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Articles On Waterfowl Hunting

That's the good news. The down side is that while there are record numbers of most species of waterfowl in this year's migration, the Pond Count (or index of breeding habitat in the U.S. and Canada) reflects dramatic …

In addition to migrating waterfowl, several shorebirds and a pelican also died ... which will be released when they have recovered and are able to continue their migration. Officials report there is little public health risk to …

DNR waterfowl specialist Steve Cordts says results varied but hunting was good across most of Minnesota, with blue-winged teal, wood ducks and mallards comprising most of the harvest. Hunters in north-central

20. Metro and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff have removed more than 1,200 dead or dyingwaterfowl from the Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area. Smith and Bybee Wetlands is a 200-acre natural 

So in an effort to lower snow goose numbers, officials began allowing a much more liberal harvest during the regular waterfowl hunting season ... Flyway Representative for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "We

That resulted in as many as 1,500 geese being shot. Wildlife managers also are considering other changes tohunting policies that might help bring the population down more. The proposals include extending the 

That resulted in as many as 1,500 geese being shot. Wildlife managers also are considering other changes to hunting policies that might help bring the population down more. The proposals include extending the season into August as North Dakota .

UNDATED — Duck hunters should see more birds when the Minnesota duck hunting season opens Saturday. Steve Cordts is a Waterfowl Specialist with the DNR. He says there was record continental duck breeding 

From the bluff dozens of waterfowl, other waders, and kayakers will pass underneath, gliding from the water to the tree line over and over. Some types include: Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, and sometimes Bald Eagles! A number of Eastern Bluebirds and ...

Arizona and Idaho kids will get their shot on Sept ... “The resident Canada goose population is large, and that’s why we worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to get the early season,” Messerli said

my hunting partner watched birds land in a roost pond around 11 a.m. The same birds, we believe, that were feeding in a nearby pasture well after dark the night before. Supervising Wildlife Biologist Jay Osenkowski …

What’s more, teal populations, according to avian number crunchers with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are sky-high. Blue-winged teal numbers stand at 9.2 million, up three percent from last year, and up an 

For more information on waterfowl baiting regulations, refer to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website link regarding baiting regulations at Questions regarding hunting crop fields mowed or 

Waterfowl Feeds

The gadget spec URL could not be found

A shift in duck production has put different species over your decoys

Cleaning & Eating Waterfowl

How to field dress (breasting) a duck. (Really, really fast.)

Goose Cleaning-Breasting

California Artist Robert Steiner Wins 2012 Federal Duck Stamp Contest

Image of the 2012 Federal Duck Stamp winner Robert Steiner, an artist from San Francisco, California. Credit: USFWS Robert Steiner, an artist from San Francisco, Calif., is the winner of the 2012 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest. The announcement was made today by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Rowan Gould at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Steiner's acrylic painting of a common goldeneye will be made into the 2013-2014 Federal Duck Stamp, which will go on sale in late June 2013

2012-2013 Federal Duck Stamp & State Duck Stamp

2012-2013 Federal Duck Stamp, featuring a wood duck painted by Joseph Hautman of Minnesota. The stamp goes on sale June 29, 2012.

2012-13 State Duck Stamp

Arizona 2012-13 Waterfowl season

2012-13 Arizona Waterfowl season

Mountain Zone

Juniors-Only Sep 29– Sep 30– 2012

Falconry-Only Oct 1 – Oct. 4, 2012

General Duck Oct. 5, 2012 – Jan. 13, 2013

General Goose Oct. 5, 2012 – Jan. 13, 2013

Desert Zone

Juniors-Only Feb 2 – Feb 3, 2013

Falconry-Only Jan 28 – Feb. 1, 2013

General Duck Oct. 19, 2012 – Jan. 27, 2013

General Goose Oct. 19, 2012 – Jan. 27, 2013

Restricted Goose Hunts

Nov 15, 2012 – Jan. 13, 2013 (Units 1 and 27)

Nov. 15, 2012 – Jan. 30, 2013 (Units 22 and 23)


 The daily bag limit of ducks, including mergansers: Seven (7) per day not to include more than: two (2) redheads; two (2) pintails; seven (7) mallards, no more than two (2) of which may be female or Mexican-like ducks; seven (7) scaup, and one (1) canvasback.  Coots and 

common moorhens (gallinules): Twenty-five (25) per day, singly or in the aggregate.

