Ducks Unlimited Podcast

Learn more about ducks, geese, and all things waterfowl hunting

© Chris Jennings

DU Podcast is back with Season 3 and a full suite of new shows, exciting guests, along with timely hunting and habitat updates throughout the fall!

This week's featured podcast:

Ep. 56 – Boss Shotshells Joins the DU Podcast

Lee Kjos, co-owner and brand manager of Boss Shotshells, joins host Chris Jennings to talk about how Boss Shotshells was born from the passion of waterfowling and conservation. Kjos explains the mentality that drives Boss Shotshells – quality shotshells and ethical hunting. Learn about the wide variety of shotshells available direct to consumer. Contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ducks Unlimited Podcast brings engaging, entertaining discussions focused on all things waterfowl – science, research, hunting, migration, and much more. Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher provide compelling conversations about ducks and geese with special guests, Ducks Unlimited magazine contributors, state and federal agency biologists, and DU conservation staff throughout the North America.

Contact Ducks Unlimited Podcast to share your thoughts on the show, and recommend new topics. Email Us Today!

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Ep. 66 – New Product Launch: What’s New from Benelli USA for 2021

With the Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Tradeshow canceled for 2021, the DU Podcast is excited to be able to introduce a new waterfowling product to the market with Benelli USA. George Thompson, director of product management for Benelli USA, joins Chris Jennings to discuss the new Super Black Eagle 3, along with other new guns for 2021. Experience a SHOT Show product launch, without attending the show. If you have questions for George Thompson, or for the DU Podcast, please email us at DUPodcast@ducks.org.

Waterfowl Harvest Management Series, Part 12: AHM – Learning, Legacy, and Influence

In this concluding episode about the implementation of Adaptive Harvest Management, Dr. Jim Nichols and Dr. Mike Brasher discuss the importance of population data, band returns, and harvest estimates in AHM mechanics. This episode wraps up with a reflection on 25 years of liberal regulations, the legacy and influence of AHM beyond waterfowl management, where it ranks in the history of waterfowl management, and thoughts on why it has withstood the test of time.

Waterfowl Harvest Management Series, Part 11: AHM – Alternative Hypotheses and Optimal Decisions

Is duck harvest mortality additive or compensatory? Is duck production strongly or weakly density dependent? Which habitat features most influence duck production? And how are optimal duck harvest regulations selected in the face of this imperfect knowledge? The DU Podcast is again thankful to be joined by Dr. Jim Nichols, retired senior scientist and Adaptive Harvest Management expert, to dig deeper into the workings of AHM and how annual duck regulations are selected.

Bonus Episode: Great Lakes Region Hunting – Last-Chance Ducks, Late-Season Goose Opportunities

As regular duck seasons wind down, Jay Anglin, Great Lakes Region migration editor, joins the show to talk about weather, habitat, and late-season goose hunting opportunities. Anglin and host Chris Jennings discuss solid Canada goose numbers throughout Illinois, Indiana, southern Michigan, and Ohio. The pair preview an early glimpse of light goose opportunities as well. Contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Bonus Episode: Arkansas Mid-Winter Waterfowl Survey Results with Luke Naylor

Luke Naylor, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission waterfowl program coordinator, joins host Chris Jennings to discuss the current state of habitat and hunting conditions in the Natural State. Naylor recently finished tabulating the mid-winter aerial survey and the pair discuss numbers and potential causes for the end results.

Contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Waterfowl Harvest Management Series, Part 10: AHM – Champions, Objectives, and Regulations

Dr. Jim Nichols rejoins the DU Podcast to share stories about early champions of Adaptive Harvest Management and how they promoted it as a better way of setting harvest regulations, with unexpected support resulting from unusual political maneuverings in the mid-90s. Dr. Nicholas and Dr. Mike Brasher also begin discussing key components of AHM, including harvest management objectives and regulatory packages, with a goal of demystifying some of the “black box” of AHM.

Waterfowl Harvest Management Series, Part 9: An Intro to Adaptive Harvest Management

Concern for waterfowl populations and frustration with the status quo of duck harvest management in the late 80s stimulated new ideas for setting annual regulations and learning about their effects. Dr. Jim Nichols, retired senior scientist from Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and one of the godfathers of Adaptive Harvest Management, joins the DU Podcast to introduce waterfowl harvest dynamics, adaptive management, and the regulatory atmosphere that ultimately produced AHM.

Bonus Episode: A Challenging Outlook for Spring 2021 Wetland Conditions

With the 2020-21 duck season winding down, we look ahead at how spring wetland conditions may be shaping up. Dr. Scott Stephens, DU Canada’s director of regional operations for prairies and boreal, rejoins the DU Podcast to discuss conditions needed to produce abundant spring wetlands and provides an update on where we currently stand. Lingering drought from 2020, poor frost seal, and sparse winter snow across much of the Canadian prairies create a grim forecast at this stage.

Waterfowl Harvest Management Series, Part 8: Adapting to Change, 1970s to the 1990s

The ideas of “fair” and “equitable” in harvest distribution have been a challenging undercurrent for regulatory decisions over the years. Dale Humburg and Ken Babcock join the DU Podcast one last time to discuss zones and splits, “shortstopping” in geese, the frustration it caused, and how managers tried to adapt. Also discussed are lead poisoning, non-toxic shot regulations, and the birth of Adaptive Harvest Management, each of which brought their own need for adaptation.

Waterfowl Harvest Management Series, Part 7: Stabilized Regulations, Harvest Analyses, and the NAWMP

The 1970s and 80s brought a flurry of activity, including early teal seasons, stabilized regulations, foundational analyses of compensatory vs. additive mortality, new views on harvest management, and the most important development for waterfowl management in at least 50 years – the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. Repeat guests Ken Babcock and Dale Humburg rejoin the DU Podcast to continue a discussion about the history of waterfowl harvest management.

Ep. 65 – Duck Salad: A Deep Dive into Aquatic Vegetation with Dr. Tom Moorman

Dr. Tom Moorman, former DU Chief Scientist, shares in-depth information about certain aquatic vegetation ducks prefer over others. Host Chris Jennings and Moorman discuss species-specific food preferences and how duck and goose hunters can find, and identify, these natural food sources. Contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 64 – Harvest Regulations for Duskys and other White-cheeked Geese in the Pacific Northwest

Kyle Spragens and Brandon Reishus rejoin Dr. Mike Brasher to expand their discussion about harvest management for Canada and Cackling geese in Oregon and Washington. Today’s discussion focuses on Dusky Canada Geese and how harvest regulations are crafted to protect them from harvest without undue risks and burdens for hunters and other regional stakeholders. Brandon and Kyle also dispel misconceptions about subsistence harvest and whether the Dusky is endangered.

Ep. 63 – Abundance and Distribution of White-cheeked Geese in the Pacific Northwest

Kyle Spragens, waterfowl section manager for Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, and Brandon Reishus, migratory game bird coordinator for Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, join the DU Podcast to discuss the 7 subspecies of white-cheeked geese found in the Pacific northwest. Topics covered include population status, historical and current distributions, causes for recent changes in abundance and distribution, and how these 7 subspecies influence harvest regulations.

Ep. 62 – Introduction to Geese and Goose Hunting in the Pacific Northwest

Kelly Warren, DU regional biologist in western Oregon, joins Dr. Mike Brasher for an introduction to geese and goose hunting in the Pacific Northwest. We learn about the 7 subspecies of white-cheeked geese, including the dusky Canada goose for which harvest is not allowed, goose identification tests, and harvest challenges surrounding these sub-species. We also discuss white-fronts, snows, and how conservation efforts by DU and state and federal partners benefit these species.

Bonus Episode: Low Waterfowl Abundances and Habitat Conditions in the Klamath Basin

Building from earlier discussions in episodes 41, 42, and 43, Dr. Mike Brasher visits with John Vradenburg, USFWS supervisory biologist for the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex to get an update on the alarmingly low waterfowl numbers, habitat conditions, and difficult hunting in the Klamath Basin. John concludes on an optimistic tone by discussing some of the positive work underway and opportunities for future wetland and waterfowl improvements in the region.

Waterfowl Harvest Management Series, Part 6: Biology, People, and Debates Produce Solid Foundations 

Threats of a closed season in the Mississippi Flyway in 1968 led to intense disagreement, restrictive regulations, and amplified the challenges of managing the resource while considering the interests of people. Collectively, these times generated solid foundations for future progress. Dr. Mike Brasher is rejoined by Ken Babcock and Dale Humburg to discuss these topics, while also introducing an elegant alternative regulation system that began in the 1960s– the Point System. 

Waterfowl Harvest Management Series, Part 5: Conventional Wisdom Gives Way to Data 

With growing band recoveries and a newly implemented Breeding Population and Habitat Survey, waterfowl managers in the 1950s sought a more science-based understanding of population dynamics and harvest regulations. The 1960s brought plummeting waterfowl populations, reductions in harvest limits, declining hunter numbers, and shifts in waterfowl distribution. On this episode, Dr. Mike Brasher discusses these important changes and concerning times with Dale Humburg and Ken Babcock.  www.ducks.org/DUPodcast

Ep. 61 – Brook Richard with Higdon Outdoors Discusses Tactics for a Tough Season

Facing difficult hunting conditions in the early portions of the season, Richard talks about how he used certain techniques to overcome stale ducks. He discusses how he uses footage from Higdon Outdoors TV to help him find discrepancies in his decoy spreads and hides. He also hints at some new Higdon products for 2021. Contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Bonus Episode: Missouri Migration and Habitat Update

Show description: The DU Podcast is joined by Dr. Andy Raedeke, migratory game bird coordinator for Missouri Department of Conservation, for a Christmas week update on habitat conditions, waterfowl numbers, and hunting reports from the show-me state. It’s a message similar to that shared by other states and waterfowl hunters, but hope remains for a minor Christmas gift or perhaps a change in the long-term forecast. Contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Bonus Episode: Washington and Oregon Report Stale Birds but Potential Christmas Change

The DU Podcast was excited to welcome Brandon Reishus, migratory game bird coordinator for Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife, and Kyle Spragens, waterfowl section manager for Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlife, for a quick update on migration status, habitat conditions, and hunter success from their respective states. A bout of favorable weather may be on the horizon, just in time for a welcome Christmas change. Contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions. www.ducks.org/DUPodcast

Waterfowl Harvest Management Series, Part 4: Post-War Pioneers and Flyway Formation

World War II brought global upheaval in the 1940s and caused a redirection of national priorities and placed a temporary pause on regulatory and conservation momentum of the 1930s. After the war, returning veterans became the pioneers in waterfowl management and led to a new era of scientific discovery, regulatory creativity, and a growing need for state and federal coordination via Flyways. The DU Podcast continues its discussion with Ken Babcock and Dale Humburg.

