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Ok, is it legal to plant crop for ducks? I have a friend who plants in his rice field and according to him, they always have done it and its perfectly fine. So can I plant in the woods? They planted a biologic mix (guide's choice).... is this ok? I have read the laws but they seem to contradict eachother... let me quote!

http://www.fws.gov/le/HuntFish/waterfowl_baiting.htm

What is legal?
Standing or flooded standing crops where grain is inadvertently scattered solely as the result of hunters entering or leaving the area, placing decoys, or retrieving downed birds. Hunters are cautioned that while conducting these activities, any intentional scattering of grain will create a baited area.

What is illegal?
Areas where grain or seed has been top-sown and the Cooperative Extension Service does not recommend the practice of top sowing (see section on wildlife food plots).
Also, Freshly planted wildlife food plots that contain exposed grain.
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   Guy L
I researched this a few years back and basically, farmers get a free pass because anything done to a crop that is a normal process of harvesting/planting is legal to hunt over. But, you cannot plant a small patch of rice just to hunt over, walk out before a hunt and shake some rice off the stalks, then hunt it, because that is not a normal harvesting practice. But, you can hunt in the field after the combine came through and left 800 pounds of remnant rice, because this is a normal accepted harvesting practice.

BUT, I did read where you CAN plant any plant and allow it to go to seed. The first initial planting would be considered artificial bait and cannot be hunted over, BUT any regrowth of the first planting would then be considered a native plant, because it regenerated on its own, and would then be legal to hunt over. So, plant your crop early, allow it to go to seed, then fertilize it the next fall and see what comes back. That second year crop would be legal to hunt over.
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Ok u said... "But, you cannot plant a small patch of rice just to hunt over, walk out before a hunt and shake some rice off the stalks, then hunt it, because that is not a normal harvesting practice."

Sooo, what if i never go shake some "rice" off the stalks according to the fws site it seems that as long as the seeds are knocked off INADVERTANTLY then it ok?
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You can plant a crop such as rice milo soybeans etc and flood it for ducks even if it has not been harvested. You can not intentionally spread the grain from the crop or knock it down such as using a flattening device to create a opening in the crop. If you are walking through it, its legal. We did planted milo for teal in a pond on the edges of the pond this year. In a 60 acre pond we planted about 40 yds wide all around the pond and flooded it. The middle is open. Its loaded with teal and legal.
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   Guy L
You can't plant anything specifically and solely to attract ducks and hunt over that grown crop. If you are a farmer and you are planting a crop for profit, you can hunt over your crop, as long as you don't do anything outside of normal harvesting practices. That's why its illegal to drive an ATV in circles over a standing rice crop to make a water hole and hunt in it. That is not a harvesting practice, it is intended solely to produce bait for the ducks. You are not even supposed to walk out into the field and knock rice off the stalk. Again, not a harvesting practice. Like I said, farmers get a free pass to hunt over LEGITIMATE CROPS FOR PROFIT as long as they are only conducting LEGITIMATE HARVESTING PROCEDURES.

After the first planting of whatever you plant goes to seed and reproduces on its own, it is now legal to hunt over becuase what regrew was not planted by you, it is now a native plant regenerating on its own. Just like coongrass in the marsh. Natural vegetation.

