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CLOSE THE SEASON


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I think that they should close the season for a year and lest see if we can get some ducks back. I dont buy into the fathead minnow thing and all that garp, we had those when i started hunting in the early 70's. i think that there has been some overharvest and we need to balance that out a bit.I love to duck hunt but the last few seasons have been dismal at best. lets do what it takes to get them back. also if you are reading this you need to also be in DU.

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i think thats a little extreme; i could see justification for a 3 duck daily limit but closing the season entirely? i hope it never gets so bad that i have a season of smelling swamp gas and missing teal taken away from me! Being a DU member is definetely a step in the right direction; but even better- befriend a farmer and help teach conservation of wetlands!!!!!!

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Do you realize what would happen if they closed the season even for one year? how much money would be Lost from sales of duck stamps and hunting gear(shells, decoys, camo and etc.)not to mention the money that is brought in by out of state hunters.(ND,SD,LA,AK)Those states make huge dollars and would never let it happen.

They will lower bag limits and hunting days LONG before they ever close the season.

If you belong to DU why do you not belong to MWA? all money stays right here in MN and now the MWA is going to surive the chapters get to keep all profit for projects to help out the ducks right here in MN.

Close the season, that's just silly talk.

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Just for a moment suppose they close out the season....what about down south? they going to close? I have alot of friends down south and them good old boys do like their duck hunting ALOT so I don't see that happening. Also of course the loss in revenue..you think your local politician wants to back the "lets get less money this year theory"? like the poster before me..thats just silly talk. just my 2 cents

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I'm with kgp on this one. To me, money and economic growth isn't half as important as how the waterfowl ecosystem is managed. I could care less if the industry took a hit if a year or two of closed season helped to improve or sustain the duck population. Honestly, I think it would be better for the industry in the long run. I’d bet sales are down over the last few years, If closing a season or two helped improve duck numbers, chances are businesses would make up for lost ground in the years to come. Realistically though, lowering limits would be the most feasible.

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I don't know the exact dollar amount raised by selling State duck stamps but it is alot and some of that money goes to help out the ducks in this state.

So by not selling duck stamps for a year or two could you amagine the money being lost for something you want brought back?

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closing down the season won't do much to help the ducks. If theres no ducks there anyway. Only hurt it in the money area. I would rather see a 60 day 2 to 3 duck limit then a 30 day 4 to 6 duck limit. To me its the amount of time I get to put in, not a limit every day.

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This comes up almost every year when the duck population does not look too hot. Closing the season is not the answer. We could have an increase in the duck population 600% and that would not matter for us here in MN. We would maybe see a few more ducks but they certainly will not stay long, we do not have the habitat in this state to compete with the Dakotas and Canada. This is a shame considering how many lakes we have and how many pot holes we had in the good old days. We actaully probably could sustain more ducks than both the Dakotas combined if we had our original habitat from way back when. I personally think that our goal here in MN is not to close seasons but to increase sustainable habitat for breeding ducks (IMO). Build it and they will come. Lots of programs out there, I hope all land owners are looking and taking advantage of them. Just my 2 cents! Good luck all!

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It would seem like it, because the posts on this topic have pretty much mirrored the posts that have been made on this topic any other time it's come up. It seems to me that 95% plus of the people who are on this site don't agree the season should close, self included. Any DNR research I've ever heard doesn't support that either.

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It is a problem with habitat and not lack of ducks. Over the years Minnesota has drained the small potholes, turned the potholes into small lakes or mowed right up to the shore line.

As everyone knows lakes are NOT good producers of waterfowl, especially when there is no cover for the hen to build her nest and hatch her young.

The reason ND & SD has more ducks is simple. The rains came and created numerous potholes where there were none before. If you've ever hunted the Dakotas during their dry period you would see what has happened.

I know one "lake" that has a combine on the bottom because the farmer never thought the massive rains they've had would last. Also where I was once hunting pheasants I now find the area under 16' of water.

The grasslands and cattails provide wonderful buffer zones and places for hens to hatch their young.

Closing the season would do absolutely NO good due to the fact you would need every state in the Mississippi Flyway to agree to close their seasons as well. That just ain'ta gonna happen folks.

