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    (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 regulations.”


   “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 activities.

·     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 <>.


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.



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