Waterfowl

Waterfowl Update from Southern Illinois

Between deer hunting, family issues and the holidays, I haven't had the chance to get after ducks or geese yet this season. I've got the itch, though, and with my schedule opening up a bit I decided to call a few pros and get the skinny on what the birds are doing throughout the southern part of the state. Here's…

Illinois waterfowl hunting area gets facelift

CHANDLERVILLE, Ill. (AP) – A popular waterfowl hunting area in central Illinois has gotten a multi-million dollar facelift. Nearly $3 million was spent to repair flood damaged levees at the Sanganois Fish and Wildlife Area. That money came through the Illinois Capitol Development Board. Spokesman Dave Blanchette tells WIUM Radio that the restored wetland provides a better environment for wildlife…

MN DNR aims to boost waterfowl populations through new approaches

Two new tactics to add more ducks to Minnesota's skies were the focus of a signing ceremony Tuesday, Dec. 14, attended by leaders of Ducks Unlimited, the Minnesota Waterfowl Association and other conservation organizations. The gathering, convened by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), celebrated the formal signing of the state's first-ever shallow lakes plan and the publication of…

Illinois waterfowl guide indicted for wildlife trafficking, illegal hunting

Springfield- A federal grand jury returned a 23-count felony indictment Thursday (Dec. 9) charging a popular Illinois waterfowl hunting guide with conspiracy, wildlife trafficking, and making false writings in connection with the illegal sale of guided waterfowl hunts, the Department of Justice announced. The indictment charges Jeffrey B. Foiles , 53, of Pleasant Hill, Ill., with conspiracy to violate the Lacey…

MN: Reports suggest a better ’10 duck season

Bemidji, Minn. – Once all the numbers have been tabulated, it may not look like the duck season that ended earlier this week was anything spectacular. The number of hunters who targeted waterfowl probably will be down some from 2009, and the harvest likely will be on par with last year. Yet, "generally, it probably turned out better than most…

Turkey, duck hunters are in same boat

Springfield – Turkey and duck hunters in the state may be glancing at each other across their respective blinds and mumbling, "at least we don't have it as bad as those guys." Both sets of bird chasers have spent a lot of time this fall cursing Mother Nature. Dry and warm conditions finally gave way in the middle of November,…

Weather last week blew a few ducks into state

Bemidji, Minn. — Waterfowlers hoping for the “big surge” of migrating ducks into the state got a taste of better action, but not enough to draw rave reviews last week. Since a front brought with it stiff winds, rain, and even snow to some parts of Minnesota, weather conditions have since moderated; duck hunting remains good in many places, but…

Walleyes, ducks, and roosters keep outdoor enthusiasts busy

Big Six LAKE MILLE LACS The night crankbait bite has been good at St. Alban's Bay, Garrison Reef, most rock-covered points, and shallow rock reefs. You'll also catch fish at night with slip bobbers and leeches on the mud flats in 25 to 32 feet. A few muskies have been caught and the pike bite has been consistent on crankbaits in…

Waterfowl season starts with a few ducks and fewer hunters

Big Six LAKE MILLE LACS A few walleyes are being caught on the flats during the day, but the night bite has been more consistent on the mud with slip bobbers and leeches in 23 to 28 feet of water. Crankbaits also have produced walleyes at night on the shallow rocks, weedlines, and shoreline breaks. Perch are scattered on the six-…

Duck hunt is on the horizon

Lansing – It's been several years since waterfowl hunters have been faced with gloomy forecasts for the coming seasons. Yes, weather conditions have been dry some years, and the late 1990s were better years for duck and goose numbers. But for more than a dozen years, wetland conditions and waterfowl production in North America have been such that Michigan duck…

Duck hunting ’10: More water, and more options

By Dean Bortz Editor Madison – Duck numbers are one thing; the location of those ducks is quite another. And it's locating those ducks that could stymie hunters this fall, despite the fact that state duck numbers are 21 percent above the long-term average, according to two avid duck hunters – Kent Van Horn, of Madison, and Don Kirby, of…

Will Dakota ducks head east?

