I hope LS will quickly provide more background on JBE's recent appointee to the Wild Life and Fisheries commission Telley Savalas Madina. From what I can determine he looks like an odd choice. Sure he has some association with the Louisiana Oystermen Association but no real qualification via life experience or education involving wildlife or biology. Most information I find involves him being a bit of a leftist activist. Hopefully there is more to this story, some non-political affinity for the broad issues at stake for our states natural resources, commercial fishers and sportsman. Appointing folks with no personal understanding of hunting and fishing is the first step down the slippery slope to losing our heritage as The Sportman's Paradise. I'm not sure 'advocating for minority fishing communities ' after BP is really a key qualification to being a top level decider of critical wildlife management decisions. Hopefully LS sportsman can get an interview and some more background.
Y'all see this !
Wonder what the ticket is??? Is the channel itself really part of the refuge??? Crazy! Why not have lottery hunting on the portion inside the levees where the ducks actually are and leave the brackish marsh as a rest area and not screw over fisherman??? Typical they give with one hand (limited crappy hunting) and take with the other!
Well after prolonged Indian summer, it looks as though liquid water will be in short supply north of MO by turkey day. Will this result in a glut of birds and an end to gripin or will the tales of short stopping by DU and it's endless acres of flooded sauna heated corn fields commence????
PS can't post pics from my iPhone quatro.
Was done at 6:15 this morning. We aren't holding as many birds as opening week last year but the ponds with good wigeon grass have grays. Set up alone (you should've been there pops), and was done quick with decoying grays. Water was back down to normal and there were gulls on trout in Bayou Louttre on the way in.
I was helping a friend run gator lines today. Saw several flocks of 5-20 teal trading.
The science of waterfowl management is presumably THE MOST data driven set of hunting regulations in the world, certainly the scale and effort of data collection is an amazing thing. This data is used to generate season frameworks and by all appearances AHM has succeeded in ending decades of contentious and reactionary waterfowl management by federal fiat.
However in stating that maximizing harvest counts is the ultimate goal of setting zonal seasons within the federal framework I feel you are missing the mark. Waterfowl hunting is by its nature a recreation and a pastime. As such one can readily argue that hunter satisfaction with the waterfowling experience is the most realavant statistic. Ordinarily such a mark would be emphearal and hard to quantify, but lo and behold we find ourselves with data showing the previous season's dates produced and unprecedented level of satisfaction amongst coastal zone hunters! It would seem logical to continue in the vien of such sucess.
As to the concept that 'no other game season is managed by popular opinion' realize that most resident game seasons are 4-5months in length and involve hunting realatively static quarry. In other words rabbit season opens in early October but by preference we (the members of my hunting club)will not hunt rabbits on our leases until December or later. If folks in another area choose to brave the heat and snakes their success will in no way be to my detriment and since the rabbit season is long I can get several rabbit hunts in in cool weather while those who prefer it hot can make a fair number of hunts in their preferred conditions. Also hunting rabbits on their property does not affect the behavior of rabbits in my area.
The waterfowler on the other hand is faced with a much more limited season, he is faced with a widely ranging quarry who will become more wary as the season progresses regardless of whether or not a given piece of acerage is hunted. Thus it is much harder for us to 'pick our days' and most of us will simply hunt when we are off. Waterfowling also differs from deer and turkey hunting where optimal hunting period (as determined by breeding behavior of males) occurs in a highly geographically predictable manner. In reality we all know that wind, rain, temperature and tidal conditions frequently have more to do with duck hunting sucess than raw duck counts. There is no way to predict these factors ahead of time but we can predict with fair certainty that balmy and buggy conditions often prevail for the first week of November! In the end however a duck hunter feels a fool for foregoing the opener in the way many rabbit, squirrel and bow hunters do. The season is too precious and the birds too transient to wait on weather. On the other hand in a variety of settings we have voiced our preference to delay said opening till mid November when more enjoyable environmental condition are possible if not likely.
You are correct in contending that a winter weighted season (with most days in late December and January)is sub-optimal for coastal gunners. Most coastal bags consist of species who migrate based on photoperiod as much as weather. You are incorrect however in extrapolating that because a given duck species is not migrating to flee ice-up weather is not still part of the equation and thus 'earlier yet is even better' for duck season. You are also misguided to ignore the recomendations of your head waterfowl biologist who's life work and passion centers on this very topic (who is also a coastal zone waterfowler with skin in the game). He is indicating to you the wisest way forward balancing the realities of hunter preference, meterorogical conditions and both population and harvest data.
Hey was anybody at the commission meeting to know how they set the snipe season? Just curious if they split it the way they have been (hoping they did).
