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Thread: Waterfowl ID course

  1. #11
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    I'll never forget when I was a student working a check station at Tiny Marsh. We had hunters actually bring in Black-crowned Night Heron, American Bittern, at least three parties with PB Grebes, and one with a RN Grebe. I can only imagine what would have been discarded in the cattails. The COs found a N. Harrier dead on the water, after doing a boat sweep. Although legal, I remember being surprised when we had a man and his son come through with about 30 RW Blackbirds. I had only shot them with a pellet gun as a kid. Little did I know that they are amazing in a stew!

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  3. #12
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    My recollection of the waterfowl ID section in the course I took 5 years ago (1 say hunting, 1 day firearms) was essentially dividing ducks into divers v puddlers. I didn't learn the difference between a black duck and a mallard, a barrow's and a common goldeneye, a duck and a coot. So it's covered, but it's not really covered.

    To those saying that more time should be spent covering waterfowl in the general hunting course, I reply:

    "But I just want to go shoot some deer/rabbits/coyotes/etc. I'm never going to buy a waterfowl stamp, so why do I have to memorize all these darned ducks?!"

    I would not object to taking a waterfowl course, but I understand that it will just serve to discourage hunters from taking up the activity. I also understand that many oppose more government involvement in general. I'm not trying to champion an ID course requirement, just sparking some off-season dialogue.

  4. #13
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    No thanks.

    I suspect if they did force a course, it would end up being just like the boaters course, which is a rediculous grab for money where you can sit at home with as many friends as you want and do the test as many time as you need to pass ... the best learning tool for duck ID is experience, and I understand some mistakes will be made getting that experience.

    My hunter safety course almost 30 years ago did have duck ID including a book that showed all the common species and explained their habitat and flight habits. The problem with trying to do more than that in the course is having to train the teachers ... seems to me many of them are not experienced enough in ducks anyway.

  5. #14
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    It would be nice if some people learned what the actual limits are as well.

  6. #15
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    Good responce Dead Ringer.

    I've been something of a fledging birder for some years, going out for Waterfowl images fall/winter for many years.
    I can struggle properly identifyng a lot of different species and I have the benefit of viewing them through a powerful lens.

    Having read Dead Ringers thought on the matter Id say Im torn.
    1) Is an ID coarse atleast rudimentary, neccessary
    2) If so part of the Ohep ?( lots of people may never WF or desire to so just how in depth shoud it be, which begs the question. Why bother
    3) as a stand alone? (More red tape, more cash grabs).

  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gadwall View Post
    My hunter safety course almost 30 years ago
    Don't lie. We know that you took the course in 1937 Steve!

  8. #17
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    At one time the MNR contemplated putting on a waterfowl course. I was asked to put a course together that would cover all aspects of waterfowling. By the time I had finished the course would have run for 8 3 hour sessions on a week night. For whatever reason the MNR approved the course outline and content but decided not to proceed. I was later approached by OOD to put on Goose Hunting courses. They would have lasted a weekend with participants meeting Friday evening and leaving Sunday afternoon. Even with OOD promoting the event we could not generate enough interest.

  9. #18
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    I 100% agree that there should be some sort of I.D test for anyone taking up waterfowling, when you do your hunters course you have to know the difference between a moose, elk, and white tail cause thats so difficult...... Look how many species of duck anyone can see on just a single hunt in a marsh, not to mention as another person posted to people shooting grebes. Looks like a duck to people without the knowledge. I completely understand that adding another course adds another cost.... However hardcore hunters that truely want to waterfowl or had been mentored and now have the bug will be willing to pay the price of admission. This course may also discourage all the duck dynasty wanna be's that have been popping up since the shows growing popularity. I don't know about you but it wouldn't hurt my feelings at all if those kind of people hung up their waders for good!!

  10. #19
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    When i did my course years ago, there was duck identifacation by silhouette. My buddy's kid just did his last weekend and he said there was hardly anything on the animals we hunt but was more geared toward safety. Safety is great but you have to know what your shooting at as well. On the other hand, not very many people just go waterfowl hunting on there own without someone teaching them. Exept maybe those Phil Robertson wanna be guys that were mentioned above. It should be incorperated into the hunters safety course imo.

  11. #20
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    However hardcore hunters that truely want to waterfowl or had been mentored and now have the bug will be willing to pay the price of admission
    not this one.
    Barry Keicks

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