Waterfowl Harvest Management Series, Part 3: Growing Pains and Progress

Throughout the 1920s, the Federal government experienced growing pains in its new-found regulatory responsibilities for waterfowl harvest. Then, the 1930s brought about a Dust Bowl, Great Depression, and catalysts for conservation, eventually producing the Duck Stamp Act, National Wildlife Refuge expansions, the Pittman-Robertson Act, and Ducks Unlimited. Dr. Mike Brasher continues his discussion with Ken Babcock and Dale Humburg about the evolution of waterfowl harvest management. www.ducks.org/DUPodcast

Ep. 60 – Weather-Driven Decoy Tactics

Weather is one of many variables that play heavily into a decoy strategy. John Pollmann, Ducks Unlimited magazine freelance contributor, talks with Chris Jennings about several odd weather situations where an outside-the-box tactic may work. Pollmann shares details of a past, popular article he wrote about the topic and the two go into great lengths discussing these helpful strategies. Contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 59 – Cold-Weather Retriever Care w/ Mike Stewart

As the mercury dips, keep a close eye on your retriever. Mike Stewart, owner of Wildrose Kennels, joins host Chris Jennings for a cold-weather retriever care discussion. Ice, snow, extremely cold winds can have an impact on your dog, and Stewart points out several things to look for when hunting in wintry conditions. He also talks about some other topics like cold-tail, retriever blind bags, hypothermia, and feeding regimens. Contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Waterfowl Harvest Management Series, Part 2: The Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Following legal challenges to early attempts at Federal protection of migratory birds, policy makers and conservation leaders sought alternative avenues for establishing Federal jurisdiction. Dale Humburg and Ken Babcock rejoin Dr. Mike Brasher to discuss the Migratory Bird Treaty Act becoming law in 1918, its role in a landmark Supreme Court case, and its emergence as the foundation for regulated waterfowl harvest and migratory bird management.

Waterfowl Harvest Management Series, Part 1: The Early Days

At the turn of the 19th Century, market hunting and unregulated harvest was taking a toll on waterfowl and other migratory birds. Growing concern produced the first attempts at federal regulation of migratory birds. In part 1 of the DU Podcast’s series on the history of waterfowl harvest management, Dale Humburg, former DU chief scientist, and Ken Babcock, former DU senior director of regional operations, discuss these early days and the resistance to federal intervention. www.ducks.org/DUPodcast

Ep. 58 – Decoy Tactics: Five Simples Spreads for Waterfowl

John Pollmann, DU magazine freelance contributor, rejoins the DU Podcast to talk decoy strategies with Chris Jennings. The two go through a magazine feature Pollmann wrote, detailing how to create the simplest, most effective decoy spread possible. The two talk about the varying habitats where these unique spreads are used and how other hunters can recreate the scenarios in their hunting areas. Contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Bonus Episode: December Migration and Habitat Update from Illinois

The Ducks Unlimited Podcast is joined by Aaron Yetter, waterfowl ecologist from the Forbes Biological Station, for an early December report on habitat conditions and duck numbers in the Illinois and Mississippi River Valleys. After a brief freeze that concentrated ducks for the previous survey, wetlands have thawed, spreading ducks across the landscape. Duck numbers are down and habitats remain dry, which has made for challenging outings in the 2020 waterfowl season. www.ducks.org/DUPodcast

Ep. 57 – DU President Provides Organizational Update, Happy Holidays Message 

DU President Doug Schoenrock joins host Chris Jennings to discuss DU events, conservation, and even chat about Schoenrock’s recent hunts. Schoenrock provides an update on fall event successes, in-person and digital, and talks about a specific new DU-member benefit, DU Sportsman Protection Plan. He shares his Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays message for all DU supporters and how excited he is to forge into 2021 for wetlands conservation. Contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 56 – Boss Shotshells Joins the DU Podcast

Lee Kjos, co-owner and brand manager of Boss Shotshells, joins host Chris Jennings to talk about how Boss Shotshells was born from the passion of waterfowling and conservation. Kjos explains the mentality that drives Boss Shotshells – quality shotshells and ethical hunting. Learn about the wide variety of shotshells available direct to consumer. Contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 55 – Hunting Pressure at the Atchafalaya Delta: Challenges and Consequences (3 of 3)

Managing hunting pressure is one of the single greatest challenges for waterfowl managers today, as it is important for conserving the waterfowl resource while also providing quality hunting experiences. Dr. Mike Brasher is rejoined by Larry Reynolds and Mike Carloss to discuss the Atchafalaya Delta as a prime example of these challenges, the consequences of management decisions, and the evolution of understanding as hunters and scientists. Contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 54 – Glory Days at the Atchafalaya Delta (2 of 3) 

The DU Podcast resumes its discussion about history and change at the Atchafalaya and Wax Lake Deltas.  Mike Carloss relives his experiences as manager at the Atchafalaya Delta WMA, including stories of remote living and hunter rescues in the dark. Larry Reynolds tells of the glory days of hunting at the Delta, including brute force navigation, hunting the rising tides, and increased hunting pressure that began to change bird behavior. Contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 53 – Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Delta: Habitat and Waterfowl 

Larry Reynolds, waterfowl program coordinator, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and Mike Carloss, DU director of conservation programs, Louisiana/Texas/Oklahoma, join host Dr. Mike Brasher to discuss the south Louisiana coastal habitat and the importance, issues, and realities of the productivity of the region. Learn how this habitat has changed, degraded, improved, and the impacts of conservation. Contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Bonus Episode: Waterfowl, Habitat, and Hunting Update from the Texas Coast 

Our eyes are upon Texas in this episode, as we visit with Andy Stetter, USFWS Supervisory Wildlife Biologist, to get an update on waterfowl abundance, habitat conditions, and general hunting success along the Texas coast during the early season. Andy also shares a personal retriever story that while somber at the outset, ultimately produces a surprising development and new hunting partner. We thank Andy for sharing! Contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 52 – New Mallard Migration Research in the Central and Mississippi Flyways

Cindy Anchor, a Master’s student at South Dakota State University, joins the show to discuss preliminary results from her telemetry-based study of the post-fledging and migration movements of mallards from North and South Dakota. Listen to our extended discussion about Cindy’s research, sponsored through DU’s Waterfowl Research Foundation Fellowship, and what it revealed regarding mallard movements out of the Dakotas and into winter. Contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 51 – Special Operations Game Wardens in California, “Hidden War” (2 of 2)

Lt. John Nores, Jr. (Retired) from California Department of Fish and Wildlife discusses his most recent book, Hidden War: How Special Operations Game Wardens are reclaiming America’s wildlands from drug cartels. Nores shares stories from the book about tactics and cleanup of illegal grow operations, and how these operations contaminate water supply, kill wildlife, and damage public lands. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 50 – Author of “Hidden War” Joins the DU Podcast

Lt. John Nores, Jr. (Retired) from California Department of Fish and Wildlife discusses his most recent book, Hidden War: How Special Operations Game Wardens are reclaiming America’s wildlands from drug cartels. Nores talks about issues with water, wildlife, and how California game wardens dealt with an attack on public and private lands, and how the issue continues across the U.S. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 49 – Guyette and Deeter Auction House Joins to Talk Waterfowling Collectibles

Jon Deeter, co-owner of Guyette and Deeter Auction House, joins the show to discuss the business side of collecting waterfowling history. Hosts Mallori and Katie discuss the current decoy market and the impact of COVID-19. Deeter discusses the auction house’s record-breaking sales and some of the industry’s most historic finds. Katie and Jon lament on the wonderful community of collectors and how they both can’t wait for things to be back in person again. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 48 – Deep Dive into Decoys, Motion with Higdon Outdoors

Brook Richard, manager of corporate relations for Higdon Outdoors, joins the DU Podcast to talk about Higdon Outdoors full line of decoys, MOMarsh blinds, Powers Calls, and even provides a few decoy tips in the process. Richard talks about the importance of motion in your decoys and new products from Higdon Outdoors. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Bonus Episode: Re-air from 2019 Thanksgiving Narrative: "Duck Blind Intervention"

Re-air from 2019. Our Thanksgiving show, plucked from the DU Magazine archives (Nov/Dec 2007), is a humorous story about the idiosyncrasies of waterfowl hunters. "Duck Blind Intervention" written by Doug Larson and narrated by Tom Gallagher.

Ep. 47 – California Dreaming…Wetlands Conservation along the California Coast

When people think of waterfowl habitats in California, places such as Humboldt Bay and San Francisco Bay probably aren’t the first that come to mind. However, these areas provide valuable habitat for hundreds of thousands of wintering waterfowl annually. On this episode, we visit with DU Regional Biologist, Dr. Renee Spenst, to learn about DU’s wetland conservation priorities, unique restoration opportunities, and a diverse supporter base along the California coast. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 46 – Duck Call Collecting: A Passion for Waterfowling History

Mike Lewis, Arkansas Duck Call Collector and Current Chairman of the Board of Call Makers and Collectors Association of America, joins hosts Mallori and Katie to talk about his journey into call collecting. Lewis speaks about what drew him to Arkansas duck calls and the state’s rich history in waterfowling. He also describes his personal relationship with Call Carver, Billy Ray Starks, and his influence on Lewis’s own call making and collecting. The trio talks about Lewis’s book “Calling the Wild: The History of Arkansas Duck Calls” and the years of research that went into such an endeavor. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 45 – Phragmites and Plant Science in the Great Salt Lake

Ducks Unlimited’s goal of abundant waterfowl populations depends fundamentally on a robust base of productive wetlands across North America. In many regions, wetlands face persistent threats from the exotic, invasive plant known as Phragmites. Today we visit with Emily Tarsa, PhD student at Utah State University and DU Fellowship Recipient, to hear about her research into the restoration of native wetland vegetation in the Great Salt Lake following removal and control of Phragmites. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Bonus Episode: Habitat Conditions for Arkansas 2020 Opener

