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Author Topic: Mallard numbers?  (Read 3098 times)

Offline hdshot

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Mallard numbers?
« on: March 01, 2023, 08:14:26 PM »
Any predictions on mallard numbers this fall or breeding mallards going into 2024 breeding season?  As a waterfowl enthusiast and hunter, hoping for at least 2016 numbers of almost 12 million mallards instead of the disappointing number of just over 7 million reported by DU last year.
Don't read my post if facts hurt your feeling.

Offline metlhead

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Re: Mallard numbers?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2023, 09:17:37 PM »
No idea about overall numbers, But I have heard it to be lower this season. Plenty came home with us this year that won't be making a return trip and I expect it'll be the same '23-'24.

Offline C-Money

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Re: Mallard numbers?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2023, 07:54:36 AM »
Mallards were hit or miss for us. We noticed where we usually see good numbers of them, their weren't any. We had a few locations we hunt that consistently had mallards. Other places was a mixed bag of gadwall & teal. We had a great season, but mallards were sketchy for us. Would love to see the numbers of the old days!!
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Offline hdshot

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Re: Mallard numbers?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2023, 08:46:16 PM »
Mallards were hit or miss for us. We noticed where we usually see good numbers of them, their weren't any. We had a few locations we hunt that consistently had mallards. Other places was a mixed bag of gadwall & teal. We had a great season, but mallards were sketchy for us. Would love to see the numbers of the old days!!

The good days of mallards on public land was so good I got tired of filling the freezer and got into goose.  Almost 5 million less mallards in just 6 years makes it very difficult for the 9 to fiver family public hunter to find them.  Maybe another boom is coming since California is saved with all that water and snow now they claimed have missed. Hope drakes don't like those California hens!
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Offline hdshot

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Re: Mallard numbers?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2023, 08:46:19 AM »
Did some in state traveling the past two weekends and seen a lot of sheet water and maybe only 5 mallards. Just remember as a kid easily seeing hundreds per sheet and on the wing.  The way they landed and skied across the shallows gave me the bug for waterfowl hunting riding with mom across the eastern part of the state to grandma's house.  My dad chased pheasants but can say Mom is who got me into the ducks and geese. Today looking at those blank ponds probably is doing nothing to get today's generation into the waterfowl hunt. 
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Offline metlhead

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Re: Mallard numbers?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2023, 10:19:02 AM »
Rest assured, they are out there. Many hens are sitting right now. Drakes are out cruising for hens. Not a lot of loaf time for critters that still play 'boy chase girl'

Offline hdshot

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Re: Mallard numbers?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2023, 04:24:15 PM »
Rest assured, they are out there. Many hens are sitting right now. Drakes are out cruising for hens. Not a lot of loaf time for critters that still play 'boy chase girl'

I hope so but DU says mallard numbers have dropped from almost 13 million to just over 7 million in just a short 5-6 years.
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Offline wadu1

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Re: Mallard numbers?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2023, 04:42:20 PM »
On the west side the sheet water in the Puyallup valley is loaded. Must have seen 50-60 pairs in one little stretch yesterday. The swans left about three weeks ago and more geese than in past years.
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Offline Stein

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Re: Mallard numbers?
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2023, 04:43:52 PM »
Same up here in the Stilly valley, swans are gone but ducks and geese are choking many sheet water fields.

Offline hdshot

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Re: Mallard numbers?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2023, 05:04:16 PM »
Didnít see many geese either like I seen earlier in the year after season with very few to no ducks on the east side. But geese definitely on the nest now or paired not flocked.
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Offline h2ofowlr

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Re: Mallard numbers?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2023, 07:11:14 AM »
I know as a whole, the state of Washington is well above our mallard harvest goals for the flyway, meaning we harvest to many mallards in the forecast models.  I am sure the corn ponds and private clubs are a leading culprit to this.  Also mallard production in the state is significantly down due to poor habitat conditions.  Hopefully a good production up north will help the mallard numbers.  Wish we still had local mallard product above 1 million birds, but that has significantly declined.
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Offline metlhead

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Re: Mallard numbers?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2023, 07:47:37 AM »
I think habitat conditions are actually very good. Got me thinking about something though. We all know how nasty geese can be while nesting. Think the very high numbers of canadas have pushed ducks out of small nesting locations?

Offline Mfowl

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Re: Mallard numbers?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2023, 08:41:52 AM »
Drought in Central Canada and the Dakotas for several years now has diminished the "duck factory" of the Prairie Pothole region. It sounds like N Dakota at least has experienced considerable snow this winter which is expected to replenish the wetlands. Hopefully Canada got some of that as well. A lot of our migrators come from this region.
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Offline hunterednate

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Re: Mallard numbers?
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2023, 02:31:05 PM »
I know as a whole, the state of Washington is well above our mallard harvest goals for the flyway, meaning we harvest to many mallards in the forecast models.  I am sure the corn ponds and private clubs are a leading culprit to this.  Also mallard production in the state is significantly down due to poor habitat conditions.  Hopefully a good production up north will help the mallard numbers.  Wish we still had local mallard product above 1 million birds, but that has significantly declined.

This is true. If we stay at the current mallard harvest rate without increased production, we could be looking at lower limits or shorter seasons in the coming years.

Offline vandeman17

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Re: Mallard numbers?
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2023, 04:37:59 PM »
I know as a whole, the state of Washington is well above our mallard harvest goals for the flyway, meaning we harvest to many mallards in the forecast models.  I am sure the corn ponds and private clubs are a leading culprit to this.  Also mallard production in the state is significantly down due to poor habitat conditions.  Hopefully a good production up north will help the mallard numbers.  Wish we still had local mallard product above 1 million birds, but that has significantly declined.

This is true. If we stay at the current mallard harvest rate without increased production, we could be looking at lower limits or shorter seasons in the coming years.

We have been spoiled too long with a crazy long season and very liberal limits. I wouldn't mind if they set bag daily bag limits on mallards if their numbers continue to slide 
" I have hunted almost every day of my life, the rest have been wasted"

 


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