Post-Season 2018-2019

Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Darren » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:42 pm

BGkirk wrote:Is it the angle or can you stand sideways in that pit? Looks like a broad shouldered fella could get stuck


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I'm pretty slim; it's not the widest I've been in but I've not seen it a problem with those plumper than myself.
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Johnc » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:51 pm

Nice and slim. Hides much better.
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Rick » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:23 am

Does appear to be cratering in the middle, which is something that doesn't get better with time. But perhaps just the camera lens...
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby DComeaux » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:16 am

I see a pit replacement in your near future.
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Darren » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:36 am

Farmer mentioned a price on one last year, but I can't recall what it was. They buy them a few at a time from some place in AR i think

This one should be fine if we get floor leak patched and a wooden subfloor put in to relieve foot pressure off the now-thin steel bottom. Other than the floor it appears to be in good shape
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Rick » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:24 pm

What's the plan for fixing the leak? Have had my best luck with Quick Steel to stop the leak, then prepping the metal around it and adding a 5200 overcoat that will hold up to flexing better than the epoxy putty.
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Darren » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:12 am

Farmer tells me coal tar applied heavily to bottom of a metal “patch” then screwed down is his go-to, and even had offered to do it for us if we could locate the leak ourselves....which I’ve done.

Not sure what our flex seal application will achieve, won’t know til someone ventures up that way and lifts the lid. I’ve heard that JB Wet Weld would be worth a try too given hole is so small. As an example, we shaved down a weed eater string tip and it still wouldn’t fit in hole to serve as a plug.

Any and all ideas welcome.




@deltaman....just returned from Orange Beach, SAV on the Mobile Bay delta area was looking good from the causeway. Hope your gray duck holes are looking right!
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Deltaman » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:28 am

"@deltaman....just returned from Orange Beach, SAV on the Mobile Bay delta area was looking good from the causeway. Hope your gray duck holes are looking right!"

Hope you had a good time at the beach!
Yes, I am happy to see the grass beds building up, as they seem to come and go in terms of coverage each year, for no particular reason that I can discern, especially on the Southside of the causeway. Hope it attracts the birds, and makes for some good spinnerbait fishing for Reds and Bass as well.
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Rick » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:27 am

Darren wrote:Farmer tells me coal tar applied heavily to bottom of a metal “patch” then screwed down is his go-to, and even had offered to do it for us if we could locate the leak ourselves....which I’ve done.

Not sure what our flex seal application will achieve, won’t know til someone ventures up that way and lifts the lid. I’ve heard that JB Wet Weld would be worth a try too given hole is so small. As an example, we shaved down a weed eater string tip and it still wouldn’t fit in hole to serve as a plug.

Any and all ideas welcome.


When a hole's that small and the area around it still solid enough to hold, my plug is small screw with an innertube or similar rubber gasket. Then that, too, is then covered with 5200.
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Darren » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:47 pm

Rick wrote:
Darren wrote:Farmer tells me coal tar applied heavily to bottom of a metal “patch” then screwed down is his go-to, and even had offered to do it for us if we could locate the leak ourselves....which I’ve done.

Not sure what our flex seal application will achieve, won’t know til someone ventures up that way and lifts the lid. I’ve heard that JB Wet Weld would be worth a try too given hole is so small. As an example, we shaved down a weed eater string tip and it still wouldn’t fit in hole to serve as a plug.

Any and all ideas welcome.


When a hole's that small and the area around it still solid enough to hold, my plug is small screw with an innertube or similar rubber gasket. Then that, too, is then covered with 5200.


Hadn't even thought of the screw concept; being so small that may be our ticket, with the referenced washer/gasket.......gooped over with sealant.

Itching to get back up there to get that matter squared away but really not a huge rush given we now have located the leak and have the means of pumping it out quickly on next visit.
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Darren » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:55 pm

Working behind enemy lines today in America's heartland, outside of Des Moines, IA....... for the day. Took this photo for my buddy D Comeaux:

Look the corn they're growing up here, oh the horror!! By FFL's logic, this field, albeit on side of a hill, will hold back all varieties of ducks that formerly came our way. :lol:
IMG_1221.JPG




On a neat other note, however, saw good many ducks and geese (local Canada's, presumably) dabbling in area ponds, some with broods, some not. If they can shun the bazilion acres of local corn, we might see them over our blocks in a few months.


