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Waterfowl Regulations

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I would really like to hear from all the serious waterfowlers in this state on the following issues that plague my mind:
1) Why can hunters "up North" build a levee around a CORN field, pump it full of water, install heating elements and pumps so it doesn't freeze over, and shoot limits of ducks everyday?? Or any other food source for that matter??
2) Why can hunters "up North" bring water to the food, but in southeast LA, you can't put bait in the water??

I've been hunting my entire life in the marshes and swamps of southeast LA, and can tell you its getting worse every year. The migrating population is decreasing, and I don't see it getting any better.
There's a reason Ducks Unlimited is headquartered in the Northern region of this country.
I can assure you, I will never send them a dime of my money until they prove to me that they are doing everything in their power to improve the chances of waterfowl migrating to this state. And from the videos I see on the Outdoor channel, Ducks Unlimited is only worried about taking care of their "rich buddies".
The Sportsman's Paradise is going to be a thing of the past for waterfowl hunters if we don't come together as a cumulative voice on what is considered legal or not for hunting over bait.
It's bad enough that by the time a duck does come to LA, it's been shot at in every state on its way down giving it a PhD, and now they're not coming at all because they have an unlimited amount of food.
I welcome all comments, but if you disagree, PLEASE have an intelligent response...Let me know if these regulations sicken you as much as they sicken me!!!

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   swampwood
Man thats got to be an Expensive Proposition! Building a levee, buying pumps, finding the water to fill these fields and installing Heaters LARGE enough to keep a POND from freezing over, oh and a LONG Extension Cord to plug it in! hehehehe....I'd hate to PAY for that $$$LEASE$$$

Whats your source of information?
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Get a lease up in arkansas or something then. There are several wma's in south la that are very good for ducks but if you really want lots of mallards you have to go north. If you want teal, ringnecks, greys, canvasbacks you can shoot all you want in south la basically and its pretty easy.
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The reason for not letting you bait is because that is cheating. Such as throwing out corn or something of that sort. They are doing it right by planting and flooding there is nothing wrong with that . They are putting alot of hard work into there love for the game . Yes I agree it sucks for us at the bottom of the fly zone. Also you migh want to look into what DU does before you bag on them.They have put alot of money into areas Im sure you hunt such as PAC, the Delta and many others down here. Due to hurricanes things get messed up pretty bad and cant get fixed every time. Another reason for the east not being the greatest is due to the rice fields in the west. I say be happy with what you have. So many free places to hunt. I think it is awesome this state has so many WMA's and refuges. Im not by any means trying to stir the pot but hey man. Be happy with what youve got. good luck this season.
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Yeah Bra....If i could afford it i would do it also...
1) Cause they can
2) Cause they can
same thing every year.... were not being sarcastic good buddy... what their doing is not illegal... You can plant feed all ya want. You cant just knock it down as to where you intentionaly feeding them... them farmers you speaking about have the grain out of there and just stubble by the time hunting season starts...Or should have...And belive me..when the food is gone..the ducks are gone soon after...
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I know a wma where you can kill ducks every time you go however they arent mallards and pintails they are teal and ringnecks mostly but hey if you just want 6 ducks than its the place to be.
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I'm not trying to insult anyone, but I feel that some of you are really missing the point...You can bring the water to the food, but you cant bring the food to the water. It's ALL manmade manipulation and we are suffering due to these bull**** federal regulations.
Let's ban ALL waterfowl hunting on ANY land that is manipulated by man for agricultural (and waterfowl hunting) purposes...Let's even things up
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Yea then the ducks would stay in the fields and never come down. At least the hunting pressure gets them moving i think.
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MD - here is my intelligent response from a not so intelligent guy (me) that has been hunting ducks in the marshes and swamps of Louisiana for over 40 yrs now -

DUCKS = $$$$ !

And since we are a capitalist society, individuals/organizations will do all they can within the legal regulations to capitalize on ducks (ie hold them for recreation and profit) - within the boundaries of the law.

And I disagree with/u about DU, and echo Todd Massons editorial about "Who Controls Ducks" in the latest LASMAG.

