Nocturnal

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Nocturnal

Postby TWB1991 » Thu Dec 29, 2022 11:58 am

Has anyone else noticed the change in feeding patterns the last 10 yrs? I sure have. I hunt primarily in Jackson county il along the Mississippi River. I have had some great hunts in the backwaters and flooded timber but this has become a thing of the past. There are several hunting clubs and private farms here that hunt over flooded corn and in the beginning of able to artificially flood standing crops those guys were smashing the mallards but not so much anymore. The ducks have learned to sit on refuges and private rest areas all day and do their feeding at night. About the only time the ducks get up during the day is during a major weather change with wind, rain, sleet or snow. I have some friends who hunt over flooded corn and they have gone out at night to try to run them out hoping that they would come back during shooting hours but they can’t even get them to leave. They will jump up and fly 30 yards and sit back down. But as always 5 minutes before legal shooting they will all get up and leave and not return until after sundown. All of these flooded cornfields have changed the natural migration and feeding patterns it’s a fact! Something needs to be changed. I feel like it would benefit everyone if the law was changed to where if you want to hunt over standing crops it cannot be artificially flooded, only by rainfall. If you want to artificially flood then the field must be harvested. This may not be the answer but something needs to be done to get these ducks back to being daylight feeders.
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Re: Nocturnal

Postby Ricky Spanish » Thu Dec 29, 2022 1:30 pm

TWB1991 wrote:Has anyone else noticed the change in feeding patterns the last 10 yrs? I sure have. I hunt primarily in Jackson county il along the Mississippi River. I have had some great hunts in the backwaters and flooded timber but this has become a thing of the past. There are several hunting clubs and private farms here that hunt over flooded corn and in the beginning of able to artificially flood standing crops those guys were smashing the mallards but not so much anymore. The ducks have learned to sit on refuges and private rest areas all day and do their feeding at night. About the only time the ducks get up during the day is during a major weather change with wind, rain, sleet or snow. I have some friends who hunt over flooded corn and they have gone out at night to try to run them out hoping that they would come back during shooting hours but they can’t even get them to leave. They will jump up and fly 30 yards and sit back down. But as always 5 minutes before legal shooting they will all get up and leave and not return until after sundown. All of these flooded cornfields have changed the natural migration and feeding patterns it’s a fact! Something needs to be changed. I feel like it would benefit everyone if the law was changed to where if you want to hunt over standing crops it cannot be artificially flooded, only by rainfall. If you want to artificially flood then the field must be harvested. This may not be the answer but something needs to be done to get these ducks back to being daylight feeders.

They been using the moonlight to dine since always.
"They need to make a law" is something we do not need to be saying. Ducks dont follow laws made for humans.
You KNOW times are hard when flooded corn hunters complain. It will change in 5 years and our legal system can't keep up. New law?

I watch the moonrise and moon set times on my GPS and pray for weather that forces them to fly back to the refuge low and late. A south wind works for me. North not so much. I hunt traffic on the refuge boundary. No flooded corn. It does suck hearing them fly over in the dark but it's been going on for 45 years since I started hunting ducks. They eat at night.
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Re: Nocturnal

Postby TWB1991 » Thu Dec 29, 2022 10:14 pm

It’s not only the moonlight it’s every night moon or not. In the beginning the flooded corn killed ducks but not the case. Like I said there are days but most of the time they sit. I’ve spoken too private land owners who used to pound on them almost every day but not anymore. It’s not going to change unless something is done different. When you kill them in the woods on a rainy shitty day instead of 15mph wind and sunshine that should tell you something.
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Re: Nocturnal

Postby Duck Engr » Thu Dec 29, 2022 11:03 pm

Planting corn ain’t cheap. Clubs quit killing them in the corn, they’ll quit planting corn. Ducks now are nocturnal because only the strong survive hunting pressure, so it’s either learn to be nocturnal or have a good chance at an early death.
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Re: Nocturnal

Postby Ricky Spanish » Fri Dec 30, 2022 3:32 am

How it worked 25 years ago.
I hunted Mac Mcgee...a walk in public area that's flooded corn. You'd walk in and hear thousands of mallards. You'd be excited walking thru it.
At ten minutes before shooting time they'd all get up and fly away...south. You're done. Pack up..
Go home you should have just shot early.
You think it's new or something and ...by all means make a law. I won't follow it. No bail here starting next week.
Limits?
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Re: Nocturnal

Postby SpinnerMan » Fri Dec 30, 2022 7:45 am

People need to do a little Darwinian math.

If you have a group of daylight feeding birds and a group of night feeding birds. Which is more likely to get killed by hunters?

Say the effect of hunting decreases the likelihood of surviving the year by 2% from average for the daytime feeders and the nighttime feeders are 2% more like than average to survive the year.

After I year the daytime feeder population is down 2% relative to average and the nighttime up 2%.

Albert Einstein once said “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn't, pays it”

Compounding is nonlinear and is probably the only thing less understood than statistics.

So the hunting continues for 30 years with these small advantages for the birds that feed at night.

The daytime population pays the compounding and their numbers are down to 54% of the original population relative to average. The nighttime are at 180% :o :o

It only takes a small incentive or benefit compounded by time to make huge changes. We are killing a lot of ducks and neither the ducks nor the math should ever change that. But shouldn't you expect the duck population to shift from areas and activities of above average mortality to lower over time? Darwin did.

Yes habit changes and climate changes and all other changes have the same effects over time. There's no one thing and short of banning hunting when and where you want the ducks to be most and increasing it when and where you don't, it's going to be a dynamic change especially for ducks with a very diverse range and widely adaptable in there behavior. Mallards in particular are everywhere. They never need to go south unless there us deep snow. So I think we need to extend the season north of Urbana Illinois until the end of February and close it south so more Mallards head south 30 years from now :thumbsup:

BTW, for the same reason invest early in life. A dollar invested at 25 will be worth about 20 at 65. While a dollar invested at 55 will only be about 2.
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Re: Nocturnal

Postby Ricky Spanish » Sat Dec 31, 2022 6:59 am

So if I'd invested my booze and hooker money at age 25 I'd be able to buy booze and hookers today even tho I can barely get it up.
Seems like I played it right and just spent the coins on the fun ride happy time girls back when I was 25.
Today it'd be like Ken with three barbies and nobody has any junk. :lol:
From the blind...lol
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Re: Nocturnal

Postby SpinnerMan » Sat Dec 31, 2022 7:43 am

Yes if you INVESTED in hookers at 25, you would be the pimp king of central Illinois selling a whole different kind of honey.
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Re: Nocturnal

Postby Ricky Spanish » Sat Dec 31, 2022 5:09 pm

SpinnerMan wrote:Yes if you INVESTED in hookers at 25, you would be the pimp king of central Illinois selling a whole different kind of honey.

I know a guy that tried.
The legal issues would blow your mind.
Try writing a happy ending into a coital agreement. :lol:

Back to the nocturnal thing.
The ducks at the refuge get up every night at sunset and go feed. They've been doing it for at least 70 years.
I know old timers that have been watching the ducks here that long. Hang around long enough and they show up to chat about it.
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