Monday, December 20, 2010

Contest: Waterfowl Inspired Holiday Decor

Show us your "Junkie inspired" holiday decor!

Monday, December 20th, only show us pictures of your waterfowl inspired holiday decorating. The contest will run for only 1 day so start posting your entries NOW for a chance to win a box of Duck Junkie goodies!

EVERYONE is a WINNER! All those who submit entries will receive a discount code for 40% off in the online store!*

* Post your entries on the Duck Junkies Forum. Click HERE for help on resizing your photos. (To request details on submitting entries through email, CLICK HERE)

* This contest will run Monday, December 20th, 2010 only.

* As usual, keep it clean (no profanity or sexually suggestive entries).

* You can enter as many times as you wish.

* Must be registered on to win.

* Submittal of pictures grants Duck Junkies the use/distribution of the pictures(s).

Good luck to all who enter!

Official Rules

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Contest: Waterfowl on the Table

Pretty simple really. Cook up your harvest, take a picture of it and submit it on the forum under the culinary corner. Want "brownie points"? Post the recipe for what you made in our waterfowler cookbook (Eat It!) and include the photo you took!

Post your entries on the Duck Junkies Forum under Culinary Corner. Click HERE for help on resizing your photos. (To request details on submitting entries through email, CLICK HERE)

* This contest will run until December 31st, 2010

* As usual, keep it clean (no profanity or sexually suggestive entries).

* You can enter as many times as you wish.

* Must be registered on to win.

* Submittal of pictures grants Duck Junkies the use/distribution of the pictures(s).

Good luck to all who enter!

Official Rules

What will you win?


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2010 - 2011 Season: Migration Reporting Contest

Duck Junkies is proud to present our new migration map! MigrationMapScreenshot_8.31.2010

The map content consist of many professional resources and companies, but most importantly YOU.

All registered users may view and add reports to the map. So invite all your waterfowl hunting friends, Facebook friends, family and get involved in the migration map!

Here is the contest.

Throughout the season we will be tracking the flyway with the most activity and reports on our migration map. The flyway with the most activity will win part one of the contest.

Part two: We will randomly select 1 member from that flyway, not a Staff member, Guide Service or Duck club, to win a prize valued at $150.00.

So again, I encourage you to invite your friends, or any resource that will help your flyway, to join in. Together we can create the best migration map on the internet and did I mention it is FREE!.

Don't forget to join your flyway group in the community and encourage each other! Good Luck!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 2010 Member Contest


Photos of your Junkie Gear

It's time to show off your Junkie gear and win prizes for doing it!

Here are the details:

We are looking for creative photos or videos of Duck Junkies apparel and products (visit ourgear store to get your hands on some!) To qualify, the product must be clearly visible in the photo/video. Partner products (such as Buck Garnder Calls) do not qualify. Creativity can include using computer programs to alter images/videos however our logo/gear image must remain intact.

How to enter:

Post your photos and videos to the Discounts, Contests and More! category on the forum. Contest ends MONDAY, AUGUST 30th, 2010

How do I win?

The first entry will be guaranteed to win one of the 3 prizes. We have a panel of voters including partners, sponsors, advertisers and members that will take into consideration creativity and positive feedback by other members on the site to choose the additional top TWO entries. (So get creative and get your friends to give you positive comments on your entries!)

What do I win?

There are 3 prizes (1st-3rd place):

Mystery Prize (a variety of products selected by us)

$75 store credit

$40 store credit

(Must have 10 entries posted for prizes to be awarded. Duck Junkies has the right to redistribute all submissions at our discretion.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Seasons Lengths and Bag limits Proposed for Upcoming Late Waterfowl Season

Seasons Lengths and Bag limits Proposed for Upcoming Late Waterfowl Season

usfishwildlifeserviceThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed hunting season lengths for the upcoming 2010–11 late waterfowl seasons. The proposed frameworks include duck hunting season lengths of 60 days in both the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways, 74 days in the Central Flyway, and 107 days in the Pacific Flyway. Highlights of the proposed frameworks also include full seasons on pintails with a two bird daily bag limit and canvasbacks with a one bird daily bag limit nationwide. Additionally, the Service is proposing to have a daily bag limit of two scaup in the Atlantic, Mississippi and Central Flyways for the full season and three scaup in the Pacific Flyway for 86 days.

States select their seasons from within the frameworks which establish the earliest beginning and latest ending dates and the maximum season length and bag limits.

The proposed late season waterfowl frameworks will appear in a mid-August edition of the Federal Register for public comment and on

Flyway-specific highlights of the proposed late-season frameworks are as follows:

Atlantic Flyway (Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia):

  • Ducks: A hunting season is proposed of not more than 60 days between September 25, 2010, and January 30, 2011. The proposed daily bag limit is six and may include no more than four mallards (two hens), three wood ducks, two redheads, two hooded mergansers, two scaup, one black duck, two pintails, one canvasback, one mottled duck, one fulvous whistling duck, and four scoters. The season on harlequin ducks is closed.
  • Geese: For light geese, states would be able to select a 107-day season between October 1, 2010, and March 10, 2011, with a daily bag limit of 25 birds and no possession limit. Seasons for Canada geese would vary in length among states and areas depending on the populations of birds that occur in those areas. The daily bag limit would be five birds in most hunt zones established for resident populations of Canada geese. In hunt zones established for migratory populations, bag limits would be three or fewer and would vary among states and areas. For Atlantic brant, the season length may be 50 days with a daily bag limit of two birds.

