worst season ever?

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

  1. JHerr

    JHerr Elite Refuge Member

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    Hell, during 30/3 in the early '90's I couldnt find anyone to hunt with outside of a few die hards. No doubt it would thin the crowd substantially. To boot, had some damn good duck hunting and lots of birds.

    But, habitat has gone to **** since then so I dont think a shorter season is the silver bullet.
     
  2. Engstfeld

    Engstfeld Elite Refuge Member

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    Can't speak for NW LA, but overall the entire 90's was phenomenal at Wax Lake Delta, especially the 99-00 season. The decline started about 2001-02. Mostly, I think, from pressure from shallow water drives and a throng of nimrods.
     
  3. ukcpeak

    ukcpeak Senior Refuge Member

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    Once the new fangled electronic attractants hit the saturation level in the 01/02 season, duck hunting changed in NE LA. Duck's education level, and behavior took a step change toward neurotic. Harvest shifted un-naturally from the bottom of the flyway to the top with the flip of a switch. I'd love to see a ban on any attractant connected to battery. This would allow the historical percentage of juvenile/less educated birds to reach the bottom of the flyway again, and the results would be seen in one hatch/ one season. It's a fair chase issue. We shouldn't have to go to Canada to hunt ducks that act like ducks.
     
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  4. Manoduk

    Manoduk Senior Refuge Member

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    Peck, think you may be onto something. Would be nice to go back to a time when hunters used regular decoys ( nothing mechanical) except a jerk cord and a duck call. No planting of crops for sole purpose of attracting game. Refuges are great but require air cannons to force birds to migrate. Require all non profit organizations to publish annually where and to whom is receiving monies and for what purpose. This should include salaries. Try this for at least 7 yrs to see what impact this would have on the migration and hunting. You know none of this will happen because the elite , politics and way too much money in the game, but it would be a starting point. "Fair Chase" interesting concept!
     
  5. Manoduk

    Manoduk Senior Refuge Member

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    About 10/12 yrs ago on opening morning a couple of odd looking birds flew over our blind, they were whistling . Few minutes later they flew over the blind again, this time circling the decoys. They looked like a ducks Then they lit in a tree. Never seen a bird like this before. My son got the book out and ID it as a Tree Duck. (I know it has another name but I can't spell it) Anyway, while there's not a lot of them in NW La it is not uncommon to see one. I believe they stay here year round.
     
  6. Rick Hall

    Rick Hall Elite Refuge Member

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    Could be one of those days when there's a whole lot more conversation than killing.
     
  7. Rick Hall

    Rick Hall Elite Refuge Member

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    In my part of the country, it's easy to see much of the reason: major changes in land use and/or farming practices and greatly increased gun pressure here on the wintering grounds. Birds inclined to migrate all the way here have been harassed or removed from the gene pool, by all the hunters crammed into much of what habitat's left, while birds disinclined to make the trip unless forced to have been feasting on no-till farm land with relatively little hunter harassment.

    I've no doubt there are other influences at play, but those are what I believe the most significant.
     
  8. bill cooksey

    bill cooksey Elite Refuge Member

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    Those of you interested in the spinner deal should search for the study on "super hens." AGFC based the old robo ban on that. In a nutshell, old hens lead migration to the places old hens taught them to go. Problem is the study showed old hens were almost as bad a juvenile ducks when it came to being a sucker for a spinner.
     
  9. Rick Hall

    Rick Hall Elite Refuge Member

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    Even though this is my thirteenth season hunting the same number of days in the same spot, there are so many variables (as well as wild-***** chance) pushing our species numbers up and down that I'd not put much faith in them. My best mallard years there, for instance, were also drought years, when my pond was just a slurry much of the season and didn't get a lot better:
    2011-2012hunting007-5.jpg

    2011-2012hunting001-10.jpg

    And I read that mallard boom as a blessing at the expense of a great many other hunters the drought probably shut out of the game.

    My sense is that bluewings are showing up and sticking around later than was once the case, and where it once seemed rare to shoot one between mid November and what I've assumed the beginning of their return in mid January, we now expect to have at least a few around throughout the season. Perhaps interestingly, we shot a few more bluewings during last season's second split than it's first, but I'd not consider that one example as proof positive of anything. And while both this year's September season and first split produced record numbers of bluewings taken at my blind, that, in and of itself, likely says more about changes made to both my setup and the marsh around it than a species trend. Might not kill a bluewing next split or next year...

    As for the appearance and spread of black-bellied whistling ducks over the past however-many years, I see that as just one more example of ongoing range change no one can possibly blame on spinners, flooded corn or heated ponds. And that so many of them hang out in town or other places without guns, I attribute to those guns.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 7:46 AM
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  10. Engstfeld

    Engstfeld Elite Refuge Member

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    I wouldn't put too much on hunting pressure being what's driving tree ducks into urban areas. Having grown up with them in south Texas and Mexico, in can tell you they domesticate fairly easy. I would attribute it more to their increase in sheer numbers in our region.

    Another observation, from hearing years of complaints from NW LA about it, it sounds like the birds no longer use the Red River flyway as they did in the past, for whatever the reason. Which is where we get a lot of those Central flyway birds (or used to get). That now seems to have shifted westward.

    Mostly, I think it's weather related. A perfect storm of all of the above to be sure, but mainly weather. Warmer autumns and winters leaving much of the flyway north of us uncovered by snow and allowing warm weather birds (teal and tree ducks) to hang around longer in areas much further north of where they'd historically be for the time of year.
     

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