Luke Naylor, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission waterfowl program coordinator, joins the DU Podcast to discuss current conditions going into the 2020-2021 Arkansas waterfowl season. Naylor explains that the state is fairly dry, yet remains optimistic about the opener, and the season to follow. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 44 – Going Mobile: Layouts, A-Frames, Layout Boats, Big-Water Boats

John Pollmann, DU magazine contributor, joins host Chris Jennings to talk about all-things blinds. The two discuss different approaches for various styles of waterfowling blinds and address the benefits and drawbacks to each one for waterfowl hunters. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 43 – Klamath Basin: Waterfowl on the Losing End & Conservation Solutions (3 of 3)

In this concluding episode, Drs. Dave Mauser and Mark Petrie discuss recent developments that have further eroded the ability of Refuges in the Klamath Basin to effectively manage wetlands for waterfowl. The consequences of these developments are likely to include fewer birds, less hunting opportunities, and more frequent outbreaks of avian botulism. We close with a discussion of how DU is helping to imagine and deliver conservation solutions for the future. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 42 – Klamath Basin: Water, Waterfowl, and Fish…A Struggle Emerges (2 of 3)

The mid-20th Century was a period of variation and transition for Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges, in the hey days supporting upwards of 6 million migrating pintails, but in troubled years being an avian botulism hotspot. The emergence of endangered fish species in the 1990s, however, began to fundamentally change the fate of waterfowl habitat in the region. Our story continues on this episode of the DU Podcast. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 41 – Klamath Basin: The Most Important Wintering Area on the Planet (1 of 3)

Located in southern Oregon and northern California, the Klamath Basin was once known as the most important wintering area for waterfowl on the planet. On this episode, join us and our guests, Dr. Dave Mauser and Dr. Mark Petrie, to learn about the region, its historical importance, and how legislation and water developments from over 100 years ago helped shape its conservation legacy and modern-day tribulations. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 40 – Chef Jean-Paul Bourgeios Talks Duck Camp Cooking          

Chef Jean-Paul Bourgeios joins the DU Podcast to talk about his new project promoting duck-camp cooking and recipes from south Louisiana. He also shares a handful on cooking tips and rants about the ethics of Instagram chefs. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 39 – The 20-Gauge Duck Gun: Is it a Fad or Here to Stay?

Phil Bourjaily, DU Magazine shotgunning columnist, joins Chris Jennings to talk about the 20-gauge as a viable waterfowl gun. Bourjaily is currently testing out several models and shares his opinions of the 20-gauge. The two discuss new models, improved ammunition options, and other highlights of choosing this small- bore option. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 38 – Scientific Look at the 2020 Snow Goose Hatch

Hunter reports on snow geese suggest everything from a horrible hatch to great production, but what do researchers say? Lacking data from goose banding operations, we turn to field-based surveys of staging geese in prairie Saskatchewan. Worldwide snow goose expert, Dr. Ray Alisauskas, provides our first empirical look at snow and Ross’s goose production in 2020, and we then discuss explanations for low production and populations declines for white geese in the Midcontinent.

Bonus Episode: Migration Update from Illinois

Aaron Yetter of the Forbes Biological Station in Havana, Illinois, joins the DU Podcast to provide an update on waterfowl numbers in the Illinois and Mississippi River Valleys during late October and early November. We also discuss recent reports of hunting success and hear about the crazy movements of a radiomarked wood duck. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 37 – Winous Point Shooting Club: Legacy, Lore, and Conservation

Waterfowl hunt clubs have played an important role in waterfowl and wetlands conservation since the mid-19th Century. The Winous Point Shooting Club, at the southwestern end of Lake Erie, stands as North America’s oldest, continuously running duck club. In this episode, we visit with John Simpson, manager of Winous Point, for an introduction to its history and vital contributions to waterfowl hunting, wetland conservation, scientific research, and habitat management.  Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 36 – Dabblers, Divers, Sea Ducks…What’s the Difference?

Hosts Dr. Mike Brasher and Chris Jennings have a quick discussion on the basics of what separates these waterfowl types. Brasher explains anatomy, feeding types, and other differences between these ducks, while Jennings brings a handful of fun facts to the show. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 35 – Lifetime Skills for Waterfowl Hunters

Host Chris Jennings is joined by John Pollmann, Ducks Unlimited magazine contributor, to take a deep dive into lifetime skills for waterfowl hunters. Pollmann wrote a piece that relates to this topic for ducks.org, but the pair go even further into the discussion about becoming an all-around duck and goose hunter. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Bonus Episode: Migration Forecasting, La Nina, and an Update from the Northeast

Continuing with a focus on winter weather and how it is influencing waterfowl migrations, we are joined by Dr. Mike Schummer, SUNY ESF, to discuss his use of weather metrics to forecast duck migration in the eastern U.S. We also get an update on conditions in the Northeast and discuss the potential implications of a strengthening La Nina for winter weather, habitat conditions, and hunter opportunities. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Bonus Episode: Great Lakes Region Migration and Hunting Update

Jay Anglin, DU’s Great Lakes Region Migration Editor joins the show to talk about the current state of migration. Multiple weather systems have pushed ducks and geese into historical migration corridors and Anglin provides a glimpse into the current hunting conditions. He also explains that the best is yet to come. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Bonus Episode: October Freeze Descends on the Mid-Continent

As a series of strong mid-October cold fronts settles across the prairies and Midwest, there are widespread reports of frozen wetlands, snow-covered fields, and an exodus of waterfowl out of Canada.  On this episode, we go back to our trusty source of intel from the Canadian Prairies, Dr. Scott Stephens, fresh from his likely “last hunt of the season” for a report on weather conditions, migration, and a bit of informed speculation on how these conditions are affecting behaviors of ducks and geese. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 34 – Master Carver Marty Hanson Joins the Show

Guest hosts, Mallori Murphey and Katie Burke, are joined by Marty Hanson, world-renowned master decoy carver, to discuss how he became a carver and much more.  Hanson gets into detail about different species and even individual species he prefers to carve.  The trio talk about his unique approach and what makes his carving style different from other carvers throughout North America. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 33 – Public Service Announcement: Be on the Lookout for More than Bands

Waterfowl hunters are certainly familiar with leg bands on waterfowl, but there are sometimes other markers they should look for and report. One example is web tags. Clemson University grad student Jake Shurba joins the podcast to tell us about web tags and provides a Public Service Announcement on how to report them when encountered. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 32 – Tony Vandemore Joins the Show to Discuss the Upcoming Season

With the regular waterfowl season opener in Missouri creeping closer, Tony Vandemore joins the show to talk about habitat management, the upcoming season, and new changes at Habitat Flats. Vandemore shares some information about habitat in comparison to last year, and what we he is looking forward to in 2020. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 31 – The Ribeye of the Sky: Hunting Sandhill Cranes in the Eastern U.S.

A remarkable wildlife success story and amazing table fare, the growth and expansion of the eastern population of sandhill cranes is providing a delightful new opportunity for migratory bird hunters in portions of the eastern U.S. Dr. John Brunjes rejoins the podcast to share insights on the process that was followed to open a sandhill crane season in the eastern U.S. and describe steps taken to ensure harvest does not harm the population. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 30 – Sandhill Cranes: More Akin to Coots than Herons!

Many waterfowl hunters and migratory bird enthusiasts have crossed paths with sandhill cranes somewhere along the way. Dr. John Brunjes, Kentucky Dept of Fish and Wildlife Resources, joins the podcast to educate us on their ecology, distribution, taxonomy, management, and changes in their population size and distribution, with an emphasis on eastern North America. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 29 – Filson: The Brand, History, and Exciting New Products

Dan Drust, Filson director of wholesale sales, joins Chris Jennings to talk about the fantastic history of Filson and how the iconic brand transitioned into the markets of today, yet maintained their quality standards. Drust also shares information on several new products from a lifestyle and a waterfowling perspective. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 28 – Women in Waterfowl: Hunting and Career Advice (2 of 2)

As the overall number of waterfowl hunters continues to decline, it is increasingly important that we invite and welcome new hunters from all backgrounds. An encouraging trend is a recent increase in the number of women participating in hunting. In part 2 of our discussion on Women in Waterfowl, our guests share their experiences and accomplishments as female hunters. We close with advice and guidance for other women interested in hunting or joining the waterfowl and wetland conservation profession.

Ep. 27 – Women in Waterfowl: An Emerging Shift (1 of 2)

For the longest time, the vast majority of waterfowl professionals and waterfowl hunters have been men. Although the balance continues to tilt in this direction, we are witnessing an exciting shift in female participation and leadership in waterfowl science, management, and conservation, as well as in the blind. The DU Podcast is joined by Dr. Susan Ellis-Felege, Dr. Karla Guyn, and Casey Setash to discuss this change and hear first-hand of their experiences as women in the waterfowl profession.

Ep. 26 – Let Us Introduce a Couple of Guest Hosts         

The DU Podcast is expanding its reach and soon you’ll begin to hear shows focusing on the history of our waterfowling heritage. Katie Burke, manager of the Waterfowling Heritage Center, and Mallori Murphey, social media specialist, will be hosting history-oriented shows. These shows will include decoy carvers, collectors, call collectors, and the wide variety of other historical topics. This show introduces you to Katie and Mallori. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 25 – Spying on Predators to Improve Duck Nest Survival

It is well-documented that predators kill ducks and destroy millions of nests annually. What is less understood is how landscape features may interact to influence rates of predation and whether we can thwart predator success by more targeted and strategic habitat conservation efforts. Today, we visit with Samantha Fino, PhD Candidate and recipient of DU’s Bonnycastle Fellowship for Prairie Ecosystem Studies, to learn how her research is helping answer these questions. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 24 – Tech Tools for Duck and Goose Hunters

Anthony Jones, DU digital media and marketing director, joins Chris Jennings on the podcast to talk about the various digital tools built by waterfowl hunters, for waterfowl hunters. The list of tools for duck and goose hunters includes the highly popular DU Migration Map, DU App, and the all-encompassing Waterfowl360.com. Jones gets into the details of each and shares other insights into how you can use these tools. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 23 – Mud on the Boots: University Hunt Programs (2 of 2)

While there is no doubt that non-hunters can be effective wildlife conservation professionals, our four guests share their beliefs and experiences with how active engagement in hunting helped them develop a deeper appreciation and connection to the resource. In this concluding episode about University Hunt Programs, we hear stories about visceral connection, emotional reward, and personal enlightenment that resulted from the conscious decision to hunt. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 22 – Hunter Education for the Professionals: University Hunt Programs (1 of 2)