Mississippi Flyway(Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennesseeand Wisconsin):

  • Ducks: A hunting season is proposed of not more than 60 days between September 25, 2010, and January 30, 2011. The proposed daily bag limit is six and may include no more than four mallards (two hens), one mottled duck, three wood ducks, two redheads, two scaup, one black duck, one canvasback and two pintails. The proposed daily bag limit of mergansers is five, only two of which may be hooded mergansers.
  • Geese: Generally, seasons for Canada geese would be held between September 25, 2010, and January 30, 2011, and vary in length among states and areas, with daily bag limits varying from one to three. states would be able to select seasons for light geese not to exceed 107 days with 20 geese daily between September 25, 2010, and March 10, 2011; for white-fronted geese, the proposed season would not exceed 72 days with a two-bird daily bag limit or 86 days with a one-bird daily bag limit between September 25, 2010, and February 15, 2011; and for brant it would not exceed 70 days with a two-bird daily bag limit or 107 days with a one bird daily bag limit between September 25, 2010, and January 30, 2011. There would be no possession limit for light geese.

Central Flyway (Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and portions of Colorado, Montana, New Mexicoand Wyoming):

  • Ducks: Duck seasons are proposed to be held between September 25, 2010, and January 30, 2011. The daily bag limit would be six ducks, with species and sex restrictions as follows: mallard – five, no more than two of which may be females; scaup, pintail, and redhead – two; wood duck – three; and canvasback – one. The mottled duck season will begin five days after the beginning of the regular season in Texas and the daily bag limit will be one. The possession limit would be twice the daily bag limit. In the High Plains Mallard Management Unit (roughly west of the 100th Meridian), a 97-day season is proposed. The last 23 days would be able to start no earlier than December 11, 2010. A 74-day season is proposed for the remainder of the Central Flyway.
  • Geese: Under the proposal, states may select seasons between September 25, 2010 and February 13, 2011 for dark geese and between September 25, 2010, and March 10, 2011, for light geese. East-tier states would be able to select a 107-day season for Canada geese season with a daily bag limit of three. For white-fronted geese, states would be able to select either a 72-day season with a daily bag limit of two birds or an 86-day season with a daily bag limit of one bird. In the West tier, states may select a 107-day dark goose season with a daily bag limit of five birds. In the Western Goose Zone of Texas, the state would be able to select a 95-day season with a daily bag limit of five dark geese (including no more than one white-fronted goose). For light geese, all states would be able to select a 107-day season with a daily bag limit of 20 and no possession limit.

Pacific Flyway (Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and portions of Colorado, Montana, New Mexicoand Wyoming):

  • Ducks: Under the proposal, states are allowed a 107-day general duck season between September 25, 2010, and January 30, 2011. The proposed daily bag limit is seven ducks, including no more than two mallard hens, two redheads, one canvasback and two pintails. In addition, an 86 day season for scaup can be chosen with a daily bag limit of three.
  • Geese: 107-day seasons are proposed for the Pacific Flyway between September 25, 2010, and March 10, 2011. Proposed basic daily bag limits are up to 10 light geese and four dark geese. There are exceptions to the basic bag limits and season structures for geese in many states, so consult state regulations for specific details. In California, Washington and Oregon, the dark goose limit does not include brant. For brant, the proposed season lengths are 16 days in Oregon andWashington and 30 days in California, with a two-bird daily limit. Washington and California would be able to choose seasons in each of the two zones.

Waterfowl population surveys and monitoring programs are critical parts of successful waterfowl management in North America. Combined, these results form the largest data set on any wildlife species group in the world. They help provide equitable hunting opportunities while ensuring the long-term health of waterfowl populations. Waterfowl surveys are done in cooperation with the Canadian Wildlife Service and other state, provincial and private conservation partners. Results from the USFWS 55th Annual Breeding Population and Habitat Assessment Survey are available – and for the most part are very similar to last year.

Habitat conditions during the 2010 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey were characterized by average to below-average moisture, a mild winter, and early spring across the entire traditional (including northern locations) and eastern survey areas. The total pond estimate (Prairie Canada and U.S. combined) was 6.7 million. This is similar to the 2009 estimate and 34 percent above the long-term average of 5.0 million ponds. The estimate of the overall duck population from the traditional survey area is 40.9 million birds, which is similar to last year's estimate, and 21 percent above the long term average. In the eastern survey area, the numbers of most species are similar to those of last year. Snowmelt occurred much earlier throughout most of the important goose breeding areas and most of North America will see average, or above average fall flights of geese this year.

The Service remains very concerned about both the short and long-term impacts of the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill on migratory birds, their habitats, and the resources on which the birds depend. However, current information suggests that regulatory restrictions on waterfowl hunting are unnecessary. From a harvest-management perspective, the Service intends to respond to the ongoing oil spill as it would any other non-hunting factor with the potential for substantial effects on mortality or reproduction – such as hurricanes, disease outbreaks or drought – by monitoring abundance and vital rates of waterfowl and other migratory game birds, and adjusting harvest regulations as needed on the basis of existing harvest strategies.

To see the "Status of Waterfowl" report as well as last year's harvest figures, please see

The mission of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Migratory Bird Program is to ensure long-term ecological sustainability of migratory bird populations and their habitats for future generations, through careful monitoring, effective management, and by supporting national and international partnerships that conserve habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The new Duck Junkies site is officially open! Get movin!

There is so much stuff there you have GOT to see! A waterfowler community (like Facebook), a rockin forum, free classifieds, conservation information, articles, news stories, media, event calendar, directories, volunteer info and more and growing!

(Why are you still here reading this?)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Contests - June

Current Contest

June has been different again... we have been running a series of smaller contests here and there becasue so much of our enregy is currently focused on developing the new site. Our most recent contest, Win an Orion Call, was on Saturday night 6/19/2010 and Nathan Woodard won a duck call!

Keep watching for your chance to win!


Gabe Dutenhoeffer
with 50% of all his votes being rated 4 or 5!

