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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's the harvest numbers report:
http://migratorybirds.fws.gov/reports/w ... tivity.pdf

Lots of interesting comparisons within:
For instance, 5% fewer ND's bothered to go out last year. Take a look at Texas - 30% fewer guys decided it wasn't worth it last year. Not a good sign for the future if the govna thinks Texas's model is the one to follow.

Another thing that struck me as odd was the harvest change in pintails in the Central and Mississippi flyways. All the Central flyway folks really layed off the pintails (I did) because the numbers are still way down. Even the Pacific flyway pintail harvest was down by 25%. Same is true for most of the Mississippi flyway- except Minn, Wisc., Michigan - where the harvest went way way up. Heck, even Louisianna's and California's pintail harvest went way down. What's a reasonable interpretation?

I doubt if a biological interpretation is appropriate. I propose that it is an objective indication of hunter behavior....

M.
 

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I can see the pretty graphs but all the words are jumbled--must be some type of format problem that I'm too dumb to fix.

As far as pintail harvests, I would guess that the drop in harvest in most areas was because of the reduced season (last year was the first year of the reduced number of days for pintails, right?). I would doubt that the majority of the decrease was because hunters chose not to harvest them, although I'm sure that many hunters did pass on pintails. As far as increases in Minn, Wisc., and Mich, my guess would be that for some reason, hunters had increased opportunities to harvest them in those areas, even though the season was reduced--maybe more birds migrated farther east last year as compared to an average year. I know that I have seen lots of pintails some years and few in other years in the same exact area. I would doubt that hunter behavior would have such a direct correlation with flyways--but you are the expert in behavior so your theory is probably right :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I imagine the overall drop was due to the reduced season, but Minnesota had the reduced season as well! (don't know Wisc. & Mich but I assumed so) It's hard to believe that they all decided to migrate farther east last year - when their numbers were the lowest since 1955: http://migratorybirds.fws.gov/reports/s ... /trend.pdf
Moreover, they neither breed nor winter in these states: http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/id/framlst/i1430id.html
Click on BBS (breeding bird survey) Click on CBC (christmas count) for winter locales.

The proposal was largely to be provocative- these are estimates. The increase could be due to a handful of guys not laying off the pintails. But such localized differences between hunters are not far fetched. We've all been hearing that ND hunters are selfish cry babies, and Minnesota hunters are rich boat hunters who are the saviours to small town ND. Perhaps they are very ruthless saviours....

M.
 

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MRN,
I think you missed the fact that Minnesota hunters actually had an increase across the board in duck harvest. Some species increased way more than the Pintails, some less. To say Minnesota hunters are ruthless is just trying to start an argument, eh? ND hunters, a lot less of them, shot just about as many Pintails as Minnesota hunters, so I guess you are more likely to find that in addition to being "selfish cry babies" ND hunters are more likely the more ruthless of the two as well?

I do not agree with your statement about it not being a biological. Something caused the duck harvest to go up and weather/biological is my guess. Something moved more Pintails here. Also, another thing to consider, is that Pintails are not real common throughout Minnesota, so awareness of their plight might really be the reason behind MN hunters shooting them. Now I am not a duck hunter, but I stay reasonably abreast of the issues (or so I thought). I hadnt heard about people laying off them. Actually, I would love to shoot just one nice drake Pintail in my life and that would be enough.
 

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Before anyone gets too carried away speculating about any differences in harvest between 2002 and earlier years, you should be aware that the survey methodology changed totally for the 2002 report. The old hunter harvest survey was done by USFWS for 2001 and years prior and respondents were a random sample of those buying duck stamps. Beginning in 2002, the old USFWS hunter survey was totally discontinued and the harvest estimates now come totally from the HIP surveys, which are conducted at the state level. Some states do a better job on their HIP survey than others, so it'll probably be a while before you can look at the data and interpret meaningful trends at the state level.

Bobby
 

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I'll agree with Dino on this. Tough speculation and is hard to judge considering there's well over 100K waterfowlers in MN. To judge a group that size is asking for trouble. :wink:
 

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Are they really basing harvest estimates off of the HIP surveys? Every state that I have bought a waterfowl license asked me how many ducks/geese/coots/snipe/etc I shot the previous year. Not wanting to take the time to go look at my previous season's calendar, I always give it the old SWAG--who knows if I'm even close. I'm sure if they matched my HIP estimate to my USFWS wing survey, the numbers wouldn't even be close. I would imagine that most guys do the same and, as most of us are known for our fish tales, I would guess most estimate a bit on the high side. Maybe they send a survey to registered HIP hunters right after the season to get better data?
 

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Qwack:

The questions they ask you regarding how many birds you shot last year when you buy your license are just so they can stratify the sample. They essentially classify hunters into low, medium, and high harvest groups, and sample the high-harvest group more intensively to get more accurate harvest estimates. The actual HIP survey used to estimate harvests comes in the mail at the end of the season.

Bobby
 

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Bobby,

Thanks for the info. After I thought about it, I realized they couldn't use the license survey info because they don't ask which species of ducks you shot.
 

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MRN,

Your comments appear to be much about nothing.

Did you lay-off or simply fail to pull pintails into your spread?