In today’s university-based wildlife conservation programs, it is increasingly common for enrolled students to lack prior exposure to or experience with hunting. In response to this trend, initiatives commonly referred to as “University Hunt Programs” are being developed, whereby students are given an opportunity to learn about and participate in waterfowl hunting. On this episode, we are introduced to these programs by 4 guests that have been active participants in them. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Bonus Episode – Back North of the 49th with DU Canada’s Dr. Scott Stephens 

With continued closure of the Canadian border to non-essential travel, the DU Podcast is rejoined by Dr. Scott Stephens to hear about and live vicariously through his latest pursuits of migratory game birds in the Land of the Living Skies --- Saskatchewan. Always a great guest with informative content and entertaining exchanges, Dr. Stephens shares his successes and challenges in chasing (and calling) cranes, specks, and ducks. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 21 – Retriever Training: Picking a Puppy, an E-Collar, and More Expert Advice

Host Chris Jennings is joined by Josh Miller, product training specialist for SportDOG Brand and owner of River Stone Kennels. Miller explains his transition to becoming a full-time trainer, and shares his expertise in choosing dogs, utilizing training tools, and even becoming a duck hunter. The two discuss their first retrievers and how these specific dogs improved their training and hunting over the years. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 20 – Waterfowl in Washington with Matt Wilson

Perhaps unbeknownst to many North American waterfowlers, the state of Washington year-in and year-out supports a respectable population of breeding waterfowl, mostly mallards, that contribute to early harvest in that state. Matt Wilson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, joins the podcast to share insights on breeding waterfowl in Washington and provides an update on summer habitat conditions and what we might expect later this year. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Bonus Episode – Great Lakes Hunting and Habitat Update       

Jay Anglin, Great Lakes Migration Editor for Waterfowl360.com joins the show to discuss some early hunting and habitat conditions across the Great Lakes. Anglin, based in Northern Indiana shares some insights on hunting conditions in his area and reports he has heard from other hunters in the Great Lakes Region. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep.  19 – An Uneasy Gut Feeling: Studying Intestinal Parasites in Lesser Scaup 

In the Upper Midwest, trematodes that are ingested through consumption of faucet snails are known to cause mortality in lesser scaup and other waterbirds every year, yet the effects of trematode infection on those birds that survive is not well understood.  Cheyenne Beach, recipient of the Ed and Sally Futch Fellowship through Ducks Unlimited, joins the podcast to update us on her research that is investigating this very question.

Ep. 18 – DU Magazine Shotgunning Columnist Talks Goose Guns

Phil Bourjaily, Ducks Unlimited magazine shotgunning columnist joins the show to talk about goose guns. Bourjaily discusses what he prefers when it come to a solid, late-season goose gun and shares some slight modifications for hunters looking to find the perfect goose gun.

Ep. 17 – Ducks Energy Days, What Does That Mean…Let’s Discuss

Duck energy days (DED) are discussed regularly amongst conservation and waterfowl managers, but what does that mean. In this episode, hosts Dr. Mike Brasher and Chris Jennings have an in-depth conversation about this metric used by conservation leaders across North America.

Ep. 16 – Innovative Products from Benelli

George Thompson, director of product management for Benelli joins the podcast to discuss Benelli’s new Benelli  Surface Treatment (BE.S.T.). Thompson and host Chris Jennings talk about this new product, along with a breakdown of all Benelli’s waterfowl and upland shotguns. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 15 – DU President Doug Schoenrock Joins the Show

Doug Schoenrock, DU President, joins the DU Podcast to share his experiences within the organization and how he rose through the volunteer ranks of the world’s leader in wetlands conservation. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Bonus Episode – Teal Numbers and Hurricane Impacts in South Louisiana

Earlier this month the DU Podcast was joined by Larry Reynolds to discuss the results of LDWF’s early September teal survey as well observations of the damage and destruction left in the path of Hurricane Laura. Ducks Unlimited extends its support and prayers to all those affected by the storm and are wishing for a speedy and effective recovery. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

 

Ep. 14 – Insights on 2020 Arctic Goose Production with Frank Baldwin

The worldwide pandemic upended nearly all traditional research projects and banding efforts for Arctic-nesting geese in 2020, but that won’t stop the DU Podcast from asking the questions you want to hear. Frank Baldwin, Wildlife Biologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada, joins us to share a few insights on goose production in 2020 and an interesting side story on summer duck banding. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 13 – Game Farm Mallards in the Eastern U.S.

During his research into hybridization between mallards and black ducks, Dr. Phil Lavretsky identified a mysterious genetic signature among mallards in North America. Playing the role of waterfowl detective, Phil and his colleagues uncovered the source of this signature and brought a surprising discovery to the world of waterfowl management. We explore this discovery and what it means in our concluding episode of this exciting series! Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 12 – Black Duck, Mallard, or a Hybrid? It’s More Complex Than You Thought

Dr. Phil Lavretsky dives into the latest scientific findings on the prevalence of mallard hybridization with black ducks, mottled ducks, Mexican ducks, and what to look for when identifying hybrids. We also learn that rumors of the demise of the American Black Duck due to mallards have been greatly exaggerated. Phil delivers the good news in the field of genetics. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 11 – The Origin of Greenheads in North America

The DU Podcast is joined by genetics expert, Dr. Phil Lavretsky of the University of Texas El Paso, to discuss genetics, the prevalence of hybridization in waterfowl, and their importance to waterfowl management. We also discuss mallards, their relationship to the many mallard-like ducks across the world, and what scientists have recently learned regarding the origin of “greenheads” in North America. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 10 – Waterfowl Research in Colorado? Who Knew? (2 of 2)

We continue our discussion with Colorado State PhD student Casey Setash about her ongoing duck research in Colorado. Casey shares what she learned from her Master’s research in Colorado’s San Luis Valley about nesting and incubation habits of cinnamon teal. We also discuss her ongoing PhD research, in which she is studying a hay production practice known as “flood irrigation” and how it benefits breeding ducks. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast.

Ep. 9 – Let’s Talk Cinnamon, But Not the Spice! Cinnamon Teal (1 of 2)

The drake cinnamon teal is arguably one of North America’s most distinctive and striking species of waterfowl, yet it’s one about which we know comparatively little. In this episode, we are joined by Casey Setash, a PhD student at Colorado State and one of only a few “experts” on this curious species, for a brief introduction to its ecology, distribution, and other interesting facts and unknowns. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Bonus Episode – Teal and Habitat Update from Southwest Manitoba

Dr. Scott Stephens, Ducks Unlimited Canada, shares his teal hunting experiences and offers some insight to the migration in Manitoba. Stephens also discusses current weather conditions impacting teal and local hunters.  Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 8 – DU Magazine Contributor John Pollmann Talks Teal & Early Season Ducks

John Pollmann, DU Magazine contributor discusses targeting teal and how to prepare for early season ducks. Pollmann, a South Dakota native, brings to light a few helpful tactics for targeting early-season puddlers in the Prairies and beyond. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 7 – Retriever Training and Training Tools with Tom Dokken

Tom Dokken, owner of Dokken’s Oak Ridge Kennels, joins the DU Podcast to talk about exciting new products from SportDOG Brand. Dokken brings more than 45 years of retriever training experience to the podcast and he discusses the changes in training over that span. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 6 – The Restoration and Recovery of Delta Marsh (2 of 2)

Dr. Dale Wrubleski rejoins the DU Podcast to continue our discussion of the decline and recovery of the Delta Marsh. With common carp identified as the principle trouble-maker, scientists, engineers, and conservationists devised a plan to combat the problematic fish and restore Delta Marsh to its historical productivity. Join us to learn how the marsh has responded and what’s next for this fabled location. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 5 – The History and Decline of Delta Marsh (1 of 2)

The Delta Marsh in southern Manitoba is the birthplace for some of the most foundational science upon which North American waterfowl management is built. It is also a place steeped in the traditions and history of waterfowling. Dr. Dale Wrubleski joins us to discuss some of this history and the long-term declines in habitat that have affected this area, ultimately leading to a discussion of recent restoration efforts for Delta Marsh. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 4 – Waterfowl Identification and You

Host Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher discuss waterfowl identification and its importance for not only waterfowl hunters, but also birders. Mike talks about identifying characteristics of certain species and shares a handful of helpful tips to improve your waterfowl identification. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Bonus Episode – Habitat Conditions in Canada, Fall Flight, and the Border Closure

He’s harvested every species of waterfowl in North America except two, and he knows his way around the waterfowl landscapes of Canada like nobody else. Pat Kehoe, DU Canada’s Director of International Relationships, gives an update on late summer habitat conditions in Canada, the border closure, reduced hunting pressure in Canada, and his expectations for the 2020 Fall Flight. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 3 – DU CEO Adam Putnam Provides a State of the Organization

Heading into fall, Ducks Unlimited CEO Adam Putnam joins the DU Podcast to discuss his thoughts on the coming fall, a few personal experiences, and provides a State of the Organization. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 2 – Prepare Your Retriever for Fall with Early Season Training

Is your retriever ready for opening day? Mike Stewart, owner of Wildrose Kennels joins the show to discuss some early-season training options to have them better prepared for the first few days afield. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 1 – Welcome Back, Introduction to Season 3

The DU Podcast kicks off with an introduction show and a re-introduction for many. Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher discuss the oddities of the current pandemic and how DU has reacted from a conservation perspective. The pair also discuss upcoming episodes and what listeners should expect to hear throughout the fall. Please subscribe, rate, and review the DU Podcast and contact the DU Podcast via email at DUPodcast@ducks.org with recommendations or questions.

Ep. 29 – Season 2 Wrap Up Show

Season 2: The Off Season is a wrap! Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher discuss the technical difficulties of publishing the show during the summer, and they talk about highlights from the season. The DU Podcast will take a break in August but will return with all-things waterfowl content in September. Catch up on all of Seasons 1 and 2 before September 1!

Ep. 28 – Are There Better Ways of Getting HIP?

Migratory Bird Hunters, Listen up! The DU Podcast welcomes back Brad Bortner and Larry Reynolds for an informative and unusually candid conversation about some concerning issues with the Harvest Information Program registration process and how it may influence the data. Importantly, we also discuss diagnosis of the issues and exploratory efforts that are underway to improve and modernize the HIP certification process.

