January - February 2015

JF15

2015 Artist of the Year

Growing up on his parents' Delaware farm, Richard Clifton could often be seen perched on a fence rail with a sketchbook in hand. But what had captured the attention of the future DU Artist of the Year wasn't a mallard or a pintail—at least not in the beginning. It was something much different but equally significant in the life of the young artist.

Partners on Private Lands

In February 2014, Congress passed a new Farm Bill that authorized several agriculture and conservation programs through 2018. This nearly half-trillion-dollar legislative package provides more than $28 billion in funding over five years for voluntary conservation programs on farms and ranches across the United States. The future of waterfowl is inextricably linked to the conservation of wetlands and other important habitats on private lands, and the Farm Bill is a key component of these efforts.

Seven Tips for Late-Season Ducks

Hope may spring eternal in the hearts of duck and goose hunters, but enthusiasm often lags during the last few weeks of the season. These seven tips from expert waterfowlers will help you hone your hunting strategies to ensure that your season ends on a high note.

Herb and Citrus Roasted Duck

If one of your culinary goals is to make waterfowl taste like something other than a duck or a goose, I want you to reconsider. Drowning your ducks—even the darker-fleshed divers—in overpowering marinades to make them more palatable is not only unnecessary but also a terrible disservice to the birds. Marinades should always enhance the natural flavors of waterfowl without overwhelming them.

Waterfowler's Notebook: How to Stay Safe on the Water

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, hunters are involved in an average of 35 major boating accidents per year, resulting in 14 deaths and 27 serious injuries. Eighty percent of these reported deaths occurred by drowning, and 85 percent of the victims were not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD). Here are 10 tips for staying safe on the water.

Understanding Waterfowl: Winter Weather and Waterfowl

For much of North America, the winter of 2013-2014 will not soon be forgotten, as it brought record snowfall and the coldest temperatures in at least 20 years to many locations. When duck hunters hear of extreme winter weather, they instinctively focus on how it may impact their hunting success.

Shotgunning: Five Shooting Tips for Waterfowlers

We all have days in the field that we wish we could do over. Like many shotgunners, I had honed my skills by standing up and shooting at going-away targets thrown from a trap at my feet. This was great practice for upland hunting, but it didn't help me learn the techniques I eventually had to master to consistently shoot ducks and geese. Following are five essential wingshooting skills that all waterfowlers should master.

Cold-Weather Retriever Care

Most retrievers aren't afraid of cold weather and will throw caution to the brisk wind when hunting waterfowl, fetching birds in icy water and braving even the harshest elements. Properly conditioned duck dogs are built for the cold.

Conservation: Southeast Wetlands Initiative

Ducks Unlimited's Southeast Wetlands Initiative area encompasses much of the southeastern United States, a highly diverse geographical region with time-honored traditions and a strong hunting heritage. This seven-state area boasts many of the Atlantic and eastern Mississippi Flyways' most important wetland systems and legendary waterfowling areas, including Chesapeake Bay, Currituck Sound, the ACE Basin, Mobile Bay, and the St. Johns River.

The Changing World of the Wildlife Biologist

When I reported for duty as a field biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1978, I wasn't sure exactly what my life's work would entail. I had spent seven years in undergraduate and graduate school learning biology, chemistry, identification of plants and animals, and how researchers thought the ecosystem worked. My emphasis was in fisheries and wetlands science. I thought I knew a lot, but I had no idea how much I had yet to learn. The one field in which I had received no training whatsoever was in the management of people and the multiple viewpoints they represent.