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Well my buddy and I went for the whole thing. It was slated from 7-9, but was over by 8. Here are some of the things that were on the agenda:
1. During youth hunts, should they be allowed to have more than 15 shells on WMAs?
2. Would we be interested in increasing the wood duck limit to 3 if the USFW allowed them to?
3. Would we want to increase the mallard hen limit to 2?
4. Would you oppose bringing spinning wing decoys back?
5. For WMAs that close at noon, would you support doing the same or having hunting stop at noon and being off the water by 1:00 p.m.?

That's what I could remember. Then people brougth up the water issue in Bayou Meto. They also brought up creating a better way of getting the "Conversation Stamps" for the goose hunts. One that would allow for someon who wanted one on the weekend, could actually get one instead of waiting until Monday. They brought up since there is a huge emphasis on decreasing the goose population, to allow more liberal limits during duck season for those geese as well as being able to use electronic calls.
The two things that got the biggest debates were the spinning wing decoys and the water at the Metro. They kind of got some heated discussion. So much so that the rep for AGFC who was conducting the meeting told them they could carry this debate on after they were done. Now with all this being said, they let us know, on numerous occasions, that this wasn't a vote and that we needed to put this info on our ballots. They said they also have an electronic ballot on their site.
It was interesting to hear the voiced oppinions. I spoke up for the water at the Metro, the spinning wings and the wood duck increase. I definitely would not agree with the higher bag limit of mallard hens.
 

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Oh yeah, I forgot one other thing that some guys brought up. They suggested having the youth hunt during the Christmas time so that kids who were out for Christmas break could have a better chance of going.
 

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I have always wanted youth hunt the weekend after duck season closes. I believe that there are better opportunities to hunt at better spots at that time. Also there seems to be more ducks here that weekend than any other.
 

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Well here's my thoughts on them subjects.

First the youth season should be the weekend after our season is over. Let the kids carry as many shells needed to get their limit.

It's a good rule for everyone to be off the water by 1:00 pm

Leave all limits as is

I'm game either way with the ROBO it really doesn't make much difference where I hunt.
 

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Okay....

1) Reggie has no problems with the youth hunt on the last weekend in January, but the kids need to follow the same rules as the adults. More shells will be a slipperly slope. This fall those folks over 65 "accompanying a youth" can kill a deer during the youth hunt. Reggie bets that next year anyone hunting with a youth will be allowed to kill a deer...or turkey.

2) Be out of the woods by 1:00 PM.

3) No spinning wings.

4) As for the hens....Why don't we do what the FWS recommends. If they say 60 days 4 mallards with 2 hens. Why don't we do that. Arkansas has tried to "set the example" on this and other issues, but no other states are stepping up. What good does this do?

5) Three squealers...why not? Reggie doesn't have an opinion either-way, but he's sure there are those of you who would like an extra woodrow, so go for it!

R2G
 

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Guys to tell ya the truth here is how I stand on the issues.

1) I say on the youth hunt the 15 shot shell rule is redicoulus let em carry a few more it is the youth hunt after all. We need more YOUNG kids in duck hunting and if after 15 shells all they have got is a couple of woodies then their intrest might not stay. :doh:

2) Leave the hen limit to ONE ONLY. The duck numbers are going down any way so why shoot more than one hen. Dead hens cant lay eggs!!:rolleyes: And after all we are the leading mallard harvester state in the country so leave the susies along.

3) Leave the cursed mojo mallards out:razz:. Less to have to hastle with and honestly on my part the birds work better without em.

4) If the woody numbers are good enough to raise the limit to three then who cares. So long as we dont damage their numbers too much. Dont shoot that many wood ducks anyhow. I know one thing though with a three woody limit certain public timber spots will be even more early shooting than normal. Leave the woodies along so you can work the mallards later.

5) I vote for leaving the water by 1:00 seems fair to me.

In our area they also disscused the lifting of the 15 shell limit on certain WMAs dont hunt all that much so I dont have a dog in that fight.
 

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If I'm not mistaken the youth hunt has been in Feb. before! (NO SHELL LIMIT)
If we're going to have a shell limit on WMA's, make them ALL the same!
1:00 is fine, I'm too tired to hunt in the afternoon. (NEED A NAP)
One hen, two hens, NO hens, WHATEVER!!
three woodys would be great!!

NO MOJO!!!!!
 

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Keep in mind though about the youth hunt being after ours closes, that per thw USFW, duck season can't last longer than the last Sunday of January.
Arkansas has had a youth hunt run into Feb. before, and others states have as well. Youth hunts are allowed after the regular season.

Okay....