We need to create habitat and preserve the habitat we have right now to get the ducks back in Minnesota. The numbers are there they just moved to a new location (ie: a different state with better habitat and food).

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FOOT brings up some very good points about the rains coming to the Dakotas and creating the potholes for nesting but another part of that is that with the wet cycle that the Dakotas and NW MN have had the past years is that there have been a lot of flooded grain fields in the fall. Has the migration shifted to better food sources? Could the drop in duck numbers in MN be due to the weather cycle that started 15 years ago where the Dakotas have been wetter then MN?

There are many other vaiables to ponder.

It seems that the "cool" thing to do now in MN is to blame the farmers for the lack of habitat. But here in northern Beltami County the amount of wetlands/habitat we have for the ducks to nest in has not changed but our duck numbers in the fall have dropped every year for the past 10 or so years. Our nesting habitat is the same as it was years ago but the number of predators has skyrocketed. 35 years ago a raccoon was rare in this area. Now they are all over. The drop in fur prices resulted in less trappers which has resulted in more predators.

Our weather also seem to be more extreem. Now it seems it is 2 months of monsoon followed by 8 months of drought. It doesn't do any good to have a flooded pothole to hunt at in the fall if we didn't have a flooded pothole with STABLE water levels in the spring for the ducks to nest in. For example this spring the Tamarac River meadows came up about 20 inches after the rains. The entire meadows flooded so if a duck was nesting 1/2 mile away from the river in the grass its nest drowned out. I live right on the Tamarac and other then the broods that hatched out from the duck houses in my yard I did not a single brood of ducks. frown.gif At the same time when driving around 3 sides of a 53 acre rice paddie where the water level was kept stable and the predators controlled I saw 28 broods. As the crop was high enough to cover any ducks out in the paddie all I could see were the ducks that were right in the ditch alongside the exterior dike. Who knows what was out in the paddie by the nesting islands??

Our society is more mobile now then it ever has been. Just as we burn out good fishing spots fast we burn out good hunting spots fast.

We are far more efficient at killing ducks now then we were 20 years ago. Better clothing, better calls, better decoys, etc., etc.. A dead duck in our game bag is not going to raise a brood the next spring.

Brad Dokken had an interesting article in the Grand Forks Herald July 17 about Delta Waterfowls Predator control studies.

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My personal belief is that we should go to a split season which I would support 110%. (early/late) skip the mid season lull when nothings going on and all your doing is chasing well seasoned locals. And yeah, this topic comes up every year, pretty much the same responses.

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Don't close it, lower the limits.

You can talk about habitat all you want and we do need more, but the main reason in my eyes is there are just too many people, and too many hunters.

When I started hunting, yes there were plenty of duck hunters, but not like there are now. The number has exploded and there just aren't enough ducks to go around. Slowly depleting the habitat and ducks themselves takes a toll.

There isn't a decent lake around were the ducks can go to rest for more than a day. Also, land developement, you know every rich a-hole has to have lake property or a scenic view, which turns some of our good land into a pretty green lawn or something else.

I've almost had it with Duck hunting. You can't even go to ND and not run into all kinds of guys out there. Just takes the fun out of it for me when you have to fight for spots, or get up at 2 A.M. to get a good spot.

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Quote:

You can talk about habitat all you want and we do need more, but the main reason in my eyes is there are just too many people, and too many hunters.


And not enough HABITAT to support them. It's all about the HABITAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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does anybody know of an easy affordable program to create a new wetland on private property? i have 67 acres of crp on my family farm...mostly designed to buffer the confluence of two seasonal drainages....it seems from everything ive heard of it takes years and a mountain of paper work just to dig a depression, install a small dike, and maybe a pump to keep the water level even through the drier months. i would love to have some water to compliment all the grass we have and i really think that the ducks would have some great nesting success, as i do as much trapping whenever i can on the skunks and racoons and whatever else it its legal to take.

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One call to make to find that out.

Call your US Fish and Wildlife Service district office.

They have a lot of programs, and one might suit your property.

If you have any chance of drain tiles or ditches that were man made on your property, I can assure you; today is your lucky day.

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Is the original poster just trolling ..............


