Study shows waterfowlers dropping out

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 8, 2012 - 2:16 AM

There was an uptick in deer and small-game license sales among young Minnesota hunters from 2003 to 2010, but duck numbers went the other way.

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akmscottJan. 8, 12 8:36 AM

No ducks,too many fee's,steel shot took all the fun out of it.Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out!

bradgrussJan. 8, 12 8:52 AM

The ethanol boondoggle and govt. subsidized corn growing expansion has had a terrible effect on loss of habitat in the prairie pot hole region. This, combined with above average rainfall and drain tiling every possible pothole and wetland has had a devastating effect in raising water levels of the few remaining waterfowl lakes. Many of these lakes now hold rough fish because of the loss of winter-kill. Couple this with loss of vegetation like sago and celery due to rough fish, turbid water and there you go; NO feed for ducks, NO ducks, No ducks, No hunters! Farming subsidies should be changed from giving them money to grow corn to giving them money to restore those original potholes and edge habitat necessary. They have destroyed Minnesota Duck hunting and now they are working on destroying pheasant hunting in South Dakota! Is it not time to re-think ethanol? Is it not time to re-think agricultural practices and priorities?

deepwoodsJan. 8, 1211:11 AM

The Div. of Wildlife markets licenses based on the "hunting experience". That's fine as long as you also have enough product for your customers to have some success to accompany the experience. They have worked hard on the marketing end the past few years to convince people to buy licenses, but that only works for so long. Example- Lots of info touting the uptick in ruffed grouse drumming counts from last spring. I saw almost no grouse during the summer and didn't bother to buy a small game license in the fall. Grouse hunting general was poor. It will be interesting to see where deer license sales go next year with the dismal season most people experienced this past fall. The lack of roadkilled deer on the highways northern MN over the summer and fall of 2011 should have been a clue if people were paying attention. The organization gets a huge chunk of funding from license sales (especially deer licenses), and a cynic would say that there is no incentive to tell your customers bad news!

fishanhunt2Jan. 8, 1211:27 AM

No ducks = No waterfall licenses. That should be pretty easy to figure out.

mikemaxJan. 8, 1211:27 AM

While this data is accurate for MN lic sales, it does not fairly reflect the hundreds (maybe thousands) of dedicated waterfowl hunters, like me, who live in MN, and continue to hunt waterfowl in Canada, North or So Dak every year, but have given up on MN. Simply cross-reference other state's data and it seems like an easy and fair stat to include (how many of us hunt waterfowl elsewhere-all the reasons why are well stated: no ducks due to habitat loss, minnow ponds, late season fishing and youth season impacts on moving birds out, etc).

recker2312Jan. 8, 12 1:35 PM

My dad an myself would be included in the group that mikemax talks about. Those of us who hunt other states and have given up on Minnesota. I know of five or six other guys who have done the same. Why would I come back even if duck numbers rebounded a bit with the all stupid rescritions the state puts on you. The 4pm closing(what a joke that is) being the dumbest..

NDbirdHunterJan. 9, 1212:31 PM

Here's another vote for the Dakotas. I would rather spend the extra money and get fewer days when I know I have a reasonably good chance to succeed during those days. There are too few birds and little opportunity to find good places to pursue them in this state. The damage that farming has done to the bird population is amazing. Seemingly endless mile after mile of corn fields that provide no cover or nesting habitat for wildlife. It does provide a food source, but that doesn't matter if there is no where to live and breed. If the DNR isn't smart about things, they will very soon start to see the small game licenses fall off as well. As more and more grasslands are tilled under and turned into corn we are now seeing the sharp decline in pheasant populations. That combined with the recent bill that prevents the DNR from adding to public land acreage and good bye pheasants. Good bye hunters. Good bye license sales. Hello Dakotas.

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