It seemed pretty well described in the document I read. If I can find it, I will post it for you.
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I dont know where you got your information but you need to reread it. Our pond borders a ferderal waterfowl refuge and was prepared under the supervision of federal wildlife agents. They patrol the border routinely and comment on how well it turned out because of the hundreds of teal in there. They suggested milo being planted because when wet it tends to drop its grain naturally. They also suggested planting the edges only so it would give a place to set decoys without disturbing the actual plants and therefore eliminating any questions as to baiting. You CAN PLANT for ducks. You cant mow, flatten,trample,or manipulate the crop so as to make it more attractive for waterfowl. Get your facts straight before you inform someone.
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   slamb536
My good friend is a biologist with LDWF. It is LEGAL to plant an attractant crop in any future duck pond. We plant millet in our ponds and allow it to head out. As long as we only plant it where we will not be walking or riding through it, we are fine. A dog can knock it over because you have no control over where the birds will fal and how your dog will retrieve it. It is illegal for any human or any type of human interferance to contact the plants. SO dukcommander you are right, with what the fws said. You may plant just not knock it or intentially spread it after the seeds have sprouted.
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Thanks slam for your input. Our pond borders grande cote nwr and we are monitored constantly while hunting by the fed agents. Thats why we consulted them before doing any planting. Thats why they recommended planting the edges away from aour immediate hunting area. You can retrieve ducks that fall in the crop just not intentially flatten it to hunt over. Im not bashing anyone, just suggesting to please be sure of your facts before you advise someone else on a hunting practice that may result in being cited. I see alot of misleading information being given on this site.
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I am not 100%, but duck assassin, guy is reading the law the way it is written. Sometimes what it says and what agents in a particular area allow are two different things. He may be correct, and it may be that those agents simply allow that practice since its a grey area. Like i said i am not really sure but i thought it was illegal to plant and hunt over it unless it regrew naturally.

but before you bash him on getting his facts straight, note that all you know is what those 2 agents have told you which may not be the facts, maybe just their take on it.
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soo whos to say my plants didnt regrow from last year? How can they saY I planted it this year???
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   davidb
http://library.fws.gov/divisionsites/conservationlibrary/Bird_Publications/waterfowlhunting04.pdf
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Thanks david, but isnt that a copy of the website I showed first??
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   davidb
I don't think it is the same, but it is very similar. The one I posted is the US Fish and Wildlife's Migratory Waterfowl Baiting Pamphlet. For a more in-depth look at the regulations, Google the Code of Federal Regulations concerning waterfowl baiting. It is about 10 sections long written in legal-ese.
Crawfish pond owners plant rice or Japanese millet as an approved forage crop for crawfish. These ponds can be hunted legally.
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Planting
a normal planting is undertaken for the purpose of producing a crop. The fish and wildlife service does not make a distinction between agriculture fields planted with the intent to harvest a crop and those planted without the intent to harvest as long as the planting is in accordance with the recommendations from the cooperative extension service. NOW. INTERPRET THIS TO THE BEST OF YOUR INTELLECTUAL ABILITY! Trout assassin i guess i know not only what the several agent told me but also what is written in the law. MY facts are straight. I wasnt bashing guy l. Maybe you should stick to trout fishing.
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ok ok ok didnt want to start fights, just want to know.... can I plant the biologic forage or not?
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I refuse to answer that.Obviously interpretation of the law, according to some, lies in the individual reading it...not the federal agents that enforce it.
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   Guy L
Thanks for the scolding assassin. Actually, I am suggesting a more restrictive interpretation of the law than you are suggesting, so I don't see how my post may cause someone to get cited. But I am not here to argue.

Here is the cut/paste direct quote from the regulations:

Wildlife Food Plots
You cannot legally hunt waterfowl over freshly planted
wildlife food plots where grain or seed has been
distributed, scattered, or exposed because these plots
are not normal agricultural plantings or normal soil
stabilization practices. Wildlife food plots may be
considered a normal agricultural practice, but they do
not meet the definition of a normal agricultural planting,
harvest, post-harvest manipulation, or a normal soil
stabilization practice.

The last sentence spells it out for me, but interpret as you see fit.
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   cmcnabb
we never worry about planting anything in our fields. we still have a good number or birds. but then again our fields are always farmed so they are already planted but they are harvested. a bunch of rice in the field would help you kill more birds, but they key to killin birds, as well as the funnest part of hunting waterfowl is a good call. GUY L, i am in no way tryin to offend you, but the first sentence of your paragraph sais it all buddy:

"You cannot legally hunt waterfowl over freshly planted
wildlife food plots where grain or seed has been
distributed, scattered, or exposed because these plots
are not normal agricultural plantings or normal soil
stabilization practices"

to me that means you just cant bush hog to scatter the grain or buffalo a pond in the middle. as long as you leave it in its natural state, you should be good to go and i agree with duckassassin

