take a typical day from this past duck season and try and capture the true essence of a duck hunter. Hopefully, it will
help explain the joy, challenge, and rewards that a duck hunter receives each time he goes on a hunt, and at the
same time provide a little insight into why we do what we do.
on my porch thermometer and the wind was from the South-East at around 20 mph. A typical duck hunting day,
except we seldom get easterly winds.
the bed and gave me the same heart-warming send off she usually does, …. “you must be crazy” she muttered.
clerk suspiciously looked over my camouflage attire and black grease paint on my face. I noticed him closely watching
me as I stepped back in my pickup to drive through total darkness and icy rain to our duck camp while constantly
watching the road and ditches for deer that apparently love to jump in front of my vehicle.
smelly Labrador retrievers, and the ever present scent of lake mud, sweat, and burned biscuits hanging in the air like
across the dining table and hit a drowsy hunter just below his worry lines.
down at the table to enjoy another cup of coffee along with the rock-hard biscuit.
costs several thousand dollars a pound after you factor in all expenses. We are all loaded up with our blind bags,
shotguns, shells, extra 6-volt and 12-volt batteries, and the ever present thermos of coffee. Dawn was just breaking
as we all started our walk down the 300 foot home-made dock that was bouncing on its barrels like a thrill ride at
SixFlags amusement park. This same walk seemed a lot easier 40 years ago.
Labrador retrievers added to the dangers of negotiating the slippery surface by constantly bumping our legs while
awaiting to load into a boat.
fellow hunter, not wanting to miss seeing someone slip, trip, fall, or slide into the cold lake. This type of face-first
plunge would have drawn hysterical laughter from all of the hunters and duck blind conversation for all our
I repeat never, do something that may be classified as stupid on a duck hunt. You will never hear the end of it!
This brings up the subject of duck blind conversations. This is a series of talks about memorable hunts, and
embarrassing moments that happened to someone else on a hunt, or in our case, the conversation might turn to the
morning that Will fell off the dock and sunk up so deep in the mud that it took 3 of us and a hoist to get him unstuck
and back onto the walk, or the morning that Kim fell off the blind while trying to kick his lab for retrieving decoys.
Anyway, back to the hunt at hand. We were all loaded into our boats and headed out to the blind.
to hunt the open water tank blind, let’s go hunt the woods blind.”
top of metal pipes that are driven into the lake bottom. These motorized spinners are strategically placed among our
stools of floating decoys so that their movement will attract ducks from all directions.
a mojo mounted on top of one of these metal pipes. I reach out and grab the pipe just as the boat suddenly dips
down between swales. The pole bends, I loose my grip, and the mojo catapults off the pole out into the dark abyss.
duck flew past one of the mojo’s and Will put so many holes in that spinner that the wings began to whistle as they
dragging a dozen decoys behind us. They have gotten wrapped around the motor, caught on the boat, and tangled in
the prop. We continue on, leaving a single-file trail of decoys in our wake.
stools of decoys. Earlier in the season we had skillfully arranged our decoys to imitate ducks resting and feeding in a
spot that was better than the other million spots all over the lake – or at least that’s what we were determined to
make the ducks think.
waited for a flock of mallards to appear.
as camouflage. Our collars were turned up while we sat and sat and sat.
packed up our gear, loaded back into the boat and eased out to retrieve our recently mounted mojo.
dislodge it from the pole. It had formed a layer of ice which caused it to slip from my hands launching up into the air
and back down to the bottom of the lake.
tethered we began the heart-testing trek back up the long, now ice covered dock, each with 50 pounds of equipment
strapped over our shoulders and a disappointed Labrador retriever that was apparently still trying to trip me.
that plunged off the dock and to the bottom of the lake.
of our mind’s problems might find a scientific term for this behavior, they might even write a thesis for one of them
nut-case journals. A psychiatrist might even conclude: “One reason they put their bodies and minds through extreme torture and return year after year to continue this punishment is because they are crazy!”
we really can’t afford for you to hunt with Bob anymore.”
Boeuf Resolution Regarding a Refuge Area Within The WMA
Recent (Feb.) Meeting of the LWFC
FYI for all LWA Board members and anyone else who’s interested. I attended the recent (Feb.) meeting of the LWFC and spoke on the topic of rest areas for waterfowl and the broader question of hunting pressure in WMAs. I spoke extemporaneously but the attached written statement is a summary.
