Posts tagged: waterfowl hunting
WATERFOWL HUNTING — After mechanical “Robo Duck” decoys were invented in the late 90s, Washington waterfowl hunters enjoyed a few seasons to sample their effectiveness.
Many hunters liked what they saw as the wings caused movement in the air and water to lure waterfowl from afar.
But a majority of sportsmen and wildlife managers thought they were so effective they could eventually lead to reduced limits or shorter seasons.
In 2001, the Fish and Wildlife Department conducted a casual survey of hunters and found that 34 percent opposed use of mechanical decoys, 46 percent would be in favor of using them if it did not result in loss of hunting opportunity and 20 percent favored mechanical decoys unconditionally.
A 2006 survey found 40 percent opposition, 49 percent in favor if no restrictions resulted and 11 percent in favor unconditionally.
This fall, sportsmen on the Washington Waterfowl Advisory Group voted 7-5 to support a proposal reinstating use of battery-operated or other electronic decoys. This would bring Washington into alignment with Idaho and Montana, which have no restrictions on mechanical decoys.
The proposal made the list of items being considered for the 2012-2014 Washington hunting regulations.
In November, the WDFW conducted one more email survey among hunters who had purchased state waterfowl license endorsements in the past two years. Of the 3,500 responses:
More public comment will be taken on revised proposals in January before the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission consider the hunting rules package again in March.
Ardent waterfowl hunter Kent Contreras of northeastern Washington said he’s on the fence, along with most hunters.
“They definitely are effective at bringing in ducks and geese,” he said while hunting Saturday. “I’ve heard from hunters in other states who say mechanical decoys become less effective the more waterfowl see them. But motion in a decoy spread is always effective.”
WATERFOWLING — The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department has a new waterfowling website ready for hunters to take advantage of the best forecast fall flight of ducks since 1955 — and the foul weather that's ushering them southward and into our region.
The site has information for new or returning waterfowl hunters, ranging from the basics of duck and goose identification to details on hunting locations, equipment, licensing requirements and handling harvested waterfowl.
One portion of the site is devoted to helping hunters zero in on places to hunt waterfowl. The information isn't necessarily specific. Hou'll still have to go out and do your homework.
The site also is a quick stop for hunters checking on waterfowl regulations and seasons, especially for the more confusing seasons for Canada geese. Goose management in much of Estern Washington restricts hunting to Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays, but late fall and winter bring added opportunity on holidays including the Thanksgiving holiday Nov. 24-25, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 16.
WATERFOWLING — Wednesday is the dealine for hunters to let the state know whether they want to head down the slippery slope of allowing electronic decoys for waterfowling.
Several waterfowl hunting guides have petitioned the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to consider allowing electronic decoys for waterfowl hunting starting in 2012.
WETLANDS CONSERVATION — Joseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minn., won the 2011 Federal Duck Stamp Contest on Saturday with his acrylic painting of a single wood duck.
Hautman has previously won the contest three times, in 1991, 2001 and 2007. His art will be made into the 2012-2013 Federal Duck Stamp, which will go on sale July 1, 2012.
The federal migratory bird stamp program has raised $750 million for wetlands conservation since its inception in 1934. The money has been used, among other things, to preserve 5 million acres of wetlands habitat important not only to ducks and geese, but also to a wide range of other wildlife.
I'll be writing more about the current status of the Duck Stamp program and why waterfowl hunters and other wildlife and wetlands cconservationists should be paying particularly close attention this year.
WATERFOWLING — Idaho Fish and Game officials say the time chart on Page 11 in the 2011-2012 Waterfowl Seasons and Rules book has some incorrect times for five days in January in southern Idaho area.
The opening times on January 22 through 27 in the column for Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley and Washington counties and part of Idaho County, all in the Mountain Time Zone areas are off by three hours.
The correct opening times in those areas are: January 22 - 7:41 a.m.; January 23 - 7:40 a.m.; January 24 - 7:39 a.m.; January 25 - 7:39 a.m.; January 26 - 7:38 a.m.; and January 22 - 7:37 a.m.
The correct closing time for January 27 is 5:49 p.m.
The times for all other days are correct.
For a correct table, see the waterfowl rules on the Fish and Game Web site.
WATERFOWLING — Goose hunters have a lot of decisions to make, often in a split second in the dim light of early morning, with wind blowing and rain pelting their faces.