Dukcommander, if you are this concerned with the issue, why not call the wildlife and fisheries and ask them instead of asking people who are not gamewardens. you are gunna get a for sure answer and not riff raff between a few individuals.
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i have to agree with Guy L on this one. after doing some research and having been told the law by agents before, i believe that it would be illegal to plant the biologic. i asked an agent one time about the baiting law during teal season because the rice was still on the stem. he explained to me that it is considered an agricultural field and that the rice must be harvested once before it can be hunted over since the 2nd crop is result of a natural regrowth. assasin- the agents by where you hunt may see things differently. the bashing you gave guy l was riducoulus. the man was just reading the law
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   d-boyzs
Ok if it's illegal to hunt over a piece of property that has been altered in any other way than natural methods of harvisting , then why do lease holders advertise that there fields are buffaloed and ready for u to hunt. What if all the work u do to the property is done in advance of the season and you planted the field so that u wouldnt have to buffalo it r do any kind of alterations to it then would it still be illegal?
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   cmcnabb
it is perfectly legal to buffalo CUT rice. what would make it illegal to buffalo is if you planted rice just for ducks to eat and made no attempt to harvest and then buffaloed it.
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Duck Assassin, Like i said i can see it both ways, obviously you are the one that needs help duck hunting. I got no problem killin limits, you are the one that has to plant feed for your birds...

Anyway you may be right, like i said i ain't sure either way cause it can be interpreted both ways, but i see you guys point cause it does look like planting would be legal, i would call LDWF if i really cared.

All i was saying was there is no reason to be a jerk about it. Seems that there is alot of confusion on this and its prolly cause the facts are unclear.

But i get it you are one of those people that are pretty inscure on the inside and have to put down others and act high on the horse to build that ego up.. Good luck with that
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   escout
I have wondered at this delimma also.

They changed the law a little a few years back, and I think you can plant and after the plants have matured(not seed still on the ground from planting), you can hunt it if you don't manipulate(scatter it or accumulate it in an area).

Here's a more recent version, 2005 instead of 2004, that has contact info for the FWS. They seem to like being vague on the subject.

http://www.fws.gov/le/huntfish/waterfowl_baiting.htm

It would definitely be too late to plant now. Call the FWS and ask about next year planting after duck season.

I know they had a big stink about Delta Waterfowl that had an agricultural crop, then Gustav ruined it and they had to destroy the crop in a prescribed way to get crop insurance, then the FWS said that that was baiting. Delta got lawyers and fought it, but it ruined a lot of peoples hunting season that paid big bucks for a blind there.

Ultimately, I think the state called their bluff on it and backed them down.

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I'm sure the baiting regulations are federal regulations and not state.

I know in Oklahoma the WLF would plant several fields with Millet on WMA's and then flood right before the season. None of the millet was every harvested and hunters walk right through the middle off it and inadvertantly knock the "seed" off of the plant.

I find it hard to believe the the Oklahoma Department of Conservation would plant Japanese Millet in fields, flood it, don't harvest it, and then allow hunting on it if it were illegal.

You can plant, flood and hunt as long as you don't intentionally knock it down and spread the grain/seed. If its not harvested you have to hunt the field as it is. I know several people throughout the country that plant millet and then flood it prior to the season and hunt over it with it never been harvested.

That paragraph posted below sounds to me that you can't over a "freshly planted field." Another words if you scatter grain to grow a group you can't hunt it until the seeds germinate and begin to grow. But again thats only my interpretation and I'm not going to say its the law.

But I don't think you'd have any problems planting a crop, flooding it, and then hunting over it as long as you didn't alter it in anyway after the crop comes up.
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I apologize if i hurt anyones feelings. I realize we have become a sensative society and I have to be ore careful the way I make my point. No bashing ws intended just trying to keep someone from getting the wrong information. I hope i dont get sued over these comments...Lord knows that seems to be the trend these days....and trout assassin...I definitely dont have any problem killing ducks. I guess you missed the dozens of pics I posted of ducks this year. We hunt flooded timber that is not planted with anything. We plant for teal to keep the teal from leaving our area and moving to the harvested rice fields in the area and also to compete with the 6000 acres of federal land that is not hunted and planted to hold ducks. But not to worry...in the future Ill let you guys decide for yourselves what the law is. Trying to make a point here is like trying to make a point to my 21 year old daughter...useless. I going take a look at my pond. Yesterday the agent I talked to estimated we had approx 1000 teal in our 60 acre pond. Maybe using the means the law allows to attract teal to your area, like planting a crop, is SMARTER than doing nothing at all.
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Just one more thing before im done here. Everyone talks about interpreting the law...in the end the way the agents and the courts interpret the law is ultimately the ONLY ONE THAT COUNTS so talk to your local agent. They ALL interpret it the same. As for the delta issue...it was illegal because the crop was never harvested then knocked down by being plowed which is illegal. Had the rice been harvested first it wouldnt have mattered what you did to the crop after that.
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You can twist it how you want but sensitivity has nothing to do with it. Point is there is no point being a prick to people when they are voicing their interpretation.

