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My Opinion on no ducks

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I have been privileged to hunt ducks all my life in Louisiana. I had a uncle that took me when i was 9 to his lease in cameron and from then on it has been a addiction. I now have 30 years of experience duck hunting. I have chased them all over the state, been on good and bad hunts. I have noticed over the past 15 years the lack of migration to our sportsmans paradise getting less every year. I now am able to have a lease of my own that borders the sabine refuge on the no hunt side. Have i killed ducks on it ? Yes i have, it is a magnet for the ducks that migrate, no pressure, no traffic, and i take care of my property. People say we need a food source well with all the flooding this year my marsh is plentiful with a food source.Still no ducks, so i go to hunt with different friends in different areas of the state. Still no ducks. how is it that there is always an excuse that there is no ducks. oh its cause you need a food source and surface drives are hurting you, ok well i went and hunted in rice fields that you walk in, on one of the oldest standing rice farms in louisiana that normally holds hundreds of thousands of ducks and geese. did we kill? yes a couple but no ducks. Then we are told we need it to get cold, Well we have had 3 of the biggest cold weather storms and still no migration, But our duck population is higher than it ever has been before. I support both Delta and DU, I do this in hopes that the money will go to what it should. The simple facts are the migration has been altered and louisiana has been basically moved north. Private land owners getting funding to build habitats with food sources that cannot be accessed or with limited hunting rights. Farmers up north see they can make more money off of there farms if they levee and flood there crops. heating the water where there is a food source, near a waterway that does not freeze. all of this plays a factor. Simple fact is when you create a habitat that has a food source, water, and no pressure why would you migrate. in the history of mankind different areas were known for different things. You didnt go to montana to go blue marlin fishing. you didnt go to canada to kill alligators. You hunted or fished what the good lord blessed you with. When you have organizations dumping millions of dollars into privately owned refuges and creating habitats like the lord blessed louisiana with but further up in the migration route what do you honestly think is going to happen. I have held back and didnt speak my mind but after all of the post i read on here and some of the crazies reasons for the lack of ducks. I have seen these refuges first hand and talked with property managers on how DU does there conservation grants. If you think for one second that little brain inside a ducks head doesnt work, then something might be wrong with yours. Go to any wma, refuge, lake, or privately owned land that has water, food that has a area not able to be hunted and i promise you will see that imaginary line where they start and you have to stop. then think about all of the habitats that have been created up and down the flyway, and it answers everyones questions on WHERE ARE THE DUCKS! My opinion is the money should have been spent on breeding grounds, protecting them before the start of the migration and any money spent in the migration flyway its self, should have been spent on State or Govt owned properties that would could be hunted and had a little pressure put on them. we couldnt help it that god blessed us with the known duck habitat that we have had, but just maybe we can make a stand and stop them from continuing to create habitats in the migration path that slows them down. The season in those states isnt very much ahead of ours, and we cant hunt past certain dates due to them pairing up. that was the whole point with set migration movement and the dates that were set to be able to hunt. So for all you people that are new to duck hunting there it is all wrapped up, and until the sky turns black with ducks dont post you are seeing peak numbers. Believe me you will know when the migration hits peak numbers in louisiana and why we have duck hunted this long and why we keep our hopes up to see it again so we can pass it on to the next generation.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Amen! I've posted similar remarks of how the money goes to keep them from needing to migrate on a Facebook forum for duck hunters, i.e heated ponds and you'd swear I slapped their mothers.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
May be payback for claiming public waterways as private. Karma...
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Brah, enough with the exaggerated statements and laments. That's what I was told when i said, 'Louisiana has a duck migration issue and duck hunting in Louisiana is becoming a tradition of old'. If we had a migration, the skies would turn black with ducks and geese. Its that simple. I have seen pictures and been told first hand accounts of birds held north of Louisiana. Guys that are working their a** off to keep birds on their property for guiding purposes because there is good money to be made. Get in your vehicle and drive 6-10 hrs north/north west /west and you will go find where all of the migration is going. Its a sign of the times for Louisiana. If you will continue to reside in Louisiana, learn to love another sport.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Wish there was a simple answer but the bottom line folks is the migration patterns have been altered and no amount of feed gonna do one iota for changing the altered migratory patterns. We hunted NShore Marsh today and saw few more greys and handful of mallards and we hunt in ponds with more feed than I have ever seen anywhere Public or Private migration patterns may have been irreversibly altered dats de bottom line.

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
If u think ducks will eat grass over rice and corn then we are only fooling ourselves, we need to be able to put feed in our ponds. I my self like the idea of them coming out with a feed permit, or tag. the money can go towards conservation and helping with projects. also it will help farmers sell grain, feed stores will gain business, and ducks will be healthier.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I?ve been saying this for years. People need wake up and quit blaming it on everything including the neighbors dog. The migration has shifted and changed. Go ask the guys who hunt in what was once one of the premier places in the country in Gueydan. They have to hope a few geese are around otherwise they struggle. And now even the geese aren?t coming down. Don?t see too many surface drives cruising rice fields......
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Every now and then ya get a fluke in de migratory shift but don't count on it,just get used to what Bayoubob and I had to admit,lotta 'MT' skies,duck hunting fanatics.Certainly there are a few anomalies and I try as best as I can to take advantage,just keep heading to where the 'new ducks' seem to want to congregate and with the cold snap we just experienced,hope a few more 'fresh faces' show up,dats all one can hope for!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
All of you boys are completely correct in everything that you are saying, the only thing that I would love to see is my kids and all these young boys that have heard the stories is to be able to experience louisiana hunting at its finest as I'm sure a lot of you seasoned hunters and I have. To be completely honest with you I am not loading all of my stuff and running 6 to 10 hrs away. Maybe 6 to 10 yrs ago I would've lol. As far as the karma comment I totally agree with you if I could pull into the marsh off of any moving waterway like we should be able to I wouldn't have to lease but I play the hands that are dealt and I do that so my kids can go and I don't have to worry about all the risk of the refuge.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I just received an update from the Duck Commander crew in N Louisiana. The ducks just showed up yesterday. It was below freezing last week when we were there and the ducks were very scarce. The temps got crazy low Sunday and still took 3 more days for the ducks to come downtown N. La. They hunted the deep holes that remained unfrozen and killed them the last 2 days. It takes extremes to get them down to us. A buddy hunted Delacroix today and killed 8 between 2 blinds. Way fewer ducks now where he hunts that earlier in the season. Whatever the reasons, it’s just not what it used to be. I’ve still had a great season to this point but it’s still not close to years in the past. I think the ducks are just getting “Slick”. That’s what Phil says. Wait 5 days after the season and the ducks will be all over. And it’s not because they are just getting down then, they are hanging in refuges and other places where they are not hunted or pressured. Just another theory to throw out there. Oh well, all we can do is stay at it. The end of the season is quickly approaching.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I certainly appreciate the insight. Thanks for writing your article. I've been duck hunting all over south LA for 30+ years and can absolutely attest to changes in the migratory patterns; and it has nothing to do with surface drives, etc. As a matter of fact, if it wasnt for surface drives our harvest numbers down in the southern part of the state would be even more dismal.

I personally cannot afford the kind of $ being shelled out for great hunts. I've spent the past 10 years with my sons 'trying' to hunt our state's WMAs. And it sucks. There just isnt enough being done for the blue collar hunter and stats show that duck hunter numbers continue to fall. It's becoming a 'who you know' and a wealthy person's sport. And it seems to me that's who DU continues to align themselves with. The little guy that just wants to hook up his boat and head to public lands here in LA is typically SOL.

Why we arent taking the necessary steps to make our state's WMAs more ducky is beyond my comprehension. Yea, yea yea it takes money to manage these lands and with the state of our state and local governments finances it isnt going to happen. And that's a sad thing. I heard our governor is an outdoorsman and loves himself a duck hunt. Well I bet he gets to hunt on some reeeeeal nice properties. I've not once heard him mention anything about doing a study to determine if a plan of action to rehab our WMAs is even feasible. Why? He doesnt need a place to hunt.

Salvinia, hyacinth and hydrilla have choked south Louisiana prime public hunting spots. All this wonderful swamp and backwater areas we've got down here and none of it holds birds anymore. In the late 70s and early 80s I could go to Henderson Swamp, shoot a limit and still be at work for 9 am back in Baton Rouge. I used to have some of the best hunts anyone could ever ask for all in the swamps along the north shore of Lake Maurepas. I didnt have to drive 3 or 4 hours north or west or schedule a weekend trip west of Lafayette for beaucoup $$$.

Why we cant attack this invasive plant species problem that I've found on just about every WMA I've been on; and believe me, I've been on at least 10 of our state's WMAs; (and not just once). I was telling my son the other day 'I'd pay $500 a duck season to hunt our state's WMAs if they would just work on creating a more beneficial habitat. Even then, it would still take a few years for ducks to figure it out and come down south more to check us out. Far as I'm concerned, the WMAs these days are only good for the deer hunters. They dont hold the waterfowl THEY SHOULD BE HOLDING.

When I'm driving home to BR down I-10 and I'm passing all that wonderful swamp that is now the Maurepas WMA that is so big it's in 5 parishes I think to myself, what a waste of beautiful swamp and lowlands. 60,000 acres of what should be prime waterfowl hunting and nary a duck in sight. So sad. Hey DU what the heck? We dont need any more duck refuges (ask Phil Robertson). Why dont you take on task like public property. Yea sure you folks did a great job down in Venice at the Pass a Loutre Wildlife Management Area; but how many folks you know can take a 17 mile boat ride down the Mississippi River to get to the hunting areas??? Folks with lots of $ that's who.

I dont have all the answers and I'm sure there's issues I'm probably very naive to. Afterall, I'm just a simple man trying to find some ducks to shoot on public land and it's just not very productive. It's very disheartening. I've seen the populations dwindle here in south LA and I've also seen the duck hunters dwindle.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
All that would really need to be done is a organization be started by Louisiana waterfowl hunters and I'm pretty sure it would be a strong one. It would need to be a real one not some rally gang with t shirts. Louisiana needs a voice, then you take it right up through the political stair steps just like every other group before that has made a change. I know about 4 men right off of the top of my head that are true duck hunters here in Louisiana that are pretty tied in with the politics part. All that we would need to push for is no more spending of funds on private lands unless it is up north for actual conservation or on public lands to actually help the guys and girls who has that duck head on at least one item they own . Then we push the issue to have the water heating shut down, you all can say what you want but I have watched it with my own eyes turn it on and get a 10 by 10 hole in a pond with feed and see how many ducks you can pile into an acre fighting to get to that hole for the food underneath it. If the heaters alone were banned the migration would start. Well I guess I should say it would've this year. Winter is the key. Why would they do that you are probably asking yourself. Well don't go out and feed your animals for just a day or two during winter and see if they don't go somewhere that will feed them. The heaters are just as bad as if I went and poured a100 lbs of corn every day to my pond I hunt on while ducks are in my area. it is holding a naturally migrating species from doing what it was born to do. It's funny how the first weekend of march last year I take my kids on a goose conservation hunt and because the migration wasn't being held up cause the season was over I road all over my buddies farm in Thornwell and you literally could not see a spot on his fields that had water that didn't have a duck on it . There were hundreds of thousands just in the south lake Arthur area.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
See before I could get what I thought would be a good answer to star helping our problem you have a seasoned hunter giving his ideas and thoughts and I am totally behind that! We need a voice. I will be the first one to say I am still blue collar my lease is just as much work and probably more than the wma due to tide I still pull my boat every day. I am here to tell you all those people hat have those high dollar blinds here in Louisiana are now having the same problem that the rest of us have been having. The blind that I was able to hunt with a freind the day after a front was a 25,000 a year blind and we scratched, that was unheard of until this year for those blinds. Maybe those guys are ready to fight for there duck season back too . As far as ducks Being smart yes they are but they can't be on those refuges if they freeze or if the food source isn't there , the reason the show up right after we close every year isn't just because they are smart, the are basically being held in an area until there seasons are closed
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Count me in
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Wow, the rubber is starting to hit the road now!!

I have been fortunate to have made two hunting trips to Canada to hunt ducks and geese. I went to two different provinces; the last time was two years ago. For those who have never been what I have seen with my own two eyeballs is the most waterfowl anywhere. It is absolutely phenomenal what is going on up there in the pothole region. There are so many ducks and geese it makes your head spin. There are thousands and thousands of agriculture fields to feed the ducks and geese. The only reason to leave would be if they can?t get to the food.

So, based on what I have seen somewhere between Canada and Louisiana the ducks are stopping. I don?t claim to know exactly where they are going, all I do know for sure is they are not coming to southeast Louisiana this year except for the Dosgris.

It seems the real issue is up the line where the farmers figured how to make the system work for them. In a ducks life the only things that matter are eating, water and breeding. Until the food is taken away from the ducks up the line they are not coming here, why would they? Hello???
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
These fights were fought and lost by the LDWF in the 60's, 70's and 80's. Google Louisiana Conservationists and read the old mags and you can see. The Canada geese went first, then the snows and now mallards , pintails and specs. Old news and we can't fix it. This was a known issue, was fought in the flyway council fought with USFWS, fought in congress. The reality is we still kill top numbers of ducks and top ducks per effort most years so we don't get any traction. The upside is that the changes or weather or the will of god have stabilized duck populations so for over 20 years we have enjoyed longer seasons, and higher limits than were typical in most of the post WW2 era. Downside is there aren't blues to hunt in Saint Bernard or Canadas in prairiville and now pretty much nothing but scrap ducks; dosgris, teal, spoonies with gray ducks, mottled and redheads being the best 'big ducks' we can really expect.
What to do? Adapt and enjoy just like they said when it went to 30/3 seasons after years of 10 point seasons. There are birds. I have 4 limit hunts against 1 scratch this year in between I have had days where teal and scaup fought off the scratch. There was a late summer drought in the southern half of the prairie pothole region and I suspect it hit gadwall production hard as a result every grey I have killed this year has been a big adult and they are crazy spooky. Pressure comes in many forms not just hunters, fishing in ponds was rare when I was a kid in the 80's people fished to catch boxes not 3-5 fish so they fished cuts, passes and bays. In Hopedale I see as many fly fishing rigs as duck hunters and day of the winter. Every one of those hombres hazes 5-10 times as many ducks as a hunter setting up shooting t and pulling out, think we can go toe to toe with CCA and shut red fishing and bass fishing down 3 months a year???? Find water that can't be reached in a power craft and you are getting warmer.

Beyond that we have to accept reality and let go of the myth that if the season ran to Mardi Gras the ducks would eventually come. Satellite tracking surveys indicate that migration is limited after Christmas, the tipping point has come and the birds will try to hunker unless all the water freezes. To me the most sensible would be a single 3 split season with 9 days tacked on to teal season in October. Then the current coastal opener with a longer split. Since I know the rednecks up in southern Arkansas would hate that I guess it's hard to do much with the dates except have a coastal zone first split a week longer and set back the reopening a week. Traditionally that has been unpopular due to school vacation times so that's tough??? But every year we do way better in November than December with mixes results in January. Probably some of the birds we shoot are passing though en route to Cuba or Mexico, we don't shoot many bands so who could say??

Well at any rate if I can get over this flu I'll get back to chasing those non-existent ducks
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I agree with you about your thoughts on the dates to be changed. I have a few boats come in to my canals during season. I am a CCA member myself. most people in louisiana know that there is areas not to go in during duck season. If i had to guess those same fisherman were at some point duck hunters but got frustrated with the situation we are in and just started fishing. that is what i have done this season when i get frustrated. the only thing that does not add up is our over all population survey we are low on a few breeds but those breeds that are low were still were seen and killed in louisiana years ago. how can the population of ducks be up almost 34% since the 50's , that is a large percentage so if we think about the glory days of hunting ducks in louisiana and the sky turning black, the numbers say that we have 34% more ducks then we had during that time. All i am trying to get across with all of this, Is there anyone who is interested in making another fight.60's 70's and 80's totally different times . i actually think we could get something done now. It is a none fact that our climate has changed and with changes like that it effects everything. with that alone could be an argument to move the dates.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I know that there was attention brought to our sport with the whole duck dynasty show but that actually could play in our favor, not only did it bring more people to the sport but we have a Icon when it comes to the duck hunting sport known nation wide and that could actually help if we had the support of duck commander on this situation too. I have been hunting with his calls since the original. i read in one of the comments on this post where someone hunted with him last week and it was slow. that is crazy, not just saying that because i think he should have more ducks cause they know who he is. i am saying that because i have also made trips once or twice a year to his neck of the woods and hunted the northern part just because it was pretty sight to see all the ducks buzzing the tops of those trees. i havent went this year because all the people i have talked to said they were not seeing them. Last year it was slow too.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I am amazed at how much money gets put into conservation and habitat in the wintering grounds. This money needs to go to creating habitat in the breeding grounds to increase breeding success and help the birds when they are most vulnerable. Once the birds are mature, they will find natural habitat and food; there's just too much of it for them not to.
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everyone that has posted on here seems to be on the same page. there was already enough habitat and food sources for there winter journey before. The whole problem in this is the every lasting green $$$$$$$ what has happened is some wealthier property owners and partners in properties needed a tax right off and people can argue all they want about them not getting a tax break with doing the conservation program. Well what those people who are arguing with that dont realize it is not just that it is the property in a whole that the tax break is for with property loss tax then they dont want to invest anymore into it so they get tied in with the proper channels to get funding from certain organizations to create more habitat that is not needed unless you need it to be right beside the multi million dollar hunting club that you just put the proposal in for your building permit!!!!! lol Then they funny thing is once you start, that it is all profit shortly there after, you can buy those pond heaters and right them off too!!! The Hard truth in all this , is who wouldnt love to do that same thing. there is not that many people who has the money or the investment backing to buy up that much land. No bank wants to loan for some wetlands. On the other hand there is a bunch of men and women who pay there dues and help raise the money for the organizations who could put the money to good use on our state and government owned areas so that all of the members could enjoy it. but im sure the hunting club owner promised to give out the code to the gate and free hunting coupons for the first year that there open for all DU members so thats what makes it all ok.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
There is a duck hunting site I go on from time to time that will allow you to browse reporting by state. A number of years ago when we were observing that the duck hunting in southeast Louisiana was on the rapid decline, I decided to browse into states I thought were heavily into the farming and practices of improving their farm to attract ducks and geese. I poked at just one guy who had many pictures posted of his family hunting club started by his dad. I saw pictures of his field with birds so thick, I think in one shot I would have a limit. My comments attracted other guiding services and what they said to me was not pretty for train of thought. ?Ya?ll in Louisiana do not have the right to those waterfowl? among many other horrible things I didn't want to hear. These guys are starring at clouds of birds while we look at hardly nothing and Louisiana want to charge me $60 for a license. And its correct..........the sane will not travel 6 to 10 hrs just to waterfowl hunt. It just wont happen without relocating to another state.
Some of these guys up north of us have stumbled onto goldmines in the waterfowl guiding services. Attempting to disrupt that will not be an easy task. I hope that there is something can be done to fight for what is ours. I feel it?s a lost cause though.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Well it isnt anyones birds to claim. All that we need to be asking for is that the migration path not have any more duck truck stops built cause if we get anymore we def will not have any type of season and we need the pond heating to stop. I dont care how they are keeping the food available it is not natural to un freeze water or frost off of what old man winter and god covered for personal gain to stop the migration. Go out and shine your spotlight at a deer at night and see if it isnt aginst the law , its unnatural light to shine a deer at night and it could throw the deers natural patterns off . I would think that the feds would think that stopping a natural migrating animal would fall in the same category.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
We love duck hunting too much. And we are killing the ducks off in Louisiana.
I have hunted in Creole in the 1970's, Venice in the early 1980's , Gueydan in the late 1980's, Guste Island in the early 1990's and Lafitte at private clubs in the 1990's and through the present.
Despite the contention that all we kill in Louisiana are grey ducks ,dos gris and teal this was not true.
These were trash ducks.
Now they are the only ducks killed
I have photos of 30 drake pintail limits from Creole and Venice, mixed mallard and pintails from Gueydan and Venice.All shot 30 yrs. ago
Everyone shot these ducks to the point where I think we killed off the mallards and pintails migrating here .Ducks don't just randomly fly south .They fly to specific areas and have been wiped out like buffalo were.
Look at the specific areas where canvasbacks are killed Wax Lake and South Pass
Canvasbacks thrive tin those 2 areas .Obviously they are protected by the 1 duck limit.And hens are more protected since who wants to shoot a hen as opposed to a drake canvasback.Mle female ratio on Canvasbacks is 8 to one.

There were lots of Pintails in Lafitte thirty years ago. The same as Venice .It is just the Pintail limit didn't come son enough to save the Lafitte Migrating Pintails.
Venice was safer for pintails and game wardens are everywhere so Venice is still full of Pintails.

I predict that the Grey Ducks will be killed of next.And then the Greenwing teal and Dos Gris
In 10 more years I doubt people will duck hunt in southeast Louisiana
And there is nothing that can be done short of closing the season for 5- 10 years

Look at Salvador Management Area if you want to see the future.Seventy percent of ducks killed were Dos Gris.I have a friend who hunted there when it was a private club and they shot only Mallards and Pintails
They shot over the limit but there were very few hunters so the ducks were safe.
The first year it was a management area my friend went back and found 5 blinds shooting where he had had 1 blind.They had a bang up first split and then it was over

If you want to see where duck hunting has not been affected by shortstopping and overhunting look at the aerial reports for White Lake Management Area. Still has a high count of Mallards and Pintails
This was a large management area run by Amaco and still managed by the state under the rules of Amaco
This is what Louisiana should be This is how Delacroix and Lafitte should look but never will again

I have quit duck hunting this year because it has become so poor. And we killed limits of Grey Duck and Teal. It is shadow of what it was.We saw very few birds and had to hunt till 830 to get limits
Very sad

.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
MileyPop,Have never met ya and a few years ago,I did a 'bucket-list' hunt in NDakota and we shot ridiculous amounts of mostly mallards and it was breath-taking to say the least so I do know a thing or two about how awesome the hunts in the Prairie Pothole Region can be.I want to possibly see if we could maybe get a 501C(3)organization started,let's call our non-profit COOTS,seriously,standing for Concern Over Our Threated Sport and see what a concerned grass-roots type of organization might be able to accomplish.I grew up in Kenner and as a kid had a neighbor that hunted the Manchac Swamp and Maurepas Swamp and I had heard numerous stories about how glorious those places used to be but like K and B and Schwegmann's,dey aint dere no more!!Think about this,as a kid we were lucky to catch a speck in Lake Pontchartrain and when the shell dredging mega-operations stopped,guess what,Lake P is as good a speck lake as ya gonna find and lots of folks would agree.Why can't we form a group of concerned and die-hard waterfowl enthusiasts and get some of those formerly pristine Cypress swamps back to where they should be.I hunt almost predominantly the NShore Marsh and constantly marvel at her beauty and the shear variety of quality ducks that folks would pay dearly to shoot,including trophy black ducks,huge mallards,pintails,woodies and today shot a Ringed Teal,which I understand to be a rare duck-leave it to someone as passionate about duck hunting Federal Land as me to accomplish that feat,to go along with some fine trophies just this year,when folks singing de blues bout no ducks!!I agree we have no where near what we SHOULD have but busting ya butt,watching where ducks decide they want to be and getting on de proverbial 'X' is critical,especially in lean years like most of us currently lamenting about.Let's quit complaining and band together and do something about it,for a change!!!Nuff said!!

Mandevillian,never giving up!!
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
habitat - or lack of. high water in the coastal regions - lack of SAV along the coast. once pristine freshwater marshes covered with invasive species killing the sav. Cypress swamps that used to hold mallards filled with giant salvinia. Land loss .... habitat, habitat, habitat.

Best areas to hunt in the southern portion of LA - Venice - Why? it still has habitat. Atchafalaya Basin / Wax Lake Basin - Still has habitat.

Until something is done - about salt water intrusion and land loss - it will continually get worse.

I'm not sure why the rice fields around the state aren't holding any ducks, but if I had to guess, it's because the local lakes, coastal marshes, swamp breaks nearby the feeding fields do not have habitat anymore. And that goes back to the invasive species and salt water/rising water.

I personally believe that after thanksgiving, no new ducks migrate to La.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
MileyPop, you and I have repeated THE REASON for lack of ducks numerous times over the last 5 years or so, and also stated that it will get worse and it HAS. Hunting over feed needs to be ILLEGAL,,,PERIOD!!!!
Just make it just as illegal to bring water to your feed as it is to bring feed to your water. Arkansas will be the next Louisiana in the next 10 years as Mizzou and Illinois continue to feed heavily. Ducks will not leave feed. The only way we will see plenty of ducks are in the years of severe drought up north of us. I know people that hunt Illinois, and the darn canals that the pumps are in to flood the feed go dry, ducks keep coming south, so every year, pray for a drought up north. No drought, get used to shooting more teal. I have right at 50 yrs of duck hunting under my belt, so I've had my share of awesome seasons, but will continue to hunt as God let's me have the strength and joy in my heart to do so. Just feel bad for kids and grandkids not to have what I had. Shoot straight and often!!!!!
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
The only hope we may have in Louisiana is for ducks to change their desires in the food they like to eat. If we could get ducks to like eating boudin, crackling, gumbo, pickled quail eggs, jamabalaya, andouille and some good etoufee we would be in great shape. I know those farmers up the line could not compete in that arena, all they have up there is potatoes and beans. We need some good coonasses to go up to the pothole region and start feeding the ducklings to get it started.
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Mileypop,Dat's pretty funny.On serious note,just got off phone with NShore fishing/duck hunting buddy and he hunts Delacroix,think near Spanish Lake and they reported seeing quite a LARGE number of ducks on open bays and some in tighter marshes,so anyone hunting prime Delacroix land oughta be mighty excited.I saw more mallards today in NShore Marsh and hope they stick around since we saw very few greys and not much in the way of teal and did see few groups of woodies,not sure where my Coot armies have relocated,guess some folks do shoot em,if ya gotts em!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Well fellas I know what I'm going to do what I have to , to help make it better any way I can. I just hope if I do get something going y'all all stand behind it. I actually have heard a few good reports nothing major but I am packing my gear now gonna hunt just south east of my lease on a buddy's lease in Johnson bayou.yall have a great rest of the season. If any of you wants to get in touch with me maybe to help or give your thoughts privately. My email isjoshgoins81@yahoo.com
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Small example of the great work DU does (haha). Then the farmer will lease it to you for what you paid for your house
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
This is true as it gets. I have private family land that I am fortunate enough to be the 4th generation to hunt in the same ducks holes my great grandfather did. This is all private land spread out in northeast LA in a farming community. I would have put these brake,fields and sloughs up against anything in the world 15-20 years ago and before. We have a camp that is fairly close to one of our highest producing fields. There were so many Mallards in those holes it was difficult to sleep from the calling. If some got up it sounded like a hurricane was coming from so many wings flapping at the same time. It scared me to death as kid. I am here to tell you that DU and other organizations have screwed us big time. There was not many families that supported them bigger with money and land than we did. We were cutting our own throats and didn't even know it. I went to the holes in the last week. In one week I have seen huge numbers of wooducks. Two mallards in one hole and six flying. We have moist soil fields corn rice sorgum every kind of field imaginable. We don't even have many trash ducks come to our fields anymore. I have read the migration reports and they are flat out false. DU pulls the wool over our eyes and lies to our face. I have not killed 1 mallard in a hole of ours all season. The idea of what DU wants to do is great and I am all for that. They do not implement good strategies to make the most use of what money they still get. They need to spend most of their donations on the breeding grounds. This will produce more ducks and let them migrate naturally.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Major,major difference between DU and Delta Waterfowl and for what it is worth,Delta Waterfowl has de right approach,predator control and increasing the breeding success,thus the hunting success.I belong to both but support the wonderful folks at Delta much more than the DU folks and my wife and I pitched in big-time last year for Delta Waterfowl's Winter Banquet and we fit in perfectly with the Board Members!!Predator control makes perfect sense vs cheating us LA die-hards outta ducks by creating 'refuges' N of us where de big buck$ are,just one concerned die-hard,passionate-to-de-bone duck hunter's humble opinion.Also,for what it is worth,buddies of mine reported massive concentrations of ducks in certain Delacroix primo locations!!!Finding some quality birds on NShore just not that many and no rhyme or reason to where these ducks are wanting to congregate and trust me,I work about as hard as guides do and pride myself on hunting and calling skills-used to have our own small flock of mallards and they would respond to my calling,if dat means anything!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I honestly don't have an opinion on Delta Waterfowl. I have not done my research on them or attended an event to have an educated opinion. I do however have a bad taste in my mouth from other 'conservation' groups mainly DU that has left a bad taste in me and my families mouth. I shouldn't have lumped them all into one basket. There are conservation groups that do well in my opinion. NWTF comes to my mind first. I agree with predator control being a great long term solution in the breeding grounds. They will never turn us in the big dirty into some bird watchers. We are bird killers.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I am 42 years old and have been sitting in duck blinds for 40. I grew up hunting the rice/soybean fields NW of Crowley on family land. I can remember my dad carrying me and my sister to the blinds so he could hunt. He was born in 1949 and I can remember him telling me 'boy I wish you could have seen the duck hunting when I was a kid'...at that time I was a kid and there were ducks in any rice/soybean field you would pass so I never thought it would get bad. Now I'm telling the same story to my 11 and 13 year old. The very last good duck season I have had was the 99/00 season. This is around the time the robo duck became popular. I remember killing 4 mallards and 2 off ducks four days in a row. Have not shot four mallards in one day since. You can ride around anywhere in Acadia parish right now and you will not find any fields loaded with ducks. I have, especially in the last week with the heavy freezes. A buddy and myself brought our sons duck hunting in NE Oklahoma from 12-26 through 12-29 and only came home with 5 mallards, 13 greys and one wigeon. The fact is this, the kids had a blast and didn't want to leave. My boys asked, 'Dad is that how the duck hunting was with you and paw paw in the old days?' I said, 'Boys not even close. The whole trip would have only been an ok hunt back then'. I watched those boys in Oklahoma putting out homemade ice eaters ahead of the arctic front and told them that's why we don't kill like we used to. As stated before, ice eaters are 100% unnatural and should absolutely be outlawed. In my opinion the migration has already been altered. Those birds migrating good in the late 90's are dead or not coming South to show the new birds the migration routes. You can say instinct will naturally take them but I call BS. They do not have to move if the water stays open and the food source is there. They give us the numbers that Louisiana still shoots most of the waterfowl on the Mississippi flyway. But what they don't acknowledge is that those birds are mostly spoon bills, greys, teal and blackjacks. When you complete the HIP form to purchase the license all it asks is waterfowl taken, not breed. Sure the pintail are in Louisiana on the coast, but not like it used to be. I remember riding country roads and killing my truck just to listen to the whistles. Haven't seen one pintail in a rice field yet. It is illegal to use battery operated duck call recordings to hunt correct? You cannot use a trolling motor or outboard to run down ducks correct? I believe any mechanically operated device used to disrupt the natural game ought to be outlawed...example: ice eaters, motion decoys. Sure ducks get wise to the motion decoys, but not before getting shot at. Duck hunting has become way to commercialized in the last two decades, I can remember people complaining in the 90's about a lease in Klondike being $3000, same lease is $23,000 this year. I honestly believe it will never be like it used to be and can't see it getting any better but worse. I would 100% be involved with any kind of group that can get into the political circle that would get things back like they were. DU and Delta, that's a negative, the money has already been put in their hands and they sold us out to the North.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Well I made it back after the first very action packed duck hunt I have had in a very long time. With some of my old duck hunting buddies, we never get to hunt together since we all have our own blinds now. It was awesome I will tell all about it after this. Just wanted to thank all of you for reading my post and I like hearing all the stories cause it brings back so many great memories. Like I said in my original post I due pay my dues and yes I am a member of both organizations. I am a committee member for delta. I started supporting them years ago after reading what there goals actually were and from what I have read and saw even after researching, I am hoping that they are truthful with there conservation commitments. When it comes to du, the only reason why I still pay my membership just so I can talk about this issue because if I wasn't contributing and it wasn't my money being spent I wouldn't really have a fighting chance if we ever got this into the circles we need it to be. Back to this mornings hunt . It was ok then we saw some look to be new birds coming in and about 10 it was on! Responded well to long call but had to baby them in but it was just group after group with short pauses in between and the calling was the deciding factor in getting them in or not. That is what it's all about. Mixed bag pintails, teal, scaup, and believe it are not the grey ducks made there appearance in a big way finally! Greys were in small groups but there would be so many they would end up flocking up. Over all great hunt hopefully it stays that way in our marsh.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I also wanted to let you guys know I never really got real in depth with researching this topic until after last season. I noticed the declining migration years ago but always was hopefull and like a lot of people just kinda blamed it on weather and everything else that has Taken the blame for vanishing Louisiana ducks. Well I am going to let you boys in on my findings and then you can take it from there if you think I'm wrong or if you just want to research it more. # 1 Nebraska it has always been a fowlers state but it's now become a heavy hitter, just dig into the corn husker state a little. #2 Oklahoma, we all have known okies were into shooting some birds but check out some info on what has been done there. Oklahoma is not as good like the two other states in this waterfowling trio
#3 This is the jewel of this waterfowling trio!!!! It is now the new Louisiana!!!!!!! KANSAS!!!!!!!!!!!! Check out the mallard / geese / and what ever kind of waterfowl you can think of videos. It is straight up hammer time and looks just like you are in the marshes and swamps of Louisiana. Also check out the guides from Kansas pages. At least two of the top guide services have lodges in all three of the states and private land that with the help of certain organizations has been takin care of And turned into a lush gorgeous marsh. If you ever had any doubts about water heaters check the videos out. Here is a thermal map and if you think it's wrong then just swap to your maps and put it on satellite mode then check out topo that lies where the thermals fall and it will probably make you sick!!!! To see just how many privately owned refuges that stretch north and south through those states. Then check out the freshly rebuilt DU partnered refuge Cheyenne bottoms refuge the new Mecca of all meccas and the Marais des cygnes refuge, then you will see what is killing us and hurting Arkansas!!!!!!!
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I checked out the two refuges you referred and that only makes me sicker. That's not even on our flyway, I can about imagine what they are doing on ours. I'm stuck to public land hunting now because the land that has a blind I have access to no longer has waterfowl. Virtually all the agricultural land for lease South of HWY-14 that does attract birds has been locked up for decades or the price is more than this country boy can pay. Waterfowl are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, that's federal. Key word is Migratory. I'm sure everyone has read the federal law, but I copied and pasted an overview of some of the regulations.

