New Report Shows 2007 – 2008 Waterfowl Harvest
More than 14.5 million ducks were harvested in the United States during the 2007-2008 waterfowl hunting season, according to preliminary estimates by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This is up from 13.8 million ducks harvested the previous season. Hunters harvested almost 3.7 million geese, similar to the 2006-7 estimate. These figures come from a report called Migratory bird hunting activity and harvest during the 2007 and 2008 hunting seasons. The Service generates the estimates contained in this report based on surveys of selected waterfowl hunters through the cooperative State-Federal Harvest Information Program.
Almost one million duck hunters spent nearly seven million days in the field, up slightly from the previous season’s nearly 6.8 million days. More than 700,000 hunters spent approximately four million days hunting geese, which is similar to the 2006-2007 season.
In the Atlantic Flyway, approximately 1.7 million ducks were harvested during the 2007-2008 season, similar to the prior season. The 936,000 geese harvested in 2007 represent an increase from the 714,000 harvested the previous season.
In the Mississippi Flyway, approximately 6.7 million ducks were harvested, almost a half million more than the previous season. An estimated 1.3 million geese were harvested, similar to the previous season.
In the Central Flyway, hunters bagged nearly 2.7 million ducks last season, an increase of 200,000 birds. The harvest of more than 900,000 geese was similar to the previous season.
In the Pacific Flyway, hunters harvested more than 3.4 million ducks and almost 500,000 geese — both estimates similar to the 2006-7 season’s harvest. In Alaska, nearly 68,000 ducks were harvested, similar to the previous season. The goose harvest, at 6,800 birds, was slightly down from 7,500 birds in the previous season.
As has been in the past, mallards were the most prevalent duck bagged by hunters in the United States, with approximately 4.9 million birds harvested. Other dominant species this year were green-winged teal, with almost two million birds harvested, and gadwall, with nearly 1.5 million harvested. Wood ducks and blue-wing/cinnamon teal rounded out the top five hunted waterfowl with more than one million of each species harvested during the 2007-8 season.
Canada geese were the most prevalent geese harvested with almost 2.7 million birds taken. Snow geese were the second most popular goose species harvested, with an estimated 560,000 taken nationally.
The Service compiles this report each year to estimate waterfowl hunting activity, success and harvest by species. These surveys are used by the Service and State wildlife agencies, in part, to develop estimates of the number of all migratory birds harvested throughout the country, as well as to establish season lengths and bag limits designed to maintain healthy sustainable waterfowl populations.
The report is available on the Service’s Web site at Migratory Bird Hunting Activity and Harvest During the 2006 and 2007 Hunting Seasons, Preliminary Estimates, July 2008, or at www.flyways.us.