If u want to point a finger northward, it needs to be directed at private landowners, commercial and private duck clubs that do EVERYTHING IMAGINABLE at unimaginable costs to hold the ducks there. If u don't have first hand knowledge of this, you can easily surf around the internet to get a good taste of it.

I do agree the migration is dwindling .... significantly.

I ALMOST agree with you about ring leveeing and flooding a cornfield - just watch Jeff Foiles videos of his set-up north of St Louis - it verges on inhumane slaughter.
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   swampwood
Pray for a really COLD winter, not everyone up-state is going to have one of those heaters with the long extension cords (hehehe), so those ponds are gonna freeze over and then the MIGRATION will be ON!!!

But d'em ducks are going where the food is, no dought about it! So look out for those Duck Ponds that have good food sources :-)

Hunt Smarter...Don't try changing things out of your control.
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Im not hating on anybody...(hypotheticlly speaking) if i hunt everyday of the season and only shoot a Pintail a day in PAC...thats still 60 Pintails a season..How ya gonna complain about that....so quit complaining....Dont hate the player...
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   swampwood
I read the Masson article and it seems the potholes are disappearing because the farmers are planting every acre of there LAND they can MORE PLANT = MORE PROFIT so less and less prime breeding ground is available.

What ya gonna do Blame the Farmer? Try that next time you sit down for dinner.

This is NOT A SLAM just a FACT...I can feel your pain, but its been a long time since we've had a good ole'fashion winter, ya' know the kind with ice and hard freezes. Those ducks have a God given instinct to migrate to warmer weather.

Gettin'em down here is gonna take ole'man winter blowin' Southward.
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have you read anything DU does? just because because they might not be getting their hands dirty down in La you shouldnt discontinue to support them. they are doing plenty of work in the breeding grounds which if it werent for that, no one anywhere would have ducks to hunt. they are a big part of Louisiana duck hunting. And yes, it does seem a little unfair for the northern hunters to build levees around crop field but hey, life is unfair. put in the work and find the ducks down here. they got em. the past five years or so years ive hunted reggio and venice and have had pretty good success.
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I live in SE La as well and diff know what u mean. It would be nice if the state would go and put seed out in the spring of some of the natural growing plants that no longer in the ponds anymore. Like if they could go and put something in the ponds in Big Branch that would be awesome. There is no crops anymore on this side of the state to hold ducks in this area. SW la on the other hand is full of rice fields and crawfish ponds, plus all the flooded pastures.
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BMonster...AMEN brother!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Malleus Dei
you are exactly rite you hit the nail on the head DUCKS UNLIMITED is the problem I have been saying that for years
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Yall are really not understanding the situation im sorry to say. First of all without ducks unlimited there would be NO, NONE, ZERO breeding grounds for ducks in the prairie pothole region. DU has done so much to preserve that habitat guys. You realize we wouldnt have half the ducks today if it werent for ducks unlimited. It sounds crazy but its true. And while they do enhance habitat up north for hunting which may effect a small number of ducks not migration, the positive effects DU made far outweigh the negative effects.
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   Guy L
This complaint comes up every year. Some people have the belief that if a program does not put a rice field full of ducks in MY PERSONAL BACK YARD then it is not worth supporting. Forget the fact that the organization does great work in breeding grounds in the north, where the ducks are actually born, which is necessary before any of them can fly down to LA.

DU is a NATIONAL organization. They can't be expected to spend tons of money in one localized area. Why not point fingers at more local groups like Delta Waterfowl and others? It is great that locals start there own and can focus specifically on one area. That is where LA will directly benefit.

