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South Louisiana duck hunting

I may be wrong but what are y'all thoughts on the duck hunting over the past 15-20 years. I'm 31 and when I first got in to duck hunting with my dad at 11-12 yrs old the birds were rediculous. We use to hunt out the bay boat and brough a pirogue just to pick up birds. No decoys no mojo no duck calls just birds everywhere and always done great. On tougher days we would use the pirogue to get in some grass for better concelement. Even after i graduated we would sit outside his shop and you could see birds by the hundreds and thousands migrating down. I have not seen that in years. When it started getting bad daddy use to always say ducks unlimited was screwing up the hunting in south Louisiana. The birds are no longer scattered all throughout the state they are headed to certain places and holding there. Mainly up north. I was young and never understood. Now that I'm older I have seen it drop more and more. I started looking in to what daddy said a lil more and I see now what he's been talking about. This is just my opinion, I know some May bash me on here but it just an opinion folks. I found this photo and this is what makes me believe he was right.
I vaguely remember something about D.U. doing a big project in Arkansas about 14 years ago and we didn't see a bunch of birds after that. It doesn't take a scientist to figure out that 'making' the birds land in other areas is changing the natural path they are accustomed to.
Another DU thread?
I know another DU thread but seriously you don't think those projects have nothing to do with us not having as many birds as we use to. The image of the projects they did in Arkansas is is just as bad if not worst.
Where did you get that picture? That is really eye opening.
your dad right. I am 65.there was way more ducks.
Did it ever cross your mind that there were also much more land to hatch these birds in the past. Due to the increase in prices for the sale of grain it spiked the desire for more farm land. If there wouldn't be organizations like Ducks Unlimited and Delta Waterfowl the waterfowl count would be much lower than it is now. Believe what you want about the media and hearsay but it the organizations funding money to keep these birds reproducing and hatching.I am not going to say we have more birds than Arkansas but do a little research to how much rice is planted there compaired to Louisiana. There are more factors to this than just Ducks Unlimited!
I've been to the pothole region of North Dakota to see some of the breeding areas first hand. Areas that have never been farmed before are now plowed up to plant mostly corn. This is a direct result of our government's subsidies to plant corn for ethanol.

Areas that were once potholes surrounded by grass fields are now plowed right up to the water's edge. Piles of rocks 'prairie tombstones' litter the fields where they were removed to allow plowing. No where for ducks to nest. (They don't nest in water)

You also have to consider the state of the land in south Louisiana. Saltwater intrusion has devastated many areas of our marsh. It simply doesn't grow enough duck groceries to overwinter the birds. If the birds can't feed well enough to sustain them for the winter and fuel their long migration back up north, they simply will not use that area.

I was in an area of south Louisiana where they had a fantastic teal season. There hunting area is affected by river diversions that have the area overflowing with feed and habitat for ducks. While many areas had poor teal seasons (mine included) the teal certainly found that area to their liking.

The habitat enhanced areas in the state and other states likely do attract more birds to areas that can sustain them. What if those were not there either? What would duck populations look like if they could not be sustained for the winter anywhere?

Of course there are a multitude of other factors that have affected duck migration and populations.

