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organize

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guys we need to get organized and speak up against these issues! the people of louisiana should have more say so in what is being done to affect our duck hunting! we see the problems because this our land, its painstakingly ovbious to most people that are from here what needs to be done! one unified voice from everybody who hunts/fishes in this great state needs to be heard!!
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Re: organize
What do you propose we do? Make it illegal for states north of us to flood ag fields like we have been doing for years?
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Re: organize
the waterfowl baiting laws clearly state that not abiding by normal agricultural practices is illegal. so, how is it legal for someone to plant corn and not harvest it. then, flood it during duck season strictly to attract ducks.
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Re: organize
It's crazy but yes it's legal. You can grow a hundred acres of rice/corn/soybeans, not harvest it, and then flood or. Nothing about that is 'normal ag practices' but it's still legal. We have been doing that in Louisiana for years and now the states north of us are realizing how much money can be made by leasing to silly dick hunters so they are doing it too
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Re: organize
This has been an issue since the Canada geese stopped coming south in the 50s & 60s. It's pretty apparent that the rules governing this aren't going to change. Even if you banned flooding standing crops the folks north of us would flood harvested crop land and moist soil units. Open water is the issue more so than flooded grain. I just don't foresee large scale mallard migrations to our coast in the future unless there is a string of really cold winters and an end to ethanol subsidy.
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Re: organize
Canada Geese have stopped coming south??? Wonder what kind of birds those are at most golf courses in Baton Rouge?
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Re: organize
Those are resident Canada geese. The migrant populations that once wintered here stopped coming south decades ago and Louisiana had no Canada goose season for 20+ years.
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Re: organize
Yep Canadas used to come down here and snows were once uncommon. Specks are starting to stay further north. Blue winged teal are shot all season now. It used to be rare to shoot a plumed out bw teal. If you shot a fulvous or black-bellies whistling duck you had a trophy. Now they are common. Times are changing just have to adapt
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Re: organize
we need to tighten the laws on how farmers deal with their excess grain that is not harvested and left on the ground! i understand there are laws in place to control the issue, but ITS NOT ENOUGH! when you start farming grain feilds and heating ponds specifically for ducks, you are deliberatly altering their migration patterns! why would they want to move when everything they need is being hand fed to these birds? Don't give me wrong, I am a firm believer in the conservation and preservation of the sport, I have no trouble abiding by bag limits or any hunting regulation! But I and everybody else who hunts these birds would like to see more throughout the year! Something needs to be done weither its enforcing more laws against farmers and land owners in the north, altering the 'traditional' season dates, or making more of an effort to combat invasive grasses such as salvaynia and water lillies! Louisiana is getting the short end of the stick when it comes to duck hunting these days and we need to speak up!
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Re: organize
In response to marsh hunter. Farmers lose money when they leave grain behind. Most are not intentionally leaving grain behind. If it was feasible they would get evey piece of grain
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Re: organize
It's not completely accurate to say snow/blue geese were ever 'rare' in Louisiana. But at one time their wintering grounds were more restricted and much more coastal so many hunters in central and northern Louisiana did not encounter them. It's also worth noting that in the immediate post WWII period the continent was in an artificial situation of extreme wetland loss from Iowa to Arkansas and even northern Louisiana. This resulted in coastal LA and TX hunters receiving the lions share of wintering birds. Programs like WRP and flood abatement programs in the Mississippi River drainage along with the NWR system and the increasing commercial value of hunting leases have all worked together to increase mid-continent duck habitat. This combined with fewer really cold winters have reduced the number of mallards and geese reaching our coast and reduced the overall percentage of the duck flight that reaches us. That said with increases in duck populations since the easing of the precipitous boom and bust drought regime in the breeding grounds that prevailed from the 30s thu the 90s (aided by CRP ect) we still winter more waterfowl and kill more waterfowl than almost any other state. That last fact makes it hard to argue for major changes in management practices.

If we were to seek change what I would suggest is rather than trying to fight the moneyed interest of the flooded field crowd we seek a change in management practices in NWRs throughout the MS and Centrak flyways. Currently many refuges including some in LA have large quantities of standing grain which is flooded and then NOT HUNTED. Originally this was designed to give birds acess to safe areas to refuel at various points during migration at a time when other habitat was limited and heavily hunted (prior to pay to hunt being so pervasive). Today however the practice is likely less needed since there has been a considerable increase in habitat while the decline in open acess means that any given field us as or more likely to be rested as hunted on a given day. USFWS policies are open to review on a regular basis and could be altered through congressional pressure (gag, though). Since these programs cost money it will be easier to call for them to end.

Personally I'm not going to be calling my congressman about this. We have had 20 years if liberal duck seasons and the biggest part of these changes are driven by weather and the birds adapting to dry field feeding (mallards and geese). This years season structure was an aberration caused by a political pissing match. In the future it won't be repeated. Also realize that while Lafourche/Terrebone gained birds late in the season most if thd coast LOST birds in January this year. This is not an uncommon occurrence. Thus the regulations (as recomended by LDWF) split the difference between those parts of the coast that prefer/benefit from earlier opening and those that favor the latest possible closing.
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Re: organize
Good luck with that 'one unified voice from everyone who hunts and fishes'.

That's a pretty tall order.
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Re: organize
Yep, we could not even agree to using the full specklebelly season framework! We can't agree on surface drives. We can't agree on whether increasing hunter numbers are good or bad. We can't agree on river diversions. Can't agree on what's a navigable waterway.

PS plenty of the birds not making the spartina marsh are in flooded fields IN LOUISIANA! The marsh hunters of Louisiana can't drive the regulatory process just won't happen, even if we could agree on what we want!

But what we can do and usually do do is lead the nation in duck harvest per hunter. Enjoy your grays, teal, and ringers boys and girls.
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Re: organize
Well said lanco1 ! Overall we had a good season in the Reggio-Delacroix area. We had a few slow days but that's every season.
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