Illegal hunting methods. You cannot hunt waterfowl:

- With a trap, snare, net, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than 10 gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machine gun, fish hook, poison, drug, explosive, or stupefying substance.
-From a sink box or any other low floating device that conceals you beneath the surface of the water.
-From a motorboat or sailboat, unless you shut the motor off or furl the sail and the vessel is no longer in motion.
-Using live birds as decoys.
-While possessing any shot other than approved nontoxic shot.
-From or by means, aid, or use of any motor vehicle, motor-driven land conveyance, or aircraft (if you are a paraplegic or are missing one or both legs, you may hunt from a stationary car or other stationary motor-driven land vehicle or conveyance).
-Using recorded or electrically amplified bird calls or sounds, or imitations of these calls and sounds.
-With a shotgun that can hold more than three shells, unless you plug it with a one-piece filler that cannot be removed without disassembling the gun.

How can it be legal to knowingly and purposely hold ponds, lakes, swamps or portions of rivers open to keep a Migratory bird from naturally doing what they were supposed to do and head South. And be able to hunt it. They are and have been doing it for years now. There is some particular group in bed with a strong political group that has allowed it not to be outlawed it yet. You can bet there would be an unbelievable uproar if us Louisiana boys could figure out how to alter the ducks to stay here and breed and nest to never head North again. We have wood ducks that do, thank God, but I have a bad feeling wood duck populations in Louisiana are going to suffer hard in the next couple of years because there isn't much more to hunt.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Hollow point just curious to where exactly your blind located so I could understand where you are talking about.as far as the wood ducks go, we in my opinion have more woodies in this year then I have seen in a couple of years. The wood duck is a smaller duck. Normaly it will be down shortly after the blue wings. Wood ducks were always among the early migrators, sure they would still have some come later but the majority would come first. I don't know where you live but this state of ours has so many waterways that you can navigate down and find sloughs and bends that are nice and wide and one side is shallow enough to toss you some deoys. We have seen increased numbers of wood ducks on the Sabine River up past starks and old river. I even killed a few woodies deep into the marsh in my blind first split. You talked about the fly ways and had concerns on a couple of issues I spoke about, so I will tell you what I know and personal opinion. Mississippi Delta flyway ducks have steadily moved west in a large way. The central flyway holds the majority of North American ducks, that is my opinion . As far as the refuges that you looked at on google map, they look awesome but I am not upset one bit that du helped the state build a old andfailing refuge into something like that, I wish they would do it in Louisiana too. We want them to help our states see a problem and assist in funding or knowledge on fixing it to conserve waterfowl, Maybe the ducks would stay a little longer in our refuges if the looked like those. It still depends on them migrating to get to it. Those two refuges are public land so we have access to them. The trip would cost a little bit on food and fuel, and a 100 out of state license. That just kinda gave me an idea. I hunted with an Oder gentlemen that had hunted in just about every flyway state, his compliment to me was that my set up was top notch and told me successful Louisiana hunters r pretty smart when it comes to killing these birds. He had noticed the further north he went the easier the hunting would be. My great idea was we could really throw a kink in there perfect design to keep ducks for them selves . I don't want to travel but I would at least try to make a migration myself to them. I would try to have every gun carrying, high ball callin, mud boat drivin Louisiana boy I could with me. They wouldn't know what to do with some of the refuge rats that I know ! Lol.
The issue that we start bringing attention too and start the first fight is to have the ice eaters/pond heaters illegelized!!!!!! Asap!!!!!!!!! They are not a natural and if they were unable to use them they freeze over and have a shorter season than expected at least they could blame it all on higher powers. We had a hurricane that hit us and flooded south west la and southeast Tx right before dove seasoned and ruined our dove season but we still all went and realized that Mother Nature can do what she wants. I guess we could have went and got wind vacuums and pumps just in case it was going to ruin our hunting. Louisiana really is the one getting cut short in this situation that all started from another mans greed to hunt more days and kill more ducks for personal gain. If we were to get ice heaters Out of duck hunting and I honestly believe it would be a step back in the right direction. Then all it would take is some freezing temps and the migration would move at the speed that Mother Nature intends for it, and then hopefully the ducks natural instinct, the solstice, and the migration gets closer to normal. Even if we were able to have issues up north solved and they fly over Louisiana , after all of that it would still be a victory, but them ducks better be high cause I know a few guys that might sky bust em lol!! Sorry for the long comment but I'm very passionate about the sport I love and there is so much to this and it needs to be exposed! it
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I totally forgot to clear up the whole refuge topic. Yes I wanted you guys and girls to google earth and check out those two state refuges. Ducks unlimited knowledge and conservation efforts did an awesome job taking these refuges and rebuilt them bigger and better and the best part anybody to go there and take advantage of it.
The refuges that will blow your minds and that justifies me even makin my original post on here, is all of the other refuges that are privately owned. It will take a little bit of time but zoom in and look all the way from the eastern border to just a little past the center of the state. If you still have trouble, go to kansas duck hunting guides and look up the top guides address's to there lodge and they will be in the same area or right outside the town that the address shows.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Very well put. I have been hunting ducks for over 55 years and the problem started many years ago when the Canada Goose population that migrated to Louisiana were getting shortstopped. There are many other problems in the equation for the reason we don't have the ducks that we have had historically. One thing for certain is coastal erosion and habitat change. Many places that harbored waterfowl years ago have changed dramatically. However, some places still have great habitat, but harbor very few ducks. This is due to some of the problems you have mentioned. I don't think we will ever see Louisiana return to the old days of waterfowling.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I know it could never be the crazy insane hunting you saw in your childhood or teenage years. However I saw videos taken on those hunting lodges private refuges and videos from the public refuge. I'm sure there they did some editing to the clips but the ducks and guess are stacked up falling in on those boys. It was all recorded just last week and and further back.. if you haven't already taken a look at some of them get on YouTube and search duck hunting kansas 2017. It will blow you away. That gives me hope that if we are able to get melting ice to be a punishable law and the ducks and geese on those videos show up. It will put it close to the old sportsmans paradise
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I have no permanent blind, I hunt on the Mermentau River and every bayou, canal and slough that connects. Been hunting it since '98 when I bought a boat so I know it quite well. It has received a lot more pressure in the last 10 years with everyone wanting to be a Robertson. You can hardly make a bend without someone flashing a light at you to let you know they are there. It's public domain so all you can do is smile and wave. I go on vacation in a couple of days and may try and hunt a guide service rice field around Kaplan. For one hunt it would cost me $325 for myself and my two boys so I need to look at forecasts and try to pick the best day and see if there is an opening. What I have typed so far is absolutely no complaint at all, public property is free for all and guide service's have the right to charge whatever they want for their operation. We have had a full week with freezing temperatures so the same old song and dance of the weather not being cold enough is not going to work anymore. SW Louisiana agricultural fields ought to be covered with snows and blues right now on any back road you take. Crawfish farmers ought to have propane bottles popping off all over the place to keep the birds out of the rice stubble. Birds are still North according to my contacts due to keeping the ponds open with ice eaters. The only way to get things back to right is for us down here to get into any and everyone's ear and head to outlaw the ice eaters because it has disrupted a natural migratory species. That's it. Good luck to all for the rest of the season.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
My blind in Pecan Island has no birds. 2 teal killed total for the last 3 hunts. I feel y'all pain. I can tell you that there are vast concentrations of geese in the Whiteville area. Ducks are hit or miss depending on the field. It sounds like a war in most seasons. Not many shots this year however. Ducks were here for 2nd split opener and left after a couple of days of shooting.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Right on point!

But, I think it will be easier to convince our families to move to Kansas with us than to pass some kind of legislation to ban ice-eaters.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Jgoins1981, I tried emailing you at the address you provided but it keeps kicking back to me as undeliverable so I sent to your Contact User. Let me know if you receive.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Well,I can vouch for our lack of ducks in NShore Marsh and we hunt about as hard as a body can possibly hunt w/o being a guide and I will offer my observations,based upon what we are seeing locally.My hunting buddy has killed exactly 3 woodies this season,his second most prevalent duck and I think there are some greys,hanging out much later than most hunters willing to stick it out and we typically see a decent few flocks of greys and teal,probably resting up til hunters(whom they have patterned vs the other way around)and we might start our hunts around 8 and wrap up at noon,the latest we get to hunt where we typically hunt!I have shot quite a variety of quality ducks,including a rare Ringed Teal,hen,and feel fairly confident that the small flock of teal I was having considerable difficulty clearly ID'ing was 6 Ringed Teal.I did not shoot at this flock,not realizing that they were Teal and next time dey shows up,gonna teach em lesson!!!Hate to really infuriate myself but will scope our Kansas 2017 Duck Hunting You Tube just to see what Kansas is offering!!!Think we gonna slowly start pecking away at nice greys,just gotta change tactics and hunt smarter vs harder!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Today I FB text a certain individual that works on a waterfowl project within the LDWF and told him about this post and asked him to look it over to see if he has any information or can put us in the right direction to get things going that way. Hopefully he does and comments so we can see what can be done. So far as of 3:05 this afternoon there are 4,507 views to this post. If that amount of people start putting it in their buddies heads and to pass it on that things need to be changed and it gets spread all across the coast, things will happen.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I got you're e-mail, and I've read this entire thread, but I don't think you're going to like some of my responses. Many of these guys have seen this stuff before.

First, there is a lot of good stuff on this thread.

1) The large-scale habitat condition in our state has deteriorated markedly from the past. You guys have hit on most of the reasons:
- Coastal wetland loss needs no real clarification. We have lost huge acreages of previously productive marsh to open water, saltwater intrusion, and hurricane impacts. Line 25 on my aerial survey is one of the most visible spots. Hurricane Katrina broke it up, Gustav washed a lot of it away, and since then I can clearly see the continued loss of marsh. During that same time, the number of ducks I'm counting on that line has fallen by half. Louisiana's coastal wetlands have lost the capacity to winter the same number of birds it had in the past.
- Rice agriculture has lost acreage, even despite recent rebounds, but more importantly, it doesn't provide the food it did in the past. Round-up ready seeds allow a completely 'nuking' of the field during the growing season, so there are no weed seeds, millet, smartweed, sedges, that used to accompany the rice crop. Harvest methods leave far less waste grain, and post-harvest treatments (you've all seen a harvested rice field turned into a moon-scape before flooding) minimize even that.
- Invasive aquatics have rendered previously productive habitat virtually useless. Just look at Maurepas Swamp, the site of Phil Robertson's first video, The Duckmen of Louisiana. I'm losing my lease to salvinia, and I'm hardly alone. Public reservoirs, private canals, NWRs and WMAs are all seeing the negative effects.
- And what about the really big stuff ....... climate change and land use? Ducks and geese are wintering further north across the entire Northern Hemisphere, not just here in North America. Corn is now being grown further north; rice acreage is moving further north; black-bellied whistling ducks are wintering further north; white-winged doves have shifted their breeding habitat north and east. As well as our declining habitat quality, large-scale agriculture and environmental conditions are shifting in a way that DOES NOT favor Louisiana waterfowl hunters.

2) I really like the idea of a Louisiana State Waterfowl Organization, and have for many years. States like California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nevada, South Carolina, and maybe others, have strong state waterfowl organizations the provide hunters a direct means to participate in the waterfowl-management process. Why don't we have one here?

Well, we do ...... the Louisiana Waterfowl Alliance, which is a standing sub-committee of the Louisiana Wildlife Federation. But they have never really got off the ground, and their membership is probably below 50 guys right now. http://louisianawaterfowl.org/ Why?

My opinion is that their past leadership has been off-putting to some hunters, and they have espoused un-popular issues ...... statewide noon closures for waterfowl hunting, banning spinning-wing decoys, shorter seasons and lower bag limits to reduce hunting pressure, etc. In fact, I think the fact that 1) there is NOT much consensus among waterfowl hunters on a lot of issues (just see mud motors, or DU on this forum right now), and 2) the really meaningful issues like our changes in habitat quality, just don't generate much enthusiasm (just see how they are ignored to complain about hunting over feed, ice-eaters, or DU) for hunters to get involved.

In 2003 a 'Waterfowl Study Commission' was appointed by the Governor after a Senate Resolution was passed to determine what was causing the poor waterfowl hunting in Louisiana and to make recommendations to fix it. But the hunting improved in 2004 and 2005 (despite the hurricanes, we had lots of ducks), and they took no action. After I joined LDWF in 2005, the late Robert Helm (my predecessor) reconvened this Commission, they met twice, and then were disbanded. That's the closest I recall to having a citizens advisory board on waterfowling or state waterfowl organization.

Enough for this post.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Good post Larry. You discussed the rice field changes. I think many do not know that the new generation combines leave very little waste grain in the fields. Roundup ready seeds have changed the equation for ducks and doves. The invasion of salvania has impacted my area south of White Lake to a degree we never dreamed of. Our lease held upwards of 2000 birds each year in an area we set aside as a sanctuary. This broken marsh area is now solid salvania. The plant chokes out SAV, killing it and eliminating open water. We fight the salvania at our blinds, but the loss of open areas has been a death blow. I have heard freeze kills this devil plant. Is this correct?
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Just giving my update to all Louisiana waterfowlers, but before I tell you about the past two hunts, I knew that my post would get some views and maybe would let y'all know what's really going on. After seeing how many views this is getting and reading all the great post from everybody who has commented, my confidence in pushing this forward with higher levels of politicians and making steps in the direction with louisianas duck hunters best interest in mind. I'm pretty sure everyone that is reading this is concerned just as much as I am and loves the sport, If y'all really do love this state and it's endangered sport of duck hunting. I am asking y'all to tell anybody and everybody about this post, the residents of la needs to informed on the issues we have talked about and they know it isn't just their farm, field, marsh, or waterway that is having a bad season. Maybe one of the admins for Louisiana sportsman will move my post to the hot topics or put it on the main news feed so every can see this. After all, duck hunting is still one of the most popular traditions in our Louisiana sports!!

Went yesterday to Klondike with some friends we bagged 10specks 1blue 1pintail over all good hunt considering the season we have had, but then you really think about it! Your in Klondike, in a rice field, 2nd split, temps 34, wind blowing 8 to 10, blind and set up can't get any better, and 6 good buddies that are real shooters, sounds kinda like a dream everyone of us Louisiana boys have had before, but in the dream I'm sure the geese were so loud it woke you up and the ducks you killed could have filled the feather pillow your head was laying on. After that thought while driving home and thinking about 8 hours in the blind you just spent. You realize this isn't normal and other than the great time with your buddies and blessed with the birds you killed,the hunt was not good when you bring normal into the equation.

Hunted my blind this morning that borders the Sabine refuge saw probably 100 birds those species being pintails, greys, teal, and I heard mallards but never laid my eyes on them. Saw probably 100 geese and that was separated in 3 groups. Only had one small group of greys attempt to work. Great time just having my big blind just to me and my best friend that rarely gets to hunt with me. Anyday in a blind in Cameron parish Louisiana watching the sun come up over the marsh is a good day in my book.
total ducks killed 0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you serious!!!!!! I am in a pond in Cameron sorrounded by the hunting clubs and refuges that half of the stories you hear about the sky being black, well this is the area. Blind and hide brushed then brushed more, tide perfect, perfect decoy set up and a northeast wind at 8 throwing motion on the decoys and over cast with low lying clouds, sounds like a duck hunters dream!!!!!!! Well after 7 hrs in the blind and 0 ducks and thinking about all the hard work invested and time and money you feel like this could be turning into a night mare!

So I guess me and my buddies that I hunted with Friday, had one of the best hunts we are going to have this year. Must have caught it just perfect and been in the perfect spot only just st a few miles from my blind which I might add is deeper into the marsh, so deep I launch out of Texas. If after reading this post you still are convinced that surface drives or it's not cold enough or some other issue that makes no sense what so ever.
Then this cause might not be the one you want to fight for. For all of you that know something is seriously wrong and wants our coast and marshes to get the much needed attention and wants to find out where our migration is, PLEASE have as many people read this post and let's do something about it
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Unfortunately, this thread is also full of the same exaggerations and misinformation starting with our continued fascination with blaming DU.

DU does at least as much work on public land in Louisiana as it does on private land. Wham Break, Russell Sage, Dewey Wills, Buckhorn, Bayou Macon, Sherburne, Bayou Pierre, Pass-a-Loutre, Pointe-aux-Chenes, Catahoula Lake, Boeuf, Pomme-de-Terre, White Lake, Rockefeller, Marsh Island, and a number of NWRs have had at least 1 DU project enhancing habitat for public hunters (where it is allowed). They do more work here than anyplace except for the breeding grounds. Yes, they do work in other states; they have members in those states too. But DU does not 'heat ponds', and they do not manage land in the US. That is left to the landowner, like LDWF. Someone above said it clearly that we are often short on resources to do that as well as we know how. That is especially true when we are 'given' so much land (like Maurepas Swamp and Wham Brake) without any people or money to go with it. Think about the last time your hunting license fees increased.

According to our 2005, 2010, and 2015 Louisiana Waterfowl Hunter Surveys, 75% of our hunters 'primarily' hunt on private lands? And we make them buy hunting licenses and stamps, too. A lot of them are probably DU members as well. So why in the world would LDWF and DU not do work on private lands? The vast majority of Louisiana's huntable habitat is private, ducks use private lands, a majority of our hunters use private lands ...... so of course we do work on private lands. It would be unethical not to.

Despite the very real decline in hunting quality, we remain among the top duck-kill states according to the harvest data published each year that is generated from selected hunters tracking their hunts and turning in wings and tails from birds they kill. We have also had high duck populations for over 20 years. So whatever is happening out there on the landscape to change the migration ...... warmer temperatures, changes in agricultural practices, flooded un-harvested crops, ice-eaters, and Ducks Unlimited ...... it is NOT negatively affecting the duck population. So how do you intend to make the case to the USFWS that restrictions need to be implemented on states north of us?

The USFWS already knows that migrations change. Right or wrong, that is precisely why waterfowl are managed on a Flyway scale, not the state or regional level. It doesn't matter if a duck is killed in MO or LA, TN , OH, or IA, that is going to change as habitat and climate changes both long-term and over the course of a single season. As long as populations are healthy at the Flyway level, and Louisiana remains among the leaders in duck kill, I suspect attempts at restricting activity in northern states on the basis of we not having enough ducks to kill will be difficult.

Especially when they consider that very real, substantial loss of habitat quality in our state.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Don't get me wrong ...... I've been hunting this state since 1989. I killed limits of mallards, pintails, and canvasbacks hunt after hunt on the Atchafalaya Delta WMA where now I'd struggle to kill a few ducks. Those of you regular to this forum has seen the summaries of mid-winter survey data I've posted showing the changes in winter distributions. I've personally watched the demise of a number of habitats, including my own hunting lease, from invasive aquatics.

But I've also enjoyed fantastic duck hunts, including a half-dozen this year on public and private land, and contrary to popular belief, I don't get any invites from high-dollar duck clubs. They don't seem to like me any more than you do. But what I see remains worthy of our investment, and I intend to keep working on it ...... with help from partners like DU, Delta, USFWS, and private landowners.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
No sir Larry, I don't hold it on your back at all, just looking for information. Thanks for replying, it gives me more to think on. That's the only reason I questioned. From what I witnessed in Oklahoma, ice eaters need to be outlawed...thanks again
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Since you dropped me off at my truck today from our hunt in the marsh I have not been able to stop thinking about this issue with the northern states using these ice heaters & heated ponds altering the natural migration of waterfowl .In no such way should this be legal and it’s got to come to an end before we have no more ducks. Not only do I enjoy hunting ducks but also I enjoy seeing numbers which is no longer here unless your lucky enough to be where a few are .I can remember my dad telling stories of when he rice farmed in Mamou La and said they kept butane canons everywhere and said the sky’s were full ducks ! Any kind of duck you could think of! True then they hunted ducks not for sport but that was one of their means for food to survive.These guys from the northern states call themselves duck hunters?!?? Lol They thaw out a hole in the frozen ponds and that’s the only freakin place the ducks can land ! What sport is that ? I’d call that inhumane and I know a few organizations that need to find out about how these ducks are being killed & kept from their natural migration and how they are being hunted over thawed holes. How in the hell is that any different from baiting them? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out if you alter any kind of nature that eventually it will disappear .Thks for the hunt brother and I back you 100%
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Mr Larry i respect and understand everything you wrote and thank you for explaining the problems that our state is having. A couple of the issues you mentioned I didn't know, but the majority I have read about. I am glad people understand the real facts and appreciate you sharing your knowledge and expertise with us.

I started this post after the first time I ever visited the reports on sportsmans page just to see if any one had birds. I was blown away by some of the post with louisiana waterfowling. This post is not only to open people's eyes to what the migration has done north of us but that our state needs work. The only issue that I guess I am either misled or confused about , if the magration is watched so closely. Why would the fed gov allow Louisiana which is once the best resting area to the majority of the migration to slip into the state that we are in now.
I also don't understand why we have been complaining about climate change and weather. Asking for dates to be changed because of it and the fed gov knows this is a big issue with patterns changing , but does nothing .
Also I want to know is the migration just stopping north of us now and is that why the issues in Louisiana are like they still are . I am not a dumb person I am asking because I see Louisiana full of ducks after season, they are still coming it is just later.
As far as du I explained earlier in my post they do stuff for states but I don't see anything in our states looking close to what has been done to old wma's and new ones north of us. I am just trying to find out basically why a large migratory habitat basically has been given up on.
The ice heater situation you make your own judgement call on that but before you do just go watch videos online and check out how many there are online in every state up the flyway and they literally talking about herding ducks out of one area so they could melt another to push them over to it. The ducks fall in the water with out checking up. You tell me honestly after the videos and let me know if you thick honestly the device could hurt not only the migration but the population it's self.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
You are speaking the truth in what has happened to the duck hunting in Louisiana. Very well put and explained. I said the same thing many years ago with all the funding private land owners that this is what would happen and was laughed at. Free money to improve private wants is just like what has happened to the welfare system in American. The majority suffers for the few that get all the attention. It was orginally said to have been money spent on improvement of breeding groups, then the money shifted to private interest and now you see the results.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
It's not the 'refuges' organizations are creating... Changing land use practices further up the flyway and degraded habitat here are the culprits..
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those of you saying duck dynasty brought in new hunters.. wrong.. duck hunter numbers actually continue to drop
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I am really bothered by this. I never have been involved with any of the post concerning this issue on any website, or any other issue i just always stayed out of it. The truth is i am just a guy who works in the plants, loves his family, his state, and his ducks. I didnt know or realize who this Larry Reynolds was until a person with concerns sent me a private email letting me know he contacted Mr Larry reaching out trying to get this plague that is taking over a tradition that Louisiana has had since the first settler put his pirogue in the bayou and killed a duck to provide a meal for his family. I really am trying to like Mr Larry and i do want to respect you and your thoughts but facts are facts. I stumbled on some comments you have made in the past on this same issue and other issues with concerned Louisiana waterfowl hunters. In case you didnt know once something is posted online there is no real way to ever get it off. I am not saying you dont give a great explanation and scientific review for Louisiana's problems with agriculture, coastline, marsh, and rice production. I saw in previous post all the way back to 2009 that you have gave your expert advise and long scientific review and it just about came up every year since. I also read news articles with the issue and you giving your expert advise on the situation and you acknowledgment on ice heaters, refuges, and agriculture flooded fields with unharvested crops and how it was just going to get worse. I am not a biologist and I dont fly over the fields and count ducks. I do however have common sense. The fact is a duck flies south due to cold and windy conditions. It can live in cold conditions but to do so, it needs to eat and drink. Well every issue that you acknowledged after the season we had in 2013-2014 in a news paper article allows states to keep them water and food available no matter if god froze it, so they dont have to migrate. That let me know you might work for the state and you might be a duck hunter but you either dont care or someone has pressured you into not saying something. You would have been the perfect candidate to step up and be the voice for the sport you supposibly love so much, given your expertise. You said that agriculture up north and other issues were not what was effecting the louisiana migration in your comments on my post. Did you have a change of heart since 2014? If you or the fed gov cannot see the manipulation that certain states are using to short stop ducks with agriculture, and ice, and that it has altered the migration from every other state south of them, then we need new people appointed who can see it. When Arkansas # 3 in waterfowl hunting history is seeing the effects of this too then we have a problem. Read the reports, i guess its coastal erosion, and there loss of rice production. That wont work because them boys have rice and no coast to worry about. It is effecting TX, LA, AL,FL the worst. The ducks are protected by federal law, thank god because it doesnt look like we will get help from the state. The leading expert and manager over the states migration has known of the conditions that could ruin the only reason for his job for atleast 5 yrs that i know of and hasnt had one thing accomplished towards fixing the issues. You could have reached out to the waterfowlers and maybe could have had help fighting these issues. If you dont think it wouldve juist look at the views and comments for the post we are commenting on. Instead you stand back and give your expert advice on the subject and argue with the guys who are just trying to reach out and tell you what they are seeing with there own two eyes. The southern states will have to move this up to a federal level to get something done if we ever want to see the migration again. I am attaching a link of ducks unlimiteds monthly news letter and the tips for winter hunting. It was funny that i received it just this morning. I read this organization that is suppose to back conservation define what makes the migration is and what makes the migration happen and then gives you tips on how to slow it down and put the ducks exactly where you want them with ice eaters all in the same article ! think we have no problem!? Sorry to call you out on the issues at hand but you left me no choice by stepping into my post. Just telling the truth in what i know, my thoughts and what i have an issue with.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Sorry I forgot about our Mississippi boys too
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
http://www.ducks.org/hunting/waterfowl-hunting-tips/cold-hard-facts-cold-weather-duck-hunting-tips?poe=1-18ENews&utm_medium=email&utm_source=DUNews1-18&utm_campaign=Jan2018Enews
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Why is there always someone who is going to get on a post and have to make sure they bring up the smallest issues out of the whole big pic. We could care less about who started duck hunting after the show duck dynasty. We also understand What DU has been creating. Please dont try and start a debate on this post. This was meant to open some eyes and to bring all the duck hunters of the state together and just maybe we can get some help on the real issues at hand.
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Hey Mandevillian!
I got an e-mail this morning from Barret Fortier of the USFWS with a picture of a ringed teal female supposedly killed sometime this past weekend at Big Branch. Was that you? I'm really curious about the flock of 6 that you are fairly confident were ringed teal. I get reports of ringed teal being killed in SE LA at least every couple of years, but they are always single and I suspect escapees from one of a number of aviaries where ringed teal are a popular species. But a group of 6 is intriguing.

This morning was one for interesting e-mails. A ring-necked duck with a red diamond under its lower mandible (we think it's blood-stained white feathers given all the blood on the head in the photo), a swan killed by a hunter in Henderson that we need to ID for LE purposes, and 2 e-mails from hunters having very good hunting success this year in SE LA responding to this thread but not wanting to post publicly.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Yep,Larry dat indeed is me with the definite 100% certain Ringed Teal hen and she was by herself when I shot her. I killed true black duck in Big Branch Marsh about two seasons ago and hunt almost exclusively solo and bust it to get as far away from other hunters as possible and take extreme pride in my hunts. I had flock of 6 teal in my decoys on recent hunt but could not with any degree of certainty ID their species and refrained from shooting them. Know exactly where I was and firmly believe that they were all Ringed Teal. They were in small pond(un-disclosed location)and might get after em soon. Anytime ya wanna chat shoot me text(985)807-4123

Mandevillian
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Hey Jgoins1981!
No worries about calling me out or liking or respecting me. In my job, I'm called out and disrespected nearly every week by people who don't know a thing about me, except my position with LDWF. They all have common sense and perfectly good eyes, long hunting histories, and know LOTS of hunters that feel the exact same way they do. Me too. But that doesn't exempt us from being truthful and using the best information available at the time.

There is a big difference between discussing flooded un-harvested grain or ice-eaters to kill more ducks as a factor in altering migrations (I don't think they are), and large-scale shifts in land use, agricultural practices and climate, which I KNOW are because it is happening across the entire Northern Hemisphere not just here.

As always, the big, crystal-clear changes in habitat quality are largely ignored, and false accusations about what DU does predominates the discussion. We want our duck hunting to remain, or even be better, than it has ever been despite obvious and well-known changes in coastal wetlands and rice agriculture, 2 of our most important waterfowl habitats. Me too, but is that realistic? More importantly, is the mechanism to force changes on hunters in other states, if that is even possible?

Have you looked at the harvest data? https://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/pdf/surveys-and-data/HarvestSurveys/MBHActivityHarvest2015-16and2016-17.pdf

Last season, a relatively poor one for us, we killed an estimated 857,000 ducks averaging 17.2 ducks per hunter over the season. Those estimates come from hundreds of real duck hunters in this state turning in real questionnaire hunting diaries and wings from real ducks that they killed. That is more ducks than every state except for California, Arkansas, and Texas. That is more ducks per hunter than every state except Arkansas, California, Idaho, and Washington ...... and those last 3 states have 107-day duck seasons compared to our 60. I'd hope they could kill more ducks per hunter with 47 extra days!

What do you think the federal government, the USFWS, thinks when they see those data?

Have you looked at the mid-winter data? I've posted summaries of the last 20 years here a number of times, let me see if I can do it again ..... at least for all ducks. These are 5-year averages since 1996 for both Louisiana and the Mississippi Flyway, except for 2016 and 2017 for which it's only 2 years.

For perspective, even though our last 2 years have been comparably poor, it is still more than any other state in the flyway, and over 1/3 of the total Flyway birds.

What do you think the federal government, the USFWS, thinks when they see those data?
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
That is Great Mr Reynolds, I thought that was awesome when i first read about mandavillian's post. I think its also great we have hunters that are having a good season. I know a few that have blinds in a few areas that have groups of ducks that are populating the area, they also have done pretty good too. That is not the issue at hand. The issue at hand is what will we do when those few ducks in those few areas where those few hunters that emailed you are gone. I never really got involved in this till it effected me and i saw it was effecting so many others, we were doing good and seeing birds when others were saying what we are now. It is sad to me that we have over 5,100 views on this post and over 60 comments and not one person has disagreed with any of each others statements, that is unheard of most of them i read they are ready to cut each other. This should show you they are concerned about there sport. You would rather put the focus of on you receiving two emails from hunters that are doing good. I am sorry i think that is great but i dont think they realize how bad this could actually be and that next season they not even see the few ducks we have seen this year. I asked if you had changed your mind since that 2014 news article, because you really are in expert it has gotten worse, and like you said then its not going to get any better with everything we have been talking about that they are doing up north and in every comment on this post.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
And lastly, because I've seen some comments about our hunter numbers, here is the data from 2 sources showing the trend in active waterfowl hunters in our states.

Why the discrepancies? We haven't figured it out yet, but according to the HIP estimates, we lost 25,000 hunters in 2013 and another 30,000 in 2015 despite our license sales staying about flat. The other line is LDWF's Big and Small Game Harvest Survey sent to a random sample of 6% of all licensed hunters each year.

We KNOW we have more hunters than 47,000 because when we did the 2015 Louisiana Waterfowl Hunters Survey, we looked at the entire HIP registration database and pulled 1) all hunters with a 'duck' license and 2) all hunters that reported killing at least 1 duck or goose when they registered with HIP. We know we didn't get them all because some license vendors don't ask the HIP questions, so we missed any Senior, Lifetime, or Louisiana Sportsman licenses that didn't get asked those questions. But still, we ended up with over 95,000 potential duck hunters, and right at 95% of the respondents to our survey reported hunting at least 1 day.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Like i said in the comment we cant wait for the state to help, you are going to the numbers and expert results again. I would love to believe you on those numbers were real. I just cant. If i was limited to a little area and didnt get out and go see for myself i might believe you.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I also do not care about how many hunters are here in louisiana. I def do not believe any of those numbers on your graphs. The sky, rice feilds, lakes, marsh, rivers, and flodded timber in louisiana are not seeing it and they are talking about it in every report, post , or comment i have read any where i have went
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
What's interesting about those 2 e-mails is that they came in response to reading this thread and not wanting to post in public, but they don't mean any more or less about overall hunting success than this thread. Every year I get reports ranging from 'best ever' to 'worst ever', and this year is no different. But even 200 of those reports is not a representative sample. What matters to me is objective, repeatable information like those I have referenced above.

So given what you know about long-term changes in Louisiana habitat quality, tell me what you see in the harvest, mid-winter survey, and hunter data that suggests the USFWS should make changes in allowable land-management or hunting regulations. THAT is the case we have to make.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Jgoins1981 you or so right , just go out in the marsh in FEB. it's full of duck o then tell me the pressure is off come on, there is not a hold in the marsh that does not have a hunter in it. The true is up North the hot water is off all the rice is gone and they or not there to add more with that it is even colder in FEB. so all the water is freezing so there u go, duck have to come south to eat know with that said we have little to no food down here because of all our marsh issue, so that y I am for the feed tag . Ayes we nee help if we or going to keep hunting down here LWL &F need to step up and help. specklesearch
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Unfortunately, what you (or I or anyone) 'believe' doesn't matter to the USFWS compared to thousands of miles of aerial surveys, harvest surveys and wings from thousands of hunters, band-recoveries from tens of thousands of hunters, hunting license sales, and other large scale data collection.

So where does that leave us?

You seem to think I'm blowing you off, but I've been duck hunting a lot longer than you have, have at least as much invested in the tradition, and intend to be a duck hunter long after I'm no longer a biologist. What I'm trying to do is give some perspective to the exaggerations that 1) we don't have any ducks and 2) we don't kill any ducks anymore and show what we are up against making that claim as justification for making rule changes in land-management and/or hunting regulations.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Thank you speckle searcher. My point mr Reynolds Is for years the ducks have flown south and there has been changes for years you said it yourself. They have been perfecting how to short stop them during all this time. Well guess what they broke the code . I'm asking you to throw those graphs out the window and realize, ducks go south when it freezes and it is frozen over all the areas we have spoke about. Does it make since that it has been for over a week now but the main migration that you say has started wintering further north has not come south . I know they aren't all commenting suicide. I am not a biologist or a elected official that is why you were asked to read this. You are one of the people who could help make a change if you would just realize what's it point is. The info is online. With videos to prove it. Blogs and post reports. We want the migration manipulation stopped .
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
That is the start! Then we can go from there. All we are asking is for help! Go watch those videos it isn't hunting it's a straight slaughter of ducks. No skill or sportsmanship is in that. That is what this sport was built on. We can get our organization built and work together on rebuilding and raising funds on our own for our state waterfowl areas. But regardless if we had to wait on a freeze for ducks cause of climate change we will and we have every since ducks were hunted in this state. The duck hunters respected each other the ones up north new once it was frozen the birds would leave. And the ones in the south didn't keep feeding trying to hold them. It is a migratory bird they should not be manipulated to not miagrate . Even if we don't have the agricultural fields and food source we had at one point . They would still be here right now and would feed until we were frozen up or the food was gone then they would fly even more south until they found a food source. If you can't understand that then I don't know how else to put it.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Ok Just example for you. I have hunted during the conservation season with decoys and a electronic caller with a guide before and it doesn't bring the geese in or hold them in a area even if you played it on a loud speaker all month in thornwell but, you unfreeze a pond in areas that should be covered in ice and you don't have to call and the birds fall in. And they come back day in and day out until you quit and let it freeze up then they finally leave. You are telling me the fed gov banned electronic callers for the use of hunting because it might hurt the duck population to much butt they will allow the use of something that allows man to play god. And unfreeze what is frozen for personal gain . You as well as anyone knows why the birds migrate. Frozen crops and water is why they migrate end of story. If the fed gov don't see what's going on as a problem the something is wrong
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
our migration takes place in November. By thanksgiving, we typically have the birds we will have - if you are fortunate enough to have habitat in the area you hunt, you will probably have a successful season. If not, they will probably leave to find sufficient habitat/food. Most people complaining are probably hunting salt water marsh or fresh water marsh that has been taken by invasive species.

