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to those who own a surface drive engine

I understand that your boats are really awesome and fun to drive; and they let you see the entire marsh. BUT, if you and the rest of the people who own them run throughout the ponds scouting to see where ducks are, there is a huge chance that they won't be there or anywhere close the next day.

It just sucks that these people ruin it for everyone else. There were plenty of ducks around Friday morning. Then, 6 different boats run throughout the entire area, and you have to pick and scrap to shoot a couple of ducks.

Some of the areas that were great when we were younger will never be again because of these people.

End Rant/Ban Surface Drives/Make People Be Men Again and Use Pirogues
I agree, the ducks dont have anywhere to rest anymore. I know its not everyone with a surface dive but what gets me is the idiots that run all over the place scouting the day before the opener and wonder where all the ducks went. Once they get jumped out of a spot a couple of times they wont come back.
This again!!!
Guys, look, I feel your pain, and yes, I do own a surface drive, but only because I used a pirogue before and that sucked. Anyway, I know that there are people that do this, but come on. Your gonna tell me that if run my surface drive through there once or twice scouting for birds that I could scare the ducks away and they may never come back, but you could hunt that blind, shooting your a$$ off for 40 days out of the season and the ducks are ok with it? Thats just crazy. If they ducks don't come back, its because there is not enough feed to keep them there.

Think about this, there are millions of ducks that migrate, do you really think that a surface drive can scare off a couple ten thousand ducks that may frequent your hunting area for food, if there is any food?

Answer: A BIG FAT NOPE!!!

There was a post pulled earlier this year about the same subject. Need to give it up, you guys got those stupid LAA's.

Good hunting!
let um lite
I own and hunt with a surface drive too let um lite, but im not one of the idiots running all over the place. And no its not you running through it once or twice, its you and the 10 other people that ran through it once or twice that day before and after you.
Easy on me!!!
Merraro, I'm sure you didn't mean to call me an idiot as you do not know me or know how I operate my surface drive. But just to let you know, I don't really even scout as weather is the determining factor in my decision where I will hunt and know my area well enough.

I just find that most of the people that are complaining about the surface drive are those who are not willing or, unfortunately not able, to make the sacrifice in investing in them. Also, I got no comment about the hunting the same blind days in and days out, shooting holes in the sky, not bothering the ducks!!!

I will continue to defend my surface drive as I know I am very respectable to other hunters and the ducks when I operate it. Hopefully the surface drive owners that you guys speak of will read some of this, understand the issues, and learn from it.

Good luck to you guys and stay safe this season.
Can't afford one huh? :)
What's the Difference
I have a go-devil and drive to and from Venice from New Orleans to hunt and stay at a camp, so money's not the issue.

With some of these people, not necessarily you, they make it hard to believe that they could legally earn enough money to purchase one of those boats with how stupidly they treat the marsh.

If someone's shooting up the same hole and pond, at least they are killing ducks, and they can move to the next hole that has ducks resting that aren't being run off by mudboats. If someone rides their boat through the pond instead of stopping at the edge and using binoculars to scout (if they can afford the boat, they can afford binoculars), they lose what, an upclose encounter with ducks?

And like the other guy hinted at, I'm glad you're respectful with yours, but the bad ruin it for the good in this case, and I do not think it's really fair.

We argue about DU short-stopping the ducks, and say it's a terrible thing; but then we run the ducks off when they get here. Makes no sense to me.
Does anyone run their 4 wheeler through the woods trying to scout deer the day before the season starts?

Or is it the general rule of thumb, on this board especially, to walk in and out of the woods instead of even using a bike to hunt?
Scouting does hurt the hunting if not done right!!But,Don't blame it on the Surface drives!
Good point
Good point from both you guys. Duck fan I understand what you are saying and I can agree with you.

Jimmyw, I guess you said best. We can't blame a gun for killing people, so we shouldn't blame a surface drive for scaring the ducks away.

Also, jimmyw, my first comment was NEVER made to deface anyone that may not be able to afford a surface drive. So I ask that you please not go there with this post and maybe read it again with a more positive frame of mind.

Thanks guys!
People not motors
Sounds to me like the drivers of these boats are the problem. Death is the only thing that fixes stupid. When people dont know any better it is hard to expect anything different from them. I never heard of running through all the duck ponds to see what was there anyway. That's just plain retarded. People don't want to put in the time to find the birds.