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor St. Paul – Ducks of several species returning north last spring likely surveyed conditions in the eastern Dakotas, decided to conserve some energy, and set their wings. Surveys indicate, most notably, mallards and pintails congregated in much higher numbers in the Dakotas than in prairie Canada during this spring's breeding season. Opinions vary, but most…

Positive outlook for duck season

Springfield – First the bad news: Illinois duck hunters had an awful 2009 season, harvesting the fewest ducks since 2004. The good news: Migrating ducks don't dwell on the past. Besides, they read weather – not statistics. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, duck populations are in good shape, though experienced waterfowlers are cautious about local food, water…

Burnsville artist wins 2011 duck stamp competition

St. Paul — A red-breasted merganser painted by Kevin Nelson of Burnsville will be featured on the 2011 Minnesota Migratory Waterfowl Stamp. Nelson's painting was chosen as the winning design from among 23 entries in the stamp contest sponsored by the Minnesota DNR on Thursday, Sept. 9. Eight entries advanced to the second stage of judging, from which three finalists…

DNR to survey waterfowlers after 2010-11 season ends

Bemidji, Minn. – As it does every few years, the DNR will survey waterfowl hunters after the upcoming season. It will ask about duck hunters' experiences and from where they derive their satisfaction as it relates to duck hunting. It will ask about season structure and the possibility of duck zones or split seasons. It may even ask when hunters…

State waterfowlers get another 60-day season

Escanaba, Mich. – Michigan waterfowl hunters will have two separate openers for duck seasons, with the North and Middle zones sharing the same opening day. The Middle and South zones will have split seasons, and the North Zone will run a straight 60 days. Regular goose season will open the same day as duck seasons in the Lower Peninsula and…

Ohio gets a liberal duck season

Columbus – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made good on its promise not to restrict waterfowl seasons because of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The 2010-2011 waterfowl hunting season dates have been approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council and are the most liberal regulations allowed by the USFWS, according to the DNR Division of Wildlife. "This…

Waterfowl seasons and bag limits

DUCKS: Lake Erie Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 25-Jan. 1. North Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 9-23 and Nov. 11-Jan. 4. Northwest Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 9-23 and Nov. 6-Dec. 30. South Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 9-16 and Nov. 17-Jan. 17. Total Duck Bag Limits: 6…

By land or by sea, waterfowlers urged to keep safety in mind

Harrisburg — Whether hunting from shore or from a boat, waterfowlers are urged to keep safety first and foremost in mind, said Keith Snyder, Pennsylvania Game Commission Hunter-Trapper Education Division chief. "Basic firearm and hunting safety are critical," Snyder said. "Treat every firearm as if it is loaded and make sure that the muzzle is always pointed in a safe direction….

Waterfowl hunters cautioned about eating mergansers

Harrisburg — To minimize potential health impacts, it's suggested that hunters don't eat merganser ducks, especially those harvested in the Lake Erie and northwestern Pennsylvania hunting zones. Studies conducted over the past two decades on Pennsylvania and New York mergansers, especially common and red-breasted mergansers in the Lake Erie region, have concluded they may have varying levels of contaminants, including…

State goose hunters anticipate September

Springfield – While some of the state's waterfowlers ponder a pending fourth Illinois duck hunting zone, others are preparing for a niche season that hasn't fully caught on. September Canada goose hunting runs Sept. 1-15. Harvest and participating numbers have remained somewhat steady in recent years, revealing that the special season has a loyal and eager following but is not…

Federal regulations for migratory waterfowl on PGC website

Harrisburg — The Pennsylvania Game Commission has posted a synopsis of federal regulations that govern migratory game bird and waterfowl seasons to assist hunters in finding answers to questions. To review the information, go to the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), put your cursor on "Hunt/Trap" in the menu bar at the top of the page, click on "Hunting," scroll down…

More days, birds in bag for goose hunt?

Bemidji, Minn. – The DNR wants to give hunters more days to hunt Canada geese, and also allow them to kill one more bird each day. Now, the Mississippi Flyway Council and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must sign off. Dennis Simon, DNR Wildlife Section chief, believes that will happen in coming days. If it does, the regular goose…

USFWS says continental waterfowl numbers and habitat stable

Washington – Continental duck populations dropped slightly from last year, but are significantly above their long-term averages, according to a report released last week by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A 3-percent drop in overall duck numbers – 42 million last year, 40.9 million this year – isn't bad, said Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist. "Especially continentally, the status…