I hunt in Terrebonne parish - the leases not affected by apple snails/carp/high water/water hyacinth are holding thousands of ducks. the ones that have been taken are holding none.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
When I see a post from an expert like Larry Reynolds,a biologist and a diehard hunter,I respect his opinion.I too am a Biologist and very passionate and true die-hard hunter and from my humble perspective(have witnessed it about every year),hunters in
Second Split need to hunt more strategically and possibly harder and smarter and that involves not only watching where ducks are consistently heading but also at what time these ducks are moving.I have seen a decent number of both big ducks as well as significant flocks of teal at guess what time-10:30-10:45,not dark-thirty so I intend to capitalize upon what I have witnessed vs relying upon'Internet Scouting'!!Plain and simple,we do indeed have ducks,just think these wary ducks,including teal,both green and blue wing and yes,Ringed Teal(do not bother asking me where)have us patterned vs the other way around.I fully intend to post my results at the risk of possibly being followed and hope folks do not resort to trying to follow me,that would be way un-cool and would serve no useful purpose.Watch what happens in your area an adapt,adapt,adapt,kinda simple solution to what folks want to make Complicated as Differential Equations(never did take Calculus but understand it to be somewhat complicated,ya get my drift)!!!Larry asked about the veracity of my Ringed Teal and I showed pic to a buddy with Biology Degree from Michigan State(Waterfowl Expert)and he verified it and he also saw picture of my true black duck,folks that was surely a prized and rare duck,and there are trophies to be had,just gotta know where and when to go,simply stated!!!Hope rest of my season turns out to be one where I get decent chances at more trophies and if not,no big deal,love my time in de Marsh,no doubt!!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Larry, it is good we all have this discussion, some of my views have actually changed on somethings. Working offshore I have flown from Houma to Venice before and after Katrina, Gustav and other hurricanes and 100% agree with the total destruction they had on the marshes and the coast. My grandfather raised 10 kids farming rice, soybeans and raising cattle. When he was farming he was running an old John Deere 95 with a 10 foot header that cut the stalk below the head of rice and would leave rice waste behind. Nowadays they operate big combines with 30 foot stripper headers leaving very little waste. On top of that most dry drill and no longer water level fields so they don't have to keep water early. I do understand points you have made. Never took into account the total Northern hemisphere's climate change on birds elsewhere, just North America. But lets discuss this Arctic blast that came all the way down reaching Louisiana 12-30-17 and freezing things up down here for a week or more. Flying over the marsh from Houma to my platform East of Venice last week I even saw pockets of marsh froze up. This freeze lasted a whole week. All the hunting grounds North of us should be froze over tight do we not agree? Birds shouldn't be able to access feed in waterways correct? The birds stay North in November and even to the end of December, although it has not always been historically that way I'll give in to climate change on the whole Northern hemisphere. Guy's up North are in fact using ice eaters to keep lakes, ponds and small sections of rivers open to keep birds up North for their own hunting pleasures. It's advertised and documented for sales all over North America. This is not fair nor should it be legal...this is my point in saying they are altering migration. MIGRATION that again is a key word. A waterfowl is a naturally migrating public resource and to knowingly and purposely manipulate that should be illegal under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. If all the devises were outlawed and we received 10,000 to 50,000 more mallards a year, that's not being greedy, that's the way its supposed to be period. I would hope the spinning wing decoys were outlawed to, its not the historical way of duck hunting. I don't use them. If they are to be used then there is absolutely no point in the MBTA and it should be completely abolished. This way I will dump sacks of corn and rice in areas and will go home with birds to fill my freezer. I'll upgrade my boat and motor and will run every river and bayou in SW Louisiana to kill more. (No I wouldn't, just making a point). All I'm asking is that you read this and take it in as ammunition when you have to have discussions with the USFWS flyway divisions on laws and regulations. You yourself hunt in Louisiana and I do believe you would want to see the best numbers possible or better for Louisiana. If questionnaires and emails were sent out to hunters in 1987-88 asking them if they would rather stay hunting with lead or steel, I promise you we would still be hunting with lead. I'm sure people, organizations and guides up North don't want ice eaters outlawed, because when everything ices over like it is supposed to do during an Arctic front they have to put their guns up and people down South get to enjoy the new birds ...thanks
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Are you both serious. Yes our migration takes place in nov by dates set back when we had a migration. The whole south had a migration. I am glad that terrobone has ducks that is awesome I'm glad that y'all have ducks in Delacroix. I am telling you all the info on what is going on up north and trying to get something done to help not only myself but Louisiana and the whole southern states in general and you basically tell me to either go to terrobone to hunt or hunt harder and smarter were I hunt now. I hunt just about as hard as a man can without his wife divorcing him. I change my tactics and have said in earlier post I have been all over the state. If y'all think it is alright for this to be going on then that's fine you better enjoy the birds while you have them cause soon you are going to be in the same situation we all have been talking about. If this continues and we don't try and fight for not only our hunting season but for the duck migration it's self. Then there is nothing I can do , after a few years of what those huge guide services are doing in the northern half of the us and Canada . These ducks will be on the endangered species list.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Thank you hollow point that is all I have been trying to get everyone to understand. I don't want to see us lose a sport that means so much to all of you and I definitely do not want to see Louisiana short stopped on the migration for some people personal gain up north.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I can appreciate the hard earned scientific data. And I can understand that the FWS won't want to make any changes in light of the fact that the data is showing Louisiana ranking top kill state. I fear though that what the data represents over the past and up to this point is falling short on dictating that we actually need large scale changes north, northwest, west of us in relation to everything Jgoins1981 mentions. I wish our state leaders could get on board with a more proactive approach? Are we just going to wait until the data shows that it has all fallen through? Trust me when i say that the moment the state revenue starts to hurt, you will start to see proactive movements.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I didn't tell you anything about going hunting in Terrebonne parish. I was just giving my opinion. And yes, I am serious.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Thank you duckhunter89 I am glad some people are understanding what I am saying. It is upsetting to know that out of all of this views that have looked at this post since it has started there has only been a small group to say that they see changes and that is is only getting worse every year. All I have wanted out of this post is to open everyone's eyes to things that are hurting the sport we love . I appreciate all of you that have commented and tried to help. Until we can get every body to speak up and at least acknowledge what is being discussed and say they want a change too . The small group of us are not going to be able to do anything without support from everyone . I just hope everyone wakes up before it's to late
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I hunted ducks in the golden days of the 70's and 80's in marapaus . Then up north la. a guy I knew had a blind went up to 5,000.00 a year . Just 1 blind . The land owner told him for another 1000.00 he would gaurantee him water . It been downhill from there . Now north la. getting short stop like we got . I just travel'ed i'49 and not seen a duck. Bottom line money talk's . According to Mr. reynolds we still kill more ducks. Maybe cause we have more hunters not more ducks....When enough people quit buying duck stamps and lic. then you will see a turnaround in regs.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I will readily agree that habitat degradation is a major factor. I think we can all agree to that. We can all agree that agricultural changes likewise are having an impact. But the fact that hunters can utilize ice eaters to prevent freezing is in no way different than baiting in my opinion. I would like to see mechanical devices outlawed for waterfowl hunting. I am talking about ice eaters, spinners, mallard machines, battery operated swimmers, everything. Electronic callers are no different than the above. Let us get back to having to possess some damn skill. If you can't call, that's on you. If you can't shoot, not my problem. If you can not brush your blind or set your decoys, learn dammit! La. duck hunters always had a reputation as being the most skillful. We had to be since ducks had been called at, shot at, and pressured since leaving Canada. In reality, nothing will change. It all boils down to one thing. MONEY!!!! From guides, to device manufacturers, they are making money. That is the truth.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks HOW MANY LOST DUE TO HABITAT LOSS IN
Larry,

Back in the mid 80's, there were over 40,000 mallards on Lake Maurepas alone. If you could quantify the loss, how many fewer birds have we now in the Maurepas/Pontchartrain Basin, west to roughly Sorrento, south to the end of freshwater line, and east to Lafitte, then back north to, say, Mandeville? This may as well be pavement, considering the loss of habitat to flotant and salvinnia.

Can you compare the numbers or counts in the 70's, 80's to early 90's in this area to what his has been for the last 15 years?

Thanks.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I want all the motion decoys gone too. I would love to see them gone maybe we could do that on a state level here. I am not sure but I think states can implement a rule as long as it supersedes the law that is already in place . On a nation wide scale I know we cannot get them to stop using them . There is too many items but, we could get the ice eaters gone.
If you think about it mojo flare more ducks now days then they help. They might get the attention from them up high but if they can't call and set up is bad, they are going to flare no matter how many mojo they have. I know the mojos will not work if they have them spinning over ice. The water is water even thow it is created through a machine the birds just know it's water, when they get close enough to a mojo they know it isn't real. When they get clos to water they don't know that some thawed it. I am not giving up on a least one change . Something has to give
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Every year around this time somebody will post how actions to our north are hurting their hunting success down here in South Louisiana. There will be the usual talk of heated ponds, farmers purposely baiting and flooding fields, water to feed, and short-stopping migrations. And then someone will blame Ducks Unlimited. Blaming Ducks Unlimited? Really? For decades DU was known to protect and increase the all important breeding grounds to preserve the duck populations and thus the hunting traditions of the entire country. The focus was always the breeding grounds in very northern states and Canadian provinces and everybody loved DU. And then DU started going south, literally . As in south down the flyway away from the breeding grounds.
The big myth: “DU pays farmers to leave crops on the ground”. That is of course a false statement.............or is it?
DU pays farmers and landowners through both direct funding and free design/engineering help to create, restore, enhance, and preserve wetland habitat. When this habitat is in the duck producing areas, the breeding grounds, everybody is happy: DU is growing ducks for all to share. When these properties are not located in the breeding grounds it is then described by DU as creating critical wintering habitat for the ducks. They call it critical wintering habitat but they should call it critical donor habitat. They take dry fields and create prime duck hunting wetlands. That is the shift, from focusing on increasing production of ducks for all to increasing consumption of ducks for a very few.
Some of the older DU television shows (DUTV) start out with “ here we are at the Jones’ property which is now a vibrant wetland habitat created thru a partnership with DU. This former dry (hayfield, cutover, beanfield, pasture) now provides critical wintering habitat for migrating ducks…oh here comes a flock now…. blam,blam, blam. “
Next the DU host says something like “this leftover rice (or grain, or waste corn, or strategic planting, or precise water control) is so important to the ducks nourishment on their long migration journey … oh here comes some more… blam,blam, blam. “ And then farmer Jones says how instrumental DU was in creating this critical wintering habitat. And then they tell us about today’s decoy spread, weather, calling tips, etc.. So far it is all about important duck nourishment, conservation, creating wetlands, and the newly made critical wintering habitat……….……or is it?
Next on the DUTV show we see farmer Jones’ brand new, first class, 3,500 sq. ft. lodge that sleeps 16 hunters complete w/ jacuzzi and gourmet chef. And then the DU host adds “if you would like to enjoy this spectacular resource, created in partnership with DU, just look up these fine folks at Mallard Manor Hunt Club and Outfitters”.

So DU paid for the design/engineering/permitting/ construction that farmer/outfitter Jones now uses to legally leave crops on the ground. With a little creative logic you could shorten that to “DU paid farmer Jones to leave crops on the ground”. If you sit in a cold blind watching empty skies for a long enough time that creative logic stuff works better and better.
DU says they created critical wintering habitat with my yearly dues and tax dollars, yes they sure did. They also helped finance a duck hunting business and then did a dang tv show telling me how great the hunting is. DU created critical wintering habitat for our beloved resource that we can all enjoy……for just $850 per day( all meals and beverages included, bird shipping available, book early for best dates, gratuities not included). Heck, that’s only $51,000 a man for a 60 day season to enjoy this wonderful resource(which, they again want to mention, was created in partnership with DU). What a great infomercial, thanks DUTV!.
Farmer Jones is no dummy. Of course he does everything he can to maximize income per acre, that is what farmers are supposed to do. Of course he %100 legally leaves his precisely flooded fields unharvested, or partially harvested, or selectively harvested, or maybe we’ll just call it “creatively harvested” to help his duck hunting business. And DU is happy to either help pay for it or teach him how to do it better or both. All in the supposed name of creating wetlands and critical wintering habitat. And when farmer Jones learns that ice eaters will keep his ponds from freezing and are %100 legal of course he does that too. It is just a good, smart , legal business decision. Duck hunting is now a business for him, and business says ice eaters are a great investment .
Let’s not forget farmer Jones’ neighbor, farmer Smith. Smith is no dummy either. He sees Jones’ duck business booming . So he calls DU and says “ This is farmer Smith, I want to help the ducks too”. **The above names are purely fictitious but the description of the show is accurate enough**

DU was traditionally very good at and primarily focused on land management for breeding ducks; now DU is also very good at land/water/crop manipulation for shooting ducks down the flyway, much of which land then turns a profit . They call it conservation of “critical wintering habitat “ but is it really just start up costs for the ever growing business of duck hunting? Before DU came in, Jones’ dry land w/ a creek supported his kids shooting 40 wood ducks a year with $0 income. Now his guide service shoots 3000 ducks and 1600 geese a year w/ $150,000 net income plus tax write-offs and wetlands credits. And DU put up the money to create the wetlands! And all DU gets is a semi-binding agreement that says he(probably) won’t drain his newly made wetlands. DU puts up the start up costs and then just walks away? Can the resource possibly keep up if duck production is based on donations while duck harvesting is based on profit? Are more and more prime , hypermanaged, DU sponsored private clubs and/or hunting businesses really good for the sport? Good for the ducks? What changed DU from being almost entirely about duck production to now being more and more about duck harvesting, all done under the cloak of “critical wintering habitat”?
Maybe farmer Jones really was just in it to save the ducks. Maybe he says thanks for the improvements to my land, only my kids will hunt it, I just wanted to help my beloved ducks on their long journey . DU created some resting/refueling habitat and we are all (supposed to be) very thankful for the ( theoretical) benefit to the ducks. But when Jones starts making money off of “our” investment in his private business ....he should have to pay a percentage. Call it the Ducks Unlimited Breeding Grounds Offset Fee.
And just one more thing: If DU wants to be in the business of duck hunting why are they giving away their product for free?!?!? DU will put $400,000(or $4,000,000) worth of water control/levees/design etc. into farmer Jones’ private property and then say “ you get to hunt it, lease it, build a lodge, make all the money , whatever you want, all we want in return is a guarantee it will stay wetlands”. Is that really the best they can do with “our” DU money or “our” tax dollars? Why not have DU say “Farmer Jones , we will put $400,000(or $4,000,000) into your land and give ongoing technical advice and we take %10 of gross duck revenue for twenty years in return. If you make a lot of money we take a little money, partner”. That seems like a fair deal that farmer Jones would still take and then DU would have more money to buy essential breeding grounds up north. If they had done this all along they could have bought half of Canada by now. I’ll even give them a slogan: “Ducks Unlimited Premier Hunting Properties-Shoot All You Want, We’ll Hatch Some More”. And then maybe, just maybe, there would be enough of their product leftover to reach the original critical wintering habitat: Louisiana. DU is creating, enhancing, and financing prime hunting areas down the flyway. They say it is good for the sport and the ducks but it sure isn’t helping the guys at the bottom of the flyway.
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Lreynolds I have been hunting for 58 years i do not think you or that old . So I think I would know about duck hunting, I have seen it all .
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If it were not for do grees [ bluebills ] I would not have any ducks on one of my lease gave it up for the year. I will be hunting on and other lease still have do grees but we get a teal or 2 and a gray or 2 in a 2 man blind. That y the do grees or down to 3 because that all we kill down here as far as a mallard I have not shot 1 in years last one was 1981 pin tail the same, way back in the old days we never shot a do gree . Biologist , they or the same ones that let our red fish go down to only b able to have 5, day never did come back like they were we must not let them do this to our ducks down here, some may say o you need to do this or that but that because they have duck on there lease but your day will come if we do not do something know.
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marshmellowmaster...that is a very good theory and I like the way you explain how farmer Smith wants to copy farmer Jones and replicate his farm lands into man made wetlands. Everyone learns from each others success or failures on everything throughout history. Farmer Smith has watched farmer Jones become rich by making sure his ice eaters stay operating in 15 degree weather all throughout December and January to make sure his lodges stay booked up with big money people. If this business is located in Nebraska or Kansas, just to say, and people from surrounding states like Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma or South Dakota hunt farmer Jones or Smiths man made wetlands and witness the amount of ducks that refuse to migrate South because of available food and open water and little guy operations pick up on it and begin their own. Now you have 75% of the total MIGRATORY waterfowl populations staying up North. Those Ariel surveys don't impress me at all, the majority of the numbers are probably decoys (just my theory). Until man made mechanical devices are outlawed for waterfowl hunting we are screwed. Waterfowl hunting has become a multi-billion dollar operation. That is why I keep going back to the MBTA of 1918, if ice eaters or spinning wing decoys had been available in 1918 I'm fairly sure they would have been outlawed (like using recorded or electronically amplified bird calls or sounds) then and we wouldn't even be on this post. Instead we would be enjoying some awesome waterfowl hunting right now because everything North of us would be froze up as the dear Lord had intended.
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marshmellowmaster...........That was spot on. Heck I thought corn grew in a dry field
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wow! Marshmellowmaster Did his research too on DU! You out did yourself. We are Blaming DU though when we say that. Well yeah we are they have created this problem with our money. They could have helped our agricultural problem or helped us with our coast line and marshes in the real wintering grounds, but why do that, it is so much work and long cold boat rides, and the state and farmers there are not going to give us some kick backs in our pocket. I think we will just build a louisiana a lil bit further north and then show them how to keep it thawed out all season. Then after we drive out the gate after the project is done and we make the first hunt, no one can blame us, cause we legally dont own it! That is the exact point that i talked about in the very first post, when i spoke of i have seen these places first hand and talked to property managers. Marshmellowmaster what you think would happen if we had someone to back louisiana and point these issues out to the fed gov we probably could get something done since the natural migration has been manipulated, and stopping a natural migrating bird from migrating? I know they will run a company off of a multi million dollar contract in my line of business if they move a killdeers eggs or try to relocate it. The will have to shut the project in that area down till they hatch. you know why because you a messing with somethings natural habitat but lets not say anything about the north american duck population getting moved to an area to be slaughtered and them forget where they really wintered at.
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this is totally normal
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for those of you that might be on the fence to the ice eater issue and if i am lying this is all pics coming off of the guides pages up north
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another
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every hunter in the north either has a ice eater or there buddy does and then think of how much water that opens up, that is not counting the countless refuges that were put in that are private that has industrial size ice eaters or heaters
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For those of you who have Facebook, go join the group Hardcore Waterfowler page and look at the post by Ice Rippers video that was started yesterday afternoon. They are advertising right there and getting comments of people saying they need it. That's the only one on the group I'll call out, but there are others if you dig.
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Houston,we definitely have a problem but I aint for a minute gonna get worked up over those things over which I have absolutely zero control,period!I will keep keeping on and will concentrate my efforts on areas I last hunted that held ducks,just gonna hunt a tad differently and why not as I have witnessed same thing year after year with pressurized ducks sitting tight til about 9:30-10:30 and then they start moving around,searching for spots to land in without bunches of life-less plastic decoys sitting looking totally fake!!!Even teal where I hunt are seeking big open water ponds with absolutely no decoys in them and maybe the mallards still winging around will be headed to pot-holes but I intend to cash in on what I keep seeing,hunt after hunt after hunt,much,much later flights,sometimes not even starting til 9:30 or later.Why not give some dem older bodies a much-needed rest and start and finish hunts later and alter strategies to mimic what the ducks are doing,including me possibly using some teal decoys as I keep seeing plenty of blue and green wings where I hunt and the lazy greys and mallards do not even initiate any appreciable flight patterns til 9:30-10:30 and even later,why fight it and also why try going where you want the ducks to be or where they used to be vs where they currently are,hunt after hunt after hunt!!!Gonna get after these ducks the last few hunts I have and do my best to adapt,adapt,adapt and cash in on what limited opportunities I get blessed with.If we could convince DU and Delta to pitch in and clean up invasive aquatics in Joyce,Manchac,Maurepas and to a very limited degree(thank God)Big Branch Marsh FWR,we might be able to someday restore those formerly mallard magnets to once again harbor some green heads.

Mandevillian
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Yes sir mandevillian, I do like your positive outlook on things. But just like everything else in history, unless you fight for something to change, it never will and will always remain the same. If the invasive aquatic species is the problem then DU, Delta and the USFWS need to put 90% of there workforce down here to fix the natural waterfowls wintering grounds. If they fixed the natural breeding grounds like everyone is proud of then fixing the natural wintering grounds shouldn't be much of a problem.
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for those of you that do not believe in pond heaters
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mandavillian i agree with you , i never researched it as much as i have this past two years we have to do something . this next pic is off of a guide service in nebraska . if yall want to see the thousands of photos i have seen just type in duck hunting ice and you can see for your self but brace your self if you watch the videos or see some pics that the guide services are putting on like 14 to 20 man group hunts over these thawed out ponds and it is a straight slaughter of ducks and geese with little to no effort. if you wonder why you dont see mallards anymore well this shouold open your eyes louisiana. mallards are amoung the last species to migrate because of cold weather but if you can keep enough water open for them you keep them.
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this is a 17 mile by 13 mile area that has 6 conservation areas, this is what i was telling you guys to go check out on your computers when you get to a certain zoom strength you will see this. they cover the states starting in oklahoma and head north, with all of the money spent on that , i am sure we could have bought a whole new bottom half of the state. by the way those are not the public ones either, those will blow your mind. why would you do this in the flyway for wintering instead of just fixing the natural wintering area. i can tell you why you finally figured out how to keep ponds and larger bodies of water open . mark my words boys it is finally giving us a winter this year and as soon as there season is done it will be insane how many birds show up here. but it will be just shortly after our season closes.
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Well, my two cents: The issue, we can all agree, is that the migration has changed. If I lived in the north, I would do whatever I could to keep the ducks around as long as I can. I don't blame the 'short-stoppers'. I think we can all agree that we do get a migration, but it is after the season has ended-probably when the food up north finally runs out. The question, I guess, is why does a duck migrate south? To eat, I assume.
Why does a duck migrate north? To breed, I assume. So....can the northern migration be changed. My fields are loaded in February. If I keep water in my fields, I can hold ducks well into April. I assume they leave because they run out of food and/or because I eventually I have to let the water out. I also assume they have to leave the south because farmers need to do there thing as well. So, lets just say ecology changes force a northern migration. So I ask the question, what would happen if our environment/habitat was manipulated to encourage ducks to stay and breed here? Probably not realistic, maybe too simple, but just a question??
Also: mechanical decoys should be outlawed. It definitely gives an unfair advantage. We killed plenty of ducks without them. I have heard may theories as to how the mojo has contributed to the change in migration, but I am too embarrassed to mention at this time. But I do think outlawing mechanical decoys would help. Whats next? Will I be allowed to have tame ducks in my spread???
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It is going to be 27 again this weekend and water is still locked up north are it should be if you can understand that. lets think about old days and yall tell me if i make any sense. 2nd split was what we all waited on due to the migration finally getting here. so our 2nd split has now be open for three weeks and had this had been the old days and not utilizing what they are up north, the ducks would have been down about 2 weeks ago maybe a little longer. does that make any sense or am i wrong ? Pretty sure im right
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im with you on that one, we had mentioned that it would start a war if we did it. the ducks have to go north to the breeding grounds its just somthing breed into them. but i am far from an expert . they dont have to fly south until it is frozen over where they are. They can stay there all winter as long as they can get to food and water. that is what we have talked about with them playing god basically. they always hunted or tried to hunt in ice but it would finally get to hard to do it or it would freeze back up to quick. Now with the gear they have, they can thaw waters with crop and save other water with crop to rotate them.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtU_r7GmCBM
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It seems all of us participating in this thread are in agreement 'ice eaters' are a manipulation of the natural process thus allowing hunters to shoot ducks in circumstances that are not natural. We all know that laws have been passed to stop these negative practices for the good of the animals being hunted.

A possible solution would be to make Congressman Steve Scalise the current house Majority Whip aware of what is going on. Maybe legislation could be passed to stop the 'ice eating' for duck hunting purposes. I have no issue if a farmer is doing it to water cattle, however if 'ice eating ' is being done for the sole purpose to shoot ducks and geese it should be illegal.
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Here is an idea that needs to be taken very seriously. Larry since you are one of the most educated individuals in the state of Louisiana on waterfowl you would need to be the one to propose it to the USFWS and get strong backing from the South. Shut down all and any mechanically operated devices for the taking of waterfowl for a 5 year experiment then have USFWS look at the Ariel and harvest numbers of waterfowl using their natural wintering grounds. If you need the backing of Louisiana people I'm fairly sure 95% would just to get things right.
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I think Larry left
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Hopefully we are giving him things he can fight for us with against the USFWS. Everything we are pointing out on ice eaters is legitimate. The man hunts to and his profession is waterfowl I believe he's on our side. Everyone needs to refer these posts to anyone they know that hunt waterfowl in the US Southern states so it can get out and hopefully get to the Drs, lawyers, scientists and politicians. After that last arctic front there are no excuses that weather doesn't get cold enough down here. THEY ARE KEEPING THE BIRDS NORTH FOR THEIR OWN HUNTING PLEASURES.
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DU work
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Wow you wouldn't even need a blind just put out the old faithful ice eater and you could shoot them off your back porch at your lake house.
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Nuck and Futz had to use Cajun Ice Eaters on NShore Marsh this past Th and I texted Mike Downie,Jr neat pics of not only broken ice leading from my blind to my decoy spread but also sent pics of three shotgun shells that were on top of ice-no doubt they froze on top of pond as the hunt progressed and guess we need to outlaw Cajun Ice Eaters(fine kayak paddle dat doubles as push-pole-do not know what I would do without my Cajun Ice Eater,duck fanatics!!!).All kidding aside,we got no chance to have appreciable flocks of mallards,though when I scouted just ahead of Second Split,I saw upwards of 70 in one flock,not an iota of exaggeration-need to tag along Go-Pro for videographic proof.Going to take diehard that is featured on cover of Jan Marsh and Bayou,along with de Futz tomorrow to prove to ourselves dat later starts and later wrap-ups essential-again it aint rocket science,ducks have us patterned!!!

Mandevillian
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Lol they def do. The using of the kayak paddle as a ice eater or walking around opening a Little hole so a man can have a chance to kill a beautiful bird , now that's what I call true waterfowling! I have seen a few mallards too this year but right now you and I both know . They should be here brother and when I say be here I mean you here them talking all around then it's up to us to bring em in and put the wings locked up orange down and am at the yellow. Maybe we can do it again soon I have received so much Feedback on here and even more privately just maybe we might be able to get something going. I have a couple of people I have been in contact with that has been waiting on something like this to happen but when we move forward with it we will all have to stand together and it could be a give and take battle but I am willing to do whatever I got too. Good luck leave me a few flying till I can get back on the water sat lol
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Mileypop, I and my kids thank you. I will do everything humanly possible to contact him and get him on our side to see if he can get us in Louisiana back right
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Mileypop I am sorry I guess I missed or over looked the comment till hollow point just said something, I appreciate the info I will definitely be reaching out to him. If anyone else that is keeping up with this post wants to see the hunting in Louisiana and the migration back strong in the south please contact anyone you know that can help and pass this link to duck hunters all over the south. Numbers can make a change with this , we can't do it alone. Again thank y'all for the support so far.
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Ran across a article Ducks Unlimited issued not to long ago i guess just to pacify all of us southerners. just thought i would share the part they wrote just for us.

Fall flights in the Mississippi Flyway have always frustrated duck hunters, but even more so in recent years. With vastly improved annual duck production during the last half of the 1990s and a return of 60-day duck seasons, hunters in the northern tier of Mississippi Flyway states have been particularly stymied. Duck seasons in those states start in early October, when most migrant ducks are still lingering on the Canadian prairies.
Diving ducks may or may not arrive on schedule during late October, but freeze-up often occurs in these northern states well before a 60-day season ends. By then, the majority of the fall flight of migrants, especially mallards, might still remain on the prairies or, if not, may overfly those states or only stage there for a short while, providing limited hunting opportunities.
Many of these mallards' next migratory wayside, at least in recent years, has been central Missouri. For more than a decade, Missouri has pursued a huge wetland acquisition and development program, providing migratory stopover areas for waterfowl. Some of those wetlands are moist soil management parcels that include food plantings such as corn. Given good water conditions on these wetlands and plenty of food, mallards are particularly reluctant to move farther south until cold weather mandates their eviction.
'Given a mild winter,' says Tom Moorman, director of conservation planning for DU's Southern Regional Office, 'mallards, in particular, adjust their strategy, for lack of a better word, to hang on at the edge of winter, near the ice line. Unlike teal, gadwall, and other dabblers, they'll stay as far north as possible. And with improved habitat available in Missouri, the birds will stay there as long as they can hold out.'
Farther south in the Mississippi Flyway, weather can also wreak havoc on hunter expectations. 'Dry years are especially bad for hunters on many public areas in the South that depend on precipitation to flood them,' Moorman says. 'This last year, for example, when it finally got cold up north, the South was dry. When that happens, and it has happened more than once in recent years, mallards overfly Arkansas and Mississippi and go all the way on to the Gulf Coast, primarily to southwest Louisiana.
Waterfowlers in Arkansas and Mississippi who own or lease property where they can pump water and manage their habitat, by contrast, will usually have very good hunting. It's interesting that waterfowl harvest figures actually tend to go up in dry years in the South, probably because the birds gravitate to areas with water, and many of these areas often are privately managed for waterfowl hunting.
'Still,' Moorman relates, 'given too much hunting pressure, the birds may move in large numbers to safer areas. There remains a lot we don't know about winter movements of mallards. When frozen out of some areas, the birds will move farther south, but then move back north again, below the freeze line, as soon as it becomes warmer, say during a mid-winter thaw.
They respond that way to precipitation cycles, too, flying south to the Gulf Coast without stopping at traditional wintering areas in Arkansas and Mississippi when they're dry, then flying back up to those areas as soon as they're wet, which may be only a few days or weeks later. Depending on habitat conditions, the ducks may even fly east or west to find better conditions. How the birds know how to do that-respond to habitat changes in other areas-is a mystery.'
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You are right. I myself have attempted to start a conversation on a major waterfowl facebook page on short-stopping. What did it get me? Banned. People were starting to agree with my opinions on leaving crops in the field for the sole purpose of holding ducks. Some places are constantly pumped with underground irrigation, thus keeping ponds from freezing. Farmers to the north of us got smart and figured with commodity prices down they could subsidize their losses with big fat- cat leases. It's all about the money. Nowadays you have to be a doctor or lawyer to afford a lease. 20 years ago I went to farm auctions in Arkansas and an old guy told me they were getting $8 to $ 10 per blind back then. I asked who could afford that? He told me big shots were coming from Tennessee and hunting there. I've been hunting ducks since I was 14, I'm 64. The skies used to be full every time a major cold front would come in. Not any more, not for a while. I have gotten second hand info from eyewitnesses of dumping of corn and purposely leaving strips of grain in field specifically for birds. You can turn on any outdoor hunting show and they are killing ducks in flooded corn fields with the corn still attached to the stalk. I guess this is what we in Louisiana get for being last man on the totem pole in the Mississippi flyway. It sucks, and I'm very frustrated.
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Sign me up!
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Mr Reynolds if you are still keeping up with this any, quick question for you, If Ducks unlimited works hand and hand with the federal migratory dept and you represent our state for our migration and you have noticed major declines yourself. Did it ever cross your mind that they were keeping the waters unfrozen in all up and down the flyway in all of the northern states? i Know i have read comments saying pond heaters not such thing and ridiculing people when they mention it. It isnt pond heaters actually even though that is what they are doing. it is huge pumps that cycles water that is much warmer at the bottom to the top to the top and come to find out they can keep total fields ponds , even lakes unfrozen if they have enoough pumps. it works exactly like the ice eaters just on alot larger scale! We have had lack of cold winters here for years but really and truly we dont have to be cold for the migration they migrate below where it freezes. I think that was my arguement this whole time. It really makes me mad that Louisiana and other states have gotten the crumbs off the migration for years due to this unfreezing of water and our own representative couldnt get a thing done to stop it. I have worked in oklahoma and north from there it would be frozen and my wife send me a pic by a pool !!!!! this is sorry that we are being told that nothing can be done.
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i wish all of you would go look up all those states guide service sites! i will post some of there cards for you for the ones who wont. telling in there main add water wont freeze and baited fields and the gov wont do anything about it! i also have articles from du that talks about wintering grounds in these states ! The south was the wintering grounds!!!!!!!!!
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here
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Guys it is insane how many guides there are up there and how many conservation areas has been created right beside these hunting lodges and it has all happened over the past 15 years. If i recall that is when we all started seeing lower numbers every year. What sucks is people couldve had something done when it first started now it is going to be harder to get something done but i am fighting for it. This is ridiculous that we have had it little by little stolen from of over these years and our own state and Du has blamed it on cold weather! Guess what fellas it is cold! it took us finally having a winter to catch it! Why does the state even make us get a duck license if they new we were not going to need it in the next couple of years! OHHHHHH yeah i forgot it was to do conservation efforts here for when we do get cold enough!!!!!, and the migrating experts in the nation wonder why i migration has changed!
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International harvester you are in the right place there is a lot of seasoned hunters on this page who care about there state and the migration it's self for the south and they are sick of the lies and the manipulation that these northern states have done to alter it. It is time for a change.
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If DU wants to create better habitat it should be on public land as much as possible…The greentree area at Dewey Wills WMA wasn't flooded this year because the trees are dying
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Still seeing a good number of ducks in NW LA. I leave an area completely alone that I don't hunt, and the areas that I do hunt, I do so carefully (once or twice a week tops, no sky-busting, getting out of there early).
While I understand the frustrations, dont support DU, and have heard the old worn out argument many times 'DU has ruined louisiana duck hunting!' etc etc, I know one thing for sure: nobody is going to stop them (or whatever you think they're doing).