Four guys have been going to the same deer camp for many years. Two days before the group is to leave. Franks wife puts her foot down and tells him he isnt going. Franks friends are very upset that he cant go, but what can they do. Two days later the three get to the camping site only to find Frank sitting there with a tent set up, firewood gathered, and dinner cooking on the fire. "Dang Man, how long you been here, and how did you talk you wife into letting you go?"Wel I've been here since yesterday. Yesterday evening, I was sitting in my chair and my wife came up behind me and put her hands over my eyes and said. " Guess who?" I pulled her hand off, and she was wearing a brand new nightie. She tookmy hand and pulled me to our bedroom. The room had candles and rose pdals all over. On the bed she had handcuffs, and ropes. She told me to tie and cuff her to the bed. And then she said, "Do whatever you want." "So, Here I Am" ROFLOL!!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

June 2010 Featured Junkie

Katie Sholly from Washington Boro, Pennsylvania.

I live in a household of 2 men who live and breath waterfowl hunting.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Welcome OSO!

Welcome to Duck Junkies Ocean State Outfitters!

Are you interested in joining us too? We have great Pre-Launch ad specials going on right now. CLICK HERE to see simple packages! If you would like larger packages or want to be featured in a section not listed, please contact us.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Core Sound Waterfowl Museum

Core Sound in southeastern North Carolina is known for two things: fishing and waterfowl hunting. In 2000, after years of acquiring permits and raising funds, the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum was opened on Harker's Island, NC across from the Cape Lookout National Seashore. It's mission was to "establish a facility that will enhance the community, state, and region by creating a resource which brings together the historical, cultural, artistic, environmental, and educational elements needed to preserve the rich waterfowl heritage of eastern North Carolina associated with the Core Sound Area" ( The museum itself sits on a spit of land that sticks out into Core Sound, an area littered with blinds and famous in North Carolina for its duck hunting. Outside, there is a boat-building exhibit and a 4 acre freshwater waterfowl habitat area containing hiking trails and viewing platforms developed using the expertise of Ducks Unlimited as well as many other wildlife habitat organizations. The planks of the large, wrap-around porch contain plaques that members can dedicate to family or friends when donations are made to fund the many outreach and youth programs the museum sponsor. Two years ago, my father dedicated a plank to my brother and I (his "huntin' buddies") and it is a great way to support the waterfowl heritage while honoring those people that mean the most to you. When you enter the building, the sights and sounds of duck hunting surround you. The exhibits show how life on the Core Sound was when inhabitants engaged in subsistence hunting and fishing, and have a full-size model of a decoy carver's workshop built into the room with examples of every hand-carved, hand-painted decoy possible displayed on the walls. Along with their annual Decoy Festival in the fall, the museum also holds a Junior Duck Stamp competition as well as a waterfowl weekend for the community. The museum truly has something for every aged waterfowler and a definite destination for the family any time of the year. Halfway between seasons duck junkies need to get our fix somehow, and visiting this place and others like it can not only give us an appreciation for our waterfowling community but also encourage us to get involved in conservation efforts for the future of waterfowl.

Jessica Idol
Duck Junkies Pro Staff
North Carolina

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Future Uncertain For Gulf Coast Waterfowl

Well it sure is a mess down here in the open Gulf of Mexico and along the coastal reaches of Louisiana, Alabama and the western panhandle of Florida. No one seems to know when they're going to cap that darned oil leak or just what effect the spillage is going to have on our fisheries or waterfowl season.

In speaking with several biologists this week I learned that there are so many levels to this mess it's impossible to retell all of them here. Suffice to say diver duck hunting and waterfowling along the coastal marsh lands is probably going to be difficult at best.

With the changing nature of this calamity, finding open and unpolluted water is going to be key. Tides, weather systems and varying conditions of all kinds will play important roles in the months to come as more birds begin the migration down to the Gulf Coast. The hunter who can devote enough time to finding these undisturbed areas will be the most successful and will likely find what birds there are concentrated in these locations. Now more than ever, homework will pay off.

For the time being, there has been no discussion of closing waterfowl season along the Gulf Coast of Florida, but that may soon change. As time goes by, more and more oil will surely make it's way to shore. What remains to be seen is how much and when it will happen. With any luck, perhaps our government will move to finally find a solution to the problems at hand.

Inland areas won't be affected at all and may see an increase in the number of visiting waterfowl (one can only hope). Water levels are good in much of Florida right now and habitat is doing well from the northern state line to the Glades along the inland and eastern coastal areas of the peninsula.

More information will be coming in the days and weeks ahead, but the key dates to watch for ar August 27 & 28 when United Waterfowlers - Florida (a local conservation and hunter's activist group) will hold their first annual Waterfowl Summit.

The brain child of members Duke Dubois and Pat Stone, this summit is bringing together biologists, land managers, hydrologists, conservation groups and all manner of experts in the field of waterfowling and related issues to explore the state's present conditions and future outlook with real hunters and the men and women who live the waterfowling way of life. It's the first time (outside of the Flyway Council meetings) that both governmental and private industry folks will have a chance to sit down for a meeting of the minds. Certainly an exciting prospect and possibly a template for future events to take place in other key states.

It's too early to speculate on what will become of our coastal areas, but the tenor is ominous for the time being. I'll keep you posted on what transpires without the spin of government intervention. In the meantime, God bless you all, and enjoy your summer scouting time.

