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TV BOY

Season limit

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TV BOY

There has been talk about reduced limits or limited seasons. What would you think of some sort of season limit? I know there is a posession limit (although I'm sure there is more than 1 deep freeze in violation!)

What about say X number ducks per person per year? The same thing with pheasants?

lets hear what ya think....

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bigbucks

I guess I'd be okay with a smaller daily bag limit, but then again where I hunt it's mostly wood ducks, so on a good day you get 2-4 ducks (2 woodies with bonus teal or mallards). I don't hunt enough that an overall season limit would affect me & that might slow some "meat hogs", but how the heck would you ever enforce that unless you're going to start registering every duck you shoot? You want to talk about a costly nightmare...

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jlm

Who, what, when and where did you hear this? Is this just run of the mill talking or is there "official" talk of this happening. My opinion is that neither will make much of a difference in this state, particularly if the rest of the flyway does not follow the same rules. If you talk to most duck hunters this year, bag limits were not an issue because they did not see any ducks. Season length is a shot in the dark because much of the state is done for ducks way before the end of the season. That one depends on the weather. A shorter season would have little impact im my opinion. We need habitat. That is all there is to it. More of our license money needs to be ear marked for habitat only. I also feel we need more sanctuary (refuge)land for breeding and nesting. It is frustrating to think that people are looking for easy fixes which will only result in the same thing...no ducks. If we shorten the season or reduce bag limits, I bet we will be having this same conversation in a few years.

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TV BOY

I guess what I was trying to get at is that it seems like a small % of the hunters are shooting a lion's share of the birds. (meat hogs) as they were refered to. I enjoy hunting as much as the next guy. But for someone to go out and shoot birds every day all season long just doesn't seem right.

I'll agree that registering birds would be a major pain/expense. I just wanted to stimulate conversation.

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lawdog

I think its a great idea, and NOT that hard to implement. You get tags with your deer license, now you could get tags with your duck license too. Use up your tags and you are done, EVERY bird in your possession must have a tag marked with date of kill.

Voluntary restraint is an idea that is quite obviously totally lost on some so more forceful methods may be necessary!

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MattKeller

Here we go again...

Season lenghts, limits-it all means very little when most guys shoot 4-6 birds a year. So much has to do with habitat. Guy's are making a living raising minnows in our duck ponds. Farmers are draining critical wetlands. Most of these guys do this without thinking it could harm waterfowl in the long run.

I personally hope we have a 60/6 next year with the mallard limit raised to 5 or 6. There are THAT many mallards around. This always comes up, people pointing the meat hog finger. It usually happens because YOU can't or don't shoot as many birds as you'd like. BUT if I hunt 25-30 times a year and limit about everytime, that's some valuable meat for my family. When you ground duck/goose into burger you can substitute it for beef in about anything. Enough with the meat hog thing. It's a little old.

In fact, I would guess I'm more responsible with my game than those guys who shoot 6 ducks a year and leave them in the freeze cause they "heard" they taste strong.

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WALLEYENUTZ

BINGO!!!

Way to go Matt!!

bring on the habitat!!!

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lawdog

IF shooting less ducks is so bad, why do duck groups such as DU advocate voluntary restraint to help the resource?????

Clearly habitat is a big (the biggest I'd say) issue, but you are just a meat hog defending being a meat hog for your selfish reasons, that's not about being so great for the resource as you claim in your last sentence.

If you grind up all these ducks/geese into burger I sure hope you know you still have to count them in your posession limit!!!

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MattKeller

Hey lawdog. When did I say shooting less was bad?

I said many guys who shoot a few birds a year are guys who typically do the waterfowl thing for something to do, not so that they can hurry home and eat duck. They probably don't know how to cook it and probably will never try.

The only way I would ever be over my possession limit is if you counted the birds in my gut. There's 6 people in my house and I'm sure we've had 100+ ducks and I know about 25 honks eatin all ready.

