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Anybody else target Long Tails?

Discussion in 'MichiganWaterfowl.com' started by deadduck365, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. DecoySlayer

    DecoySlayer

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    They have been pounding old squaw, and other sea ducks, out of non-traditional "duck hunting" boats forever and a day along the east coast of the US and even in Chesapeake Bay, and year after year those old squaw, and other sea ducks, keep falling for the same things.
     
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  2. DecoySlayer

    DecoySlayer

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    Except that there are far fewer layout boats around where we hunt then there were years ago, and yet, there are fewer ducks using, and staying, in the area.

    WHY?

    Well, fewer, by far, as far as bluebills go. Have food sources changed? Far more late season perch fishing going on.

    I don't believe it is as simple as only pressure. We cannot kill 15 a day, every day, for the entire season, like we once could. Then we don't have the late "black and white", bluebill only season, like we once had. Now, with a 3 bird limit, and no special bluebill season, fewer layouts are driving them out?

    Have the migratory patterns shifted a bit to the west?

    I know more birds are working areas, that are hunted hard, south of where we hunt, and they seem to be staying in those areas. Of course, those areas are not fished hard, even during the off season, and one is not likely to have a fishing/pleasure boat run through your decoy spread either.
     

  3. deadduck365

    deadduck365

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    ImageUploadedByOhub Campfire1512481274.572913.jpg
     
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  4. DecoySlayer

    DecoySlayer

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    I KNOW that BB numbers are down, WAY down, from a time when they were WAY above long term average, but, if you listen to some it's a much smaller number of hunters that are causing the problem.

    I believe that it is a combination of many factors, with pressure not being the primary problem.

    Someday, likely after I am gone, BB's with make a major comeback, to the numbers we once saw, and redheads will drop like a rock again.
     
  5. just ducky

    just ducky

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    which is why I earlier suggested perch fishing, either anchored or drifting. Ask the guys who are using layouts...many are perch fishing out of the tender boat while waiting. Obviously you couldn't legally shoot them while trolling for walleye.
     
  6. quackmaster

    quackmaster

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    I would have to argue pressure not being a factor. When the birds are pushed daily off of historical feeding/resting areas I’m sure that doesn’t help the situation. Couple that with loss of habitat and you have a pretty good recipe for decline. I don’t see that improving.
     
  7. DecoySlayer

    DecoySlayer

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    I said that I believe that pressure is not the primary factor, I did not say it was not a factor. It's also not only hunting pressure that is a problem. The numbers of late season perch fisherman running through rafts of birds, is not helping either. Those numbers are higher than they used to be.


    Changes in habit, migratory patterns, etc etc are all contributing. I wonder if the BB's are still as thick on Tampa Bay as they once were, or, are them moving further west?
     
  8. Jerry Lamb

    Jerry Lamb

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    I have heard it's nesting losses due to high levels of Selenium found in mussels, snails and clams.
     
  9. Jerry Lamb

    Jerry Lamb

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    It's going to look like the scene in the movie Jaws where all the amatuer Shark hunters went out to try and catch it. Some one please load the clip? Then, subustitute in your mind people in those boats with guns versus fishing rods.
     
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  10. DecoySlayer

    DecoySlayer

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    I have heard that as well, I have also heard that idea fell through. I really don't know. I also read once that it was a lack of certain food sources, I cannot remember what they were, that were once common when they were returning to the nesting grounds. I wonder if there is just one thing causing the drop, or a combination of many. I sure do miss the days when you could walk from Gibraltar to the Detroit Light on the backs of BB's and not get wet!
     
  11. just ducky

    just ducky

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    That was a major theory, but if I recall the DNR "experts" said there isn't any real data to prove it. The last theory I recall was there has been an overall shift in the migration pattern from the Canadian prairies all the way down to the gulf, and the contention is what used to be the Mississippi flyway really isn't any longer...it's kind of split into two, one following a more easterly path, and one following a more westerly path. The feeling was low water on the great lakes since the mid-90's was one major cause for the "shift" in migratory patterns.
     
  12. idylmoments

    idylmoments

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    I think that is what will bring about changes. We've seen more Darwin candidates in the last month than in the last 10 years combined. Standing up in the layout shooting, overloaded draw johnboat (because it has flip up wheels) on big water, etc. When someone dies, things will change. I have had conversations almost daily for the last month with non hunters trying to explain what is happening is legal, but someone will mess that up. Just like the mess out there Sat and Sun makes hard to defend the way we hunt. I saw it mentioned here about a 2 or 3 bird limit. That would still allow trophy drakes, but save from the pile going in the garbage that you know happens. btw we used to save em for sausage. Only worse eating bird is a sharptail.
     
  13. DecoySlayer

    DecoySlayer

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    I don't believe that "low water" levels are the problem. They were a lot lower in times past, and there were more birds using this area. Many areas around where I grew up, that were once high and dry, are STILL under water since the Lakes came up in the '70's.
     
  14. TSS Caddis

    TSS Caddis

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    If you need to ask...
    Anyone half in the know doesn’t have time to perch fish while tending for squaw. If you have that kind of time you are doing something wrong.
     
  15. grassmaster

    grassmaster

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    A 2 -3 bird limit on Longtails is stupid, why? there's tons of em and nobody on the west side anyway is going after them for the rest of the season its gale warnings for a week out there.
    more and more Longtails are using the great lakes because of both species of mussels.
    I say smoke em if ya got em gentleman! you might get 10 days at best on longtails just because of the weather, then ad in the fact that one perfect day may be a wednesday and then you need at least 3 guys to work the boat and the lines.
    These birds are here to stay, enjoy them.
    Bingo draws are way more a "zoo" than being on the big lake.
    ever hear of a Sea duck hunter getting shot by the party next to him? nope.
    Remember there's safety in numbers, although it doesn't mean you can rely on your neighbor to save your life when his 14 ft jon boat is sinking, it is comforting to hear shots out there.
    being out there alone when its rough ads to the intensity and allure of it for me.
     
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