July - August 2016

JA16

Shotgunning for Women

Years ago a gun maker took a sporting clays over/under, painted it teal blue, shortened the stock, and called it a women's gun. A friend of mine bought one, but she might have been the only person who did. Fortunately, the firearms industry is starting to take the needs of female shooters seriously. That's a welcome change at a time when more and more women are taking up hunting and shooting. Here are a few things that female duck hunters should look for in a shotgun.

New Guns & Gear for 2016

Take a look at this year's selection of the latest shotguns, ammo, and gear for waterfowlers

Waterfowling Game Changers

Change is a fact of life for waterfowlers. When ducks and geese quit playing by the rules, it may be time for waterfowlers to rewrite the playbook. Following is advice from four expert hunters on how to adapt your hunting tactics to bag more birds this fall.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial

Have you ever wondered why migratory birds are protected by federal law across North America? The story behind this visionary waterfowl management partnership, which represents one of the greatest conservation achievements of the 20th century, still resonates today, 100 years later. As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of this conservation milestone, let's take a look back at the events and some of the people who spearheaded the effort to establish a solid foundation for the management of this continent's waterfowl and other migratory birds.

Waterfowler's Notebook: My Blind Bag Checklist

I learned the value of checklists as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. All pilots are taught to follow their checklists religiously to avoid mistakes that could embarrass them, or worse, cost them their lives. Forgetting your shotgun shells on a duck hunt might not be as consequential as neglecting to set an airplane's flaps for takeoff, but it can certainly be embarrassing and frustrating. That's why I depend on my blind bag checklist.

Understanding Waterfowl: A Matter of Productivity

Biologists have known for decades that native prairie with a high wetland density is the gold standard for producing ducks. Large expanses of unbroken grassland offer secure upland cover for ground-nesting hens, and numerous small, shallow wetlands provide the invertebrate food resources female ducks need to produce eggs and successfully raise their broods. While both grass and water are important to breeding waterfowl, wetlands often prove to be the most unpredictable resources on the landscape.

Shotguns for Women

Years ago a gun maker took a sporting clays over/under, painted it teal blue, shortened the stock, and called it a women's gun. A friend of mine bought one, but she might have been the only person who did. Fortunately, the firearms industry is starting to take the needs of female shooters seriously. Here are a few things that female duck hunters should look for in a shotgun.

Amazing Retriever Facts

Here's a look at several interesting facts that explain how dogs perceive the world and why they behave the way they do.

Field Reports: Late-Spring Habitat Conditions 2016

More precipitation will be needed to improve wetland conditions on many important waterfowl breeding areas

Build a Better Burger

Trendy foods may come and go, but burgers will always be in style.

Conservation: DU's Ducks in the Desert Initiative

At first glance, the scarce wetlands of Utah, Nevada, and Arizona may seem unimportant to waterfowl, but in reality they provide crucial habitat for Pacific Flyway duck populations. These wetlands are oases for millions of ducks raised in the Western Boreal Forest and Prairie Pothole Region as the birds migrate across the dry and rugged western United States. Many large lakes and marshes in the region also support impressive numbers of wintering waterfowl that, like many people, flock to the desert during the coldest months of the year.

DU Has Only One Enemy

In my last "Insights" column, we discussed the critical threats facing secure water supplies for both wildlife and humans, and the increasing demands on a finite supply. So does this mean that farmers, ranchers, municipalities, and industries are the enemies of conservation? Of course not. We know that all of these entities are essential partners with DU in accomplishing our mission. Maybe our enemy is found in radical animal rights groups that we have seen follow rules of engagement that we find despicable? We have observed distorting the truth or outright lying as acceptable tactics that these groups use to justify their emotional viewpoints. Yet none of them is our enemy. They simply play upon our real enemy to hide the truth and advance their agenda. So what is the enemy that we simply must find a way to defeat if we are to achieve our long-term objectives?