Rain, Great for Nesting Ducks

pic_newsWell-Timed Spring Rains Great for Nesting Ducks

The off-season if full of activity, including the filling of many different bodies of water within the Prairie Pothole Region.

Delta Waterfowl’s Associate Editor, Tyler Shoberg published a news article shedding more light on the benefit of this rainy Spring season up North.




Click here for Delta Waterfowl’s article: http://www.deltawaterfowl.org/news/article/2014/05/12/well-timed-spring-rains-great-for-nesting-ducks

Federal Duck Stamp 80th Anniversary

via: Wide Open Spaces


Today is the 80th Anniversary of the first Federal Duck Stamp.
Sunday, March 16, 2014 represents the anniversary of a unique and beneficial fundraiser for the conservation and rehabilitation of waterfowl habitat in the US.
Since its enactment by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1934, Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act (as the duck stamp was originally known) sales have conserved more than 6 million acres of waterfowl habitat across the country.

Read more here: http://www.wideopenspaces.com/federal-duck-stamp-turns-80-today/

Brant Decoy Carving Contest

The 2014 Puget Sound Open Decoy Contest in Burlington, WA is being held by the Washington Brant Foundation.  The WBF supports the history along with the art form of waterfowl decoy carving.  Each year the foundation sponsors a festival and decoy carving contest with cash prizes from $200 to the grand prize of $500.

Click here for more information and available divisions: http://www.wabrant.org/decoy-carving-competition/

Light Goose Conservation Order – D.U.

Light goose conservation order is a well anticipated season for waterfowl hunters as it is the time to have an absolute blast.  Besides the fact that the birds are everywhere, the regulations are relaxed allowing for optimal harvesting.  Ducks Unlimited put together the basics about this fun and important season below.

In the late 1990s, then-DU-Chief-Biologist Dr. Bruce Batt served as chairman of a committee anxious to address a very serious conservation problem: overabundant mid-continent snow geese causing damage to arctic and sub-arctic nesting grounds critical to a variety of other waterfowl and wildlife. With the light goose population increasing by five percent each year, Batt and his fellow committee members performed population modeling and made a recommendation to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Canadian Wildlife Service that pleased many waterfowl hunters.

“We were concerned about the degradation of this habitat in the arctic and sub-arctic regions, and we found the best way to control adult survival was to relax hunting restrictions on snow, blue and Ross’s geese,” Batt said. “This option made the most sense. Hunting is a socially acceptable pastime, hunters are educated in the proper methods and they could help our cause at basically no cost to the government or private conservation organizations.”

The eased-up restrictions this act has provided for hunters include:

  • The ability to use electronic callers

  • The ability to use unplugged shotguns

  • Shooting hours extended to a half-hour past sunset

  • No bag limit

  • Hunters must possess a valid hunting license from any state.

  • Shooting hours during the Snow, Blue and Ross’ Goose Conservation Order are one-half (½) hour before sunrise (local time) until one-half (½) hour after sunset (local time).

Continue Reading Here: http://www.ducks.org/hunting/goose-hunting/light-goose-conservation-order?poe=homepage

DU-TV Dream Team

Ducks Unlimited recently announced the new hosts for their all new DU-TV.  The new season of Ducks Unlimited TV will begin this July with promises of the best waterfowl action, tips and tactics and of course conservation news.  Available only on the Pursuit Channel.

Among the hosts are Ainsley Beeman, Field Hubnall, Wade Bourne and Zack Penderson.  All with their unique tricks and trades, this lineup just may sit a new bar for waterfowl tv.


Click here to learn more about the show as well as each host: http://www.ducks.org/news-media/du-tv?poe=homebanner

Hen Houses Raise Mallards… – D.W.

South Carolina waterfowlers used to shoot a lot more mallards. According to hunter harvest surveys by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the state’s hunters killed a record 48,000 in 1976. But by 1990, that number had plummeted to less than 16,000 mallards. Something had to be done.

A group of concerned duck hunters decided to take a proactive step, and turned to Delta Waterfowl for help.

The Flyway Foundation was formed in an effort to not only locate where South Carolina’s ducks were coming from, but also to discover how to increase their numbers. Band returns revealed a surprise: 70 percent of harvested mallards actually originated from the Great Lakes, not the duck factory of the Prairie Pothole Region._DSC1554

This eureka moment spurred the Flyway Foundation, in conjunction with Delta Waterfowl, to research the possibilities of using hen houses around the Great Lakes as a means to bolster the fall flight to South Carolina.

Under the direction of Scott Petrie, an adjunct professor at the University of Western Ontario, Master’s student Jeremy Stempka conducted research in northwestern Pennsylvania beginning in 2006. Jim Cook assisted in southern Ontario, while wildlife biologist Kevin Jacobs, a former Delta student, and wildlife management supervisor Roger Coup helped supervise in Pennsylvania.

Stempka’s study showed that mallards would nest in hen houses in the Great Lakes region. Usage rates were upward of 65 percent, with nest success — a hatch — as high as 90 percent. During the study, several banded hens came back to nest in the same hen house they had hatched from.