Ep. 27 – HIP Certification 101

Brad Bortner, retired Chief of the USFWS Division of Migratory Bird Management, and Larry Reynolds, Waterfowl Study Leader for Louisiana, join the show for a refresher on the Harvest Information Program. We review its importance for enabling hunting seasons, how it works, and why hunter participation in HIP is critical. This episode lays the foundation for a future discussion of potential changes to the HIP certification process.

Ep. 26 – How to Introduce a Gun Dog to…Guns, Water, Blinds, Decoys, and More

Mike Stewart, owner of Wildrose Kennels, joins Chris Jennings on this podcast to discuss introductions. There’s a right way and a wrong way to introduce dogs, even puppies, to the world of duck and goose hunting. Stewart talks about introducing gunfire, water, blinds, decoys, and the various obstacles waterfowling presents.

Bonus Episode – Update on Breeding Habitat Conditions Across U.S. Prairies

Dr. Mike Brasher is joined by Johann Walker, director of operations Great Plains Region, for an update on current habitat conditions throughout the U.S. Prairie Pothole Region. Good conditions early in the summer have continued to provide suitable wetlands and associated habitats. Walker shares some insight as to what biologists are seeing in the field.

Bonus Episode – Mid-July Prairie Canada Habitat Update 

Dr. Scott Stephens, director of operations Prairie and Boreal for DU Canada, joins host Dr. Mike Brasher to provide an update on breeding habitat conditions across Prairie Canada. The pair discuss late rains, which may not benefit nesting waterfowl, but will help brood rearing efforts. Stephens also discusses potential scenarios with border closures. 

Ep. 25 – Jim Ronquest Talks Duck Calls, Hunting, and Puppies 

Jim Ronquest, Rich-N-Tone Calls, joins host Chris Jennings for an off-season conversation. The two discuss summer calling tips, and Ronquest points out a few tactics callers should be doing this time of year to stay ready for duck season. They also dive into new duck calls, look back at last year’s duck season, and talk about the excitement of having new puppy.

Ep. 24 – Impacts on Waterfowl, Hunters if Canadian Border Doesn’t Open this Fall 

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher discuss the numbers behind U.S hunters in Canada and the hypothetical impacts on waterfowl. Brasher brings some interesting non-resident information from the Canadian Wildlife Service and the pair chat about potential what-if scenarios on the Dakotas.

Ep. 23 – An Innovative Study of Avian Brood Parasitism in Wood Ducks

We continue our fascinating discussion about brood parasitism in waterfowl. In particular, Dr. John Eadie walks us through a most remarkable study of this phenomenon in wood ducks, using innovative tracking methods and state-of-the-art genetics to reveal previously unimaginable behaviors and unraveling long-standing mysteries in avian brood parasitism. You will never look at a wood duck box the same way again.

Ep. 22 – Unsanctioned Childcare: Brood Parasitism in Birds 

We like to think of ducks as a fairly innocent and an honest group of species, but that isn’t always the case. Nesting hens of some ducks, along with other non-waterfowl species, often deposit their eggs in the nests of other individuals, in a practice known as avian brood parasitism. In this first episode of an exciting two-part series, we begin the discussion with our distinguished guest, Dr. John Eadie, UC Davis, as we explore this phenomenon and what we know about it.

Ep. 21 – Breaking News: Eastern Screech Owl Hatches a Pair of Wood Ducks 

A screech owl hatched a couple of wood ducks? Nothing could go wrong there, could it? Listen in as we discuss this oddity of nature and other observations from an ongoing, large-scale study of wood ducks in the eastern United States. Clemson graduate student, Emily Miller and her research technicians, Sam Fishman and Jake Merendino, join Dr. Mike Brasher for this educational and entertaining discussion.

Ep. 20 – Summer Retriever Training Focus

Host Chris Jennings is joined by Mike Stewart, owner of Wildrose Kennels to discuss retriever training during the peak of summer heat. Stewart brings to light several training, nutrition, and health tips to keep your retriever in shape and safe from heat stroke.

Ep. 19 – Shotgunning Safety in the Field with Phil Bourjaily

Phil Bourjaily, Ducks Unlimited magazine shotgunning columnist, joins Chris Jennings for a in-depth conversation about safety in the duck blind. Bourjaily stresses the importance of communicating safety rules and clearly defining what should and should not be done while hunting ducks and geese.

Bonus Episode – Results from the 2020 North Dakota Breeding Duck Survey 

The DU Podcast is joined by Mike Szymanski, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, to discuss the results of their 2020 Breeding Duck Survey. By all accounts the numbers are encouraging. The North Dakota wetland index was the 6th highest on record and the duck numbers were the 13th highest on record signaling a likely good year for duck production in that state. Join us on this episode to hear the details.

Ep. 18 – Wetland Conservation in the ACE Basin, South Carolina 

Partnerships among public and private entities are the lifeblood for successful waterfowl conservation programs across North America. A long-time participant in one such partnership, Dean Harrigal, formerly of South Carolina DNR, joins the podcast to discuss a particularly noteworthy example and the landscape-scale wetland conservation that has resulted in the ACE Basin of South Carolina.

Ep. 17 – Are Snow Geese Competing for Winter Duck Foods?

Dr. Mark Petrie, Director of Conservation Planning for DU’s Western Region, joins co-hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher to discuss the double-edged sword of abundant populations of Arctic geese. On one hand, they provide expanded hunting opportunities, but on the other they also compete for the same food resources as ducks, presenting new challenges to hunters, habitat managers, and conservation planners.

Bonus Episode: Habitat Conditions Updates from the Dakotas and Eastern Montana

John Pollmann, Ducks Unlimited magazine freelance contributor and South Dakota resident, joins host Chris Jennings for an informative update on what the habitat conditions look like this summer in South Dakota, North Dakota, and eastern Montana.

Ep. 16 – Off-Season Duck and Goose Calling 

Jay Anglin joins host Chris Jennings to discuss a few calling tips for the summer, including tuning and cleaning your calls. Summer is the ideal time to get your calls into working order and Anglin even discusses shipping calls back to call makers for tuning and replacement parts. You want to address any calling issue now, rather than wait until opening day.

Ep. 15 – Texas Prairie Wetlands Project – A Flagship Conservation Program

 Dr. Mike Brasher is joined by colleague and native Texan, Dr. Todd Merendino to learn about the Texas Prairie Wetlands Project, one of the longest running and most successful private land wetland conservation programs in North America. Recognized in 2019 with a Texas by Nature aware, since 1991, the TPWP has allowed DU and partners to restore or enhance more than 85,000 acres of wetlands on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Ep. 14 – Mike Stewart, Wildrose Kennels Joins the Show

Mike Stewart, owner and operator of Wildrose Kennels joins the show to talk with host Chris Jennings about his operation and his training method. Stewart has branched out from his original facility and build regional Wildrose training facilities throughout the country. Learn more about Wildrose Kennels and the various methods Stewart uses for each client.

Bonus Episode – Update on Wetland Conditions in Alberta 

Continuing our virtual tour of wetland conditions in the Canadian prairie provinces, the DU Podcast today visits with Ron Maher, DU Canada’s Manager of Provincial Operations in Alberta, to receive an update on habitat conditions in that province.  Reports of a delayed spring, decent runoff, and recent rains has produced generally average wetland conditions in the southern prairies, but better wetland conditions in the parklands and boreal forests to the north.

Ep. 13 – The Super Cool and Expanding Role of Drones in Waterfowl Research

The DU podcast is again joined by Dr. Susan Felege to discuss additional ways in which she and her students are applying new technologies to study waterfowl ecology. In this episode we learn how drones, video cameras, and thermal cameras are being used to collect massive amounts of data more efficiently, at larger scales, and with less disturbance to ducks and geese.

 

Bonus Episode – Update on Wetland Conditions in Southwestern Manitoba

 Another week, another bonus episode on breeding habitat conditions in the Duck Factory. This update, provided by Dr. Mike Anderson, Emeritus Scientist with DU Canada’s Institute for Wetland and Waterfowl Research, shares on-the-ground insights from a location considered a historical hotbed of waterfowl research – Minnedosa, Manitoba. Based on >40 years of observations, Dr. Anderson shares how this year is shaping up compared to past.

 

Ep. 12 – Using Cameras to Study Duck Nesting Ecology

Dr. Susan Felege from the University of North Dakota is conducting pioneering research using video cameras to study nesting ducks in the U.S. prairies. Dr. Felege joins Dr. Mike Brasher to discuss some of this work and shares some of the interesting observations that she and her students have collected, including at least one example of white-tailed deer eating duck eggs!

Ep. 11 – Conserving Playa Wetlands to Benefit Birds, People, and Water Supplies

Mike Carter of the Playa Lakes Joint Venture and Matt Hough of DU rejoin the show to describe a terrific example of how DU’s conservation footprint can grow through approaches that deliver diverse benefits for birds and people. As a principle source of groundwater recharge for the Ogallala Aquifer, playa wetland conservation is being valued by a growing number of communities and landowners for the benefits they provide in securing the future of regional water supplies.

Bonus Episode – Cancellation of the 2020 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey

 For the first time in its 65-year history, the Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey is not being conducted. With questions swirling about what this means for population management and harvest regulations, we reached out to Dr. Ken Richkus, Chief of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Migratory Bird Management, for first-hand answers to these questions and more. Settle in as we discuss this most important survey and unprecedented decision.

Ep. 10 – Introduction to Innovative Solutions for Playa Wetland Conservation

Dr. Mike Brasher is joined by Mike Carter, Coordinator of the Playa Lakes Joint Venture, and Matt Hough, DU’s Director of Conservation Programs for Kansas, to discuss playa wetland conservation in the Western Great Plains. Our guests describe the importance of playa wetlands for wetland birds and groundwater recharge and provide an overview of historical and exciting new approaches to playa conservation.

Bonus Episode – Early Spring Wetland Conditions in Saskatchewan

The DU Podcast is joined by our colleague from DU Canada, Kelly Rempel, Head of Habitat Asset Management Saskatchewan Provincial Operations, to discuss early observations of wetland conditions in the prairies and parklands of Saskatchewan, The Land of the Living Skies. It’s generally dry in the prairies with favorable conditions farther north in the parklands and Boreal Forest.

Ep. 9 – Waterfowl Settling and Nesting

Waterfowl, for the most part, have returned to the breeding grounds. Join co-hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher as they discuss the processes involved with their return to nesting areas. The two discuss the preferred habitats of breeding ducks, the risks involved in nesting, the perils of being a duckling, and how science helps us better conserve and manage these habitats to benefit waterfowl populations.