4) As for the hens....Why don't we do what the FWS recommends. If they say 60 days 4 mallards with 2 hens. Why don't we do that. Arkansas has tried to "set the example" on this and other issues, but no other states are stepping up. What good does this do?
Arkansas is not the only state going with one hen only in the flyway, and Arkansas wasn't the first. We aren't "setting any example" on that issue. The spinning wing decoys is that example, yet you continue to support that 'example setting'???
note...I support it to...:thumb:



2) Leave the hen limit to ONE ONLY. The duck numbers are going down any way so why shoot more than one hen. Dead hens cant lay eggs!!:rolleyes: And after all we are the leading mallard harvester state in the country so leave the susies along.
Duck numbers are going down??? I thought we just came off a good year with some pretty good number increases??? Now the near future may see some reduction....but right at this moment I wouldn't consider us in a serious downward trend.
Just the same, I kinda like the one hen limit....but in the big scheme of things IT isn't helping nor hurting a single thing, either way.
 

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Arkansas is not the only state going with one hen only in the flyway, and Arkansas wasn't the first. We aren't "setting any example" on that issue. The spinning wing decoys is that example, yet you continue to support that 'example setting'???
note...I support it to...:thumb:
Agreed....But we're (Arkansas) not going to save too many ducks under Adaptive Harvest Management.
 

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I don't know if we are down in duck numbers, but I do know 13 million mallards headed south in 1999-2000 compared to roughly 7 million headed south in 2007-2008 is down. If the ROBO had come out in 2002-2003 (a slow basically dry season) sure it would have been effective, but not everyone would have killed ducks like they did in 1999-2000 because the number of ducks simply did not exist.

We may have been up last season from 2006-2007, but with the drought this spring especially in the Dakotas we won't be up over last year.

On the hen deal what if less that 20 percent of adult hens produced 80 percent of the spring hatch?? We kill more mallards that any other State in the Country give or take. Would that not then constitute a reason to stay with one hen??? I would certainly think that would be the case for any duck hunter especially if we want to keep the numbers on the up and up if that is indeed the case.

Some reading for those who want to be a little more educated on the Hen subject. Then make your own decision. For those who don't know who Mickey Heitmeyer is I strongly suggest your read the studies he has conducted. Even if you disagree with them its some interesting stuff.

There is much debate of the AHM and the NAWMP. Which in my opinion are totally bogus. Never in history have we had a season this long run consistantly for this many years, but with AHM and the NAWMP it says we can. Some of these articles will touch on this stuff.

I know most won't read these but they are here if you want to.

http://www.madduck.org/super-hens

http://www.madduck.org/the-super-hens-part-1

http://www.madduck.org/the-super-hens-part-2

http://www.madduck.org/the-super-hens-part-3

http://www.madduck.org/the-super-hens-part-4
 

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Arkansas is not the only state going with one hen only in the flyway, and Arkansas wasn't the first. We aren't "setting any example" on that issue. The spinning wing decoys is that example, yet you continue to support that 'example setting'???
note...I support it to...:thumb:





Duck numbers are going down??? I thought we just came off a good year with some pretty good number increases??? Now the near future may see some reduction....but right at this moment I wouldn't consider us in a serious downward trend.
Just the same, I kinda like the one hen limit....but in the big scheme of things IT isn't helping nor hurting a single thing, either way.[/QUOTE]

What I am saying is that yes last years numbers may have been some better but we have remained BELOW the long term averyage for some time now on all species other than maybe teal and gadwall. As a whole with the CRP program going out in the northern prairies, the drought in the dakotas, and little to no nesting structure being left due to changing farming practices then the numbers are going down. I think the example the Game and Fish gave was that we harvest close to 12,000 hens each year as a state if we went to a 2 hen limit that would double in a 60 day season. And that is a ton of hens not making it back to the nest.

SHOOT THE GREEN BOYS!! :razz:

My main issues I had with our beloved G&F was why the WMAs continue to be in dissaray un managed and un kept. If we plan to keep waterfowl in the state we have to do something to keep em and attract em. And an over grown hay field with cuckly burr, and garbage weeds flooded and calling it "moist soil" aint cutting it. Not to mention when they pull the boards on areas 3 weeks before the season ends.

Averyhntr
 

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i hate to burst the bubble but i beleive california has beat us three years in a row in mallard harvest and if the hen limit is raised it won't decimate the population because (lack of) habitat is what keeps the population from climbing not numbers
 

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i hate to burst the bubble but i beleive california has beat us three years in a row in mallard harvest and if the hen limit is raised it won't decimate the population because (lack of) habitat is what keeps the population from climbing not numbers
I can't find the numbers right off hand, but you can't argue that AR is one of the top Mallard harvest states YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT. You can grow all the habitat you want, but if there are no hens, especially super hens, left around to nest, you are just going to have one big praire that needs to be bush-hogged.