Geese: Six (6) white geese (snow, including blue and Ross’ geese) per day and three (3) dark geese (Canada and white-fronted) per day.

POSSESSION LIMIT: The possession limit of ducks including mergansers: Fourteen (14) after opening day, only seven (7) of which may be taken 

any one day, but no more than:

a. four (4) redheads

b. four (4) female mallards or Mexican-like ducks

c. four (4) pintails

d. fourteen (14) scaup 

e. two (2) canvasbacks 

Coots and common moorhens (gallinules): Twenty-five (25) singly or in the aggregate.

Geese: Twelve (12) white geese (snow, including blue and Ross’ geese) and six (6) dark geese (Canada and white-fronted).

Arizona  Waterfowl and SnipeRegulations
2012-2013 Read More

The Arizona Game and Fish Department mandates that if a hunter wants to hunt both quail and waterfowl at the same time or on the same day, the hunter must use nontoxic shot for both quail and waterfowl. No lead shot may be in possession. Commission Rule R12-4-304-B3d states that when hunting migratory birds in areas designated by Commission Order as “nontoxic shot zones” you cannot use or possess lead shot. And since all areas within Arizona are designated nontoxic shot zones, hunters cannot use lead while taking ducks, geese, 

People 16 years of age or older must have in their possession a valid Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp and a signed Arizona Waterfowl Stamp attached to their hunting license when taking ducks and geese (A.R.S. 17333.03 and R12-4-203).

2012 Arizona Sandhill Crane Regulations

SRP Water Sun rise Table DU Map

Daily Water Reports

Daily Water Reports

Each day, you can access a report featuring water levels at the six lakes on the Salt and Verde river systems, plus the amount of runoff, reservoir releases, boat ramp depths and more. This information is prepared by SRP for water management professionals and recreational boaters.

Arizona Lake Levels and River Flow Information


DU Waterfowl Migration Maphas received a major upgrade for the 2011 season.  New features include an interactive weathercomponent, hunting reports from DU Field Editors and an updated map and interface.  View reports across North America and share your own!

Duck limits could increase

Duck possession limits in Minnesota and across the nation could be increased to three times the daily bag limit, under proposals discussed by state and federal officials over the weekend.

Currently, the duck possession limit is twice the daily bag limit. With a daily bag limit of six ducks, the change would mean a hunter could have 18 ducks in possession after three days of hunting.

The change, if approved by federal officials, likely wouldn't go into effect until next year.

Given current duck populations, "I think it's reasonable,'' said Dennis Simon, Department of Natural Resources wildlife chief. Officials with the Mississippi Flyway Council are meeting in Illinois this weekend. Committees representing all four flyways -- the Mississippi, Central, Pacific and Atlantic -- apparently support the idea.

Simon said the change, if enacted, won't dramatically affect duck populations.

"We manage the duck populations by the daily bag limits,'' he said. "The possession limits are not population management tools, they are enforcement tools.''

He also said he doesn't believe the change would help boost or retain duck hunters, either

Hunter Activity and Harvest Report for 2010-2011 Seasons Released

The latest Migratory Bird Hunting Activity and Harvest Report has been released, reporting that over 14.7 million ducks were harvested in the United States in 2010, with an increase to 15.8 million ducks harvested in 2011. The number of harvested geese was over 3.1 million nationally in 2010, decreasing somewhat to over 2.8 million geese in 2011