So, maybe do more with what you've got. On private lands, no matter how small, maybe leave some areas to rest, manage your hunting pressure etc. On public lands, maybe the LDWF or whomever manages the WMAs should manage them tighter with the long-term goal of 'more ducks wintering here' in mind, not just letting everyone in and blast em out 60+ days a year, etc. (See: ARKANSAS public lands waterfowl management!!!)
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That's the thing alspanky, it is a trend I'm seeing on google maps and reading articles they do these conservation areas in the middle of the flyway for wintering grounds on these farmers lands cause , the farmers see that they can get a tax break due to the farmer bill that was past then du does a percentage of the farm that cannot be touched or hunted on but then they have all this marsh that was man made or took a low piece of ground and added some type of irrigation system well it's all on the same property, so this farmer has the same great things on the portion he can hunt so he doesing really have to make money off of his farm any more but he sees that if he builds a hunting lodge and gets a bunch of decoys and ice eaters brushes up some blinds he is a magnet. He can hold ducks actually all year if he wants because he then has the money to plant the fields that nothing was done to then he levees it and uses the pumps that he is utilizing for his irrigation and floods a crop that is never touched . The farmer has a b and c field for the winter. When a field is just about out of food source he starts flooding b then when b starts to get low on food source he starts flooding c. It's a endless supply of food and the water doesn't freeze and the conservation areas are built so close to the breeding grounds why migrate. If the farmer doesn't take advantage of it and start his own lodge , then there will be hunting guide groups from all over that comes in and does it for him , he don't have to do a thing but watch the money roll in and help the guides out with water transferring and some tractor work and still gets his tax break!....... you can't blame du cause all that they did was build a beautiful sanctuary for ducks to flock to. They can't believe the farmer would ever do something like that! How dare him!! The thing is if du wanted to stop the farmer and say no it is a migrating bird you can't hold them by unfreezing the water always having them food by plant crops that you will not plan on harvesting !!!!! might I add that is baiting!!!! And they don't tell the farmer you cannot build a lodge next to this. It wouldn't matter because the farmer down the road would open one up on his land so his buddy wouldn't get in trouble! There should have never been wintering grounds built there in the first place . That is basically the breeding grounds. The funds into wintering grounds should have fixed the gulf coast states where the ducks actually wintered!
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don't forget that farmers is also being subsidised by the federal government
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Well so Breaux I am really glad to hear that your hunting is good. How about if I told you I have barely hunted my land this year trying to see if that would change things and it still hasn't and none else is on my property and it is tied to the sanctuary side of the refuge. That you can't hunt ! the largest refuge in Louisiana ! Also that there is private properties in the area one of which consist of the most acres privately owned marshes in south east Tx that isn't holding any birds and they have hunted on it maybe 2 times that I know of this year and that property is well taken care of. The refuge hasn't had people sky blasting cause they simply are not there. If you want to tell that to somebody, pick another group to tell it too. If you want to realize we have a serious issue and that something can be done to stop baiting ducks and ice melting to manipulate a natural migration then you are in the right place. Next year you might not see a bird then what. You gonna think to yourself . man we had enough attention on situation at that time to do something . I'm not here to argue I am here stating facts and trying to make a positive change that you will benefit from too
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I understand, Jgoins. I did want to shed some light on the other 2/3 of the state, which I am just a little butthurt about because I think we get ignored! And i am here to argue and to listen to your argument (thats what boards are for: talking about stuff with people from all over = productive).
But seriously, I think hunting pressure is a huge issue in LA all around.
No humans can plant a large enough food source or hold enough water open all season 'up north' to be completely blamed for the 'lack of ducks' in LA.

No, they arent helping us out much, but there's a LOT of food and a LOT of open water in LA. Ducks dont always go where you want them to, and that is more-often-than-not because of hunting pressure, either learned on their way down or experiencing it nearby!
Look my point is this:

If I had a direct line to God and asked him what is the biggest factor preventing Louisiana (public and private) lands from wintering the same amount of ducks as 'we used to' during duck season, I'd bet my shorts He'd say 'hunting pressure'.
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duck food - if you have it, they'll be there. If you don't they won't be there. prime example - local lake in Lafourche parish - the lake is not very big. but, it is loaded with vegetation - there are literally hundreds of hunters in there everyday - and yet you can go ride at anytime of the day and jump up hundreds of ducks. the lake also holds thousands of coot - which I think makes a difference as well. find the coot, you'll find the ducks.

duck food. if you have it, you will kill ducks.
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Fellas I fully understand what y'all are saying. The whole point to this is why is food being planted and planted some more in the middle of the fly way . They could be spending money in our state and all the southern states in the real wintering grounds. Y'all really have got to go look on these guide pages in all these states and see how many there are and see how close they are to each other. They have pics with there ponds where you can't see the water or sky for ducks and geese. Then you have every hunter in the state usin the same methods. Look up the number of hunters in all those states and tell me if they can't slow down if not stop a migration from happening. Watch the videos and see if they aren't talking about herding and moving ducks from pond to pond. I know you think it's crazy but guys the truth is on the internet you just have to research I can't post everything or I would be on here 24/7 . At the end of all this the main point is they shouldn't be able to hunt painted feilds and shouldn't be able to unfreeze water end of story . It's wrong and is manipulating a natural migration
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While everyone on here griping about no ducks,guess what,me and a buddy saw enough to convince us to quit de complainin' and get out,at least to where we saw enough ducks to make for an interesting hunt or two,never know what gonna happen day-to-day but I aint complainin'just going shootin'.Guess I might be really goofing up by broadcasting it,but ya gotta know where to go as ducks favor only certain areas,at least where I was today and just posted pic of 5 fat greys with green head,solo limit for me,only my second of the year but I aint a 'limit hunter' more of a trophy hunter and truthfully,was gonna head to spot where I suspected I might have shot more Ringed Teal but thankfully opted for glorious spot that gave me some incredible,decoying shots hard to imagine for Late Season ducks.Good luck to all who are following this thread-I going shooting ducks again tomorrow and unlike others who are afraid to post,will post results just never ask me where,scout and find out!!

Mandevillian
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Agree with you bud but I also recall early 2000’s when many Louisianan’s were bitching because all the DU and Delta money was being spent up north. They wanted their piece of the action too. Sadly, IMO, this is the result.
Don’t sweat it. Keep trudging along and they’ll be back. I remember my dad telling me he gave up hunting in the early 70’s when the limits were far lower presumably due to population issues.
My personal opinion would be to push the opening back one month to where we’re hunting in February. I feel stupid hunting teal in a camo speedo anyway.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I'm an old bird now and experienced the good ole days. I too believe anything needing a battery or electricity should be banned. If you're not good enough to kill birds with just your call, stay home till you master your call. Simple as that.
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Here is probably the best case scenario for where I hunt-it only allows hunting on Wed,Th,Sat,Sun giving ducks a little rest and it only allows hunting til noon.Trust me,I am as peeved as anyone about what is perceived to be a lack of ducks but I am making the best out of what I am blessed to have and guys,think about this very simple solution-start hunting tad later,like make hunt from 8:15 or so to Noon(where I hunt I can only hunt til Noon)and I firmly and 100% believe the ducks have most of us patterned not the other way around and tomorrow I might be singing a different tune,though I seriously doubt it and I have seen this pattern replicated each and every year for the past twenty or so years.The duck migration,as far as what some well-informed sources have told me,is definitely on and buddy on his way to Thailand(hunts Hopedale and Delacroix)told me his sources in Delacroix said big-time big duck migration on so get after it,those with access to Private Leases in Hopedale/Delacroix-can't shoot em from home!Hope to emerge tomorrow with 4 mallards and 2 greys,trust me they are here,just gotta know where to go,plain and simple!!

Mandevillian
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Exactly what I have been preaching for years!!!!!
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I got banned from the page last year for posting about shortstopping.Nough said!
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Mandaville listen you have a good morning and it puts you in a good mood or you go out and scout and see groups and you get excited I get it. If you don't support this cause I get it then don't, no one is freaking out on here telling Louisiana boys not to hunt , I can't repeat this enough I do not pressure ducks my rules on my lease are the same as the refuge I am out by 1. All that we are saying is it is not right what is going on . It is also not right for anyone to be short stopping ducks, we are trying to make a stand against it and for a good cause, it is not so we start killing limits or it is going to make it easy. It is the simple fact that it is wrong and it don't matter if I don't get any where with this , I am still going to fight it for the good of the sport, not everyone lives in your area , not everyone is such a great duck hunter like you. I cannot for the life of me understand how a duck hunter as passionate as you are would not back this after someone has showed you all the facts. Like I said the other day we had a awesome hunt at my buddies. It wasn't because we limited out because we didn't limit it was because of the friends with me and seeing a few groups of birds and working them . I feel like every time you get on here you are riding a fence and I understand du is big and there is a lot of money behind them but there is one thing money cannot buy and that piece of mind . It bothers me that these guys have purposely and knowingly are doing this and knowing that it is slowing the migration but then blaming it on something that we actually have this year and that's cold weather!
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There is 120,453 ducks unlimited members including myself in the southern states that are being effected by this and that isn't counting all the others effected. Do you really think if all of us said nough is enough and made a stand they wouldn't do something
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I totally get it guess ya do not get what I have been saying all along,I do not worry myself about those things over which I have absolutely no control and yes,I pride myself in hunting skills and am as passionate as de most die-hard guy on here-tell me what ya think we can do about 'short-stopping' ducks and each and every year we get the same whining about DU,etc til most of us are sick about it.Ask the expert Larry Reynolds what ya think we can do about it other than whining,complaining,getting all worked up about things over which we absolutely have no control about.In my former Industry,we had a saying,'Come up with a solution or shut up and quit complaining'!Can't over-emphasize all the 'short-stopping theories',etc serve absolutely no purpose other than to make folks get it off their chests.For me,I might quit following this thread and concentrate on positive things,like getting after some ducks while I can,my friend.Have some good hunts and get on with it!!!

Mandevillian,adios
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That's great get after some ducks the whole point to this whole thread in case you didn't understand is there are different news groups following it and that is why we have been putting as much as we could on here. Please do like you said and don't post anymore it would help me out from having to explain why I am doing what I am. Just so you know I have tried to be as positive as I could even as frustrated as this has made me. When you state facts and you get something going that could actually make a difference it would be nice to just know there is people backing you even though you all now what the outcome could be it is just that slight chance it could turn out what you wanted it to be is why u keep moving forward. If we are able to get something going I will let you know until then have a good one and good luck.
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Mandeville you just posted asking how to make the change or stand up for Louisiana hunting? Big daddy that is all we are asking is for Louisiana hunters to say is enough is enough and any and all devices that manipulate a migratory species from doing what God intended ne outlawed. If not then the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 needs to be abolished.
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Mandeville you just posted asking how to make the change or stand up for Louisiana hunting? Big daddy that is all we are asking is for Louisiana hunters to say is enough is enough and any and all devices that manipulate a migratory species from doing what God intended ne outlawed. If not then the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 needs to be abolished.
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There are videos on YouTube, look up habitat flats. The guy plain out admits to farming specifically for waterfowl and use ice eaters to HOLD up to 300,000 birds at any given time. That’s a huge chunk of birds that are being held all season that would potentially migrate hear or even Arkansas. And as jgoins has pointed outs they are not the only ones! jgoins I agree with you 110% . If all we can do is stop these outfits from keeping their properties from freezing, it would be a huge win for us and would help but I also agree with others about habitat loss. What’s the point of having them this far south if we can’t support them which I spend a lot of time in the Kaplan area and on West there is still tons of rice that has been left unharvested. With all due respect I do not think we can rely on mr Reynolds to propose changes because he seems to go by what his “data” show so the question is who is going to bat for us. They may already do this, I’m not sure but I’d love to see a meeting for waterfowl hunters and maybe government officials for everyone’s opinions to be heard. Marshmallow made I loved your explanation of du’s efforts and def agree that they should focus more of their attention on the original “wintering grounds”. You comment was a very good read.
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Fishslayerrr Thank you for supporting this. We all know we do not have the habitat that we once did but we do still have a habitat. The habitat that we have is just half the size. Think about it this way half the habitat for the same birds, pretty sure alot more birds would be seen. Migrating birds will go to an area and stay till the food is go then head south even further or head back north to the freeze line if they since that the storm is breaking down. The Loss of habitat in louisiana is what has my head spinning as to why would a organization spend money building conservation areas 1 right after another over a 15 year time period when they couldve fixed the true wintering grounds here in the south. Like i said earlier in a comment birds go south do to freezing crop and water, i was in oklahoma working and it was freezing and i talk to my wife and the are still wearing short sleeves at home. the point is i waited till we actually had a winter to expose this stuff. it wouldve been hard to expose it, if you were in short sleeves and had the mind set that du has drove into all of our brains that we have to have a winter......... wrong everything above us has to have a winter. Winter does no good if they control the crop and water. My goal is to get this exposed to everyone in the south if you guys could help that would be great. I have local news groups keeping up with this post and doing some investigating. I have a few large property owners and guide services that are fed up with it too and could potentially be the back bone of this, those guys know all the right people and have the lawyers and have let politicians sit in there blinds. At the end of the day we have to have numbers, that is going to consist of all these southern states. I really think we could make a change.
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https://www.fws.gov/le/waterfowl-hunting-and-baiting.html

These are the rules for you to observe. I think they need to be tweaked. Planting a crop such as corn solely for attracting ducks should be banned. These are not “regular” agricultural practices as seen by the cooperative extension office. Neither is leaving strips of I harvested crops solely for attracting ducks. The regs for ducks is different for doves as you see. I think a new branch is WLF should be created solely to survey fields and quarantine any deem questionable. Heck, this can be done very cheaply with the influx of affordable drones. Will the fat cats pull strings around new regs? Certainly, money talks. I know of what I speak because I farmed all my life. I’ve seen hunting shows where it is evident to anyone that farmed, that strips are purposely left to attract ducks. Corn, rice, milo, etc should not be allowed to be planted solely to attract ducks; especially if it is a crop where normally a farmer would do everything possible to keep water off of said crop. This is not “normal” farming practices!!! We need individuals that can buck the politicians at their own game. Wanta bet the guys that make the rules are treated to lavish expense paid duck club hunt? You bet ya. It’s a big club, and we ain’t in it-like comedian George Carlin stared.
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I Think with Big money Backing and you saw the numbers that i posted yesterday Over 122,000 active members to DU they might can afford to take a loss but it is going to hurt them badly. My thoughts after those three things i just stated Money talks and then you have the voices of the everyday hunter to back them, then DU will not want to lose all the southern states so then you start asking for what you want but there will be certain issues that are demands no way around, unharvested flooded crop, unharvested crop period, and the unfreezing of water with pumps or any mechanical or electrical machine for de icing purposes. if you cant bust it easily then it doesnt need to be busted. We could have to play give and take but i am willing to do it if i can see the migration again. when you all get a chance look up how many guides up there in those states have recently been getting busted and what there charges were and how many counts, It is crazy! so that means the feds are starting to bring heat down on them and there is a spotlight on them already.
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I forgot about the issue you spoke of about a group to observe and check for these baiting issues. I know in our state they have grain planes these planes are flown and observe with very high zoom cameras to check for anything out of the ordinary or atleast thats what a buddy of mine was told when they left a rice field with standing crop and some of his cows got out and ran across it and he was told he wouldnt be able to hunt it for that season. so i am guessing other states have this too and those migration depts for each state are suppose to be working directly with the federal migration programs so that solves the issue for that. its suppose to be already established it is getting them to enforce it.
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Jgoins: Conversation like this is getting more and more prevalent (the 'short-stopping' stuff up north). Everybody has an opinion on it, at least in LA.
So, let's say yours is 100% correct:
What exactly can we do about it?
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I’ll put my 2 cents in………..La Wildlife and Fisheries with DU can put MORE money into fixing key habitat areas in Louisiana in WMAs and / or NWR NOT private land. Some that come to mind are Boeuf, Dewey Wills, Russel l Sage, Yancey, Sabine NWR, Lacassine NWR. Then stop putting so much $$ into private land north of Louisiana and make ice eaters and heater ILLEGAL
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spanky, I like it!!! More ideas for solutions!!!.......
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did you not read the last two comments on here ? maybe you havent checked the comments before you posted. just read the last two right above you. Regardless of if it is short stopping or baiting or whatever to slow down or stop a 100 or 10000000 so breaux its wrong. It also doesnt matter where they migrate to from that point on or if the fly over lousiana, no man should be able to control a natural migration. in this case its every man in camo up north. the jet stream and habitat and history says it should put the migration to funnel straight down like the are suppose to, thats how the flyways were determined in the first place. When someone tells you that those ducks up there arent apart of our normal migration like Mr Reynolds did he might be an expert but he knows it and we all know it it a bird flys south due to freezing temp and crop and water not being accessible. end of story . Central and mississippi delta fly ways merge at the border line of tx and louisiana and have for decades, im asking you so breaux sit there and really think about it. the two most populated flyways in north america and it is frozen north of us and has been since about 3 weeks ago and then think about years ago hunting and what every louisiana duck hunter waited on, 2ND SPLIT! when did it open, 3 WEEKS AGO. We finally have gotten a winter. If any one in louisiana has seen the migration of ducks that the pupulation numbers are saying please speak up. No one has. Are all of these ducks commiting Suicide no. That is all i am asking you to do is really sit there and think about it. If that dont convince you then after season and they have all there toys shut down and its still froze up there and the migration finally hits and believe me it will, it has done it every year, I am partnered up with a Farmer with crawfish farms. I will hit you up with a email saying the migration has mad it and if your chin aint muddy standing on the banks of those ponds then you can tell me never to bring this up again and call me a liar.
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ALLLLLLLLLLL For it one of my favorite places to hunt in the world is Beouf WMA i dont get to go like i use to and havent been able to go in a 2 years . There aint nothing like hearing those wings over the tops of them trees and breaking a groups necks when you hit that call.
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Ok, ok. What I'm looking for now is solutions to what we can do about it in LA. I liked spankys idea, id like to hear more!
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Mr. Reynolds,
Could you provide us with the aerial waterfowl survey results for either December 2000 or January 2001? Statewide and/or Coastal WMAs would be greatly appreciated. Those surveys aren't published on the LDWF website. There is a summary graph from 1977 to 2003, but the actual survey detail sheet would be more beneficial for this discussion.

Thank you!!
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I mentioned those because of the habitat in them and the surrounding areas. I chatted with Jgoins1981 this morning and told him about a couple of hunts we made in lake Catahoula this year , our first time there. We had 2 pretty good hunts, mostly canvasback but we did kill a few greenheads, pintails and wigeons. Talked to a couple of game wardens the second day at the launch and he was surprised at what we killed. He said there’s really NOT MANY BIRDS, we’re NOT getting the migration like we use to. He also said there weren’t any around where he lived. I lived in Alexandria in 1991-92 when we would visit back home I can remember driving back on Sunday afternoon the ag fields were covered with ducks. Those fields are still there but where’s the ducks??
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I have mentioned in all my comments all the way through here sobreaux that money needs to be spent in louisiana in the real wintering grounds and when i have mentioned all through this i have said that any money not spent on breeding grounds needs to be put into the gov and state lands. i also think that it would be a good idea to raise the cost of our state duck stamp and any money made off of it should go to rebuilding whatever habitat we have to here in our state .
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agree
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SoBreaux, the very first step needs to be the federal government outlawing the practice of taking waterfowl by mechanically operated devices. Outfitters and the common man holding any body of water open using ice eaters, thermal heaters, water pumps for the sole taking of waterfowl has to stop. Mechanically operated devices also includes spinning wing decoys. Duck hunting needs to go back to just a shotgun, decoys and a duck call.
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I agree with you hollow point but like we have talked about earlier. The money and industry for mechanical decoys is a huge industry now and we might have to give a lil to take a lot . I hunt with a jerk string now cause I felt that a mojo was flaring ducks so I put it away a while ago. Now these ice eaters and pumps are way newer . You have seen it online how many new companies are trying to come into that market there is only two that had the market sewed up for years . That and the farmers act that was past need to be abolished first thing . We can shot for all of it but I am just letting you know what I think will fly bud.
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Did Mr Reynolds ever call you back hollow point?
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No he did not.
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could not agree more. duck hunting needs to go back to basics so we can teach the next generation to appreciate its roots
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I'm in where do I sign up?
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Yes sir kenspeck! Hollow point maybe he can text you some figures or build a power point to show you how the numbers add up with a graph and email it to you but I can tell you one things for sure he does not want to stand up to the fed migration dept or either he would have years ago before it got to this point! If I failed to bring certain issues to my state that I was paid to protect there migration program and to give expert opinions on rebuilding the habitat of one of the nations best duck hunting spots, and it was in the situation ours is now. I probably would stay out of this conversation with anyone that remotely looked like a duck hunter.
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I am saving all the people who has been on this post. I will be forwarding a website or FB page. I have to get a petition legally wrote up and we will go from there. Just by commenting on this post you are helping and I will know who to orward it to. I wish the almost 10,000 who has viewed and wants to be apart of this would just agree or say yes I do in a comment so these news crews would see it and I could do a final save
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I love to see the passion in this post. I had my doubts about the fact that keeping water from freezing up north was happening on a large enough scale to halt the migration. I have not had the time to research the topic. I do agree with the concept of mechanically altering conditions to shoot ducks as not being fair chase. Also, I may be wrong, but when noting that there are almost 10000 views I don’t think that means 10000 people. If I open this post 5 times a day to read the comments for the 10 days or so since it started, I would account for 50 views. Again, I may be wrong. Either way you have brought a great deal of attention to this subject. Good Job, and good luck, I will continue to keep up with this post.
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sign me up
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They need to take ideas from us pions. The USFWS needs to complete a five year testing experiment banning mechanically driven devices to hold waterways up North open for waterfowl hunting. Then we need o look at Louisiana Ariel and harvest surveys.
The USFWS, DU and Delta Waterfowl need to work with the rice farmersdown here paying g them off for leaving one cut in each rice field unharvested. There is one of the feed problems being worked on.

Any and all items sold for waterfowl hunting needs 2% of the taxes to
go to restoring coastal marshes. We would have the whole coast of Louisiana back like it is
supposed to be within 5 years.

Any more suggestion let's hear them.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6t1R8d6MTU

I've always liked this perspective the duck commander gave on the issues we face with the migrating ducks.
Check this out if you haven't already watched.
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Yeah I watched it and I have always respected Mr Phil, he was one of my icons before he made it big . After his first video of showing Louisiana boys breakin em down . Yeah the show brought a bunch of people to the sport but I noticed a trend with that, lol they all found out how hard it really is and it ain't cheap. I loved how on his show he shows family , good morals, down to earth and killing ducks. I watched that video when it first hit YouTube that is one thing that made me start doing all this research. I appreciate all the support from you guys good luck. I finished my work week just hooked up to the gator tail gonna give em another try till it's over!
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Jgoins! Well... Let's stop talking and do something. We all agree on a ban on mechanical decoys. First thing we need is a large group of supporters. A large organization will definitely get the attention of our congressmen. Second, data supporting the ban. Is there ant data that suggests that more young birds are killed? Have the harvest numbers 'up north' increased since the mojo hit the markets?
There are many battles to be fought, but a ban on mechanical devices should not be too hard. It's time to unite.
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I would like to thank jgoins1981 for the hunt this morning on his property in SW Louisiana. It was apsolutlely a beautiful piece of marsh ground to hunt. Freezing cold I might add, saw 4 groups of ducks and never picked the gun up. This, after a northern cold front blew threw. Back in the 80 or 90' we would have had our limits within an hour. Can any expert biologists explain?
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bloodandguts you are completely correct, this post and one on FB that hollow point started is the start of us uniting and showing that we do care. It also shows that we are pretty strong. I know when this finally goes into the public eyes it will light like wild fire across the southern states. It is not going to be easy and not going to happen over night but I am going to fight for it with the support of all other waterfowlers that have been effected by this. I had never met hollow point a day in my life until today. He was the first to email me and was serious about this as much as I am. I took him to my marsh today so he could see just where my lease is and the vegetation in the marsh just so I have someone who knows exactly what I'm saying is true about my lease. Emails have been sent and phone calls have been mad to property owners and hunting clubs. I am going to be contacting the Louisiana waterfowlers alliance. I never had herd about this group till Reynolds spoke of them. I looked at there page they look like a good resource and the goals are inline with what we want. I will post there link for you all to check them out. If I don't get the right feeling when I speak with them I will let you guys know my thoughts then we can go from there. They have a foundation and are already established they just need members and a spotlight put on them. Hopefully we can get harvest numbers for all those states and get the total hunters per state. I have tried pulling up that info and I cannot find it. But they are very quick to post Louisiana harvest and hunters info for each year...... kinda strange huh? Something else I noticed was on DU migration report map , they never post reports up there or either they get deleted by the sites administrator. They might just be so busy killing ducks they don't have time to post lol. Just know the first steps have been taken and hopefully we will be up and walking and running as soon as we can. I will post on here as I have new info. Hopefully we will get a site of our own up so we don't have to keep using this but it's the best I can do for now, thank you to everyone who is supporting this.
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http://www.louisianawaterfowl.org/
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Here ya go fellas. Delta Waterfowl January Migration report, 4:15 into the video the guy says hunters with ice eaters have big holes and they're seeing some 'reverse migration.' So as far as I'm concerned, there is zero difference in baiting a pond, and running an ice eater in a pond. On both accounts it's altering the habitat in an unnatural fashion to entice ducks for the sole purpose of hunting.

https://deltawaterfowl.org/january-migration-report/

And as long as the big money folks in Ducks Unlimited can cherry pick where they want to hunt all over the country, you know they could not care less.
Maybe Delta Waterfowl gets onboard, who knows.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Sign me up
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Cjncall please go to Louisiana duck hunters group on Facebook and explain. I copied and pasted your link but cannot view on my phone. Please go and explain the best you can. There are some there that believe all is good with Louisiana duck hunting
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Just got up and was going to be going to the blind but think I am going to make this post and go back to bed. Reverse migrating is a nice way of saying they are manipulating the migration to there advantage. I am a committee member for delta and a sponsor maybe I can make a phone call. I happen to know one of the regional managers really well. I am all about supporting delta they want to hatch ducklings kill anything in site trying to eat them and buys up breeding grounds and not to long ago released specs with radio collars that were 3500 apiece in Thornwell to find out what these birds are doing and what is holing them. Those collars might have just proved my point who knows. I haven't involved my buddy just yet but I think now would be a great time. I guess a ole country boy with comman sense has done his research and gut feelings normally are spot on!, I will just remind y'all of what I have said this whole time ducks fly south due to freezes but they have great senses if they know it is only gonna be a day and then they can feed they will wait. On the front days did y'all notice we did get some new birds but nothing like what we should be having. That's because those average joes ice eaters can't keep up and it freezes so some birds finally migrate. I am pretty sure my gut told me that too. Just watch as soon as season is over for them , which I might add goes on till the 28th a week past us. How that makes any sense whatsoever I don't see it. Then they have there goose season so some duck will stay but majority will be sitting in Louisiana and all the other southern states. Just for bird watching viewing pleasures only. Lol. Also du has some money but a lot of the resources they bring in to help them or down from the south. Our hunting lodges here have been established way longer and has more money, we have the biggest construction boom in history here , some hunting clubs are cooperate owned by names like Exxon chevron and many more. We have lots of money in this state . They have DU and farm fields and newly established hunting clubs. They have natural gas and oil but the boom is dead there. I really think if this keeps going like this we will get what we ask for . Have a good one and good luck
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
One thing we'll all need to understand is no one cares about Louisiana ducks hunters except Louisiana duck hunters. When we give our money to organizations like Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl etc, it is with the intent of bettering a sport we all love, and preserving a big part of our culture. Yes, these organizations have done a lot of positive things, but we need to decide which one if any represents our interests as LOUISIANA duck hunters.
In this country sadly one of the biggest catalysts of change is money. The federal government, and the state government quite honestly could care less about 'us'. The average duck hunter that has to work for his ducks. I say this because as long as we blindly give money to organizations which represent us in Baton Rouge and Washington DC, that keep telling us as Louisiana duck hunters that 'all is well' while we sit in empty ponds nothing will change.
I'm not going to tell people how to spend their money, but before you blindly renew the membership to your organization of choice, ask yourself, '1. where is my money going, 2. does this organization fight for my concerns as a LOUISIANA duck hunter, and 3. does this organization actually listen to you, as a hunter, or do they simply take your money and tell you 'all is well'.
That's wonderful that Ducks Unlimited has done all these things in Louisiana as stated in an earlier post by Larry Reynolds. But why should I keep sending my money to them if I'm not getting any return on that investment? We keep being told all these things are being done to improve the sport. We see these reports of X amount of birds here and there. Yet nothing to show for it.
When you get a huge cold front come through, and you're driving through Cameron parish and you don't see the caravans of trucks hauling boats on Hwy 27 something is wrong. Sorry, but all is not well.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I am 100% delta
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Well I will revise my statement, I have been 100% delta and still am. After seeing that video I think they understand what is going on too. I am going to reach out to my delta guys and see what they can help us with. If they don't want to help us and turn a def ear and a blind eye, I will be supporting the Josh goins waterfowl association. Lol. I don't think that will be the case though. Delta is very strong in louisiana I joined back I 01 I think was when the Beauregard chapter started. Whenever you have a naturally migrating bird unaware of his own compass or the food and water to the north of him is so appealing that it reverse migrates,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, hummmmmmm I think we might have a problem. That happening and the reports being so low is going to help our cause. I know big Money has control but I have seen big money shut down till eggs hatch because it would interrupt a natural nest and risk losing the birds. Think of the migration the same way but by the thousands. If du lost all 122,000 members from the south that would crippled them badly, and personally I don't care cause I believe delta would get stronger and have way more money to do what is really suppose to be done with our money.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I never was a DU member and never will be. I was a member of Delta and will be renewing my membership. I can remember driving up I49 towards Alexandria back in the early 90s and being in awe at the ducks in the ag fields. Where did they go? The ag fields are still there. I hunt South of houma and central Louisiana, the marshes in South Louisiana are basically gone but the ag fields in Central Louisiana are still there.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
We can say what we want but it all falls on deaf ears. You want to make them listen hit them where it hurts. If we would all come together and not buy your hunting license I bet they would notice that, and then they would want to know why were doing what we’re doing. Just my opinion to help the issue out!
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I said that same thing and just not hunt for a year but to get everyone in the state to do it would be hard
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
What happen to the tag feed post? was all for that ,I know it would bring duck and they would stay . It may be easer to get done if we all get together and fight for it . Being and old timer I know and saw what feed can do that y they have all the duck up North I know hot water helps but not with out feed. Back in the 60 and 70 big man money fed, there were thousands of duck all the way to the cost , Dave hall put and end to that with big money from up North. As for as DU not a dime form me, went hunting SAT. big cold front less duck then the week b 4 if it were not for dogree [ bluebill] in all my hunts this year I would have about 30 big duck an that 2 or 3 in a blind. As for as big duck only grays that the only duck up North has not stop but they will then we r done for. I am in for what every we can do ,one week left I will b out there because I love the sport. specklesearcher
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Specklesearcher I understand what your saying but then we would be no better or worse then them and the issue would be between waterfowlers in there own state over which area feeds more. The truth is you can dump all the feed in the south into every water holding area , you are not going to have ducks on it until there season stops and the waters are frozen. Yes you will have the ducks that are imprinted to fly here until they hook up with larger flights not migrating south anymore or they are killed or die of old age. Then if you tried to hold them with feed through the off season would cost more than to just buying ducks unlimited, they feed for 72 days un north and maybe longer who knows cause they are pretty much on the edge of the breeding grounds, and off season would have to pay to feed for 300. Even then you are defeating the whole purpose, traditions, and would be teaching the next generation that cheating is ok. It is a migrating bird that everyone up and down the fly way should be able to utilize as a natural resource, even if it is for the bird photographer to sell his prints, the hunting club that guides for a living, the man who provides a meal for his family, or the boys in the refuge for the sport of it. It is a naturally migrating bird that no one should be able to manipulate north or south. The only person who should be in control of them is old man winter and god. No disrespect in anyway with this just was giving my opinion. I have gotten frustrated with the situation too and had the very same thoughts and some way worse than that one that would be cheaper and easier but what keeps me thinking positive is the love for sport and traditions.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
The main point to all this is the fed gov, the state, parish, delta, DU, should be searching for an answer to fix the coast, marsh, farm land, and timber in this state and the same goes for the others if that was taken care of we wouldn't have to be like them we would have the rich habitat that we once did but we still have to get the migration manipulation issue handled or we have done all that for nothing. I just got off the phone with a older gentleman man I have known all my life. I have been waiting on this call since I sent him the link to this. This man was apart of DU's first groups here in Louisiana and in my book is a hardcore waterfowlers. He still is like a kid when you even speak of ducks. Just want to mention this is a sponsor of DU that has a chair man contact him to get the big check that he writes once a year. He was very concerned and had lots of questions for me, most I had the answers and proof. I asked him how do you not have issues with writing a check after all these years of seeing your sport go down. His answer was I keep up with the conservation efforts and knew they were establishing areas that they call critical wintering habitats down the flyway to give states that were fly overs opportunities to have birds in there areas. Also to give the birds rest and food for there trip so they have more of a success of living cause a tired bird is a dead bird here in our state. He didn't realize each one of them had hunting clubs adjoining and that they were set up and down the flyway and in large numbers. He also said having a waters unfrozen and unharvested flooded crop that was never known in the history of man to be flooded for the sole purposes of taking waterfowl and not used as this critical wintering habitat should in no way shape or form be legal. He was always told by the gentleman receiving the check that it just hasn't gotten cold enough and he thought to himself yeah we did hunt in short sleeves for the past few seasons and being as busy as this man is he trusted that the organization that he had been supporting for over 40 years is still doing what they were originally organized to do and wouldn't let you bad mouth them either while you were near him without letting you know what they did in the past. Needless to say he sees that the goals of the newer generation of the organization must have took a wrong turn some where. So all the other questions that I couldn't answer are probably on an email to the inbox of the gentleman that never hesitated to call and go pick that check up. People like his is what we need yeah the members numbers are huge but that is 50 bucks a year but you get the big players involved that are seeing this for the first time and you crippled this organization that has huge money that everyone thinks DU has. du is a non profit they have to have those huge sponsors to write them a check to do anything and yeah there are some really big investors in it ........ but I have spoken with a few that I personally know and they are hurting just like the small time guys hunting too and they want answers. I hate it for them if they don't produce the right ones cause guess what wealthy people know wealthy people and no one wants to be the only guy that that is still pumping his wealth in to bad business if all the other ones call it a flop. What's going on up north is bad business! And I hope it flops to bring them back to reality and back to work on the real critcle original wintering grounds!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
You need to send an anonymous letter to PETA, aspca, and liberal media outlets complaining about how people are thawing out ponds in the north with a mechanical device just to draw in and murder innocent ducks looking for a place to rest and eat
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
One last thing!!!! lol I wonder how exaggerated those comments were in this post when Mr Reynolds saw the migration numbers and was told that the migration was reversing and heading back north and never really came to Louisiana it was like something altered them. I think it was said to me and other hunters that commented with concerns and issues that either we had been told about or seen with our own two eyes, that those are exaggerations and that there is no way that was really happening and we wouldn't really like what he was going to tell us. His numbers and graphs don't lie and the truth is we still get a migration and he knows that we might be having a slower season but the fact is the migration is here and in pretty good numbers and some people are having great success................ let's see those numbers you have again and then put them up against deltas and let's have the same exaggerated conversation again with all of us that don't know what we are talking about when we speak of DU that way! That is my issue is the fact the person who is appointed to watch over our migration and is appointed to speak up for Louisiana at a national level about migration and habitats to support it , tells the guys who pay taxes that pay his salary, that have legitimate concerns. Told that they are not correct and they are over exaggerating. Seems to me the only thing that has been exaggerated on is the numbers for Louisiana's migration, and harvest numbers for too many years. Fact is you gotta have ducks to kill em.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Good one Johnny boy but believe me no one has to send them a letter they zoned in on them boys as soon as there videos got put on you tube just look up the articles on that but they want us to stop too......... I don't know what they would have against us duck hunters we just been hunting and much slaughtering or killin going on around here. I promise I have only used one box of shells this year ....... Lmao just joking . But from real look up the articles that was actually one of the culprits to one of the guides service getting busted if I remember right
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks Habitat Loss, Larry?
Larry, any comment?
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Larry,

Back in the mid 80's, there were over 40,000 mallards on Lake Maurepas alone. If you could quantify the loss, how many fewer birds have we now in the Maurepas/Pontchartrain Basin, west to roughly Sorrento, south to the end of freshwater line, and east to Lafitte, then back north to, say, Mandeville? This may as well be pavement, considering the loss of habitat to flotant and salvinnia.