Off-Season Improvement (also on website)

There is always something you can do to better you season as a duck hunter, and some can be fun for everyone. First make sure you dont forget how to shoulder your gun effectively. As a competative shooter for almost a decade I can safely say that one key to good shotgun shooting is gun placement on the shoulder. It only takes the gun to be a little off center to cause someone to miss. There are local ranges all over the US that have awesome Sporting Clays courses but even if they only have skeet or trap fields you can still have just as much fun and get the practice that will improve your shooting. Sometimes you may need to put a spacer in the stock of your gun to compensate for all of the clothes you may have on in the winter just make sure once it gets cold again to take out those spacers so the gun is not hanging up on clothes and ruining the good shot you worked on all summer.
You can also go scout for places that will be an interesting place to hunt in the winter, but since the ducks probably arent there yet take some fishing poles and run around rivers or lake systems looking for places with vegitation that ducks look for in the winter. It is also a great way to get kids into the outdoors and get them used to an area that they may end up hunting in the not so distant future.
Last I know many people don't have to read this but keep your calls near by. Call, call, call this is one thing that separates the men from the boys you may think you sound great when you pick up your call for the first time in months on opening day, but everyone else in the blind can tell you haven't picked up a call since last season. You can always get a tape from a pro or a cd and on your way to and from work throw it in and practice your calling it will definatly make a huge difference.
View this article on website.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Livingston-Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of taking a private tour of the Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy in Litchfield Connecticut. The LRWC began it's life as a lifelong private waterfowl collection of the late S. Dillon Ripley, an orinthologist and professor at Yale University who later became the secretary at the Smithsonian. Along with his impressive backround an a passion for waterfowl the LRWC was born. Mr. Ripley is credited as the first person to propagate some of the most endagered species of waterfowl in the world such as the NeNe goose of Hawaii and the Red Breasted goose of Siberia.
NeNe Geese from Hawaii.
Today the Conservancy is dedicated to waterfowl research and preservation of wetlands. Our guide (and fellow waterfowler) Ian Gereg is the Director of Aviculture and Education at the center. Ian walked us through the many enclosures and around the ponds of the center and educated us on the many worldwide species of waterfowl in the Conservancy's collection.

Note the antenna on the mallard. The center is testing solar powered GPS tracking harnesses. Several LRWC ducks are currently being tracked. One is currently on the Connecticut shore while another is hanging out in Belfast, Maine

This Woody was hand raised for educational purposes. He is brought to classrooms all over to teach children about waterfowl

The center is currently researching the unusual mating habits of the Ruddy Duck

This King Eider resides in the recently completed sea duck habitat. Little is known about sea duck habits due to their remote summer locations

If you ever decide to vacation in Connecticut. The Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy is a must see place for the avid waterfowler. They have ducks and geese from all over the world in a very impressive facility nestled in the hills of Litchfield Connecticut. Check them out at

Suggested NC Set Up (also on website)

Here are a few decoy suggestions for the NC area:
Divers: 3-5 doz total.
Puddle Ducks: 2-4 doz total.

Divers decoy suggestions:
3 doz bluebills,
1 doz redheads,
1/2 doz buffleheads,
1/2 doz ring necks

Puddle Duck Suggestions:
1/2 doz mallards
1/2 doz wood ducks
1 doz blue/green wing teal
1/2 doz widgeon
1 doz pintail
1/2 doz black ducks

Geese Suggestions:
1 doz floaters
2 - 4 doz field full bodies

I use all Avery Green Head Gear Brand Decoys. I buy them at:
Or any place I can find the best deal.

I use a mix of gang line rigs and regular weight systems.

I swear by standing decoy bags, they help you move fast and keep your deeks secure. They provide easy, hands free use, while in the boat or on the bank.

Rig them right decoys weights are sweet for the puddle ducks. I dont like them for the divers because water depth can vary so much and the rounded weights tumble along the bottom in a steady wind.

Just a few ideas/thoughts to get the juices flowing.

Get out and prep your gear, the season is around the corner.

Josh Bourne
Duck Junkies Pro Staff
North Carolina (NC)

View this article on the website.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

California Habitat Updates


Northeastern California is a critical waterfowl region not only for California but for the Pacific Flyway. The region consistently supports one of the highest concentrations of breeding mallards in the state. It also provides an essential spring staging area for waterfowl on their migration back to their northern breeding grounds. The region also provides a unique opportunity to truly "restore" wetlands due to the relatively unaltered natural hydrology.

To request our services, or if you would like more information about projects in Northern California contact Rick Maher, Northeastern California Regional Biologist.

Current Projects:

Ash Creek Wildlife Area:
We are scheduled to complete a 3-year project that will reduce erosion and improve seasonal wetlands on the north side of the wildlife area this year. This project has already reestablished water delivery to an area that had become very difficult to flood. We are excited about the new breeding habitat and hunter opportunity that has resulted from this project.

(Click for full size map)

West Pit Project - Modoc NWR:
We have finished our first project on Modoc NWR this year. This enhancement project focused on a 100-acre unit adjacent to Highway 395. Several new ponds and swales have been constructed and over 1 mile of river banks have been improved. Read more about this project.

(Click for full size map)

Tule Lake NWR:
We are continuing to work with refuge staff and many other partners to expand the Walking Wetlands program. California Waterfowl is partnering in a large, multi-agency project which will allow an additional 1,100 acres to be flooded.

Wetland Reserve Program (WRP):
WRP is a federal Farm Bill program that is intended to take marginal agricultural land out of production and restore them to a natural wetland complex. This program has been instrumental in protecting and restoring wetlands throughout the state, and particularly Northeastern California. California Waterfowl staff are currently working with local agencies to protect and restore over 12,000 acres of wetlands on private lands through this program over the next few years.

Completed Projects
• Northeastern California Completed Habitat Projects Map

Regional Biologist

Rick Maher

Rick began working at California Waterfowl in 2000. Since joining us he has used his years of wetland restoration experience and agricultural background to advance our mission in a critical region of the state.

Meet all the Waterfowl and Wetlands staff.

June 12, 2010

The Sacramento Valley is the core waterfowl area in California. Each year millions of waterfowl migrate to or through this area to take advantage of the plentiful food provided by the many public wildlife areas and refuges, private duck clubs and flooded rice fields. In any given year there are at least 400,000 acres of available water for waterfowl in the region.