On another note, it may actually be the bowfishermen running through the area at night that ran all your birds off. Way too many other factors that could be making the birds move than just the idiots in surface drives.
No i was not calling you an idiot, i apologize if thats the way it sounded. I was just stating that i wasnt one of them that run all over the marsh. And i do agree its the people, not the motors.
its the same where we hunt, every yahoo in a surface drive runs through every pond and lake they can get in.doesn't help the hunting thats for sure.
keep them on private land
I think the obvious solution to this problem is for the state to ban them from WMA's as the Federal govt. has done so on NWR's. It is a fact that surface drives are destructive to the marsh. Fly over Big Branch NWR and you don't need a map to tell where the border line of the refuge and private leases are... you just look for where the widgeon grass stops and the kicked up clumps of mud start. Personally I really enjoy hunting public land because I can go whereever the ducks are and not worry about being bound to a private encompassing, but if I did get in on a lease I still wouldnt buy a surface drive. Last december in a nasty cold front I made the effort to get to a favorite duck spot in the pass a loutre wma. It was about an hour bay boat ride then we got there about 30 minutes before sunrise, unloaded our pirogues and started paddling (quietly) in the direction which was obviously taking us to the lee side of the pond where we could hunt with the wind to our back. We get about a third of the way to where we're going and 3 guys and a dog come running past us in a surface drive doing 20 and go right into the pocket we were heading. So those guys are a classic example of the a$$holes who don't deserve a hunting license, and it is becuase of them that old school piroguers such as myself want them OUT of wildlife management areas. Unfortunately for us, fat lazy politicians aren't going to outlaw their only way of duck hunting since they sure as hell cant squeeze into a pirogue and paddle into a headwind without risking a heart attack.
Maybe because Saturday was opening day of teal season, they flew the coop!
Surface drives not the problem!!!
Yeah, I would think that it's the operators! Not the mud motors that are the problem!
gotta go on WMA's
I consider myself an 'Old Schooler'; I guess. I do it the time honored, traditional way using a mothership (flat) and pirouge into my hunting area. I see the usefulness of the surface drives; but I do believe they should be banned on public hunting land. I grew up hunting PRWMA and it always had and held ducks. I hunted it a few times over the past few years and the amount of scouting the days leading up to the opener is crazy. It absolutely played a factor in the inability to hold ducks. The ducks have no refuge; you can get anywhere and move birds that would usually find sanctuary somewhere. I think they are great tools on private leases where only the leasee will ride their ponds. Having said that - I wish I could afford one!
Guys look, everyone has opinions and thats OK. But before the surface drives showed up we were blaming DU for short-stopping. If the ducks were not coming down before, why now the surface drives?

A while back I commented on another post on this site and we all heard the stories. The old timers baited ponds and shot ducks as they came in. After the shooting stopped, the ducks would circle and come rigth back in. Why didn't they leave? Because of the food. Heck, the ducks have plenty feed before they even come down here, so really we should be lucky we have any at all since they really have no reason to come down.

Yes, the surface drives scare them up, but so do the older longtails and mudboats. And I have never, ever paddled a pirogue within a hundred yards of a duck. They fly away because they feel threatened, but they come back when the threat is gone. We've all seen it.
Surface drives
I usually just lurk, but I have to comment..(and I hunted the wax and big island since 1980)

What if the rules were similar to ATV's on mgmt areas.. keep them on the designated trails, if its not marked on the map then its off limits, and non-motorized travel only allowed.
Pretty sensible rule for all concerned wouldn't you think? A reasonable compromise? Or what about large areas set aside similar to turkey walk-in areas, allowing non-motorized travel only. Another reasonable compromise?

The practice of allowing bigger/better inventions to travel anywhere possible on public land is just ridiculous, and just leads to total degrading of the whole area.