Nobody in LA wants to hear it, but the truth is, DU is a nationwide organization with responsibilities to a large diverse group of members. Their projects will always be on a national scale in breeding grounds, which are not in LA. Sure, they do contribure some funding and guidance on local progects, but specific local projects should be the responsibility of local groups and state DWF.
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   fedrh20
You DU bashers are a hoot! I would like to see those heaters! I wonder How those poor farmers can afford to run those things! Fuel prices soaring to an all time high and us guys down here with pumping stations, well heads and all on our fields are praying for rain most cases so we wont have to pump water! Maybe Willie Nelson has something to do with it? DUCK AID 2009!!!! Maybe its aliens? Wow thats it!
Get a grip fellas! Everything is not a conspiracy theory! Or is it? Sit back and hold your pennies and bash DU or Delta Waterfowl. I bet you have some sort of merchandise from them. Maybe a picture? Well study it closely and remember what it looks like! That may be all you have that resembles a duck or a honey hole one day! You should see the numbers of acreage lost per year. It is devastating... Please support one org or the other.... It is in the best interest of us all! And about the grain! Horse crap! If you can afford to buy a farmer out anywhere in the U.S. you can give him money for what he would get for that crop. We have done it before with standing corn! But we didnt buy the whole freaking field. Just a section. The food doesnt last that long! Dropping your lively hood on the ground is not a common habit of those farmers! Harvesting quick due to small windows because of extensive rain or flooding now thats another story! Then I assure you its not because they were worried about a duck! Get Educated before you speak.
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You actually believe this happens?

I tell you what, you go "Up North" and actually gather this information, present it to me, pictures included.......save your receipts and present them to me.....and I will reimburse you for the whole trip.....DEAL?
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Whatever dude... you think they will have ducks if they turn the prairie pothole region into a cornfield. If you belivee this then haha hey man i got some oceanfront property in arizona right, i'll sell you some. Thanks DU for everything and you should too geez man
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The over all problem is that we as southern hunters have been experencing is not manufactured by DU.

The sad fact is simple the northern hunters have done thier homework in providing the ducks what they need to survive
#1 Food
It is not aganst the law to hunt a flooded planted field as long as you follow strick guidelines laid out by the feds.
#2 Water
The northern guys have learned the valauble asset in fresh water.
#3 Cover
They provide the ducks with sufficiant resting cover.

All of these techniques used by the northern hunters is further magnified by weather. We havn't been getting the true north to south fronts and also the northern states have not been freezing up for the last 10yrs or so.

Mother nature has alway set the table for the ducks in Louisiana and now that the the dessimation of our main food sources and fresh water has been dammaged, (IE the marshes)
allong with the weather we are paying the price.

my 2 cents worth keep on runingunin
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   MEV
Swampmeister, my sentiment exactly! ALL, join DU and Delta, they secure the breeding grounds and protect the birds. They are not perfect, but are the only option? CRP land is dwendling and breeding grounds are reduced. Without them everyone can throw away all of their duck hunting gear and use the duckboat for fishing. Yes, there is a reduced number of birds in southern Louisiana compared to many years past. But you have to look at the big picture to understand why. WAKE UP GUYS!
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many hunt flooded standing crops here.... as for heating the ponds... not reall necessary if you have food and cover....

but.. No till farming is responsible for more and more ducks staying in the mid and uppper mid west each year...

they ponds and fields "saved" for hunters are but a small fraction....

no till farming leaves enough waste grain and natural feed to hold 5 times the number of ducks that are in the flyway..
FWIW no till farming started as a soil conservation practice in the mid-80s... and keeps spreading....

you can plead ingorance to the facts... it still doesn't change the facts.
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First of all you don't need to flood these fields to draw in the birds. It may help some but I've seen tons of ducks in North Texas and in Oklahoma and Missouri in dry fields. I think flooding the fields lets the hunters hunt them more efficiently.

Now if these people didn't hunt those fields what reason would the ducks have to leave? Everyone is always crying about shortstopping and duck sanctuaries throughout the country allegedly created by DU. Just imagine how bad it would be if no one could hunt the rice fields, the corn fields, or the wheat fields.

I understand the frustration. I remember going from shooting limits on every hunt on private hunting leases to being lucky to shoot a single limit all year. But do you honestly think that if we are getting less birds, baiting, hammering, and pressuring the few birds that are making it to Louisiana is the solution. I'd be willing to bet that even fewer would return the following years.

I think there is a whole lot of reasons south Louisiana doesn't see the numbers they used to and I don't think the weather is one of them. You have more of the breeding grounds being plowed under, you have no till farming that is leaving more food on the grounds, and you have every duck hunter or landowner that knows he can make a buck planting food for the ducks and either hunting it or selling the hunting rights. Everyone would do the same thing if they were able.

