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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Because of shoulder problems I am unable to bowhunt for the second year so I am hunting waterfowl much more than normal for me. I have been taking "long" weekends, scouting Thursday night and hunting Friday, Saturday and sometimes Sunday. Found birds Thursday and set up Sat morning. Well things didn't go that well. My X was apparently an x and while a few birds looked I could never get any type of commitment. FWIW while setting up at 4 am I heard a couple large flocks fly in and set down about 1/2 a mile away.They got up about an hour after sunrise but that didn't help. Only shot 2 ducks cause 95% were pintails.
Pick up and off scouting I go. Chase a flock 15 miles one way only to have them turn around and fly 20 miles the other way before I would lose them. This went on most of the afternoon/evening. %&#[email protected] crazy birds. Finally found a flock down right before sunset. Set up Saturday morning in a burned and tilled barley field. 4 dz s&b socks, 1 dz blue shells, 2 dz honker shells and a dz mallard FBs. Again birds were moving waaay before sunrise. While the first hour was slow then suddenly pintails were buzzing over the spread. Finally after about the fourth flock I was able to make out a drake and drop him. Then the snows and blues started. small flocks of 30 to 50 birds almost all passed over within range of a 12 ga but I was shooting the 20 today so I wanted them closer. Well I got what I asked forabout 3 of every 5 flocks came right down on top of me. Even after quite a few set down 1/2 mile away I was still able to pull a few flocks. Not just juvies either, mature birds. Here is where the almost comes to play. Unfortunately my shooting was absoulutely horrid. Reflecting back I have to wonder if full choke just wasn't to tight at 15 yards. I got a few but should have easily gotten a limit. I have never had S&Bs decoy so well. It was worth the settup just having them decoy that well. I had a pintail come in over the layout blind so low that had I opened the door it probably would have hit its feet. I could feel the air on my face as it passed over. Great days are not always about getting a limit.
 

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If they burned it without combining (due to hail damage) then that would very well explain your success. Congrats on a sweet hunt!! You're probably gonna get tore apart by the regulation nazi's on here though!!! Either way congrats, nothing beats shooting adults at close range, I just get this tingley feeling all over my body, I can feel the revenge coming out of me for all the times they shafted me before!!!
 

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it was burnt and dug... you are good to go...
 

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Not to turn this into to an argument thread over the ridiculous federal laws, but if it wasn't "harvested" then it is a baited field. Unless it is standing, completely untouched. My guess is they had hail go through up that way, and it was hailed out and then they burned it off. There is usually no other reason to burn barley stubble, flax will almost always get burned, but barley is soft stubble. This is why the regs are so stupid, you have to be an agronimist in ordre to know the difference. Either way you look at it, geese love barley popcorn!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Definately harvested. Stubble was cut even and burned on the ends and chaff could be seen in little piles throughout the cultivated field. Not sure why it was burned but didn't see much chopped straw that was burned. Only the stuff with dirt still attached.
 

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Shane, Remember all of the dug up corn by Valley City? That was considered baited and the feds watched all season. Best advise I can give is to call the federal warden in Bismark and ask him.
I really hate the hipocracy in these baiting laws. A ND farmer destroys his crop because federal crop tells him to do so in order to get an insurance payment. The farmer gains nothing from hunters on that land.
In the south fields are flooded with no harvest at all. Ducks and geese can swim up to an ear of corn that is barely out of the water and it is completely legit.
 

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dakotashooter2 said:
Definately harvested. Stubble was cut even and burned on the ends and chaff could be seen in little piles throughout the cultivated field. Not sure why it was burned but didn't see much chopped straw that was burned. Only the stuff with dirt still attached.
Great hunt and perfectly legal.. :beer:

We had the same situation a couple years ago. I talked to the farmer and he said the adjacent fields flax piles, that he was burning, got away from him.

FYI, if it is an unharvested field that is burned, then "dug" it is still considered baited.
 

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FYI, if it is an unharvested field that is burned, then "dug" it is still considered baited.
Correct, just because a burned or rolled field is 'dug' does not mean it is legal now to hunt.

Some of you guys really need to know the regs before posting what YOU think is legal. All that will happen is you will lead people in the wrong direction and possibly get them in a little trouble. A two minute search will find otherwise

By the way, back on topic, Nice work on the hunt!!!! Sounds like it was a great time getting those birds in close!
 

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mallard said:
In the south fields are flooded with no harvest at all. Ducks and geese can swim up to an ear of corn that is barely out of the water and it is completely legit.
Thats because it hasnt been "mechanically manipulated". Unharvested flooded corn/soynbeans is legal here too.
 

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barebackjack said:
mallard said:
In the south fields are flooded with no harvest at all. Ducks and geese can swim up to an ear of corn that is barely out of the water and it is completely legit.
Thats because it hasnt been "mechanically manipulated". Unharvested flooded corn/soynbeans is legal here too.
Yes, I know that. But it still allows for an abnormal amount of feed to attract waterfowl to duck and goose clubs. I still think that it is unfair and I consider it leagalized baiting.
Great hunt! I have also seen farmers burn all sorts of fields north of highway 2.
 

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I'm with you mallard. They either need to ban "legalized baiting" or change the law. The way it stands now is total BS.
 

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It really is a tough law, I am a farmer, and it's still sometimes hard to know if it has been properly harvested or not, especially after being burned and dug. One good way, as was pointed out, is if you see cut stubble.

