Waterfowl Regulations

1/12/15 @ 1:07 PM
ORIGINAL POST
Marsh Man 2
Marsh Man 2
USER since 9/20/10
So I was having a nice discussion with Kent Van Horn the WDNR biologist in charge of our waterfowl seasons in Wisconsin. He made a comment that they come under a lot of pressure to simplify the waterfowl hunting regulations. I'm always for making something simpler however not at the cost of lost opportunities. My example would be how the bluebill limits changed during the season a few years ago. For part of the season you could shoot X and then the rest Y. So hunters submitted complaints about the changes in bag limits during the season. This has made the DNR hesitant to try and do something similar with other species. I asked him when if ever they will increase the limits on redheads in the state as we see and shoot lots. He said no as it would have to be studied on a species specific level and then that species would have changing bag limits during the season or would remain at the lower of the two levels which would be two redheads just as we have. So my question to all waterfowl hunters. How do you feel about changing bag limits during the season if you got to shoot more during certain dates? Example: 2 redheads during the month of Oct. and 3 the rest of the season. Or 2 redheads all season. I would rather have the changing bag limit during the season then being able to shoot a lower amount all season. Kent gave me the impression I'm one of few that feel that way. So I thought I would ask all of you. Thanks
Post Your Comment
Displaying 1 to 10 of 45 Posts
5/5/15 @ 9:16 PM
All Quacked Up
All Quacked Up
MEMBER since 9/27/04
About those Widgeon's:

As someone who's hunted the Grand River Marsh for every opener going back to the mid 90's when I was a teen..I remember the days when me and my buds would be so irritated cause all we harvested seemed to be Widgeon. There were years where that made up a majority of our 6 bird limit. I remember that lasting until the mid aughts or so and for the latter part of the aughts we were practically despondent because we would hardly ever see them and we whooped for joy whenever someone smacked one of those striped face suckers. Then enter the 2013 and 2014 season and it was just like old times. Circle of life? Less marsh? I don't flippin understand waterfowl one bit I think lol.

-Quacked

Post Your Comment
4/27/15 @ 12:07 PM
870man
870man
USER since 2/13/02
Interesting about the widgeon. I found the lake I've hunted on for the past 40 years was blanketed with widgeon ande when the shooting started at noon, there was a tornado of them that got up from the refuge. That was the bird of choice, along with the redheads, which we couldn't shoot back then.. waves of redheads and we couldn't pull the trigger. But, as time went on, the late 80's and into the 90's, the widgeon disappeared. Why you say? Because the DNR took the refuge out to expand hunting opportunities. Well, when that happened, the redheads and widgeon no longer used the lake and it was pretty dismal hunting. Yes, a few local redheads nest there..I may shoot one every two years or so..If your lucky and hit the right day in late October, you might get a good push of redheads from up north, but there one day, gone tomorrow..and I might add, back then, a wood duck was non existent. Now days, I do see a good amount use the lake.

Edited on 4/27/15 12:24 PM
Post Your Comment
4/27/15 @ 4:47 AM
MallardAbuse
MallardAbuse
USER since 11/18/04
Anecdotally, I haven't seen a major change in the numbers of wood ducks in my area. I think it is worth taking a look at the amount of logging being done on public lands since 2010. Less mature trees means less nesting cavities.

Post Your Comment
4/25/15 @ 12:42 PM
SCY2HTY
SCY2HTY
MEMBER since 2/11/12
when did a 47% increase become insignificent?

Post Your Comment
4/24/15 @ 1:16 PM
duckwidow
duckwidow
USER since 11/12/05
just forget it.

Post Your Comment
4/23/15 @ 3:03 PM
CPRMASAP
CPRMASAP
USER since 11/9/04
CPR, To respond to your wood duck example I respond with the can example. Every time we go to 2 the following year is 1 or 0. Water levels have been consistent in recent years. With birds that have smaller numbers, limits that are set play more of a role.

Bad example. We were talking HARVEST totals. I was strictly talking harvest numbers of Wood ducks did not go anywhere near off the charts after increasing from 2-3 in the entire MS flyway. According to the Fed harvest numbers in 2012 when the limit Can limit was 1 the MS flyway shot 52K Cans, in 2013 it was increased to limit of 2 and 76K were harvested. Not off the charts by any means.

And just to be clear, the flight count breeding pair numbers for Can's that sets those bag limits is not set up to accurately count Canvasback do to a large number of factors. Unfortunately those were the parrameters that were set so we must work within them.

Post Your Comment
4/23/15 @ 6:37 AM
SLM
SLM
USER since 1/10/07
Not true. The years we went from 2 to 0 there was a significant loss of potholes throughout the prime canvasback breeding area. The birds were forced to out or breed in less than favorable conditions causing a major spike in population. Hunting attributes to about 75,000. Do the math.

Post Your Comment
4/22/15 @ 2:11 PM
duckwidow
duckwidow
USER since 11/12/05
CPR,

To respond to your wood duck example I respond with the can example. Every time we go to 2 the following year is 1 or 0. Water levels have been consistent in recent years. With birds that have smaller numbers, limits that are set play more of a role.

pike,

Notice I placed widgeon last as they haven't taken as hard of a hit but certainly Wisconsin does not have the numbers they once did. The limit on bluebill and widgeon was 7 and 10 for a while (10 and 15 points). bluebill have never recovered.

of course everything I say is my 2 cents so ono need to be critical of anything I post.

Post Your Comment
4/22/15 @ 8:55 AM
SLM
SLM
USER since 1/10/07
Hunting has very little impact if any on the duck populations. Increasing the daily limit of redheads for example by 1 bird will come nowhere near equally 60 extra redheads in anyone's season total. There will be a slight increase in harvest but overall very little since very few kill 2 in day. Redheads tend to congregate in specific areas not offering opportunity to every hunter. Very similar to canvasbacks which is one of the least harvested bird percentage wise of their population. Some hunters will often blame the closure of the can season a few years ago on the 2 bird limit the year before. Not the cause at all since very few hunters kill one a season let alone 2 per day. Another example is when the canvasback season was closed for 10 years with very little change in population. Once the water came back the population almost doubled and continued to increase even with the opening of the season. Habitat/water controls the populations, not harvest for ducks.

Post Your Comment
4/22/15 @ 8:36 AM
PIKE-FAN
PIKE-FAN
USER since 8/4/09
Duckwidow you stated widgeon never over came there high limit days. Isn't the limit on widgeon still 6 birds? Did it used to be higher? Just asking a question not trying to pick a fight.

Post Your Comment
Displaying 1 to 10 of 45 Posts