The fact is that it takes good habitat management and good hunting practices. The data for bagging 2 hens rather than one is pretty conclusive on the reduction of clutch numbers.

You guys may not think that 20-25% reduction is significant in the long-term numbers, but I bet if somebody cut your income by 20-25% for the rest of your life you'd think that is significant.

I'd hope that hunters can begin to agree on at least two things 1) we all want our kids and grandkids to experience duck hunting the way we have, and 2) without the ducks, they won't.

Seems from that foundation, we'd manage to the resource first and the liberal season/hunter opportunity second. You do that, we'll have ducks forever. You put opportunity first, duck numbers will reduce so far that only a certain few will be able to justify the investment for killing 2 ducks per day for 30 days. There goes your opportunity. Robo or no robo wouldn't seem so important then.
 

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i hate to burst the bubble but i beleive california has beat us three years in a row in mallard harvest
They are the closest to Arkansas buy not quite up to beating our mallard harvest...
AR
2005----475,000 mallard
2006----547,500 mallard
CA
2005----349,700 mallard
2006----349,700 mallard
per USF&W reported harvest data.

if the hen limit is raised it won't decimate the population because (lack of) habitat is what keeps the population from climbing not numbers
This is the truth....it is plain and simple. All one has to do is watch the population trends, and compared that to the habitat conditions on the PPR to see that managed hunting has little to NO effect on the duck population. It is all driven by the whims and wishes of good ol' Mother Nature.

You can have all the Madduck drivel and "Super Hens" you can stand, and without the water & grass for her and the lil' one to live....she is useless. Give 'em the habitat and even to good ol' "common hen" can find a way to make a few fuzz balls. Guys don't give yourself too much credit, and in turn shoot yourselves in the foot.... we as hunters have very little if any control of the duck populations when taken in context of the managed hunting seasons and limits of today. Now give us free reign of the market hunter days, and you have yourself a different conversation.

The data for bagging 2 hens rather than one is pretty conclusive on the reduction of clutch numbers.
It is??? Who has done the research and reported the data??? How has that effected the population??? If it is so conclusive why has the USF&W not taken to the reduction of hen limits??? Why only the hen limits set on mallards....why not on teal,gadwal, & shoveler l? Even without the hen limit on those three (which at times can be hard to tell if one is shooting a drake or hen, and six can be bagged) their populations continue to grow. Could it be that 'super hens' don't exist in shoveler,gadwall, & gwt, and any of those hens can produce little ones, or maybe those ducks just adapt to todays habitat offerings better then some other ducks do?
you can grow all the habitat you want, but if there are no hens, especially super hens, left around to nest, you are just going to have one big praire that needs to be bush-hogged.
Pintail harvest has been extremely restrictive for about as long as I can remember...I was a young'en hunting during the point system. So we have been sending back the hens, and likely the good ol' "super pintal hens" yet they're reported numbers have not seemed to respond too positively to reduced hunting(still at a -19 from long term goal). Seems to me our hunting or lack there of has had little affect on that population....but lack of proper habitat to their liking has continued to hold their numbers back. HABITAT. HABITAT. HABITAT. That is THE key.

What I am saying is that yes last years numbers may have been some better but we have remained BELOW the long term averyage for some time now on all species other than maybe teal and gadwall.
2007 mallard breeding population---8.3 million, 11% above the long term average.
2007 gadwall&gwt teal breeding population---3.3 & 2.8 million, that is 96% & 54% above long term average.
and don't forget the granddaddy of them all....
the Smilin Mallard 2007 breeding pop---4.5 million, that is 106% above the long term average.

I'd say these are the major players in the majority of AR hunters bag...all above the long term avg., during a 10 year run of 60/6, following two good springs on the PPR. Nothing we do will be substituted by HABITAT.

You put opportunity first, duck numbers will reduce so far that only a certain few will be able to justify the investment for killing 2 ducks per day for 30 days.
30 & 3 will likely come again someday(cause that is what duck numbers & seasons do, they go in cycles)....and just like before over hunting will have little or nothing to do with it, and a lack of grass & water on the PPR will. If any decide to quit just because there is not as many days, and not as many ducks in the bag, then they were likely not eat up with the sport, and doing it for more bad reasons then good. At that point I'll question who was really the greedy ones of the bunch.

I'll close by saying this....I very much like the ONE hen limit. I'd rather it stay that way, but at best it is a 'feel good' regulation. It makes me feel good, so therefore I like it, but if we go back to 2 hens I'll not feel bad on the few days that two hens get bagged.
 

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I'll say you make some good points MM.

