Waterfowl Hunting in Empire / Buras in Southeast Louisiana
My Opinion on Ducks Now and Before
Let me try to make some sense here that most of you duck hunters can understand. This is strictly MY OPINION:
Let's start around the 60's. Not very many hunters compared to now, but let's look at the overall situation. The duck breeding grounds in Canada were vast and many ducks were killed by predators, but the overall numbers of survival were somewhat close to what they are today. Almost ALL of those ducks migrated south for the winter, and the end of the "south" migration was Louisiana(in the US). Your grandfather came out of the swamps with towsacks full of ducks every time he ventured out with no problem.
Then in the latter 80's there came a new charitable corporation compiled of super rich duck hunters called Ducks Unlimited. They, in the name of saving ducks and raising monies to do so from mostly Louisiana duck hunters, spent many millions of dollars buying and flooding and feeding ducks in the Upper Missioui Flyway which is also the Mississippi Flyway. Now is where it all went wrong:
Let's take Mr. and Mrs Greenhead. They head down on the approach of a blistering cold front predicted in Saskatchewan and proceed to fly south for the winter with their youngsters in tow. As they get across Nebraska, they see other ducks in reservoirs down below and, tired from the flight, stop in to see what's going on. Well, there is moving water even in the below freezing tempertures, and an 18 wheeler has just dumped an entire load of corn that the government subsidized. It's a WELFARE Land! All of the ducks are extremely happy as not only do they have all they want to eat and the water is never frozen, but NO BODY IS SHOOTING AT THEM either!! What a deal for them and their families! They stay through the winter and mozie on back to Saskatchewan to the nesting ground where not only they, but their siblings mate and have a family as well. The next season on the arrival of the cold weather, they all take off again and find the same WELFARE PARADISE. They stop again and now each generation continues to grow and prosper with only having to fly 1/2 of the normal flight and don't have to work for food, don't have to search for clean fresh water that's not frozen, and NOBODY IS SHOOTING AT THEM! After four generations of this the ducks are now "conditioned" to go NO FURTHER and to live in a WELFARE Refuge. There are some major anologies, but I will choose not to go into that at this time, because I think most of you can comprehend, now what I have been trying to project to you as to why some of the places in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi are barren of ducks.---------JLT