Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

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Duck harvest shows fairly large decline

Washington – U.S. waterfowl hunters killed about 13.7 million
ducks last season, a drop from 2007, when they killed nearly 14.6
million ducks.

Ohio contributed to that decline; the total duck kill dropped by
more than 66,000 between 2007 to 2008.

Like the harvest, the number of hunters who targeted waterfowl
in 2008 in the U.S. – 980,500 – was down from 2007, when there were
995,700 who did so, according to a report that the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service released last week.

The report is based on results of Harvest Information Program
surveys for the two years.

The data in the report show Ohio closely followed the harvest
and hunter numbers trends.

The total duck harvest in the state in 2008 was 103,900, which
is a steep decrease from the 169,800 ducks hunters killed in 2007.
The report showed the number of hunters decreased, too, from 20,000
in 2007 to 17,500 in 2008.

According to the report, mallards took the biggest hit. The
mallard kill dropped more than 40,000 birds in 2007 as compared to
2008. Ohio hunters killed 60,201 mallards in 2008 as compared to
more than 101,000 in 2007.

Even though this was a significant drop, mallards were still the
No. 1 bird in the Ohio bag.

The No. 2 bird in the Ohio bag, the wood duck, actually went up
in harvest in 2008 as compared to 2007. The USFWS allowed states to
increase the limit last year by one – from two to three per day –
and Ohio took advantage of it. Hunters killed 15,585 wood ducks in
2008 compared to 11,419 in 2007, according to the report.

Black ducks were the No. 3 species in the Ohio bag at 5,501,
which was down from 8,192 in 2007.

The early teal season also show a significant drop from 2007 to
2008. The USFWS report showed that the harvest dropped below 1,000
for both green-wing and blue-wing teal. The total harvest in 2008
was 1,528 compared to 8,689 in 2007. Both species of teal also
showed significant drops in harvest in the regular season.

Of the 25 species tracked in Ohio, 16 showed lower harvest
numbers in 2008 compared to 2007.

That Canada goose harvest also dropped, but only by a little,
going from 78,286 in 2007 to 72,066 in 2008, according to the
report.

Total duck harvest

Following are harvest and hunter numbers from other states,
according to the USFWS report:

€ Iowa: Harvest fell from 232,800 in 2007 to 206,100 in 2008.
Hunters numbers also fell in 2008, from 20,400 to 18,800.

€ Louisiana: Harvest increased from 1.5 million in 2007 to 1.75
million in 2008. Hunter numbers also went up, from 62,300 in 2007
to 68,800 in 2008.

€ North Dakota: Harvest fell from 373,000 in 2007 to 288,300 in
2008. Hunter numbers declined from 32,200 in 2007 to 26,200 in
2008.

€ South Dakota: Harvest declined from 182,900 in 2007 to 169,500
in 2008. The number of hunters fell, too, from 14,500 in 2007 to
14,200 in 2008.

€ Wisconsin: Harvest fell from 431,200 in 2007 to 382,500 in
2008. Hunters numbers also dropped, from 60,900 in 2007 to 58,500
in ’08.

€ Mississippi Flyway: Harvest dropped from 6.7 million in 2007
to 6.5 million in 2008. The number of hunters dropped as well, from
474,400 in 2007 to 466,400 in 2008.

Staff Writer Joe Albert
contributed to this report.

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