Headlines from the past week are promising for waterfowlers. Get your ducks in a row and this season could be epic.
According to the annual Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey that was just released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Canadian Wildlife Service, there are 48.6 million ducks ready to buzz our spreads—an all-time record number.
However, spring pond counts are down, so you better be on top of your game. "Let's not forget that we hunt the fall flight, not the spring count," said Delta Waterfowl Senior Director of Conservation Joel Brice. "Lots of ducks jammed into fewer wetlands negatively impacts breeding success. There's a good chance we won't see as many juveniles as last year, and those are the birds that are easiest to decoy. Still, it promises to be great year. We may just have to work a bit harder."
And there's more great news for the future of waterfowl. This just in from Land Tawney at Vanishing Paradise:
"On Friday, Congress came together to pass the Transportation Bill. Within the bill was the RESTORE Act, which will dedicate 80 percent of the Clean Water Act penalties from the 2010 Gulf oil spill back to Gulf Coast restoration, the largest one-time investment by Congress for conservation in American history."
I don't know about you, but I'm ready for skies filled with cupped wings and steel rain.