Sorry for poor quality, couldn't get too close.
IMG_1218.JPG


IMG_1219.JPG


Back down home to S. La late this evening
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Rick » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:27 pm

Psst... Those look a lot like heated ponds.
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Darren » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:44 pm

Rick wrote:Psst... Those look a lot like heated ponds.


Can confirm they're not; was up here looking at the stormwater infrastructure on a client's site. Can also confirm they're not hunted on these particular ponds so maybe they hang out all winter un-harassed.
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Rick » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:29 pm

Darren wrote:
Rick wrote:Psst... Those look a lot like heated ponds.


Can confirm they're not...


Just because you can doesn't mean you have to.
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Darren » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:01 pm

You’re right!

Full of ice eaters and industrial corn-powered heaters, far as you could see


Back in the south holed up at the Atlanta airport, late night back to BR




During our farm trip last weekend, Johnny put one these calls in my hand and I was soon in love, ordered one for myself. He’d met the fella who makes them at the La Sportsman show couple weeks back.

https://letemlitecalls.com/t/duck-calls


Got mine in and while I love the tone, I’m pinning the reeds more than I should. Less air is a delicate dance for me, it’s a much softer blowing call than my others. Not sure if I’ll keep it yet or try to exchange for one of his “louder” offerings, currently testing the “Hunter” call which was said to be identical to what Johnny had. They’re based in Kentucky, not sure if any of you had heard of them.
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Rick » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:04 am

"I’m pinning the reeds more than I should." If you're not comfortable tuning your own (Which everyone should become...Ahemm!), you could send it back to the maker for longer reeds that could well do the trick, unless it's simply bored too tight for your accustomed air presentation.
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Darren » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:27 am

Rick wrote:"I’m pinning the reeds more than I should." If you're not comfortable tuning your own (Which everyone should become...Ahemm!), you could send it back to the maker for longer reeds that could well do the trick, unless it's simply bored too tight for your accustomed air presentation.



Admittedly I've got no prowess in call tuning. Will give him a call to discuss, because it's not identical to what Johnny handed me, though said to be (and I know Johnny didn't tune his own).
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Rick » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:47 am

Might have to send him both calls with a note that you want yours tuned to match Johnny's.
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Darren » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:29 pm

And out in the truck today while getting lunch, I'm running it fine. Wondering if I'm just settling into it or what, will keep trialing a bit longer.
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Duck Engr » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:07 pm

Darren wrote:And out in the truck today while getting lunch, I'm running it fine.
Wondering if I'm just settling into it or what, will keep trialing a bit longer.


It takes me a few days to warm up to a call as well.
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Darren » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:05 pm

Here's your breeding counts and pond counts for 2019:

2019 breeding numbers and pond counts.JPG


As expected, ponds in the US well up, ponds in Canada down. Bummed to see pins and scaup continuing to slide

The annual survey, conducted jointly by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Service since 1955, puts the breeding duck population at 38.90 million, a 6 percent decrease over last year’s population of 41.19 million, but still 10 percent above the long-term average. Overall, the 2019 survey marks lowest total breeding duck population estimate since 2008, the last time the total number of ducks dropped below 40 million.



https://deltawaterfowl.org/breeding-duc ... in-strong/
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Duck Engr » Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:34 pm

I too share the concern about the pintails continued downward trend. Has anyone proposed a theory as to why?
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby SpinnerMan » Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:06 pm

Duck Engr wrote:I too share the concern about the pintails continued downward trend. Has anyone proposed a theory as to why?

Flooded corn :mrgreen:
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Duck Engr » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:07 pm

SpinnerMan wrote:
Duck Engr wrote:I too share the concern about the pintails continued downward trend. Has anyone proposed a theory as to why?

Flooded corn :mrgreen:


Haha I walked into that one
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Rick » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:24 am

One of the things I remember from the late '80s duck crunch was that pintails seemed particularly locked into and disinclined to over-fly the Prairie Pothole Region to find suitable breeding grounds when it was struck by long term drought. And I'm thinking most of that region has both been relatively dry in terms of snow pack and rain recently and been laced with a bazillion miles miles of new drain tiles over the past few decades.