We are probably closer to agreeing than you describe. My point is that if we continue to put opportunity first and ignore the resource then we'll end up with hunting practices that are detrimental. And they'll be detrimental because on some of those years we are going to have drought conditions (possibly even severe) and you combine overharvesting hunting practices with droughts (which goes to your point about habitat needs) then you will see a big decline in duck numbers. Is it cyclical, Can we as hunters/conservationists be a bit more intentional than we have in the past? Absolutely. What were the counts back in the market hunting days? I'm asking because I don't know. Would be intersting to see what those numbers (if they exists) look like compared to current migration numbers. On the numbers, a one year snapshot (on absolute or relative basis) does not constitute a 10-year average or give a proper metric for trending.

And if hunting practices don't matter, lets watch the continued harvest young mallard hens exponentially increase in Canada and over 10 years, we will see if hunting practices have insignificant affect on duck population.

My point on this is that there is no silver bullet to maintaining and growing duck numbers. Habitat has to be there no doubt. There also has to be an ol' hen getting back there to nest, or that nest is useless.

Most of the complaining I hear at boat ramps, on forums, and at the meetings centers around how the AGFC/DU/Delta all screwed up "my" hunting. That's a mentality that needs to change. We must manage to the resource so there will be opportunity.

I'll hunt regardless of the length or limit of the season, I love it. Some people won't because it isn't worth it, or they can't use robos, or they have to use 15 shells, or AGFC let the water out. But those are the majority of the complainers, not people who want to do what is best for the resource.
 

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Guys to tell ya the truth here is how I stand on the issues.

1) I say on the youth hunt the 15 shot shell rule is redicoulus let em carry a few more it is the youth hunt after all. We need more YOUNG kids in duck hunting and if after 15 shells all they have got is a couple of woodies then their intrest might not stay. :doh:

2) Leave the hen limit to ONE ONLY. The duck numbers are going down any way so why shoot more than one hen. Dead hens cant lay eggs!!:rolleyes: And after all we are the leading mallard harvester state in the country so leave the susies along.

3) Leave the cursed mojo mallards out:razz:. Less to have to hastle with and honestly on my part the birds work better without em.

4) If the woody numbers are good enough to raise the limit to three then who cares. So long as we dont damage their numbers too much. Dont shoot that many wood ducks anyhow. I know one thing though with a three woody limit certain public timber spots will be even more early shooting than normal. Leave the woodies along so you can work the mallards later.

5) I vote for leaving the water by 1:00 seems fair to me.

In our area they also disscused the lifting of the 15 shell limit on certain WMAs dont hunt all that much so I dont have a dog in that fight.
couldn't have said it better myself:up:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I agree, with ya'll on the youth hunt at the end of season and letting them carry more than 15 shells.

And talking about numbers and habitat, they are having a bad drought up in the duck factory as we sit here and talk about it. There are also a lot of farmers who are coming out of there srp contracts this year and they are not getting them renewed because of this ethenol thing and they can mke more plowing it up and growing corn. so I think numbers are gonna be a big deal this season, I completely disagree about opening it up to kill 2 hens. I wish they would make it 2 hens nationwide.

I wold also like to see the season open up for a few weeks in november and only take one break ,for a while at the first of december, and then open back straight through the end of season. Still have your 60 days of season but quit doing all the breaks the last half of season.
 

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I agree, with ya'll on the youth hunt at the end of season and letting them carry more than 15 shells.

And talking about numbers and habitat, they are having a bad drought up in the duck factory as we sit here and talk about it. There are also a lot of farmers who are coming out of there srp contracts this year and they are not getting them renewed because of this ethenol thing and they can mke more plowing it up and growing corn. so I think numbers are gonna be a big deal this season, I completely disagree about opening it up to kill 2 hens. I wish they would make it 2 hens nationwide.

I wold also like to see the season open up for a few weeks in november and only take one break ,for a while at the first of december, and then open back straight through the end of season. Still have your 60 days of season but quit doing all the breaks the last half of season.
i agree completely about the season length open it up on thanksgiving, friday, saturday and sunday then close it till first or second weekend in december and hunt all of january i think we all saw more ducks after the season ended than we ever did all season...also allow youth hunt after the season ends and carry ever how many shells they want into bayou meto or dave donaldson or what select few wma's have shell limits ( i think there should be a shell limit on all wma's during the season of a box of shells (25) per person)

while reading on the fish and wildlife services it gave the specifications of all four flyways seasons and i came upon something i didn't know...all four flyways are allowed to kill two hens it is arkansas' rules against the killing of the extra hen i thought the proposal made by the regs at the meeting was conditional if the USFWS allowed it but they already have allowed it...interesting..if the united states fish and wildlife services deems it okay for everyone to kill two hens and that it won't affect the population then i think we should take part...of course don't get me wrong i will still practice as i always have in going for green first i rarely kill a hen and try my best not to. but i thought it was interesting so here's the link for all four flyway rules

http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/PRESSREL/WO24.htm
 
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