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Waterfowl management

Old 09-19-2010, 08:34 AM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: ne oklahoma
Posts: 124
Question Waterfowl management

I realize opinions can be influenced by various means but consider this:
I started waterfowling on a large reservoir in or around 1980 and on one end of the lake there was a Waterfowl reserve of 500 or more acres. The main lake was a very good place to hunt during the season. The waterfowl reserve was actively managed by the State Wildlife Dept. to provide feed and protection for migrating groups of ducks and geese. It was closed to all hunting and interference during the season. Food plots were numerous and grain, headfeed, corn raised and spread during the migration season. In other words, a paradise for hunters on the main lake. Then around the turn of the century 2000, or slightly before, the numbers seemed to diminish, not all at once but gradually. Untill now, the numbers are a paltry figure of what they're once was.
Now, this area of the State has gradually shifted from an agrarian crops, to a cattle area. The Lake has gotten older, losing many hardwoods and gradually filling in. Which I understand is detrimental to waterfowl, especially to puddlers. But, and this is my problem, a new manager started and upon casual conversation he stated, upon my query, why isn't there food planted on the wetlands as there had been? He replied "natural food is best". Hey, I am no expert, but that made no sense. There is no food like corn. Then the gradual drop off of waterfowl started, not all at once, but over a period of time. Several years later, I started looking at the reserve during the time from Feb. thru Oct. when access was available. Areas which had been planted in the past had lay fallow. I think thats the word. Quail which was huntable the last 15 days of the season slowly dissapeared. Rabbits also. Drawings for Deer and turkey hunts on the reserve became available. Many hunts, firearm and primitive, and archery. Good cash crop.
My conclusion is this.
Due to the reduction of food available on the reserve. Waterfowl use to availabilty of food and it no longer being there, over
a number of years, waterfowl slowly stopped using and began overflying the area and or switched there flight paths either to the west or east.
Did this happen because the new manager stopped the available food supply and it took the waterfowl several years to adjust to feeding else where or was it some other reason. Still same manager, and it is possible that he has taken some heat and is now planting more.
Which in my opinion will have no effort in bring the birds back in my lifetime, which is frankly not that much longer or am I all wet and just whinning? Would love some observation based upon those uninterested parties not of this area.
Of course I could very well take some heat myself from the game rangers in this area who I have always had great respect for after seeing first hand what they face in the field.
I have never had any problem with the Waterfowl manager and he even bent the rules for a good friend of mine who was ill on one ocassion. Allowing access to being picked up by car so he would not have to walk a short distance.

Last edited by Teddee5; 09-24-2010 at 05:36 PM.
Teddee5 is offline  
Old 09-19-2010, 01:33 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Washington State
Posts: 387

ALL I have to say is wouldn't you go to where there is an abundance of food? Maybe they considered the planting of corn as baiting who knows. None the less I know i would go where the food is plentyful
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:51 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3

The need for a single source of information about the management of waterfowl and their habitat was originally suggested by the north-central region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Much of this information exists in scientific papers, unpublished reports, or has never been recorded, and thus is not readily accessible by waterfowl managers. The information in each handbook chapter does not represent a thorough synthesis of all pertinent literature, but rather highlights important information for developing a conceptual framework for wetland managers. Chapters are brief by design, and have figures and tables to facilitate a rapid assessment of information on a specific topic. If a manager wishes additional information, the brief Suggested Reading section lists titles of key papers...
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