Harvest of pintails (especially drakes) within the legal limits of the season should not have any bearing on the overall population - if the biologist's models are predictive and correct - otherwise close the season.

Pintails tend to prefer shallow ponds and sheet water in fields. With much of ND fairly dry last fall - maybe more pintails flew south down the west side of Minnesota - increasing their harvest in that state.
 

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Minnesotans aren't ruthless. I have hunted in MN for 10 years prior to ever going to ND the past 4 years. I don't know if I have ever filled out a limit. I know in ND I fill out quite often.

As far as pintails go. I have never seen one where I hunt in MN during the season. Most people in MN only see wood ducks, mallards, and teal. To say they are going after them is unfair. Most novice hunters in MN don't even know what a pintail is.
 

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My son's and I filled out on pintails almost every hunt. Last year we must have had 50-100 pintails decoy opening morning alone. Passing on pintails because the population levels are low isn't necessary if the US fish and wildlife says the population can with stand it. I believe last year in Canada the limit was three pintails and has anyone else ever watched the hunting shows where they hunt pintails in Mexico...you know, the ones where they shoot several (6-8 each) pintails on every hunt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dino,
Both the mallard and BWT (typically the largest part of the bag) both went DOWN. But how can you explain how the Pintail harvest went down everywhere around the country (sans Mich Wisc, & Miss) but went up nearly 50% in 'Sota? Consider Cal - even though they bag more pins than anyone and as a far greater proportion of their bag - even they were down by 15%- just like ND. Moreover, from the report - it sounds like 'Sotas bagging pins in ND would be counted as the harvest in ND. Does it sound like that to you too?

Bobby
That' not exactly true - the comparison of '01 and '02 in the report are based on HIP both years (intro of report). They started the HIP in '99 - ran concurrently with the stamp method. I think a comparison is reasonable because they both rely on the same HIP technique. Knowing that, any idea why pintail harvest might go up solely in northern mississippi flyway last year? Come-on - you're thinking "plundering hoard"... What's the likelihood that the exploding hunter pressure in ND pushed greater numbers of pins into Minn, leading to the increasing harvest there?

Miller,
This survey is done much much better than 99% of the surveys you hear on the news. I'd trust this information as much or more than I'd trust any other survey. Plus, they even give us confidence intervals.

Quack,
They used daily diary technique. That's how a lot of longitudinal info is collected from folks.

Picklehunter, Fieldhunter
Ok - we'll put you's down as votes for "if it flies it dies".

JB
I don't mean 'Sotas are ruthless as in "evil" and "bad" (I'm sure you're mostly nice guys) - but ruthless more like a virus. 'Sotas'll bag a pin to fill out - a limit is the measure of the hunt, rather than the multitude of intangibles. They still want that notch on the bedpost. The novice thing might explain the 466 cans (and then reporting it!!!) but the sampling stategy was heavily biased towards the most active hunters.

I'm really just considering explanations for a wierd report - and trying to shift the bickering on the site from between North Dakotan's the to real enemy - 'Sotas..... :)

M. :wink:
 

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MRN,
Be nice now. I am a 'sota transplant. :eek: I wouldn't say that we are a virus more like a parasite, we kind of grow on you. :D But sotas shooting 16,294 saw bills should also give you an indication. :p :lol: Right Qwack
 

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PH is about as far from "the flies it dies" attitude as anyone on this site

anyway:

MN the enemy. I was born and raised in ND and although I now call MN home, I likely have much closer ties to the land (farming, etc) than MRN will ever have.

I was listening to the radio the other day and the new MN DNR chief was asked to respond to the "border wars" issues (ie. caps, time limits, etc)

His answer was fairly resort driven. Do nothing that would disturb our wildlife based economy.

One idea (separate from the DNR chief's message) that may come out of this is some sort of reciprocity law (ie if you limit or prohibit our hunters or fisherman we will mirror your laws).

Fees met with fees.

Now this may not mean much for waterfowl hunters and little on fisherman except for possible reciprocity on fees.

turkey hunters - states that prohibit NR turkey hunters would no longer be allowed to hunt turkeys in MN. No more ND boys in MN chasing turkey.

Finally if MRN has not figured out that the real enemy is the FB than go figure ... Although if all ag land is posted automatically -- just like MN -- than fewer MNs will come to ND.

I have tried waterfowl hunting in MN. Day trip freelancing is nearly impossible. Saw plenty of birds -- landowners were difficult to find -- without posting signs you need the plat map books.

Open access equals freelance day trip heaven. One main reason MNs head to ND to hunt.
 

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Also notice that the harvest of blackducks in ND was 0 in 2001 and 248 in 2002. This is likely because hindergrinder was surveyed in 2002. When he didn't see a listing for "coots" on the survey form, he checked "blackduck". He being surveyed in 2002 was also likely the cause of the dramatic increase in shoveler harvest in ND from 2001 to 2002. His custom windsock spoonbill decoys really pull them in!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Coots = blackducks - that's great. There is always a reasonable explanation.

Was gandergrinder involved in the jump in "domestic mallard" numbers? Shot them in a city park? A farm yard? We'd look towards Hustad if there were a "domestic geese" category.

M.
 
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