Not at all. I am just very concerned about the number of ducks in the state!! i can tell you this. i saw some great nesting sights this spring with no birds on them. also the reason i suggested closing the season this year is lower limits in my book wont make much difference. how many people limited out last year?? i am sure some did bit for many a two bird limit would have not made any difference. I too love the smell of swamp and seeing it get light out over my decoys. the smell of burt powder does not hurt either. I personaly think that the flyway has been over harvested and it must get support from not just MN but also the lower states as well. as for the economy in SD and ND i hope they choke on thier birds before i ever go there. I think they have been sticking it to us for years. Guys i am not trolling, i just want the duck numbers to come back a bit and if i miss a year well thats ok by me. It will hurt like hell but i will live with it

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Reducing bag limits doesn't have as big of an effect on the population as most people think it should. Think of it this way. If 75%(maybe more) of duck hunters don't shoot a limit, maybe killing 2-4 birds per day, changing the limit does not change the number of ducks those hunters killed. The best way to reduce harvest is to shorten the number of days hunters are in the field. Shorten the season if you want to kill fewer ducks.

Personally, I think our best duck hunting days are gone forever. Just look around the area you live or hunt and think about all the habitat that's been lost in the last 10-30 years. New homes, shopping malls, highways, drain tiled fields, all appear to be important to today's society than our ducks and wetlands. Sorry to be so negative, I just don't think we can raise enough money to buy enough land to make a difference. How many acres of habitat would we have to restore to see a statistically significant increase in duck numbers? The cost would be millions and millions...

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I agree with SD in regards to the days gone by.

In my eyes, we have seen our best days for the most part. Some years might be good/great, but until we stop progress/development, we are just going to slowly but surely spiral down overall.

And we are not going to stop progress/development.

Sad but true.

We can only make the best of whats available. And whats available in 20 years will be far less than whats available today.

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superduty I cant agree more with you,when you say our best duck hunting days are gone, I believe that most hunters over the age of 40 have seen some awesome hunting in minnesota years ago, but the youngguys they dont want to here that duck numbers are down, and slowly but shirly the habitat is going, and duck hunting is not what it used to be or never will be again.The name of the game in this world is MONEY and some developer isnt going to give a d----- if a few ducks are chased out of a area ,So he can put up a million dollar housing development. The D.N.R would have to come up with millions upon millions in order to change the habitat from being developed at the rate it is happing, Never going to happen ?? frown.gif

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you shorten the season and i'll be done.No more $ from me or my daughter. as it is now it closes to early. You have every state first of all! why should we not shoot ducks here so they can shoot more down south. Be that way about and lets do a 5 shell rule! I hit what i shoot at and dont sky bust. Lets make a 45 yard rule with 10 gauges. 40 for 12 ga. Every hunter must have a dog. Decoys no more than 2 dz. no farther than 25 yards out. 12 and 10 gauges only so the kids dont wound birds. Make kids buy stamps. Only hand carved decoys and calls. Season one duck from Sept 15 to Oct 15 and down south Nov 1 to Jan 1 5 ducks. Lets be real. I'm happy going out working birds and getting ony 3 ducks. Always see good flocks of birds 2 weeks after closing.

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I myself don't know what to say about this. I read every post and I think it is that there is too many hunters. When I first got into hunting I thought duck hunting would be stupid. Well guess what my friend took me out duck hunting and I love duck hunting. I love to see ducks flying though the air. When I dive by a swamp. Ducks are my faverite animal. I was down in Rodchester this last weekend. I was dozen mallards most of then were hens a few drakes. but I was thinking. Wow this is the end of duck hunting unless we do something about it. I guess in the last 20 years we have been in a drought thats what I heard. Thats why we don't have any ducks because we don't have the pot holes and wetland that we use to. I am 17 years old. I love ducks to death. I would hate it see no more ducking hunting but I think it just might happen if me dont do something about it. It is very sad about the ducks. My friends dad told me about years and years ago of the duck hunting trips and all the birds he saw. The old timers have seen the best of duck hunting and I think it just going down hill. Just my 2 cents.

