Waterfowl Breeding Survey 2015 – Ducks Up, Ponds down.

Canvasback_brood-USFWS

  Despite the low turn out of breeding pairs in U.S. Prairie Pothole Region, the bumper crop of waterfowl from 2014 returned to Canada in record numbers.   The 2015 survey results report an all-time record high 49.5 breeding ducks – 43% above the long-term average. Hello folks, and, as always, welcome to Waterfowler.com. Despite the mild winter, early spring and lack of precipitation across the waterfowl breeding range, pond counts of 6.3 million were only 12% below the 2014 survey totals. The U.S Prairie Pothole Region was hardest hit by the drier conditions but spring rains have recharged many of the areas since breeding waterfowl passed the area. In short, waterfowl hunters will be treated to another outstanding year of waterfowl numbers. Pintail and scaup numbers remain below the long-term average and continue to be a concern. 2015 Survey Results By Species: Mallards: 11.6 million and 51% above the long-term … Continue reading

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Waterfowl Habitat Update – June 1, 2015

N723 beached for a night's stay in a lodge. Photo Courtesty of USFWS, Nick Wirwa

The 60th annual spring Waterfowl Survey is nearing completion and habitat conditions vary greatly across the nesting region in North America at this time. Aerial and ground crews have experienced a number of weather delays this year and some crews are racing across flight transects to collect data. Hello folks, and, as always, welcome to Waterfowler.com. Drier conditions prevail across most of the breeding areas in the United States. The lack of snow that fueled a very fast snow goose migration did little to recharge wetlands in Montana or the Dakotas. The Coteau region and eastern North Dakota had much better conditions but waterfowl numbers are down on those areas and nesting pairs have traveled north to areas where habitat conditions are better. Survey crew condition to report that the number of drained wetlands continues to increase across the survey area at an alarming rate. In Canada, conditions range from … Continue reading

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Migration Update – May 12, 2015

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The Spring Waterfowl Survey is underway and participants are celebrating their 60th year of collecting waterfowl breeding data. The Spring Survey is a cooperative effort of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Canadian Wildlife Service, and state, provincial, and tribal agencies – where participants cover more than 2.1 million square miles of the northern United States and Canada to access the status of primary duck nesting areas in North America. In short, it is the most extensive wildlife survey in existence and an epic adventure indeed. Hello folks, and, as always, welcome to Waterfowler.com. It’s that time of year again. Ducks are busy getting bust, and wildlife officials have embarked on data collection efforts to determine the season lengths and bag limits for the 2015-20126 waterfowl season. Without their efforts, the waterfowl season would not exist. The past few years we have encouraged our members to stay up … Continue reading

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Migration Update March 20, 2015

The spring snow goose migration is moving along at a rapid pass as spring weather spreads to the Central and Mississippi Flyways. In the past 30-days, snow goose numbers at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge have soared from zero, to 643,000 on 3/11 and back down to 210,758 on 3/18.   Habit conditions have also varied greatly as the refuge was 95% frozen just three weeks ago. Hello, folks, and as always, Welcome to Waterfowler.com. Timing the spring snow goose season is risky business. Each spring mid-continental light geese push to the edge of the snow line and run the gauntlet north to their breeding grounds.   This year, limited amounts of snow cover and a quick spring thaw have opened a fast-track migration deep into the northern prairies. Be Sociable! Share this article with a friend. Tweet

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A Benelli First: The 828U Over-and-Under

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Bucking convention while honoring classic design has always been the Benelli stock in trade, and the advent of their new 828U over-and-under shotgun promises to exceed that expectation nicely. For the double-gun purist, Benelli’s newest offering delivers the mandatory point-ability, custom comb and drop adjustments and the kind of ergonomic feel and balance inherent to all fine shotguns. And the Benelli faithful who are familiar with the brand’s iconic semi-auto’s will instantly see the trademark Benelli performance design aesthetic. The 828U is at once both contemporary and beautifully practical, from the smooth body and exquisite checkering to the wide, low-profile rib bridge, no side rib and monoblock treatment. Be Sociable! Share this article with a friend. Tweet

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President Requests $1.6 Billion U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The President’s Fiscal Year 2016 discretionary budget request supports $1.6 billion in programs for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an increase of $135.7 million over the 2015 enacted level to fund the agency’s high-priority needs. The budget also contains an additional $1.4 billion available under permanent appropriations, most of which will be provided directly to states for fish and wildlife restoration and conservation. “Investing in the conservation of our wildlife and habitat resources results in myriad health and economic benefits to U.S. communities,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “Investing in the next American generation is also critical, so we are creating new ways to engage young audiences in outdoor experiences, both on wildlife refuges and partner lands. With 80 percent of the U.S. population currently residing in urban communities, helping urban dwellers to rediscover the outdoors is a priority for the Service.” Be Sociable! Share this … Continue reading

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Kaumeyer Named Delta Waterfowl Board Chairman

BISMARCK, N.D. — Larry Kaumeyer has been named chairman of the board for Delta Waterfowl. Kaumeyer, 52, a life-long waterfowl hunter from Edmonton, Alberta, has served on Delta’s Board of Directors since 2007. Kaumeyer credits his father, Gerry, for igniting his passion for waterfowling as a young man. “I absolutely love hunting ducks,” he said. “If I have a choice of doing anything in the outdoors, I will hunt ducks. I enjoy every aspect of being out there.” The chief executive officer of Infracon Energy Services said he joined the board because he respected Delta’s long history of excellent waterfowl research and involvement in protecting hunters’ rights. Be Sociable! Share this article with a friend. Tweet

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Migration Update – Jan 31, 2015 – Snow Goose Report

Special Youth waterfowl seasons in the south wrapped up this weekend and marked the official end 2014-2015 General Waterfowl season. While the fat lady has sung on duck hunting across the nation, the song of the light goose can be heard in portions of the Central, Mississippi and Atlantic Flyways. Light goose hunting under the Conservation Order is underway and another season of epic population control is already underway. Since the passing of the Arctic Tundra Habitat Emergency Conservation Act in 1999, the waterfowl hunting community has done their best to reduce the population of mid-continental light geese and protect fragile nesting areas on the tundra. Despite the extend hunting season and significant increase in the total annual harvest, the Conservation Order has only slowed population growth — not reduced it. Light geese, being a very adaptable species, have expanded their breeding range inland, away from damaged coastal regions, and … Continue reading

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