Fewer duck hunters?

B

Boll Weevil

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First things first, I don't duck hunt so this question and my perusing the waterfowl forum on occasion is more curiosity than anything. In recent years there seems to be more and more abysmal reports of hunting success and satisfaction. Few/no ducks, increasing lease/pit blind costs, poor etiquette etc. If this is indeed an accurate read, do you see duck hunter numbers in our region increasing, decreasing, or staying about the same?
 
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Buzzard Breath

Buzzard Breath

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Those of us that have more positive things to say and discuss have just avoided the Waterfowl Forum since the creation of the tier system and the negativity they created.
 
Bgoodman30

Bgoodman30

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First things first, I don't duck hunt so this question and my perusing the waterfowl forum on occasion is more curiosity than anything. In recent years there seems to be more and more abysmal reports of hunting success and satisfaction. Few/no ducks, increasing lease/pit blind costs, poor etiquette etc. If this is indeed an accurate read, do you see duck hunter numbers in our region increasing, decreasing, or staying about the same?

Fed duck stamps sales report a decline in waterfowl hunters but its hard to notice in TN. I think waterfowl hunters are used to taking the good with the bad years but if it continues to trend this way hunters numbers will decline.. There are some big time ducks operations that are literally dead on the water... I have had two farm owners/ managers tell me they don't know what is going to happen to their duck club next year...
 
RUGER

RUGER

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If it continues as it has the last 6 or 7 years, yes I believe the numbers will drop drastically.
The fellowship and "hope" is what has been keeping me in it.
If it works out and we get a pit in Missouri for this coming year and that falls flat I will probably be done.
With the fiasco that tdub has created public land hunting in TN is pretty much useless now.
I never duck hunted until my son got into it so, of course, I did too. If he started knitting I would too. LOL

Dunno but I have had an awful lot of fantastic times with friends that I now consider family. Hard to put a price on that but as far as killing ducks, this was my 7th or 8th year and I have never personally killed a limit of ducks in TN.
 
B

Boll Weevil

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I can’t imagine putting that kind of money into something that produces only a few ducks.
^ This. Leases, decoys, boats, motors, licenses, dogs, gear all to not see/shoot ducks would be hard to justify. I understand the whole camaraderie element and maybe that's much of the attraction but I'd think folks would like to work some birds and pull the trigger more than a few times each season.
 
Displaced_Vol

Displaced_Vol

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Just saw something online where duck hunter numbers were up last year. If I remember right the gist was the waterfowler numbers had fallen below 1 million but last season bounced back above the 1 million mark due in part to COVID (according to the press release). I’ll find it when I get a chance.
Anecdotally, anybody that hunts in the southern MS flyway knows good and well there is no shortage of duck hunters. Hunter numbers overall may be declining, but not the number of duck hunters especially on public ground.

Edit: found it. Report was older than I thought but I just saw it a few days ago:
 
D

drake799

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It’s hard to believe hunter numbers are down. Everywhere I look I see guys in 60k trucks pulling 20k boats If they’re down I’d hate to see them up lol
 
J

JagwalCrush

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Decatur County, Tennessee
I feel like it just depends on the area a person hunts. In my particular area, the numbers are definitely down. In other areas I have hunted the numbers are significantly more. I feel that the older generation of hunters experienced duck hunting that the newer hunters will never experience. Way too many things have changed. More refuges, more developed hunting areas, more pressure in certain areas. The birds have adapted to these changes, smarter. I personally don't believe they knew how to count the numbers back in the 70's, 80's, and 90's, or they don't know how to now.
 
T

tickweed

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I have read the total number of waterfowlers has fallen, however in West Tn., it is hard to believe. Seems the reproduction cycle is shifting, sliding the last few years. This happens, we've had over 20 years of good success in breeding, so its time . I hunt alot. I know of three clubs in West Tennessee who are having decent seasons, but still below average. Lots of green wings, pintails, but mallards seem way down. Very warm weather, then rain, all tributaries out , what ducks we have are scattered. Properties values will fall, as well as lease prices. As stated ,most hunters now are way younger, dont know what we had in the past. Amazes me, we can put a muffler on a car, make it quite, but on a pro drive it sounds like a harley. Go in in the dark, run ever duck out of the bottom, every morning. Not hard to figure out. Pressure is killing West Tn. I believe the numbers are WAY down, and I also believe the flyway is shifting west somewhat. Sad
 
P

poorhunter

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I haven’t duck hunted in 20 years, but me and my buddies were seeing the dramatic negative effect of DU and other organizations/outfitters were having on duck hunting way back then. All the way up into Canada we saw it and were disgusted to point that we quit. I’m sure it’s no better now.
 
Malo1ke

Malo1ke

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I have read the total number of waterfowlers has fallen, however in West Tn., it is hard to believe. Seems the reproduction cycle is shifting, sliding the last few years. This happens, we've had over 20 years of good success in breeding, so its time . I hunt alot. I know of three clubs in West Tennessee who are having decent seasons, but still below average. Lots of green wings, pintails, but mallards seem way down. Very warm weather, then rain, all tributaries out , what ducks we have are scattered. Properties values will fall, as well as lease prices. As stated ,most hunters now are way younger, dont know what we had in the past. Amazes me, we can put a muffler on a car, make it quite, but on a pro drive it sounds like a harley. Go in in the dark, run ever duck out of the bottom, every morning. Not hard to figure out. Pressure is killing West Tn. I believe the numbers are WAY down, and I also believe the flyway is shifting west somewhat. Sad
Yes.
 
casjoker

casjoker

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In West TN East AR and MO, I find it hard to believe the numbers of hunters are down. I do wonder where all the money comes from. If these clowns spent the money on leases that they do on boats to hunt overcrowded public land it may help spread things out a bit. I don't understand the logic of spending 20k+ on a boat to be the first to a hole on public land vs spending 2-4k per person for a decent lease. I have 4k wrapped up in my boat and shoot as many ducks as anyone on public land. I do think the loud motors blow a lot of ducks out of the area in the mornings.

Agreed, the migration pattern does seem to have shifted west some.
 
L
Joined
Apr 6, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Franklin, TN
If it continues as it has the last 6 or 7 years, yes I believe the numbers will drop drastically.
The fellowship and "hope" is what has been keeping me in it.
If it works out and we get a pit in Missouri for this coming year and that falls flat I will probably be done.
With the fiasco that tdub has created public land hunting in TN is pretty much useless now.
I never duck hunted until my son got into it so, of course, I did too. If he started knitting I would too. LOL

Dunno but I have had an awful lot of fantastic times with friends that I now consider family. Hard to put a price on that but as far as killing ducks, this was my 7th or 8th year and I have never personally killed a limit of ducks in TN.
what is tdub? thanks.
 
L
Joined
Apr 6, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Franklin, TN
If it continues as it has the last 6 or 7 years, yes I believe the numbers will drop drastically.
The fellowship and "hope" is what has been keeping me in it.
If it works out and we get a pit in Missouri for this coming year and that falls flat I will probably be done.
With the fiasco that tdub has created public land hunting in TN is pretty much useless now.
I never duck hunted until my son got into it so, of course, I did too. If he started knitting I would too. LOL

Dunno but I have had an awful lot of fantastic times with friends that I now consider family. Hard to put a price on that but as far as killing ducks, this was my 7th or 8th year and I have never personally killed a limit of ducks in TN.
what is tdub? thanks, CHAP Lane
 

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