunt with Doug next season and request that it just be you and I. I'm thinking there would be some good conversation even if we didn't agree on much (lol) in between the killing. Good luck the rest of the way...:tu
     
  6. Engstfeld

    Engstfeld Elite Refuge Member

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    This thread reminds me of the Office Space scene where dude tells the psychologist that every day is worse than the previous. "Woooaaahhhh...that's pretty messed up, man."

    Seems like every season is worst than the previous.

    Warmer weather, greater hunting pressure (I do like how Steel 3's finally came around to realizing, accepting and admitting that there are more waterfowl hunters now in LA than there's ever been), legalized baiting, diminished coastal marsh due to wetland loss, etc.

    Also, how about back to back to back...for the last 20 years....60/6 seasons? Not that I'm advocating a return to 30/3, just wondering if that is part of the problem? It increased hunting pressure. Seems like it wasn't long after the first few 60/6 years that things started going downhill. I dunno.

    I've mentioned this before...just strange observations I've made since my first hunting season at the Wax in 1992. Used to be you'd see blue wings the first couple weeks of regular season and then their numbers would decline sharply. Rarely, if ever, did you see them once the second split started. Then a strange thing happened on 12/21/01...I doubled on a pair of blue wing teal and thought it queer to have seen them that late in the season. And from there, the pattern became more and more regular to where we now accept that they are in the bag all the way to the last day of the season.

    Also, somewhere in the time frame, maybe more circa 2010, marsh hunters started bagging more and more tree ducks. While they always summered here is some number, you'd never come across them during duck season. That then changed.

    Rick, you've been good at keeping records, right (wish I'd been reverent about doing so for all years as the ink stays but memory fades)? Did you see a similar pattern or anyone for that matter?

    I don't know what exactly what these observations mean, but it always felt strangely portent.
     
  7. bill cooksey

    bill cooksey Elite Refuge Member

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    It ain't popular, but I truly believe the 60/6 puts too much pressure on the ducks. Combine that with spinners, and everything else, and it just changes the way ducks behave. Even in places where hunter numbers have dropped, they hunt more days than they did historically.
     
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  8. ducaholic

    ducaholic Elite Refuge Member

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    Add in that hunters are having to stay in the blind longer than ever to (kill the limit) and there is no doubt that hunters are putting in more hours in the field than ever before!
     
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  9. Ross Fields

    Ross Fields Senior Refuge Member

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    Completely agree with this...I'm in the Central Flyway and seeing the same thing y'all are seeing. I have several friends from LA that hunt there and AR...all of them think their birds have shifted west to OK/TX...we are seeing fewer birds and strange behavior over here than ever before.

    I've been calling for a 45/4 or 30/3 season for the past 4-5yrs. Our hunting overall has dropped off considerably over the last 10yrs. We are having to scout harder and harder, finding more out of the way places, than ever before to keep the same birds per man average.

    A shorter season may weed out some of the 'not so dedicated', but it may not. I do believe shorter season with more splits throughout the season will help with the pressure aspect and increase hunt quality for the birds that do make it this far south.

    North zone in TX the last few years has shifted the season start date back by a week and reduced our split by a week. Traditionally, under liberal regs, we started first weekend of Nov and closed after Thanksgiving weekend for 12 days. The second split opener could be counted on as being one of the best of the season...now we close for the Monday-Friday the week after Thanksgiving and the 2nd split opener is no different than any other weekend. Birds only had a couple days of rest before people were scouting them and pushing them instead of 10 days with the longer split.

    In short, I feel for ya guys...I'm in the same boat over here in TX. We are just having to work harder and think outside the box to find birds.
     
  10. Manoduk

    Manoduk Senior Refuge Member

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    Rick, youre right the older I get, my mine just seems less sharp as it was 20 yrs ago. The good thing is that my brother and I kept a record every year for over 50 years. My account is right on. Your old friend was right in the fact that in the 80’s we began seeing a slow decline in birds but it was still really good, however in the late 90’s the bottom began to fall out. Remember the hunting in Northwest La is totally different than in most of the State. I remember the time I got an invite to hunt in Stuttgart. Hunted 3 days and killed a few birds. The owner of the property was upset and after the hunt he took us to a flield. A sign that read DU Project. Walked over the levee and there they were, not sure how many but a bunch. He claimed that since the refuge was put in his hunting had almost come to a halt. His field was a harvested rice field. He owned and farmed several hundred acres . Side note I also got to hunt the infamous “Prairie Wings” The talk at the camp was the same. Funny thing the Dr who owned PW sold it a couple yrs later. This was in late 90’s. I knew then that what I suspected was pretty much the reality. I believe that young men, (in my world anyone under 50 is young ) or anyone that started hunting in the 80’s really don’t realize how good duck hunting was in this part of the world. The logical response seems to be we just remember the good days and not the bad. We haven’t forgotten, there were bad days and bad seasons, however the bad seasons were better than the best we’ve seen in the last 20 years. At least that is the case in NW La. Do you find it strange that the report for the last few years is record numbers of birds but no one in the country is seeing any birds. . I’m not always right but I think I am, otherwise I wouldn’t express it.
     

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