My point was, don't look for excuses why YOU didn't shoot any ducks this year. It's not my fault that you did not. I don't like being called a meat hog. We take what we shoot very seriously.

The fact is, you did not shoot birds because most likely the habitat in your area sucks. Why would a duck want to go to a sucker/carp infested pond when he could set out in the flooded corn/wheat fields up here? That's the issue here. The right habitat does not exist in much of the state.

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Ybone

I think you're right Lawdog, grinding, making jerky etc. in an attempt to reduce your possession limit does not work, they still count til they are consumed.

A season limit is a great idea. Shooting 100-200 ducks is too many. We all seem to agree on the the decline of habitat in the state so shouldn't we shoot less ducks until the habitat improves instead of trying to justify shooting that many ducks by saying most guys only shoot 6 ducks and waste them but I grind mine up and feed my family. I'll be surprised if we have 6-60 next year and even more surprised if they raise the mallard limit Matt. There were very few mallards in most of the state, your hunting area being an exception. I know some guys who only shot 6 or 8 ducks. They ate them!

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Goosepimp

Quote:

Shooting 100-200 ducks is too many.]

According to who? Just because you had a pitifull year? People need to open their eyes, there are ducks around, but you cant see them driving down 94 or from your recliner.

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jblabsnduck

I have to chime in on this one. What will the season be? who knows but we will find out come Aug.

As far as the meat hog stuff, you guys should realy get off that. I had the worst season I have ever had. Reason, weather and nothing but the weather. Yes, the habitat in this state needs help but for you to call some one a meat hog because he goes out and bust his butt to find those birds and drags in a half mile to get them now he is a bad hunter? Please! I shoot a limit when I can, we have limits for a reason and most guys do not shoot a limit very often so us guys that do even out the scale.

Many times last year I took limits and most of those times I went home and had fresh duck for dinner. I bust a hump finding those birds and about 300 miles round trip to find those birds. I am not saying you can't find good numbers around the cities because we have. We have even shot our limit 20 minutes south of the cities last year.

Fact is after pheasant opener rolls around the duck hunters are cut in half if not more and by deer opener there is only a handful of guys still out there duck hunting.

As for DU promoting selective harvest, why did I see a DU show and they where in Mexico shooting pin tails left and right? I believe the limit down there is 4 a day and they shot there 4 a day. I wouldn't call that selective harvest by any means. Would you????????

You guys need to realize there are hunters out there that are hardcore to the bone when it comes to duck hunting.

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BLACKJACK

I think its a jealousy thing when some hunters start calling others meat hogs. They're unwilling to put in the time and effort that it takes, so lets label the hunters that do 'meat hogs'. Lets face it, duck hunting is hard work! Wading thru muck, poling a boat thru muck and reeds, getting up at 3 AM, throwing out 6-8 dozen decoys is hard work! But the people that put in the effort usually get the best shooting, and I personally don't begrudge them shooting a lot of ducks - because they'be put in the effort that it takes to be successful. And using different methods of cooking/processing/grinding just tells me that they're responsible enough to eat what they shoot.

I know that I used to shoot a lot more ducks when I was younger, but nowadays its easier to just roll over and go back to sleep, or just pass shoot a few ducks early in the morning and call it a day. A season limit is not the answer, its a small number of hunters that are shoot a lot of ducks, most hunters shoot <10 a year. Better habitat is the key.

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Guest

Well said Jack!

I do not do too much travelling for ducks anymore, havnt had to in the last few years.

Many times we get up at 2 to get THE spot, but it pays off more times than not. We usually put out 8-10 dozen dekes, the worst part is picking them up, yes, hard work. We PLUCK almost every duck we shoot...again...hard work.

I laugh at the guys who come out onto the lake 10 minutes before shooting, end up getting a crappy spot beacuse all the good ones have been taken, then they leave before 9 am without ever lifting thier guns. These are the guys complaining about lack of birds and us so-called "meat hogs". For cripes sakes! Get out of bed a little earlier for once. Stay in your spot until AT LEAST noon, and maybe you'll get a few birds. Quit calling until you are blue in the face and quit shooting at birds that are 100 yards out of range! All these things will increase your bag so you too can become a "meat hog".

