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LDWF Public Meetings

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There have been public meetings throughout the state regarding next years duck season. Anyone been and have anything to report?
Anyone have an educating reason as to why we can't have a season that extends into the first week of February?
Thanks
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
I'm not aware of any public meetings until late-February. See the press release at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/news/39898

The federal framework does not allow the season to run later than the last Sunday in January. No-one involved with the regulations to be discussed at the upcoming public meetings has the authority to change that.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
The numbers of ducks has dropped from December to January and likely does from January to February. It seems that there are ducks all over in February but that's what happens when they aren't getting shot at. Let the ducks have some time to rest and get fattened up for the return flight to go have babies for us next year
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
Thanks L.R. I had the dates wrong. Good thing you answered, I was headed to Alex tomorrow. Lol
There's a youth hunt in Feb, this year. Doesn't that conflict with the USFW?

Slick head. I don't know where you hunt, my place is loaded with and has been loaded w ducks for weeks.
Doesn't make sense that Arkansas can keep hunting till Jan 31 and our season is closed. Doesn't make sense in that we don't fire a shot for the first split and then after the 1st week of the second, kill limits(136/11 hunts). Nothing wrong with asking the questions and trying to maximize my harvest of this wonderful resource.
Nothing wrong with trying to tweak the dates so that we can actually shoot 'ducks' during 'duck season' in an era where the migration is consistently later every year.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
the closing doesn't matter, its the opening.... I still can't understand how we open this year a month before Arkansas and N Mississippi opened. That makes no sense to me. I know birds more back and forth, but come on a MONTH???
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Youth hunts
bloodandguts wrote: There's a youth hunt in Feb, this year. Doesn't that conflict with the USFW?

No, it's their rule. The Youth Waterfowl Hunt days are provided by the USFWS and are intended to be additional days above and beyond the season where only the youth can hunt. Because states can set seasons for the earliest opening date and the latest closing date in the framework, the youth days can occur up to 2 weeks before the earliest opener to up to 2 weeks after the latest closing to provide that additional opportunity for hunters 15 years of age and younger.

You already know that participation and kill is a small fraction of a regular season hunt, which is why the assumed benefit to hunter recruitment exceeds the risk of late hunting.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
The federal framework does not allow the season to run later than the last Sunday in January. No-one involved with the regulations to be discussed at the upcoming public meetings has the authority to change that. - See more

We're talking about duck migration, not brain surgery. Oh that's true it's the U.S. government (clueless clowns)
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
The point of the sentence I wrote and you quoted is that the framework is federal law, and no-one at the upcoming public meetings has the authority to change federal law.

What we do have the authority to do is to change the proposed regulations (season dates) within the boundaries of that federal law. That's a fairly important distinction if you want to influence decision making rather than just vent frustrations.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
I can tell you there were less ducks on our Hopedale leases last week than the previous. And no water. And we killed ducks through November. The current season recomendations for the coastal zone are a decent happy medium between the areas preferring an early opening and those preferring a late close. The zones are set for 5 years I believe so don't expect any whole sale change in dates. I will say it once more; NO ONE WOULD BE HUNTING PAST THE SECOND TO LAST SUNDAY IN JANUARY except that several southern senators twisted the USFW's arm. Headed by the then majority leader Trent Lott. February seasons are not going to happen unless
1) Pair bonding, return migration and nesting initiation are shown to be delayed compared to past years
2) you get influential congress people to beat up on the USWS

Griefing LR about this is useless. This years counts show that migration isn't a one way street so opening with AR wouldn't optimize our seasons the way some imagine. Glad you had a good second split.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
Why aren't there any meetings closer to N.O.? There are meeting halls available in Chalmette, just saying...
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
Probably because the last meeting in Jefferson drew only 10 people.
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'Political Trickery'
my couzan Grumpy Nutria sez: ...ever notice when 'public meeting' are set-up it's geographically placed and timed only for a minority turnout and a few fools rush in !!!...( what's wrong w /Monday @ 3:00 a.m. in downtown Cut Off,La)...bottom line it's designed only let a few 'vent'...cheers ???
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
I will be at the Ponchatoula meeting to try to convince the powers that be to leave the opener where it was this year. I hunt in Venice and for the past 5 years we have had more ducks in Oct than in late Jan. We also got to have a real split this year instead of last year which ended on a Sunday and reopened on Saturday. I wish they would open in October, we shoot more ducks.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
If that's your line I hope you are quick enough to dodge the pitchforks!