All in all, regardless of being burned, hailed, rolled, disked, mowed, whatever, if the field hasn't been "harvested" it is not legal to hunt. This is where the wonderful gray area comes in, but as far as I can get any of those monkeys to tell me is that if something has been taken off the field, be it the grain by combining, the entire plant by chopping or baling, or by grazing it with cattle. If nothing has been taken off, then it technically hasn't been "harvested".

I know guys that hunt a lot that dont know the difference between wheat and barley or chopped corn and combined corn, let alone can try to figure out anything beyond that!!!

Bear in mind also, that this law has been pressed several times, and no one has ever been prosecuted for breaking it, not telling you guys to break the law or something, but if you gotta hire an agronimist to tell you whether or not its been combined, and then you still have a gray area in the law, then I wouldn't get to worried about it.

Oh and one more thing, don't call the game and fish for clarification, they will tell you to call the district fed in bis, who has his own version of how most every law should be in his head, with very little regard to what the law actaully is...
 

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cranebuster said:
Oh and one more thing, don't call the game and fish for clarification, they will tell you to call the district fed in bis, who has his own version of how most every law should be in his head, with very little regard to what the law actaully is...
I have talked to the head fed in Bismark. I asked him about the southern duck club loop hole in the baiting laws. He responded saying that the hunting in the south isnt like it is around here. They had to attract ducks some how.

He also stated that bailed corn, grain, etc. is ileagal to hunt even after it is removed from the field.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
In all honesty the last change in the baiting laws did more to cloud it than clear it up. I know the intent was to make enforcement more consistent but there is no common sense to it. Is there REALLY any difference between a field crushed by hail and not manipulated and one that is? In all honesty both are going to be a pretty similar draw. One thing that isn't accounted for is the point at which such a field no longer provides an unusual amount of feed. Some such fields may be cultivated for a second time during the fall. Generally after they have greened up. At that point it is likely the field is no better a draw than those surrounding it. Another factor is actual use as a feeding area. Put large numbers of birds on such a field for a week or more and they are going to clean it up pretty well. To the point that it again is no more of a draw than a field next to it. The dynamics of an unharvested field may change 3-4 times during the fall. putting a "blanket" restriction on it does not make sense. Baiting regulations were initiated to prevent the purposefull spread of grain or other foods to attract birds. Since it is such a difficult issue to prove the Feds have chosen to overlap into the situations created by legitimate farm practices to make it easier on themselves and more difficult (interpretation) for the hunters. Note how they reference legitimate "post harvest" manipulation. Well on the other side of the coin... burning, chopping, bailing and rolling have been "standard" practice for unharvestable fields since time began. While there may be cases of intentional such manipulation for the reason of baiting, under our law it is the burden of G&F officers to prove so. Current baiting laws are just an easy way out that borders on entrapment.
 

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Mallard, That was my point exactly. I called him up and he told be that you can't hunt in a corn field that has been grazed by cattle!!! Thats how some of my neighbors harvest their corn, as far as I'm concerned I will use selective hearing when it comes to that guy... I know for a fact that a baled corn field is legal to hunt, and would not hesitate for a second to hunt one. If you can't hunt baled fields like he states, then you can't hunt doves in an alfalfa field, you can't hunt cranes in a pasture, because it was harvested by cattle, its the most bullsh*t law ive ever heard, it is unenforcable, which as far as i'm concerned means unfollowable :lol:
 

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"It is illegal to hunt in unharvested crops without the owner's consent. Crops also include sprouted winter wheat, alfalfa, clover and other grasses grown for seed."

This is from the regulations section on the Game and Fishes website. So my reading of this is with permission that you can hunt an unharvested crop.... (fanning flames)....

http://gf.nd.gov/regulations/waterfowl/index.html
SECTION 24...
 

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northdakotakid, it is legal to hunt standing crop, as long as it hasn't been "manipulated", be it peas, barley corn alfala etc. if you have permission, you can legally hunt standing crop. This usually doesn't do much good because it's too tall for waterfowl to sit in, unless its an abnormally dry year, ive shot mallards in standing barley before. Technically, if you drive into the field to set up decoys (with permission of course! in a case where the crop was a failed crop left to stand) you may be "manipulating" the field though. Don't know quite how a guy handles that one, but I'd hunt it!
 

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cranebuster said:
Bear in mind also, that this law has been pressed several times, and no one has ever been prosecuted for breaking it,
Are you sure about that?
I seem to recall guys being pinched for this law several years ago ('05 I believe), whatever the big year for failed corn was.

The USFWS went on to further state that if you are hunting birds en route to a unharvested but manipulated field, you were in violation of this law as well.

They had "experts" (agronomists, county agents, etc) testify to the USFWS on the practicality of these farming practices that year (rolling and disking unharvested failed corn), they refused to hear any of it.

I think the law when concerning "manipulated" but "unharvested" crop is asenine. It makes no sense to punish the hunter for a practice used by the farmer in a year when that practice is a viable farming option. But, thats the way it is. The Feds in their infinite wisdom.

My advice is when in doubt, stay out. Its not worth losing hunting and fishing privileges and being fined for a few birds.

And, the reason the southern hunt clubs remain, using the practices they use, is because thats where all the politicians hunt.
 

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bareback, last I had heard that one went damn near to the supreme court and got thrown out, and then the other ones that year (there were a few in processing) got thrown out after that. I could be wrong, however, it happened this one time way back... :lol:
 
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