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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FWS Proposes Liberal Frameworks for Late Waterfowl Seasons

Pintail Pair, photo by Mickelson, Peter - USFWS

Pintail Pair, photo by Peter Mickelson – USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is proposing continued liberal hunting season lengths and bag limits for the upcoming 2013-14 late waterfowl seasons. The annual results of cooperative population surveys, banding programs and harvest surveys guide the Service’s waterfowl conservation programs under authority of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. All of this information represents the largest data set on any wildlife species group in the world, and helps provide hunting opportunities while ensuring the long-term health of waterfowl populations. States 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.

The Service’s 2013 Waterfowl Population Status Report summarizes information on the status of duck and goose populations and habitat conditions during spring of 2013. Overall, population estimates for most species of ducks remained strong for this breeding season. In the traditional survey area, which includes the north-central United States, south-central and northern Canada, and Alaska, the 2013 total duck population estimate was 45.6 million birds, a decrease of six percent from last year’s estimate of 48.6 million, but still 33 percent above the long-term average (1955-2012).    Continue reading

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House Appropriations bill zeros out conservation programs.

A NAWCA grant for Louisiana’s Liner’s Canal will benefit hundreds of acres of fresh and intermediate marsh. Louisiana has the highest rate of coastal wetland or marsh loss in North America.

A NAWCA grant for Louisiana’s Liner’s Canal will benefit hundreds of acres of fresh and intermediate marsh.

No funding for NAWCA or LWCF.

WASHINGTON – July 23, 2013 – The House Appropriations Committee’s 2014 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, released earlier today, doesn’t include funding for vital conservation programs, such as the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA).

“In the current fiscal climate, we understand that conservation programs must also receive scrutiny in the budget cutting process,” DU CEO Dale Hall said. “However, it is short sighted and unacceptable to completely zero out funding for conservation programs that are also economic drivers. NAWCA in particular is unique because it more than triples any investment by the federal government with non-federal funding through private partners.” Continue reading

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Final Approach Introduces Combo Decoy Packs for Flyways

Final Approach Introduces Flyway Decoy Packs

Final Approach Introduces Flyway Decoy Packs

Overland Park, Kan. -Final Approach, a reputable leader in the waterfowl industry since 1993, has introduced two new Puddle Pack Combo sets designed for the Central-Pacific and Mississippi-Atlantic flyways. Each pack includes six flyway-specific floating duck decoys, with three duck species per pack and a hen and drake decoy from each species.

Final Approach decoys are custom-designed to provide outstanding definition and realism in the field. Custom-quality, highly visible paint schemes and highly realistic texture and feather detail set Final Approach decoys apart from other products on the market.

Designed for the Central-Pacific flyway, this combo pack contains Pintail, Widgeon and Teal decoys, with one drake and one hen from each species. The second pack, designed for the Mississippi-Atlantic flyway, contains Gadwall, Wood Duck and Teal, with one drake and one hen from each species.

With an anatomically correct one-piece construction that incorporates the head and weighted keel, the floating duck decoys are simple, durable and designed to perform season after season.

Both Puddle Pack Combo six-pack sets have an MSRP of $96.95, with the Mississippi-Atlantic pack available in August and the Central-Pacific pack available in September.

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Breeding population second highest ever recorded.

Mallard Ducklings; photo courtesy of Delta Waterfowl Foundation.

Mallard Ducklings; photo courtesy of Delta Waterfowl Foundation.

BISMARCK, N.D. — North America’s spring duck population is down slightly from record levels, but pond counts are up 24 percent over last year, according to the 2013 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey released today.

The survey, which has been conducted annually since 1955 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Canadian Wildlife service, puts the breeding duck population at 45.6 million, the second-highest level ever recorded. Continue reading

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