The thing that I find absolutely amazing is that you can go to the Wax Lake Delta or Atchafalaya Delta where the ducks see tremendous pressure and still kill easy limits. But if you travel just a few miles to the north to private leases, you can sometimes ride all day long without seeing a duck. Why the ducks stay where all the pressure is at and avoid the leases where there is little to no pressure really baffles me. But I don't think the answer is throwing out bait or putting out these new attractants that smell like food.
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"Without DU there wouldn't be any ducks at all".

Hogwash!

Migration patterns are definitely changing. How much can be attributed to the farming practices or to weather or to manipulating crops and water no one really knows.

I do KNOW that areas in Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas etc that have NEVER been wintering grounds for waterfowl now hold waterfowl all winter long. As long as there is feed and open water the ducks no longer have the need to move. Areas that never had a wintering group of birds now holds 500,000 mallards in January in their flooded corn fields. Your right, those ducks would have started stopping there without DU's intervention.
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   Slim Dog
Let me ask y'all something. If the duck hunting hasn't been very good over the last 5 to 10 years because of the weather, doesn't that mean that the duck numbers should be going up several million a year. If that is the case, why don't they start the season later and extend into January? I know that would interfer with the breeding pairs at that time, but your not killing any in Novemeber and Decemember so those numbers should be a wash...right? It seems to happen every year after the season is over in late January ducks are everywhere. Sounds like a no brainer to me. Start the season later. Just my 2 cents.
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less to do with weather than it has to do with no till farming...

also since 1999 more and more young ducks are taken further up the flyway... spinning wings...

and look at states like north dakota last 10 years.. 500% increase in out of state hunters..
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   Pintail58
Each year as the migration pattern changes, fewer and fewer ducks make it down here. It's really simple. Why migrate this far when you don't have to. I know it's been said over and over again, but the fact of the matter is when a pair of mallards (for instance) breed, produce broads and travel south for migration the young groupe follows the older groupe. If the older groupe decides not to migrate as far due to a plethera of food that froupe of young birds and their following generations will never migrate all the way south. There is nothing that we can do. There are still plenty of birds that make it down, not like "The Good Old Days", here we just have to hunt harder to find where they are or travel north. If i lived in the corn belt and owned land i guaronT that i'de have me one of them flooded corn fields my self and i'm sure that any true waterfowler here would too. Why ... Because then we wouldn't live in south LA and we would only worry about our hunting being good for the season. These guys up north arn't doing it to shortstop the birds so we don't get um they do it so THEY can kill there limit every day during the season. Sounds like something i'de do if i lived there. Can you blame them for wanting a dream season and doing whatever it takes to get it. That's what we are all wanting Dream Seasons , That's why we get so upset when we see others getting theirs. Now weither you support DU or not is your buisness. But in the end habitat in the breeding grounds is where money needs to be spent. You can argue and wine about "What does DU do for ME"..........Doesn't that sound a-lot like people all over this country asking a very similar question - The DU and + our government.......So donate if you will, if you don't like an organization that helps waterfowl,it may not be the best for you, but what is good for the birds, then don't simple as that.My 2cts.
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Henry
There must be something to do with the micro envronments. Maybe the the flood planes are producing more of a natural dinner plate than the areas farther northward? I don't know what it is but I coccure with you why are the #s higher in the healthy flood planes
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   rustonite
This is one of the dumbest posts I have ever seen on here. I've done alot of duck hunting "up north" and have never seen any of what you say. I also hunt flooded rice fields in LA, which is no different than what you are claiming they do "up north". Ridiculous. Btw, I'm going to a DU banquet tonight.
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   dwr3533
Are you proposing that no hunting be allowed in agricutural fields? You just put me and thousands of other La. hunters out of business. Last time I checked, the rice fields I hunt are flooded to hunt ducks. I understand you are frustrated about your hunting numbers going down. We all are seeing less birds. You want things to be fair. As an old friend used to say "Fair is a place hogs go to get ribbons".
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   dwr3533
Malleus, I do not want to come off as callous to your frustration. It is obvious that migration patterns are changing. I hunt with a retired game warden. About 35 years ago he told me "One of our biologists told me that in our lifetime we will probably have to travel to central La to kill ducks". I laughed at him at the time(I was hunting the marsh then and numbers were astounding). Since then thousands of acres of woods have been cleared and converted to crops from Opelousas up to Monroe and Shreveport. Guess what? They have ducks like the old days in the marsh at times. I regret that things have changed but the farmers are not doing anything illegal and unless we get severe cold weather, all we can do is make the best of the situation and enjoy what we have. The dates can not be extended until Feb. as that would violate the Migratory Bird Treaty with Canada and Mexico.
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   SlayCC
"There's a reason Ducks Unlimited is headquartered in the Northern region of this country."
Memphis Tenn is north of Hwy 90, but i don't think it borders Canada.So what region is Noth Dakota? Artic region possibly. Pick another topic that you might know something about,you have failed at this one.
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Malleus, first off the reason farmers can flood there fields is b/c they can manage that for one and they have the money to do it. Here in La you can plant feed and hunt it if you aren't intentionally beating the feed off. Many hunters do it. Its a controlled process, there are rules to it but this is the same as what the Northern guys do