Here is a study from immediately before and after the MRGO opened. It basically proves the point of both those who want the MRGO to stay closed and those who want it reopened. It addresses Lake Borgne but one can be certain that Lake Pontchartrain was no saltier. The operative point is that L. Borgne had a mean annual salinity of 5 ppt. Also that most speckled trout over 12 inches were captured post and pre spawn in the fall and spring. Bottom line is as always we can' have our cake and eat it too, we can have a dying system that due to saltwater intrusion provides ready near launch access to all esturine species (until final collapse) or we can have a dynamic surviving or even growing system where certain halophilic species will have a seasonal abundance in the upper parts of the estuary.
Hunted in the winds this morning. The MRGO was rocking when we crossed it in the dark! Got to my pond and set up with 15 decoys just upwind of the point the blind was on. It's a good thing I set up that way because 30 MPH winds made it hard to finish the birds. But despite half the flocks landing short we managed 7 grays, 3 bluewings, 1 greenwing and a spoony by 7:15. Saw more high migrators coming in so you weekend warriors should have fresh birds next Saturday. Even saw a lost lone snow but couldnt get him to circle by the time I dug my goose call out. Altogether a memorable day.
Hunted my lease in Hopedale this morning. Had a limit of teal by 8 am. If our shooting had been better we would have been done by 7:15. Decoyed 200-250 teal in flocks of 2-30. My friends in the area also limited (12 hunters total). Some had mostly grays, some a mixed bag. Some divers were killed (2 dosgris) and one Greenhead.
Hunted alone this AM and limited out by 7:45. Would have been no problem to have had a second person limit with me. Had teal coming in as I picked up the decoys. Water is VERY high though and the birds are in the flooded marsh think of the shallowest pond you know and go there. Road around some bayous checking on thins for a friend and it looks like birds were holding on the small potholes just off the ridges where the three corner grass and pig weed was growing. Stopped at a high point on the back levee (on my lease) on the way in and got three rail as a bonus (makes the dog really happy to get some actual hunting in as apposed to just retrieving). Hope everyone finds some this weekend, I'm done since I work the next four.
Killed 5 teal between two hunters in Hopedale this morning. If only we could shoot BBWDs in September ............, I could break out the big gumbo pot. Didn't hear much shooting around me and water was goofy high.
Got 4 this morning with two of us in the blind. Could have had a couple more. From what I heard the we were top of the leader board in Hopedale. Hopefully we get some more birds down soon. I'll be back at it Tuesday!
Saw about 100 teal in 4 flocks when I went to dress blinds today. Fingers crossed.
So Mary Landrieu announced her latest attempt to betray our state today, turning the bulk of the Atchafalaya Basin into a national park! While at first that may sound like a good thing, she is lauding fictitious restoration funds and 'improved acess for tourist', what it really means is a giant NO HUNTING sign in the center of our coast. Also no further oil and gas activity in the area. This designation would serve little other purpose since the bulk of this land is either state or federally owned already and the remainder is protected from development by wetland protection legislation. The main agitators behind the fiasco are the Sierra club, formerly a conservation organization but now overrun by liberal zealots who only want to block all human activity on massive areas of our nation's landscape! So call the traitor Landrieu, call Vitter and call your congressman and tell WE DO NOT WANT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE LOCKING US OUT OF A BIG CHUNK OF OUR SPORTSMANS PARADISE!!!
Louisiana has always allowed small bore muzzle loaders (the 'squirrel guns' of battle of New Orleans fame) for small game hunting including on WMAs. I do believe that when the requirement was moved from 'muzzle loader' to 'primitive rifle' the wording was changed in reference to small game as well as large. So theoretically any one with a single shot cartridge rifle suitable for the 'primitive arm' deer season could get a second sub-35 caliber barrel for that rifle (it's a really inexpensive if somewhat complicated process if you have a Handirifle) and have a qualifying small game 'primitive arm' for hog killing on a WMA. Granted you won't be able to blaze away at multiple pigs but a single 308 is a lot more effective and from much farther than say 5 .22 magnums or 3 goose loads. Hopefully someone from LDWF enforcement can comment on my reading of this.
Hunted a pond where I scouted 250-300 BW teal a week ago and all we killed today were grays and a couple spoonies. Plenty of grays in Hopedale today. Kill a three man limit before 7:30.
Grassed blinds today saw more birds than I expected. Checked 4 ponds, best had 250 mostly grays, worst had a few dozen bluewings. Saw birds trading in fair numbers . The key is going to be widgeon grass and seclusion. Between the sight fishing for reds and the surface drive motors I think the birds are keying in on really isolated locals where they can avoid disruptions. Hopefully there will be more by the ninth since there are a couple more fronts to come.
Scouted 10 ponds from pisana to the southernmost border of Biloxi WMA. No teal seen. Did catch enough fish for dinner.
Not happy but not terribly worried often don't scout well out there for teal and then do well for the opener. Wish the giant high north of us would dissipate!