Bird identification is tough in good conditions. Add these factors and …. well, it's really tough.
Daily limits of dusky and cackling geese are reduced to help protect their struggling populations, yet they often fly in groups with plentiful Canada geese.
Read on for some pre-season reading for conservation-minded waterfowlers.
WATERFOWLING — Water does not have to be near freezing to kill, it only has to be colder than a person to cause potentially fatal hypothermia.
With the waterfowl seasons about to open, Idaho Fish and game officials are urging waterfowl hunters who hunt from boats are to wear life jackets and take necessary safety precautions when on the water.
Nationwide last year, 15 hunters lost their lives in boating accidents. Eleven victims drowned because they were not wearing life jackets, the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation reports. Overloaded boats and failure to wear life jackets are leading reasons Idaho typically loses a couple of waterfowl hunters every year.
Cold water wicks body heat 25 times faster than air at that same temperature. A hunter who falls in has only a few minutes before the cold renders numb numb and unable to swim.
Most boats float even when capsized or swamped, so get in or on the boat to get as far out of the water as possible. Wearing a life vest is a must. It will help preserve body heat and keeps even an unconscious person stay afloat. Get to shelter, change into dry clothing and warm up slowly.
Read on for more timely tips:
WATERFOWL HUNTING — The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider a petition to allow use of battery-powered spinning-wing decoys for hunting during a special conference call meeting Friday, 8:30 a.m.
This didn't come up at the recent meeting the Fish and Wildlife Department had on new rules for upcoming hunting seasons.
The only way the public can listen to the discussion — travel to the Fish and Wildlife Department's Olympia headquarters and listen on the speaker phone.
WATERFOWL HUNTING — Jump-shooting waterfowlers might be able to beef up their success by devising a cow “blind” for stalking birds in the field.
The practice once used by market hunters is not legal in Idaho.
But it's legal in Washington, according to Capt. Mike Whorton of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department.
Plow through the first part of the video above to the third segment, which shows three waterfowl hunters using a cow silhouette to stalk amazingly close to a flock of snow geese.
The subject of cattle silhouttes as hunting blinds came up in a Q&A feature from Idaho Fish and Game.
Read on for more details.
HUNTING — The Idaho Fish and Game Commission adopted a 107-day waterfowl season for 2011-2012 during its meeting Wednesday.
A youth hunt was set for Sept. 24-25.
Read on for other details of bag limits and other seasons that begin in October.
HUNTING — Waterfowl hunters are being asked to responded to a survey on Idaho hunting season options by the end of the week.
“We’ve had some requests for more late season duck hunting, and we’re asking hunters statewide to weigh in on which way they’d like to go,” said Jim Hayden, Idaho Fish and Game Department regional wildlife manager in Coeur d'Alene, noting that the Coeur d'Alene area is in Area 2 for both ducks and geese.
Duck production surveys indicate a great crop of waterfowl in the western U.S., so it's worth chiming in on seasons.
Read on for details on the proposals currently under consideration.
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.
HUNTING– A waterfowl calling contest coming up in the Tri-Cities will give the open division winner an all-expense-paid trip to the hallowed quacking grounds of the World Duck Calling Championships in Stuttgart, Ark.
The sanctioned Washington Duck Calling Championships are set for Aug. 6-7 at Wholesale Sports in Kennewick, sponsored by the Washington Waterfowl Association.
In addition to the Open Duck competition, the event has eight other contests and divisions for duck, goose, youth and two-person competition.
Info: Abel Cortina, (509) 786-9196, email email@example.com.
Read on for details on the divisions.
HUNTING — The inscription on the metal bands used by the U.S. Department of the Interior to tag migratory birds has been changed, according to totally believable sources on the Internet.
The bands used to bear the address of the Washington Biological Survey, which was abbreviated:
Wash. Biol. Surv.
Supposedly that changed when the agency received the following letter from an Arkansas camper:
While camping last week I shot one of your birds. I think it was a crow. I followed the cooking instructions on the leg tag and I want to tell you it was horrible.
The bands are now marked:
Fish and Wildlife Service.
HUNTING — Andrew Graham, 15, a freshman at Cheney High School, recently returned from Easton, Md., where he attracted plenty of attention in the venerable World Goose Calling Championship.
Surrounded by and judged by such goose-calling notables as Tim Grounds and Fred Zink, Graham took second place in the junior division.