Breeding duck numbers up 8 percent from 2013

Canvasback hen with ducklings:  © USFWS

Canvasback hen with ducklings: © USFWS

Memphis, Tenn.  – July  2, 2014 – The US Fish and Wildlife Service today released its report on 2014 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations, based on surveys conducted in May and early June. Total populations were estimated at 49.2 million breeding ducks in the surveyed area. This estimate represents an 8-percent increase from last year’s estimate of 45.6 million birds, and is 43 percent higher than the 1955-2013 long-term average. This continues a three-year trend of exceptional water conditions and population numbers for many species. Continue reading

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Record Breeding Duck Count, Good Water Sets Stage for Strong Fall Flight

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BISMARCK, N.D. — North America’s spring duck population is at a record level, and the birds returned to find a high number of ponds on the breeding grounds, according to the 2014 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey released today.

The annual spring survey, which has been conducted jointly by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Service since 1955, puts the breeding duck population at 49.2 million, surpassing the previous high set in 2012 and 8 percent ahead of the 2013 estimate. Continue reading

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Migration Update – June 16, 2014

June 5th 2014,  Churchill, Manitoba. Survey Crew grounded from snow!

June 5th 2014, Churchill, Manitoba. Survey Crew grounded from snow!

 

While it seems summer arrived early to southern portions of the U.S., spring temperatures arrived very late in the northern states and fishing is barely underway for many off-season hunters above the Mason-Dixon line.  Not surprisingly, the further north one travels, the more prevalent these weather oddities become.

If you have been following the survey pilot reports at FLYWAYS.US , you’ll have noticed that spring has consistently arrived very late to most of the major breeding and survey areas.  On June 5th, the survey team for Northeast Manitoba was grounded by a snowstorm in Churchill – the Polar Bear Capital of the World.

Each year, biologists provide real-time reporting during the annual waterfowl survey. Waterfowl hunters can monitor the breeding conditions and bird counts for areas that supply them with ducks and geese during the fall migration and experience the visual wonders of these remote habitats that are so vital to the continuation of our sport.

Aerial and ground crews from coast to coast provide an up-close and personal report for the most extensive wildlife survey in existence.  The data they collect is used to determine the season length and bag limits for both the U.S and Canada.  The final survey results are published each July in the Annual Waterfowl and Breeding and Habitat Survey – where the compiled results set the framework for each flyway and the parameters in which individual states can propose their seasons.

In addition to the data and reports, crew-members provide a personal perspective on their historical knowledge of survey areas and a clear picture of the trials, tribulations and dangers of the job.  Whether you a hardcore duck geek or weekend waterfowl hunter, we are confident you will find the reports of interest and worth the time spent reading them.

Continue reading

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Trulock Pattern Plus Choke Tubes

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Not having a tight pattern can make all the difference in whatever shotgun sport you choose. In hunting, it can mean you miss bagging your prey; in shooting events, it can mean losing by just a few points. No one wants any of that. Trulock Chokes has just the answer for tightening your pattern – its Pattern Plus choke tubes.
Pattern Plus chokes are similar to factory chokes in that they screw in flush with the end of the barrel. The chokes come in a variety of popular Trulock choke styles, including turkey, modified, skeet 1 and 2, cylinder styles and more. These chokes are available in numerous sizes to fit most any brand and gauge of shotgun. Continue reading

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Browning Expands Citori 725 Line with 20 Gauge Models

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Morgan, UT -New for 2014, Browning has expanded the Citori 725 line of shotguns by adding new 20 gauge Field and Sporting models.

The lightweight and quick handling 20 gauge Citori 725 over and unders come standard with all of the features of other 725 models including the Fire Lite Mechanical Trigger System and full-width hinge pin and tapered locking bolt receiver design.

To help reduce felt recoil and make second shots faster and more accurate, the 20 gauge Citori 725 uses Browning’s Inflex II recoil pad that diverts recoil down and away from the shooters face. Continue reading

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LIVE! From Duck Production Central…

Delta Duckcam - Live Nesting Camera

Delta Duckcam – Live Nesting Camera

Bismarck, N.D. — Will she or won’t she hatch those eggs? That is the question.

Will a raccoon find her tiny grass bowl filled with developing ducklings still warm inside their eggshells? Might a red fox stalk her on the nest and catch the hen as she tries to fly away? Or can she sit undetected for nearly a month, leaving only for a short while to eat and drink each day, and successfully hatch her clutch?

Last spring, Delta Waterfowl installed a small video camera mounted to a stake in the ground next to four different duck nests — one at a time — during the breeding season and streamed the feed on the organization’s website for the world to watch. As the events unfolded, a pintail hatched seven ducklings, followed by a raccoon destroying a gadwall nest, a successful mallard hatch and finally, a skunk raiding a gadwall. Continue reading

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