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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ducks just hatched

I live & drive thru (every week) one of the wettest areas of ND. We had a big storm back in June & it was a gully washer. I have not seen any broods up until last weekend & now this weekend they are everywhere.

Glad to see it (the late renesting) - BUT they are considering opening the season a week earlier. Most of the rest of ND is average to very dry.

I don't know how much , of the total duck population comes from this wet area ??? But having a early season is ridiculus !!!

I hope not many of the young get shot ??? But with 60,000 hunters (mostly all come the 1st 3 weeks of the season) it is not going to be a good deal. Granted the 1st early week is for residents. (used to be for youth) ??? Our brilliant Govenor is cancelling the youth season - if the early opener is OKed by the USFWS I really wonder if the powers that be are as in touch with what is happening as they should be ???

Also because of the drought the state ( Govenor ) Let the farmers start haying recently - because of the drought West & South West. I wonder how many nests were lost due to this ??? Could'nt wait another week or two ??? But I doubt the experts even were aware of the late hatch. In order to advise him on this. SAD SAD SAD & crap like this happens all over - in the few wet areas ??? Who are the expert watchdogs that could make a huge difference ???
 

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Fetch,

Almost 100% of the posts you make on this site are very good in content and in sincerity. I enjoy reading them. I do have to respectfully disagree with this one.

1st
I'd agree that many of the ducks are going to be young on Sept. 21st. I've also seen the large numbers of broods recently. I think that they will be almost mature when the 21st arrives. There are many years when it's hard to tell the drakes from the hens anyway. I for one am looking forward to getting a shot at our loocal ducks before the NRs arrive. In the area I hunt there are many NRs and they drive the ducks to new areas in a 1 week period. I think that by opening the season early we will help to spread hunters out the 28th as some ducks will have jumped from the traditional areas.

2nd
This is where I'll have to disagree more on the CRP issue. I've always thought and/or been told that the increased wildlife has been a side benefit to the other benefits to having CRP. Isn't CRP a "reserve program" meaning it should be used as a back-up to the normal farming practices. You've seen the drought that we're having in the duck areas. I think it's unfortunate that the timing of the cutting of CRP may have fallen during the hatch but the duck nesting has to come second to the livelyhood of the farmers that need the hay to make it through the winter. I believe that only 1/2 of the acreage can be hayed and I'd bet if you looked most of the higher ground is what is cut.

It'll be an interesting year out there this year in terms of competition for areas. I have also driven the wetlands areas recently. You NR duck hunters are going to be very suprised at the lack of wetlands this year. Just one year ago they were beginning to dry out......but you haven't seen anything like it is this year. Even the large water is shrinking at an alarming rate. Be ready to scout when you get here because I think the ducks will be shifting to new areas faster than in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In a normal year - I'd agree with the hay is more important than ducks. But this drought around this area is severe. & this area is extremely wet. I think the hatch is going to be very low. Even here the odds are against the birds.

I have been told it takes 45 to 60 days to reach flight maturity ???

Plus could'nt this area have been put off for haying for a couple weeks if they had known about this late hatch occuring ???

I'm also hearing the same around the country (late hatch) including Canada ???

I would think the error would be on the side a Caution or Conservation ??? Instead of $$$ and extending our season ???

Like many have said is it only a way to let the southern hunters get their extensions ??? Let us have a week early (shooting eclipse ducks) ??? Plus a pacifer due to the pheasant problems ???

Losing the youth season for this is terrible.

States do not have to have a early season.

Plus -if we thought it's been bad before with NR's, wait till they all crowd into the wet areas :roll: this year ???

This is a unusual year & should be looked at differently - but it seems that decisions are made for strange reasons ???

But who will listen ??? or care ??? anyway ???
 

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In a normal year there wouldn't be the need to cut the CRP so it would all be a moot point. Cutting 1/2 of the CRP will probably benefit wildlife in the long run. After 4 years the CRP grass is mature and not that great for supporting the type of food chicks require. It also becomes very thick and matted making it more difficult for chicks to move in and some experts believe that the adults do not like to nest in this as well.

Somehow there must something that can be taken as a positive in all this. I for one like the idea of the earlier season. We're hoping to get in a couple of good teal shoots. We also can live with exchanging the youth season for a 1 week resident only season, we always let the youngsters with us have the first shots anyway

I'm hoping that the 1 week resident only can set a precedent and maybe make it's way into other seasons as well. Time will tell, but I prefer to look at the glass as being half full rather than completely empty.
 