Arizona is on Page 22

Trends in Duck Breeding Populations 1955–2012

June 29, 2012

2012 Waterfowl Survey with DU's Chief Scientist

Duck numbers remain strong as habitat declines

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released its preliminary report today on breeding ducks and habitats, based on surveys conducted in May and early June. Total populations were estimated at 48.6 million breeding ducks in the surveyed area. This estimate represents a 7 percent increase over last year's estimate of 45.6 million birds, and is 43 percent above the 1955-2010 long-term average. This year's estimate is a record high and is only the sixth time in the survey's history that the total duck population exceeded 40 million

Early indications were that the mild and dry conditions experienced across North America this past fall and winter would negatively impact spring pond conditions and allow increases in grassland conversion rates, ultimately impacting nesting efforts this season," said Ducks Unlimited Chief Scientist Dale Humburg. "Strong returning duck populations and late spring precipitation have brightened prospects for 2012 duck production. If nesting and brood-rearing conditions are favorable over the next few months, we could see another strong fall flight."

Habitat conditions observed across the U.S. and Canadian survey areas during the 2012 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey were characterized by average to below-average moisture, especially in the southern portions. Significant decreases in wetland numbers and conditions occurred on the U.S. prairies in 2012. The estimate of ponds for the north-central United States was 1.7 million, 49 percent below the 2011 estimate of 3.2 million and similar to the long-term average. Nearly all of the north-central U.S. habitat was rated as good to excellent in 2011; however, only the habitat in the Coteau region of North and South Dakota was rated as good in 2012, and no areas were rated as excellent habitat this year. Drastic wetland declines in western South Dakota and Montana resulted in mostly poor-to-fair habitat conditions.

Conditions in most portions of the Canadian prairies declined as well. Residual moisture from prior years ensured retention of permanent wetlands on the Missouri Coteau in Saskatchewan and near the Saskatchewan and Manitoba border, but temporary wetlands retained little moisture due to a shallow frost seal and below-average precipitation. The 2012 estimate of ponds in Prairie Canada was 3.9 million. This was 21 percent below last year's estimate and 13 percent above the 1961- 2011 average.

Total pond counts for the United States and Canada combined showed 5.5 million ponds, a 32 percent 

Delta Study Confirms Later Harvest Seasons

A Delta Waterfowl study has confirmed what veteran duck hunters have long suspected: harvests of many waterfowl are taking place significantly later in the year than in previous decades.

The Delta Duck Migration Study, commissioned by the Bipartisan Policy Center, was written by science director Dr. Frank Rohwer, Louisiana State University graduate student Bruce Davis and senior director of U.S. policy John Devney.

The study examined data from the annual Parts Collection Survey. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has collected comprehensive harvest data from hunters since 1961.

"With few exceptions, harvest dates for mallards throughout the mid-latitude and southern states have become consistently later," says Dr. Rohwer. "Mallard harvest is on average ten days later in Arkansas, fifteen days later in California, sixteen days later in Illinois, and twelve days later in Virginia."

The study found that most migrant duck species, including gadwall, ring-necked, pintails and green-winged teal, have significantly later harvest dates. Blue-winged/cinnamon teal and mottled ducks were the only species to run against the trend.

"Hunters have suspected this was happening, and for the first time, we've seen the data that confirms this on a big scale," says Rohwer. "As usual, hunters seem to know more than we give them credit for."

The report examined whether later hunting seasons were a simple explanation for later harvests. While it's true that most states have extended their seasons from the 60's, the report found this was not the 'sole driver' for shifts in harvest dates. For example, non-migrating mottled ducks in Texas and Louisiana are being harvested at about the same time as 50 years ago. But hunters in those states are harvesting mallards much later in the year, suggesting that Mallards – which are strictly migrants from the north - are arriving later.

So does a later harvest mean ducks are actually migrating later?

Dr. Rohwer says the best way to evaluate shifts in migrations would be a history of waterfowl counts throughout the flyways. Unfortunately, comprehensive fall migration surveys do not exist.

"The beauty of the Parts Collection Survey is that it has been conducted in the same manner since 1961 and records the date, location and species of duck killed. It provides a good general sense of when duck harvest is taking place, which we suspect is a reasonable surrogate for timing of migration."

