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Arkansas duck season dates 2014-2015

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Arkansas 2014-15 duck season dates: \r\nNov. 22-30 \r\nDec. 4-Dec. 23 \r\nDec. 26-Jan. 25 \r\nYouth Hunt: Jan. 31-Feb. 1\r\n\r\nOnce again they open later to the north and we open earlier to the south even as hunters in Louisiana request later opening dates for duck season. I just thought it might be in the realm of common sense to believe that if you pressure birds from the north they might continue to migrate to the south and provide us with a fighting chance to shoot some birds.
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Mallards
They are setting seasons to target mallards, the coastal zone season is set to coincide (until this year) with highest overall duck numbers in the marsh (teal, gadwall, shovlers) which in most years occurs in November. Also satellite tracking studies indicate a tendency for even mallards to come to LA in early winter then move north later in the winter as typical winter rains improve habitat to our north.
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hmmm...
So i suppose that no one in Louisiana shoots mallards and no one in Arkansas shoots gadwalls, shovelers, and teal therefore we should set our season dates much earlier than they can get away with to the north. And that's exactly correct. If they can 'get away with it' so do I want to 'get away with it' pushing the opening back letting ducks accumulate in the ponds so we can at least have a decent opener/ first week, etc.
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Picture this.....
Let me draw you a picture of a real life disaster. There is the Hwy 90 line that splits the coastal zone and the east zone . We open the coastal zone ,containing PAC WMA, before we open the east zone, containing Lake Boeuf & Boeuf WMA. Now, all those people who normally would hunt Lake Boeuf can't hunt yet because their season hasn't opened....so what do they do... they pile into PAC WMA overcrowding it to hell. Also, no birds leave Lake Boeuf that have accumulated there (Lake Boeuf better habitat conditions than PAC) and don't make their way to PAC. What is this situation....its a BS situation and its ridiculous. I can't even begin to explain how many people i witnessed for the opener last year that was unheard of before they screwed with the season dates. O, but wait i have a fix. I'll just either get rich and get a high dollar lease or...add my self to the other overcrowded WMAs where habitat conditions are better. If we have to play the 'late migration' game again this year because we can't set season dates correctly....let the ranting begin.
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Sheesh
Ok, in coastal LA mallards are a negligible contribution to the harvest. In AR they are half of the harvest. The other birds have migrated here in good numbers by November and mallards aren't coming so why wait? Airieal surveys show that November is the peak population for birds in coastal marshes. Harvest in total and per hunter effort is higher in November than January in the coastal zone. Moreover they moved the dates back a week and you are still mad?
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Was posting while your post came through
So all waterfowl decisions should be made to deal with issues at Point au Chien?
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migration numbers
Do you know how many people hunt two or three times in November then quit hunting. A bunch. Yes the data will show more ducks killed per hunter and more ducks killed in genaral because there are many more hunters early. When half of the hunters stop hunting after NOV the ducks don't move because there isn't a Joe in every pond. This means less birds killed per hunter and less birds killed overall because there are less hunters and few people to get them moving. This does not translate into the number of birds available in our state its about the situation at hand. I would hope the waterfowl study leader could make that analysis instaed of blindly lookin a the numbers and making decisions based on that. Hunter opinion is not biased towords a later season by accident. Its based on field observation which is more reliable than hunter kill surveys that are estimates at best.Although the politics at LDWF always know better. LOL
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correct....
Yes you are correct.....politics know better. I have to say that Larry Reynolds lost some of my respect today for reasons i shall not point out to the public. I refuse to debate with agenda based bull. I only come from a multiple generation of ducks hunters within my own family.....so what do we know. O and I know a little science by trade but what do I know.
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Fine
Ok, harvest data be damned, when they fly over the marsh in an airplane and actually count the birds there are MORE birds in November than January in the coastal marsh 4 years out of five. This is borne out by my personal observation while snipe hunting in February, most years as we snipe hunt we see LESS ducks than we did scouting those same spots (public and private, coastal and east zones) in early November. Duck migration is not a static issue where birds arrive, get the keys to the winter cottage and sit in one spot till spring, they move north and south as conditions change and conditions favor coastal marshes early and AR later. But keep telling yourself that LR is really a PETA manchurian candidate, screwing up the season dates for HIS OWN lease to protect the poor duckies from the ravages of the Bill Collector.
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Political?
Ok, what 'political' reason does a non-elected civil servant have for intentionally ruining your duck season???
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Early Season Better
Lanco,
you fighting a losing battle with bill collecter - he apparently is very dense. His opinion obviously is the only one that makes since - lol

He has to know wayyyyy more than a guy who is educated and whose job classification is the 'state waterfowl leader' - after all bill collecter probably has so much experience in habitat, migration and weather patterns.
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Ok ......
If the harvest data show fewer overall ducks and fewer ducks per hunter killed later in the season because they are fewer hunters out chasing them around, then how will a later season help that?