“It was an interesting study that showed that hen houses could be utilized as a viable management tool,” said Petrie, who worked for Delta Waterfowl in the mid-80s. He is now executive director of Long Point Waterfowl, which is dedicated primarily to the study and conservation of waterfowl and wetlands throughout the Great Lakes region.

Through partnerships with several conservation organizations and state wildlife agencies in the breeding grounds, more than 5,000 hen houses built by the Flyway Foundation have been installed in Ontario, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and Maryland._DSC1790

They’ve also sent hundreds more north this fall. About 800 hen houses were recently shipped to Walpole Island, Ontario. The Flyway Foundation, with help from Long Point Waterfowl, is offering them free of charge to waterfowl clubs, conservation organizations, or individuals for placement at wetlands on Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie.

Alternative Land Use Services program participants in Ontario already have claimed 50 hen houses. ALUS is Delta Waterfowl’s community-based, and farmer- and rancher-delivered land conservation program, with sites in Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

“Hen houses are a wonderful conservation tool that Delta Waterfowl created and that we are now able to utilize,” Petrie said. “I’ve already been contacted by dozens of folks for these hen houses, many who had no idea they even existed. The educational aspect is huge.”

If you live in the Great Lakes region and would like to install, monitor and maintain a free hen house, please contact Theresa Childs at 519-784-1433, or wirodandgunclub@gmail.com; or Ted Barney at 888-448-2473 ext. 151 or tbarney@longpointwaterfowl.org.

DU Offers New K9 Club

Your retriever can never be duplicated and most will leave the blind way too soon for the blind in the sky.  Our retrievers become more like part of family and their loyalty untouchable.  So we give our dogs the best we can from food, health treatment to the gear that helps them to get our birds.

Ducks Unlimited has done it again with now offering the Ducks Unlimited K9 Club.  An official club just for your best friend to showcase their hard work, friendship, appreciation and so much more.  For only $15, your pet receives member benefits for one year including the members-only K9 Club decal and DU dog tag, and a personalized membership certificate suitable for display.  Click the link below to learn more about and sign your dog up today!


Mid-October Migration Reports – DU

Waterfowl are moving south, find your flyway report.
As ducks and geese begin to move south, waterfowlers need to know when and where. Below are the Migration Alerts from this week, covering each flyway and providing valuable, credible information from DU biologists and state agencies.
Original Article Here: http://www.ducks.org/hunting/migration/midoctober-migration-reports?poe=homebanner

Be the first to know when new reports are posted on the DU website. Click here to learn how to subscribe to email alerts.

Tennessee Holds First Sandhill Crane Hunt

Tennessee hunters will get the chance to put another big bird on the table this holiday season. The Volunteer State became the 16th state — and just the second east of the Mississippi River — to allow a special hunt for sandhill cranes.

SandhillCranesIn August, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously approved a sandhill crane hunting season, which runs Nov. 28 to Jan. 1, 2014. Four hundred permits were made available by special drawing on Oct. 12. Hunters who drew a permit are allowed to shoot three cranes.

Hunters must pass a crane identification test before going afield so they can determine the difference between sandhill cranes and the endangered whooping cranes.
The process of establishing a crane season this year in Tennessee began when TFWC solicited support from conservation and hunting organizations after delaying a decision on crane hunting in January 2011. Delta Waterfowl responded with a letter of endorsement.

“The burgeoning eastern crane population is creating new opportunities for hunters throughout the flyway. These birds are sporty and wonderful to eat and will create a new unique hunting opportunity,” wrote John Devney, vice president of U.S. policy for Delta Waterfowl. “This provides a rare chance to create an incremental hunting opportunity as populations have expanded is consistent with the sound tenants of scientific wildlife management.”

TFWC received some opposition to the hunt, specifically from the Tennessee Ornithological Society, which pointed to sandhills as a highly coveted species for bird watchers. Commissioners made concessions by shortening the season length from 60 to 35 days, and dropping the number of permits from 775 to 400.

“I’ve hunted cranes in Mexico, and I do know they’re a wary bird and taste just as good as advertised,” said Tom Rice, a voting member of TFWC. “Thanks to the support of groups like Delta Waterfowl, Tennessee hunters will have the opportunity to have those experiences, too.”

Original Story Here:  http://www.deltawaterfowl.org/news/article/2013/10/13/tennessee-holds-first-sandhill-crane-hunt-

Good News for Canadian Hunters

Electric calls, season extensions and bag limits.  These regulation changes are great news for Canadian hunters.

Delta Waterfowl has always focused on duck numbers, but more recently, our focus in Canada has been on the numbers of waterfowl hunters, too. While several factors drive hunter recruitment and retention, regulations play an important role.

Delta recognizes the staff at the Canadian Wildlife Service for dedication to not only to population monitoring, but also for modifying regulations to help ensure the future of hunting. Delta staff and chapters will continue to work with CWS to explore additional ways to improve regulations.

Read about the regulations by clicking here: http://www.deltawaterfowl.org/media/deltanews/130904-canada.php