Monday, August 10, 2009

Duck Action Congress - Notes from the 1st Meeting

I attended the kick off meeting of the Minnesota Duck Congress last Saturday at Game Fair. While there's lots that could generate complaints, I was overall surprised by the tone, and by the article that it subsequently generated by Dennis Anderson in last Sunday's StarTribune.
A couple of thoughts:
  • I think the "Voluntary Restraint" concept of shutting down shooting early and not shooting roosts is fine, but I think compliance will be token at best. Regardless, I respect the approach.
  • As long as we're on "Voluntary Restraint," I was disappointed that harvest of hens was something that was not considered.
  • Ron Schara gave a very impassioned speech on Minnesota's ditch laws, and he couldn't have been more right. Now this is something that we can all get behind as a piece of legislation that we can get pushed through. Outstanding.
  • " Amendment bucks for ducks." Hallelujah. The Constitutional Amendment effort started out as a duck initiative, and we need our fair share of the funding. Another one that should get staunch support.
  • Hunter recruitment was addressed as a significant need, and the conversation didn't devolve into a Youth Waterfowl debate. Everyone there recognized that we need to pull out all the stops to reverse this horrific trend, as the numbers of participants in their 20's and under is mortifying. Ours is a dying sport, and without recruitment, it is doomed, and likely sooner than we expect.

Overall, the tone was better than I expected, and they have some serious meat we can sink our teeth into. Despite my earlier frustration at direction, if this is the group's aim, I'm supportive. It will be an uphill battle, but one that must be fought.

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