If i had to bet it seems that you are prolly right from reading most of these posts. Actually thats pretty cool if thats the case.. But the thing is not all the agents interpret the law the same way in these grey areas, but again i think you are prolly right on it but it just baffles me that you feel the need to be a prick to people to get your point across and that is probably why your daughter ignores you as well..

Anyway it seems that since its a grey area you would understand the mis-interpretation but i guess you feel that you need to be a pecker to people and belittle them to make your point. Its the way you feel like a man i guess. Typical ego freak.

But aside from that thanks for the info
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1. you can plant whatever you want - provided you plant it within the guidlenes of local agriculture... ie.you cannot go scatter seed (corn) all over a field in december and call it planting....

2.If you do not harvest or attempt to harvest the crop - it cannot be manipulated other than normal wear and tear from activities such as animals and normal human traffic.

3. if you manipulate a standing crop.. including kncoking it down to make "lanes"... guess what... you could have a problem.... unless you knock it down or manipulate prior to "heading out" ie when seed/feed is produced..

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Ok my uncle is in the wildlife and fisheries. Crops have to be harvested. after that you can do what ever you want to it. besides putting more seed. If not harvested you cannot knock down a hole and hunt, as that would be baiting it! soo there you go!
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   duckin61
You really got them stirred up on this one kyle
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Right ragan...
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Come on guys please chill out. There is some great information here and debate. It's always been a close call on what is legal and what is not for duck crops. Personally I can't wait till the shooting starts...for ducks that is.

Have you guys noticed how antsy everyone is right now? It happens every year just before hunting season.

By the way...the marshes I hunt below Terrebonne Parish are much improved from last year. Looks like the natural feed should be in good shape for most of the season provided we don't get any storm surges between now and then.
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How would you like to make a duck hunt with us this year...we would love to have you. Then you can experience my ego face to face.
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First of all being born and raised in LA. One has to remember that the way we write laws has a lot of room for interuption.
The way it is explained to me by a good friend of mine that is a agent says. You can plant any thing you want on private or leased land. The catch 22 is that the crop has to mature. Which for most grain crops is about 60 to 80 days in good conditions. During this time it cannot be hunted in any way until the most of crop has at least sprouted. When the the crop has headed up or matured it cannot be intensionaly knocked down for hunting.
With all of that being said this is how you do it. Just don't plant where you want your decoys to go. The ducks of any birds will land there and swim or walk into the grained areas.
The main area of confusion comes from Knocking the crop down.
Farmers do this to harvest thier crop which is totaly legal to hunt over if they at least made a attempt to harvest.
You as hunters cannot knock it down intensionly. The law says that the seed must either fall on its own or any natural causes like animal traffic , wind , human

THE BIG NO-NO IS NO BUSH HOGGING ANY PLANTED CROPS FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF HUNTING.

This is why you see people in other states hunting in standing corn or millett. They simply followed thes guide lines.

Hope this helps to clear the air.