One pic attached shows the bottomland hardwoods area that's now rice/bean/crawfish farms, that's got to have an effect, though I hear there's fewer birds there now. The other shows the freshwater cypress tupelo swamps lost to salvinnia and flotant.

I looked at some property on the west side of White Lake a few years ago - completely covered in Salvinnia, so even that area is now being lost!

Can you compare the numbers or counts in the 70's, 80's to early 90's in this the Maurepas, Pontchart train basin as well as freswater swamps south, to what the counts for the last 15 years? Ain't there no more!

Thanks.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks Ice Eaters
For the non- believers, here's what a quick search for waterfowl property turned up, WITHOUT putting in anything about ice eaters. They're out there, for sure.

**The main lake on the property presents several different blind locations for different winds and also has enough timber and brush to hold some of the big bottoms whitetails that the area is known for. With electric running on the backside of the property there is opportunity to run ice eaters or aerators to keep the only open water in the area once everything freezes up.

For more information or to schedule a showing, call or text Jared Heller (217) 440-6713**
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
jgoins1981 I am for what u said. But if we did get our way what will happen when the migration does come back we have little to no food for them, well may b north LA. but i hunt the salt cost with 100 of other all they can eat here or fish or mud, we need DU or other to help with that, let say like the PAC down here DU and others would have to built up the land they did that 2 years ago were I have a lease on the Montegut side. If it not cold to freeze up north then they still will keep the duck.Not all our winters or cold with that said it would make us even water in the feed , feed in the water .
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
This season made 4 hunts in the Pointe Aux Chene / Montegut area (3 blinds) less than 20 birds, lake Catahoula twice (6 hunters) 40 birds, Sloughs in dewey willis didn’t fire a shot, son made a couple hunts down in the wax 3 on one hunt & no shots fired on second hunt, Atchafalaya around morgan city first hunt didn’t fire a shot, sons hunting there this morning no shots fired
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Jgoins1981,Just finished watching nice YouTube from none other than de 'riginal Duck Commander' and also watched Jase Robertson YouTube and got my strategy figured out-why try to 'make' ducks come to you vs being where they keep showing ya dey wanna be.Gotta hand it to ya,against my better judgement, I came back to ya thread-still aggravated like everyone else bout our lack of ducks-send all of us ya petition and see what we as passionate duck 'killers' can do.Like ole Phil's story bout dem championship callers and how he will only sound like dat when he hears a mallard hen make a highball call!!!Gonna slug it out like I always do and where I hunt,not for de less-than-fanatics,so I rarely see another hunter anywhere near me.Hoping to locate where I KNOW dem greys are but more interested in getting after dem greenies,huge ducks and true trophies .Have not seen any replies from Larry Reynolds and I figured out about conclusively where my recent Ringed Teal hen came from!!!Never giving an inch to dem ducks!!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
There is a root cause. July 1995 Ducks Unlimited magazine explained it in full detail. It is the efforts of DU, EPA, and land owners that commit at least 15,000 acres each to the program. I can't recall the name of the program, but it is in the interest of preventing soil erosion. The claim is to prevent pollution from soil erosion and rainwater runoff from entering waterways in the flyway, DU gave plans to EPA and they got something like 200 land owners investing no less than 15,000 acres each to build levees, pump water, circulate water within the individual levee systems, provide food for migrating waterfowl, and creating an environment where ducks are prevented from the natural inclination to fly farther south for warmer water and food sources. If they have water to land in and food to eat, they have no reason to continue the migration. They only migrate based on need. Louisiana is no longer 'needed' by waterfowl because DU in Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa have influenced the migration by providing everything ducks need to stay there, but at least the streams and waterways aren't being polluted by water runoff from croplands. SMH. DU is the problem for Louisiana ........... PERIOD !
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Don't underestimate what de Duck Commander has been preaching about-predator control-something Delta is fully committed to and just think about what he said on YouTube video-Canada probably has the duck factory and we only get maybe 15% of ducks hatched,so with much less hatchling success and whatever crop manipulation,ice eaters,yada,yada,yada,what would you reasonably expect is gonna happen to an already thin population so never forget predator control.I like what he said,give us just 9 days out of 60 to legally hunt the 'sanctuaries,refuges,etc' and possibly rotate the sanctuaries on yearly basis.Just think about what he said and for him to head West to hunt ducks,he must have valid reasoning!!!Hunting sanctuaries for just a few days/season would give lotta folks a nice duck hunting 'fix' no doubt about it!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Sorry for the late reply I messed up ,y back on Friday morning in marsh mud going into a new area on my property and couldn't sleep and spent all morning at the dr.. 1st reply wishin I was fishin glad to see others are starting to research and call out people who let our area go to ruins. 2nd specksearcher I agree with you about the feed that is what I have been saying all through this money and efforts should have been spent to either impound your area or to have small impoundments all through your area for y'all in the real wintering grounds. With all the money spent up north they could have covered our coastline with a wall and made all of our marah fresh but they spent money and efforts to build marshes in the flyway and engineered a way to keep them unfrozen. Even though they knew what it was going to do to our migration because ducks go south on a freeze but then have the nerve to still even what our state to give them money to help them build what is going to be the demise of our hunting. 3rd alspanky you are correct, in Louisiana's fine duck hunting history any of those places after any of these hard freezes would be a sight to see with migratory birds. 4th mandavillian I was hoping out of everyone on this post if I could change your thoughts and open your eyes to the issues than I could get the point across to anyone lol I'm glad your back. I am working on getting everything together now. It ain't no over night issue you go fight with a note pad and a pen. Lol but we are going to fight for our ducks back brother. When mr phil posted that video and we were only receiving 15 % here in Louisiana well that was a good time ago I would go as far as in it going down 1% a year since then and this year I would say this year was the lowest we have ever had. Phils point in those videos for hunting conservation areas was talking about Louisiana's too but his focus was conservation areas up the fly way to rotate the hunting on them to make the birds get up and move even if it wasn't freezing. But most of the ones built will not freeze with the pumps installed. 5th T hatch you are completely correct and that project is what is now called the critical wintering habitats , al created for rest up and down the fly way but it turned into a way bigger project after they money was so good for all the original ones were built that more land has been offered and more farmers wanted to be outfitters . Who would want to drive a tractor and farm with low incomes when you can be an outfitter with hunting and fishing as a source of a big income and all of it set up for you for free and you get tax breaks every year . Then you can afford to plant the crop you once was going broke trying to harvest and just plant twice as much not harvest it and levee and flood it for your clients.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Jgoins1981,See what I told ya-present a solution to de problem,perceived or actual,and see how much better ya get folks to respond!!Text book!!Getting Larry Reynolds aboard a much greater accomplishment vs getting a die-hard,passionate fanatic like me aboard but a start is a start.Yes,I realize Phil's video a few years old but the story remains the same-predator control and allowing hunts on 'sanctuaries' not such a terrible idea.Guess what I am doing right after typing this-getting decoys ready for all-out assault on mallards and love what Ole Phil said bout smacking ole greenies in de face!!!Get in touch with Proud Pop(Scott Dennis)as ya know he and his dad hunt with Phil at least once a year and I bet Proud Pop would love to have bunch more greys hitting his Delacroix leases!!!Gonna hunt about as hard as I possibly can,thank God I took off today for R and R and back at dem greenies Wed,Th,Sat,Sun,next Wed/Th,Sat,Sun and hope to exercise 'population control' on thriving mallard population.I probably should exercise refrain in posting about such quality birds on Public Land but am so dedicated to pursuing these quality birds and dey aint no where near easy to access-takes more than a Herculean effort to get anywhere near em-dat I do not mind and only take maybe 2-4 guys total on quality hunts and we have an unwritten oath,dat's right,an oath,to never give up our 'secret spots' and do not even think bout hunting another compadre's spot,unless he wants ya to tag along,even if he is not hunting it!!We treat our spots like are blessed to know where they are and want to keep it dat way!!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I have read ever single reply to this thread and the one on Facebook under Louisiana Duck Hunters. I'm going to capitalize my words to get everyone to understand one thing and to please pass on. THE MIGRATORY BIRD TREATY ACT OF 1918 WAS ESTABLISHED BECAUSE OF MAN'S GREED. THIS FEDERAL LAW CAN AND IS SUPPOSED TO BE FOR EVERY SINGLE TAX PAYING AMERICAN. A HUMAN BEING SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO MANIPULATE A NATURALLY MIGRATING NATURAL RESOURSE...PEORID...UNDER THE SAID LAW WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BAIT, RUN THEM ON A WATERWAY, SHOOT LEAD SHOT, SHOOT A 1/2 HR BEFORE DAYLIGHT....ETC...THERE IS MORE...HOW IN THE FU-- CAN IT BE LEGAL TO MANIPULATE A BIRD FROM MIGRATING USING ICE EATERS OR FLOODING UNHARVESTED GRAIN FIELDS FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF HUNTING??.??? Larry Reynolds explain. And I don't care about the 30,000 decoys you counted on your Ariel survey
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I have read ever single reply to this thread and the one on Facebook under Louisiana Duck Hunters. I'm going to capitalize my words to get everyone to understand one thing and to please pass on. THE MIGRATORY BIRD TREATY ACT OF 1918 WAS ESTABLISHED BECAUSE OF MAN'S GREED. THIS FEDERAL LAW CAN AND IS SUPPOSED TO BE FOR EVERY SINGLE TAX PAYING AMERICAN. A HUMAN BEING SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO MANIPULATE A NATURALLY MIGRATING NATURAL RESOURSE...PEORID...UNDER THE SAID LAW WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BAIT, RUN THEM ON A WATERWAY, SHOOT LEAD SHOT, SHOOT A 1 HR BEFORE DAYLIGHT....ETC...THERE IS MORE...HOW IN THE FU-- CAN IT BE LEGAL TO MANIPULATE A BIRD FROM MIGRATING USING ICE EATERS OR FLOODING UNHARVESTED GRAIN FIELDS FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF HUNTING??.??? Larry Reynolds explain. And I don't care about the 30,000 decoys you counted on your Ariel survey
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Well as much as I would love to have gotten Larry on board that will never happen, he is to tied in with DU. Being the states leading a expert and appointed to speak on the states behalf at the national level. When he saw all this getting started years ago. You would think he would have been the one trying to get hunters involved in shutting down the issues that could potentially ruin the only reason that he had a job in the first place but maybe he thought it might not get to this point until after he retired. I know with any thing in life I am assigned too protect and watch over, you let something even remotely mess with it or threaten it and see what happens
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
That's the thing hollow point it took delta waterfowl going out to get real survey numbers. So his surveys should be void correct. He clearly told us when he was commenting that we did still get a migration and the numbers looked pretty good you just have to be the lucky one in the spots where they are. He had to have been counting decoys or was told to tell hunters that . Maybe manipulating waterfowl migration numbers has been happening too cause I know good and well that Louisiana is still not the state that's kills the most ducks but we are still listed as that and you cannot bring any of those states that we have been talking about up with harvest numbers or hunter totals. You type in Louisiana duck and before you even finish everything for are state pops up and you can look at it all through the years this is bull!!!!!!!!!!! Hard to believe that his numbers were good yet another organization that I do trust said that the birds really haven't even migrated and that they are now doing a reverse migration........ come on seriously
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Apsoluly those dozen decoys we left in your hunting hole looked like live birds 30ft away. You better believe they get counted from a helicopter or airplane.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Just for thought! lol I just want to know what y'all boys think? Weather channel is calling for winter mix conditions tomorrow and they said possibility of snow Tom at 1pm during the day. Ok so it's low is going to be 17 and snow at 1 pm. That should be about those migration birds should fly south from us to south America right? Naaaaa we got the main North American migration trained to ride it out and fight through it back up north cause there ponds are fully stocked and not frozen. Reverse migration who would ever imagine that all the research that a ole dumb country boy who cares about his sport that much would be right and the expert biologists here in Louisiana said that stuff was not effecting the Louisiana migration. What ya think now mr expert???????????????? Reynolds chime in at anytime. I know you can't be that busy since DU seems to be filling out all your reports for our state!???
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Maybe some hunters left their MoJo's running and dey got counted as well(LOL)!!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Lol good one ! could have been they got mixed up and thought they wanted the city park ducks counted too, I heard muscovy ducks are hitting a near peak high numbers...........!!!!!!! Lmao we can't hunt them tho, they are in the areas we can't hunt. Dang those city parks. City parks conservation area! close enough
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
That's gonna be your new prize duck mandavillian!
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
As much as I agree on y’alls opinions on the farmers up north manipulating their farmlands and holding ducks during freezes, I don’t believe this should turn into a Larry Reynolds bashing thread. I very seriously doubt there has been another individual that has done more for the Louisiana waterfowler than Mr Reynolds has done while with the ldwf.

On to the topic at hand... there is no doubt in my mind that what DU and the farmers are doing should be illegal. Not so much the ice eaters, to me that’s fair game. But flooding cornfields is no different in my eyes than throwing a couple sacks of corn in the marsh and should be illegal. And the combination of the two is what is killing us south La hunters. Mr Reynolds spoke of us leading the harvest reports year in and year out but I would offer the suggestion that there are many more hunters here per capita than other states and duck hunting is a rich tradition here so 17.2 ducks per season really isn’t that many when you hunt 30 days out of the year.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I was under the understanding that you could not manipulate the area that your hunting in to lure birds on. I've read and talked to LDWF as was told you could do nothing to change the habitat that it had to be natural. Well i must have missed something, because i never knew 'MAN MADE' pumps flooding however many acres is natural. Maybe i'm just a dumb hunter that doesn't know, but that sure looks like luring birds to me. All most of us are asking is to even the playing field. Just be honest and say that by pumping water and flooding a field does not lure birds in! I'm not knocking anyone that does this either, because if i had the land i'd do the same thing. But hey fair is fair. I bought a license, stamp, gun, boat, etc. but at the same time i don't get to hunt in a golden pond. If that's the case beings the MAN MADE pumps are not natural but completely ok to use. Can i build something that floats in the water, Plant on it, wait the required one year, and harvest at least one pound of whatever i plant to replant the next year then be able to hunt that pond? Seems like that's the same thing they are doing. I'd love to get a non biased answer to this!
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I would love to take mr. reynolds for a boat ride in my area and show him all the 'LARGE' amounts of ducks that here here. His jaw would drop on how the marsh looks. Then i would like him to explain to me where the ducks are.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Jgoins1981,Ya must be psychic as de Nuck and Futz Duck Busters been seeing nice-sized Muscovy on just about every Second Split hunts we have made,not kidding!!!Licking my chops right now,only consideration being extremely low water predicted,and de mallards are a-plenty where I am headed and know where nice pocket of greys have been congregating,again besides ridiculously cold temps,gonna be extremely tough sledding but ya gotta go to know.We never gonna get Larry on board but maybe an 'un-biased' observer could sit next to him on a fly-over to get another perspective on the current duck counts,think about dat for a while!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Sdoucet your completely correct but due to the farm act DU is able to do that. Licensed to kill maybe Larry has done some good things. He commented on this post and told us the issues we were speaking about were not effecting the migration in louisiana and that we all were wrong and exaggerating. Then delta post a video saying birds have not even migrated to LA and that they are reverse migrating. Not only that he takes up for DU and told us we were wrong for saying anything about DU. If you think for one sec after all that has been brought out into the open on this and louisiana is going to be 17Degrees tonight and having delta talk about reverse migrating that we are not going to call him out. Not just call him out, WE are calling him out on statements that he said to us. If he was to get on here and say guys im sorry you were correct in what you were saying and we do need to fight for our duck season back then guess what i wouldnt say a thing to him i would support him with whatever he thought needed to be done. As long as he acts like nothing is wrong and that DU is the greatest thing ever then we have a problem. I am not saying i am a perfect saint but i do believe in god and i do try and live as right as i should. With that being said, if the waters were meet to be froze for a certain reason why is it ok to unfreeze them. Im not talking about the guys going out like they use to and bust some ice to kill some ducks we are talking about unfrreezing whole unharvested fields that have been created and flooded for the sole purpose of waterfowl hunting. According to the migratory bird treaty act that should one hundred percent be illegal. 30 man Blinds killing mallards over these fields and not only that i called to act like i was booking a hunt and they told me i could kill my limit in the morning and evening . I thought a daily limit was daily limits regardless. So a 30 man blind can kill 360 birds a day if they want to, do you agree with that?
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Larry is incognito to no surprise. I’m sure he’ll be back to post some numbers at some point but if anyone is expecting him to get on board and try to help don’t hold your breath
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Jgoins1981,Ya might be onto something if dey told ya it would be ok to kill a morning and evening limit.I know when we hunted NDakota about 4 years ago,their mallard limit was I believe 5 birds but only 2 could be hens and the big problem up there in early season is lotta greenheads in eclipse and tough to always pick out de drakes!All I amm hopeful balance of this weak season is to get on some trophy mallards and not sure what de doggone water levels gonna look like tomorrow,think I am gonna have to drag flat through few trenasses,like I said-where and when I hunt not for those less-than-diehards-gonna be a tough sledding hunt but if all goes as I anticipate,should be plenty ducks!!Guess I must either be extremely lucky(do not think luck late in season has a thing to do with it)or have paid my dues the past twenty years of hunting pretty much same general area with NO ONE anywhere near me!!

Mandevillian,eternal optimist,as always
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I agree with you there. Bad thing is my general area that i have hunted all my life isnt holding them. I really do wish it was and i have seen them there year after year but as of last year it started slowing down drastically then this year it has been worst then drastic lol good luck and do not do like i did and decide you gonna act like you are 21 again and put your self in a bind it is to cold and weather conditions are only getting worse it just hit us. dont get caught up out there in it and cant get back.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Thanks,bud,aint gonna act like no hero or 21 year old-if I see there is absolutely no clear paths to tree-line ponds(probably gonna be iced over everywhere-check out pics from when it was not 19-21 degrees)I will most likely limp home and try again Th.Hoping I can get on em and smack em in de face!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
History of the Perfect Storm for the Demise of Ducks In North America

1-Agricultural practices have changed from spring plowing to fall plowing. Fall plowing eliminates fall and spring duck foods
2- Adaptive Harvest Management (AHM) stabilized regulations by flyway at very liberal harvest levels
3-High harvest levels appear to have dramatically decreased breeding populations in “Production” States, particularly within the Mississippi Flyway.
4- Senator Trent Lott of MS forced the regulatory framework to be extended roughly 10 days longer into January, while all previous research had indicated that hunting seasons past January 15 broke waterfowl pair bonds, and led to poorer body condition in breeding hens the following spring. However, the northern states opposed this and requested that the frame work be extended on the front end by the same number of days. Instead of the FWS denying the southern states the ability to add days at the end of their season, they allowed northern states to open a week earlier. This makes successful adult females, and HY young ducks extremely vulnerable to hunting. This has likely led to the disastrous declines in breeding populations in many “Production States”
5- Climate changes made this a monumental mistake for southern states because most northern states were usually frozen solid by Dec 1st. Therefore, in northern states ducks were only hunted for 2/3 of the season length no matter how long the season was. So if the flyway was granted a 50 day season southern states hunted 50 days and northern states only hunted 30 because the last 20 days all the water was frozen!! Now most the States in the Miss. Flyway hunt nearly 60 days.
6 – Since 2005, 25 MILLION + acres of CRP and other grasslands (DUCK NESTING HABITAT ELIMINATED) have been converted to agriculture to provide corn for the government imposed ethanol mandates. Somehow starting at the exact same time (2005) the May Survey began to increase, and by spring 2015, minus 25 million acres of CRP, and millions of acres of drained temporary and seasonal wetlands, duck populations – according to the May Survey- had grown to the point that they were higher than they had EVER been.
7- Although the May Survey indicated that there were more breeding ducks in spring of 2015, the waterfowl hunting season in 2015-2016 was one of the worst in several decades with more than a million fewer ducks killed in the Mississippi Flyway alone than in the previous year.
8- Further, although May survey numbers have grown exponentially since 2005, to numbers greater than have ever been counted, mid-winter surveys indicate half the number of mallards than in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
9- Water is now artificially maintained throughout the US and crops are “legally” left unharvested, and FLOODED, for the purpose of killing ducks.
10– The Adaptive Harvest Management (AHM) Matrix was adopted to stabilize hunting regulations in the early 1990’s. The matrix is so biased to high harvest that the duck season in the Mississippi flyway has been 60 days and 6 ducks for over 20 years.
11- The AHM regulations are largely based on the May Breeding Population Estimates conducted by the US FWS, CWS and the States. These estimates were in 2016 --13.9 million breeding mallards. The harvest on mallards has been down 40% in the flyway!!! The Adult to immature ratio is very low. Given these data it appears that near record numbers of Mallards are not producing adequately to sustain the population, or, and this is quite likely given every other source of data concerning duck numbers, the May Survey numbers are not portraying waterfowl population trends in a reliable way. It seems highly illogical that duck populations can continue to increase with the amount of habitat destruction that has gone on the past 10 years. There are very few waterfowl hunters, observers, or biologists that would concede that there are more ducks today than there were in the 1950’s, 1960’s or 1970’s. If that is the case, and the May survey has not changed protocols, then it is hard to believe any of the numbers coming from this survey.
12- The FWS conceded to allow special teal seasons in several “Production” states in the past 10 years. The “production” states within the Mississippi Flyway that took these seasons have all seen dramatic declines in blue-winged teal numbers within their states over the past 30 years. Why would the FWS allow these states, and more importantly, why would these states take a blue-winged teal season, thus adding harvest to their already decimated local blue-winged teal populations?
13- With the above points in mind, there is major concern by knowledgeable biologists and hunters that there are major flaws in the management of Duck populations in North America.
14 - One significant problem in this equation is that duck scientists that question the current system are typically shunned, ignored and not professionally considered. The purpose of this document is not to condemn current management but to open the eyes of the people that actually manage waterfowl in North America. It may not be too late to reverse this perfect storm, but something must be done soon if we are to stem the tide of declining waterfowl hunters, and maintain waterfowl hunting traditions for our children and grandchildren.

Factors that led to Duck Demise

I realize that according to most of the waterfowl scientists responsible for hunting regulations believe that hunting within the current season and bag limits has absolutely no effect on duck populations. However, there are factors that contributed to the Duck Demise that have not been compensated for by AHM in the last 20 years of 60 days and 6 duck limits as follows:

1- better boats, airboats, surface drives, go devils and mudboats

2- Spinning wing decoys and other motorized decoys, better decoys – more realistic, lighter

3- better shotguns and shells (i.e., able to cripple ducks twice as far away – Black Cloud, tungsten, Heavy shot)

4- Google earth and other satellite and computer maps., duck hunting forums; state sponsored sites that tell hunters when hunting is good, state surveys etc. DU sponsored Duck hunter sites

5- better communications with cell phones etc

6- addition of one wood duck, 1 pintail and 1 redhead and 1 canvasback to the bag.

7 – better clothing allows staying out in weather longer, better footwear, better gloves

8 – layout blinds

9 – better calls –acrylic, louder

10- and THERE MAY BE MORE!!!
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I really thought this was very detailed and I agree with everything that u put in it. I am willing for limits to go down and no mechanical decoys. I really could care less about a teal season. I wouldn't care if our season went to shorter days . The truth is I will do anything to be ale to see a migration again. After reading this I feel like you are vey knowledgeable on the flyways and the migration. So I have one question for you, i understand that population is down but the population that we do have, could be hung up due to baiting/flooded unhavested feilds and the use of equipment that sole purpose is to melt bodies of water 1/2 of which are these baited feilds, could these 2 issues alone hurt if not stop the large majority of the migration from flying south even as much ice an snow with all the winter storms that have swept across the u.s. Also could it also take birds from one flyway and attract them to another? Last question do you have any thoughts on the migration surveyed and they are turning back north where all the water should be frozen but yet they are reverse migrating. Could any of he issues I just asked about have an effect on this reverse migration.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
The major problem is that the duck regulators (usfws, states and flyway councils will not admit there is a problem! To solve a problem it must be acknowledged. Real serious duck hunters know there is not anywhere near the ducks that there was 20 years ago. I have had the worst season this year in my 59 years of duck hunting. Many of my friends hunt everyday and they all agree . There are not many ducks. Cold weather should have them stacked up in LA but they are not here. I hope that the regulators wake up and make changes but it maybe already too late!!??

Contact DU, Delta and state regulators because when the ducks are gone there will be no need for Delta or DU. Duck hunters, are leaving the sport in droves for one major reason no ducks. I have contacted DU all I got was excuses .what have your donations to DU or Delta done for ducks on your lease lately?

Bull Nutria
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
One reason we have less, duck well I might get hit for this one but here we go guide hunting has become a money making job keep them up north make money 60 days 5 to 8 hunter in each blind that's 48 to 65 ducks a hunt for 60 days I shot less in the hold year. The law say we can not sell ducks in a way that what they sell.60 time 65 a day and they make 2 hunts a day wow that a lot of ducks and with that said, that just one blind. Duck or run by the Fed to me you should not be able to guide hunt sorry just my 2 cents.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Nutria you sound like you are very educated on this, I am not as old as you but you are correct on bird counts. I can remember asa boy how many there were but we also had a migration then. This weather and birds reverse migrating should open there eyes. Do y'all have a hunting club or a group you hunt with that is willing to join us cause the steps have already been taken and contacts have been sent so hopefully we will have something going shortly. Specksearcher you are right but your numbers are off lol I call 3 different places up there they are hunting like 20 to 25 men at a time that is insane. They have signs on the sides of the road up there offering hunts kinda like people do dove hunts but the signs say one gun a day hunts 150 to 200
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Holy sh#%*+|>#tttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!! Look at what I found for you fellas in my research and this ain't the only one !!!!!! All these conservation areas I have been trying to describe to y'all and the duck clubs adjoined to them. Don't have to describe em no more I'm putting a link it's you tube videos of these duck clubs / DU conservation area easements . Wow ! It's now a huge real estate wonder if there is any under the table deals going on here! Guys there is a ton of these for sale I just stumbled across it. So they built a Louisiana up further north and then tell us your habitat is gone that is why you don't have ducks but we will be happy to tell you about a farmer friend that we know that has a great habitat that we built for him that has great waterfowl opportunities!!!!!! Only catch is they want 1.8 for your 1/8 of an ownership! But you always have thawed water and unharvest crop and just the conservation breaks bring in an annual 29,919 dollars of free money !!!! Are you serious!!!!!!! They could have built a whole new Louisiana ! Man this makes me sick
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksaPTh50lsA&feature=share
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Well I was just putting # out there but u or right this is out of hand , after all duck hunting is a sport and a little food for the table. Not a big money making job.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TF-ITxf1vU&feature=share
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvbGi6BMuXA&feature=share
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
That is just a couple when you watch them and see how many more are for sale you are going to be blown away!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot believe in all my time researching this I just now found it
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7APBIhFjPNM&feature=share
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Just pick any state up the fly way and from California across to New York and these are for sale conservation area/ duck club lodge already ready to go. They call them turn key duck clubs. I guess this is how all those guides up there found there properties. there and industrial size pumps to keep them from freezing they are for sure to mention it and show you how big the pump is on whatever video you are watching!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Jgoins1981,Ya might not know this but a good buddy of mine belongs to an exclusive duck club,think they still call it Kappa Loyal,and they pump water in,have levee systems in place and they most definitely regulate the water levels just like anyone with enough money can do,absolutely perfectly legal or this Physician-Owner would not even attempt to do it.Place is in Paradis,LA and bet there are clubs like it in NLA just do some checking and since I am home,decided against even attempting a duck hunt today-hope to go tomorrow-will satisfy my itch and scope out duck videos and might even research LA clubs and ya never gonna know what u gonna find!!Can't believe it but perfectly legal to bring water to food cant bring food to water.Just like SW LA clubs that flood crawfish farms/rice fields and guarantee plenty clubs do it we just hunt locally and I do not have de big buck$ for the duck$.Sad to see money talks and ya know the rest of dat line!!!Hoping to get some greenies to smack em in de face and I might have some decent chances based upon last few hunts!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
wow, nice living on sport ducks may go buy one.[ not] that y we do not have any duck coming down, money job. Should b a law on this.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Good friend of mine,no longer duck hunts due to back issues,told me about Johnny Winks Megabucks Duck Club and plenty more and for around $5000-$7000 a year,folks could become member.I will never part with dat kind of money for ducks,even if I had it and love Public Land duck hunting,especially where I go since it is so heavily restricted and I know the lay-out extensively.For those so inclined,LA has plenty of fine clubs,just not my cup of tea and I know Kappa Loyal is managed for not only ducks but also trophy alligators and deer.Located in pristine freshwater swamp and I know one of their members and he has taken me and a few buddies a few times and always full of ring necks and this time of year,plenty mallards.I have not checked with this member this year and think club might be up for sale so anyone with deep pocket$ might want to check Kappa Loyal and Dr.Gregory Kinnett is owner,manager.

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I’ve been blessed to hunt and grow up in this state I miss killing mallards in the swamps in the 80s and early 90s I am all for this ! but ice eaters and corn fields are not our problem I have my opinion on why. Our duck hunting has gone to nothing I hope one day it comes back until then I chase ducks in the Northern states to relive my memories of how Louisiana once was
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Ice-eaters and flooded AG fields are a major problem for us in the south! Ducks won't migrate if there are food and open water, it's that simple.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Roland Cortez,Greetings,the guy I am referring to is Steve Lacoste,says he knows ya and he belongs to Kappa Loyal in Paradis,fine place and not sure the status of dat particular club.It is quite a shame how much money gets poured into exclusive clubs and folks like me without deep pocket$ resort to catch as catch can on Public Land and I feel more than blessed to have some awesome spots to hunt on Public Land,trust me they are a monster to get to and require quite an effort to hunt.I have to transport ton of cover material since I love ambushing ducks from islands vs edges of ponds where they have grown accustomed to getting blasted at and have had shots as close as 5 yards away,even Late Season mallards and greys!Give all of us your take on why so few ducks in what used to have ducks-a-plenty.Wished I coulda gotten out today but better judgement prevented me from risking too much for a few greenies!!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I fully agree with you with you mandavillian there are old clubs all over the south, and yes they go a lil overboard and some are even tide in with du still for the most part they all disagreed on DU building these and once the original contract was up they did not renew. They do have pumps to control water levels. The reason why I brought the pumps up for them is they are using to cerculate and unfreeze there water. The clubs here in Louisiana might have all that money invested in there stuff but guess what they are being effected by this too. I know a few owners and managers of these clubs personally and you have probably killed way more ducks then them this year. At least when the ducks do come down and a lot flock to those clubs them boys are moving them , and if you are any where close to them like I am it's a site to see. I am all by my lonesome smack dab in the middle of clubs and the refuge.

On the other comment if I could afford it and was willing to move or only be able to hunt a few times a year I would prob get one but the fact is I'm not moving I love my state and this is the true wintering grounds. We might bust ice and have to go walk around in the decoys but our water don't get 8 to 10 inches thick. You know that electric bill is huge on those 3 phase 480 pumps that's what I deal with daily. Also the water bill alone has got to be outrageous .

Everyone has there opinions on no ducks this post was started because of mine and I respect everyone's opinion. I know in some way we prob all are right. But the one thing I have noticed is we all agree there is a problem and it needs to be fixed I want to be able to take my kids to the flooded timber in north Louisiana to kill mallards and to Thornwell for geese and to my marsh for pintails and teal and they just are not here
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Jgoins1981,I was gonna speculate just that about the success I have had and trust me,my body feels it every morning,have an arthritic left knee from rambunctious black lab that passed away many,many years ago and my doggone right shoulder constantly hurts,til season over.I might call my buddy Steve,hunts on Kappa Loyal and I believe he pays well north of $6000 to hunt there(no way could I come close to affording 10% of dat fee)and I would love it more than you could imagine it if we could somehow get the Maurepas Swamp,Manchac Swamp,Joyce WMA back to where those mallard meccas were and about the only good news for where I hunt is the extremely frigid temps as of late have about killed off invasive Giant Salvinia,the exact plant dat destroyed the mallard meccas in Tangi!!!Got some negative e-mails from folks pissed about my posting bout NShore Marsh,guess dey needs to get over it and maybe I need to wait til Season End for recap.Maybe I will abandon posting on this site but seriously doubt it.It aint braggin' if ya can back it up and there are some folks happy with the results they have had locally-just be respectful of other hunters and do not sky-bust,don't call ducks off another hunter(purposely-trust me I can wail away on call and flare ducks but refrain-many folks can do same),keep safe distances between hunters and by God,be prepared for some azz-busting work to get to where the ducks prove time and again where they want to be vs where you think they should be or where ya want them to be-just watch few Duck Commander videos and take their sage advice-dey know what they are talking about-funniest one was Jase commenting on guy wanting call that would bring ducks in from pond over 200 yards away-just set up where they show ya dey wanna be-kinda basic!!!One day you and I need to share a cup of coffee and possibly lunch and see what two of de most passionate duck killas can do to solve de issues before too long.When I was a kid growing up in Kenner,next-door neighbor would always give us Coots(guess he kept de mallards for self)and they destroyed ducks in Manchac-talking about 1970 and even earlier.Saw fine videos someone posted-hope NShore Marsh never gets over-run with Giant Salvinia and I would personally lend a hand to help eradicate that terribly invasive plant!!