California Waterfowl acknowledges the tradition and importance of the Sacramento Valley and focuses on habitat projects that will improve and sustain the conditions in the Valley for many years to come.

To request our services, or if you would like more information about projects in the Sacramento Valley, contact Chadd Santerre, Wetland Project Supervisor/NAWCA Coordinator.

Current Projects:

Upper Butte Basin WA (UBBWA):
California Waterfowl has been working diligently to improve UBBWA for many years. This year's efforts include a 365-acre restoration project on Little Dry Creek WA's units 116, 123 and 129, and an overhaul of the water delivery system to units 110-121. Both projects will be completed and ready to go for the upcoming waterfowl season.

(Click for full size map)

Private Lands Projects:
Funding has been secured for work on 7 private clubs this year scattered throughout the Valley. The cost-share projects will improve wintering and breeding habitat on privately owned and managed wetlands that are critical to waterfowl in California.

(Click for full size map)

Completed Projects
• Sacramento Valley Completed Habitat Projects Map


California Waterfowl has been very busy in the Yolo bypass since 2003. The Yolo Bypass WA was acquired by the state of California in 1997. In 2001, the State purchased an additional 13,000 acres to expand the wildlife area. In partnership with DFG, California Waterfowl was able to leverage millions of dollars in federal funds for habitat restoration and enhancement projects in the region.

To date, California Waterfowl has received over $4-million in state and federal funding since 2003 for work in the Yolo Bypass. The vast majority of our work has been focused on improving habitat and hunting access on the Yolo Bypass WA.

To request our services, or if you would like more information about projects in the Yolo Bypass contact Paul Phillips, Wetland Projects Coordinator.

Current Projects:

Yolo Bypass WA (YBWA):
California Waterfowl will again be working to improve and increase waterfowl habitat and hunting opportunity on YBWA. This year's projects will enhance over 500 acres, restore 90 acres, and improve water delivery to over 1,000 acres of wetlands on YBWA and the adjacent private duck clubs.

Another unique project that will be completed this year is a newly restored youth hunter area, the Fireman's Unit. Construction on this project began in 2008 and is scheduled to be completed and open to hunting this hunting season.

(Click for full size map)

(Click for full size map)

For a map of all California Waterfowl projects on YBWA since 2003, click here>>

Private Land Projects:
California Waterfowl is working with 6 different landowners in and around the Yolo Bypass. These projects will enhance over 2,000 acres of wetlands in the region.

(Click for full size map)

Completed Projects
• Yolo Bypass Completed Habitat Projects Map

Regional Biologist

Paul Phillips

Paul came to California Waterfowl after working for DFG at Yolo Bypass WA. His local knowledge and good working relationships with DFG staff has allowed habitat development projects in the region to run very smoothly.

Meet all the Waterfowl and Wetlands staff.


In recent years California Waterfowl has become very active in Suisun Marsh and is currently working closely with the Suisun Resource Conservation District (SRCD) and the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to continue to deliver quality habitat projects in the Suisun Marsh.

2009 promises to be a busy year for us in the Marsh. We are scheduled to spend over $2-million of federal, state and private funds to enhance over 13,000 acres of habitat throughout the marsh.

To request our services, or if you would like more information about projects in Suisun Marsh contact Robert Eddings, Suisun Marsh Regional Biologist.

Current Projects:

Grizzly Island Wildlife Area (GIWA):
California Waterfowl has several projects running on GIWA this year. Our biggest project is a large upland restoration, enhancement and waterfowl nesting research project on fields 13 & 14. This project has allowed us to use years of gathered data to develop a plan to improve local waterfowl nesting habitat on GIWA.

Additional work planned for this year on GIWA will include a continued effort to upgrade and replace old water control structures and lift pumps. This will help DFG staff manage the area efficiently and help reduce mosquito production.

(Click for full size map)

(Click for full size map)

Joice Island Wildlife Area:
We have been working hard on Joice Island for the past 4 years. Past projects have replaced all water control structures with new plastic pipe and stainless steel gates. This year's efforts will focus on pond grading and swale excavation to improve water flow, habitat diversity and improved public hunting opportunity.

(Click for full size map)

West Family Unit Youth Hunt Area:
A complete overhaul of the habitat and hunting access will be completed this year. Extensive pond grading and swale excavation will improve the habitat quality and diversity and improve management of the area. Additionally, many old, dilapidated hunting blinds will be removed and replaced, and a new mobility impaired blind will be added. Read more about this project.
(Click for full size map)

Grizzly Ranch:
A grant was recently funded to improve habitat conditions on the 900-acre Grizzly Ranch which hosts California Waterfowl's Youth Hunting Program. The goal of this project is to improve the overall quality of habitat on the property and to improve and increase youth hunting opportunity on the ranch.
(Click for full size map)

Private Lands Projects:
We will be working with 20 different landowners this year to improve waterfowl habitat on their lands in Suisun Marsh. Projects are focused on improving water flow through the habitat to help minimize salt accumulation to ensure wetlands remain attractive to waterfowl.
(Click for full size map)

Completed Projects
• Suisun Marsh Completed Habitat Projects Map

Regional Staff

Robert Eddings

Robert has been with California Waterfowl since 2003. He has worked throughout the state on many habitat projects, but has settled in Suisun Marsh and has driven California Waterfowl's efforts in Suisun Marsh.

Meet all the Waterfowl and Wetlands staff.


The San Joaquin Valley used to be one of the most waterfowl rich areas in California. But, extensive diversions and pumping dried up much of the Valley and agriculture replaced wetlands. California Waterfowl has focused on increasing dependable and sustainable water delivery to wetland areas and continues to build infrastructure that will allow public and private managers alike to use water as efficiently as possible.