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I’ve been trying to stay out of this but can’t. If you are planning on legally hunting over any type of agricultural crop, whatever you do, do not use this thread (or me) as a reference. Although some on here share in my interpretation, it is full incorrect information. Understand that there are strict laws concerning the manipulation of agricultural crops and you should call WLF if you are planning on doing so. You cannot simply make an Attempt to harvest. It must be a “normal” and in accordance of the recommendations of the CES. However, for those of you with wlf buddies keep their numbers in your pocket. Because they are your trump card in regards to if your agricultural planting, harvesting, and manipulation is legal:
USFWS: However, the Fish and Wildlife Service will continue to make final determinations about whether these recommendations were followed.
More importantly, the penalty for not following this is no slap on the wrist. Do your due diligence. And we’ll all settle down a little once season starts.
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   BAYOUCOP
My name is Russell Lambert some of you may know me. I use to be the land manager for Delta Saline plantation near Deville, LA. Ran all 55,000 thousand acres for 8 years. Never once had a problem with the State or Feds. We use to plant food plots for the ducks. hundreds of acres. We planted in the month of May so everything would be fully mature by the time season rolled around. As long as you do not manipulate the crop in any way your good. We had one knuckle head who thought he would bring a weedeater out there and cut some down he was asked to leave the property and the field was drained. you can one and only one ingress and egress point IE one trail going to and from the blind. Anytime you want to plant something for ducks call your local agent and ask them to come look at what you want to do or go to him and have a meeting. Its that simple. If you make the effort with them then you cant go wrong. Like I said never a problem in 8 years except with some of the idiot hunters. I would not plant this time of year though cause of spillage and the crop has no time to mature. But this comeing late spring get after it. I am willing to answer any questions anyone wants to ask. All this in my humble opinion........
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Great stuff, thanks.
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   toodeep
if you are allowed to kill 6 duck i see no reason why you can not plant to kill your 6 duck as long as you are in the limit. it cost so much to go and kill only 2 or 3 ducks.
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Hows is this for misinformation

http://www.fws.gov/le/huntfish/waterfowl_baiting.htm

What is Legal?

You can hunt waterfowl on or over or from:

Standing crops or flooded standing crops, including aquatic plants.
Standing, flooded, or manipulated natural vegetation.
Flooded harvested croplands.
Lands or areas where grains have been scattered solely as the result of a normal agricultural planting, harvesting, or post-harvest manipulation.
Lands or areas where top-sown seeds have been scattered solely as the result of a normal agricultural planting, or a planting for agricultural soil erosion control or post-mining land reclamation.
A blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with natural vegetation.
A blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with vegetation from agricultural crops, provided your use of such vegetation does not expose, deposit, distribute or scatter grain or other feed.
Standing or flooded standing crops where grain is inadvertently scattered solely as the result of hunters entering or leaving the area, placing decoys, or retrieving downed birds. Hunters are cautioned that while conducting these activities, any intentional scattering of grain will create a baited area.
What is Illegal?

Some examples of areas where you cannot hunt waterfowl include:

Areas where grain or seed has been top-sown and the Cooperative Extension Service does not recommend the practice of top sowing (see section on wildlife food plots).
Crops that have been harvested outside of the recommended harvest dates established by the Cooperative Extension Service (including any subsequent post-harvest manipulations).
Unharvested crops that have been trampled by livestock or subjected to other types of manipulations that distribute, scatter, or expose grain.
Areas where grain is present and stored, such as grain elevators and grain bins.
Areas where grain is present for the purpose of feeding livestock.
Freshly planted wildlife food plots that contain exposed grain.
Croplands where a crop has been harvested and the removed grain is redistributed or “added back” onto the area where grown.
These examples do not represent an all-inclusive list of waterfowl baiting violations.

The Hunter's Responsibility

As a waterfowl hunter, you are responsible for determining whether your proposed hunting area is baited. Before hunting, you should:

Familiarize yourself with Federal and State waterfowl hunting regulations.
Ask the landowner, your host or guide, and your hunting partners if the area has been baited and inspect the area for the presence of bait.
Suspect the presence of bait if you see waterfowl feeding in a particular area in unusually large concentrations or displaying a lack of caution.
Look for grain or other feed in the water, along the shore, and on the field. Pay particular attention to the presence of spilled grain on harvested fields and seeds planted by means of top sowing.
Confirm that scattered seeds or grains on agricultural lands are present solely as the result of a normal agricultural planting, normal agricultural harvesting, normal agricultural post-harvest manipulation, or normal soil stabilization practice by consulting the Cooperative Extension Service.
Abandon the hunting site if you find grain or feed in an area and are uncertain about why it is there.
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