Mandevillian,hurting dat I stayed home but right choice!!
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Well i know blinds that guys pay 1000 on upwards of 50,000.00 a year but that comes with a small camp too. That is just a entertainment tax Write off for those guys who can afford to pay that and i have been to the blind. It at one time was one of the best blinds in our area and the wealthy Doctor went to the camp on from time to time and he would hunt maybe 2 times a year. With the steady declining migration the over past several years and this season. Should be big drops in prices on all the ridiculous blind prices these guys have been getting for years, so if you want a lease just be looking after this season and if you know it was once a good area try to get it as low as you can and pay a yearly but sign a contract or lease agreement with the option of as many years as you can keep it. Maybe we can get the issues taken care of and get them down here spending the money that should have originally been spent in the real historic wintering areas and take care of all the devastation they have over looked and put on the back burner on our wma's, refuges and conservation areas.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Yep,lots of folks ditching both leases and duck equipment,what a shame and I typically shop at Academy/Sportsman's,etc at Season End for bargains and often pick up few decoys to freshen up my ole azz decoys and picked up nice half-doz Higdon magnum mallards and located half-doz of magnum black duck decoys and rigged up pair to go along with new Higdon's and I feel confident fresher decoys might add a touch of realism missing in faded ole decoys.I sometimes take pains to touch up decoys and will do so this off-season just to keep me busy!!Have gotten out of a few leases,one by choice the other I got kicked off,not my doing but think moron that I took got caught hunting without either me or certainly without permission and it initially hurt but was a Delacroix lease,long ride from Mandeville plus fairly long boat ride,probably over 2.25 hrs min from time I would leave home til I started tossing out decoys,quite a big time investment vs what I currently do!!Still holdin' out hope for tomorrow and guess I will respect wishes of folks dat hate thought of too much pressure on NShore Marsh and will hold off posting til Season Re-Cap!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
so this was last Dec in 2016. This is one of the first stops in the mississippi delta flyway. I just cant understand that we have groups of birds this large apart of the migration and our counts have not drastically dropped since last year with duck populations. This year every body of water to the north of Louisiana if suppose to be locked up. This should cause a migration. According to History, Ducks Unlimited, Biologist, and best of all The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, In Order for a Migration to simply start, weather conditions in the breeding grounds have to change to windy cooler conditions. When this occurs the early migrating waterfowl and birds will lift into the jet stream and head south to warmer destinations. When Freezing temps hit the breeding grounds it sets the Migration into full motion heading south. The Migration will only fly till they reach a destination just below the freeze line that has the habitat they so desperately are seeking for food and unfrozen water. The U.S.F.W.S writes the laws, dates, and limits to this natural resource that every Louisiana Duck hunter has loved since the day they saw their first flock of ducks drop down from the heavens. The U.S.F.W.S does not acknowledge there is manipulation from certain organizations and states . The L.D.W.F Migratory Manager stated, 'agricultural Practices of planting crops, and the use of pumps / ice eaters to melt water for the sole purposes of attracting ducks is not illegal and does indeed happen but not to such a level to cause even a blip in Louisiana's migration or season.' That was in 2 different news articles, one in 2009 then again in 2014. For those of you that think i am bashing Mr Reynolds, I am not bashing him the statement i just typed was words out of his mouth to a reporter and was published in news paper articles on 2 separate occasions. I am trying to figure out how both agencies that are in control of this natural resource came to the conclusion that the methods of attracting waterfowl mentioned above can in no way alter or be manipulating a migration. After the videos, articles, magazines, guide websites, pictures, youtube, surveys, but most importantly seeing it with there own eyes having one of the worst winters in north america's history and beyond freezing conditions and yet the migration is reversing and the ariel surveys show that Louisiana numbers are surprisingly low with the conditions we have had. Please dont comment and tell me it is due to no habitat. DU Has conservation areas here too just not near as many and not near as nice. We also still farm and have natural grown vegetation and acorns in the flooded timber. Louisianas habitat has decreased in acreage but the habitat is still the same. So we are right back to the point and question that i have had? Where is the migration???? AFTER ALL OF THIS!!!!!!! Is the LDWF and USFWS and MR Larry Reynolds himself still in agreement that the practices of flooding unharvested crop fields and methods of mechanically de-icing keeping the water unfrozen for the sole practices of attracting ducks and that it cannot alter or even put a blip in Lousianas migration? before you they answer please watch this video. I used the 2016 video cause it was amazing but i have 2017 videos that are very close to being the same.

https://youtu.be/6dij5yvbqRY
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Jgoins1981,Just had worst case scenario occur and unable to chase the ducks I KNOW are concentrated and the only thing I wanted to add is that coincidentally,I saw good buddy of mine,Venice duck hunter,on my way back home and chatted with him briefly about what they have seen in Venice and he went Sat/Sun(had motor issues Sat-kinda know all bout dat after today's debacle)and Sunday,he never raised his gun,of all places,the duck mecca of LA-sad to see dat!!Today's hunt never did get a start and kinda comical,thank God I had buddy willing to lend me a canoe to retrieve my Southfork dat slipped off trailer before I could grab bow-line!!!Hoping to redeem self Sat/Sun/Wed/Th/Sat/Sun and might refrain from posting as guys starting to get worked up about my posts-get over it plenty of ponds where I hunt that NEVER see a hunter,trust me and I intend to keep it dat way by busting it to get away from crowds,etc!!!Good luck with de petition-plenty of folks a-waiting to sign their names to it!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Since my last post, I've been killing ducks in NW and NE Louisiana.
Lots of them.
They had to have migrated from somewhere!
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
SoBreaux,Hope ya got on some mallards!!I was totally jinxed today and being the die-hard that I am,was seriously considering a paddle-in hunt(used to tear up some fine ducks using just a pirogue to paddle in)!!Hoping my Southfork motor issue a minor one and already advised mechanic I would like him to totally rebuild my extremely reliable 50 Johnson,beast of a motor but getting long in de tooth.Congrats and way to be persistent.Hope the balance of this season holds some mighty-fine hunts and getting quality hunts,sometimes limit hunts,is always totally enjoyable.Received e-mail from gent who read my posts and gave me some incredibly informative tips(can definitely tell this fella knows exactly where to hunt NShore Marsh)and one of his observations(non-disclosed)is exactly mine and one lotta hunters might totally miss!!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
January estimate is at 3.07 million ducks. All is well! Move along folks, nothing more to discuss here. Plenty of ducks for everyone, please shift your attention elsewhere. If you don't have limits of mallards and pintails it's your own fault!
(Heavy on the sarcasm if it wasn't obvious)
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
OH, and they didn't even finish the survey! So that means the real estimate is closer to like 4 or maybe even 5 million!! Blessed we are, blessed I say!!
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cjncall,Dey musta counted all dem MoJo's and all dem decoys folks routinely leave out all season!!!Why can't someone(non-biased)fly with these folks to double-check what the numbers are!!!Food for thought but bet ya bottom dolla never gonna have non-biased observer with them!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Good morning FELLA'S!!!!!! yes it is 12:30 AM. I just climbed out of bed. Due to north winds and horrible tides at my property, I am making a run this morning in desperation to find the ducks Mr Larry was so good about informing us that migrated here magically. Like Alan Jackson sang about ' HERE IN THE REAL WORLD' Myself, Everyone on this post, all Louisiana waterfowl hunters, and probably some preschoolers! Can tell you, The survey numbers might have a few too many zeros! Now Back to my operation GREENDUCK DOWN! lol I am actually going to have my gun but aint gonna be much shooting unless i get lucky and one flies over the boat. Going Fishing / Scouting. That champion of mine will sure skin back! You can cover alot of water at 70MPH. Gonna go to one of my favorite childhood spots that is not really known for duck hunting but has purduced some great hunts just after big fronts before, I recieved a phone call and The caller informed me that some green heads had shown up in a couple of small groups. So i am Hooking up to the Champ and rolling out as soon as i finish this. Then when i get back this evening hook up to the gator tail and haul tail to my property while the tide is coming back and try to get into the pond to pick up decoys and retire the southwest louisiana marsh that is holding all them ducks on mr larrys survey till next year! If i dont see what i want on the big water then i do not know what i going to do sat and sunday. I might just go throw decoys out infront of Larry Reynolds office and sit there all day.

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I recieved tons of texts yesterday informing me to look Louisiana sportsmans headline story and i refused to touch a electronic Device went to my room and went to bed as soon as i got in from work. I knew it would have me fired up! Delta survey and Larrys sounds slightly or should i say WAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!!!! Different. Do i think we have ducks rafted up off the shoreline out from holy beach and cameron? YES but they have been there all season cause those are the groups that have been my uncles saving grace this year . I got reports from all over the south and it was horrilbe yesterday and this morning. Sobreaux thanks for the intell i am glad that the birds are hitting the timber. It would have been nice for that to happen around thanks giving so i couldve went to beouf and killed some ducks and deer. who knows you might see me up there in your area this weekend cant give out no hints but i will tell yall the outcomes and my findings daily. anyways good luck to everyone dont put to bad of a hurting on larrys numbers and if any of you are hunting close to larrys hots spots he mentioned please i repeat PLEASE go check them out and snap some pics and if its decoys bring one home with ya and i will send you my address so i can carry his duck to him first chance i get. Later boys be safe out there!
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Also these 'aerial waterfowl surveys' that this guy keeps doing are hilarious.
I think there are people that read those things and really believe them!
Here are my 'Surveys' from this week LoL...
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I’m really curious what Larry Reynolds would have to say on these comments.
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Jgoins1981. Glad you found some videos. People are really naive to think big money is not involved. Duck hunting is no longer a sport to some, it’s a cash cow. Sad. Keep researching and we need to all share in the research. It’s not the weather. Just like it’s not global warming. 😜
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SoBreaux,Great job,bud,hope I can get to my 'secret spots' tomorrow and just finished loading up Southfork with 3 Chapman pirogues and taking buddy on what we hope to be decent greenie haul with possibly a few greys,have only shot a hen widgeon so far and really have not seen but a few widgeons and love eating dem fine ducks,in my opinion one of the best-tasting ducks out there.I am fearful that we gonna be faced with prospect of jumping out flat at least two times to clear most assuredly serious mudflats,but should be extremely well worth the butt-busting effort we put into it.Guarantee where we are going anything but easy and if it was we would have tons of competition,as it is NEVER anyone near us,never have and hopefully never will!Have an awesome balance of Second Split!!!

Mandevillian
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Finally made it back home after many miles and 3 different waterways. The Verdict??????? Negative ghost rider the pattern is NOT full !!!!

Waterway A = covered large areas of water and timber. Saw a group of 5 Mallards fly by extremely close and land in some timber about 75 yards from us. Still undecided on if they were someones pets or wild. If the are pets they sure were flying so the wings were not clipped. If they were wild then they have to be the bravest mallards i have ever seen in my life. So the local Canadians gathered up on a big flat. Caught a few fish.

Waterway B = 9 miles down river southwest Louisiana marsh on one side and southeast Texas Marsh on the other. 0 geese. 0 ducks seen and believe me, I was watching the skies like a hawk. need to add this was perfect evening flight time.

Waterway C = 100 acres southwest Louisiana marsh. jumped 4 Grey ducks on the way in. 1 group of teal way off in the distance. also saw 4 groups of high flyers that had it on their minds where there were headed

Josh Goins Poor boy migration services 2017/2018 surveys= duck population almost extinct in my locations. traveled by boat and truck. i really hope some of our hunters got some type of migration over the course of the past few days, so they could at least get one weekend of a 60 day season. if not, If no one had any huge migration movements then my conclusion of the 2017/2018 waterfowl season for Louisiana just became the coldest frozen winter season we have had in a very long time and hit Huge numbers in the Sucks Category.and next highest totals in Horrible!!!!!!! There is a survey that might make more since to you boys. Operation GREENDUCK DOWN is aborted. lol good luck fellas over the next 2 days.
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Jgoins, were you surprised? Probably not. Those that disagree there isn’t a problem are clueless. In my area 20 years ago I would average little over 400 birds to in my blind. An agregate of mallards, pins, widgeon, teal and greys. This year-24. Last year 54. How long are we in Louisiana gonna blame weather? We need to find public servants that represent “de po people” and not the rich. It seems the well to do people think because they can shell out the big bucks they have a right to all waterfowl. It’s like comedian George Carlin once said “it’s a big club, and we ain’t in it”. We need to pool our resources and equal the equation. It’s going to get worse; if that even possible!
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Best post and information on LA sportsman I have seen. Been hunting ducks in LA over 30 years. There are 5 stages of grief all of them are represented in this post except the last one. I can now say I have reached stage 5 acceptance. Thank you for all of your research and hard work, I just do not see much hope for us.
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Good Morning Louisiana waterfowlers. Well its that time of year again, last morning of what is looking like might just be the worst season in Louisiana's history. For those of you just tuning in, My name is Josh Goins, I Live in southwest Louisiana and i have been a die hard waterfowler for 30 years. If this is your first year waterfowl hunting in the great state of Louisiana, I am sure you are wondering why someone would have ever thought this was the sportsmans paradise. Well little history lesson the reason why this great state at one time was considered the sportsmans paradise. 17.5 % of the state is water or some type of wet land, we hold around 45% of the wetland/coastal marshes for then whole nation. The waterways and wetlands and the land sorrounding them are habitats to all different types of wildlife and fish. Louisiana played a huge role in the original wintering grounds to the waterfowl. If you have been hunting here for less then 10 maybe even as far back as 15 years you probably have heard the stories and think your dad or your grandparents are stretching the truth when the tell you, that at one point the pond in your back yard might have had mallards stop in once a year and make it there home for winter or that geese would land in the field behind your house just to rest until they decided which farm they were gonna go destroy lol or that they couldnt sleep the night before the opening day because they had seen the migration start arriving the week before and had watched the sky turn black with birds flying every where. Guess what the stories are true I have seen all of these things and what i say at a young age was insane, so just imagine how it was long before that. Sad thing is, we have a Big money involved and decided its going to cost to much money to help build louisiana back up and we have to worry about hurricanes and flooding every year that could possibly hurt it and we will just have to rebuild it again. We will just move louisianas habitat just to the north of it and we will build it but better. Well it took them years to do it but its amazing to see just google earth it or watch youtube videos. Mr Reynolds will say that comments made on this post are exaggerated on stuff like i just spoke about, the truth to the matter is Mr Reynolds is very much involved with the organization who started the critical wintering habitats further to the north of us. Sad thing is alot of people even me myself have helped in some way even if it was you wanted a night out and catfish and beer and you attended one of there banquets. Argue till you are Blue in the face MR Migration but this is true! now that the ball has started rolling and people dig more and more it comes out. DU organizations was originally established if i am correct because the U.S Gov needed a organization to go on there behalf to canada to try and buy up property and help stop the demise of the breeding grounds. That was the reason for DU to even be started. They were suppose to help with the breeding grounds and assist the the states maintain there wintering habitats. Well how is it that we have WMA's that cannot even be flooded due to the trees dieing? Or a pump is out this year so we are only going to flood this little portion. We have a plant that is taking over the southern half of the states waterways and coastal problems. All of the issues had a starting point and if they would have been managed to not get any worse but that didnt happen. They built habitats north of us and our own state cannot handle all the issues listed above without help. Final result the devastation that each one of us are dealing with now our wildlife and fisheries is starting to look like we dont have wildlife and guess what the fisheries will be next. I now what you guys are saying about you feeling like its a lost cause and guess what, it might be for us. We might not ever see it in our lifetime be what it should be but we might can make a change for our kids or theirs one day that is why we have got to do something. It is not a lost cause We still can make it happen. Mark my words in the history books, if we do not do this in the near future seeing a duck in louisiana will be like seeing huge Migrations of canadian geese here. We did have canadian migrations even before my time guess what we dont see them here unless they are tame. that will be the next species thatr goes. Its already started with the snows and specs. We have to have our habitats built back to support them and the creation of habitats north of us in the flyways stopped, ICE EATTING STOPPED!!!!!!!!! and un harvested crops on the lands DU helped build just for personal gain that are strictly for waterfowl has to be illegal! we have to do something
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I know some of my comments are long and spelling or grammer is way off. Just wanted to apologize for that. I do know a ton of information on the sport that i love so much and i am trying to get the information to you guys before its to late. please read them because the one you might skip over was the one that had the answers to your questions that you have .
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OK. So I think we are all pretty much in consensus that we 'Louisiana duck hunters' are being lied to and screwed over in a number of ways all laid out in great detail throughout this post.
I think we're at the point we should be looking to the next step. One for sure, is cut off support for organizations that are not helping LA duck hunters. I for one decided a long time ago to stop sending money to Ducks Unlimited. You do what you think is right with that organization.
I like Delta Waterfowl, but they're a big organization that does not have roots in Louisiana. Will they be willing to take up the fight against the pond heaters just as an example?
Secondly, how do we as LA duck hunters organize and get our concerns heard. I just did a quick internet search, I don't know much about this organization but I'm throwing it out there:
http://waterfowlheritage.org/
I don't know if this is a group that can or is willing to become the face of our concerns or if something completely new has to form. But we need to begin to coalesce NOW or else we risk just sounding like a bunch of old and young crusty bitter hunters crying on a web-forum while the fat cats that never get dirty, probably hunt in tennis shoes from some Ducks Unlimited 'improved' land that none of us can hunt, laugh their @sses of at us, the working man Louisiana duck hunter.
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I'm with ya cjncall. Maybe we can set up a meeting somewhere in a public park or something on a Saturday afternoon or evening where we can all get to together to voice our concerns and organize something.

Maybe meet somewhere in the middle like New Iberia?? So, people from the west of LA and the east LA doesn't have that far to drive. Just a thought.
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Well I am giving it up, I day left here on the coast 3 man blind 2 bluebills 1 gray. The more we get cold fronts the less duck we have looks like when we get a cold blast they must head North, because I see less duck my last 3 hunts 3 man blind 12 duck all but 3 were not bluebills. [dog-gees] water in the feed ----feed in the water same to me .
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Good morning, Sorry i have not put a response to the last few comments. I took a day off of the post. I agree with you cjcall and toby65. I am trying to get something together. Cjcall thanks for the heads up and the link. I will be checking into waterfowlheritage this morning. My original plan to utilize the Louisiana Waterfowlers Alliance does not look like the route that i am going to go. I was originally told by Larry Reynolds on this post about the group, should have known that something was probably messed up with it. I have given the group over a week to contact me. I joined the Louisiana Waterfowlers Alliance on there website. I not only just became a member, I became a sponsor just to see if that would help. I paid my 100 dollars and got my receipt by email telling me my login info would come in a separate email. It was a sunday so i didnt think it was a big deal that it had not been sent to me yet. Gave it a few days, still no email. I sent an email to the address on the website, no answer. I look up there contact number, Line is disconnected. so apparently they are no longer together or it is just a front someone is using to make money. Just letting you all know i am trying to get this going but there are going to be some walls i am going to hit. If this other link CJ sent me doesnt look like the route i think we need to go. Then i will start our own none profit so i know we are doing our own thing, and for the right cause. I think it also a great idea to meet somewhere and start discussing the directions we need to start heading. There is a few things that have to be in place before we can do this and i am working on it as quick as i can. If we were to meet and not be set up right then we would have met for nothing. i am however going to get the dates to the LDWF migration meetings that they have throughout the year, in all different areas in the state and that would be something we could utilize. Get enough waterfowlers showing up to there meetings in each of the different areas of the state. Feel Free to email me privately if you have any other ideas or questions. My email is joshgoins81@yahoo.com thanks
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My phone contact is 337-375-6853
Please realize this is my cell and please email if possible but if you need to contact me by phone this is it just txt and if i am available, i will respond or call you and please be respectful of the time that you might try contacting me. Thanks
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Jgoins1981,If ya need any assistance setting up a non-profit(501 C-3 corporation)shoot me either an e-mail(acyprusjr@yahoo.com)or text me cell(985)807-4123.I have a Business Partner that can most definitely assist or if you have a good CPA,they should be able to help us set it up,definitely count me in.Were it not for the few mallards I have been finding last few hunts,might have empty straps and yesterday I musta had a duck gremlin not only put poison in my fine azz pond but dat lil rascal musta twisted my Beretta barrel(had huge greenie dead to rights probably tad too close and whiffed)later blasted drake spoonie(mainly to break a scratch hunt0and dat son-of-gun sank after kill shot on water and never surfaced and no dog so scratch hunt.Buddy was fortunate to emerge with nice drake grey and every duck had oxygen masks on and even my venerable ATT call(Cutdown 2.0 DC)could not reach em!!!Sent local Fed Agent pic of Saturday's hunt with 3 mallards and 4 teal and he joked saying we needed to talk as he kidded about me being one over de limit til I reminded him dat was from 3 die-hard worn-out duck killas!!!

Mandevillian
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I appreciate it and yes i might need some help let me see how this goes on the path i am taking but def appreciate it. I actually went and hunted my blind yesterday just because i couldnt stand to know i was going to stay home the last weekend of the season. Had a south wind so i knew we would have water for a little longer had 3 in the blind and few decoys and jerk string. Fog stuck around till 9:30 we managed to get 4 . maybe should have had a couple more but by the time they were visible they got invisible just as quick on the swing. heard a few above us while the fog was thick but once it lifted there was not a duck in sight. Just remember after reading what i just said, My blind is in the hot spot area of that survey we had!!!! LMAO! Barely heard any shots which blows my mind ! guess those spots people might be lucky enough to be are a little bit harder to find. Hard to believe we have 1/2 the habitat that we once had and a million more birds. The boys up north on catahula had pretty good hunts but that wasnt until yesterday from my reports i have had. so apparently there split or two hard of a freeze and the average joes ice eaters wouldnt keep up and some birds flew south. I have a hard time figuring out how the seasons above the states in question have to close early to give the states south of them a migration then we finished are season yesterday and the states in question get another week or two.
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This weekend were I hunt catfish lake area. The boat lunch was full I know all these guys, our leases or all next to each other giving a mile or 2 some a little more like 4 to 8 miles did not here to many shot SAT. When we got back to the lunch talk to some of these guys we had 3--I gray 2 dog-grees 1 had 3 teals and other had 8 dog- grees 2 other had 0, one boat with a 3 man blind had 0 he told me his last 3 hunts day had 0 duck. If it were not for dog-grees we would not have any duck. Did not go Sunday the last day went fishing at lease they can take that away from us had 15 fish. The guy that shot the 8 dog-grees had 6 of them Sunday. O well will give Lake Boeuf a try this weekend. [ bluebills]
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jgoins1981, I'll hit you up on your email later to discuss further, but I think you're moving in the right direction. I would just caution against moving too quickly and focusing more on making sure this 'movement' or organization or however we want to categorize it, is taking the correct actions to become something sustainable.
If this thing gets off thing gets off the ground don't think that companies and organizations that lets say, have differing opinions or motivations than ours, won't try to cut the legs off it before it gets any steam.
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I think we got quite an assortment of die-hard,passionate duck hunters interested and I am not the least worried about Big Money Organizations trying to meddle in what we consider 'our business' just like we would not meddle in 'their business'.It is probably a God-send that I have found some willing mallards where I hunt or else I might be coming home completely frustrated and at least I have possibly 4 more hunts left in me and folks dat know me personally still can't believe how a 59 year ole like me can hunt as often and as hard as I do but dats de way I roll and I purposely set up the Business my wife and I work so hard at so that I could get in my Wed/Th/Sat/Sun duck hunts and ya can about imagine the volume of e-mails I routinely receive(some from folks that I did not realize I knew from ole fishing or hunting clubs,etc)and I try to respond to each and every one and have been taking pains to privately respond(what a shame)and some folks are somewhat perplexed as we thought the purpose of this fine site(by the way about the only one I routinely post on)was for the 'average Joe' to report duck hunts,deer hunts,etc,never giving GPS coordinates,etc and to those bashing me saying enough is enough,maybe I have found some incredibly difficult-to-access spots as I NEVER seem to have a hunter within no less that 3000-5000 and more ft from me,love it dat way and no I am not banging out limits of greys,rarely seeing many where I go but targeting much finer mallards and do not bother asking me where I go as how idiotic would dat be to give up duck nirvana!!!Aint gonna happen,only about 3 hunters know where de Nuck and Futz Duck Busters go and we hunt together!!!

Mandevillian
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Are we talking about the beginning of a group that focuses on wintering (hunting) grounds for waterfowl? I'd be down with that.
Breeding grounds are important, but if there were a group small enough and determined enough to maintain focus on developing and managing hunting grounds in the southern part of the flyway, and not be derailed by big money, government, etc, but big enough to access resources necessary to do more than just sell stickers, it could be effective.
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I am so addicted to not only quack but all things related and just saw an ad for some fine-azz cypress pirogues(Guess I should change spelling of my last name as folks routinely spell it CYPRESS)!!Let's unite all de Duck Mafia on here and see what a bunch of passionate,die-hards can do and what a treasure we could have just up the road from me in Joyce,Maurepas,Manchac and getting tad worried about where I hunt as I see the beginnings of Giant Salvinia,thank God for ridiculously frigid temps past few weeks,think lotta dat stuff froze to death,hopefully!!Told ya long while back I had a name for our 501C(3) non-profit,COOTS,Concerned Over Our Threatened Sport!!!Get on board and see what a grass-roots organization can do for our beloved State and Sport!!

Mandevillian
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I posted a new one for all of you to read. it is the starting point for us. Just go read and respond with a yes or a no and tell everyone that you know to do the same. We got there attention guys lets act on it. if you have anything you wish to say my contact info is at the bottom of the new post. thank you all
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Bro,I live 6 hrs. N/Nw of you'll n it aint here! I have closed to 1000 acres of bottom lands w/ 2 new slough's built.... n itz baad, been bad fer 3 years!
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Fishhawkxxx i fully understand simple fact is we have to have go at this situation the right way and we also have bad issues with habitats in our state that has to be addressed before we can move forward . if we organize and support in fixing problems with habitat and after that we still have problems. They will have to listen and eventually all excuses will be gone and that is the moment that the, I told you so can come out. but we work together for one main goal and that is bring the habitat back here to LA then we bring the ducks. If you build it they will come ! lol But if they dont then some serious questions can be brought up to the big boys but until we atleast show that we are serious about us really having a problem . All they see now is Louisiana crying about not limiting out. cause the numbers say we are hammering them all year. I am just asking for support and if you want to help more when we are up and running great .
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I would like everyone to very seriously take into account what Josh is trying to start. This is for LOUISIANA DUCK HUNTERS. Now everything political you have to have partners, so we may (and that's a good thing to) be very close to DU and Delta Waterfowl. But all money through the organization he is starting STAYS IN LOUISIANA TO GET A NATURAL MIGRATION BACK TO WHAT IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE. We are 200% open for ALL Ideas. Please go to his post that is needing YES's and please pass on to ANYONE you know that has a love for duck hunting. For 17 years I listened about the temperature down here not getting cold enough (Well this year called their hand)....Now I want the truth and to have LOUSIANA BACK TO A NATURAL WINTERING GROUND. If it's agricultural practices then then we need to work with the farmers like they do up North (Trust me they are operating CTS combines also) . Anymore suggestions? His organization WILL BE non profiit. All we need is support from LOUISIANA DUCK HUNTERS.
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Josh and I talked at length today and we both got a huge chuckle outta my comment regarding the waterfowl aerial surveys conducted and my humble suggestion would be to let a non-biased observer take a seat next to the waterfowl leader for their opinion on the quantity and quality of ducks we supposedly have in LA!!!Will do my level best to scope out my favorite NShome Marsh spots in the next few weeks,especially now that the 'ice-eaters' turned off and see how many mallards 'mysteriously' migrated to SE LA!!

Mandevillian
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Only report I have to add is bunch of Dos Gris and buffleheads camped out on Lake P today as we blazed a path from Mandeville Harbor to Trestles and beyond.Did see lotta teal in Rigolets area and when I get half a chance(possibly early next week)may paddle non-motorized Pipeline area to scope out the ducks that are hanging around post-season.My suspicion is that I am gonna spot lot of green wing teal and possibly plenty of mallards(Ice-eaters no longer in operation up N keeping frozen ponds frozen and bet mallard population high)!!

Mandevillian
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I had a nice talk with him yesterday evening good things too so looking forward too it. Mandville then ice eaters ant holding all your mallards up there. Twin rivers and lakes to do that
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Rolandc,If ya have not crossed Lake P lately,plenty of fat DosGris with bunch of bonus buffleheads and possible appearance of some true trophy canvasbacks out there.Kinda busy right now but definitely plan to do some possible sac-au-lait fishing and do some paddling around to see what species of ducks have either stuck around now that de pressure off dem ducks or which species have decided to migrate,mostly mallards,now dat dem ice-eaters no longer necessary to keep de migration from occurring!!Photos coming once I get out there,trust me!!

Mandevillian
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To start off I'm going to say is that I don't know where y'all hunting and I think we did awesome, I haven't pulled the trigger on my shotgun this many times in I don't k ow how long. This ain't the 80s and 90s guys, we have a lot more slinging ducks in the world hunting then back then. If y'all would hunt as much as y'all are crying, yall would be some jam up hunters. Y'all sound like some liberals crying because hunting ain't fair, for you to know life ain't fair. Here are some pictures to prove we have ducks in Louisiana, but you have to get off your rears and get them.
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Shawn,First of all congrats on a fine season and keep the vulgarity off this site as I am sure there are folks that would not appreciate that and I am one!Think ya missed the entire point of what Josh Goins and a bunch of blue collar die hard duck killers are trying to accomplish.For me,I have been hunting Federal Land,Big Branch Marsh NWR to be specific,and I have detailed duck logs proving what those of us are trying to show and that is migratory issues all along the flyways in LA.There are folks on here that pay thousands for leases,equipment,etc and it frustrates the life out of us to keep seeing dwindling duck populations when we know for a fact that there are un-natural things keeping the normal migration from occurring,that is what we are fighting,my friend.Most of us are accomplished hunters,know a thing or two about decoy spreads,calling,blinding up,etc so for you to insinuate that we need to get off our tails to find em is way off base,brother,and I hunt about 33 days out of a 60 day season and know exactly what is going on and we intend to do our level best to get things changed in regards to habitat restoration and getting migratory patterns back to where they 'should' be.I am quite sure Josh will chime in when he gets a chance.Thanks for knocking us,Shawn,we greatly appreciate dat!!