I'm with the club that says constant running all over the marsh anywhere you want is going to drive the birds out and keep them out, except at night.
i get it
i have nothing against surface drives, have hunted with them and they are great. however, personally i find hunting where they are prohibited better. Surface drives have made duck hunting so easy that it has brought people that would never put in the work into the ponds. So its far harder to escape the crowd now. So no its not the surface drives that are the problem its how easy it has made duck hunting that has brought a particular crowd in..Now whether it runs birds off, i don't know but i suspect it may, especially in smaller areas that get a barrage of people running the marsh. Someone made the point earlier about people hunting the same blinds in the same ponds, but i think the key there is the birds fly to the next pond and relax. with a bunch of people in the surface drives running around the next pond gets kicked up as well so i do think it can have an impact in high pressure areas. I am not sure though that the surface drives are the issue though as much as SE La simply seeing less ducks now. I think our flyway has changed and has a far greater affect than the Surface dive issue but that is just my opinion... But for me i simply go where they aren't allowed so i can escape the crowd.
laa on all wma
i think the ldwf should make a laa on every wma and make them bigger than what they did this year. i think 40-50% of the huntable area would be great.i can tell you on the federal wildlife refuges like laccasine the birds seem to hang around longer and they don't allow any motors in those marshes.
spookin ducks
I know what does scare ducks, is shooting at them 2,000 ft in the sky
Amen poison, You must hunt in the PRWMA too, cause them guys out there must be shooting super
surface drives , long tails , troll motors, pirogues--all scare ducks just like 4 wheel drive trucks and 4 wheelers scare deer and turkeys-you gotta use your head some not just the motor on whatever device you are riding in
It's gonna get worse, the mud boat companies are very very busy at the moment, dealing with the public is always a problem, just like fishing on weekends.
Laccasine??? Birds???
Basin, I work with a guy that lives around there and he stopped duck hunting there because there were hardly any birds and from what I understand , you are very limited as to where you can even run an outboard in there(no mud motors allowed) and there is just a few ducks. And he gave up his rice field blind for the same reason!!!

Its like this, if you have something the ducks want(food), they will come and they will stay, if not, well any of us could figure it out!!! Hence forth, the ducks for the most part stay up North!

I know people can get into places now that were inaccessable before, but chances are, most if not all would not even have thought about trying to get in there with a pirogue or probably didn't even know those areas were there. As for LAA's doubt they will work, but we'll see!
its pretty obvious
Who can make a logical arguement that there would be as many ducks in a pond that had a mudboat run through it on the hour at 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 vs mudboats scouting the edges of the ponds at 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5?

It does not exist I promise.

So, with that blatently obvious fact, why would anyone who spends so much time and money and sweat to shoot a few birds not want to yield themself the best opportunity to do so? I retract the fact that I'd want them totally banned, because that's unAmerican, but I think to ban people from running them around in the ponds makes too much sense to not have a logical discussion about.
not to blame
well don't blame the surface drive...... Just think if you would have one you would have never seen those three and the dog, because you would have been there before they arrived.
Surface drives spook ducks just as much as long tails do....... same engines, same amount of noise unless they have a modified muffler. The difference is that surface drives are much faster, easier to drive and even more popular than the long tail so you are seeing more of them as they become more popular. The ducks are getting up at dark when you run these areas in a long tail or surface drive. It don't matter which engine. I do agree that the operators should use some courtesy when running their surface drives after the hunt. BTW, I do not hunt public land with the exception of Biloxi WMA and I only hunt there on rare occasions.
stop crying
the problem is the people, not the equipment. quit bitching and open your eyes and yall might see that. but i doubt it. lol

the reason i run a prodrive, is so i can get away from all the other people. or at least as many as i can.

from what i have read in that paper only sutible for wiping[la sportsman], the only reason we now have motor free zones on wma's is cause the old fart who works for the ladwf has been having people setup in 'his personal spot' at the wax.

and then, to top it off they made the spot i been hunting for 20 years a motor free zone.
ladwf ain't getting 15$ from me this year. lol

