Survey says: Choice bag limits for Wyoming duck hunters
By WILLY ZIMMER
Star-Tribune staff writer
Duck Hunter Survey 2005 is over and the results are in. Now get ready for
hunter's choice bag limits.
The recently completed survey is part of an attempt by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service to address a population problem. Some duck species are
plentiful, others are struggling, so the service is seeking ways to balance the
Choice bag limits is one of the ways under consideration. According to a summary
forwarded to me by Larry Roberts, of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department,
ducks will be divided into three categories. Aggregate limit ducks include
species that need limited harvest. Species with acceptable populations are
assigned to other categories allowing for more liberal harvest.
Only one aggregate limit duck can be taken in a daily harvest, which should make
hunters more discriminating. According to the summary, a hunter can "shoot the
first duck without fear of a regulations violation. However, the decision to
shoot the second duck, hopefully tempered by the ability to identify ducks,
would be the hunter's choice." In other words, if you down a pintail with the
first shot, make sure you aim for something not in the aggregate limit category
for the rest of the day.
If that sounds complicated, the other choice -- seasons-within-seasons -- is an
even worse regulatory problem. If seasons are closed on some ducks and not
others, the risk of a violation increases dramatically.
A flip of a coin determined Wyoming duck hunters will be among those in five
Central Flyway states using choice bag limits in the 2006-07 season. The trial
continues through the 2008-09 season, so start boning up on your identification
For more on the survey, go online at www.ducksurvey.com
Training for hunters has been an ongoing subject in this space, so when an
education opportunity comes up it's worth mentioning.
The Casper Skeet Club starts its new/youth shooter program this month, and is
looking for new and/or young shooters to participate. Robert Meyer, club
president and secretary, said members donate their time and money for prizes to
entice potential shotgunners to come out and have some fun shooting skeet and
Meyer said the program began in 2005 program, and last year had 10-15 regular
"Last year we ran it for six weeks on each Thursday night then we had a Saturday
afternoon shoot where we did some fun shooting such as teams and games," Meyer
said. "Then we handicapped the scores, etc., then gave out some prizes for the
top scores. Everyone really enjoyed it. The kids thought it was cool, some got
to shoot with a parent, and some got to shoot against a parent, so it kept
things pretty lively."
The Casper Skeet Club begins its competitive schedule April 15 with a sporting
clays tournament at its facility north of the Casper Events Center.
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