By FREDDY KING
Something I wrote last year and still holds true. Still not bright enough… Let me shed a little more light since so many are still unable to understand weather conditions vs duck movement vs hunting pressure…
The GOLDEN YEARS of duck hunting-
YES, I’m that old…. I can remember a 30 day/1 duck season. Seemed as if ducks would pour out of the sky… Seemed duck hunting was better… seemed as if we could kill all we wanted…
The “Golden Years” of duck hunting? Naw says I. Now don’t get me wrong those days were great and so were the point system days, then the 2 duck mallard limit and then the 3 and now 4 mallard/2 hen limit.
But, the past 10 years have been phenomenal as heck and have utterly brainwashed folks of what duck hunting actually is or what is happening – especially some of the younger generation that duck hunted the Nineties into present day… Even this past year was phenomenal when it came to duck hunting. We killed more ducks in the first split on this so-called horrible year than we did all the entire seasons of ’77, ’78, ’79 and ’80 combined, and those “Golden Years” we killed the snot outta ’em as to what I remember.
What’s the difference? Let me shed some light from a different perspective. YES, the past 10 years and even this past season are the ultimate years of duck hunting and waterfowling in general. Extremely liberal limits and ability to hunt 60 days. That’s crazy! Here’s the difference tween now and then. Back then, folks worked five days a week. There was very little hunting going on during the weekdays. Ducks rested on public areas. Ducks rested on private areas. Heck we could hunt private ground all over these bottoms and NO ONE cared. Imagine that!!! Hunting other people’s property for ducks and NO ONE cared… Ducks did not get pressured by groups of hunters every 250 yards away from each other. Drive by the very best launch area on a Tuesday morning during the 1978 thru 90 seasona and if there were 2 trucks there it was crowded. Now come Saturday that launch area might have 75 trucks and seem crowded as heck.
But Sunday that launch area had 15. Folks went to church and spent Sundays with family. We’d go out, kill our 2 ducks in a 3 man group and head back home with 6 ducks and still in awe at the hordes of birds falling into our spreads. Literally the whole launch was that way. But the difference was nobody hunted the weekdays much at all.
Now the last 10 years we’ve seen a monstrous spike in folks. That same launch, the past few years, even on weekdays has rarely less than 40 trucks and on high number days spikes to 225 or more. Hunters everywhere! Even during the middle of the week. Places we never saw hunters now have 4 to 10 setups in competition of each others birds. We Average Joe’s are now in competition for each other’s birds… Hmmmmm… It’s gotten worse in the last 5 years. It’s every single day of duck season and it’s nothing but bang bang bang all morning long. THAT DID NOT HAPPEN AND WAS NOT THE CASE 10/15/20/30 YEARS AGO! We the Average Joe hunting 45 days or more of a 60 day duck season with our large liberal limits of 4 mallards have caused the issue on pretty much all public properties. We keep them run off. Are they gone? Heck no!!! Drove to my cabin yesterday and the ducks are thicker than they ever were all thru the Eighties down there right now!!!! Why???? NO HUNTING PRESSURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They ain’t been there but just a wee bit all throughout season but oh lawd they in there now. I could easily go out and kill my 4 birds with a pellet gun.
Sure weather is major, sure a little bit of better duck management up north makes a wee bit of a difference but nothing and I mean NOTHING paramounts the influence of NO ducks on public or private areas like the pressure of us Average Joe’s. These are the Ultimate Years of Duck hunting with liberal limits and long seasons. Now keep in mind, the above isn’t just here that it’s happening… It’s every single state in all the flyways…. Most duck hunters are too proud to ante up to the fact that WE Average Joe’s are the problem. Not “they.”
If you agree then share!