HUNTING– With the duck factories of North America producing a record high number of waterfowl, Montana and Idaho waterfowl hunters have something to look forward to this fall.
This year, 10 primary duck species on the traditional spring survey areas totaled about 45.6 million—a record high for the survey that dates back to 1955, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recent surveys.
That’s an 11 percent increase over 2010 and 35 percent above the 50 year long-term average.
“This year all parts of the 'duck factory' kicked in,” said Jim Hansen, the Central Flyway coordinator for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. “Just about all of the north central U.S. and Prairie Canada have been wet, but certainly it came with flooding that has been terrible.”
Mallards, the most sought-after species in Montana, were up 9 percent from last year at 9.2 million—22 percent above the long-term average.
Pintails, which have been in decline, showed a 26 percent increase and were 10 percent above the long-term average.
Redheads reached a record high, 106 percent above the long-term average.