If they allowed you to throw corn in any pond, then every yahoo around would be baiting a pond. You are'nt comparing apple to apples, think about it..

My brother lives up North and they for the most part hunt the same as us, no heaters and stuff man, surely that is the exception. Yes there are more birds for sure. That is partly due to the flyway patterns... But

Ducks Unlimited is in the busincss of preserving the breeding grounds, if that wasn't done the popultaion would be nada. The habitat here in La has changed vastly so i am sure that has a bit to do with it. Plus surely DU like everything is gonna work most for those that put up the most $$$. Obviously its not here in La. Think about it does the government dump any money here. this state is totally corrupt, money never makes it where its meant so i am sure DU isn't any different in this regard.... This state is a low priority period... The coast is disappearing and u don't see that being addressed....

My point although they may not help us directly, if it wasn't for the population being kept up i think it may be alot worse. If it gets bad up north it will get worse here... Remember money talks, they survive of money, and will focus their efforts on where it benefits them the most.... But i think overall they do alot to maintain the breeding grounds and if not for that it would be alot worse than it is....
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I think its bs that you can grow a field, not harvest it, flood it, then use water circulaters to keep it from freezing over. Im pretty sure that Du's biggest sponsors are more for the increase in duck population NOT hunting.
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   fedrh20
If I had a choice for all my money to go to the Ducks I would send it to Canada and the Great lakes and pot hole region! There are no ducks breeding in Slidell, New Orleans , Baton Rouge, etc. C,mon fellas!!!!! What can we possibly get from saving 14th street mudholes? DU dumps 15 million a year to try to save La wetlands.... Were doing it to ourselves with the help of mother nature! There are restoration project everywhere! Thats a restoration project that is saving valuble wetlands. This is not saving breeding grounds. Saving breeding grounds is what you need to be aware of. I guess thats the difference between a waterfowler and a guy that just likes to dress up and go chase a duck! With his duck dog and his mud beater.... Yeah I got both of those but I know exactly what it takes for me to have those orange marmalade glazed golden on a grill meals too! Man up! Go buy your 25 dollar membership and do something worthwhile.....
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   toodeep
fedrh20
it does not matter how much money you put into louisiana to help the ducks if the ducks do not come down here. i went to hunt in arkansas every pond around was frozen but the one i hunted. it really made me sick.
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   swampwood
Cold Weather, you can't control it but think about it. When the weather turns cold down here its REALLY COLD up North. As our winters go we really don't or haven't had Cold Weather that stays a week or more at a time until January or Feburary and what happens to the duck population, it EXPLODES down here!

We have no control over most everything that is being complained about on this Thread, except supporting DU or other Hunter Friendly habitat enhancer groups!