Then USFWS Senior Mississippi Flyway Biologist, Art Brazda, told me five year "stabilized management" period of 10 point pintails that coincided with years of PPR drought was the worst mistake he'd seen during his time with the service, because it pushed that species well over what he called the threshold between compensatory and additive hunting mortality. (Art limited himself to drake greenwings, as that species commonly overflew the PPR to breed in the arboreal forest region.)

Thinking of Art, I'll also note that he frequently lamented our numbers mentality and wished we'd take more of a trophy attitude toward waterfowl hunting. As well as predicting that such would eventually be forced upon us.
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Darren » Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:18 am

Rick wrote:One of the things I remember from the late '80s duck crunch was that pintails seemed particularly locked into and disinclined to over-fly the Prairie Pothole Region to find suitable breeding grounds when it was struck by long term drought. And I'm thinking most of that region has both been relatively dry in terms of snow pack and rain recently and been laced with a bazillion miles miles of new drain tiles over the past few decades.

Then USFWS Senior Mississippi Flyway Biologist, Art Brazda, told me five year "stabilized management" period of 10 point pintails that coincided with years of PPR drought was the worst mistake he'd seen during his time with the service, because it pushed that species well over what he called the threshold between compensatory and additive hunting mortality. (Art limited himself to drake greenwings, as that species commonly overflew the PPR to breed in the arboreal forest region.)

Thinking of Art, I'll also note that he frequently lamented our numbers mentality and wished we'd take more of a trophy attitude toward waterfowl hunting. As well as predicting that such would eventually be forced upon us.


Given the survey numbers are merely breeding birds observed and not actual fall flight numbers that include broods (correct?), one would think that pins would see an overall population bump this year given the rebound of the US prairies, even if parts of it to the north were drier. I think this goes for blue wings as well, among others, but maybe I've got this all wrong. Perhaps we'll hear from Larry sometime on the matter.

Nonetheless my takeaway on the total numbers counted being down is that we've had some big seasons on years with far fewer birds counted. We had strong numbers last year > 40 million ducks counted, yet had a deplorable season. It's entirely about the weather and hydrologic conditions that serve to both move and scatter (or congregate) birds that defines boon or bust for just about all hunts on the flyway, but particularly so for us at the bottom end.
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby SpinnerMan » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:08 am

Darren wrote:
Rick wrote:One of the things I remember from the late '80s duck crunch was that pintails seemed particularly locked into and disinclined to over-fly the Prairie Pothole Region to find suitable breeding grounds when it was struck by long term drought. And I'm thinking most of that region has both been relatively dry in terms of snow pack and rain recently and been laced with a bazillion miles miles of new drain tiles over the past few decades.

Then USFWS Senior Mississippi Flyway Biologist, Art Brazda, told me five year "stabilized management" period of 10 point pintails that coincided with years of PPR drought was the worst mistake he'd seen during his time with the service, because it pushed that species well over what he called the threshold between compensatory and additive hunting mortality. (Art limited himself to drake greenwings, as that species commonly overflew the PPR to breed in the arboreal forest region.)

Thinking of Art, I'll also note that he frequently lamented our numbers mentality and wished we'd take more of a trophy attitude toward waterfowl hunting. As well as predicting that such would eventually be forced upon us.


Given the survey numbers are merely breeding birds observed and not actual fall flight numbers that include broods (correct?), one would think that pins would see an overall population bump this year given the rebound of the US prairies, even if parts of it to the north were drier. I think this goes for blue wings as well, among others, but maybe I've got this all wrong. Perhaps we'll hear from Larry sometime on the matter.

Nonetheless my takeaway on the total numbers counted being down is that we've had some big seasons on years with far fewer birds counted. We had strong numbers last year > 40 million ducks counted, yet had a deplorable season. It's entirely about the weather and hydrologic conditions that serve to both move and scatter (or congregate) birds that defines boon or bust for just about all hunts on the flyway, but particularly so for us at the bottom end.

I've always wondered on the uncertainty in those numbers. Is a measured difference of 10% statistically significant?

