The Manchester Enterprise: Outdoors

Waterfowl season looks promising despite drought conditions

The brown and brittle grass and the cracked scorched earth across Kentucky left by this year’s drought eased somewhat with the recent rains. If the rain continues heading into opening day for duck and Canada goose seasons, Kentucky waterfowl hunting should be productive. The season for Canada goose, white-fronted goose and brant opens Nov. 23 (Canada goose season in the Northeastern Goose Zone opens Dec. 25) while duck season opens statewide Nov. 25 (Thanksgiving Day). States to the north of Kentucky report good duck numbers. “In northern Illinois, duck movement is increasing,” said Robert Colvis, area manager at Ballard Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Ballard County, near where the Ohio and Mississippi rivers meet. “We are a little short on water out here, but the ducks are using what water we have.” Colvis reports good numbers of gadwalls, northern pintails, shovelers and mallards using the area. “The rain will help,” Clovis said. “If we can pump water for a week and a half or so, we’ll be at full pool. We had about 12,000 ducks on the area last weekend.” Nationwide, duck numbers remain about the same as last year. Figures released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reveal a total national duck population of about 41 million birds. Mallard ducks are the biggest population, with well over 8 million birds. Blue-winged teal are the second largest population of ducks with slightly over 6 million birds while roughly 4 million northern shovelers make up the third largest duck population. Duck populations, except northern pintail and scaup, are up double digit percentages from the long-term average. Green-winged teal populations are 78 percent while northern shovelers are up 76 percent. The population of gadwall is now 67 percent higher than the long-term average and redheads increased 63 percent. Resident Canada goose reproduction was fair at best this past spring. “It shouldn’t affect hunting much,” Pritchert said. “I saw a lot of geese on the Kentucky River and Cave Run Lake this past year. Those waters should provide some good hunting.” The first segment of statewide duck season opens Nov. 25 and closes Nov. 28. The season opens again on Dec. 6, 2010, and closes Jan. 30, 2011. Canada goose, white-fronted goose and brant season opens Nov. 23, 2010, and closes Jan. 30, 2011, except in the Northeastern Goose Zone. This zone, comprised of the counties surrounding Cave Run Lake, opens to hunting Dec. 25, 2010, and closes Jan. 2, 2011. The second segment of goose season in the Northeastern Goose Zone runs from Jan. 19-31, 2011. Hunters no longer need a special permit for goose hunting in the Northeastern Goose Zone. Hunters must possess a valid Kentucky hunting license, Kentucky waterfowl permit and a Federal waterfowl permit, commonly called a duck stamp, before hunting waterfowl.
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Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 November 2010 16:18


Outdoor Picture of the Week


This giant 10-pointer was taken on Horse Creek by Dustin Smith.

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Bucwheat's Tip of the Week: Where do pressured deer go?

Have you noticed how all the deer you see while scouting seem to vanish during hunting season? It’s natural to think those deer have left your area for “more safe” country.
In some cases, that’s true. Deer adjacent to posted land are smart enough to know where the pressure is less and will go there. But most often, such nearby sanctuaries are not available; and like you, whitetails don’t like to leave their home areas. So where do they go?
Remember that deer know their home ranges as well as you know your own house. They know the locations of the nastiest thickets, the most secret small hollows and the most unapproachable rises. They will head to these shelters and not come out until after dark as long as there is hunting pressure.
While you’ll never know your woods as well as Mr. Buck, you can get to know it better. Find these deer “bomb shelters” and head there before the shooting starts.

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e-Edition B-Section 10-16-14


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