if u ever go hunt Moussuri or north dakota u will never waste ur time in la again.
Surface Drives.
Blamming surface drives is just a horrible excuse. If you are in an area that is honestly affected by people that drive through it 10 times a day you need to move. It does not matter if you have a surface drive, go devil, outboard, or on foot. DUCKS WILL SPOOK. I do own a surface drive and i have one so i can where i need to go faster and as far away from people as i can. But this is a stupid arguement. If banning surface drives are bad for ducks, then wouldnt outboards be bad for fish?
Lack of consideration is problem
I started hunting with my dad in a cypress plank pirogue in 1958 and bought a go-devil boat in 2004. The reason I use it now more than ever is because 'decrepitude', according to my doctor, has reduced my physical abilities. I have never missed a duck season so I can say I have seen it all. Through the years I have witnessed that more hunters are not as considerate of others, especially in public areas. I hunt mostly public areas and because most are very crowded, running to a hunt area trying to beat the other guy can be a eye opening experience. I believe many of the younger hunters are so excited to get to the spot that they lose all good sense. Also, many of the younger hunters may not have had someone to show them how to appreciate the hunt and be considerate of others. Now, a mud boat will allow hunters to spread out more and reduce overcrowding in popular spots. Even a guy in a pirogue paddling around is going to spook birds and maybe ruin your hunt. Remember if it's public we are all at each others mercy. Be careful what you wish for because it may come back and bite you. Next complaint will be surface drives are keeping the ducks out of Louisiana. Hunters ALL need to respect each other and stick together because there are many who want to take this sport away from us. Be careful and enjoy what we have. Good luck!
nail on the hed
MEV hit the nail on the head. I couldn't agree more on how he explained it. DUCK FAN BUD MAN grow up and get a life.
motors and brains
i agree with MEV--im only a couple of years behind him --we have just about seen it all -just use common sense and courtesy and if you drive up on someone apologize and go somehere else-- soap and water are cheap and being courteous and nice costs nothing
Same story different day.
Ive been watching this post scence the first day and something seamed funny about is cause it seam that I remember the smae story last year!!!Sue enough Mr. duck fan bud man posted somewhat the same story last year on Septemper 14, 2009. that reads Joy Riding go-devils during hunting season.I just think that someone just need to get with the times. I guess he will post Mud Boats next year.IF yall want proff just click on his name and look at all the post that he has put up and you will see!!!!!!!!So give it a rest!!!!
Pretty much surface drives are not to blame for lack of ducks in louisiana. I think people need to stop scouting after noon. You should not be allowed on the wma after noon during duck season period this would help out alot.
not the Surface Drives
It aint the engines... the surface drives have made duck hunting much easier, as a result it has brought a different crowd in with it. those that would be unwilling to do the work. so there are alot more morons runnning around. Plain and simple.

I don't think it will matter what they do, the ducks simply aren't as abundant here anymore so people are now pointing fingers at everything. All these things do have an impact but i think its mainly that the flyway has changed. And seeing those Tree ducks everywhere is more evidence of that
surface drives
If you want to be a man and paddle, the tank ponds on Salvador WMA are now closed to internal combustion engines from september to january, there wont be any surface drives hurting your hunting in there. By the way i own a surface drive and been hurt more with hunting from the bass boats running through my decoys or fishing right next to my spread more than anything.
I use a go-devil
I have one, it's nice. Me and my old man actually built it ourselves.. But it doesn't do me any good to have it if there's no ducks anywhere to hunt. We have a camp already built, so we're pot committed to the area.

No one has yet responded to my post except for the guy making a point about scouting after noon, which would be a good start to fixing the problem.

'Who can make a logical arguement that there would be as many ducks in a pond that had a mudboat run through it on the hour at 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 vs mudboats scouting the edges of the ponds at 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5?

It does not exist I promise.

So, with that blatently obvious fact, why would anyone who spends so much time and money and sweat to shoot a few birds not want to yield themself the best opportunity to do so?'

Guess 'get with the times' or 'look at last year' is what you get from people who can't logically put together a coherent thought. It's the same people who make this forum a joke to read during hunting season.

Obviously it's the people not the engine, similar to it's the driver not the car, or it's the shooter not the gun, etc. But what can you do to the people? Where else can someone go to rant about it other than here or in emails to congressmen who don't give a crap because they're the ones using them and sending people to scout through all the ponds?

Also, the whistling ducks don't migrate, so they have nothing to do with the flyway shifting. Believe me, we have as many ducks as ever just about every year on the Thursday before opening day of both splits. We have a good shoot Saturday morning, then they're gone until the next front and people push them away again.. Before people started abusing the ponds, they would stay. It's not that hard to understand..
'UP'de FEES and Lower 'de Limits'
...'da bi-polar goverment has 15 people pushed into a 14 ft boat...they in the same realm as BP, they concentrate more about their image,hype,theory,money volume...and white-washed retirement speeches ???...cheers
HAHA...Funny stuff
First off Im not defending or supporting anything here but I am a younger generation of hunter that runs a long-tail and if you can find the numerous fellow hunters I have happened upon due to late starts they will all say the same thing...Yeah he pulled in and asked where we were setting up in the pond, we told him and he said ok have a good hunt and left. I know youre going to say Im the exception but I am not as much of an exception as you have convinced yourself of. Secondly the ones we have had 'courtesy' issues with appear to be in an age range of 30 to 40 yrs old...
this isnt even about courtesy during the hunt
this is about scouting before the season..
Well if surface drives are to blame answer this for me. I know of some areas where I hunt that are land locked and no boats can access them. You have to park your boat drag over a ridge then drag and paddle to ponds. When I was a kid these ponds would hold very large numbers of ducks from Sept to March now they hold nothing but a handful of birds. This is not a few acres I'm talking about either these are huge tracks of land on private property. The surrounding properties are gated so access is limited and they are not holding birds either.

