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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may not be popular with some of you boat owners, but what is the purpose of opening the WMA's early to boaters? Every year they open it up before the youth hunt (2 1/2 weeks before the regular opener) and they keep it open to boats from that point on. I'm sure some of you will say you need time to scout out areas and such, the truth is you could do that from walking or biking and use binos to do the scouting. Every year I hear guys asking "when can we run boats" "I need to test out my new boat" I don't think you have to be on a WMA to do that, go run your boat somewhere else. The bottom line is this.....IMO opening day has really suffered the last few years in part I believe due to opening the WMA's to boats 2 1/2 weeks before the regular season opener. Before people start jumping my a$$ just know I have a duck boat/mudmotor and have done so for a dozen years. I'm not one of those anti boat-mudmotor guys by any means, I think the quality of the opener is not what it used to be and could possibly be improved. Maybe have the WMA's open to boats for one week after the youth hunt and shut it down for the final week before the regular season. This would still give guys a chance to scout and test their boats. This is just my opinion and I'm sure there are others that feel different, but I do not see the point of running boats weeks ahead of the opener.
 

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I agree. Open it on the youth hunt for that day. After that day close it back down tell the opener. there no reason to have it open that long for boats to be ran. Let the ducks and geese get some more rest before the opener.
 

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Wouldn't you say mud boat popularity in general has birds using impoundments less? I am not for restricting it by any means. But for all the guys jumping on paddler, maybe he made more sense. Here are two mud boat guys all for restricting it before the opener, so why not have mud motor rest days during the season? makes just as much sense or even more.. You guys are talking about closing it for two weeks before the hunt just for the success of 1 day? What about the success of the whole season?? Wouldn't mud motor "rest" days help as well?? I don't think that would fly nor do I think you guys would want that. Just have to accept the fact that mud motors have become the atv's of duck hunting. That's why I usually hunt areas away from them but good thing utah has a bunch of ducks. Plenty for all of us who do it differently to be happy!
 

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I think a boat rest day is a great idea.Most of the private clubs have rest days from hunting.(not that I ever get to go to them)-O,-
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I am definitely not for restricting boats during the season, only the week prior to the hunt.8) Most guys (foot soldiers) will not put that much effort into walking where boats will go (or where ducks go for that matter) anyway so it would be pointless to restrict boats for a rest day.;-)
When is the last time you saw anyone use the foot bridges on Turpin before it froze? Never........
 

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I am definitely not for restricting boats during the season, only the week prior to the hunt.8) Most guys (foot soldiers) will not put that much effort into walking where boats will go (or where ducks go for that matter) anyway so it would be pointless to restrict boats for a rest day.;-)
When is the last time you saw anyone use the foot bridges on Turpin before it froze? Never........
I guess I just don't understand why you would care about restricting mud motor access for the sake of 1 day of hunting??? If mm traffic leads to birds not using an area. Than wouldn't you want a system in place that helps throughout the entire season???? Again, I don't want to restrict mm access at all. But if you are talking about resting an area free of mm's just for better quality experience for 1 day, than with that logic you would think rest days periodically would be of benefit for the entire season and not just one day? I think this lack of water is what has hurt the openers. Those birds have to travel a long way to the lake and same goes for coming back once they are spooked off of the impoundments. They aren't in there thick along the lake really close to the impoundments like usual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
The opener draws the largest crowd of the year. Some guys only hunt opening day and they are done. IMO it would give everyone a better chance to shoot a duck.
Ducks migrate during the season so there are always new birds pushing through,
therefore I don't see the need to rest an area from boat traffic.
Everyone knows that once the shooting starts a lot of those birds are not coming back. You may as well get a crack at them on the opener when they are in the WMA's thick.
 

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The opener draws the largest crowd of the year. Some guys only hunt opening day and they are done. IMO it would give everyone a better chance to shoot a duck.
Ducks migrate during the season so there are always new birds pushing through,
therefore I don't see the need to rest an area from boat traffic.
Everyone knows that once the shooting starts a lot of those birds are not coming back. You may as well get a crack at them on the opener when they are in the WMA's thick.
I hear ya. but if it's poor hunting than that just mean they will be less inclined to come back!!!!;)
 

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When is the last time you saw anyone use the foot bridges on Turpin before it froze? Never........
Hunters use the sixth bridge to hunt that small ring of phrags all the time... and I retrieved a coot using the fourth bridge once. 'Nuff said. Let's institute some mud motor rest days.

