[Tweeters] Interesting conversation with a Game Warden

Walter Kuciej WALTERK74 at comcast.net
Thu Nov 14 13:00:21 PST 2013

Yesterday we were leaving Eide Rd after dark, and stopped to talk with the friendly F+W guy. Learned a few things:
Pheasant hunters have to wear orange; duck hunters don't.
The area is stocked 3X weekly with 40-60 birds.
The end of legal shooting time is adjusted periodically based on the length of the day, not necessarily "sunset", which is too subjective.
Any changes to the Eide Rd. site will take years. Ducks Unlimited is the driving force here, not the Audubon society or any birding group.
He was surprised at how many $100 citations he gives to birders who did not get a Discovery Pass, but feel entitled to use the Wildlife areas anyway.
He was also amazed at how many "listers" come long distances to see a rare bird, and not only don't get a pass, but trespass on private property as if they have some right to do so, not being hunters.This also happens with more casual birders. We saw it on Thomle Rd. when the Snowy Owls were there last winter. People just walking across the field who said it was "public land", or maybe too cheap to buy the $10 permit from the farmer "What farmer?" Not everyone reads tweeters.
This has resulted in areas being closed to the public by normally friendly landowners who would probably give permission if asked. He mentioned once having to close a public area that was being overrun by birders. As always, a small group can give a bad name to those who play by the rules.
If a Discover Pass ($30, think of it as a "birding license") and a Federal Duck Stamp ($15, which goes to buy land for refuges) seem excessive, ask yourself how much you spend on optics, apps, gas etc.
I know many birders have somewhat negative opinions of hunters, but if it weren't for them, we'd have a lot fewer places to go.

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