Bonus Episode – Breeding Habitat Conditions: Dr. Scott Stephens Gives a Spring Habitat Update from Canada

In the absence of typical habitat and duck reports from the May survey, we are turning to our folks in the field for first-hand updates and insights. On this episode, host Dr. Mike Brasher visits with Dr. Scott Stephens, DU Canada, for an early spring update on habitat conditions across the Canadian Prairies.

Ep. 8 – Off-Season Shotgunning w/ Phil Bourjaily (Part 2 of 2)

Phil Bourjaily, DU Magazine shotgunning columnist joins host Chris Jennings for another in-depth conversation on what waterfowlers should be doing in the off-season to prepare for the coming season. Bourjaily provides great detail on 10 additional tactics hunters can use to improve their shotgunning.

Ep. 7 – Off-Season Shotgunning w/ Phil Bourjaily (Part 1 of 2)

Phil Bourjaily, DU Magazine shotgunning columnist joins host Chris Jennings for a discussion on what waterfowlers should be doing in the off-season to prepare for the coming season. Bourjaily provides great detail on 10 tactics hunters can use to improve their shotgunning.

Ep. 6 – A Conversation with Jerry Holden, Director of DU’s Southern Regions (Part 3 of 3)

We conclude our 3-part series with Jerry Holden by discussing our organizational mission, the legacy of conservation support from waterfowl hunters, pursuit of expanded partnerships, and the broad-based benefits of DU’s wetlands conservation in the Southern Region. Lastly, Jerry and host Dr. Mike Brasher share personal experiences and the inspiration that comes from working with DU’s dedicated volunteers, members, and staff.

Ep. 5 – A Conversation with Jerry Holden, Director of DU’s Southern Regions (Part 2 of 3)

We continue with part 2 of a 3-part conversation with Jerry Holden, Director of Operations for DU’s Southern Region. In this episode, Jerry introduces the people, places, habitats, and conservation efforts within the Southern Region, and what makes it both incredibly special and immensely challenging.

Ep. 4 – A Conversation with Jerry Holden, Director of DU’s Southern Regions (Part 1 of 3)

In early February, we sat down for a wide-ranging discussion with Jerry Holden, Director of Operations for DU’s Southern Region. In the first of a 3-part series, Jerry shares his path to DU, his passion for conservation, and trades stories with podcast host Dr. Mike Brasher about the challenges and rewards of waterfowl hunting, including personal experiences from the 2019-20 hunting season.

Ep. 3 – What’s the Deal with Birds? A Lesson on Predatory Journals

Today, we go off the beaten path to discuss an entertaining adventure and important lesson on predatory journals. Dr. Dan Baldassarre, Assistant Professor of Zoology at SUNY Oswego, recently made headlines for the successful publication of a satirical article designed to expose the existence and dangers of unscrupulous actors among scientific journals. Listen and get wiser as we learn about The Deal With Birds!

Ep. 2 – Ducks Nesting in your Backyard? Learn what to do

So, you found yourself with a mallard or Canada goose nesting in your flowerpot. Why is this happening, what should you know, and what are your options? Join the DU Podcast as hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher share their answers to these questions and more, when discussing urban nesting waterfowl.

Ep. 1 – Introduction to Season 2: The Off Season 

DU Podcast is back for Season 2: The Off Season! Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher return to bring the DU audience discussions on conservation, science and research, off-season shotgunning, retriever training, and much more. The DU Podcast will continue to be a source of information on all-things waterfowl conservation.


Ep. 69 – Wrap Up on Season 1; Looking Forward with the DU Podcast

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher wrap up the first season of the Ducks Unlimited Podcast. The duo discusses the trials and tribulations, but also explains what listeners should be excited about for Season 2. Thanks to everyone who joined the show and all who listened. Stay tuned! Download, subscribe, and rate the DU Podcast.

Ep. 68 – What Happened to Texas’ Light Goose Hunting

Kevin Kraai, waterfowl program leader for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department talks with hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher about Texas light goose hunting and the reasons why there has been a shift in the birds’ wintering grounds. Learn how this historical hunting area has all but disappeared. Download, subscribe, and rate the DU Podcast.

Ep. 67 – Overall Duck Numbers Increasing in Texas, Why and Where?

Kevin Kraai, waterfowl program leader for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department talks with hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher about Texas habitat changes that may be leading to shifts in wintering distribution. Kraai breaks down Texas’ various habitat types and explains what has changed. Download, subscribe, and rate the DU Podcast.

Episode 66 – Growing DU’s Conservation Footprint: A Discussion with DU’s Director of Conservation Strategy

Dr. Mike Brasher sits down with DU’s new Director of Conservation Strategy, Dr. Steve Adair, to learn about DU’s efforts to grow our conservation influence and footprint. Specifically, we discuss the importance of championing and marketing the benefits of DU’s conservation work beyond providing waterfowl habitat. These include benefits to water quality, water quantity, stormwater retention, storm surge mitigation, and a host of other ecosystem services. Dr. Adair shares his excitement for this position and the opportunities it presents while remaining true to our core organizational priority of waterfowl populations and the people that enjoy them.

Bonus Episode: Update on the Pace of the Light Goose Migration with Tony Vandemore

Host Chris Jennings gets Tony Vandemore, guide and co-owner of Habitat Flats, on the line to discuss the pace of the light goose migration. Vandemore moved from Arkansas up to his home turf near Sumner, Missouri in the middle of the month. Listen to find out more. Download, subscribe, and rate the DU Podcast.

Episode 65 – New Opportunities on the Canadian Prairies & A Sneak Peek at Wetland Conditions

Dr. Scott Stephens rejoins host Dr. Mike Brasher to continue their discussion about DU Canada’s conservation programs in the Canadian Prairies. This episode describes some of the new conservation partnerships that DU Canada is forging within the farming and ranching communities, and how these efforts are delivering mutually beneficial outcomes. Scott also discusses opportunities within the broader ecosystem services arena. We also get a sneak peek at how wetland conditions are shaping up as we look forward to the breeding season.


Episode 64 – Introduction to DU Canada Conservation Efforts in the Prairies

Friend and colleague Dr. Scott Stephens, DU Canada, joins Dr. Mike Brasher to discuss some of the important habitat conservation work being undertaken to benefit breeding waterfowl in the Canadian Prairies. This discussion highlights some of the historical and traditional programs that DU Canada has used to protect and restore priority wetlands and grasslands for waterfowl but also introduces exciting new programs that are being used to increase DU’s capacity to conserve waterfowl habitats.


Episode 63 – Using Research to Understand Waterfowl Hunter Dynamics

Dr. Mike Brasher is joined in studio by a trio of special guests to discuss trends in waterfowl hunter numbers and the importance of recruiting our next generation of hunter-conservationists. Former DU Chief Scientist Dale Humburg, University of Nebraska PhD student Katherine Graham, and Professor of Human Dimensions Research Dr. Chris Chisznski share their expertise on this subject and provide insights gained from recently completed research.

Episode 62: Estimating Annual Waterfowl Harvest, Part 3

In the final installment of this special series on waterfowl harvest estimation, Drs. Kathy Fleming and Paul Padding discuss the 2 critical surveys that are part of this process: Migratory Bird Hunter Survey and Parts Collection Survey. This episode sheds light on how these data are collected and used, and why none of this would be possible without the interest, cooperation, and participation by hunters.

Bonus Episode: Light Goose Conservation Order Update

Host Chris Jennings is joined by Jay Anglin, DU Great Lakes Migration Editor, to discuss light goose migrations into Illinois and Indiana. The two also talk about Arkansas goose numbers and opportunities for hunters to take advantage of these late hunts. Download, subscribe, and rate the DU Podcast.

Episode 61: Estimating Annual Waterfowl Harvest, Part 2

In part 2 of this series on waterfowl harvest estimation, Drs. Kathy Fleming and Paul Padding go in-depth on the Harvest Information Program, known to most people simply as “HIP,” to explain how it works and how the data are used to select hunters for participating in the core surveys from which harvest is estimated. We also discuss additional uses of waterfowl harvest data.

Episode 60 – Estimating Annual Waterfowl Harvest, Part 1

Waterfowl hunters harvest 12–14 million ducks and 3 million geese annually in the U.S. The process used to estimate annual waterfowl harvest has several components and relies on the cooperation and participation by State wildlife agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and most importantly waterfowl hunters. Drs. Kathy Fleming and Paul Padding of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service join Dr. Mike Brasher to help explain the harvest estimation process and some of the important uses of these estimates. This is episode 1 of a 3-part series.

Ep. 59 – Texas Mid-winter Waterfowl Survey 

Kevin Kraai, Waterfowl Program Leader for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department joins the podcast to discuss the history of the Texas Mid-winter Waterfowl Survey and results from the most recent survey in January 2020.  We learn about the numerous ecoregions and important waterfowl habitats across the state of Texas and converse about notable observations in duck and goose abundance from the survey.  The 2020 survey revealed the 3rd highest state-wide estimate for dabbling ducks since 1997.

Bonus Episode: Update on 2019-20 Weather and Duck Migration in the Eastern U.S.

Dr. Mike Schummer, SUNY-ESF, rejoins the show with host Dr. Mike Brasher to provide a late season update on prevailing weather patterns in the eastern U.S. and how these have influenced waterfowl migration since the outbreak of cold weather in November. We wade into a discussion about large-scale atmospheric patterns that affect weather across the U.S. with a specific focus on the “polar vortex.” The show concludes with advice on how hunters can adapt their strategies in the face of weather patterns that aren’t conducive to strong bird movements.

Episode 57: Secrets to a Successful Youth Hunt

Host Christ Jennings is joined by John Pollmann, Ducks Unlimited freelance contributor, to discuss the best practices to plan and execute a youth hunt. Pollmann goes into detail regarding his Sept/Oct feature from DU Magazine and talks about his personal experiences hunting with his young son.

Episode 56: Snow Geese, Polar Bears, Poop Genetics, and Learning from the Animals

In this episode, we continue our conversation with Dr. Rocky Rockwell and learn about the lasting effects of hyperabundant snow geese on Arctic habitats and their potential for recovery. We then discuss other interesting research at La Perouse Bay including goose productivity, drones, bear ecology, sea ice, and the genetic analysis of bear poop. We conclude with sage advice from Dr. Rockwell about learning from and working with the animals and the people around us.