Go talk to the FEDS and see if they even give a DARN about you as the Hunter, I've talked to them, local and long distance. Man they're about protecting and preserving the Wildlife, Waterfowl and the Land they've been charged with protecting. (YOU and me)are just a population reduction tool and are VERY LOW on the food chain to them...

Now give us a early winter and COLD temps. and presto most of the Crying will stop, except for the Crying about it being to Cold!

Won't be long now and we'll be posting all those pics. and worrying about other things anyway...
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I think it may help if we did what BMonster was talking about. Putting food back in the marshes around SE la could help. I was scouting yesterday and there just isnt to much feed in the ponds around here. There has got to be something that DWF can reintroduce back into this area that would help keep ducks in the area. There is the Pearl wma, Big B and the Biloxi Marsh just to name a few that i think would benefit greatly from this. What say you?
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ignorance is bliss....
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Well that was a hell of a point you made there.
Real in-depth.
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   fedrh20
Too deep, you see, what I am sying is they do put money into preserving down here thats all that can be done down here! ....there are no breeding grounds down here!!!!!! Breeding grounds is what holds them through their birthing stages. If they dont have that you start seeing the empty ponds!
My thought is, sure there are fewer ducks, but if you wanna shoot your ducks you may have to scout harder, differently and broaden your horizons. There are ducks down here! And there showing up every day. Sign of the times my friends! Join DU and start saving those breeding grounds.....Or start growing grass on your roof top and putting kiddie pools up there in hopes of giving that duck a place to go!
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I understand what your saying and agree, but my post had nothing to do with DU. More of the state and wether it would be good if the DWF had a program to put food in the marsh. I know there is ducks here but they dont stay long when there is nothing to eat.
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As soon as I see real photographic evidence of the "heated ponds" up north, I will believe it. Until then, the initial post on this thread will remain to me INTERNET B.S.
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   boatmotor
Apparently no one remembers the 3 duck limit with only 30 days to hunt we had 15 years ago.
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Man I am not a rich man but I bought property this past summer in waterproof and it took me only 2000 to put a pump in the ground and 2 weekends to build a thw ground where it will hold water. I planted milo and corn which is standing and I will start flooding my 3 fields (10 acers a piece) in the next few weeks.

I have read all the rules about what to do and how to control fields with crops in it to not get introuble. Even have a Wildlife agent who hunts the same way next to my property and actually showed me how to do it the right way.

Its not hard by any means and I hunted two lodges last year who plant corn, beans, milo, millet throughtout there place and we had good hutns and bad hunts. It all comes down to it getting COLD!

Its not a hard process growing things in the marsh I do nto know anything about that but I do believe corn will be hard to grow
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   fedrh20
The indians used to build floating rafts and get the fertile river sediment and load those rafts down with planted corn! This was the main staple food for them. But we obviously cant do that! That would be a hoot! But the saltwater intrusion that we get frequently is what harms the freshwater marsh. Back years ago we had more of a barrier to keep that from happening and we lose more and more as time goes on. The effort DU, and the CCA in some aspects and our enviromental / gov agencies are doing everything they can do to solve this or at least slow it down. The idea of spreading native seed out again to grow the natural food back is not a far fetched idea by no means. Quite expensive I bet but a good idea. Germinating natural grasses and seed have a way of re producing them selves over time and with a little help it could get a jump start but is it feasible? I dont know! But DU and other organizations alike are doing everything they can to help the matters. It has to start somewhere. Money is the key. This is why we dont really need to bash them , but just give them the 25 dollars to help with the mission. Its us waterfowlers that started the recovery system in the first place! Kudos to the ones that have been steadfast in the mission to keep it alive and going. What is 25 bucks towards an investment for the future? That is a very small price to pay per year to be a part of a great cause!
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Ducks Unlimited does cater to the rich. However, there is means to an end. The rich are the ones up north that own all the land. I agree with some earlier posts that without DU securing vasts quantities of land where the ducks summer we would not much of a duck season anymore down here. I do agree with you on the feed point. If the limits are set up that in a way that if most hunters kill a limit each time they go out and the population will still sustain itself, why does it matter how we get that limit? The guys hunting over crop fields are HUNTING OVER BAIT. We marsh hunters get in big trouble if we bait a pond. I still believe that the birds not migrating has more to do with temperature than it does food. If it gets cold enough, the ducks will move further south.
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   fedrh20
I guess rich folks just dont need to attend the banquets? Thanks to them DU gets to sell a 1200 dollar gun for 2500 in some cases! To that rich boy he gets to write it off on taxes as a non profit donation! It is about the dollars! Thats what it takes to save the land! Im not rich! That duck doesnt know I am not rich! It cant tell I have spent hours upon hours re-painting decoys because I cant afford to replace them year after year. They work my spread without predjudice! Rich fellas! Keep up the good work! I donate my 25 dollars without fail! I like shooting ducks! I will keep shooting ducks! Even if I have to get out of my boat and get ducks the hard way! Mud, stinch, gators and all! I love it!
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   Slim Dog
Is has everything to do with weather. Freezing conditions from Arkansas up North with force duck here..period.
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since no till farming unless the midwest get blanketed with snow and it stays on the ground for more than 5 days and is TOO thick for ducks to forage..

