Louisiana Sportsman
LreynoldsProfile Photo
Waterfowl and Duck Hunting in Louisiana

Louisiana Waterfowl Hunter Survey

Waterfowl season has been closed for a couple of months, but hopefully the memories are still fresh. LDWF, LSU, and Delta Waterfowl are asking for your participation in a waterfowl hunter survey that was released last week and will be soliciting responses until May 31. This is a cooperative project to gather information on hunting activity and success, satisfaction with hunting opportunity, and regulatory preferences on things such as zones, splits, and season structure. The data will be used to inform decisions on waterfowl management plans within the state and potential regulations changes at the Flyway level.

This survey has 2 components: 1) a mail-out survey to 2,500 randomly selected waterfowl hunters, and 2) the exact same survey posted on the internet for ALL waterfowl hunters to participate. One of the research questions is to compare the responses from the 2 different sampling techniques. The management goal is to cost-effectively get opinions from as many hunters as possible. In the first week, we had just over 150 hunters participate on the internet survey, and I'd like to get closer to 2,000 by May 31. We have about 70,000 active waterfowl hunters in Louisiana, so there are lots of potential participants.

So I'm asking for y'all to participate in the survey, AND to pass the link around to all of your duck-hunting friends and family asking them to participate too. It takes about 10-15 minutes to complete, is completely confidential, and will provide information to help guide waterfowl management decisions.

The link to the survey is: http://www.survey.lsu.edu/waterfowlsurvey/

There is also a flash banner on the front page of our website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/ It's the second picture in the series, and you can click on it and go to the survey.

I'd really appreciate your help in spreading the word about this survey and providing your experience, satisfaction, and opinions to inform future management decisions.

Larry Reynolds
LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader
April 17, 2010 at 7:57am
CajunsimProfile Photo
Posted April 18, 2010 at 8:49am


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Rolandc (The Duckman) Profile Photo
Posted April 18, 2010 at 9:25am


Larry did mine on Saturday if their anything i can do larry let me know anything to help la duck hunting iam in

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speckle_searcherProfile Photo
Posted April 18, 2010 at 10:01am

i did mine saturday night.keep it going, we need a change ,give them your comment .

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CameronHunterProfile Photo
Posted April 19, 2010 at 3:15pm


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Duck enticerProfile Photo
Posted April 19, 2010 at 3:17pm
Filled mine out the other day

That identity as a duck hunter question was a little "left field". The rest were really good questions though.

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CajunsimProfile Photo
Posted April 19, 2010 at 6:16pm

Would be great to consider a wood duck in addition to squealers during teal season. I am seeing more ducks nesting in the area than I have seen in years. Getting camera out to start getting shots on the boxes and in ponds. Seeing mottles, woodies, teal and squealers.

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Darren DigbyProfile Photo
Posted April 20, 2010 at 12:20pm

Did mine yesterday, very exhaustive (literally, to an extent) survey but worth our time as La hunters. Hope everyone takes advantage of this avenue.

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cypress sluProfile Photo
Posted April 21, 2010 at 8:17am

EXCELLENT survey. It was long but detailed and I enjoyed it. Thanks for putting it together.

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LreynoldsProfile Photo
Posted April 23, 2010 at 8:09am
Thanks very much guys

I really appreciate your participation and passing the survey link around to your duck-hunting acquaintances.

It is a long survey by internet standards, but we thought it was important to give all hunters the chance to take the exact same survey that the randomly-selected sample received in the mail. Our thinking was that would make for a better comparison between the 2 sampling methods.

Because this survey is a cooperative effort between a management agency (LDWF) and research institutions (LSU's School of Renewable Natural Resources and Delta Waterfowl), there are questions addressing different issues from simple demographics and preferred regulations, to what motivates a person to hunt and satisfies them. For example, the questions on 'waterfowler identity' are exploring the composition of Louisiana's duck-hunter population in terms of how they see themselves .... developing hunters , established killers, or sophisticated practitioners of the art. You know, a range from wannabe to old pro that's killed enough for a lifetime and is now more interested in mentoring. I'm no expert in social science, but in our Flyway-level effort to develop hunter recruitment and retention strategies, that composition of identities influences the strategies best suited to maintain and recruit hunters. Those identity questions were included in at least 4 state surveys in the Mississippi Flyway this year.

I know y'all have already done it, but I encourage everyone to include additional comments on the last page. I talked to a gentlemen yesterday who told me the single biggest factor in how many days he hunts ducks every year is how long it takes for him to kill a deer. He said he paddles past ducks during the open season until he satisfies his desire for venison. That tells us a lot about his 'waterfowler identity' too.

Some things are not on the survey because of past consideration and established regulatory limitations such as:

1) We get LOTS of comments every year on LDWF's harvest survey about a later duck season so we think we know the majority opinion on that issue. However, the USFWS not LDWF sets the latest date we can hunt, and they have been rock-solid against duck hunting past January 31.

2) Whistling ducks in the teal season bag limit is new because of expanding local populations of black-bellies, but wood ducks have has been an issue of contention and study for decades. Tennessee and Kentucky allow 2 wood ducks in their teal season bag limit, but are only allowed a 5-day season. We preferred to keep our 9 and 16-day teal seasons and focused our efforts on getting an extra wood duck in the regular season bag limit.

3) You might have noticed there was no option for 3 zones with straight seasons in the zones and splits question. In the 2005 survey, a very small proportion of our hunters (maybe 2-3% if I remember right) preferred that option over the current 2 zones with split seasons or no zones with 3 season segments, so we didn't include it in this survey.

Thanks again for your interest and participation.

Larry Reynolds
LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader

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