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I remember my brother-in-law, who has a big cattle feed lot, that the time of year that you cut the grass for hay is critical. Evidently the younger the grass is the more nutrients there are in it. Maybe some of the farm boys that read this can enlighten us.

I still see the early season as good. I'd agree, its only going to be teal shoot.
 

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The harvest will start in under two weeks for some so they have to put up hay NOW!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
PS.........It is perfectly OK & normal to disagree with me. I kinda like it :D & never take it personal - except for AQ :peace:
 

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When the big rains came back in June and July of 1993 (much of ND had more than 10 inches of rain in July alone) the ducks nested / renested very late. There were a few broods swimming around in Sept and Oct, but most birds could fly pretty well.

I think there was a picture in ND Outdoors showing a very young redhead brood swimming in an icy pond in late October.

Ducks that dive or swim off rather than fly might be safer anyway unless they are sitting in a ditch. No one shoots ducks out of ditches in ND.

Young ducks just like juvey snows are more vulnerable to hunting. The fall and winter duck and goose harvest usually has a disproportionately high number of young birds.

Dr. Cox what do the band studies show ? I would suspect a young of the year drake mallard has fairly low odds of making it back to ND the following spring.
 

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Water is spotty in the state. We keep getting so much rain in Fargo that I am having to cut my yard every four days. I'm glad to hear the ducks haven't given up and they renested. Good report/point as usual Fetch. I still don't know what to think about this earlier opener and am leaning against it because it may chase birds out of the state early. Anyway I say let'em cut hay and feed the cattle. This is a strange year and the last thing we need is farms going under because of lack of feed. :thumb:
 

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These are some very good points. I have been driving around the southern areas of the state and things are drying up or are dried up. Sloughs that I couldn't get across in chest waders last season are dried up. The only real water around is the bigger sloughs. You all know where the ducks are going to be. Where everyone else is! This lack of water in the south is going to concentrate the ducks which in turn the hunters. The broods have just been starting too show up around here also. The geese are looking really good. They should start flying in a couple of weeks. It's going to be an interesting season to say the least.
 

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Pheasants !! A dry SE means more pheasants.

To those hard-*** ND waterfowlers that do not know what a pheasant is;
I guess you may know pheasants better under the name "ditch parrots".

A term I saw coined on an old waterfowling web site a long time ago. Fetch probably remembers where.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ha!!! those Chinese ditch Parrots :D they sure have made a monkey out of me over the years. I used to get so excited hunting them. Never really had a place that was easy (like you read about & hear from so many) getting limits is a couple hours for many people. We were road hunters early & late each day. Looking for places where not posted. & then see em picking gravel. Let the dogs out & try to get em up. - Then during the day walk CRP or alphalpha fields or sloughs & creek bottoms.

I have not specifically persued them for several years. (since the last time they were knocked back by weather.

Won't travel that far & deal with the hassles in the real prime pheasant areas. Even before pheasantgate :roll: would rather shoot ducks or geese or sharptails & prefer the areas they in over the messed up areas that pheasants are in.

Never have went to a pheasant farm or preserve. But can see that it would be just as fun & good for the dogs & alot cheaper & less stressful than freelancing for them. I'm without a good dog now & really miss having one. Hunting is just not the same without a good dog.

I hate to do the puppy thing again & most started dogs are way to expensive for me. If anyone ever knows anyone with a Lab or Chessie they can no longer keep, let me know. I & the dog would both be grateful.
 

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Fetch,
Just got back from the Circle of Friends Humane Society in GF. They have 1) a lab/spaniel cross 7months. 2) a black and white 3 year old springer. 3) a lab 9months. 4) a lab cross 3 or 4 year old. They will take your name for a special type of dog you like/want. They care for over 2000 animals ayear and are wonderful people. There is even a hunter and a cattle rancher on their board. This is not a radicle group just good Nodak folks. Now go get a dog besides at your age a girl friend is out of the guestion. :beer:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks - I'll check it out - But I already have a 1/2 lab & 1/2 golden - I got just after my last (great) lab died. I was in to big of a hurry to have a hunting dog.(she was about 1 & 1/2 yrs old & a give away & looked great) She is the greatest pet & house dog in the world. But will never hunt. Is afraid of water - barely OK for upland. I have trained two great ones - But they were so easy, cause they had all the genetics.

I'd need one with true potential & instincts to retrieve - Mrs Fetch does'nt want another big dog. (she may have to go) :( Mrs Fetch that is :D & she would take Sammy (Samantha) with her. Now you got me thinking :-? A good dog & two 25 yr old girl friends sounds OK to me :lol:
 
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