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The MN duck season will never close. There's just too much into it - economy, tradition, passions - it won't happen. Taking away duck season is like shooting my dog...you're taking something away from me that is so much a part of me. To even consider giving up something so divine...how do you sleep at night? smile.gif

So what to do? As stated earlier, lowering the limits won't do much. The average hunter in MN shoots less than a limit of ducks in their entire season. That's a fact that the DNR put out. It won't work. So you wanna shorten the season? The majority of ducks shot are shot within the first two weekends of season. So if you take off the last 15 or 30 days of season (the part of season when the least amount of birds are shot), what good will that do?

So for those of you who are tired of empty skies, too many hunters and bringing too many shells back home, I think it's time for you to hang up your coat, put your gun in the closet and stay cozy next to the warm fire in your fireplace. wink.gif Hey, it's one less hunter I need to worry about showing up at my slough smile.gif

In all seriousness though, habitat is the main key to bringing birds back to MN. It's the most difficult way to make change, because it is so long term, but it will make the difference in years to come. And it won't happen over night. And it won't happen at all if we don't support some conservation groups that are willing to put birds back in our sloughs.

So give us a 60/6, cause I just simply want to kill ducks as much as I possibly can. And I think a split season would be heaven in MN. States half our size have seasons split as much as three ways. We hardly see the end of season up north due to early freeze up, while my boys down in southern MN are wishing they could hunt several weeks later because the birds are just moving through.

It won't be long...

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Iam not sure about this but CRP is only a limited time and then will go back to farmland. where as we have CREP and will be in the program for 99 yrs. they dug 9 or 10 different potholes in it, with one of them having the surrounding neighbors tile running to them. I have now seen ducks there when there were'nt before. there for habitat is the key. now here is a solution to more habitat- plug all the tile lines that drained everything straight to the gulf of mexico, then pay the farmer for the area thats gets flooded, you would end up with hundreds of thousands of acers, its that simple, more habitat. thats the way it use to be yrs ago before the goverment started paying them to farm more land and tile out. did every one forsee what would happen, some maybe, but making more money and supplying more product was the goal, not ducks. and then if all of sudden we need more food, just unplug all the lines. would'nt that be a perfect world if everybody went along with that???

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It amazes me at how many of you guys can only see doom and gloom. You blame it on the numbers of ducks, you blame it on the farmers, you blame it on the developers, you say we don't have enough rules...

Some of you make some good points about things that might help out our habitat situation. Some of you are also right in saying that there is no doubt that punishing ourselves here in Minnesota by doing anything that is not followed by every other state would be pointless. The simple fact of that matter is that most of us don't, can't or won't hunt where the birds are at. I'm tired of hearing about the "good ole days". The simple fact is that the "good ole days" are now if you're willing to do what it takes to have them. Like it or not guys that means travel. 25 years ago you used to shop at the local hardware store(or any store you can relate to)--then they built the bigger and better store in the next town--then they built strip malls where a person could get more things in one trip--then they built big malls and superstores. If you think about this for a minute you'll understand what I'm saying...

A person can still go to the local store--but there is no doubt that you can go somewhere else more productive for your needs. When you found out that the bigger store gave you more of what you wanted, you started going to that store. When you found more at the even bigger store you started going there. When they built the superstore you moved yet again. It is the same things with Ducks. Why--and you really need to think about this from the view of the duck--would you continue to fly through an area that has 10-25 groups of hunters on every body of water big enough to float a boat. Why would you continue to fly through an area where all of the crops are immediately tilled under the ground leaving scant if any food available to eat. Why would you do anything there when you could be less than 150 miles west and find more food than you could shake a stick at--Farmers in the Dakota's don't till their fields under until spring. There is no more water in the dakota's than we have here, but there is more unmolested water. There are thousand's and thousand's of acres that never see a boat or hunter in SD and ND. These things are the same in Canada. There is also thousands and thousands of acres of unmolested natural grasslands for raising young. Find me an acre of land here in Minnesota that isn't either farmed or developed and I'll show you a piece of land that was too wet, rocky, or weak to farm or develop. I AM NOT PICKING ON THE FARMERS, but there is some validity to this. There have been some great efforts to try and make improvements like CRP and other programs, but they don't help the average hunter. All of that land is still owned privately and that is yet another point. Find someone to let you hunt their private land in this state. Improvements that get made to public places still don't have any effect because of the way we molest these areas. I have a friend whose family enrolled 160 acres into an easement program a couple of years ago. They built ponds all over it, broke all of the tiles and now have almost 80 acres of prime wetland and 80 acres of small woodlots and various crops. There are more pheasants than I have ever seen including the dakotas, and the number of ducks there this spring was staggering. This land is surrounded by miles and miles of vast farms. There are a couple of big lakes within a short drive of this place that get the absolute snot hunted out of them, and I gaurantee you that most of those guys leave that lake cursing and swearing about how there are no ducks....blah, blah, blah... the "good ole days". Well, the simple fact is that the birds that are in the area have a new store.