Mandevillian
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Well I understand that this may be frustrating for y'all. But the truth is there is nothing y'all will be able to say or change. Granted yes y'all are trying to make a difference but nothing you say or anyone on this page will change what a man does to his own land. Because a man has ice eater, heaters etc. on there property, doesnt mean anything but him trying to hunt. I don't see what the fuss is all about. They have birds here. And yes you nay have to pay for a great hunt but tghat is the nature of the beast now. Yes granted it will m of be like the 80s or 90s again but there's birds here. I have proof. You seen the pictures. I just don't see what y'all are trying to prove because I would love to see y'all go against ducks unlimited. I wouild say good luck, because if it wasn't for them men that do what they do you wouldn't have ducks period. Y'all bad mouthing these people that are keeping ducks in our area so we can hunt and have birds. But yet I don't see what they do everyday. Should be thanking them people instead of cutting them down.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Shawn Thompson, I understand that you might have killed you some ducks. I think that's great. If you want me to post some pictures from this season that look a lot like those minus the mallards. I can.
If you want to be disrespectful and cuss a group of concerned Louisiana duck hunters then why don't you use the email or the phone number that I have posted for everyone to use. It's my post blame me and call me the lazy one. Better yet my address is on here with the IRS filing of FFL. I would be happy for you to come by with your concerns.
The whole point with the organization is to better the future of the sport for our state and be an asset to federal and state and larger non profits. We are trying to also stop some practices of illegal hunting due to wording on the migratory bird treaty act that was wrote at a time that they would have never in a million years thought the government would bail a farmer out because he couldn't afford to plant his corn. Then after being bailed out he not only plants his corn but he doesn't even harvest it and best of all he levees and floods it! Oh yeah I forgot the best one of all he circulates the water with the 11,000 gal/per min pumps he has to keep it in frozen. He also utilizes different fields and manipulation of water and freezing to save crop and rotate them out. In doing this he always has a crop and water.
Why would any real, liberal, lazy, Louisiana duck hunter care that the migration is being altered. Well I do! Not only do I probably work more hours than you. I get off from there to go home to my family and spend long hours building a organization so that I can try and better your hunting. Just think Shawn if I am successful you might have some more designer pics with mallards. Then you can thank this lazy Louisiana duck hunter. I forgot to mention the fact that I have not charged one person and told everyone I wouldn't until they all got to have a meeting and vote on memberships simply because I want everyone to have a opinion and be able to feel like they are part of something bigger. So I am sacrificing not only my own time but my money too. Why would anyone that is even halfway sane want to post some ignorant statements like you just did knowing all that information! I can tell you why cause he doesn't respect anyone and thinks he knows everything.
I have been writing this wasting time at the boat launch when I need to be running down river to document large concentrations of ducks. After hearing about a very disrespectful post I had to read it for myself and there was no way I was launching without addressing it!
I had a phone call yesterday from a large property manager that has surveys done regular for ducks. He also is one of those lazy types you discribe Shawn. He has record log books for this place going back 12 years and showing the decline. They didn't hunt this property but just a handful of times this year. surveys were done all season and what normally held thousands and upwards of hundred thousand didn't hold but 1200 ducks at the highest survey and 200 ducks the last weekend of season!
Now to the best part because of my theory and research he said there is something you gotta see! There has been such a huge influx of ducks over the past day and a half that the Autobahn society and TDWF is going to re survey after season and do species counts. The reason for this, is so we can try and better shawns hunting. This is a very respected duck hunter, guide, and property manager that believes the same theory is causeing our decline in migration.
Just a reminder since you missed the whole point on here you might have missed my contact info.
Josh.goins@flwayfederationlouisiana.com
3373756853
Might want to text if you still got something to get off your chest because this lazy Louisiana duck hunter will be running down river 9 miles in the rain and cold to try and do a good thing for the great duck hunter Shawn Thompson. Thanks again for the disrespect you have showed not only us but to your state. That's even if you are from our state. The Scott petroleum tank in the pics leads me to believe other wise since they only do business in to areas in Louisiana!!!!! But their base of operations is mainly northern Mississippi and Arkansas so I suspect those mallards are delta mallards. It don't matter anyways. Sorry to all you concerned guys and I will keep yall updated. Thank you to all the people who do care about this decline in our sport and the guys that do respect each other and the state of Louisiana
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Well don't get your panties in a twist. Like you said in your post everyone is obligated to there own opinion. That was my opinion. You asking me if if from Louisiana, ha That s a joke yes, born and raised. I live in church point, la. Hey do what you want, I'm not trying to stop you, and I wasn't trying to disrespect y'all little group, I was stating my opinion. But I just stating that nothing y'all say is going to stop them other guys from figuring out ways to get ducks/ waterfowls to stay in there area. Its hunting bud, it's life. This day in age everything is evolving in easier ways to hunt, fish etc. They found a way to make hunting easier for them. You can't blame them guys for hunting. Hey I'm done with this crap, I said what I had to say, I'm done with it. And you think you big and bad trying to call me out over messages. You are the lease of my worries. But you do what you got to do, I have to finish off my 12 hr shift for today. I can't be on a boat today, got to put them hours in. I'm done
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Good for you Mr. Thompson! Not all of us can live at home in our parents basement and spend every dime we have to buy private land hunts up north with our other basement buddies. You would have gotten more respect if it wasn't for the vulgar and disrespectful post.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
One more thing Mr.Thompson. In 10 years, when you have a mortgage, kids, wife and the migration gets worse because we can't do anything about it. Look back at this post and your pics to remember those great hunts you had.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
For all of your information, I'm married, 4 kids and mortgage. And I don't know anyone in Louisiana that has a basement. So toby65 get your facts before you jump the gun. So yea there you go.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
https://www.visitmo.com/ten-mile-pond-conservation-area.aspx

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dij5yvbqRY
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Just Made it back from the SWLA marsh. I have to transfer the videos to my computer. I couldn't tell how good they were on the little screen. I really hope that my phone caught what my eyes saw.
Due to me wasting time at the launch replying to a concerned duck hunter. I was running behind. I went to my property first. The ducks I was seeing on the main river as I Headed south was awesome. I wish I could have had someone to video for me, It was difficult trying to run my boat in the current and video while dodging being ran over by barges.
If you want to see the videos I will try and post a good one on here later. My main pond and the surrounding pond were holding 2 different groups of grey ducks don't know exactly how many unless the video shows but they were good groups. as soon as I was hitting the stop record button I heard pintails and looked up. It was two pintails dropping and landed in my pond. I know I have some footage of them.
After I was done there I pulled out of my canal into east pass and saw the largest concentrations of the day, huge group of teal way off in the distance dropping into the sanctuary lake on sabine 500 plus group. Then another group of teal 50 plus. there were groups of different species buzzing all around the teal. One of those groups just happened to be 7 mallards.
I finally reached My destination on the private land. In there main canal small groups that would lift and drop right back down in the distance. It brought back memories of the boat rides from the past. Not one Boat ride this year did I jump ducks.
That boat ride is the same waterways I run during season JFYI. when I reached the destination I was told to walk around a 83 acre sanctuary pond that could not have been prettier. I was told the number of birds I would see, on my walk couldn't compare to the previous walk done a couple hours earlier by the AUTOBAHN society and TDWF.
They also have footage they took and will release there survey to me when the finish adding everyones numbers up. I approached the edge of this 83 acres I could barely see the middle of the pond, The white of wings fluttering caught my eye. It was a group of wiedgen 20 plus. after they lifted I recorded the best I could. I can tell you that my guess is 500 plus in that area, out of those that got up as I walked around. I would get lucky and have doubles and triples break off. Then I could tell what they were. Species seen at thios pond were. Mallards pintail,teal, greys,and pretty sure I saw some spoonbills but they were further off.
Just wanted you all to know that I saw more birds today then I saw last year during season. That should give you all a idea. for those of you that are new. I had a pretty good above average season last year. Last thing, The conversation with this very Experienced property manager before I headed back was about our organization and he believes in it 100% soon he will be very involved and we will be having a meeting with the property owner too. He said those birds have not been here all year and in his 50 years of waterfowling he expects more to show up over the next few weeks. He also said the elders and experts that were there today doing the surveys agree that the birds just migrated to there property and that they are not returning from anywhere and because the property is more of a sanctuary they are not apart of any of the large concentrations that have been here. If they had been in the area all year they would have been in this area and not have left.
That is not my thoughts guys, That is straight from the man that runs this place. thanks
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Shawn this is just a word of advice from a ole country boy who likes to duck hunt. I have hunted all over this state. I have put myself in positions that could have been very dangerous just because I love the sport. Please read all of this information and research for yourself before you make a comment on a post. That is with any topic not just this one.
When you make a comment be respectful and make sure it is a educated one. If you do not understand what is going on that is different and I will be more than happy to explain it. just call me.
The properties and du statements that you put in your comment are totally off. I can tell you exact numbers of government funded properties there are north of the mason Dixson and how many are released out of the programs. Just a quick easy explanation of this................. while it is in the program DU manages the CRP/NWR area. Property owner rents to gov. Property owner manages his property that borders CRP/NWR. Since he doesn't manage that CRP he can plant corn and flood the border of it. Bad thing is contracts are 10 to 15 years on these. When CRP contract is satisfied It is forgotten that it ever was a Conservation area. Then it goes back into the management of property owner. once that happens you have a private conservation area that really doesn't exist and because of that he can plant and flood corn in the middle of it.
Simple wording of one rule in the migratory treaty act that is 2 sentences long has allowed over 22 million acres to do this and even worse we have 32 million more under contract and 5.7 is coming out of contract in sept of 2018.
I cant tell you the acres of property that were built with out gov assistance but I am pretty sure 54 million acres of prime conservation area could stop a migration due to all of the CRP NWR Wetlands have Large enough pumps engineered to put out enough to satisfy the CRP and the farmer for his crops.
Total acres in Louisiana roughly 33 million so we got 2 states basically north of us built in wetland habitat. That is the easiest way I can explain it.
This is what has to be stopped and regardless of who someone is . If we can get this into the right hands this will be changed and if those 2 little sentences change watch the sky on the duck season after it. You will see what exactly you have been missing out on and why the whole state is getting together to make this happen
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Long-term aerial survey trends
Go to the November or December 2017 Aerial survey reports, and you will find a graphic in the COMMENTS section of long-term trends for November, December, and January for the Coastal transect/Catahoula Lake survey.

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/aerial-waterfowl-surveys
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Decoys don't look like ducks
If any of you have ever viewed a decoy spread, even a fantastic one, from the air compared to a group of live ducks ......... you would wonder how we ever kill a duck.
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Neither DU nor Delta have anything to do with waterfowl estimate
Just ask them. Neither has a thing to do with Breeding ground surveys or any of the surveys here in Louisiana. Those data are collected the same way they were collected since 1955 on the Breeding Grounds and 1969 here in coastal Louisiana.
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You can't get Larry Reynolds on board with mis-information and
There are so many false comments on this thread, it's impossible for me to address them all. But 1 thing you MUST come to grips with is the DATA. I exited this conversation when told that I had to 'ignore the data, and do what I know is best for Louisiana duck hunters'. Of course, I can't do that whether I wanted to or not; it is a violation of my job description.

I'm responding to a post that cited a per-hunter harvest of 17.2 birds per Louisiana hunter. Everyone must understand that is higher than all states except Arkansas, California, Washington, and Idaho. CA, WA, and ID have 107-day duck seasons: 47 days more than we do.

Now put yourself in the shoes of the USFWS and the other 13 Mississippi Flyway states, and ask if there is a big problem regarding duck kill in Louisiana to be addressed. That is the regulatory environment in which we are working.
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Response to Fishslayerrr about what Larry Reynolds would say ...
There is not a single new thought on this entire thread that hasn't been made for a dozen or more years. Do you remember 2003? Senator Willie Mount passed a Senate Resolution creating the Waterfowl Study Commission to determine what was wrong with duck hunting in Louisiana and how we could fix it. The issues were the same. No action was taken because the hunting improved in 2004 and 2005. When they were reconvened in 2006, no action was taken again, and in 2008, the Jindal Administration dissolved this Commission.

Maybe the situation is different? It is certainly worse regarding habitat conditions in our state, and there is likely more habitat on the landscape to the north of us. On the other thread, I saw a couple of posts wanting to maintain focus on what is happening in other states, and minimize concern about our own habitat. I think that will be a difficult strategy, because the first thing states to the north of us are going to cite in reference to our efforts to restrict their management efforts will be 1) habitat degradation in Louisiana and 2) continued high harvest in Louisiana.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Josh you are on the right track! The majority of hunters agree w you. Just like the private land owner you mentioned, I observe the same every year. My property has very little pressure. We hunt weekends, mainly because of my hectic schedule. Similar to many, limits came easy until around 2005 or so.
Let's look at the last week of the season here in the west zone:
1/12: 7 teal, 3 mallards. 1/13: 8 teal, 1mallard
1/20: 10 teal, 4 mallards. 1/21: 8 teal
1/24 approximately 1000 mallards/teal on my small pond
Approximately 1000 mallards, pintails, teal in my large field
1/31 1500 in the smaller field (60 acres)
2500 in the larger field (180 acres)
I'll be headed out there this week to video the craziness.
Please come and see for yourself. By the way, I have great habitat, feed, etc. when I get them, I can hold them.
They didn't show because of lack of pressure. They finally made their way here from THE NORTH.
These are not 'rafted' birds that showed up ....I'm in central Louisiana. To those experts that 'know where to find them', the we are seeing less ducks yearly during our season. If this pattern continues, there will be none 'to find'. I'm all for joining an organization of Louisiana hunters, for Louisiana hunters. Can we make a difference? I think so. It'll sure be fun trying. It sure beats sitting on your butt complaining.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I hunt point-aux-chenes. This year, in November and December I mainly killed teal and dogris with a few grays and widgeon.

In late December I've notice more grays and mallards showed up in the area.

Jan 13th 5 grays, 1 mallard
Jan 14th 5 grays

Wish I could have hunted more in January, but with work and the flu I couldn't.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Mr Reynolds,
'17.2 ducks/hunter'. Was that from a survey? And does that figure assume every hunter in Louisiana kills ducks or even hunts ducks for that matter? Do they use that number to estimate how many duck are harvested yearly? What is that number? I assume that statistic explains why we have a 60 day season vs 100+.
Can you explain why several states north, like Nebraska, have seasons that run later than our west and coastal zones? So, what is the philosophy behind these northern seasons that run to Jan 28? Are they hunting ducks that are still migrating N to S? Or, are they shooting birds that are on the return migration?
With that question on the table, why is it that we aren't allow to hunt into the 1st week of February.
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Perfect Storm for the Demise of Ducks .........
The post by Nutria on January 16 titled 'The Perfect Storm for the Demise of Ducks in North America' was written by Paul Yakupzack, who made his career with the USFWS managing waterfowl habitat on Cameron Prairie and Mandalay NWRs. He is also the father of current LWF Commissioner Bart Yakupzack. I met him in 1988 when Cameron Prairie NWR was just a trailer and consider him one of my first Louisiana mentors.

His position paper has many misconceptions and invalid implications/accusations, but it made the rounds last summer among waterfowl professionals. It was a topic of conversation at the October Louisiana Waterfowl Alliance meeting, where I was the featured speaker. (I think that was the last membership meeting of the LWA, as I was first informed by Josh Goins, then confirmed at last Thursday's Commission meeting that they have disbanded.) I don't know who Nutria is, but you might consider contacting Paul Yakupzack as you build the Flyway Federation of Louisiana. He has extensive experience in coastal Louisiana, a long career with the USFWS, and may share many of your founding principles.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
The harvest data come from 2 surveys: the Questionnaire and Parts surveys.

1) When you register with HIP, you become part of a database from which the USFWS selects a sample, and sends those hunters a 'Waterfowl Hunting Record' to record every hunt made during the season. I was selected for the Questionnaire Survey this year and have attached my form. About 1,500 hunters are selected for this survey in LA each year. From this survey, the USFWS estimates the number of active hunters, days hunted and ducks killed.

2) From the hunters who participated in the Questionnaire survey the prior year and reported killing at least 1 duck or goose, another sample is selected and those hunters are asked to submit a wing from every duck they kill and the tail from every goose. From those 'Parts', we can estimate the species composition, age-ratio, and sex ratio of the harvest. One of my lease-mates' friends is on the Parts Survey, and I've attached a picture of the envelopes selected hunters get to submit those wings and tails.

So that 17.2 ducks per hunter is estimated from the Waterfowl Hunting Record sampled hunters fill out and return to the USFWS. The process is the same in all states. It doesn't assume anything. Hunters send in forms with zero days hunted, zero birds killed, up to 60 days hunted with hundreds of birds killed, with everything in between. Taken together, the Questionnaire and Parts surveys generate the harvest data you see in the reports at: https://www.fws.gov/birds/surveys-and-data/reports-and-publications/hunting-activity-and-harvest.php from hunting logs and real wings submitted by real hunters in all states.
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Why 107 days in Pacific Flyway but only 60 here?
The Flyways are different in the number of ducks and the number of hunters, at least for mallards. The USFWS knows they have no control over where mallards are going to be killed within a particular Flyway, so their concept of 'fair' is that all states in each Flyway have the same number of days and the same bag limit for ducks. But because the Flyways are different in hunter numbers and ducks, they use banding data to determine the season length and bag limit. Specifically, the goal is to kill about 12% of the banded adult male mallards every year. Because the Pacific Flyway has lots of ducks but relatively few hunters, it takes those hunters about 107 days to kill 12% of the banded male mallards. Conversely, the Mississippi Flyway has lots of ducks but lots of hunters; it takes us about 60 days to kill that same 12% of the banded male mallards.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Larry, would you have a reasoning or explanation on why the birds are finally showing up all over in coastal marshes with the season just closing on the 28th? It is like everyone up North turned off switches and the birds decided to head South. We were watching them coming down in big numbers. It was bigger with this past little front than when we had the 2 Arctic fronts.
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Frameworks and State hunting dates
The USFWS sets the earliest day we can open, the latest day we can close, how many days we can hunt, the bag limit, and the boundaries on zones and splits. Within those 'framework' regulations, every state in the Flyway can set whatever dates they want, and attempt to do it to maximize their opportunity to kill as many ducks as possible. Since you mention Nebraska, their late-season dates occur on their river systems, where they still have open water and thus still have ducks. Some of the northern states, like Wisconsin, set a late season to take advantage of sea ducks on the Great Lakes.

Our seasons are set for the same reasons, and we have very good hunting success early in the season. Look at the hunting diary I posted above. You have also seen the 2001-2010 harvest summary, at time of consistent season dates, which I did on the old West Zone divided by SE, SW, and NW regions. In all of those regions, over 50% of our season kill was made during the first 23 days of the season. I've also shown a daily kill graphic showing that our kill per hunter declines throughout the season. I found those graphics and attached them. The point is Louisiana kills ducks early in the season.

We are not allowed to hunt into February because of the framework regulations set by the USFWS. Those are based on biological information collected over a number of years.

First we have to accept the concept that ducks don't come here to provide targets for you to kill; they come to accomplish important tasks necessary to maintain the population. They have to regain body condition for the spring migration, they need to pair (dabbling ducks), and they need to initiate pre-basic molt. For them to do those things we have to stop shooting at them.

First, we have done many radio-telemetry studies ..... mallards, pintails, scaup, gadwalls, etc. ..... and what we have found is that if a birds survives to mid-January, then it survives the winter. It doesn't starve, get killed by a raptor, hit a power-line or anything else. Hunters are the only source of mortality after mid-January, so we KNOW that late harvest is shooting into our breeding stock. Second, there is a cost of a paired female losing her mate late in the season. Ducks pair on the wintering grounds because females are limited (there are more males) and the males pair so they can breed. In exchange, the male allows the females to feed without harassment from other males. He takes on those costs so he can mate with a hen that is in the best physical condition possible. At least one study has shown that females that suffer late-season mate-loss undergo physiological stress and lose body condition until another pair-bond can be established and thus has lower reproductive success.

Lastly, there is growing concern that late-harvest may target birds moving north, not migrants from the south. We've known for many years (early-90's) that pintails move back north, after being captured in Louisiana in October, long before the season ends. Some of you know that we have white-fronts with telemetry units. In the prior 2 years, over half the birds caught in SW LA moved north, mostly into AR, during the season. This year, most of them stayed here, but 1 moved into southern Illinois, then recently moved into Indiana. My colleague in IN flew his last aerial survey week before last, and he saw a big influx of white-fronts and pintails. IN hunters think they came from the north, but they didn't. BTW, the overwhelming majority of birds he counted were on a cooling water lake of a local power-plant.

Those are the foundations of the latest end-date for duck hunting. We expanded that framework in 2002 so that we can shoot a week later and the northern states can shoot a week earlier. As you saw in Paul Yakupzacks 'Demise of Ducks', he considers that a bad thing. Two things I'm sure of ....... hunting a week later didn't hurt the duck population and didn't improve our hunting success. The Lower MS Flyway states are pushing an effort to expand the federal framework to allow us to hunt until January 31 every year (regardless of what day of the week that is), which I think the USFWS will allow, but hunting in February is not on the table.
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Why do birds show up after the season?
We used to do February aerial surveys, which showed birds don't migrate into the state after the season closes; they redistribute. That is one reason we discontinued February aerial surveys. Hunting stops, ag fields are drained, and ducks redistribute.

I got the data last week from the NE LA survey, which was flown the Thursday before the season closed in the East Zone. Observers noted that many fields that were flooded in December had already been drained and there was ongoing drainage in all surveyed areas of NE LA. I've already received 1 call from a landowner that said ducks just showed up in his swamp. I expect there is a relationship.

Of course, without marked birds, it is impossible to determine exactly where birds come from. There may indeed be movement from the north, or from the south, but past aerial surveys suggest it is a redistribution.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Understood...thanks. Is radio-telemetry set on only a selected number of birds, and is it very expensive? Seems the USFWS would be able to get a lot more information marking a bigger number of birds which they could complete during banding. This would especially show were the biggest concentrations or wintering. Also I have to agree with Phil Robertson's Youtube video clip on one of the comments at the top that the USFWS should allow a certain amount of days for hunters to shoot sanctioned areas that the birds hold up. This would make them move. What is holding this back?
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
If I remember right, the GPS/GSM telemetry units on the white-fronts are about $4,000 each plus monthly costs to get the data. VHF units are much cheaper but you have to have people and trucks and planes to relocate those birds, so you don't get data from birds that move long distances out of your study area, and the overall cost may be more expensive than satellite or cell-tower monitoring.

Phil Robertson and I discussed this exact issue back in the mid-2000's when he and George Franklin were trying to do a pen-reared mallard release in NE LA. I showed him data from a recently-completed mallard radio-telemetry study done in NE LA, where we trapped mallards on Upper Ouachita NWR ...... one of those 'federal bed and breakfasts' set up so that mallard ducks don't ever have to face hunters. They can just go from refuge to refuge. Except that hunters in NE LA and SE AR somehow killed 23% of those mallards we patterned, captured, and marked on an inviolate refuge. Given that the harvest rate on banded hen mallards from the breeding grounds over the course of the entire season up and down the entire Flyway is only 8-9%, how were we able to kill 23% of the ducks captured and radio-marked on a NWR in NE Louisiana if refuges are keeping mallards from hunters? The fact is, they don't.

Every high-class duck club maintains a refuge area. They don't do that to reduce the quality of their duck hunting. There is ongoing debate, and probably always will be, about whether refuge acreage keeps hunters from killing ducks or keeps ducks in a broad area that would otherwise be run out from hunting pressure, thus increasing hunting success. My colleagues in KY tell me it is one way for geese but another for ducks, and they are increasing the amount of previous refuge habitat they are hunting for ducks (since Canadas are no longer migrating there in the same numbers as in the past).

With very few exceptions, NWRs are limited by law to hunting only 40% of their total area, but I don't believe anything is stopping them from opening at least that full 40% to hunting, and LDWF has been pushing them to expand hunting opportunities for a number of years. Whether that acreage can be swapped back and forth within a hunting season, I don't know, but I expect that would be a substantial burden. We can't keep people out of new LAAs on some of our WMAs when it changes for an entire season or number of years; I can't imagine what a hassle it would be to change it within a season.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Mr Reynolds
Thanks for your input and sharing.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I wonder how much of this 'attempt' in 2010 is still in place?

https://www.eenews.net/stories/92863

Here's Delta's take on this idea.

https://www.ammoland.com/2010/08/delta-waterfowl-plan-to-shortstop-migratory-waterfowl/#axzz56FLW2Awm
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I am just now responding to whatever this is going on. I learning that it isnt very easy to deal with a Gopro download and Im still trying to finish a very good video up. Mr Larry i dont understand why you started another debate or what caused you to have a change of heart. I didnt comment last night because it would have been a mistake. I was pretty upset reading the comments from Larry. I couldnt understand why he would be purposely trying to go against me or what we are trying to accomplish with Flyway Fedration.
It bothered me so much that i sent a private email asking what was going on.

I am going to post the conversation telling the reason why he was doing this. Everything that he put in the email in his reply was said or done before we ever spoke on the phone, and came to an agreement. I can only think he is going back on his words when he told me that this state needed a private organization to help out.
He finishes his email talking about an asset or a roadblock and this was exactly what i was telling you guys about having to do what you have to sometimes to be where you needed to be. I will let you all decide on your own how to take it.
I took it as a threat to be honest. Letting me know who holds the upper hand but the craziest thing is why now? I am not giving up we have to many people that want to better the habitats and waterfowl for our state.
Mr Larry I can tell you the numbers for this organization are going to be very high and if i had a graph to show you........... It would be off the Charts.
Thanks for acting like you wanted to help us out. Truth is roadblock or asset either way I will do whatever i have too. You can either jump on board as an asset and we fix this states habitat that needs to be fix or you. Or you can be a road block that just becomes a bump in the road as the Federation runs over you.
We are tired of being talked down to by you and Lied too. You lied to me when you said we were in agreement and we would work together to make our sport in this state great again.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Mr Reynolds i might not be as accomplished as you. I dont have the Degrees you do. ...........
I DO HOWEVER KEEP VERY GOOD RECORDS just like you do. I also have a very good memory. Great way to insult someone though.
This is what he is upset about guys and be sure to look at the dates. If you have been with this post you will already know. This is my phone records and the day that we came to an agreement.
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Wishin I was Fishin - Maurepas, Pontchartrain Basin
In the November, 2017 aerial survey report at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/aerial-waterfowl-surveys , I included an older graphic of the coastal survey transects. I often get questions and comments about local areas, so I thought it would be beneficial for hunters to see exactly where we fly and to understand that our goal is a large-scale estimate, which sometimes doesn't lend itself to smaller-scale examination. Our coastal transects don't extend into much of the area in Maurpas/Pontchartrain, probably because it was mostly forested when the survey was implemented and it's tough to count birds in forested wetlands. So I can't provide quantitative comparisons for un-surveyed area, which is much of the area you outlined.

However, Maurepas swamp specifically, and the coastal forested wetlands of SE LA are probably the starkest examples of habitat degradation over the past 20-30 years, and a pretty well-known story since it is where the 'Duckmen of Louisiana' was filmed with Phil Robertson and Warren Coco deftly bringing mallards, gadwalls, wigeon and other species to the gun. That specific area today is a solid mat of salvinia with a community of sedges growing on it, and it attracts few ducks. That might be one reason LDWF has been given so much land in that region.
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Email exchange with Josh Goins
I sent you another response this morning, before seeing this. I think it makes clear my intentions.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Thanks for the tip!
I got a for you too. When i did speak with Mr Leach with Delta he informed me delta has somthing to help with the Salvania Solution and they were giving it to anyone that needed it. when he was told about pumping issues some WMA's are facing here in the state that guys on this post has brought to me. He acted very suprised that he didnt remember or know about being contacted on those. He said he would be more than happy to look into it. He was quick to do his job and say That is what we do ! we work on state and federal land if its in the flyways!
That organization is willing to work with the state why hasnt salvania fighting efforts they are offering been utilized???????
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Salvinia project with Delta
Did Bryan tell you that salvinia project was initiated with LDWF, and that we provided $60,000 in duck stamp money to fund it?

A past Commission member, Julie Hebert, actually deserves the credit. She insisted that we do a cooperative project with Delta after she cast the deciding vote to give 100% of our statutory funding obligated to the breeding grounds to Ducks Unlimited in 2015. So we had a series of meetings with Delta to discuss a variety of projects, and the ponds to provide a source of weevils to combat salvinia infestation was the decided project.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
well resend it this morning because i never received it.
You should have responded to me first with any issue you dreamed up or was butt hurt with before getting on my post to try and shy potential members away from something that could actually help fix this state.

Not only that but you were all for it! You should be backing it 100% We could be an ASSET or a ROADBLOCK for you too it goes both ways but i would be pretty sure 50,000 upset Louisiana citizens would out number One Louisiana Expert
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
No he didnt but what is crazy about this is ......... if you did do that then why arent you utilizing it since we know it helps????? also what the federation could possibly do once organized is double or triple your money into programs like that but you are to hard headed and think you are smarter or better than everyone else.
You would rather get on here and argue instead of pushing the issue.
I still dont understand why !
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Resent the e-mail, but I'll copy it here since you are watching
Larry Reynolds
[Reply] [Reply All] [Forward]
Actions
To:
Joshua Goins ‎[Josh.Goins@FlywayFederationLouisiana.com]‎
Sent Items
Monday, February 05, 2018 8:59 AM
1) You said below, 'I haven't said one thing about you negative', and that was NOT true. Whether before or after we spoke on the phone, you had done precisely that. Saying negative things about me is not a big deal. It happens all the time, and oftentimes it's deserved. But don't deny it.

2) I don't have the power or desire to keep you, or anyone else, from forming a state waterfowl organization. One thing I think you and I completely agree on is the potential value of such an organization such as those in California, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and others.

3) My job is to work with and for all hunters of this state using the best available information. I will continue to do that.

Take care,

Larry Reynolds
LDWF Waterfowl Program Manager
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We ARE utilizing weevils
I don't know what you are referring to. LDWF is using weevils all over the state. It is under the purview of our Office of Fisheries, and they are putting out weevils, monitoring weevil density, and having success in some areas. But the problem is far larger than our current capacity, and weevils aren't a sure-fire cure, as evidenced at my lease and a number of SW LA marshes that are constantly being re-infested through hydrologic connections. There is a Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) project in the process to greatly expand the availability of weevils for combating salvinia. CWPPRA can bring big $$ to the problem.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
You know what Larry your right.
I geuss i should have been more specific in my email. i forgot that you never commented on those from almost a month ago. So you just randomly got on the post and comment negative things as a reply to comments made a month ago. On the post you know people or actively utilizing for information on the federation that could potentially help you and that you are all for...........I guess that makes sense! REALLY!
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I was going to edit out the little things i said about you in my recordings over the weekend but just like you it might just randomly pop up.
Except my videos i am actually trying to let the hunters of Louisiana this bothers me and im walking around a awesome habitat watching ducks all over it. With over a hundred mallards jumping up at one point right infront of me and i promise larry those werent here this season
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No worries, Josh
Like I wrote, people say negative things about me all the time, and oftentimes they are deserved.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Or is that why you randomly got on here. Because i was telling the guys some exciting news about going to look for new ducks. Or is all the birds i am seeing and that are still arriving Coming from south america like the hundreds of thousands of birds we discussed i saw last year ????? Or could i actually have a valid point that you are going to have to fight over?
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I can't participate as often as I'd like
Like I wrote, I exited this discussion when told I needed to ignore all the charts and graphs and data and do the bidding of those expressing a particular view on this thread. I can't do that.

But I got a couple of e-mails about this thread, and since I've been down sick and don't give a flip about pro football, I read through the thread and found lots of direct questions and requests to me. I've tried to address a number of them, and still have at least 1 to go. I'm sorry if my timing was bad for you, or forced you to acknowledge things you had said before we talked on the phone, or if my responses create difficulty in moving forward with what you intend. I'm just providing information and my perspective. Unfortunately, I can't do that regularly, which many may see as a blessing.
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How can this stuff be legal?
Hollow Point wrote: 'HOW IN THE FU-- CAN IT BE LEGAL TO MANIPULATE A BIRD FROM MIGRATING USING ICE EATERS OR FLOODING UNHARVESTED GRAIN FIELDS FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF HUNTING??.??? Larry Reynolds explain. And I don't care about the 30,000 decoys you counted on your Ariel survey'

I expect because there is no demonstrated negative effect on the duck population such that there has not been a succesful effort to make them illegal. There is no distinction between a new reservoir or a cooling-water lake for a power plant or residential pond/lake development which might change local migration patterns and the actions of hunters to do the same. With regard to growing grain for the sole purpose of hunting ...... that is precisely what habitat management is about: un-natural manipulation of soil and water to produce a crop that we hope will attract ducks to the gun. Moist-soil seeds via moist-soil management, acorns via green-tree reservoir management, or SAVs via weirs and water-control structure management are all examples of un-natural manipulation to provide a food source solely for the purpose of hunting. Growing a crop of grain is similar, and thus it is legal. That is old news to people on this forum, but it is a foundation of current baiting laws.

If there is no population foundation for making these things illegal then the issue is distribution of the kill, and we've already discussed that information and how some of you don't believe it.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Larry to be so smart you need to go back to school for common sense.
So you have been sick for a month. I think it might be the fact there is some influential and well respected people that are hearing about this. I would think with some of the phone calls i have had, you might have had the same ones. When Large landowners attentions drawn to this issue, you could have felt you needed to post something.
You cannot tell me that you were answering questions. You had already spoke with me and answered mine on the phone. While we were on the phone that day after the agreements were made. We discussed exactly what we agreed on and what the organization was going to fight for. The reason why we spent so much time making sure everything was right................ do you remember?..............My memory is very good Mr Larry, after we wanted 100% agreement because i was taking notes, to address the group on this site with a solution and guess what the solution was to get this organization going and what we needed to accomplish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I even have the email that i sent to you after i spent the time to write the comment up, telling you to go look at it and make sure you approved. If you had un answered questions or didnt like what was put, I have a feeling as much as you like to debate you would have quickly said something or called me back.
Then you can go back to the dates on this post and see what i posted to them after we spoke.
You can crawfish all you want......... I have told you the whole time I only do facts..... if i dont know for sure or it isnt from a expert telling me. The i put it as opinions or thoughts.
You are real quick to say that it is exaggerated or false. Im sorry but I am not gonna have someone turn things around on me. Get your storys straight and stop commenting on my post with FALSE STUFF!!!!!!
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Larry, I am not sure where you pull these numbers from on the weeks of the season duck harvest. They are flat out false. The so called 'data' you put out there is not true. The people are sick of that kind of crap that you and your department put out there. We don'y have the resources that the federal or state government does to do our own surveys. However, I know what my eyes tell me have told me for years. We have hundred of acres of prime waterfowl habitat. We have every type of place that a duck could ever dream of coming to from sloughs to fields with planted food for them flooded timber. You name it we have it. We will not get any duck on our property until after Dec 25 at the earliest. I can go on and on with details about any of this. There is obviously a fault in your data gathering methods. How many thousands of people have seen this post and agree with us. This thread has gone viral in waterfowl circles in the south and especially LA. We need to figure up a new way to collect this data that you need to prove what the tens of thousands of us are saying. We have been saying it for years.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
LARRY JUST STOP!
This is getting out of hand. You got called out so what. You were exposed and suspected of doing something. SO WHAT. Let it go your hole is getting deeper and you have to be choking on your ankle about now.
Everything you say i take in and will just use it for ammunition when the time is right. You have already let me know where you stand with the roadblock comment.
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LARRY JUST STOP!
I believe Mr. Larry's comment about being an asset or roadblock means we can either 1) use his information, experience, and professional opinion as data to look at possible solutions to the problem we face or 2) disregard all the work LDWF does on the studies and surveys as BS and see LDWF as 'part of the problem'. It sure does seem like many guys on here, including you jgoins, fall into that category #2. The way I see it, Larry Reynolds is pretty damn knowledgeable about this topic and has a bunch of data, so why the hell wouldnt we use him as a resource???

It's ok to disagree with somebody or to have an intelligent argument. But lets keep the convo open to whoever wants to join in and ANY opinions somebody may have. I understand many of us, including myself, have doubts about the accuracy of the waterfowl surveys, but let's keep the negative comments out of this convo. If we keep picking fights anybody who comes in here with a different opinion, pretty soon we will be only talking to ourselves.

But thats just my opinion...
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The numbers come from the Parts Collection Survey
Every wing sent in to the Parts Collection, which I described above and included a photo of the envelope, includes a date and a nearest town. So we know when that bird was killed and where. From that it was pretty simple to summarize the number of wings killed in which week of the season, from what zone (all old West Zone), and which region. SW was Cameron, Vermilion, Calcasieu, Jeff Davis, Acadia Parishes, we left St. Mary out for there to be a gap, and SE was Terrebonne, Lafourche, Plaquemines, Jefferson, and St. Bernard. NW was those parishes north of Calcasieu/Jeff Davis up to the AR line. What that chart shows is the proportion of wings submitted by hunters selected for the Parts Survey in Louisiana over those 10 years when the season opened the second Saturday in November, ran for 23 days, split for 12 days, then ran until the week before the end of the framework.

But I was concerned that most hunters quit hunting during the late season, and THAT was the reason fewer wings were submitted during the second split. So we wanted to look at how wing submissions per hunter looked over the course of the season. To do that we needed more data and looked at 10 more recent years for the entire state (not just old West Zone) for every day over the course of the season. For each hunter that submits wings, we know whether he submitted 1, 2, 3 ..... or 6 on a particular date. So we summarized the average number of wings submitted per hunter for ever day of a 60 day season. What we found was the average number of wings submitted by hunter fell from about 3.9 to about 2.9 over the course of the season.

These are not new analyses. We used them extensively in discussions about expanded zones and splits options and season date selections in 2011-12 and again 2 years ago.

So why would thousands of Louisiana hunters submitting wings from tens of thousands of dead ducks give us flat out false results?

You also realize that we do bag checks during the season at 4 SE coastal WMAs. I don't have that summary here, but those data also show greater per-hunter success in the early vs late season.