With the insane amount of rain we had in certain areas this year, did that move more birds out of the traditional survey area or just scatter them so much they are harder to count, which is basically the opposite of the question you asked on pintails. We had standing water in every field for the breeding season. There was a place to raise your brood everywhere. Since it has started drying out, I'm seeing what seems like better numbers than typical in the retention ponds but I know my anecdotal uncertainty is near 100% :lol:

I've always been curious how accurate they measure. Is a 10% change significant or is it well within the year over year noise? Did redheads really fall 27% or is there a 25% uncertainty in their numbers and last year they counted a higher percentage and this year a lower percentage by chance and the real change was negligible.

But of course hunting success is about getting a tiny fraction of the 70 million ducks and geese or whatever it is to spend some quality time in your tiny area when you are there. Last year while most people had a terrible season, my numbers were well above average including 4 park goose bands. Some times you're just the lucky SOB :thumbsup:
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Rick » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:13 am

Pretty sure US portion is but a small fraction of the PPR.
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Darren » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:52 am

SpinnerMan wrote:
Darren wrote:
Rick wrote:One of the things I remember from the late '80s duck crunch was that pintails seemed particularly locked into and disinclined to over-fly the Prairie Pothole Region to find suitable breeding grounds when it was struck by long term drought. And I'm thinking most of that region has both been relatively dry in terms of snow pack and rain recently and been laced with a bazillion miles miles of new drain tiles over the past few decades.

Then USFWS Senior Mississippi Flyway Biologist, Art Brazda, told me five year "stabilized management" period of 10 point pintails that coincided with years of PPR drought was the worst mistake he'd seen during his time with the service, because it pushed that species well over what he called the threshold between compensatory and additive hunting mortality. (Art limited himself to drake greenwings, as that species commonly overflew the PPR to breed in the arboreal forest region.)

Thinking of Art, I'll also note that he frequently lamented our numbers mentality and wished we'd take more of a trophy attitude toward waterfowl hunting. As well as predicting that such would eventually be forced upon us.


Given the survey numbers are merely breeding birds observed and not actual fall flight numbers that include broods (correct?), one would think that pins would see an overall population bump this year given the rebound of the US prairies, even if parts of it to the north were drier. I think this goes for blue wings as well, among others, but maybe I've got this all wrong. Perhaps we'll hear from Larry sometime on the matter.

Nonetheless my takeaway on the total numbers counted being down is that we've had some big seasons on years with far fewer birds counted. We had strong numbers last year > 40 million ducks counted, yet had a deplorable season. It's entirely about the weather and hydrologic conditions that serve to both move and scatter (or congregate) birds that defines boon or bust for just about all hunts on the flyway, but particularly so for us at the bottom end.

I've always wondered on the uncertainty in those numbers. Is a measured difference of 10% statistically significant?

With the insane amount of rain we had in certain areas this year, did that move more birds out of the traditional survey area or just scatter them so much they are harder to count, which is basically the opposite of the question you asked on pintails. We had standing water in every field for the breeding season. There was a place to raise your brood everywhere. Since it has started drying out, I'm seeing what seems like better numbers than typical in the retention ponds but I know my anecdotal uncertainty is near 100% :lol:

I've always been curious how accurate they measure. Is a 10% change significant or is it well within the year over year noise? Did redheads really fall 27% or is there a 25% uncertainty in their numbers and last year they counted a higher percentage and this year a lower percentage by chance and the real change was negligible.

But of course hunting success is about getting a tiny fraction of the 70 million ducks and geese or whatever it is to spend some quality time in your tiny area when you are there. Last year while most people had a terrible season, my numbers were well above average including 4 park goose bands. Some times you're just the lucky SOB :thumbsup:


Yea those would be Larry questions regarding error margins. But the point at the end holds the same whether there are 40 or 40,000,000 ducks in the fall flight. Just look at this past season: you saw most of us down here in La struggling, complete with whining and b*tchin galore, but Marsh Bear logged an average of over 4.5 birds per hunter effort. Had I averaged that, it would be a > 300 bird season, when 200 is my usual benchmark of "good season" given comparable number of hunts. So most struggled, but that wasn't the view from his corner of LA. Just how it goes!
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Re: Post-Season 2018-2019

Postby Darren » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:55 am

Rick wrote:Pretty sure US portion is but a small fraction of the PPR.


Capture.JPG


Just under half is in the US per the map? I think a lot of production is going to come out of the US that will only be apparent on the fall flight. Just too much water on the ground to not have ducks do well with it. That's my positive take on it, i'll stick to it 'til proven otherwise.
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