And yes, I don't see any logic in opening up the WMA's to boats for weeks before the opener. I'd be happy to see that changed. In fact, I could even go for a full closure of WMA's on the final few days before the season. Anything to reduce pre-season pressure would help the hunting on opening day.
 

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I don't think keeping it closed is going to accomplish anything because as soon as the season opens your going to have TONS of boats ripping and roaring anyways.

Your talking about the difference of keeping those birds in there for a few more weeks during a time they can't be hunted anyways..

FM, you know how I hunt. would you want to start that kind of a scouting trip from the parking lot with a bike?? (certain details I will not get into)

I don't think it blows too many ducks ducks off, if any... I think it is the fact of having a decoy set up in/around every patch of frag with sky busters sitting amongst them never letting the birds come rest in the water to begin with, every day of the week.

IF, anything and that is a BIG IF (because our public land is becoming too restricted these days) I would be more open to rest days during the week over not being allowed entry for pre season scouting....................just my thoughts.


You know FM, I think I know what it is.. with the shoveler decoys and now this!?! you just have a case of cabin fever! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't think keeping it closed is going to accomplish anything because as soon as the season opens your going to have TONS of boats ripping and roaring anyways.

Your talking about the difference of keeping those birds in there for a few more weeks during a time they can't be hunted anyways..
It would be great for opening day though.

FM, you know how I hunt. would you want to start that kind of a scouting trip from the parking lot with a bike?? (certain details I will not get into)
NO definitely I would not. I know you work your a$$ off for your birds.

I don't think it blows too many ducks ducks off, if any... I think it is the fact of having a decoy set up in/around every patch of frag with sky busters sitting amongst them never letting the birds come rest in the water to begin with, every day of the week.

The last few openers have been tough for a lot of guys. I'm sure the bagged bird counts will reflect this.

IF, anything and that is a BIG IF (because our public land is becoming too restricted these days) I would be more open to rest days during the week over not being allowed entry for pre season scouting....................just my thoughts.
I don't want to see any restrictions once the season opens. I don't see any way to accommodate rest days because not everyone is able to hunt weekends/weekdays. People have different work schedules and it would not be fair to them.

You know FM, I think I know what it is.. with the shoveler decoys and now this!?! you just have a case of cabin fever! :)
You know I do. I have been painting decoys and rigging new ones for a week now.:grin:
 

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When is the last time you saw anyone use the foot bridges on Turpin before it froze? Never........
On a more serious note, though, I can tell you why they don't get used. It's because walk-in hunters can't really compete with boaters in places like Turpin. When my dad and I started duck hunting, we tried to hunt similar places, but the ducks usually preferred the boaters' decoy spreads (which were much larger than we could realistically pack out). It didn't take long to realize there were better ways for us to hunt ducks.
 

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I agree the marsh has gotten a heck of a lot more pressure with boats than ever before, but I don't think that is why the opener sucks more or the season is any worse. I think it comes down to less water.
We have a lot more hunters but we also are boasting record bird counts. The continuous trend of less and less moisture with the growth of more and more phragmitie is the problem. The birds are stopping for less amount if time due to lack of feed and loafing areas taken away by phragmitie. Get rid of phragmitie you'll see more ducks!
TB
 

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I think the boaters help me out considering the kind of spots I hunt. I kill a lot more ducks on weekends than I do during the week.
 