With Melancon coming in and with some new staff at LDWF, I think there will be a chance of getting some changes in WMA management, but we will need to keep pushing on this. LDWF staff will go the way the wind blows and I feel we are getting somewhat of a change in wind direction.
At the meeting there was an update on the status of the Fish and Game preserves and their waterfowl hunting regs (or mostly lack thereof). Apparently, LDWF’s outreach to local governments and communities has produced a flurry of activity that will probably lead to formation of some commissions for purpose of governance of the preserves so the impact on private blind owners and hunting traditions will not be as great as it originally seemed. At Catahoula Lake, there is talk of a commission for that lake bottom, and there are also rumors of the situation being addressed in the upcoming Legislative session. We should have this on the agenda of our March 3 meeting to decide if LWA wants to take an official position.
Also, note that LDWF this month has hearings around the state on WMA rules and regs. Jay will attend the Alexandria session and I will attend the Monroe session.
Summary Of My LWFC Statement
The La. Waterfowl Alliance is a small group of long-time waterfowl hunters from throughout the State, and we are concerned about the future of our favorite outdoor recreation. We’ve just come off a relatively poor season and we continue to see the effects of some uncontrollable factors like climate change that seem to be working steadily against us. In this adverse situation, as we think about our management of public hunting areas like the WMAs around the state, we believe management should place more emphasis on sustainability.
Our members hunt throughout the state on both leased land and on public land, and we would suggest that lessons can be learned from the three best duck hunting areas in the state: the mouth of the river, Cameron Parish, and Catahoula Lake. The common characteristic of these three areas, besides the presence of extensive good habitat, is the presence of substantial refuge areas that hold large numbers of ducks in each vicinity. Delta NWR at the mouth of the river, Sabine NWR in Cameron Parish, and the mid-lake refuge and Catahoula NWR at Catahoula Lake. In addition, private land in all these areas is usually managed to keep hunting activity at a reasonable level and includes, in the case of my leased area in Cameron, non-hunted areas of the marsh and a requirement to quit hunting by noon.
In spite of the positive role of refuges in our best hunting areas, we have steadily reduced, over recent decades, the refuges and waterfowl rest areas in our WMA. Now we hunt most WMAs 7 days a week until 2 p.m. Couple this with the spider’s web of ATV trails going into every nook and cranny of many WMAs, the provision of boat landings for large boats at even the smallest potholes, and the proliferation of ATVs and mud boats and we are leaving few places for our ducks to get away from the intense hunting pressure we put on them. And so what do they do? Increasingly, they go elsewhere, often back to Arkansas.
So what does Arkansas do? For starters, they have waterfowl rest areas within all their major WMAs of the bottomland section of the state. They manage those refuge areas by regulating water levels and promoting vegetation that puddle ducks like. In addition they take other steps in their most popular WMAs: a quitting time of noon, a limit on the number of shells that may be taken in, a lower bag limit, opening for less than seven days a week, and provision of LAAs which must be walked, waded, or paddled into. But most hunters in Ark. (and I know quite a few) will tell you that the refuges play a key role in keeping huntable numbers of ducks in the vicinity of WMAs such as Bayou Meto, Cutoff Creek, and Black River.
Here in Louisiana, at Boeuf WMA of Caldwell and Catahoula parishes, ten years ago LDWF did away with a refuge that had held thousands of ducks in the area. In the opinions of many long-time Boeuf hunters, including myself, this has hurt what was once an excellent WMA for waterfowl. Even more aggravating, upon inquiry we learned that this closure of the refuge was not initiated by the LDWF staff but was done on the demand of private blind owners on a nearby water body (Turkey Creek Lake), where hunters blamed poor results on the existence of the Boeuf refuge. We believe this decision needs to be revisited, along with all the others that have increased hunting opportunity at the expense of sustainability. We recommend that the Commission and LDWF consider reestablishing refuge areas within all WMAs especially in areas where there is no NWR or extensive lightly hunted private land to hold ducks.
WHAT TO DO WITH RARE WATERFOWL
The LSU Museum of Natural Sciences wants to know about rare waterfowl you harvest especially Long-tailed Duck, Common Goldeneye, Scoters (Black, Surf, White-winged), Cinnamon Teal, and hybrid waterfowl. The researchers there really do want specimen to add to the museum collection. However, if you want to keep your trophy, the researchers still would like to physically see the bird and will return it to you. Contact Donna Dittmann (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Steve Cardiff (email@example.com) for further information or to report a rare bird. [Contributed by Jay Huner]
We want your input!
