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NATIONAL DUCK HUNTER SURVEY INTERESTING…WHAT’S YOUR OPINION?
(Listed below are results of a survey released this week from duck
hunters across the country. I thought it would be interesting to report
the results and then ask hunters from this area what their thoughts and
comments might be. So, after you read the survey drop me a comment or two
on what your answers would have been had you been surveyed?
Send comments to me at
An independent national survey released today suggests that a majority of
the hunting public agrees with recent waterfowl season lengths and bag
limits set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Duck
Hunter Survey, commissioned by the National Flyway Council and the
Wildlife Management Institute, is the first effort ever to ask a sample of
duck hunters in every state their views about waterfowl regulation. It
will enable the Service to incorporate an accurate representation of
hunters’ views as part of the waterfowl management process.
The National Flyway Council and the Wildlife Management Institute received
completed questionnaires from more than 10,000 duck hunters nationwide to
gauge opinions of recent seasons and bags, perceptions of duck
populations, duck management priorities and past involvement and current
interest in duck hunting.
“This survey is the first to ask a representative sample of duck hunters
in every state their opinions on duck hunting and conservation,” said Don
Childress, National Flyway Council chair. “The results of this effort will
better inform fish and wildlife agencies about the views of duck hunters
throughout this country and will aid in the development of hunting
“Hunting regulations work best when hunters understand and support the
underlying rationale and goals behind management decisions,” said Service
Director H. Dale Hall. “It is important that policy-makers consider the
attitudes of hunters in the development and ongoing adjustment of a
successful waterfowl management program. The National Duck Hunter Survey
helps provide this information.”
Highlights from the Survey include:
· Fifty-nine percent said that the duck season length (number of days
in the season) in the state they hunted most over the last 5 years was
“about right,” though 35 percent said the season was “too short,” and 3
percent, “too long.”
· Almost three-quarters (72 percent) said that the total daily duck
bag limit in the state they hunted most over the last 5 years was “about
right.” Thirteen percent said it was “too low,” and 8 percent, “too high.”
· Nearly 75 percent of respondents said duck hunting was one of their
most important (58 percent) or most important (14 percent) recreational
· On average, respondents in the Atlantic and Pacific Flyways said
“hunting pressure” and “crowding at hunting areas” had become “somewhat
more” of a problem over the last 5 years. Respondents in the Mississippi
Flyway said “ducks concentrating on fewer areas,” “crowding at hunting
areas,” “hunting pressure,” and “ducks arriving after season close” were
“somewhat more” of a problem. On average, respondents in the Central
Flyway did not characterize any of 7 potential problems posed to them as a
greater or lesser issue over the last 5 years.
· Six percent, now age 45-64, indicated that they began duck hunting
in the relatively recent past (1997-2004).
The National Duck Hunter Survey includes hundreds of pages of analyses of
responses to 32 questions from hunters in 49 states. However, these
results, as interesting and insightful as they are, represent just the
beginning. Now, duck hunters, Flyway Councils, state fish and wildlife
agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, conservation organizations,
duck clubs and the outdoor media will review and discuss what the results
mean and how they might be used to inform future decisions regarding
waterfowl hunting and management.
Waterfowl hunting is regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service in cooperation with state fish and wildlife agencies. These
agencies work through structures called flyway councils, which are
management structures that geographically represent the general
north-south migration patterns of waterfowl. Representatives from the
four Flyway Councils – Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific –
compose the National Flyway Council.
The Wildlife Management Institute is a private, nonprofit, scientific and
educational organization. It is committed to the conservation, enhancement
and professional management of North America's wildlife and other natural
To view the entire survey report visit <www.ducksurvey.com>.
Steve McCadams is a professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing
area. He has also contributed many outdoor oriented articles to
various national publications.