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Wouldn't you say mud boat popularity in general has birds using impoundments less? I am not for restricting it by any means. But for all the guys jumping on paddler, maybe he made more sense. Here are two mud boat guys all for restricting it before the opener, so why not have mud motor rest days during the season? makes just as much sense or even more.. You guys are talking about closing it for two weeks before the hunt just for the success of 1 day? What about the success of the whole season?? Wouldn't mud motor "rest" days help as well?? I don't think that would fly nor do I think you guys would want that. Just have to accept the fact that mud motors have become the atv's of duck hunting. That's why I usually hunt areas away from them but good thing utah has a bunch of ducks. Plenty for all of us who do it differently to be happy!
Here my thing on it. Doring those two weeks you got guys out there just running all over the place just to burn some gas up. Doring the season you got boat running out there and finding a place and hunting. they are not just running around the pond and keeping the ducks up in the air. You make it a day closed to boats you better just close the whole wma for that day to every one not just mm guys. Yes i have a boat and i dont run it on the wmas tell the season starts. i run it one day on the youth fair to help out other then that it sit loaded up waiting for the season to start. Yes the water and phrag is a big problem. also the weather it way to hot to hunt the last couple years. I scout every year and how i do it i drive my truck out there park and walk to a bridge if there is one and pull my binos out and start glassing. If there not one i sit in my truck and glass around tell dark. I learn witch way the ducks and geese are flying.
 

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I think closing it after the youth day until the opener isn't a bad idea. I surely am not anti mud motor obviously, but there are other places to run these boats during the OFF season that are not as invasive. The problem with a thread like this one is that if you give an inch there will always "someone" that will jump on and take a mile. The OP was closure of WMA's to boats while it's the off season, immediately that turned to close this, close that, rest days and Paddler agenda????? WTH It is the exact same as a gun debate. I don't personally own a "black" gun nor do I necessarily think regular John America needs an arsenal of automatic weapons but if you give the anti's an inch we will be shooting ducks with sling shots on short order. So back to topic, if you think it should be closed take it to the RACK and propose it. I think it's a decent idea simply because there is a big difference to idling around checking bird concentrations and racing your new boat around for hours bumping birds. Not everyone understands that. There are plenty of great places to drive a boat in the off season, go have some fun. Better yet, take a bowfishing bow and have a riot!
Happy Hunting
 

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i agree the marsh has gotten a heck of a lot more pressure with boats than ever before, but i don't think that is why the opener sucks more or the season is any worse. I think it comes down to less water.
We have a lot more hunters but we also are boasting record bird counts. The continuous trend of less and less moisture with the growth of more and more phragmitie is the problem. The birds are stopping for less amount if time due to lack of feed and loafing areas taken away by phragmitie. Get rid of phragmitie you'll see more ducks!
Tb
this!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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I think closing it after the youth day until the opener isn't a bad idea. I surely am not anti mud motor obviously, but there are other places to run these boats during the OFF season that are not as invasive. The problem with a thread like this one is that if you give an inch there will always "someone" that will jump on and take a mile. The OP was closure of WMA's to boats while it's the off season, immediately that turned to close this, close that, rest days and Paddler agenda????? WTH It is the exact same as a gun debate. I don't personally own a "black" gun nor do I necessarily think regular John America needs an arsenal of automatic weapons but if you give the anti's an inch we will be shooting ducks with sling shots on short order. So back to topic, if you think it should be closed take it to the RACK and propose it. I think it's a decent idea simply because there is a big difference to idling around checking bird concentrations and racing your new boat around for hours bumping birds. Not everyone understands that. There are plenty of great places to drive a boat in the off season, go have some fun. Better yet, take a bowfishing bow and have a riot!
Happy Hunting
I swear reading comprehension is lacking but here I go again.. My post was to point out the Irony of two mud motor guys wanting to close down the marsh for a couple of weeks for the sake of one day of hunting because they feared that it was mud motor pressure that was negatively effecting quality of hunting... So with that logic why wouldn't it be a season long thing if that's the issue, like paddler always says... Which I quickly pointed out wouldn't work nor would be in favor of... I then pointed out that it was mainly lack of water that was the issue but that was all glossed over and was praised many posts later by someone else who wrote it! :-o :D
 

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It must be the off season...:mrgreen:
I personally think it's a silly idea to close the WMA's to boat/foot/auto traffic after the youth hunt. I realize that no one has mentioned foot or auto traffic but I figured I'd throw those out there as they also displace birds. If the point is to not bother birds prior to the opener then the answer is to lock the gates at the entrance of each WMA until 12:01 Saturday morning then let the circus begin!! (I'm obviously not in favor of this)
 
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