Episode 55: Snow Goose Ecology at La Perouse Bay

Light goose populations in North America have grown exponentially since the 1960s. The famed goose colony at La Perouse Bay, Manitoba, became the epicenter for studying this explosive growth and its damaging effects on Arctic ecosystems. In this episode, Dr. Mike Brasher is joined by special guests Drs. Rocky Rockwell and Tom Moorman to discuss the emergence of this issue, along with other topics including the evolution of white and blue phases of snow geese and their increasing hybridization.

Episode 54: Legacy and Future of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan

Widely considered the most successful wildlife conservation plan on the planet, for over 30 years the North American Waterfowl Management Plan has set the bar for effective and relevant partner-based conservation of an internationally shared resource. Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher are joined by Dale Humburg for a discussion about the evolution and legacy of the NAWMP.

Episode 53: An Unprecedented Plan for Conserving North American Waterfowl

Former DU Chief Scientist, Dale Humburg, joins hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher to discuss the history and significance of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) in shaping international waterfowl conservation as we know it today. Ambitious in scale and intent, the NAWMP was signed in 1986 and immediately created a bold new vision for waterfowl conservation in North America.

Bonus Episode: Mississippi’s December Aerial Waterfowl Survey

Houston Havens, Waterfowl Program Coordinator for Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, joins Dr. Mike Brasher and Chris Jennings to discuss results from Mississippi’s December aerial waterfowl surveys. Listen in to learn about the history of Mississippi’s survey effort, the latest on duck numbers in the state, and what biologists are saying about the effects of 2019’s prolonged summer flooding on waterfowl habitat conditions this winter.

Ep. 52 – How Fast Can They Fly and Other Insights from GPS Telemetry

Mike Casazza rejoins the show to continue our discussion about cutting edge radio telemetry and its importance to waterfowl science. Specific topics on this episode include new estimates of waterfowl flight speed and why this is important, unexpected movements and behaviors of waterfowl, and what a hunter should do if they harvest a bird outfitted with a transmitter.

Ep. 51 – Radio Telemetry in Waterfowl Research

Since its introduction to wildlife research in the mid-20th century, radio telemetry has enabled scientists and conservationists to understand waterfowl behaviors and ecology at levels previously not imagined. In this episode, co-hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher are joined by Research Biologist Mike Casazza to learn about the history, advancements, capabilities, and unique insights obtained from modern-day radio telemetry. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.

Ep. 50 – Reairing of Urban Mallard Research w/ Dr. Ben O’Neal

Previously published (Ep. 9 – 10) Host Dr. Mike Brasher discusses interesting research being done on urban mallards and the role they play in hunter harvest with Dr. Ben O’Neal. O’Neal serves as a wildlife ecology professor at Franklin College just south of Indianapolis and is studying the impacts of urban mallards in relation to harvest opportunities for hunters near metro areas. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.

 

Bonus Episode: Double-Barrel Migration Update – Missouri and Illinois

In this episode we bring you updates on mid-December waterfowl numbers and habitat conditions in Missouri and Illinois.  Friends of the show, Frank Nelson and Aaron Yetter, explain that ice is prevalent and duck numbers continue to decline across much of their respective states. Hardy mallards, geese, and a few straggling pintails and gadwalls are holding out on rivers and other big waters as the year 2019 nears its end. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.

Ep. 49 – Introducing DU’s Western Region

Mark Biddlecomb, DU director of operations for the Western Region, joins the podcast and shares information about DU’s Sacramento office, along with some of the unique conservation challenges faced in the Pacific Flyway. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.

Ep. 48 – DU’s D.C. Office Joins the Show to Talk NAWCA

Host Chris Jennings is joined by Dan Wrinn, DU national director of government affairs, talks about DU’s D.C. office and the importance of policy work for wetlands conservation and waterfowl. Craig LeShack, DU director of conservation operations joins in on the conversation about NAWCA. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.

Ep. 47 – DU California Regional Biologist Joins the Show

DU Regional Biologist from the San Joaquin Valley in Central California, Matt Kaminski, joins the show to discuss a multitude of topics, including a description of DU’s conservation efforts in the California Central Valley, an update on waterfowl migration in the region, and insights on West Coast weather patterns that influence duck movements. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.

Ep. 46 – Scott Leysath Discusses Non-Waterfowl Game Recipes

Scott Leysath, DU Magazine cooking columnist, talks about some of his favorite non-waterfowl recipes. Venison, quail, etc. Get some tips on cooking wild game, even non-waterfowl species. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.

Ep. 45 – Introduction to DU’s South Atlantic Field Office in Charleston, South Carolina

Jamie Rader, director of conservation programs in DU’s South Atlantic Field Office, joins host Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher to discuss the region. Rader provides great information regarding specific projects and habitat efforts in the South Atlantic Region. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.

Ep. 44 – Attack of the Vagabond Fleas (2 of 2)

Dr. Vanessa Harriman, Ducks Unlimited Canada, joins us again to share the rest of the story about how flea infestations affect nest success of snow and Ross’s geese. We also discuss what this might mean for population dynamics of goose colonies and explore a few other questions about this curious phenomenon. Have an itch for knowledge? We try to scratch it on this episode.

Ep. 43 – Flea Season: Not Just a Concern for Canines (1 of 2)

In this episode, host Dr. Mike Brasher is joined by Dr. Vanessa Harriman, Ducks Unlimited Canada, to discuss the curious case of flea infestations in nests of snow and Ross’s geese. We learn about their discovery, prevalence, the hazards of studying them, and what leads a person to study fleas in the first place. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.

Bonus Episode: Arkansas Waterfowl Program Coordinator Discusses Survey, Ducks, Habitat

Luke Naylor, Arkansas waterfowl program coordinator for Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, joins hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher to talk about Arkansas November Aerial Survey, Arkansas duck season, and current habitat.  Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript. 

Bonus Episode: Habitat and Hunting Update in the Great Lakes Region (IN, IL, OH, MI)

Jay Anglin, WF360 Great Lakes Region migration editor, joins host Chris Jennings for a quick discussion regarding the current hunting conditions in the Great Lakes Region. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.

Bonus Episode: Habitat and Hunting Update in South Atlantic

Jamie Rader, DU’s director of operation in the South Atlantic Region, joins host Chris Jennings for a quick update on habitat and hunting in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.

Ep. 42 – Do Ducks and Geese Mate for Life?

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher discuss waterfowl mating systems and how behavior changes related to mating and courtship directly impact hunting as the season progresses. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 41 – Are Geese Shot Over Decoys in Poor Condition?

Host Dr. Mike Brasher talks with Dr. Drew Fowler, Wisconsin DNR, to explore the question of whether the birds we shoot over decoys have lower body condition than those in the larger population, and if so, why that might be. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 40 – Sides to the Front

Host Chris Jennings is joined by Scott Leysath, DU Magazine cooking columnist, and the pair talk about sides. Leysath brings some unique sides to the forefront and discusses his favorite side dishes when serving wild game. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 39 – Myth of the Northern Mallard        

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher debunk the myth of the northern, or “red leg” mallard, and discuss an interesting taxonomic issue related to a North American waterfowl species. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 38 – Chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois Shares a Must-Try Duck Recipe

Celebrity Chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois joins host Chris Jennings and shares his go-to approach to preparing and cooking ducks for those who may not otherwise try a wild game dish. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Bonus Episode – Thanksgiving Narrative: "Duck Blind Intervention"

Our Thanksgiving show, plucked from the DU Magazine archives (Nov/Dec 2007), is a humorous story about the idiosyncrasies of waterfowl hunters. "Duck Blind Intervention" written by Doug Larson and narrated by Tom Gallagher.

Ep. 37 – Data Collection and Updates on 2019 Arctic Goose Production (2 of 2)

Dr. Ray Alisauskas, Research Scientist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, joins us again to discuss nesting ecology of snow and Ross’s geese and the types of data collected annually to estimate production. We conclude by discussing observations of goose production during the 2019 breeding season and what hunters might expect this winter. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript. 

Ep. 36 – Challenges of Studying Waterfowl in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic

World-renowned snow goose ecologist Dr. Ray Alisauskas joins the show to educate us about snow and Ross’s goose nesting colonies across the Arctic and sub-Arctic. We also discuss the long-term ecological studies conducted at these sites and the challenges of working in this environment. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 35 – Whole Duck Cooking Options from Scott Leysath

Scott Leysath, DU Magazine cooking columnist joins host, Chris Jennings to discuss cooking whole ducks. Leysath provides some very valuable insights as to why you shouldn’t cook your ducks whole. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 34 – Band Reporting and Band Targeting

Hosts Dr. Mike Brasher and Chris Jennings are joined by Dr. Mark Lindberg, professor at University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Institute of Arctic Biology to discuss the ramifications of band targeting and how targeting banded birds can have repercussions on the data. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 33 – Waterfowlers Play an Important Role in Citizen-Science Programs

Hosts Dr. Mike Brasher and Chris Jennings are joined by Dr. Mark Lindberg, professor at University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Institute of Arctic Biology to discuss the ways hunters play a vital role in citizen-science programs. Banding, HIP, and other various programs are supported by hunters, and are crucial to waterfowl science. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 32 – Dr. Fritz Reid Shares DU’s Boreal Conservation Efforts

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher talk Boreal Forest with Dr. Fritz Reid, director of conservation programs for the Boreal and Arctic for Ducks Unlimited. Reid explains some of the unique aspects to conservation efforts in the Boreal, including partners and difficulty in even getting there. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.

Ep. 31 – Talking Waterfowl Brines with Scott Leysath, DU Magazine Cooking Columnist

Scott Leysath, DU Magazine cooking columnist joins host Chris Jennings to talk more waterfowl recipes. The two specifically talk about brines and how to best prepare your ducks and geese. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 30 – Dr. Fritz Reid Breaks Down the Importance of the Boreal Forest for Waterfowl Populations

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher talk Boreal Forest with Dr. Fritz Reid, director of conservation programs for the Boreal and Arctic for Ducks Unlimited. Reid details his role and brings to light the importance of Boreal habitats for waterfowl and other birds. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.

Bonus Episode - Migration Alert: Hunting and Habitat Update for Illinois

In this episode, Aaron Yetter, Waterfowl Ecologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, shares results and observations from their most recent aerial waterfowl survey. The combination of cold weather and open hunting seasons helped push up mallard numbers, while other species were variable from the previous survey.