As far as the season goes, the only reason it will be lowered is because of all the stuff going on in the press. There are plenty of mallards around to have a 6/60 again. I would not mind however to see the scaup limits lowered even further.

But PLEASE open it OCTOBER 1st this year. NOT Sept 24th!!

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jlm

I agree, as long as a hunter is within the limits of the law, he has every right to shoot ducks (and other critters). Shooting over 100 ducks in a season is nothing unusual for someone who puts in the work and if that is their passion, I say go for it. I personally had the worst year of duck hunting ever and still took many ducks. Nothing better than fresh duck on the grill...or marinated...or in the crock pot...oooooh, I better stop. Kind of wish I had some in the freezer right now. I think that if we talk about restraint, we need to talk to the skybusters out there. Many of these ducks are hit and eventually die and become fox feed. Now that is a waste in my mind. In my opinion, MN should be able to rival if not surpass the Dakotas as far as duck numbers go. We just need to get back all the habitat that we have lost. That is wishful thinking on my part. However, I think we have come to a cross roads and people are starting to listen. Please get involved in your local conservation groups and be part of this process. We as waterfowl hunters have a lot of power if we could get our voices heard, you just never know! Good luck all!

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Guest

I agree that it is time to act, but I dont believe that we are on the verge of a collapse as some have said.

It's typical Minnesota if you ask me. Wait until it is almost too late to do something about it...kinda like the stadium issue...lol...had to get that shot in there!!

I would LOVE to see the wetlands we used to have. I once worked for a surveyor and looking back at the initial surveys of the area just blew me away at how much water there was. Entire lakes are now gone...just makes you sick.

I'm not sure if it could ever change. Maybe we should elect a DICTATOR of Minnesota to demand that wetlands are restored..lol, thats pretty much what it would take. Land prices are insane, even the cost of 3 new stadiums would not put that big of a dent in what we need. Things need to be done on a federal level as well, and thats even harder to get done than at the state level.

Something should be done, but not under the leadership or direction of a certain colunist.

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MattKeller

You guys have said some good things...

What we need is a severe drought for a couple years. Dry up the sloughs, kill the fish, allow vegetation to regrow and thin out the moron, meat hog calling duck "hunters".

Then watch it rain and the ducks will return...

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Mark Christianson

Better hope the Dakotas stay dry when the rains return here. Because if the Dakotas dry up, and the rains come back there, they will have plenty of duck drawing power too.

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MattKeller

"Better hope the Dakotas stay dry when the rains return here. Because if the Dakotas dry up, and the rains come back there, they will have plenty of duck drawing power too."

If you're interested in the total duck #'s to go up(not just MN), we need the dakotas to have good habitat as well. It may mean less ducks in MN, but overall it will be better for the birds.

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Mark Christianson

Totally agree.

I thought you were getting at the ducks would come to MN again if the conditions dryed up and reflooded after some nice veg growth and minnow kills.

A nice wet spring in ND, with a dry summer and fall in ND would be fine with me. wink.gif

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Duck-o-holic

Some very good dialogue going on here, indeed. Very good points brought up as well! It is a complex issue we are dealing with, and a lot of you were hitting on many of the key issues. Here are a couple of things I'd add to the discussion:

Voluntary Restraint: I remember this meaning "Don't shoot hens". Has this changed to "Don't shoot ducks"? If there is one thing I've observed, it's that the guys that are shooting over 100 birds a year, are the ones who are ADAMENTLY against shooting hens. I think it is your average-joe-weekend-warrior who doesn't hunt a lot, who is shooting up the hen population (and no, I'm not referring to you FM'er's out there who only have time to hunt weekends). They shoot hens because they don't hunt much and shoot whatever they can get. They can't tell the subtle gender differences of a bird in flight, (let alone the difference between a pintail, gadwall, or wigeon in fight). And they frankly don't care because they don't respect the resource... these are the "Slob" hunters out there. The sky-busters, and "Call-Blasters" and the people you see at Wal-Mart buying cheap "gimmicks" at the last minute before opener.

