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releasing ducks

Old 03-08-2015, 07:55 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default releasing ducks

On my farm in central pa, there is no major flyway that runs through the area but we do have about an acre and a half in wetlands. We have about a dozen ducks, mostly woodies and mallards, and some geese that nest on the wetlands. I was wondering about the survival rates of pen raised ducks. I would want to release them in the pre nesting season. maybe some of them would make it and they would nest and make a little bit higher of a population to hunt in the fall.

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Old 03-08-2015, 08:20 AM
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There is a reason that the states closed their duck farms and no longer release wild ducks. Unless the hens and drakes are wild trapped the bloodline will not be true wild in many cases, they mix in the wild especially mallards. In addition when PA was still releasing ducks they almost always wound up where there were people, parks, neighborhoods with creeks flowing through them etc no matter where they were released because ducks imprint very quickly on the people who raise them and associate people with food and care, unfornately, the people rarely dissapoint the ducks so they do not disperse. If you are having wild ducks nest on your water, the odds are that is all the birds that area will hold for nesting, ducks are territorial and too many too close results in less than desirable outcomes. If you want to increase the number of birds, increase or enhance your wetlands and allow the increase to occur naturally. I see you are from PA. It is not legal to do what you are proposing. The law:

137.2. Release of animals.
(a) Except as otherwise provided, it is unlawful to release captive held or captive raised game or wildlife on to any lands, public or private, without first securing a permit from the Commission. Lawfully acquired mallard ducks, ringneck pheasant, bobwhite quail and chukar partridge may be released for dog training or hunting purposes.

(b) It is unlawful to release any animal that is a member of the suidae family into the wild.

(c) A person violating this section is subject to the penalties provided in the act.

The permit refered to in sub section (a) is not a permit for what you want to do, it is a permit to have a regulated hunting ground where birds are released for hunting immediately and must be tagged after shooting before they may leave the place where killed. The other part where it spells out the birds that may be released for dog training or hunting only allows that to be done in season if they birds are going to be hunted and or killed and only withing the specific season for them and within the bag limits, except for chukar partirdge which is no longer considered a game bird and has no season.

Last edited by Oldtimr; 03-08-2015 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 03-08-2015, 04:08 PM
  #3  
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thank you oldtimr
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:15 AM
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It's not just the state laws. Waterfowl is covered by the Feds. I'm willing to bet there are some Fed regs that also disallow this. You'd be better off doing some habitat improvement and planting some food sources geared towards waterfowl and letting them come in naturally.
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Old 03-10-2015, 04:43 PM
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Second that on the habitat improvement. If you can get some neighboring landowners to participate, it'll help too.
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Old 03-15-2015, 08:31 AM
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Under Federal and most or all state laws, this would be considered as using Live Decoys.
BIG fines and probably some Jail Time.


.
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Old 04-04-2015, 06:31 AM
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Something I've had some success with is food rafts. My biggest problem is the predators that eat the ducklings. I found a spot with good overhead cover and anchor a raft there. The Foxes and whatever find it harder to get at the Ducklings while they are feeding.

The population starts to grow over the years from returnees and the survival edge you've given the younguns.

Feeding them may be against the law, it is here, but I do it anyway. I just put my rafts in places that are seldom visited. And I do a decent job of predator control.
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Old 04-04-2015, 08:07 AM
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Not a bad idea but a raft won't stop raccoons. When I was trapping and banding ducks post season, I would occassionaly find a coon in the trap and dead ducks.
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Oldtimr View Post
Not a bad idea but a raft won't stop raccoons. When I was trapping and banding ducks post season, I would occassionaly find a coon in the trap and dead ducks.
We don't have any Coons in the lower lease where I build the rafts, But there are Weasels and Minks. Fox are the worst, almost every year they re-establish a den (or several) right next to where the Ducks nest.

The higher lease I hunt has a pond and Coons. I've never gotten a shot at a Coon. Either bad luck or they are way smarter than I am. I've even tried trapping them with no success. If the area with the Coons wasn't so near the neighboring hunting lease I'd try dogging them. But I'd get real unpopular quick if my dogs went rampaging through the neighbors lease. I've never meant the next door neighbor, but have heard he is royalty and a real . I have meant a couple of his game keepers, cold, standoffish and generally hostile.

Most anything you can do to thin out th predator population is going to benefit the Ducklings.

I was sitting in a high seat next to a Creek and watched a Pike eat a Duckling.
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:25 AM
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Where are you from, I have never seen or heard of a place in the US that has water that does not have raccoons.
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