Now that doesn't mean we couldn't or shouldn't hunt later. Those graphics might look exactly the same if we opened the season in early December rather than early November. But what it does show conclusively is that we kill a lot of ducks in November.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Jcall before you comment or take sides read all the information and know the history, this goes way further then that. I am about the nicest guy and i will work with anybody. I was willing to help this man out even though i didnt believe all of his thoughts or his numbers. I agreed to do what he thought was right for this state. Then he comes back on here and does the same thing and claims he was answering questions he had missed. Come on buddy open your eyes.
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LARRY JUST STOP!
Jcalla4 hit the nail on the head. In my e-mail posted above, I specifically requested YOU (Josh Goins) to determine if YOU saw me as an asset or a roadblock to what YOU wanted to accomplish with the Flyway Federation of Louisiana. I wrote it, and I meant it about the potential value of an engaged state waterfowl association, and my lack of interest or power to keep it from happening.

However, I also agree with jcalla4's observation that many on this thread see me as part of the problem, not part of the solution.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
The Topic of discussion is Ducks and duck migration. Involved Duck hunters discussing it. With that said you have to remember this has been the worst season ever and duck numbers are up. Then this has not only been a topic here It stretches back for a long time atleast 2000.
Larry has been headlining this and arguing his same story for a long time. I dont know if any of you have spoke with larry personally on the phone. I was in the process of trying to explain to the man about wording in the migratory treaty act.
He purposely tries to talk above your head and was very rude. Best of all i was told i didnt know what the #@@$%$@#@ i was talking about and it is ridiculous for me to point that out. It took me speaking french right back to even get a little respect from him.
Then we come to agreements and you can read the emails and comments above i am not repeating it all. If i am wrong for standing up for myself, my friends, my sport, my state, and my organization then what am i suppose to do? Let someone continue to do something that i know is not right.
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Re: Read the Entire Thread
FYI I did read the entire thread. I'm not trying to call anybody out, just making the observation that this is drifting from a constructive exercise into the finger pointing, whose side are you on, BS that is flooding internet chatrooms these days. I think this Federation is gonna have a rocky start if we continue to go down this path. I'm sure we all can agree on that...

We all have the same problem fellas, its only the solutions that are different. If we are gonna get anywhere with this we need to realize that.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
J call I fully agree with you buddy. There has got to be a change in this state. I am willing to do anything to make it better. I am really trying here.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Larry do you think Someone talking to the president of the U.S said that same thing they would only be talking about him or to america.
Funny thing is you finish the sentence. What you really want to accomplish with Flyway Federation of Louisiana?
Yep sounds like you were just meaning me.
The email was just sent to me but you made your statement very clear
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
The organization is going to need to have someone who is a outgoing, opinionated, and can have share differences without letting it bother them. This guy, Josh Goins, looks to have those qualities and connections. The organization will also need the support of the waterfowl leader, Larry reynolds. I don't believe much success will be found if the flyway federation goes to battle with WLF. We all pay alot of taxes for scientific procedure and data collection, analyais, etc. All that analysis needs to be utilized to the best extent possible when charging down this problem.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Larry do you think Someone talking to the president of the U.S said that same thing they would only be talking about him or to america.
Funny thing is you finish the sentence. What you really want to accomplish with Flyway Federation of Louisiana?
Yep sounds like you were just meaning me.
The email was just sent to me but you made your statement very clear
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I agree with you Duckhunter89 I really do. I tried to talk to him respectfully through email twice now. Once last night then once. I am willing to work with him. I need him to know i believe strongly in a mans word. If we say the fights over its over. There is not going to be any coming back to a organization a month from now to deal with some issues from a month ago. My point to that was it causes the focus off of the main goal and makes people question somthing we have already worked past.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Jgoins wrote:'I agree with you Duckhunter89 I really do. I tried to talk to him respectfully through email twice now. Once last night then once. I am willing to work with him. I need him to know i believe strongly in a mans word. If we say the fights over its over. There is not going to be any coming back to a organization a month from now to deal with some issues from a month ago. My point to that was it causes the focus off of the main goal and makes people question something we have already worked past.'

So Jgoins, what exactly have 'we' worked out on the issue of collected data, that you,and what appears to be many disagree with?How do you propose we present our case to the to the feds to change anything without proof of what we say.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
This fight is for every Louisiana duck stamp buying hunter and his kids. I have to put my words in on this here. Larry Reynolds, we do want your knowledge, input and advice on some issues. I talked to you also on the phone last week and it started off as a good conversation, then all of a sudden you started cussing me and I shut it down quick saying we can cuss, but not each other out. After that we completed it in a professional manner. Jgoins1981 and you are going to have clear the plate and start over. Do you both agree? This is not going to turn into a pissing contest, we need to all come together and work this organization as a democracy so everyone has their say so we can get the duck hunting like it was before. There will be many disagreements between a lot of people on many different issues. We need to discuss them, acknowledge them and vote yes or no. Majority rules. Clear it and lets move forward from here.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
The fact of the matter is that all of us need to be unison for change to happen. Larry we need your support for this. The hunters that pay for the privilege to hunt this great state are telling you that we believe different than what you are saying. I am not sure how this data came out but it is not correct. So, we need to look at other means of gathering data for these surveys. We have thousands of people on here saying the same thing. These number just plainly don't add up. There is no reason to get up in a pissing contest about who what I did this so you can. This is wrong and we believe so strongly in that reasoning that we want to start new organization to help prove this. I don't know what your relationship with Josh is. However, Josh is taking the initiative and trying to do what we believe is right. I agree with him in what we are trying to do. This isn't just Josh's fight Mr. Reynolds. This is every single sportsman's fight including yours on behalf of the state of Louisiana.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
you want ducks, FIX the habitat here. they do come but dont stay do to lack of resources, either water or food. The biggest issue is food, period. Most ag lands south of the state line are not duck friendly anymore. you show me an area with the sky black with mallards and ill show you an area thats miles and miles of prime duck food in the forms or rice, corn, etc. FOOD FOOD FOOD, weather is a small ingredient in the recipe, without food or water nothing is coming even if the ice age hits.
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Legitimate Org
All: As a member of DU, Delta, a subscriber to American Waterfowler, and a general supporter of all things waterfowl, I can tell you I believe wholeheartedly in Josh and what FFL can do. Josh and I have communicated outside of this thread and I assure you WE (FFL) are open to ALL partnerships and ALL supporters of waterfowl in the Great State of Louisiana, regardless if we agree on all of the topics raised on this thread or not. The bottom line is waterfowl hunting in Louisiana isn't what it used to be and we hope to return it to its' former glory for our children, grandchildren, and all of the generations of LA waterfowlers to come. Regardless of your individual ideals, please keep posts here positive, including those towards LDWF. We must ALL work TOGETHER to secure ideal habitat and black skies! You can argue with Larry if you are so persuaded at your next local waterfowl event. I'm sure he'll be there!
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Legitimate Org
All: As a member of DU, Delta, a subscriber to American Waterfowler, and a general supporter of all things waterfowl, I can tell you I believe wholeheartedly in Josh and what FFL can do. Josh and I have communicated outside of this thread and I assure you WE (FFL) are open to ALL partnerships and ALL supporters of waterfowl in the Great State of Louisiana, regardless if we agree on all of the topics raised on this thread or not. The bottom line is waterfowl hunting in Louisiana isn't what it used to be and we hope to return it to its' former glory for our children, grandchildren, and all of the generations of LA waterfowlers to come. Regardless of your individual ideals, please keep posts here positive, including those towards LDWF. We must ALL work TOGETHER to secure ideal habitat and black skies! You can argue with Larry if you are so persuaded at your next local waterfowl event. I'm sure he'll be there!
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
DUsucks52: you said it, bro. Everyone talks about the southern parishes. Where is the data from Evangeline, allen, Vernon, Jeff Davis? These are the forgotten parishes thrown into a west zone that has the same season as coastal. Just like '52' said, we don't see ducks till mid-late December. Right when the season ends, the ducks really show up. Literally 3 days after the 21st, we were loaded. This is not redistribution-too early for that. Like others have said, the numbers just don't add up. There's too many of us complaining. You can have all the habitat, but don't mean anything if they don't come here to use it. You can build it, but it doesn't mean they will come.
'The USFWS estimates the number of active hunters, days hunted, and ducks killed based on a survey of 1500 hunters'. I don't understand this algorithm and how that can summarize the whole state. Maybe 'estimates' is the key word. How do they know how many people really hunted ducks this year?
'It takes 60 days for hunters in the Mississippi flyway to kill 12% of the banded mallards'. So this is the philosophy behind our 60 day season? A one size fits all philosophy. That's a vast area. What about in Louisiana? I just don't believe that many banded mallards were killed here. Where exactly were those bands harvested? What were the age of those ducks? If predominantly young birds, then what impact did motorized decoys have on those birds?
I'm not attacking anyone. I think these estimates do not represent, accurately, our hunting experience.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
After reading some of the recent posts on this thread the first thing that comes to mind in a quote from Mark Twain, 'there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.' The numbers might be what they are, but good luck convincing a group of hunters that spent a season looking at bare skies and had to shoot scaup all season to make it worth the trouble of going to the blind. Oh and all the while cold front after cold front are moving through the south.
So let me play devils advocate. So the birds are here, they just 'redistribute'. And because the habitats are so bad, I suppose they are all congregated up in the 'high rent' areas of Louisiana. So to me it sounds like the answer is those of us hunting in the ghetto marshes that supposedly have no food and water, really should be able to bait our ponds.
I mean heck, if those boys up north can run those pond heaters because they ice over, turning their ponds into 'poor habitats' then surely any reasonable mind would conclude that the only possible solution here is to let us bait our ponds. How about we spread the wealth during duck season until waiting for it to end so they can 'redistribute.'
If we cant bait our ponds, then the tales we heard of clouds of ducks in the skies will turn into us telling our future kids about random groups of scaup. 'Oh those were the days junior. We would put out decoy spreads of mallards, teal, grays, and heck even a pintail! We would sit there just waiting....... waiting for the glorious sight of a group of 6 scaup to come within range so we wouldn't go home empty handed! Oh you young boys just don't know. Those were the days!'
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
In many posts there have been comments about the loss of habitat as a possible reason for the lack of ducks coming to and staying in our state. I have hunted in the southeast Louisiana marsh for many years and we have as much vegetation in the ponds in our area as I have ever seen. There are thousands and thousands of acres of vegetation sitting right on top of the water for the puddle ducks to enjoy.. So, based on what I see in our marsh and what I am reading in the this thread I am perplexed?
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Good morning to all Louisiana waterfowl hunters and waterfowl hunters from all other states following this post !
I am sorry if anything that was put on this post yesterday offended anyone. I put my waders on one boot at a time, just like every other man and like every other man I can be very protective over my friends, family, and beliefs.
With that being said, I truly believe in Flyway Federation and consider everyone that wants to be involved friends and family. No matter what part of the state you are in, no matter what state you are from. No man has anymore of a right to a naturally migrating human resource.
I have loved this sport since the first day i stepped foot in the blind. There is a camaraderie between duck hunters that you cant compare to any other sport. There is also the respected competition between waterfowlers that makes the experience of the hunt so much more.
Over the years we have seen our habitats disappearing and our migration changing. Every hunter, bird watcher, and Biologist has different opinions on what could have caused this to happen.
I myself have my own opinions. Different opinions are critical to finding solutions to the problems that we are facing with our sport. I have told my employees for years, that 6 sets of eyes is better than one. What the new guy might see could be something that the experienced guy looked over in all his years of doing it.That is the way of evolution.
The future of Louisiana and the Gulf coast states Waterfowl depends on restoration of habitats, construction of new habitats, and a fair and just assessment of the rules and regulations by utilizing not only the states scientific data, but data provided by private organizations, Land owners, Farmers, bird watchers, and most importantly Hunting clubs, and Waterfowl Hunters of the state.

Again I am sorry, I need everyone involved it this.
My website is coming along and we hopefully will be utilizing it soon. I am also going to post Our Permanent LOGO that has been trademarked and copyrights applied to it. It will be a symbol that represents F.F.L .
Only a few more things and we should be able to mobilize to the different chapters of the state for town hall meetings, memberships, and discuss the future of the flyway federation and the possibilities to restoring the waterfowl hunting in our great state Louisiana and the natural migration in the Mississippi, and Central Flyways!
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Flyway Federation of Louisiana could help implement a Eyes To The Sky Program.
Eyes to the sky program has been a thought I have had through all my research. It would allow the waterfowl community to provide real field data that they believe is not put in the equation for the Population and harvest counts. This program could also bridge the gap between the Hunters, Hunting clubs, Land owners, Farmers, LDWF, and FDWF. By doing this you would create a fail proof numbers system. It also educates the next generation of all groups involved and shows the public community that working together is critical to the traditions, heritage, and Most importantly the conservation efforts needed for waterfowl that uses our great state as their wintering destination.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
All I am gonna say is we gotta unite not divide so we can accomplish something sorely needed.I know that Larry does not fly the Marsh where I hunt and that is perfectly fine with me-I have personally seen the demise of grey duck populations and it has NOTHING to do with habitat degradation as where I hunt the SAV is so thick it is difficult at times to paddle through that duck feed and when the bottom falls out in late Jan,the grass is to the top of the water surface,so do not bother trying to tell me where I hunt does not have sufficient habitat to keep ducks-we never got the migration of greys to keep and I still have yet to do my after-season paddle to do as I promised Josh Goins.Might get to it next week or possible before this week ends.We need all the 'experts' on board and I know one with a degree from Michigan State University and he knows ducks better than probably 90% of the folks that we have compiled on FFL!!Let's put differences aside,work together,and see what we can accomplish so our children and grand-children and hopefully great grand-children can enjoy what out parents and grandparents bragged about-mallards a-plenty in Maurepas,Manchac,Joyce,etc!!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
We are all in this together. The F.F.L. is what has been needed not just for Louisiana ,but for all states in the South. People are obviously very interested in this topic. As of me writing this there are 19,000+ views on this and 350+ comments on this post. I'm sorry ,but with that many numbers of people looking and commenting on this then there is obviously a problem. The first order of business needs to be showing the people that are getting misinformed the correct information. The first step to correcting any problem is admitting that there is a problem first. Everyone of us needs to stand behind Josh, myself, and anyone else that supports us forming this organization. The F.F.L. is an embodiment of Louisiana sportsmen that are trying to tell every dept of Wildlife and Fisheries that we are tired of this crap. We are the reason that these people are even employed.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
http://www.nola.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2014/01/duck_biologists_say_agricultur.html

Please go read this for yourself. The absolute lunacy that these people stand behind just blows my mind.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Just got off phone with Josh and why would anyone not believe crop'manupulation' has no effect on our duck populations.What is totally unexplainable is the species of ducks killed just a tad N of us,teal and greys,some of our earliest 'migraters' that are not migrating like they used to and I have hunting logs to back up my claims,not just fluff but actual numbers that have steadily declined since about post-Katrina,now about 13 years ago!!Wake up waterfowlers,we are the ones being manipulated just like our ducks but plenty of us not gonna take it any longer!!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
This is my thoughts on Chapters for the state........ Tell me your thoughts????????
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I like it. It is well distributed to allow members in each chapter to meet in a central location.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
You guys can read the whole articles of this if you want. I will however highlight the important quotes from each one.

http://countryroadsmagazine.com/outdoors/knowing-nature/canada-geese/

Quote 'Reynolds was clear that the reason the goose population is expanding is because we are providing them a perfect habitat: green grass, fertilized lawns, and plenty of water. No good deed goes unpunished, it seems.'

http://www.louisianasportsman.com/details.php?id=11373

Quote 'So like all Louisiana hunters, Reynolds is looking forward to yet another duck season ? his 42nd in a blind. And while he?s completely aware this his job as waterfowl study leader doesn?t always make him the most popular biologist around, he understands he can?t please all the people all the time ? but he still tries.

?Ducks are what I?m all about,? he said. ?And I know there are people who think I?m the biggest idiot on the face of the earth, and they hate every decision I make and they hate every piece of logic I provide ?.

?But my intentions are 100 percent toward the absolute success of waterfowl populations and duck hunter satisfaction.?'

This one is my personal favorite. He clearly states he is 100 percent for the success of waterfowl populations and duck hunter satisfaction. If you see this thread and the amount of comments and views from this post you will clearly see that what is going on is directly the opposite of these stated facts. There are many of these articles and quotes I will spare you all the reading that I have done. They all say the same thing.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Guys, I created a Facebook group titled: Flyway Federation of Louisiana. I you would like to join, just make the request and I will accept. Also please pass on to all your friends, family and duck hunting buddies who would be interested in being involved within this organization to look it up if they have a Facebook account.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I am all for the Facebook and allowed Jeremy to start this and will be utilizing him to be in charge or it. It helps me out. He will update me with anything critical. As i finish things im sure he will quickly update it. If you have something that is just for me. The quicker way is to just email straight to me. It would save you a little in response time. Thanks.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Guys
Thank all of you so much This will hopefully be my last post on here. We have a Facebook.
Webpage should be up, all i have to do is figure a few things out. Iwill be in control of it.
You all know my email incase you need anything.

thanks, Josh Goins
Flyway Federation of Louisiana
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
So this is a 2 part post.

1. I stumbled upon this program named Vanishing Paradise, and on their website they have a recent article about why the big freezes we had did not bring ducks. So all these years we thought ducks don't like cold weather and they will migrate with cold fronts. WRONG! It's only applicable before December apparently! lol
I don't know what to think, but here it is:
https://www.vanishingparadise.org/blog/2018/1/the-deep-freeze-aka-where-are-the-ducks
So there it is, all the posts with theories and questioning Ducks Unlimited, LDWF, hunters up in yankee land with pond heaters and the whole time it was really......Ducks don't mind the cold weather after all!

2. So I'll say I owe Ducks Unlimited a bit of an apology. I had no idea they helped to start this Vanishing Paradise initiative with the National Wildlife Federation. Now if we could get them on the right side of the short stopping migration tactics they'll might be alright. This certainly seems like something the FFL may want to align itself with regards to the habitat issue.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Maybe the ducks are just tougher now than they were in 2000-2001
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I remember very well the 2000-01 season. On one of the late second split hunts I had a group of 4 clients from Tennessee. We left the dock at the usual 5am and tried to plow thru the low tide and ice. After getting stuck a few times we turned around and headed back in. I told them to go back to their motel and meet me again at 9am. By about 945am we finally had the decoys out and settled in the blind. At 11:15am we had our limit of 30 birds. All gadwall and widgeon.
Now, 18 years later there are more and more agricultural fields and prime habitat to the north of us. The birds are being short stopped. Plain and simple. Each year gadwall are wintering in Arkansas more and more. So are the blue,snow and specklebelly geese.
I had a very good season this year with only about 3 bad hunts. During the first split we did well with gadwall as well as other species. The second split brought a hell of a lot green winged teal and scaup. To hunt the gadwalls we had to travel to our far out leases that were away from the normal pressure.
The birds had all the food they wanted in those opens bays and lagoons and were virtually untouched by hunting pressure. During the second split only a very strong south or southeast wind would push them in the inland marshes.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
cjncall,

We are also about conservation and habitat restoration. There is not a single one of us that is not saying the exact same thing. However, the cold is never the problem. Ducks can live in extreme cold temps. That is not what the issue is. Ducks like to be in water feed in water paddle around in water. When it hits 32 degrees Fahrenheit things freeze. When these things freeze and don't open back up there is no way for a duck to do what he likes to do which is loaf and feed. That is what the whole migration has always been ducks coming to the South. We don't generally get frozen and we have the food to support the waterfowl. When you unnaturally manipulate water to stay open in vast quantity they will not leave. I would not leave if I had everything I wanted and didn't get shot at. Why would you? The bottom line is that the ducks are being short stopped from their natural wintering grounds. This is not different than baiting ducks with a pile of corn or rice. Taking a atv or something and busting ice to hunt that is more than ok. What is not permissible is having heated ponds and pumps running to unnaturally keep water open with tax payer money or donor money. Then lying to everyone saying that doesn't because it does. You are lying to the people. We are not stupid. We are now calling your bluff. There are thousands of us saying the exact same thing. Do you really think that we are all wrong?
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
please call me 3373756853
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
that is for CJNcall I can explain just a little to you.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Flooding harvested crops to me is baiting. And yes in my opinion ice eaters should be illegal.
Oh by the way, unless your duck ponds in the marsh are one foot deep or less, baiting would be a waste. A puddle duck tips over to feed. Baiting in any duck pond over a foot or so deep will only attract scaup and other divers. I've never seen a mallard, gadwall , etc dive to feed.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
We're all in agreement with the ice eaters, baiting and short stopping tactics. My last few posts were written with a heavy dose of sarcasm regarding those topics.
I spoke with Josh earlier, I've always been onboard with the FFL idea, and now I'm really excited about it.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
No worries lol I detected the sarcasm instantly
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So it seems like we are all in agreement, for the most part, that practices such as ice-eaters and growing crops for the sole purpose of flooding them for ducks is short stopping the migration before it gets to South LA. So would the ultimate goal then be to try to put a stop to these practices on a Federal level? We would have to have produce some data to prove that 1) ducks are in fact not coming all the way down here as much as they used to and 2) ice eater and flooded corn fields are what is keeping them north.

1) I think LDWF would be in agreement with us about this point. I want to say Larry even had a chart somewhere that showed only 35% of ducks in the flyway came all the way down here last year? Not sure of the exact numbers on that but I'm pretty sure I saw that somewhere. I think LDWF would be a good partner to have for this.

2) This one, naturally, would be harder to prove as of right now. Might have to raise money to do some study or something. I would think of the 2, ice eaters would be the easier to get banned for hunting use. I believe we would get alot of backlash trying to get the whole flooded field thing banned, even from people in our state. Also, we would be up against DU and feds for the flooded fields because they spend a BUNCH of money on that exact thing with DU/NRCS-WRP programs.

I know we are still in the very early stages on this thing, but just thinking of a good plan of action would be to first prove #1, then start working on the ice eater issue.... What ya'll think?
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Here you go I have a lot more footage I am learning how to do this video stuff and min are very long I constantly recorded 3 battery's and 3 hrs of footage to look through. I learned my lesson on that. This is foot done by a guy wanting to join hopefully we are able to go out Tom and I use my camera. He used a old hand. Held and the footage is great but it gets the msg across . He said it has been the same trend. Others have seen
Show up after season but it is large numbers of mallards. This man said that this birds have be non existent on this land and 4 days after the north closed you can set your calendar. And it's year after year. I myself have seen large concentrations of all deferent species. With large groups of mallards included and I have had others that were nice enough to call are email with counts all saying the same thing at the same time with a 100 miles apart with multiple concentrations. I am not a biologist , I am a cecerned duckhunter. I rely on what people that trust in that line of work
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Josh: If you're posting video it's not showing up here. Can you put it on the FB page?
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
One might say we're beating a dead horse but the longer this discussion has gone on, the more research I've done and the madder I've got about it. I know diddly squat about growing corn and figured that flooding a corn field is not something that would be good for a corn field. So I find this online guide on how to manage a corn field that has been flooded:
https://www.corn-states.com/News/NewsDocuments/managing-corn-in-flooded-fields.pdf
Here's the highlight of it, 'In order for a corn plant to survive, it needs oxygen. Once a corn field has been flooded, it only takes about 48 hours for the plant's roots to be depleted of oxygen.'
If you're flooding a corn field, you're basically killing the plant, and degrading the soil. If you kill the plant the vegetable/fruit, in this case, corn, will fall from the stalk. How is this not considered baiting? And any comparison of hunting a flooded corn field to a rice field is an apples and oranges comparison as we all know that flooding the field is part of farming rice.
Another point of contention is that the rice fields traditionally hunted in Louisiana are in the wintering grounds. At no point manipulating the natural migration instincts of the duck. These ducks are still on their duck schedule.
Whereas a flooded corn field up north alters this migration instinct, holding them in place, delaying their migration.
Heck, the website for this guide service in Missouri even says as much!
http://www.gatewayriveroutfitters.com/duck-hunting/
These guys guide over different terrain but it's very clear their area benefits from flooded crops. 'We utilize ice eaters in our open flooded fields and irrigation ponds.'
https://www.fws.gov/le/waterfowl-hunting-and-baiting.html
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Yep,Ya know there is a problem when a guy with pristine private hunting land in W.Memphis,Arkansas makes the claim that Missouri is the 'new Arkansas'.I need to connect with Josh as he sent some very telling Go Pro videos showing plenty of ducks on his hunting property and mostly mallards that no doubt were no where to be found til de Ice-eaters got turned off up North!!Great job,cjncall!!

Mandevillian
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
It's habitat, we are loosing it. Not a little, a lot. Thousands of square miles of it. It's not de-icers, flooded food, mojos or any other BS reason. Louisiana was blessed with the Mississippi River that fed a highly productive ecosystem for thousands of years and we came along and cut it off. Choked it down and cut up the marsh. We are seeing the results of habitat loss, just like the fisherman.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Sorry guys first video I posted was good but here is footage from yesterday and he gave me permission incase y'all asked . It is in mamou Oakdale kinder area.
He has hunted his whole life and so has previous generations on this land he said for years he saw the decline. This and about 6 or 7 years ago that just quit coming period. He didn't know what was wrong . But the second season they weren't here, he just happens to be out there after season and see them arrive. He said 2weeks after our season closes mark it on your calendar. They start showing up just like they did when he was younger.
This man contacted a few people but no one seemed very interested and some probably thought he might have been lieing but guess what fellas it's true . There were so many I was filming with my phone in one hand go pro in the other. This is not the only ducks I have documented and there is tons of people reporting birds.
Not a lot of people even notice or look for them especially when the show up at Mardi Gras lol.
I saw this same thing in Klondike and thornwell last year on 1st weekend in march and it just got the fire going hotter for me.
I was told they are returning birds and I told the man no way that many birds can through Louisiana and didn't get seen. Also there ain't no way that they are heading back north on there way back on the first weekend of march. Best of all I said this group had tons of mallards, and I don't think they go to South America. But I am not considered to be a biologist! I was however called a liar and told I should have it on video!!!!!
Here ya go fellas! Yesterday's 2 min clip of an hour of filming on 2 cams till every battery I had died and Ss cards full! This 2 min is on one small portion of his land and he has way more with way more ducks and so does his brothers properly in his border if u don't believe the swarms are mallards just text me and I can send you some very in your face close ups quaking up a storm!!!
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
My only comment I have on habitat is a very smart man not only in general but with ducks too! He actually taught me this sport and instilled in me a passion to love and respect it.
He said and I have said there is no doubt are arguing that we have lost habitat, BUT !!!!!......... , we still have habitat and the only habitat I can confirm that is flourishing is my area.
The habitat now is taken care of my more by the lease managers and property owners because they do realize that it is critical not to loose anymore
Our wma's and refuges how ever have had the rug pulled out from underneath them due to budget issues and do not have the funds to work on them.

Funding keeps being dumped into crp wrp critical wintering grounds. All in the name of farming!
I never knew so many farmers liked harvesting ducks so much!
The regulations to the evaluations of applicants for these crp wrp projects is very laxed if you are in the right area.
I could go buy land and apply for it and get approved very easily and when asked if I am going to farm it.
I would simply say yes I'm gonna be a corn farmer.
Get approved with no intention of ever farming that land for anything other than ducks with the flood unharvested agricultural crops
The treaty was wrote in a time when a farmer would have never planted a crop and not harvested it for the sole purpose of killing ducks.
Then you throw 14,000 gal per min pumps in and remember the whole point to this farm bill,..... to help the farmer. So the conservation area is built with enough pumps and flow to control the conservation area and the farmers land.
The truth is it has been abused and we see the effects ! It's wrong!
If you read any history from the early 1900's on the theories from the men who wrote it . U would know very easily, they could have cared less if you killed a duck or not
They were more concerned with the birds and the natural migration and the ecosystem.
It is our right as Tax paying Americans to have a chance to see and to hunt these migrating birds.
No man should be able to manipulate or take advantage of the birds or the treaty.
No man or state is better than the other period. The seasons need to be evaluated and that is for both central and Mississippi.
They should be scheduled accordingly. It might take us some time to get the dates right but we need to try. And no hot crops period. I have see 3 different studies on this subject. The birds I'll stay and freeze to get to hot crop. Before going south into warmer temps to natural vegetation. But the test showed if you gave them natural versus natural they would go to the warmer climate ever time!!!!
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
For some reason it will not let my video post. I haved tried with my ipad phone computer. it will not let it post!

Go to youtube
Search ..
Wake up Louisiana duck hunters Short stopping is real!!!!! 2-11-2018 mallard footage it is insane!!!!!!

remember that is only 2 min and a small portion of land . I have an hour of footage on two cameras and we drove around this property and they were every where and on his brotheres next to his. i also have footage from different places just like the video i posted a week ago for some reason they will not post our let you guys see it. it post fine every where else
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
http://www.wildfowlmag.com/conservation-politics/read-and-react-revise-baiting-regulations/

Quoted from the article

'I would prefer more restrictive regulations if it means a longer season, and pretty much everyone I know says the same thing,” says Manning. “I’ve watched video of ducks coming to bait. They won’t leave, even after they’ve been shot at. They will fly a hundred yards and come right back.”

What’s the Difference?
That’s why wildlife managers have to dance a fine line between resource conservation and hunter opportunity. The current regulations, which have been fine-tuned for nearly 100 years, are the best tools for sustaining hunting as we know it, adds Manning. They also preserve the notion of fair chase, a common theme among hunters and wildlife managers concerned about the sport’s reputation among non-hunters.

However, resource managers routinely tweak bag limits and season lengths to ensure viable game populations. Hanna sees no reason waterfowl managers can’t do the same thing when the need arises. Keeping regulations confusing and restrictive for the good of the resource counters the notion managers are working for those who benefit the most from the resource.

“I have a hard time defending bait regulations as a management tool. What’s the difference between shooting a duck over waste grain and thrown grain? The duck doesn’t know the difference,” he says. “Maybe we could consider an individual season quota or something that would give everyone an equal shot at the same number of birds.”

Allowing one guy to hunt over flooded corn but preventing another from shooting over bush-hogged corn only penalizes an otherwise law-abiding hunter, Hanna says. It also favors those with the resources to undertake labor-intensive methods deemed legal under current regulations. How does that benefit the resource or the future of duck hunting? Tough questions with no simple answers.'
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
he is right but i did stumble onto what he was speaking of with seeing what was killed over what. There has been many thesis and studies done mostly by Colleges in the southern states and if any of you would like them email me and i will be happy to send them.
If you would rather look them up just type in hot crops vs manipulated natural vegetation studies of waterfowl. they have studied them since the 1900's. it breaks down and shows that over the years it has be come a gradual problem but now in the last on the percentage of ducks that are being tested and has eaten hot crops such as agricultural. is insane!
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
The Wma's and refuges in the south did plant crops in areas and harvested them but the workers farming were not trying to be farmers so it was beneficial to the wma and the birds and hunters. We no longer have money for those projects due to budget cuts and yet we pay a pile of money in.
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
The law states............
Natural vegetation is any non-agricultural, native, or naturalized plant species that grows at a site in response to planting or from existing seeds or other propagules.
Natural vegetation does not include planted millet because of its use as both an agricultural crop and a species of natural vegetation for moist soil management.
However, planted millet that grows on its own in subsequent years is considered natural vegetation.
If you restore and manage wetlands as habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds, you can manipulate the natural vegetation in these areas and make them
available for hunting.
Natural vegetation does not include plants grown as agricultural crops. Under no circumstances can you hunt waterfowl over manipulated crops prior to a normal harvest.
Nor can you hunt waterfowl over manipulated wildlife food plots or manipulated plantings for soil stabilization.

#1 problem if you really think about it a managed area where you restor or manage wetlands . That is specifically talking about some type of conservation area. CRP WRP . so if you cant plant agricultural crops on them. Why would you ever want a bill passed to build conservation areas on farm lands.
Farmers grow agricultural crops dont they????
Well even tho its the farmers land he doesnt manage the conservation area. its under gov contract. he plants ag crops all around the border until contrct is up then he plants it in the middle of it cause he just had all this built for him why would he get rid of it.

#2 prior to a normal harvest..............
Look up the definition of a normal harvest of rice . it includes from start to finish and explains flooding it in the steps to a normal harvest.
Then look up definition of any other ag crops., It does not say anywhere or one step that would remotely say flood it!!!!!
#3 best of all this somes it up..........
if you do plant a ag crops other than rice and you flood it ......... You just manipulated it as soon as you put on it, Then it is a manipulatrd crops and if it is a manipulated ag crops you have just created a wildlife food plot with the sole purpose of kiling migratory birds and that is the law! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because it was wrote in1918 I could only guess they saw somthing that triggered this and said we have to put this in the treaty. they also knew no one was dumb enough to not harvest their crop and then go a step further. flood it and ruin the crop! how can i read between the lines of the men in history, that wrote the rules for our sport and understand what they were discribing, that the law means but it never once has our managers to stand up for this
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
We keep being told it's habitat loss not anything else. It's an easy sell in Louisiana. But we're not the only ones. I posted the site for the guide service in Missouri that BRAGS that they're the new Stuttgart. Some of the online forums in Arkansas those guys are doing the same thing we are. Talking about how 'it's not like it used to be,' and discussing their theories of why they're not seeing the ducks they're used to seeing. Everything from not enough farmers in Arkansas, to too many hunters, to mojo decoys, etc....
What habitat loss has Arkansas had? They don't have coastal marshes being lost everyday the size of a football field.
https://www.arkansashunting.net/threads/i’m-worried-about-our-ducks.225449/

Oh and I'd like to throw one more thing out there. It been brought up a few times in this thread that LA still kills more ducks than any other state. How does this justify hunters up North implementing legalized baiting tactics, and pond heaters that alter a ducks natural inclination to migrate?
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http://www.nfwf.org/whoweare/mediacenter/video/Pages/restoration-gulf-coast-louisiana-video.aspx#.WoL5JFQbPIU
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Just an update. Flyway Federation of Louisiana is still very up and growing. I have been on the Facebook group quite often and ask all that are not there to make an account and request to join the group. Facebook reaches a larger audience than webpages in my opinion and in a weeks time we have 800+ members. Look it over and let's keep getting people involved until we are completely organized....thanks
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I don't do facebook, and know others may not as well. Website Forum?
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
I don't have facebook
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Re: My Opinion on no ducks
Talked to Josh just yesterday and I am not a Facebook person either and not interested in dealing with Facebook.Will do what I can via the usual Social Media channels I do get involved with.Belong to quite a few very worth-while organizations and network there and seem to do quite well with organizations like Delta Waterfowl,Knights of Columbus,C