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extended duck season - the flip side

4684 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Dr. Bob
Issue: "the potential for an extended duck season that would allow the state an opening date one week earlier than in previous years"

- more guiding opportunity
- more economic growth
- a few more juvy BW teal (most leave in Aug)
- a suntan while hunting

- lower limits
- more mistake birds killed (hens)
- other? (no youth season?)

Make your own decision, but consider:

Everyone's best guess is that limits will go down this year. Both May Ponds and Brood pairs will be down - the main info used in setting limits (closed, restricted, liberal etc). But all the numbers go farther down if the season is lengthened. Everyone will say that fewer may ponds lowered our limits, but really the lengthened season, for economic reasons, made the change happen.

Imagine how low our limits could be if May ponds are WAY down, broods are down a chunk, and then we extend the season too? Think 3 mallards, 1 hen and falling quickly if the drought drags on for a few years.

Obvious conclusion: Our limits will be lower all season long so that someone can sell ND hunting to more NR's. Is it possible that our fowling heritage is again going to the highest bidder and friends of the Govna. I would like to know who is championing this idea within G&F and up to USFWS and Central Flyway. Why?

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One con you forgot is Sept is still Mosquito season, and I hate hunting both at the same time.

From what I understand here is WI we can open a week early also. USFW are giving us the oppurtunity so hunters can take local Wood ducks and Teal. There is no talk of lowering the limits but they they are talking a 45 day season instead of 60.

The hunters that want an early season are the ones that quit duck hunting once the temp drops below 32. We didn't freeze up intill Dec, most ducks started arriving after thanksgiving when season was over.
An earlier opener has no appeal to me. Only possible benefit would be teal. & if you can't get them (even with the old later opening) then your a pretty sad hunter.

Plus it will bunch up the birds quicker - putting most into areas that are not huntable sooner. Or push many to SD quicker.

I'm going to start looking for a job in SD - & then come back & take advantage of ND liberal hunting laws & then be able to hunt in SD until the end of the waterfowl season. :grin:

Maybe if I can get a good enough job ??? I can afford to pay to hunt, or buy land to post ??? Yep !!! after all our young people leave - ND will make it, even desirable, for the middle aged to leave ??? The Seniors (should) get out of here in Dec. & come back April. Or find somewhere else to live yr round.(maybe where their middle aged or younger kids live.) ???

That plus most older folks have moved to the cities (in ND) already. & in 20 yrs or so they will be gone - I wonder who is going to replace them. Save their tax base - keep their schools open ??? But ND will have Bars & cafes & motels & lodges & Bed & Breakfast places for the fall hunters Right ???

Lets see what else do we have going for us Farming & Hunting - some coal & oil & tourism.

Lets not create jobs for farming or food processing. Or Hunting & tourism. Eventually a very small group will control all - with $7 to $10 an hour jobs. Yep!!! they will pay the tax bill, for for roads & other public services (twenty years from now)

You know huning & fishing are in demand. But let it be controlled (for profit) by individuals or small groups. But alot of those folks won't be around in 20 yrs either ??? I guess they can hire those that remain to work for them. What a bright & exciting future ND is going to have.

I'm just afraid a SD job (or Minn) won't pay enough, to be able to afford, to come to ND & enjoy the outdoors ??? Because once it is mainly pay to hunt - it will be mostly wealthier folks, from all over the country (& world) that will get to hunt (be able to afford it) Yep !!! I bet someday DU & the Nature conservancy will step in & buy all the USFW & State lands to keep them going. Or / If Federal tax payers want to fund these things ??? so they can come here as tourists & traveling hunters. I'm sure the pay (for profit) guides & outfitters will make sure they invest a good portion of their profits into conservation. (OH!!! they don't make profits -on paper ???) Well Im sure the Federal Government will figure out a way to keep things going up here ???

We all better get, while the getting is good - cause in 20 or 30 years (or less) all could change (for the better ??? or worse ???)

Trouble is, will there be jobs for 300,000 or more people in SD or Minn. ??? I bet many will have to go to those other lovely states with abundant outdoor recreation. Or heaven forbid to states, over populated & have no quality of life :roll: --- ???
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Look at this previous hot topics post too. ... &forum=3&5

The "early opener" is a push by the southern states to get the late January season without giving up 9 days of their total season. If the MS flyway only gets a 60 or 45 day season - losing 9 days to get that last week in January is a big deal.

The Southerners believe that by offering MN, ND, and SD an earlier opener, they will shut-up the complaints and get everything they want.

These regs are in the proposal stage and will need approval this summer before they can go into effect.

MRN : regarding duck limits and season length:

Your comments are not the way the US F& W service will implemment changes (at least at this point). They have established 4 types of duck seasons based upon spring and summer surveys. These seasons types are :

Central Flyway

Liberal: 74 day season, 6 bird limit
Moderate: 60 day season, 6 bird limit
Restrictive: 39 day season, 3 bird limit
Very Res: 25 day season, 3 bird limit

Individual species can be controlled within this overall framework (ie. pintail, hen mallard, canvasback limits or season length can be even more restrictive).

