The average freelancing hunter is a working man. Taking time to lobby, engage in public debate, or run for office on this issue is time consuming. Family and work commitments take up most people's time. Bioman you are correct, the outfitter is financially tied to the issue so he takes time to work the issue (part of his job).
Also do not forget that most people tied to these outdoor sites are hard-core hunters. I would like to see a survey show how many waterfowl hunters actually hunt more than say 10 days per season. Bet it is a relatively low number.
The average licensed, resident hunter in ND hunts waterfowl in their home state about 5 days per year. I believe the NDG&F data shows this value. If you average in the hard-core hunter efforts there are many ND hunters who probably hunt waterfowl only twice each fall. The average nonresident visiting ND is more likely a hard-core waterfowler. Why else would they spend vacation time and money traveling to shoot ducks.
So the "average" ND guy gets together and hunts ducks on opener, chases geese a few days, then may be pheasants and deer. They take what comes their way or quit if they perceive reward is no longer worth the effort (ie. when duck limit drops to three - hunter numbers plummet).
How much time will these people spend worrying about the future of waterfowl hunting ? If these so called average hunters would take time to write politicians they may chose to write them on taxes, education, health care, school consolidation, the list can go on and on and on. These issues may be much more important than recreational hunting.
If the duck limit drops to three I would predict that less than 15,000 nonresidents will enter ND this fall to chase ducks. States with large commercial hunting interests (LA, AR, MS, TX) loose huge numbers of nonresident hunters when the limits drop to 3 ducks vs the 5 or 6 bird limits. Land lease values plumment, many go on sold.
I would also guess that the resident waterfowl hunters will drop from about 34,000 down to 30,000 maybe as low as 25,000.