Take just a few minutes of your time to fill out LWA Proposed Waterfowl Zone survey. Your input matters and we want to make sure that your opinion is heard.
Release Date: 08/28/2015
Aug. 28, 2015 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will offer six public meetings in September at
locations around the state to provide information and accept comments on a variety of waterfowl hunting topics.
The intent of each meeting is to 1) solicit public input on waterfowl hunting zones and splits, 2) discuss recent changes in goose hunting regulations, 3) inform hunters about changes in the timing and process for setting waterfowl hunting season dates, and 4) hear public comments on other waterfowl-related topics.
A person that departs from this earth never truly leaves, for they are still alive in our hearts and minds, through us, they live on.
We are all deeply saddened by David’s passing. He nor the work and dedication he put forth as a leader in the Louisiana Waterfowl Alliance will never be forgotten.
BIOGRAPHY (as per Geesy-Ferguson Funeral Home, Inc.)
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 8, 2015 at Saint Michael’s Catholic Church for David Wayne “Rock” Boudreaux, 63, who died at 3:55 a.m. Friday, September 4, 2015 in Crowley.
Fr. Mikel Polson, Pastor of Saint Michaels will celebrate the mass. Visitation may be observed on Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Rock was born October 15, 1951 in Crowley, LA to the late George C. “BooBoo” Boudreaux and June Y. “Tootsie” Boudreaux. He was a lifelong member of Saint Michaels Catholic Church. He was a member of the Sportsman League, Louisiana Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Louisiana Softball Association and the Crowley Recreation Baseball Division. He received the 1988 National Volunteer Conservationist of the year award and was a unanimous selection to the 2015 Louisiana Softball Hall of Fame. He was respected by many and will be remembered by all.
He is survived by his wife Anna D. Boudreaux of Crowley, LA; two sons Ross William Boudreaux and Bailey Conner Boudreaux both of Crowley, LA; 4 sisters Gwendolyn A. Boudreaux, Carla M. Boudreaux, Carol L. Boudreaux and Christine B. Pousson and her husband Martin all of Baton Rouge, LA; two brothers Michael G. Boudreaux of Crowley, LA and Richard B. Boudreaux and his wife Madelene of Rayne, LA; 13 loving nieces and nephews and a great nephew.
The family request that memorial donations be made to Hospice of Acadiana.
Aug. 11, 2015 — The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will begin accepting applications Aug. 13 for waterfowl group hunts for up to 12 hunters per group at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA).
The cost of the 2015-16 waterfowl season hunts will be $30,000 for each group and the application form listing all available hunting dates can be downloaded from the LDWF website at Continue reading
Date: August 21-22, 2015
Where: Embassy Suites Hotel in Baton Rouge
Who: LWF members and the public are invited to attend
Register by August 17 at: http://www.lawildlifefed.org/content.cfm?new=498&id=177
–>Friday, August 21 at 7pm: BBQ Dinner and live music by Wildlife Band. MC Ben Babin will kick off the event that includes dancing, special presentations, raffles and a silent auction to raise funds for the Continue reading
LWA members were on hand for the Louisiana Waterfowl Commission meeting today. Charles Williams addressed the Commission, stating the LWA position concerning extended season dates and bag limits in particular those of the Specklebelley Goose. Our position was received well by the Commission and the audience in attendance. Our purpose was only to raise the awareness about any changes proposed to bag limits or season lengths and did not list any preferred “options”. Both Public and Commission comments overwhelming supported a complete “NO CHANGE” agreement, (2 birds/74 day season)until Continue reading
By Rich Geffert
Hunting has two kinds of laws.
One is the written law that is enforced by the game warden. The other is unwritten. It is an ethical code or code of honor that the true sportsman places on himself or herself.
Most hunters obey the game laws, but that alone is not enough. Without ethics, man or woman can be a licensed, law abiding hunter and still be a poor sportsman.
There is nothing illegal about shooting at a running whitetail deer over 600 yards away (with a rifle) or trying to down a bird flying over 100 yards high or shooting an arrow at an animal that is out of his or her effective shooting range. It is certainly unethical and only a poor sportsman would try it.
The ethical hunter knows both the limits of his or her equipment and their shooting ability and always tries for a clean quick kill. In addition, the ethical hunter obeys all laws when hunting. The hunter acts as a goodwill ambassador for the sport — To Read More of This Article