Note the Mississippi flyway season lengths are shorter for each season framework type.

The Saturday nearest September 24 opener would only be available on moderate and liberal season lengths.

OF COURSE NORTH DAKOTA could be more restrictive than the Feds allow. Open later, lower limits, etc. Doubt they would though.

See page 10 of this link:
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The more i think about it, the more I'm against the early opener. If pressure is like last year the local birds will be gone the first few weeks. Althought we could shoot the birds out a week earlier and then get a few weekends of fishing in before the Northern birds come down :grin:

[ This Message was edited by: Eric Hustad on 2002-04-26 15:33 ]
I'm not sure what you see wrong in my description. Heck I did pretty good at guessing without having even seen the form
(nice find with that URL by the way). I know # days is really way they control the harvest, but limits are easier to explain and are what people think about more.

My point:
Last year we were liberal.
This year, with lower water and brood pairs, it is less likely we will be liberal, and with an even earlier opener, its even (more) less likely we will be liberal.
We lose it in days (rather than only in limits) in the step down to mod. (down to 1 mistake duck too.

Not sure this is the whole story either, not sure how much change to expect in this proposal.

Anyhow, mod gives us a 60 day season - starting Sept 21 then means we close November 17-20? - depends on the year if that is a good or bad thing. I don't think most NR's will care if we lose those days, but it might be tough for resi's to have everything full of ducks here, and the season closed for some political goofiness.

Conclusion - don't want someone to sell my opportunity to a higher bidder. You don't disagree with that do you?

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Duck hunting is under the control of the Feds.

In ND freeze-up usually dictates the end of the duck season for nearly all but a few hunters along the Missouri River.

Giving ND hunters more days in September will increase the number of days for hunters, but most ducks in September are pretty drab in appearance. Only older mallard drakes will have much color.

The discussion in the other post talks about the potential lull times between migration flights. Once the local ducks move on or out, ND is just another stop on the southern migration route for Canadian born ducks.

Note that the MS flyway has more duck hunters and tends to shoot more ducks so they are alocated even fewer hunting days. The moderate season is 45 days vs the 60 day moderate season for the Central Flyway.

Look at the band harvest surveys and see where the mallards are shot.

Length of season is a huge issue in the central and southern states. Ducks travel through many of these states in "waves". If you have a long season there should be more opportunity to hunt each "wave".

In Texas, Louisiana, MS, and Arkansas - they have an early (9 or 16 day)September teal season which does not count against their normal duck season length. Then they start hunting ducks in mid-November on their first split season. Many teal, gadwall, and pintail are in these states by November. They then shut down for a few weeks - except for maybe a youth hunt weekend.

Then in mid to late December, they start their second split. If these Southern states can remain open until Jan 31 - they will almost be guaranteed chances at late season mallards.

The season extension for southern states is about the chance to shoot late season Mallards.

Most waterfowl are in ND for 6 months or less. While ND sees the breeding ducks all spring and summer long - the hunting season is obviously closed. In the fall and winter - other states see ducks resting and feeding and think they should be allowed to hunt anytime they see them.

Teal esspecially are short time visiters in ND. The adult male teal show up in May and are heading south by mid-August, early September.
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"It would give us an extra week of duck hunting," Kreil said. "For North Dakota, the back end doesn't matter because we don't get to use all our days anyway because of the freeze-up."

The tail end of the season "hasn't" mattered, very different from "doesn't" matter. With a possibly shorter (60 vs 75) season possibly closing mid-november - it very well could matter. Who would rather open early and possibly sacrifice the late days? Dought the die-hards would.

"How it would affect the youth waterfowl weekend, scheduled for Sept. 21-22, or the sandhill crane season, which opens the same day, remains to be seen. Whatever happens, Kreil said, the youth season wouldn't move to Sept. 14-15."

No youth season (14th 15th?)?
Sell the kids out? Wow. That was the most fun I had last year!!!
It's for the kids......


I totally agree.If the youth duck season isn't a good enough reason to deny this early opener than I don't know what is. I mean what is more important, introducing kids to the joy of duck hunting during a time that only they can hunt or opening a week early so some people who can't find a measly teal to shoot during the regular season can drive around for an extra week.If you can't find some teal to shoot during the regular season something must be wrong with you.I personally don't want to see an early opener if you can't tell already. :down:
I could be dead off on this, but I'm assuming this decision came about for a couple reasons, pretty much mostly economic.

I'm just going to pull this one out of the blue and is only a hunch. If they allow the season to be open a week earlier, then there's more hunters coming in. This could outweigh the outcry if they limited NR by giving them another week???

I know the G&F is working hard on a "balance" right now for the season's waterfowl decisions, I'm kind of wondering if this isn't part 1. I guess we'll have to wait and see in the upcoming advisory board meetings. I'm sure this topic will be brought up.

I'm with WM and MRN, give the week to the kids. They are the future of the sport.
I totally agree! If you can't kill a Teal in ND something is WRONG with you.

Let the kids keep this weekend.

Dr. Bob
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