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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The data being thrown around another WEB site indicates that North Dakota Waterfowl numbers have really moved up and down over the past 30 years. Numbers based on duck stamp sales and surveys.

I am sure if you have your January copies of ND Outdoors the numbers can be "confirmed".

From 1971 through 1980 North Dakota had between 45,000 and 55,000 resident waterfowl hunters. The peak years for resident hunter numbers were '75, '76, '78 and '79 (each year over 50,000 waterfowl hunters).

Hunter numbers then declined quickly with the drought. From over 50,000 hunters in 1979 down to 20,000 resident waterfowl hunters in 1988.

Bottom was 1992 with less than 20,000 resident waterfowl hunters.

As the rains flooded the wetlands again, the number of resident hunters have not returned to the numbers seen in the 1970s. Aging population, poor recruitment of young hunters, competition/leasing ... hard to say why.

As a former resident of ND, I do remember as I started waterfowl hunting in the late '70s and early '80s that there was significant competition for good WPAs within 30 miles of Jamestown and that many prime areas were posted back then too.

[ This Message was edited by: prairie hunter on 2002-04-26 14:36 ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
When I hunt in North Dakota, I spend 33% of my time hunting with younger ND kids. Taking my nephews, nieces, and friend's kids hunting is very rewarding.

So my challange to those residents on this board: For every NR restricted in coming to ND this fall .. replace them with one ND youngster.

If no restrictions or caps are put in place, then go out and find a "mature" youngster anyway and get them into waterfowl hunting.

There a quite a few 20 something posters on this site -- how about seeing some NEW teenagers too.

Recruitment of ND waterfowl hunters is apparently necessary.
 

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The boom bust cycle of duck hunters is one that doesn't just pertain to ND. If you look at federal duck stamp sales you'll see the same thing...longer seasons and higher limits bring out more ducks hunters nationwide. Some states don't vary as much as ND but the cycle is still pretty apparent.

Your guess is as good as mine as to why numbers haven't increased to where they should. NR numbers have reached an all time high...maybe that might have something to do with it, like you said more competition and less access. It is disturbing to see, how low will it drop when the next drought hits?
 

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I have no doubts that some of the drop in resident hunters is due to acess etc. I know some people with kids from here who just got tired of the hassles of hunting. I know with the wet cycle numbers are up, but i think the decrease of resident hunters during the next dry cycle will result in all time low numbers. Heck there were a few times last fall when I thought about putting the gun away till things calm down and the people go away. October was horrible and if it is like that this fall I'm going to spend a few weeks fishing.
 
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