Why do fewer guys hunt later in the season if there are so many more birds? The hunting should be better and thus attract more guys to the field, right? Why doesn't it work that way?
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November the best
Been hunting the marshes of Reggio and Delacroix since 1966. NOVEMBER (1ST SPLIT) is always the BEST.
End of story.
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Agreed
The best week of the season historically for me will now be closed - the week after the first weekend- but with that , November always best month - and I hunt 30+ days
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Anecdotal evidence
And since hard facts don't matter try this: I hunt with two guys who have ponds in St. Bernard and AR (flooded fields up there). They hunt the marsh here and kill greys and teal all November and frequently don't do much in AR till after Christmas, by which time the marsh we hunt is tailing off. The right time in AR is not the right time for here. That being said there are huntable numbers of ducks in coastal LA from mid October through mid march but the peak is definitely November. Late in the season we have to scout, hunt public and generally work harder to kill birds.
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duh...
The later part of the season doesn't attract MOST hunters because the birds are weary at that point. We all know that one must put in more effort than the next guy if we are going to kill birds late in the season. What most are in favor of is shifting the opening dates to a much later date (not by 1 week) to give birds a chance to accumulate in our marshes allowing at the very least, a decent opener. And during a wet year......if i'm supposed to believe that there are the most ducks in my marsh between october and november.....then i must be blind. Just like my marsh should have been covered in blue wing teal too? I guess i missed those. Didn't even make a hunt because there was no birds. Simply pathetic. O...jjojj.....ringnecks don't count bro.
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Well
I just don't think point a Chien is gonna hold many birds regardless unfortunately. I don't think birds will 'build up' just because the season opens later. And as LR has stated he had 4-5 times as many people AGAINST late openings once the deed was done. Birds are not going to magically appear because no one is hunting they will go where weather, habitat and pressure dictate. Changing the Zone boundary in the Homa are to avoid people piling into public areas or having lottery hunts on the most heavily utilized parts of Pointe Au Chien would be a more logical way to approach the problems you are citing than changing a season framework that works well for much of coastal LA.
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Hah
I'd rather be having a blast shooting ring necks than crying about how ducks don't migrate here anymore - then blaming it on a person
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tags
getting back to Arkansas , we were told this year the dogs will need to be registered and had a tag for their collars , was told that water dogs used as a retriever don't have to wear the tag when working --- the bloodhounds will also need a tag and they have to have it on at all times, so if anyone else is going to Arkansas for ducks this year beware and check into it -------- when La. sees this money grab I am sure they will consider jumping on the wagon
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Already the case
As far as I know every parish in LA requires rabies vaccination, registration and rabies tag for dogs. Some on a three year schedule but most annually. If AR requiring a special registration for hunting dogs now?
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Surveys
The areial surveys cover transects. Before the season opens the birds are allowed to bunch up. So the surveys show large numbers of ducks early in certain areas. When the shooting starts the birds spread out in to smaller groups. When the second survey is done they fly the same transects and find less numbers because the birds are spread out. They cant fly over every square inch of LA so estimates become a big part of the data. It does not mean that there are less ducks here late they just dont show in the survey. When the shooting stops they group up again which is when people see gobs of birds after the season. Which also does not translate to more or less birds its just the way it is percevied. I dont turn wrenches for a living and I have back ground with reference to the subject matter. I also know the ways of LDWF very intimately. You can tell me I am nuts and clueless all day long but you wont convince me.
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tags
..... from the way it was told to me the dog needs a hunting license to hunt now , since he can't pay then you are required to do it for him or her , and there are different tags for different types of hunting , so if you got a bloodhound for deer and a lab for ducks you get double dipped ----- never talked about prices or if rabbit , coon or squirrel dogs tags are required separately .
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Aerial surveys
If population estimates from transect surveys gave non-representative population estimates when birds were clumped vs spread out, they would not be the most reliable, oft-used tool for estimating waterfowl abundance.

If birds are in large flocks, we hit FEWER of those flocks on the lines, but we count MORE birds per flock. When birds are spread out in smaller flocks, we hit MORE of those flocks, but count FEWER birds per flock.

The end result is the same. For example:

10 flocks X 100 birds per flock = 1,000
100 flocks X 10 birds per flock = 1,000

The effect of clumping on population estimates from transect surveys is one of the easiest things to simulate, and those studies were done many decades ago supporting the use of transects and helping to determine the necessary number of transects.

Another invalid criticism is that the distribution of ducks has changed (true) but the transect lines are in the same place (true), so the survey is either under or over-estimating the population (NOT true).