Seriously though the commission has been pretty clear that they will support the second sunday in November opener, 11/12/16 so going to the meeting to argue duck dates in the coastal zone is probably pointless.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
I'll watch the pitchforks, I think sometimes we think that this is the only platform to discuss these types of issues. I know there is more support than you think for the earlier open dates. Ryan Lambert was on Don Dubuc earlier in the season supporting last years opener and I recon he's got a little more stroke than me or you. It's crazy to not want to open early, there are no ducks in the coastal area right now.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
I think in the current zone alignment opening on the second Saturday in November is going to make the most sense. It splits the difference of public opinion and hedges for weather variation.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
There is another option that Larry is not likely to support, but it does provide a compromise for hunters wanting a traditional 2nd. Saturday in November start and hunters wanting an earlier January closing than what is being proposed. REDUCE THE SPLIT from 12 days to 5!

I stand to be corrected, but I recall in the '80's and 90's that the split was for only 5 days when Robert Helm was alive and the LDWF Waterfowl Leader. I believe that Larry successfully argued that 5 days is really not a true split and LDWF adopted what we have today, 12 days. I will not disagree that a longer split is theoretically better, but I would personally prefer to have more days in December and fewer in late January. Looking at my log (Coastal) for the last 10 years, my buddies and I, have had very little success as the month of January wore on and we were seldom disappointed when it was over. This year was particularly bad in January due to the high water and high temperatures with many days of not picking the gun up.

As our opinions are generally based on individual observations, I know that a 5 day split will have a positive impact on our lease which is hunted practically every day. Public land hunters may have a completely different opinion because they can scout and move, an option that club and lease members do not have. But I also believe Larry has stated that the majority of Louisiana's waterfowl hunters hunt private land, not public. (Larry correct me if I am wrong)
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Hmmmmm
It's hard to even consider this season as proof we need to move dates up or push them back. This was a wild season and I don't think anyone should jump to conclusions based off this year. It was a freak of nature.

It is pretty solid that the coastal zone will open on the second Saturday in December. I don't think that will be able to be changed regardless of what some are thinking. We coastal zone guys complained more than 12 year old girls about the early opener and the scheduling of the youth weekend. So the majority is getting what we asked for.
Looking at my book, (not including this year) we do the best in December and January. We are in the coastal zone. November is good for Grey ducks and teal.

I would like to play with the idea of eliminating zones. Completely. State opens, the split, state closes. This is what I will bring up at the meeting. Probably won't happen for next season but I would like to hear positive and negative feedback.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
I think public support for the long split is very high. I can say personally that hunting my lease this year if we didn't rest a given pond 10 days MINIMUM we didn't kill birds. I haven't heard very many folks wanting to close EARLIER than the normal coastal setup! I guess I will try to make pontchatoula and see what maddness ensues.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
Wasn't the reason for changing the zones from east/west only to and three zone system originally designed to 'afford' more hunters an opportunity to hunt other areas when there zone was closed and give them more days to hunt throughout the state???? While that's great if you have the time, resources, and or connections to do that, I for one never saw the significance behind that because i think most hunters only untilize one zone anyway, be it public land, leased property, or and invite hunt to a friends spot, which i understand that could all be in a different zone, but of us pretty much just hunt the one zone we are familiar with. But with the zone lines for the 2016-17 season for the coastal zone i would then be able to hunt to different zones throughout the year bc it would split my two areas in half and give me more days, they are both in the coastal zone now. However i would prefer to go to a 3 split season similar to what arkansas has and do away with zones all together. i would loose days and opportunity but this seems like the most logical solution for ALL hunters, guys that want it early would get that, guys that want it late would get that too. Mr Reynolds, if you maybe could clear up the original reason for going to the 3 zones that would be great bc i think it has become the soapbox for ppl get try and get whats best for their particular area/areas and not the waterfowl community as a whole across the state.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
It's my understanding that zones were setup to ensure FairPlay and equal opportunity amongst the hunters. The zones were established to allow hunters to open The season around their prime hunting time for that area. It also allows hunters to provide feedback on dates they would like to have and if the majority rules then it 'should' change.