Ep. 29 – Chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois Shares His Best Day in the Duck Blind

Chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois rejoins host Chris Jennings on the show to talk about his best day duck hunting. Bourgeois describes a day in the south Louisiana marshes, the birds, and the meal shared after the hunt. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 28 – Do Ducks and Geese Learn?

DU Chief Scientist Dr. Tom Moorman joins host Chris Jennings to discuss how and why ducks and geese learn. These conditioned behaviors such as being able to identify decoys, spinning-wing decoys and sensing danger are a part of waterfowl’s ability to survive. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 27 – Scott Leysath Shares his Five Favorite Waterfowl Recipes   

Scott Leysath, DU Magazine cooking columnist joins host Chris Jennings on this episode to share his five favorite waterfowl recipes. A few of these recipes may surprise you. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 26 – Scott Leysath Joins the Show to Talk Waterfowl Recipes

Scott Leysath, DU Magazine cooking columnist joins host Chris Jennings and shares his story about how he become a well-known wild game chef. Leysath also explains his number one rule for cooking waterfowl. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Bonus Episode – Migration Alert: Real-Time Hunting and Habitat Update for Michigan & Indiana

With winter weather immanent across the Great Lakes, host Chris Jennings brings Jay Anglin, DU’s Great Lakes Region migration editor on the show to discuss what he is seeing and hearing in Indiana and Michigan. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.

Ep. 25 – Introducing a Science-Based Approach to Duck Migration Forecasts (Part 2 of 2)

Host Dr. Mike Brasher brings in Dr. Mike Schummer to explain his current project of a weekly duck migration forecast. Schummer is the Roosevelt Waterfowl Ecologist at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Bonus Episode – Migration Alert: Reports of Massive Concentrations of Redheads Along Texas Coast (Nov. 6)

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher talk with Andy Stetter, supervisory wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge Complex in south Texas. Stetter spent the weekend chasing ducks along the coast and witnessed huge flocks of redheads arriving along the coast. Listen to his report. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.

Ep. 24 – Introducing a Science-Based Approach to Duck Migration Forecast (Part 1 of 2)

Host Dr. Mike Brasher brings in Dr. Mike Schummer to explain his current project of a weekly duck migration forecast. Schummer is the Roosevelt Waterfowl Ecologist at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 23 – Elevated Great Lakes Levels in 2019       

Host Dr. Mike Brasher talks with Kali Rush, regional biologist in DU’s Ann Arbor, Michigan office about elevated lake levels and how the high levels in 2019 impact waterfowl habitat. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript. 

Ep. 22 – Two Sides of a Drought

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher discuss an Understanding Waterfowl column Brasher wrote several years ago regarding how drought impacts waterfowl habitats negatively and positively. Brasher explains that while most people think that drought is detrimental to habitat, it actually has many benefits. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 21 – DU Chief Scientist Explains Hunting Pressure and the Impacts on Wintering Distribution (3 of 3)

Dr. Tom Moorman, DU's chief scientist, joins host Chris Jennings to discuss one of the biggest questions from last season, “Where were the ducks?” In this episode, Moorman focuses the conversation on hunting pressure, and how that can impact wintering waterfowl distribution. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript. 

Ep. 20 – DU Chief Scientist Talks Landscape Changes in Regard to Wintering Distribution (2 of 3)

Dr. Tom Moorman, DU's chief scientist, joins host Chris Jennings to discuss one of the biggest questions from last season, “Where were the ducks?” Moorman brings to light several landscape changes that can shift wintering distribution of waterfowl in North America. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.Read the transcript.

Ep. 19 – DU Chief Scientist Discusses Last Season’s Question “Where were the ducks?” (1 of 3)

Dr. Tom Moorman, DU's chief scientist, joins host Chris Jennings to discuss one of the biggest questions from last season, “Where were the ducks?” Moorman brings to light the perfect-storm of weather conditions that created frustrating waterfowl seasons for many throughout the country. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Bonus Episode – Migration Alert: Cold Front Should Push Remaining Waterfowl Out of Prairie Canada (Oct. 31, 2019)

Dr. Scott Stephens, Ducks Unlimited Canada’s director of operations for the prairie and Boreal Forest goes into detail about how the migration progressed across the Canadian Prairie Pothole Region. Stephens shares some insight into why the latest cold front will send the majority of waterfowl south. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.  Read the transcript.

 

Ep. 18 – Dr. Brasher Discusses Research Performed on Paired Drake Mallards Versus Unpaired Drake Mallards

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher discuss Brasher’s Master’s Degree research project that focused on learning what unpaired males did during the breeding period. His research worked to gain a better understanding and definition of bachelor groups that are not counted in waterfowl breeding surveys. Read the transcript.

Ep. 17 – Marsh Terracing in South Louisiana

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher discuss DU’s Marsh Terracing Projects in Coastal Louisiana. Marsh Terracing is one of the many ways DU, working with many partners, is combating marsh loss along the Gulf Coast. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.

Ep. 16 – Celebrity Chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois Joins the Show

Host Chris Jennings sits down with Chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois, celebrity chef and Ducks Unlimited supporter. Bourgeois talks about his affinity for the outdoors, wild game cooking, and growing up with DU in south Louisiana. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 15 – Notes from the 2019 North American Duck Symposium  

Host Chris Jennings is joined by co-host Dr. Mike Brasher from the North American Duck Symposium. Mike brings to light the fascinating research being done by waterfowl scientists all over the continent. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

 

Ep. 14 – Talking Blue-winged Ducks

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher talk about blue-winged ducks – blue-winged teal, cinnamon teal, and northern shovelers. Mike discusses these species unique abilities and what separates them from other waterfowl. He also provides an update on how these species’ names have been updated based on phylogenetic classing. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 13 – Waterfowl Staging Before Migration

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher discuss the unique life cycle period in which waterfowl stage on the prairie, preparing for migration. Ducks and geese alike have a singular focus at this time, which is also valuable information for hunters in these regions. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 12 – Tony Vandemore Joins the Show to Discuss Habitat Changes Caused by Spring  Flooding (Part 2 of 2)

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher catch up with Tony Vandemore, co-owner and operator of Habitat Flats. The crew discuss the habitat changes brought on by spring and summer flooding in Vandemore’s region of northwest Missouri and how this may impact migration and wintering. They also touch on 2019 Light Goose Conservation Order and a few other topics. Read the transcript. 

Ep. 11 – Tony Vandemore Joins the Show to Discuss Habitat Changes Caused by Spring and Summer Flooding (1 of 2)

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher catch up with Tony Vandemore, co-owner and operator of Habitat Flats. The crew discuss the habitat changes brought on by spring and summer flooding in Vandemore’s region of northwest Missouri and how this may impact migration and wintering. They also touch on 2019 Light Goose Conservation Order and a few other topics.  Read the transcript. 

Ep. 10 – Urban Mallard Research with Dr. Ben O’Neal (Part 2 of 2)

Host Dr. Mike Brasher discusses interesting research being done on urban mallards and the role they play in hunter harvest with Dr. Ben O’Neal. O’Neal serves as a wildlife ecology professor at Franklin College just south of Indianapolis and is studying the impacts of urban mallards in relation to harvest opportunities for hunters near metro areas. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you.

Ep. 9 – Urban Mallard Research with Dr. Ben O’Neal (Part 1 of 2)

Host Dr. Mike Brasher discusses interesting research being done on urban mallards and the role they play in hunter harvest with Dr. Ben O’Neal. O’Neal serves as a wildlife ecology professor at Franklin College just south of Indianapolis and is studying the impacts of urban mallards in relation to harvest opportunities for hunters near metro areas. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 8 – Jim Ronquest Joins the Show to Talk Ducks and Duck Calling

Host Chris Jennings talks with Jim Ronquest, RNT-V producer and world-champion duck caller about duck hunting etiquette, calling, and even what Ronquest’s best day of duck hunting may look like. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript. 

Ep. 7 – Speck Hunting with Brook Richard from Higdon Outdoors

Host Chris Jennings talks white-fronted goose hunting with Brook Richard, Higdon Outdoors manager of corporate relations. Richard is a respected white-fronted goose caller and hunter who offers insights into becoming a better specklebelly hunter. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript. 

Ep. 6 – 2019 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations Survey – Diving Duck Species

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher are joined by Dr. Tom Moorman, DU Chief Scientist to discuss the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) report on 2019 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations, based on surveys conducted in May and early June by FWS, Canadian Wildlife Service, and other partners. This episode focuses on diving duck species breeding estimates in the U.S. and Canada. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript. 

Ep. 5 – 2019 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations Survey – Green-winged teal, Gadwall, American Wigeon

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher are joined by Dr. Tom Moorman, DU Chief Scientist to discuss the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) report on 2019 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations, based on surveys conducted in May and early June by FWS, Canadian Wildlife Service, and other partners. This episode focuses on Green-winged teal, Gadwall, American Wigeon breeding estimates in the U.S. and Canada. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript. 

Ep. 4 – 2019 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations Survey – Blue-winged teal, Northern Pintails, Northern Shovelers

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher are joined by Dr. Tom Moorman, DU Chief Scientist to discuss the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) report on 2019 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations, based on surveys conducted in May and early June by FWS, Canadian Wildlife Service, and other partners. This episode focuses on blue-winged teal, northern pintails, and northern shoveler breeding estimates in the U.S. and Canadian Prairies. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 3 – Pond Counts throughout U.S. and Canada, along with a Mallard Population Discussion

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher are joined by Dr. Tom Moorman, DU Chief Scientist to discuss the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) report on 2019 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations, based on surveys conducted in May and early June by FWS, Canadian Wildlife Service, and other partners. This podcast focuses on Pond Counts and breakdown what pond counts are, and what that means for breeding habitat. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript. 

Ep. 2 – North American Waterfowl Populations (Waterfowl Survey Overview)

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher are joined by Dr. Tom Moorman, DU Chief Scientist to discuss the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) report on 2019 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations, based on surveys conducted in May and early June by FWS, Canadian Wildlife Service, and other partners.The trio dive into what the survey does for waterfowl managers and what it means for waterfowl hunters. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.

Ep. 1 – Introduction Show

Welcome to the Ducks Unlimited Podcast. Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher provide a brief overview of what to expect with the DU Podcast moving forward. The DU Podcast will focus on conservation, research, the science behind Ducks Unlimited mission, as well as hunting tactics and prominent guests throughout the waterfowl community. Download and subscribe to follow along with all things waterfowl as the DU Podcast brings the resource to you. Read the transcript.