I have traveled all over this state and I go to SD twice a year to photograph Ducks and Geese and there is no shortage of Ducks...they just aren't coming to that piddly little pothole that you used to shoot some on when you were a kid, and instead of finding a new spot you'd rather fuss and complain that there aren't any ducks. Instead of finding a new secluded spot--you'd rather keep on hunting small lakes where someone elses decoy spread ends where yours begins, where 15 different people are calling at the same flock of mallards flying over the center of the lake. Again--think like a duck--you're flying down to look at a lake and find a SAFE (not comfortable-not food laden--not perfected habitat) a SAFE place to land and rest, and you see not one, not two, not three, but 10-15 seperate decoy spreads. Not one or two ducks letting you know its safe to land, but 15 guys screaming hail calls and rapid fire chuckles to try and convince you from 15 different directions that you need to land here. Not to even mention, and you can argue this all you want to, but the absolute number of morons who think they understand how to call ducks and don't know that they sound like they're blowing a kazoo. I have thousands of photos that I have taken where you would swear that they were taken 20 years ago when "there were ducks around", but they were all taken in the last 8 years. I could take you to places where you could still get a chance to call multiple flocks of 20-50 mallrds at a time and shoot a limit every time out. Do I shoot a limit every time out--nope but you know why--it's because I put more time into scouting and I should spend 10-15 days a year on the skeet range--my lack of work in that department. IT IS NOT THE NUMBER OF DUCKS....IT'S YOU, AND THE AMOUNT OF TIME YOU REALLY PUT INTO IT.

I'm talking about real time, and no matter what you think, if you're not shooting birds, it's because you're not putting in the time. It takes work to scout--it takes work to learn to call ducks and geese--it takes work to build blinds and boat blinds--it takes work to learn to shoot proeperly--and it takes time and work in the field to learn how to be a better hunter. WORK. I fall in to this trap sometimes too. We go out to check our "favorite spot" (mistake number one) and we see some bird activity, so with one fell swoop we base our entire weekend of hunting on that. Then the weekend comes and we discover that 15 other people also did the same thing. We're pi**ed off, but we don't have another plan so we waste our second day as well there. The next weekend we try a different spot and do the same thing. then just like that the season is over and you have very few ducks to show for it, so now you have nothing better to do than sit at the computer and pi** and moan about how there aren't any ducks. You want ducks--get off your complaining butt and find them. And for those of you who constantly pi** and moan about how the Dakotas treat us so badly...maybe that's why they have so much to begin with..they protect it--not molest it! I have hunted SD for the last 7 years in a row--because I did the work. I had a great year last year here in Minnesota--because I did the work. I am contemplating hunting ND this year, but I think I'll pass--not because I don't want too, but before I do I need to do some work there before I hunt there. When you guys learn this you'll be much better hunters.

There is no doubt that I will have offended most of you with this, but I'm ok with that, because most of you will never understand what I'm talking about and that will be you're loss not mine. Good luck with your upcoming duckless season. No matter what you think I hope that you do find them and that you're season is successful.

P.S. John, I started this from you're thread in order to not attack anyone specifically--plus you know how I am, and you were with me on a few of those successful hunts.

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AMEN BROTHER, VERY WELL PUT.

I couldn't agree with you more.

Like I said before, for most of our hunting we travel about 3 hours and never see another hunter.

The day before opener we go out and scout the whole day even the spots we KNOW we will not see another person.

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Amen again, ya know come to think of it I don't see that many ducks either driving 55-65 mph on a highway or from a plane, or because my neighbors say's no ducks so therefore it must be.

Get out and look walk around, look in areas ya never have looked before.

big drift

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