I now think the zones and opener dates system is plagued by the commission board. They do what they want to please themselves. We are limited to very little in what we can actually due. One or two weeks here or there is about all we can argue for.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
I don't think there are many hunters who want to open earlier than the second week in November, have 5 day splits or abandon the zone system. I'm basing this on the recent hunters surveys about this, what I've heard said at public meetings and Internet activity. The two things people want the federales won't allow:

1) MORE zones a la the deer regs

2) a later closing in February

If any state ever needed zones its LA! The marshes of Reggio and the flooded timber of Monroe see totally different duck patterns. So no zones has never been a serious option. And those who would support a no zone option largely want a back loaded season with most days after christmas. Again the coastal zone and east zone dates (standard format prior to the last two years) have pretty good acceptance with hunters. The zone lines are set till 2020 and the only real discussion this year is likely to be the west zone.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
My biggest complaint has always been this...
Either sex deer hunts 15/16

Nov 27- 29
Dec 5-6
Indian bayou

Nov 27-29
Dec 4-6
Sherburne

Nov27-29
Yancey/ grassy lake/ maurapus/ spring bayou

East zone waterfowl 15/16
Nov 21- Dec 6

We lose 2 weekends every year at the 2 closest management areas to Baton Rouge due to either sex deer hunts. So personally I'd be in favor of a 5 day first split then adding those days on the front end of the second split or breaking it into 3 splits.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
Agreed, some members of the commision use their power to adjust season dates to benefit their agenda and our say so really is irrrelevant, which is why i quit filling out the hunter surveys. Rickyp, you mentioned about hunters being able to set up the zones around their prime hunting time, but with the zones being so large i would think it diffucult to set a season thats great for the entire zone because said zones vary in terrain so much. What are your thoughts on this? Again i hunt the coastal zone primarily and we have marsh, bayous, ricefields, crawfish ponds, etc, etc. as im sure the west and east are diversified also.

i bring that up bc we do very well late in the season, our records show, as opposed to early, but not 5 miles down the road a friend of mine's property is exactly the opposite, and for the most part the area i hunt is better later from opinions of surrounding hunters. if i pushed for a latest possible closing that would f%*# their hunting up just like the early opening this year did mine. But i think everyone should get a peice of the pie, Thats why i say get rid of the zones bc while they may be needed bc of terrain diversity throughout the state, thier can be ppl within the same zones that dont have the same success, with a 3 split season it would at least give both a chance, and strip the commision of the power to adjust zones/dates according to what suits some of them best. Just ones opinion, I wish we could as a duck hunting community realize that whats best for 'me' just might ruin the other guys hunting and vise versa. Thats wishful thinking though..................
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
The solution to WMA issues is to change WMA regs, not the state wide duck seasons. They should allow duck hunting regardless of deer status, just not enough intersection between those two groups to justify the current regs.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
That is what I meant. Even though the zones are rather large, it still gives the hunters the ability to further break down dates for a season versus having the original two zones. Adding the coastal zone allowed more diversity for the season dates.