it can be zero degrees.. and the mallards will stay if they can reach food..
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   Copehagen
One of the problems that no one on here seems to ever take into consideration is loss of habitat. Now I'm not talking about land being lost to development we have more woods and wetlands in the Con US that we did 100 years ago. Thats a fact the even the US Government acknowledges.

I'm talking about the amount of acres being farmed in rice in prime areas like around Gueydan. I have appraised numerous farms aroudn that area over the previous 12 months including the old farm which was part of the Cecil Picard estate and there is a real problem with loss of acreage in production.

The last farm I appraised was just to the south of Gueydan near the old Florence Club. The farmer there told me that years ago there used to be 15,000 acres in rice, now there is less than 5,000 acres in production. Now those lands haven't been developed for subdivisions but rather have been converted to pasture or other farm lands which don't hold ducks. On the Florence Club alone there used to be 5,000 acres alone, now there is about 1,500 acres in rice.

There is a litany of different reasons for this and I'm not going to bring them up now but this has a huge impact on ducks and duck numbers here. It also has something to do with hunting pressure as the less habitat available tends to lend itself to the perception of more pressure. This isn't necessarily true, its just that the remaining hunters have less to lease and access in certain areas. So the few remaining acres in production receive alot of demand for hunters. There may or may not be more duck hunters now but the hunters who remain have less acreage to access.

This also causes changes in migration patterns as areas that once offered ducks 15,000 acres now only offers 5,000 or 1/3 of what just a short time ago was available. So naturally the ducks are moving to where the rice fields are now.

I'm not saying that all of the other factors here are not valid and don't hold merit. I'm merely pointing out what should be obvious and that is your simply not going to be able to hold the hunters and ducks that you once did when the amount of duck habitat has decreased by two thirds in one of your prime wintering areas.

What I do hear is a bunch of class warfare and complaining/whining from a group of individuals (hunters) who are typically thought of as self reliant and for the most part conservative. Want to be pissed off be pissed off at those repsonsible for farmers on their own volition taking 2/3 of prime duck wintering ground out of rice production and into cow pasture. That said the farmers are acting out of pressure by larger forces that are impacting issues which have lead to this decrease. Certain things such as high energy cost for diesel which also impacts fertilizer cost, hmmnn. Who has prohibited us here in the United States for drilling for more oil and gas which we now we have (proven reserves), who refuses to fix the holes in the levees in Vermilion and Cameron Parish caused by recent hurricanes that have allowed salt water to migrate very far north and cause farmers to run pumps (diesel) instead of pumping out of the irrigation canal because its too salty. Who pays farmers to not farm acres to manipulate prices.

POLITICIANS, and mostly liberal democrats. So again I say while all the comments before mine may be valid and hold merit try looking at the bigger picture and placing most of the blame where it squarely and rightfully belongs.

Just my two cents.
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I'm with you fed, they are doing what they are intended to do, preserve wetlands. What would htey do here by dumping money here?????