A hot topic in southern duck blinds is whether changes in northern agriculture that provide additional food may be holding ducks longer in northern states. The theory goes that field-feeding ducks like mallards and pintails will stay longer; fatting up on left over corn and soy beans in higher latitudes.

If food was the driver of migration and harvest dates, says Dr. Rohwer, then gadwall and ring-necked ducks that never feed in fields should migrate and be harvested at the same time as in prior decades. The harvest data, however, shows that all four species show similar shifts in delayed harvest. The idea that northern agriculture is holding ducks back is 'unlikely', concludes the report.

The report also had a preliminary look at whether or not migration may be delayed because of the potential effects of climate change. While the report concluded it's 'plausible', the harvest data can neither prove nor disprove any connection between migration and climate change.

Waterfowl hunters are obviously interested in the timing of migrations, says Dr. Rohwer. The importance for the outdoor industry, tourism and waterfowl management make a compelling argument for more research into migration.

"Hunters, the outdoor industry and resource managers are not passive observers," says Dr. Rohwer. "They are expecting an answer to the deceptively simple question: Are ducks migrating later. They are holding policymakers and the scientific community accountable for an answer, as they surely should."

The Delta Migration Study is available in its entirety at on Delta Waterfowl's web site 

Read more

Habitat conditions in Canada

Habitat conditions in Canada


Throughout the year, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) field staff assess waterfowl habitat conditions across the country. Their observations are compiled in a Habitat Report to show others how these conditions may influence breeding, migrating and staging waterfowl in Canada.

Check out the following 2012 Habitat Reports to learn more about waterfowl habitat conditions in your area.



Current as of Oct 2, 2012 


The ban on the use of lead shot for hunting waterfowl was phased-in starting with the 1987-88 hunting season.  The ban became nationwide in 1991. Nontoxic shot regulations apply only to waterfowl, defined as the family Anatidae (ducks, geese, [including brant], and swans) and coots. Nontoxic shot is defined as any shot type that does not cause sickness and death when ingested by migratory birds.


The shot types that are approved as nontoxic for waterfowl hunting in the U.S. are the following.

Approved shot type*

Percent Composition by Weight

Field Testing Device**


97 bismuth, and 3 tin

Hot Shot7***

Iron (steel)

iron and carbon

Magnet or Hot Shot7


any proportion of tungsten, and >1 iron

Magnet or Hot Shot7


>1 iron, any proportion of tungsten, and up to 40 nickel

Magnet or Hot Shot7


51.1 tungsten, 44.4 copper, 3.9 tin, and 0.6 iron,
or 60 tungsten, 35.1 copper, 3.9 tin, and 1 iron

Rare Earth Magnet


40-76 tungsten, 10-37 iron, 9-16 copper, and
5-7 nickel

Hot Shot7 or Rare Earth Magnet


95.9 tungsten, 4.1 polymer

Hot Shot7


95.5 tungsten, 4.5 Nylon 6 or 11

Hot Shot7


any proportions of tungsten and tin, and >1 iron

Magnet or Hot Shot7


any proportions of tungsten, tin, and bismuth.

Rare Earth Magnet


65 tungsten, 21.8 tin, 10.4 iron, and 2.8 nickel



41.5-95.2 tungsten, 1.5-52.0 iron, and
3.5-8.0 fluoropolymer

Magnet or Hot Shot7

* Coatings of copper, nickel, tin, zinc, zinc chloride, and zinc chrome on approved nontoxic shot types also are approved. ** This column is for information only, it is not regulatory. *** The HOT*SHOT field testing device is from Stream Systems of Concord, CA.

Arizona's Wildlife Water Maps

Statewide field guide to Arizona Game and Fish Department game water catchments, springs, seeps, potholes and habitat enclosures. Over 700 sites mapped. 282 pages. $35


Operation Game Thief - Wildlife's Answer to 911



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