Now lets look at the snow geese that used to migrate to Hopedale every year. There are still some flocks out there but not like they used to have just 15 years ago. No surface drives way out where these flocks are so who do you blame for that. As a matter of fact they used to get large flocks of ducks out there also,not anymore once again no surface drives out there.

You want to talk about pressure my family used to kill hundreds of birds a week on our land from beginning to end of duck season and they were there everyday. Thats pressure.
The flyway has changed, and tree ducks do migrate believe me.If you don't believe me ask some folks from north La about how many tree ducks they see all summer long and how many are there when duck season opens. On the coast where I hunt they are thick all summer long and gone BEFORE season opens.
tree ducks to not use the same flyway as your typical puddle ducks and divers that use the flyway, sorry. they move to save haven once the pressure starts.

has the flyway changed? or has the habitat changed?
You are correct they do not use the normal flyways but they do migrate ALONG the coast,get your facts straight.My cousin hammers them all season long in Tx and they do not move due to pressure.
The habitat is the same that I was talking about just no birds.

You can keep on crying and I'll keep on killing,if you think there are no birds come check my freezer it will be full soon enough. I hunted everyday for teal season with my surface drive and had limits every morning before 7 on every hunt but 2 and still was done by 8 on those 2 hunts.
i believe the habit changing or the flyway is the same cause. The flyway changes due to habitat changing, and possibly climate.... La marshes are being depleted and as a whole there is less feed. Saltwater intrusion is slowly killing the marshes and i think we are starting to see the results Now some in particular areas may be doing as good as always but as a whole SE LA sees less ducks. I hunt all over the area and its not good as it was. Some areas like Canearvon/Delacroix are strong as always but as a whole something has changed, and i would say its the habitat that has caused the flyway to shift..

Tree ducks do migrate to a less extent. My point was though that 5 years ago i hardly ever saw them and now i see them all over the place. Something has changed
You are correct the habitat losses that we have seen in the SE corner of the state have had a direct effect on the amount of birds that we hold. Less habitat and feed mean less ducks.

On the other hand we also have the changes in agriculture along the flyway which is providing more feed in places the birds never had before. Years ago the delta was cotton fields and now its grain fields that can be flooded providing farmers with another source of income,duck leases.
surface drive
I think it is a combinaton of things. We have hardly any ducks in our area anymore, compared to 20 years ago. I ask my self often what the problem could be. well, the only facts i have seen that changed, is that we no longer have grass in our ponds. ok lack of food. and there are atleast 10 times the boaters now in the area. ok pressure. and erosion. not saying these or the problems but its the only phyisical changes i can see. i dont think we can strictly blame the surface drives only. seems that the ducks just changed there minds about where to go when they migrate, Dont go beleive that ducks are stupid. If they cant get food and water for any reason they wont go. I think the only major solution is for the dwf to let everyone feed and go strict on fines for killing over the limit. maybe this might get the ducks back where they used to be. if not I think someday the migrating fly paterns will completly change with each new generation of ducks.
The rest of my comment
It did not post the rest of my point was covering the courtesy and scouting issue people have, those guys that I happen upon in the morning if im a little late do not want anyone to set up on top of them, if you are saying do not go scout then how are you to know where to hunt. Am I supposed to just pick a dot on a map and go ok hope the birds are here...not a very effective way of being succesful there...not to mention there may be someone there and if I have scouted well I will have a backup area to go to...scouting has to be done with common sense, I have seen guys pull into a cut and pull out the paddle and start beating on the side of the boat to see what gets up...thats just stupid. As for the afternoon scouting I am not convinced that if you scout responsibly you are harming the next mornings bird count, I mean there are an awfully lot of fisherman, trappers, and crabbers that run all day where I hunt, maybe we could stop them too.
I’m with you Cajun Coon, ducks still have plenty places to rest, I see miles and miles of marshlands without ducks, marshes that used to have hundreds and thousands of ducks back when I was a kid starting out, perfect duck hunting spots without ducks, why no ducks? No food, that’s why! Bottom line, Louisiana is losing our wetlands to saltwater intrusion, duck food can’t grow. If Louisianians are willing to spend our own money to pour perfectly good corn in the water to feed the hungry ducks, then by god let us help them out, maybe then everybody and their brothers surface drive wouldn’t be all trying to hunt the same wma’s that just happen to still have a little duck food growing there. Louisiana’s coast is the last stop before Mexico for these birds, at least let them make the trip on a full stomach! I say stop afternoon hunting state wide and let us feed ducks anywhere we want to.

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