Waterfowl Numbers Are Up

2009_2010_duck_stamp_huntingThe 2009 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife service estimates the total duck population is about 42 million. This is 13% greater than last year’s estimate and 25% more than the 1955-2008 average, which is great news for waterfowl hunters. Here’s the breakdown of estimated population my duck type:

    • Gadwall: 3.1 million and 73% above the long-term average
    • Blue-winged Teal: 7.4 million (this population size is the second highest on record) and 60% above long-term average
    • Green-winged Teal: 3.4 million and 79% above the long-term average
    • Northern Pintails: 3.2 million, 23% more than last year but 20% below the long-term average
    • Redheads: 1 million (similar to last year) and 62% above the long-term average
    • Canvasback: 662,000, 35% more than last year’s estimate and similar to the long-term average
    • Northern Shovelers: 4.4 million, 25% more than last year and 92% above the long-term average
    • Lesser and Greater Scaup: 4.2 million, 12% greater than last year but 18% below the long-term average

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The survey samples more than 2 million square miles of waterfowl habitat across the north-central and northeastern United States, south-central, eastern, and northern Canada, and Alaska. When hunting waterfowl, it is important that you have the best rifle scope for the money. Overall, habitat conditions for breeding waterfowl in 2009 were better than conditions in 2008. Oil up that 3-1/2 fowling piece and put your lab on a diet. Duck hunters are going to need to be in condition this hunting season.

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