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So, today was my first trip out to BRBR this season......WTF!? I have hunted Unit 3 for the past 6 years or so, and haven't ever seen it in such bad...BAD condition. Yeah, there were a TON of birds, but no cover to speak of. Does anyone have any idea why one of the greatest bird refuges in the west gets treated like s**t? You would think that a FEDERAL duck marsh would be in much better condition than that.

Just my two cents....what do you all think?
 

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Well I think it is called drought, when you have the hottest july on record and things dry up it is kind of hard to grow things.
 

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Most of the smaller impoundments are lower this year than last. They have two very large pumps out at harold crane pumping into the rainbow unit and GSL due to willard be so low that they cannot use it to fill these impoundments as they usually do. These are the years that responsible hunting and letting the hens go will pay off in the future when the water levels return provide more food and habitat.
 

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Is that better conditions for the hunter or for the hunted? The presence of plenty of birds should serve as an indication of suitable resting and feeding habitat. May be that it was poor for nesting but in the overall scope of things, Utah does very well for being a desert. (IMOH)
 

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dkhntrdstn said:
I agree with you.I think all of are WMA need to be taken care of better.
First off, Bear River Bird Refuge is NOT a DWR Waterfowl Management Area, (WMA). BRBR is a FWS Migratory Bird Refuge.

Second, if you really realized how much work it takes to manage a WMA you would understand! :? Sure anything could always be better...but it isn't easy. If only you knew how much work they really do...

I haven't been up to BRBR yet this year, heard plenty of stories though.
 

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Well part of the problem was they were keeping some areas (Area 2 was one of them) dry to allow the burnoff of the Phaq, which in and of itself IS A GOOD THING. I believe that they started filling those areas around 1 OCT. So the water level has risen contunily throughout season. Also the local farmers up in that local area have water rights for irrigation to a lot of that water, and I may be mistaken but I believe there is a set date to when the refuge can pull more flow in to flood units.

All in all those refuge guys do a hell of a job with little resources. IMO
 

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bugleboy said:
Second, if you really realized how much work it takes to manage a WMA you would understand! :? Sure anything could always be better...but it isn't easy. If only you knew how much work they really do...
+1

I can't believe how much you guys did this summer. Even more impressive is how much gets accomplished with the VERY limited budget that our fine state appropriates for one of its biggest assets - the outdoors.

Clay
 

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Most people do not understand the lack of money available to the WMA's and the division of wildlife resources. I am still in high school but have wanted to become a wildlife biologist. I have been getting my college applications and scholarships ready. I stopped and talked to a few biologists over the weekend and found out they do not make crap for what they do. The incoming biologists make like 30 thousand a year while the the top biologists at the WMA's only make 40 thousand a year. This tells me that money is slim and they are doing the best they can with what they have. The state needs to start putting money into the WMA's and the people that work there if we want the WMA's to become better and better. I personally am thankful for what the biologists and wildlife officers do. Without them this sport would have died a long time ago.
 

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The drought has really bashed the BRBR attempts to make things what they should be. However, they have done EVERYTHING they possibly could to make it what it is. Sure, Unit 2 never had water until after the Phragmities were burned. That was planned. And it needs to be done in the other units too. Three had water as soon as they could get it, the farmers up stream need their allotment too, and the BRBR gets last drops.

This year Unit 5 has had a bunch of h20 poured into it and it will house the swans and hold some birds for awhile. You might want to hunt around it this year.
As some have said, don't bad mouth those who are doing ALL they can with limited resources. Ask any one of them guys out there and they will tell you they are doing all they can...And I believe them! It's just one of those years. Northern flights are on their way (Bule Idaho reports large flocks today), they won't stay long because of the lack of groceries in the marsh, but we should still have a pretty good next few weeks! Enjoy!
 

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kinda funny how you get upset beacuse conditions change in a marsh. I am pretty sure i know where you are talking about in unit 3. i have hunted the refuge for many years and know it well. i would say this year has been better for me out there than in some of the past few years. scouting is the key! you just cant show up after some time of not being out there to know whats going on and expect birds to land in your spread all day long. thats why we call it hunting and not limiting out all the time. i have had some great hunts in unit 3. heck even in the middle of 3 where there is VERY little cover...wow i managed to pull down a few limits. so do your homework and figure out how to get to birds with very little cover. then when you do you can laugh at everone else who goes out and doesnt shot near as much as you do!

the water this year was strange, in years past the farmers didnt use it so late after the harvest they let most stay in the ditch. this year with grain being so high in profit they all planted grain and well after that they flood the field. so alot of water didnt get turned loose down the bear until first to mid oct.
 
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