I know this is a big thing up along and in the States, and organizations like Delta Waterfowl promote it as important to ensuring the future of duck populations, so I'll pose the question here.
Do you only shoot drakes when hunting ducks, and avoid shooting hens?
Not shooting hens is supposed to ensure plenty of nesting birds and laid eggs for next year, and the argument is that you only need a single drake for X number of hens to ensure breeding success. I try to stick to this rule whenever I can, but I'll be the first to admit that in the sudden flurry of wings I sometimes have difficulty distinguishing a black duck drake from a mallard hen (yes, I know the beaks are slightly different in colour, but that's often hard to see). What are your thoughts?
You make a very good ponit. Yes i could see in the steats that htey don't shoot hen's, but also in the states they have 1000 and 1000's of duck coming to the blind evey day. They can tell what is hen or drake. Here in newfoundland if you see a duck coming your way and in your sights in will be on the dinner plate by next evening. The amount of ducks are just not here to pick and choose. But that don't make it any better to shoot hen's. You can go to any park around town and see that the hen's are out ranking the drake's by 25 to 1 easly. So to your question do i shoot hen's for sure i do. It maybe the only duck i see all year.
With the amount of ducks that I get to take a shot at, if I shot only drakes I wouldn't need a licence. I have days where you only see 1 duck. The amout of ducks, that I harvest is not going to affect the population. After the first week of the season 90% of waterfowl around the greater St. John's area are in a safe zone. Unfortunately they are poisioning these very areas with their high concentrated numbers. There must be 10,000 birds in river system that run down Topsail Rd & Waterford Bridge Rd and the rest of the safe zones and ponds.
The parks are killing the duck hunting in newfoundland. If a hunter takes 5 ducks a year they are very lucky and should call me to hunting with them. LOLOL
ducks really that bad in your area? im sure out my way if i had a more experienced caller and a better spread i could limit out 2 guys easy we were out today me and my uncle and seen 12 in just a hour or so and only a quarter mile from the road. where are you located?
If it is me your talking to? not is the right place for sure.
I have never been able to pick a male from a female in black ducks. But given a chance I will take a male when given a choice. BUT if there is no choice I will shoot whatever is in shot.