The reason I don't like zones is because I'm in the coastal zone. We tend to always get the shaft for dates. Our area does significantly better in the second split. So I want more days on the back end. Now you can make the argument that there way fewer ducks right now in the coastal, but I already stated that I don't count this season. There were too many factors that made this season what it was. I also rather have the splits and openers timed together. This way ducks can rest state wide. Like most people, when the coastal zone split hits or the season closes, I go hunt other zones. It sounds easy to do but it is rather expensive and time consuming.

I've said it before but I really like Arkansas' setup. I think they have the best dates versus ducks than any other state in the flyway. They have a more unified terrain than we have though
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
Yesterday I duck hunted roughly 200 yards from where I deer hunt.. In flooded timber. Most of the deer I've ever seen in that location have been in shin deep water so that's not necessarily true. I certainly would not want to be standing there with a duck call in my hand with all us public land hunting yahoos come sunrise on an either sex morning lol. With that being said though, for the most part yes what you say is pretty accurate. There's never going to be a perfect solution to appease every hunter in the state... There's way to many factors involved. I certainly don't envy Mr Reynolds position when it comes to discussions like this.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
i say we get 29 days in dec & 31 in jan
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
LDWF has also tried through the years to set seasons to be open during the thanksgiving and Christmas school breaks. It lets families hunt together and lets the children of shift workers get some hunts in. Success in November is quite high throughout the state so I don't see a straight run 60 days in december and January as a reasonable option. If we more zones to better isolate flooded timber it might work for some but I'm betting 85% or more duck hunters want a November opener and a split.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
Nov 5th-27th first split
Dec 24th- Jan 29th

Should satisfy the earlier season hunters and the late season hunters.

Will also be open for all holidays that the youths are out of school.

Put a one day youth hunt before the season and a one day youth hunt after the season.

Me personally I hunt coastal zone in Creole, La and my journal shows we always do better the last 3 weeks of the season than the first 3 weeks of the season.

First 3 weeks consist of greys,blue wings and spoonbills.

Last 3 weeks consist of Pintails , mallards, widgeon, greenwings, and by this time we have our specklbelly's.

We do get the ocassional normal late bird early and vice versa.

We harvest more ducks later and better quality.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
Really the state should be zoned NE, SE and W. That would give two big homogenous blocks in the east and then the W could argue amongst themselves .
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
went down to fouchon and grand isle to gather oysters yesterday and let me tell you there are more ducks down there than i have seen the whole season , greys and dogris stacked up in the south east end of timbailar bay and the marsh in that area by the 1000's same as the caminada area and old wisner wma ,cruise around fishing and birds jumping up in marsh everywhere , just wish we had a later season and they need to do their little fly over counts to see that
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
That's the problem. One size does not fit all. The hunter in hopedale wants an early season and 'let the W argue amongst themselves.' Typical. Here in central LA, now the West zone, we shoot ducks late. About 3000 teal, mallards and pintail sitting on my 180 acres now. Where did they come from?? Last year, the more wise and educated than I hypothesized and were wrong. These birds came from the North.
Zones are the only feasible way to satisfy this diverse state. I am so glad that we are not 'coastal' anymore; however, we cannot have the west and coastal zones with the same dates for 2016-17. What's the point? Weren't the zones created to address the diversity? Another question: Why was I sitting on my butt for 2 weeks while the guys in Arkansas were still hammering until the 31st??
Anyway looking forward to the public meetings. Only problem here is the commission. Will the commission listen to the majority, or will it do what ever in the heck it wants?

Long split, late season!
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
Blood and guts don't take the 'let the west argue' thing too seriously. My point was more that the driving force behind last years extra early opener was commission members supposedly addressing western LA hunters desires. I will agree that we saw migration from the north very late into the year this year. However the counts also indicate that there was a significant move from the coast inland in January. You are most correct to say no alignment benefits every location, also weather can throw a curveball any time.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
I would imagine B&G that the west dates have the greatest chance of being changed from the NOI.
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Re: LDWF Public Meetings
Public meetings are pointless when u have people that are rude and know everything under the sun and don't do there homework before getting up and making an ass clown of themselves. They should be escorted out the meeting
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