To request our services, or if you would like more information about projects in the San Joaquin Valley, contact Rich Wright, Grasslands Regional Biologist.

Current Projects

Mendota WA:
Working with California Duck Stamp funds we will provide a water source for fields 3 and 18. Water delivery is currently being re-engineered to provide a reliable water source to flood the units completely. Additional state funds through a mosquito prevention agreement will focus on ensuring wetland units can be flooded and drained quickly and reducing problem vegetation. This includes work on many of the main pumps that flood the wetlands. These efforts will reduce mosquito production and improve wetland food production for waterfowl.

(Click for full size map)

Los Banos WA:
The planned work includes vegetation control done by disking wetland units, excavating and cleaning delivery and drainage waterways to improve flooding and drainage capabilities, and earthwork focusing on improving micro-topography. Earthwork is concentrated in units 25 A,B,C, and unit 67A. In addition, federal funds are going to be spent on the Buttonwillow Lakes to help restore natural hydrology.

North Grasslands WA, Salt Slough Unit:
California Duck Stamp funds are being utilized to change and increase the size of weirs on the main water delivery system, re-grade field 41 to improve habitat quality and eliminate perennial pepperweed and to construct swales and levees in field 4. Mosquito funds are being spent on cover management, which will reduce tall emergent vegetation and promote new stands of low growing waterfowl food plants.

North Grasslands WA, China Island Unit:
Work on China Island will cover many of the wetland units and water supply. Units scheduled for work include 10, 11 and 12. A main water supply well will be rehabilitated to supplement surface water deliveries. In addition, the main flood control levee will be retrofitted in spots where erosion is a problem. Lastly, the return water system will be cleaned up to allow for water re-circulation that will save valuable water to be used on wetland irrigations.

Grassland Water District Infrastructure Projects:
California Waterfowl has been working on Grassland Water District Projects in both the North and South Grasslands. In 2009, the Bennett Ditch will be improved with a large new weir, excavation and bank building. In addition, the Agatha Canal and its extensions are being worked on. This compliments earlier work on the Helm Canal completed in 2008 in the South Grasslands. All of these projects help ensure reliable water delivery to public and privately owned wetlands throughout the region.

San Joaquin River Parkway:
California Waterfowl has partnered in a riparian restoration project in the San Joaquin River Parkway. The parkway is a wetland and upland area that stretches along the San Joaquin River downstream of Friant Dam. The area is currently being restored and will provide many recreational uses.

Kern County Tulare Basin Private Wetland Enhancement Project:
Work has started on 2 new deep wells, one lift pump, a return water re-circulation system, and over 9,300 feet of PVC pipelines. All projects are seeking to bolster water supplies and improve water-use efficiency. Pipelines transport the water to wetlands, reducing water loss due to percolation and evaporation. These water savings and increase in supply will improve wetland habitat and will also provide more water during the spring that will be available for irrigations of wetland food plants. USFWS and Kern NWR are partnering on the project and will benefit from increased water supplies as well.

(Click for full size map)

Private Land Projects:
California Waterfowl and its partners, including the Central Valley Joint Venture and Wildlife Conservation Board and a litany of private duck clubs have been enhancing habitat by improving delivery and drainage of wetlands, rebuilding levees, and installing weirs. This year's efforts will improve wetlands on 12 private duck clubs in the region.

(Click for full size map)

Completed Projects
• San Joaquin Valley Completed Habitat Projects Map

Regional Biologist

Rich Wright

With degrees in wildlife environmental science and biology Rich is well suited for work in the San Joaquin Valley where water is always a limiting factor.

Meet all the Waterfowl and Wetlands staff.


California Waterfowl's first habitat project in southern California took place at San Jacinto Wildlife Area in Riverside County in 2007. In 2008, we hired a full-time biologist and stationed him in Murrieta to continue our efforts. Since then, we have received over $2.5-million in state and federal funds for habitat work in the Mystic Lake and Salton Sea Areas.

Although wetlands are not as prevalent in these areas as they used to be, California Waterfowl will continue to improve and restore and increase waterfowl populations throughout the region.

To request our services, or if you would like more information about habitat projects in southern California contact Greg Heydeman, Southern California Regional Biologist

Current Projects:

Imperial Valley WA - Wister Unit:
California Waterfowl was the recent recipient of a $438,000 Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) grant to enhance 225 acres of wetlands in the Wister Unit of the Imperial Valley Wildlife Area. The grant will also enable a water delivery pipeline that will benefit an additional 315 acres.

(Click for full size map)

Private Land Projects:
California Waterfowl completed enhancement projects on 4 private duck clubs near the Salton Sea. During 2009 over 370 acres of private land wetlands were enhanced in the Imperial Valley.

(Click for full size map)

Completed Projects
• Southern California Completed Habitat Projects Map

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Choosing a new shotgun (On website)

Choosing a new shotgun can be difficult. I know this first hand because I'm a left handed shooter in a right handed world. When I was looking for a new shotgun I tried to get by with several right handed guns, these however did not fit right and I had difficulties shooting accurately with them. Sure I could've fixed the problem by spending some money and taking it to a gunsmith, however I felt that for the money I spent it should shoot how I want it too without having to spend the extra money.

First one needs to decide what amount of money they are willing to spend on the new gun. Secondly style needs to be decided such as pump, over/under, semi-auto, etc. Thirdly going and trying different brands and how they pull up and fit. Lastly going home knowing that you made the right choice.

There is a wide price range in shotguns today. They range from $300 all way upto $6,000. When choosing my gun I set my price to less then $1,500. Well with my trade in I ended up paying $700 cash. So I did stay under my price range. The pumps and single shots are on the lower end of the shotgun spectrum. Your semi-automatic is next in the spectrum and then the fine over/unders are on the top of the spectrum.

