I know this topic has been hammered more than any other and at the same time draws out very passionate opinions. This is just my own micro observation.
To the opinion below..yes the farmers almanac did predict a mild wet winter which they were spot on. Combine that with a high river and you have an almost unlimited supply of wetland/flooded timber habitat for fowl from the Midwest on.
With that being said, Iâd like to share just one micro example of a challenge I think our sport faces. I was down in Venice for the youth weekend. Had another buddy and his kid. That morning it was like the âold daysâ. We had bird after bird, flight after flight, of greys , widgeon, pintail, and teal dive bombed the spread. Me and my buddy were foaming at the mouth. The boys shot over 2 boxes of shells and we had a blast.
Knowing where the birds were holding, we went the following Friday to observe the flock of birds we had found...yes on public land. We were awestruck by what we witnessed. Boat after boat would just drive through the resting birds (well over a few hundred). Theyâd get up and eventually set back down. Till the next boat...or the same one...not really sure...would ride back through them. We witness this until the flock got up not to return to the area.
Opening morning we shot a handful and Sunday we scratched. I think this is a micro example of the lack of birds. No doubt there may be a large number of birds diverted because of other factors but I also have to imagine that with the invention of a machine (Iâm the owner of one) that allows the hunter to access every nook and cranny of the waterfowl habitat has to have some impact. Outside of a no hunting refuge, birds really have no area to rest and may have finally given up on the marsh.
I know this topic has been debated time and time again. I donât know what the solution is as Iâm all about innovation. Our seasons have gotten progressively worse over the last 10 years especially where we hunt, Venice and south shore of lake p. Maybe we are in a cycle and next year will be a banner but based on what Iâm hearing and seeing across the state...itâs not looking good.