Waterfowl

Wisconsin Breeding waterfowl numbers increase in most recent survey

Improved wetland conditions trigger response Above average spring rains have improved wetland conditions across Wisconsin and could lead to better local duck production, according to state waterfowl biologists. "This is good news after a dry 2010 in Wisconsin with below average duck numbers," said Kent Van Horn, Department of Natural Resources migratory waterfowl biologist. "2011 is shaping up to be…

California DFG Completes 2011 Waterfowl Breeding Population Survey

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has completed its 2011 waterfowl breeding population survey. The resulting data show that the overall number of breeding ducks has increased slightly, however, the number of mallards — the most abundant duck in the survey — decreased 14 percent from last year. “Although surveys indicated a decrease in mallard abundance, habitat conditions…

New Oregon program will pay Willamette Valley landowners with goose damage for hunting access

Willamette Valley landowners who have Canada geese using their properties can earn some additional income by providing public hunting access through ODFW’s s new Oregon Open Fields program. Funded by a federal grant, the program seeks to open 95,000 acres of private land in the Willamette Valley to public goose hunting while reducing goose damage to crops. Landowners that participate…

Foiles Pleads Guilty to Federal Duck Hunting Violations

Professional duck hunter and guide Jeffrey B. Foiles pleaded guilty June 23 in federal court in Springfield, Ill., to wildlife charges arising from the illegal sale of guided waterfowl hunts. Foiles, 54, of Pleasant Hill, Ill., pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one misdemeanor count of unlawful sale of wildlife in violation of the Lacey Act, as well as one misdemeanor count…

MN: Dakotas very wet; numbers of ducks good, too

Bismarck, N.D. – Breeding duck surveys in May in North Dakota produced two bits of good news: the amount of water on the ground is exceptional, and duck numbers are pretty good. According to the survey report, the water index was up from last year by 31.4 percent, and 128 percent above the average from 1948 to 2010. The wetland…

ND: Spring Duck Index Remains High, Water Conditions Up

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department's annual spring breeding duck survey showed an index of more than 4.1 million birds, down slightly (-9 percent) from last year but 85 percent above the long-term average (1948-2010). The 2011 index is the ninth highest on record. Wigeon (+15 percent), blue-winged teal (+12 percent) and pintails (+4 percent and the highest since…

Louisiana to Accept Public Bids for Premier Waterfowl Hunting Leases at White Lake

Agricultural and hunting leases up for competitive public bid summer 2011 Hunting and agricultural leases on the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area will be open for competitive public bid in mid-summer 2011, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). Nearly 35,000 acres of the 71,000-acre property will be available as existing leases expire. "While we are very…

SD: Early Fall Canada Goose Hunting Season Proposed

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota hunters will be heading out on a different opening date for the 2011 if a proposal from the Game, Fish and Parks Commission passes. The Commission proposal would change the hunting season start date from "the Saturday closest to September 7" to "the first Saturday of September." In 2011 those season dates would be Sept….

ID: Goose banding efforts focus on Boise parks

More than 500 Canada geese may soon be sporting new hardware as part of an urban goose study conducted this month by Fish and Game in partnership with Boise Parks and Recreation. The banding project is scheduled to begin Friday, June 10, in Ann Morrison or Julia Davis Parks; banding efforts will continue the following Monday and Tuesday, June 13…

AR: Public meetings set for input on waterfowl regulations

LITTLE ROCK – Hunters can voice their opinions about the upcoming Arkansas waterfowl hunting regulations and seasons at one of six public meetings to be held around the state on Tuesday, June 7. These meetings are part of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's hunting regulation setting process. They will be held to give hunters and other interested parties the…

IL: Illinois public waterfowl blind drawings scheduled

Springfield – Random drawings for waterfowl blind sites at several public hunting areas in Illinois will be held this summer. The schedule for 2011 blind drawings is: SUNDAY, JUNE 5 n Horseshoe Lake State Park, Madison County: registration 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. n Mississippi River Area (Pools 25 and 26): Glades/12 mile, Fuller Lake, Helmbold Slough, and Piasa Island:…

MN: Good news for state geese

Bemidji, Minn. – The final tally of the state's nesting goose population isn't available yet, but Dave Rave says things look good. Perhaps not as good as last year, but good nonetheless. "Last year was just phenomenal," said Rave, the DNR's goose specialist in Bemidji. "This year is going to be good – I don't see any reason why it…

Proposed Wisconsin waterfowl hunting changes altered after review of public comments

After reviewing extensive feedback from thousands of waterfowl hunters collected through mail-in surveys, annual spring hearings and a waterfowl hunters' conference, wildlife officials are retooling proposed changes in waterfowl hunting zones and dates for 2011 and beyond. The Natural Resources Board will be asked to make a final decision on season structures at its August 9-10 meeting in Sauk City….

IL: Duck zone may depend on support

Springfield – Will 2011 finally be the year of the "fourth zone?" Duck hunters in Illinois have been clamoring for a fourth duck hunting zone for a generation – and things are looking up. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reviews the zones every five years. For the past three or four cycles, the state of Illinois has submitted a…

WI: Hunters reject three-zone proposal for ducks

Madison – The 2011 annual DNR and Conservation Congress spring hearings yielded a number of surprises, not the least of which was the rejection of a three-zone waterfowl proposal. Some spring hearing watchers also were surprised that attendance was up about 28 percent statewide from last year – 5,575 in 2011, compared with 4,360 in 2010. The increase might relate…

Illinois Youth Wins Federal Junior Duck Stamp Competition

A pair of ringneck ducks was selected to appear on the 2011-2012 Federal Junior Duck Stamp, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The design for the new stamp, painted by 17-year-old Abraham Hunter of Vienna, Ill., was chosen by a panel of judges at the national Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest, held at the John Heinz National Wildlife…

CO: FWS Unveils Duck Season Proposal

DENVER — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting public comment through May 15 on proposed changes to the guidelines that the Colorado Wildlife Commission must use to set duck hunting season zones and split seasons from 2011 to 2015. Colorado and other states have requested a revision in federal zoning and split season guidelines, which have remained unchanged…

CO: Waterfowl Stamp Art Winner Repeats

DENVER – Artist Richard Clifton won his first Colorado waterfowl stamp art contest in 2010. And now he's won his second in 2011. Clifton's rendering of three green-winged teal was recently selected to grace the 2011 Colorado Waterfowl Stamp by a team of judges from around the state. "This piece captures the brilliance of the birds," said former state senator…

Maryland DNR Announces 2011 Midwinter Waterfowl Survey Results

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have released the results of the 2011 Midwinter Waterfowl Survey. Each winter, pilots and biologists from the two agencies count ducks, geese and swans along Maryland's Chesapeake Bay shoreline and Atlantic coast. In January 2011, survey teams observed 640,700 waterfowl which is lower than the number…