Some of you guys are complaining about the Norhtern guys hunting over field crops, well u can do that here just go read the rules. Also what does this have to do with DU. they aren't the ones making laws...U guys are complaing but its your own ignorance that has you of this thought. Those up north help themselves by working within their means with their local groups. We don't do that at all here, so what would they do to help the ducks to come here...

I think the people that have issues here are those that are ignorant.....

Yeah u can say that ducks don't come here and it used to be this and that. 20 years ago duck hunting sucked....

ducks just don't come as far south here now... could be due to saltwater intrusion, or whatever. I guess u want DU to start rebuilding the coast so the ducks will come back.... u have to look at the big picture not just how it affects your locaion.....
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20 years ago duck hunting sucked??? Really where were you at Trout Assassin, those were the good ole days for my old man.....Maybe you should sharpen up your calling skills,decoy spread set up, blind set up or something because youre screwed these days if you couldnt kill ducks back then... Especially if you hunt public land these days..
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Most guys are not understandung if you have a place that can hold crops then your allowed to plant and if you follow the rules hunt over what you grow. I believe it comes down to guys being jealous of people who are able to plant an be able to hunt fields. Who cares do research if you have the ability to plant and plant.

I know plenty of guys who hunt the marsh and kill lots of ducks. I hunted two major La lodges last year and both had corn and Milo fields and again we had great hunts and bad hunts.

It does not cost alot of money to build your place up to have great fields. If you have you own land it's simple if your hunting public land then that's a different story not much you can do there
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I think ducks are declining in Louisiana, especially mallards ....Unfortunate, but true. The big concern I have is geese declining. Why? Supposedly there is a new strain of rice, I believe it is called clearfield. Supposedley it can take being sprayed by herbicide and live, supposedly the geese will not eat in fields that are sprayed with herbicide, and somewhere upwards of 85% of kaplan farmers are using it now. Clint Matthews, Goose Guides inc. was saying this. I would hate to loose our geese, they really supplement the lack of ducks in my mind. In my mind it seems recently (3-5years) there are more Geese being killed to the East, Northeast of where the majority of geese have traditionally been shot (Klondike, Gueydan). Lots of birds around Lebeau, Ville platte areas that used to not be.
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I wonder how much of an effect the eroding marsh and saltwater intrusion have have had on the duck numbers in So. La.? How much marsh do you see in your area right now that is salt water when 20 years ago (or less) it was freshwater?

Food for thought.
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   fedrh20
The North American continent is not the only place ducks migrate too! They actually fly east! To Europe! What is over there? There sure arent any rice fields in Germany! Ive seen thousands of mallards stacked in ponds over there once. Weather plays a role a significant role! But you cannot control ducks! You are not going to reroute a built in homing device! They will go where they want to..........
Just save what we have now for the future and try to get back some that we have lost! 20 years ago I shot the heck outa ducks! I still have those days! I still get the bad ones too! I believe if I limited out every day, I would quit! It would get too boring..... Kinda like shooting a 30 pt buck everyday! Ive got access to some of the finest family big buck shooting land in Ms.... I go once or twice.... Take a deer or two. My cousins nick named me culler! B/c I started letting them walk and shooting those gimp bucks or the ones with jacked up horns.... This is by choice. Relate it to killing limits everyday... I dont have a freezer big enough for them! What I take lasts me throughout the year! Enjoy it fellas..... Those of you that complain the most and still dont understand the mission. Well just sit back and shoot what you can. Its guys like us that will keep them coming! Fill the hall fill the skies! I am going scouting and then to a banquet! PEACE OUT!!!!
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   kjs123
if i had a flooded corn or rice feid id be hunting it too. do you think people in louisiana arent doing the same as the guys up north, i bet they do it in every state? if they ban duck hunting in flooded feilds whats next....no deer hunting in soybean feilds, corn feilds or wheat feilds. no squrrel hunting 1000 feet from a pecan tree or deer hunting 1000ft from an oak filled with acorns. hey all i can tell you, if you own marshland go try to get some corn to grow on it so you can cut it down in the winter. i dont think "they" should ban anything, once you give them inch they take a mile. just be happy that you can go out and kill something , be happy even if you dont.
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