Service Proposes Liberal Waterfowl Hunting Season Frameworks


 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposes liberal hunting season lengths and bag limits for the upcoming 2014-15 late waterfowl seasons. States will select their individual seasons from within the federal frameworks that establish the earliest beginning and latest ending dates and the maximum season length and bag limits. According to the Service’s 2014 Waterfowl Population Status Report, population estimates for most species of ducks remained strong for this breeding season.

The waterfowl hunting frameworks are set using annual results of cooperative population surveys, banding programs and harvest surveys that produce the largest data set on any wildlife species group in the world. They guide the Service’s waterfowl conservation programs and provide hunting opportunities while ensuring the long-term health of waterfowl populations. 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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DU pleased NRCS providing innovative ways to conserve grasslands

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Photo Credit – © USFWS

BISMARCK, N.D. – Feb. 15, 2014 – Ducks Unlimited applauds USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) increasing its efforts to work with landowners in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) to conserve grasslands and wetlands. Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie announced today that NRCS is committing up to $35 million over the next three years for prairie conservation in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.

“We are pleased to see NRCS renewing its commitment to grassland and wetland conservation in the PPR, which is so critical to waterfowl production,” said DU CEO Dale Hall. “We’re seeing unprecedented pressures to convert native prairie and drain wetlands. We need to look for new ways to make conservation programs more economically competitive and attractive to landowners.”    Continue reading

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Senate bill introduced to raise price of Federal Duck Stamp

The price of the federal duck stamp has been raised only seven times in the program's history.

The price of the federal duck stamp has been raised only seven times in the program’s history.

WASHINGTON – Dec. 19, 2013 – A bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate today to increase the price of the federal duck stampto $25. The current price of $15 was set more than 20 years ago, in 1991.

“We appreciate the introduction of a federal duck stamp increase bill by Senators Begich, Baucus, Coons and Tester to meet very real on-the-ground wetland habitat conservation needs. We are committed to seeing this legislation signed into law and look forward to working with Senators on both sides of the aisle to enact this,” said DU CEO Dale Hall.
Since its enactment in 1934, the federal duck stamp program has protected more than 6 million acres of wetlands – an area the size of Vermont – through expenditures of more than $750 million. This has contributed to the conservation of more than 2.5 million acres in the Prairie Pothole Region, including the protection of 7,000 waterfowl production areas totaling 675,000 acres. Continue reading
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Major Milestone for Families Afield—1 Million New Hunters!

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The future of hunting is brighter today than it was nearly a decade ago thanks to the extraordinary success of Families Afield, an innovative program that has introduced 1 million newcomers to hunting.

This impressive number demonstrates that interest in hunting remains high and that what’s needed to spark a lifelong passion for hunting is a proper introduction enabled by state regulations. With success in hand, Families Afield’s call to action is this: If your state offers an apprentice hunting license, make it a point to bring a newcomer along this hunting season; or if you’ve never gone hunting before, seek out a mentor and give it a try. Continue reading

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Duck Hunter numbers on the rise in Minnesota

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More small game hunters go afield in 2012; pheasant, duck harvests up.

More small game hunters ventured into Minnesota’s fields and forests in 2012, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) annual small game survey.

The number of pheasant and duck hunters increased 8 percent and corresponded with a slight increase in pheasant and duck stamps sales. In 2012, an estimated 84,000 people hunted pheasants and 90,400 hunted ducks.

Although ruffed grouse are on the downward side of their 10-year population cycle, the number of grouse hunters increased 6 percent in 2012 to 97,200.

Statewide estimates show that hunters harvested 264,000 pheasants, 835,000 ducks and 355,000 ruffed grouse.

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