However, to blame the conservation organizations that are the only real friend hunters have is counter productive in my opinion.
People as a whole are the ones to blame!! From civilization to hunters making duck hunting property with ample food.Thawing machines for the ice to keep open water . higher populations of hunters which make it as common as the days that end in y. why go further down when the food is right there?!?'commercial' hunting with a punt gun. Seasons with no limits and the intention to kill is to make money selling them.. Bet your dad or paw paw dont tell you how they feel bad about senseless whacking of game when they were little, do they. They gripe but dont admit their generations are the cause of what you now see. Ducks unlimited fights for the land conservation the laws the whole deal. private property owners as crazy as you and I are more to blame than du!! So many people pulling to keep ducks at their place. If it wasn't in the shape it is in and so protected y'all would do the same stuff the generations before ours did. I hunt here too I know tha pain and aggravation,more so, the pain my wallet gets . Look at the bigger picture and use your brain. This is what it is now, adapt or quit, your pick !! We are all to blame! Never forget it ' humans, earths cancer!'
I appreciate the education about North Dakota. And yes I know man is to blame also. I do understand about the habitat point that was mentioned also. My concern about DU is why have they not helped out South Louisiana? I never found anything in their plans yet to help our area. It just seems most projects are being done north of the state and some to the west area. And as far as grandpaw and dad. Ive heard the stories. My dad said when they were coming up they had a point system and said you really had to know what you were shooting at cause you could be finished hunting with one flock coming in. But as far as us in the south southeastern part of the state, we have been struggling down here for a while now and we see no projects helping us to repopulate. On the WMA areas with LAA areas is that part of helping with areas for breeding grounds to possibly limit hunters?
I just searched DU projects in Louisiana and Arkansas. Ill try to put the pic of Arkansas up to so you can see.
I know of three du projects on the management areas. To be honest, the BIGGEST ISSUE, is LDWF not sustaining the quality of them. Du builds wetlands everywhere gets them going , then turns them over to the state. LDWF does a poor job picking which projects to keep up. Guess it has everything to do with who goes to the meetings or who knows who in order to get favors done. Up in red river there's yakey wetlands it's 650 acres of premium land that is amazing for about two weeks at the end of
Hunting season. They never flood the damn thing though! You have to hope and pray it rains enough to fill it up but once it does it's like god himself opened the clouds and brought the ducks in, absolutely amazing. I called the head guys for the forestry division and top biologist for that area. For the past three years it's the Same story same excuse: trees aren't big enough yet not good enough yet blah blah blah. It stays dry all growing season and gets a little water in the dormant what good is that? It has four pumps on it!! I marked several trees with trail tape and they've grown an inch in three years!!!!! They're stunted! They don't care to make it work because the funding isn't there. Back in the 70s it was a flooded rice property owned and maintained by the state.
I've heard awesome stories and only seen it once ,
Last year. They also have ample land set up for doves but don't plant it properly. Once in the last 7 years but they go rent farmers property for a day for doves, why? It's all in who you know and the money exchanges hands. You're right du puts more into the north but look at the states records and see which states are worth investing in?!? The ones that do better for the projects after du is long gone. Why would you invest in an area where they just let it go to crap? I still stand firm without du, delta waterfowl there wouldn't be a population left. Woodies went up to three three years ago, pintails to two- when pintails nest in fields where they're cut and eggs are lost! Against all odds we are still growing! It's an
Amazing sport don't beat yourself up.
I took two years spent about 10k
Riding across this state saving all info from
Weather to wind to river stages planned it all out and found out the best schedule to
Maximize my experiences in the blind. The opportunities are there!! Blame the state they don't keep
Up with the du spots we have how could
You expect more? You think du don't go back and look at that stuff?!? Dead wrong !! happy hunting I hope
Everyone gets a double banded bird this year .. Cut
Em all
So glad there are some ppl that can visualize the whole picture and not criticize what's ASSumed. I can't get over the fact people just jump to conclusionS bc they see a picture or listen to hearsay. I can bet those are the exact ppl that don't donate or supply any funds to the conservation organizations.
Hope everyone has a great 2013 season.
Goodluck guys and gals!
You bring up a good point about the state keeping up and maintaining the jobs that were already complete. And as far as jumping to conclusion I'm just trying to find answers. A lot of light has been shed on the issue. I do agree DU def helps with the population growth we have but I was concerned about the areas stopping birds from headed all the way south as they use to. I just felt the birds no longer need to come as far when they have what they need up north. But then again maybe they DU did have plans on coming down south to help but maybe between hurricanes, the state, and LDWF not doing their jobs why even bother. Right?