The transect lines were placed without regard to anything duck-related. They are a systematic random sample of the overall coastal-zone habitat. As that habitat changes, birds that move OFF of the transect lines are proportionally the same as birds that move ON to transect lines. Habitat OFF transect lines is no more likely to improve or degrade than habitat ON survey lines, so the sampling and resulting population estimates are representative.
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zone boundary
lanco1........if you have any influence over decisions made for the zone boundary. I ask you to propose moving the line in our area. I would be satisfied to see PAC and Boeuf in the same zone and more evenly distribute the pressure for at least opening weeks. Thanks,
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Population estimates early vs late
I have no idea where you are coming from regarding population estimates from the surveys. They are available for anyone to see at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/aerial-waterfowl-surveys

Here's the last 3 years results from the Coastal Zone (SW and SE in the reports):

2011:
Nov. 1,710,000
Dec. 2,214,000
Jan. 2,697,000

2012:
Nov. 1,361,000
Dec. 1,822,000
Jan. 2,580,000

2013:
Nov. 861,000
Dec. 1,881,000
Jan. 2,808,000

So why is Bill Collector talking about birds being bunched up in the 'first' survey leading to higher estimates, but them being spread out leading to lower estimates on the second survey? The second survey is always HIGHER.
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EARLY NOVEMBER
ALSO AGREE, early November.Take a week off the first split and end the season a week earlier at the end of season.Need as many early days to hunt.
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Which month(s) has the highest take?
Purely my own observations in hunting the marshes around Venice and the Northshore, but “The Opening Day” in November (9 times out of 10) is the best day of the year. I think the population estimates above are really surprising because it shows while there could be as many as twice the number of birds down in January, (correct me if I’m wrong) hunter’s takes are actually lower in January?

I’m guessing “hunting success” has more to do with pressure than the calendar. Birds have September, October, and early November to congregate in our southern marshes. It’s my guess that the lack of success in January (given the number of birds down) may be due to the birds roosting were hunters aren’t. So perhaps the longer we hold off opening day, the longer (or more frequent) higher bag limits hunts we’ll have in later November/December?
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Go to the commission meeting
Instead of just complaining here, if you are able go to the comission meeting and speak (it's the first Thursday of the month I believe but at any rate it's published on the LDWF website in advance. Otherwise sit down and look at a map and find a better boundary (pretty much has to be a road or a MAJOR waterway) than 90. Then email it to LR and ask if the change could be included in this years survey about waterfowl hunting regs. Have a few buddies do the same. In the eastern half of the state LR actually proposed a similar move (consolidating coastal marshes in 1zone) 3 years ago I believe but public support was for keeping the north shore of lake pontchartrain in the East zone. The problem you will have is that some folks want the zone this way to allow them more hunting days (and 2 opening days) and other folks who just hunt Bouef but think the opener should stay late will all get together and make the current line the more popular option in the survey. However since the Point au Chien situation is appatently getting out of hand by many accounts that consideration may override survey preferences. I have no influence that you don't. Contact LR and he will discuss the situation with you. Going to the commission meeting with a few friends to speak about an issue is the alternative if you don't want to try LR. Both are much more responsive than a typical government entity.
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thanks.
No doubt i understand that some will want more hunting days and I see that as a BIG problem in protesting any change in zone boundary. I'm glad to see my concerns taken seriously instead of called idiotic and left by the wayside. That is where many folks here are getting pissed. Cant everyone who has strong opposition to the way some things are be treated as morons. Anyways thanks for the info.
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Public Problems
I think the LDWF understands there is an issue with Manchac, pearl river an point au Chien as far as early season pressure goes. They just arent certain how to solve it. If you contact LR he may be able to get PAC opening day hunter effort numbers from before and after the transition from 2 to 3 zones. If they didn't change significantly then there is probably little point in the effort of advovating a change in the boundaries. If there is a big jump then you will have some ammo for our figh. Hope you have a good season.
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Estimates
OK Larry why is everyone nuts for wanting to hunt latter when there are more birds in the area according to your surveys. Its obvious that there are many factors involved with the poor duck hunting in the south east but if the numbers are up later in the season and harvest of birds at that time is down then it is obvious that the reduced number of hunters later in the season and the fact that the birds have become educated due to massive ammounts of presusre and seeking refuge are the resasons for a lowerer harvest later in the season not because a lack of birds.
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I asked the same question
Nowhere near 'everyone' wants to hunt later, as the responses in this thread clearly show.

But read my first post in this thread. Why does hunting effort fall off if the number of birds and hunting success is so much better late in the season?
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ducks
Always better first split in the marsh from my knowldege. it gets tough after new years
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Isn't it a little early to be starting this again?
There have been numerous threads on this topic already. One of the better debates was during the season last year. People voiced there opinions on both sides of the issue and changes were made to satisfy the vocal minority. I would prefer more days at the front end of the season and stated my reasons why I feel this way in the previous threads. I also took the opportunity to voice my opinion to LDWF when given the opportunity. Unfortunately those that are satisfied with the current system are less likely to voice their opinion so the decision was made to push the season back. I accept it even if I don 't agree with it and will continue to hunt the way I always have. Hopefully next year more people will support an earlier opening for the coastal zone but there is nothing we can do about it now.