Next one must decide what brand and style of shotgun they like. The brand names out there today are Remington, Browning, Winchester, Benelli, Escort, Stoeger, Franchi and many more that I have not mentioned. Remington makes the 870 pump, 887 pump, 11-87 semi-auto, and the Sp-10 semi-auto. Browning has the BPS pump, Gold semi-auto, and the Silver semi-auto. Benelli has the Nova and Super Nova pumps, Super Black Eagle II semi-auto, and M-2 semi-auto. To name a few. Currently the only pump and semi-automatic shotguns manufactured in left-hand is Remington and Benelli. The gun I ended up getting was the Benelli M-2.

Go to your local gun dealer like Cabela's, Bass Pro, or your hometown gun shop is always a good choice. Pick different guns and pull them up and swing them. This is the only way one can tell if the shotgun fits. When I picked up the M-2 the pull up and swing motion were fluid. These movements should be an extension to your arms. If it doesn't feel right try another gun.

Lastly take your gun home and feel confident in your choice. If you think you may need to practice with your gun pulling up the do a daily excercise of pulling the gun up like you would do in the field.

View this article on the website.

First Aid in the Blind

So your hunting partner (or you) sustains an injury or gets ill while out hunting. What do you do? It's a really huge topic to cover. I'm going to try to cover a couple of the basics in case of an emergency.

First and foremost- Keep a cool head. Easy for me to say as I enter my 20th year in the Emergency Medical Services. Try not to panic and think things through clearly. Don't become a second victim rushing to get the ill/injured party to safety.

Communication- Call 911 if you feel the ill/injured party needs immeadiate medical attention. Probably not nessesary for a simple cut or "boo boo toe" but in the event of severe bleeding, breathing difficulty, chest pains or fractures it's probably a good idea to get some help going. Cell phone coverage is getting better all of the time. Let the 911 dispatcher know the extent of the injury/illness and where you are. It's always better to let the help come to you. First Responders will assess the situation and determine the best and safest way to get a victim out. If your out of range of any sort of communication, send someone for help if you can or get them to safety as safe as you can.

Traumatic Injuries
Bleeding- Bright red spurting= Not Good. Direct pressure over the injury is still the best way to control it. Same thing with oozing blood.

Fractures- Is the appendage bent at an odd angle? If it is, it's probably broke. Immobilize it the best you can. A couple of straight sticks and some duct tape can be used to fashion a splint. The main reason to immobilize a fracture is not to cause more damage.

Burns- Stop the burning process- get away from the heat source. Try to keep the area as clean as possible. Cover the area up with as clean as you can find cloth and irrigate with clean water.

Medical Conditions
Medical conditions can be a wide range of problems from difficulty breathing, chest pains, allergic reactions, the list goes on. Like I wrote in the beginning, keep a cool head. Call for help and keep the victim calm and as comfortable as possible. Call for help. If you don't have communication, send somebody for help or get the victim to safety as safe as possible.

I can go on for days and days on what to do in case of an emergency. Nobody plans on getting sick or hurt but it happens. The best way to deal with these situations is to be prepared for them. Let someone know where you'll be and the times you'll be there and when to expect your return. Carry some sort of reliable form of communication and a well stocked first aid kit. Take a course in first aid and CPR.
"An ounce of prevention..." Well, you can try to prevent an emergency from happening but if it's gonna happen, it will happen. Being prepared for an emergency may make the outcome a little better.

Enough of that stuff. 2 1/2 months to early goose season here in Connecticut. My decoys are all set, been practicing the calling. I've been seeing alot of geese and ducks with little ones around here. I was out on a local golf course recently and was amazed by the amount of goslings this year. Looks like it's shaping up to be a good season.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Plenty of water in Eastern Dakotas

I spend a large amount of time in the eastern North Dakota, and eastern South Dakota country side checking on waterfowl numbers in my hunting areas. So far this year has been very wet. It seems to rain every other day up here. The landscape is dotted with small(temporary), medium, and large bodies of water that have filled up over this spring and summer. With this large amount of water comes a large number of breeding waterfowl.

The duck numbers are looking really good and I just started seeing some mallard and pintail ducklings lately. I actually had to stop on a highway, along with other traffic, to let a hen mallard escort her brood of 9 ducklings across the road. This is a common occurrence this time of year in eastern ND.

The goose numbers are looking great as well. It seems with all this water and early hot weather I was seeing goslings much earlier then usual. I just saw a couple broods today that are the size of bowling balls if not bigger. They were busy feeding on the green wheat so they paid no attention to me at all.

With all the sloughs, and potholes filled to the brim and beyond this fall in the Dakotas is looking to be another great waterfowling opportunity.

Northern waterfowl could be sitting ducks in Gulf

Northern waterfowl could be sitting ducks in Gulf

The clock already is ticking on the waterfowl fall migration, and what birds seeking refuge encounter upon their arrival could be disastrous.

Ducks Unlimited

In two months, blue-winged teal will begin leaving Minnesota for the coastal marshes of Louisiana and other points south. Within weeks afterward, wood ducks will join the autumn migration, followed by many of the other duck species that nest in the North but spend their winter months along the Gulf Coast.

What exactly awaits these birds is unknown.
But for the 13 million ducks and another 1.5 million geese that historically have used Louisiana's coastal marshes either for the entire winter or a portion thereof, it likely won't be good.

Worst-case scenario:

Oil continues to flow from BP's deepwater well off the coast of Louisiana, and tropical storms and perhaps hurricanes this summer and/or early fall would push the crude not only into barrier saltwater and brackish marshes, but also farther inland, into freshwater marshes and ponds.

This would kill not only ducks and other birds, but despoil critical habitats, perhaps for generations.