My point is this-- I respect Matt for being a good hunter, and for eating what he kills. Hunters like him are the ones who DON'T skybust, DON'T shoot hens, DON'T break laws to get birds, and DO respect the land and owners, DO work hard to get birds, and ultimately DO NOT cripple and lose game like the many slobs out there.

Every license we sell generates $$ for the ducks. There are always going to be those who hunt only a couple of times a year, those who hunt 3/4 of the season, and yes... even slob hunters. Our dilema in MN is that there are too many hunters for the state to support. Much is due to the decreasing habitat (as already pointed out), as well as the HUGE number of sportfishermen (that push birds off large bodies of water-- roosting/staging areas in the fall)... not to mention their influence on aereators going up in so many lakes (which prevents any winter-kill, which contributes to NO FRESHWATER SHRIMP anymore), bad farming practices, excess rough fish, etc, etc, etc... Even low fur prices have an effect on the big picture of our local bird population.

Anyhow, I am not trying to write a book, but just add a few more concepts to this big picture. The Dakotas have WAY less people in their state, and countless miles of potholes located in isolated, large sections of land. I'm sure the Dakotans are now feeling the pressure of out-of-staters, which must be a Catch-22 for them. Nice to generate the money, but not too happy to have people infringing onto their turf in persuit of birds on their turf. Out-of-staters have ruined a lot of their pheasant hunting opportunities due to it becoming such a $$ thing for landowners. Outfitters and guiding services seem to be popping up all over our there more and more.

There are no easy answers, but it's good to see a group of caring hunters addressing the issues and brainstorming ideas.

Duck-o-holic

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Ybone

What makes you think I had a pitiful season Goosepimp? I never said that. It wasn't the best but I still shot a few ducks.

Tom, when you were guiding you had specific rules about what fish could be kept and said you were criticized by other guides for it. Why then do you assume that anyone who supports restrictions to prevent a hunter from shooting 100+ ducks is a lazy skybuster who can't get out of bed and plays yankee doodle on his duck call all morning? Why not the same attitude toward the harvest of ducks as the harvest of fish or do you think fish can be overharvested but not ducks.

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TV BOY

I don't have a proplem of someone shooting lots of ducks when they are eating them. I love 'em and also have made duck burger grin.gif

I do however, know some guys down SE MN that hunt nearly every day and don't eat any duck. They try to give them all away. I just don't get that!? if you just want to shoot go the range!!

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Guest

Gee Ybone...

We are talking apples and oranges here.

A fish can produce hundereds of thousands if not tens of millions of offspring. How many ducklings can the average hen produce in her lifetime? There's a big difference there.

I never said that people who support reduced limits are what you said I said.

I said that most of the people who complain about the lack of ducks are those who dont put the time in to find the birds or who do not know how to maximize their chances for a successful hunt. Not all the people who had terrible seasons are this way. Most did not have the time or resourses to travel and find birds, which is what it takes now days.

I only hunt weekends now, except for a weeks vacation. I'm lucky enough to hunt good water and good areas and I feel very fortunate to do so. We shoot our share of ducks, but we also use all of them and enjoy eating them.

Most people want hunting to be easy. Well, hunting is not easy and it never will be again in this state, at least not in the forseeable future. If a guy goes out and shoots over 100 birds a year, more power to him/her as long as they use what they shoot.

Besides, you can't really shoot and release now can ya?

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Guest

TV,

I know a few slobs like that too...that's something that REALLY irks me, much like the guys who shoot birds and then make the comment "the cat's gonna eat good tonight". Makes me want to puke.

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