What I don't understand is why the same people advocating a late coastal opener are still whining, complaining, and citing BS 'anecdotal evidence' and still starting these threads. The opening weekend has been pushed back and the season hasn't even started yet, what more do you want? Ya'll got your way, let's see how this season goes and move on from there.
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Arkansas
Overheard Arkansas hunter:

''Can you believe how late our season opens in Arkansas? We have to let all those birds pass through down to Louisiana while our season is closed.''

I guess you can’t please everyone.
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Dates are bunk
I would bet plenty of folks don't like the AR dates. A 5 day split and a 2 day split????? Season closed during Christmas break for the kids? It seems impractical at a lot of levels. The longer split on the coast where we have lots of pressure make more sense. And it coincides with area 9 rut , give us seasons open when families are most able to hunt together and we kill ducks.
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teal
We are talking about all of this because we arent't killing birds right now. If the teal were plentiful we would be posting picures of teal killed like the folks in the southwest. Its sad.
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Let's look at the facts
1. Most people have better success in the costal marsh earlier in the season.
2. More hunters kill more birds in the coastal marsh earlier in the season.
3. As others have said, the coastal marsh does not rely on Mallards for the harvest, so Mallard migration has little affect on the population and harvest numbers. Mallards are the really late migrators.
4. The birds that frequent the coastal marsh are predominantly photo migrators, not weather migrators like mallards. They will migrate regardless of winter weather, and will move up and down as pressure and food availability changes. (GWT seem to be the exception, and often help our harvest numbers later in the season)
5.There are more birds in the coastal marsh later in the season!

The 5th fact is the one that most people would find odd. If there are more birds later in the year, why are fewer killed by fewer hunters?

Here are my thoughts. My theory has a few different points to answer the question. Early in the season, everyone is having a blast and killing birds. There are also a lot more people hunting helping to keep the birds moving. The birds are also uneducated, and a lot easier to kill. Then a few things start to happen. First, Birds get educated and more difficult to kill. This then discourages a number of hunters and they go to do other things. Second, Deer season opens and people move from ducks to deer. This increases as the rut increases. These two factors account for the fewer hunters part. The reason for the fewer birds killed despite having more birds is due to more educated birds and fewer hunters to keep the birds moving. I see this all the time in the Biloxi Marsh. The fewer people hunting, the tougher it gets.

This is a tough sport that we choose to play. It requires a lot of effort, and thought to be successful. There is a fine line between too much pressure, pushing the birds out, and just enough pressure to keep the birds moving. Season dates have little effect on hunter success in the coastal marsh from year to year. You may have the odd year with late migrations effecting success, but as a whole it usually doesn't matter. The only thing we can do about it is become better at our sport. I know I have become much better since I started hunting the marsh. It has required me to scout more, prepare more, think more, and try different approaches. This has all increased my success. It aint easy, but it is what it is, and I love every bit of it.
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Lanco
2011:
Nov. 1,710,000
Dec. 2,214,000
Jan. 2,697,000

2012:
Nov. 1,361,000
Dec. 1,822,000
Jan. 2,580,000

2013:
Nov. 861,000
Dec. 1,881,000
Jan. 2,808,000

You see this. This means that there are always more ducks in the coastal zone in December than in November and more In January than in December. At least 80% of the ducks counted in La. are generally located in SW. La. and then there is the rest of the coast waterfowl numbers to account for.

The advantages of hunting early in the coastal zone is conditions are more favorable, more food, less impact from hard north winds on coastal zone marsh water levels.

If your going to spout off on every topic all of the time at least know what they hell you are talking about.
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More Ducks
I hunt Central La, and have for 20 yrs. Its a fact that the opening wknd is normally good. but its also a fact that after the season closes you can go ride and see more ducks than you see all yr. Fact!! if you dont belive it, just email me and I will take you for a ride the last wknd in Jan. Wouldnt a one wk early start for the marsh, and one wk later start for everyone else, as well as longer splipts to allow the season to extend a wk or so longer fix the problem for everyone. I mean deer seasons are drasticly different around the state, why not the same for ducks......
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More birds after seasons closed
Anyone wonder why there's more birds after the seasons closed???? Oh yea that's right because there aren't a million dumb ass surface drive boats driving thru every nook and cranny of the marsh. The birds leave when they hear those loud air cooled motor coming bc they know that means hunters. Ban surface drives and watch your kill count come back up
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