Worse, it's possible that oil flowing from the well won't be staunched for many months. Or even, as was the case in Mexico in 1979, for up to a year.

If so, thousands -- perhaps hundreds of thousands, or even more -- of ducks, geese and other migrants, including shorebirds, could be killed this fall.

Already, North America is not exactly flush with ducks. In fact, if many hunters and
others who spend long days in the field in autumn can be believed, the United States
and Canada host far smaller populations of ducks today than was the case even 15 years ago.

But what if circumstances surrounding BP's oil well improve significantly, and quickly?

Perhaps, for example, the well will soon be capped or its oil otherwise collected, and instead of coming ashore, most of the oil already on the Gulf's surface will stay farther at sea, dissipating, over time, either (somewhat) naturally or due to chemical dispersants.

Even if that occurs, some damage already has been done to the nation's richest and most productive coastal wetlands. And wildlife -- particularly marine life -- likely will be adversely affected for some time. As will countless local residents and their

What then to do now? Should vast, new temporary habitats be developed near the
Gulf Coast, if possible, as a way to lure birds from oil stained marshes?

Should state and federal waterfowl officials attempt to "short-stop" Mississippi Flyway ducks in Missouri, Arkansas, northern Mississippi and northern Louisiana, by
feeding them?

Should waterfowlers in those areas be asked to forego hunting this fall, in an attempt to keep birds north of the Gulf Coast?

Hard to tell.

But there is time to discuss various scenarios and devise contingency plans. And if the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service, Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl and other groups don't begin to do so immediately, they are forgoing their responsibility not only to their supporters, financial and otherwise, but, especially, to ducks and geese.

• • •

Last week, top Ducks Unlimited officials, including new CEO Dale Hall and chief
biologist Dale Humburg, toured parts of the Louisiana marsh, guided by Louisiana wildlife and fisheries officials.

Friday, I talked to Humburg in Louisiana via cell phone while he and others were still in the marsh, wrapping up their trip.

"Our primary intent over the last couple of days has been to get a handle on the scale of the issue, that is, the size of the landscape that could be affected by the spill," Humburg said. "We also wanted to determine what is real in terms of immediate impact, and some idea of what the impact could be, if things get worse.

"What we ended up with is a high degree of uncertainty. Unfortunately, until the oil is contained, we won't know the extent of the problem. And without an idea of the extent and the distribution of the oil, we won't know what the response should be."

So far, Humburg said, oil coming ashore on the coastal marshes generally has been
limited to saltwater marshes on the open Gulf, with minimal impact to date on
freshwater or brackish areas.

Species of special concern, given conditions that exist today, would be scaup (bluebills) and redheads, both of which have tended in recent years to raft up in vast flocks in the Gulf of Mexico -- in areas that already are contaminated with oil.

Mallards, though in places abundant, are not overly common in many areas of coastal
Louisiana. Instead, teal, gadwall and widgeon (the latter two often are grouped as "gray ducks" by Louisiana hunters) are common species, as are ringnecks and pintails in areas.

Humburg said one option being considered is expanding the amount of flooded acreage on the northern edge of the marsh. This would begin to address the deficit of habitat that already exists in the region.
"The challenges of coastal marsh deterioration have taken decades to develop
and will take years to address effectively,'' he said, adding that the oil spill brings immediate focus to a waterfowl and wetlands conservation challenge that has existed for some time.

"We spent an hour in a boat getting to the edge of the Gulf [of Mexico], and what a trip like that does is give you a pretty good dose of reality regarding the scale of the challenge, and the scale also of the response that might be needed to make a difference," Humburg said.

Asked whether it might be possible to shortstop some birds in Missouri, Arkansas, northern Mississippi and northern Louisiana by feeding them and by abstaining from
hunting, Humburg said such actions might have a local and perhaps regional effect.

"But these would be short-term impacts," he said, "and I suspect that they and similar actions might imply we have more control over the migration than we actually do. The fact is, when days shorten in fall, the weather turns cold up north and food becomes scarce, ducks migrate. And always have."

• • •

I'll add here a few additional "doses of reality'' that should disquiet anyone
concerned with ducks and this latest threat to them:

• Waterfowl management in this nation, as led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is chaotic, at best, with competition among states for "their share" of the resource more often the case than cooperation.

• The Fish and Wildlife Service's duck harvest scheme is steeped in mystery and technical mumbo jumbo that few understand but that somehow always favors the highest possible limits and the most days afield. This despite near universal acknowledgment of a still- declining North American habitat base and countless reports from hunters (as above) that ducks are scarce, if not (in many regions, such as Minnesota) altogether gone missing.

• In the management of U.S. ducks and duck hunting, politics traditionally have played as big a role as science.

Given these realities and the potential they imply for institutional inaction, obfuscation or both, concerned waterfowlers and their state and congressional representatives should demand immediately that the Fish and Wildlife Service and its Mississippi Flyway Council begin without further delay a series of meetings to explore all contingencies for the fall migration that is only a short time distant.

Waterfowlers and others should demand as well that all options (including hunting and not hunting) should be on the table, meaning that no choice that might benefit waterfowl should be precluded from consideration.

Especially important to all concerned should be an awareness that nonhunters as well as hunters will be watching how duck managers respond, especially given that they have the a advantage in this foul-up (that marine life managers did not) of acting before any actual crisis occurs to their species of concern.

Finally, DU and other waterfowl groups should -- if necessary, and if potentially effective -- consider amassing thousands upon thousands of volunteers from throughout the nation along the Gulf Coast to help clean birds, vegetation and water, if it comes to that.

Such an effort would be the right thing to do.

Not incidentally, it likely also would gain the groups many new members among a skeptical American public that increasingly disbelieves that any institution --
government, especially -- actually does what it claims to do.

Dennis Anderson •