The US Fish and Wildlife Service is now saying that regulatory decisions will be made using biological data observed the previous year. I don't know about you, but that concerns me a little bit. What about the weird weather events we have during the spring and summer? What about the spikes of birds that actually showed up on the breeding grounds? What about the impact the hunters had on the waterfowl this past season? I'm not so sure this is a good idea.
The federal government says it's necessary in order to allow adequate time for biologist to properly digest and review the heaping amounts of data gathered each year. Apparently each state does not have enough time to make the appropriate decision on bag limits from within the federal guidelines. Of course, you also have to allow time for public opinion and reviews before the season opener.
I understand the biologist need more time to make good fundamental decisions. However, making these decisions based on old data will probably put the biologists at a disadvantage, making it even harder to make the right decisions on bag limits and season dates.
I guess time will tell what impact, if any, this change will have. Whether good or bad, the show must go on. I guess the annual duck forecast that I always look forward to reading each year will still have the same great data... only it will be from the previous year. Maybe I will look at last years forecast and approach the season with the same excitement I had last year about the bluebill numbers. However, I hope this season will produce better results than the last! So I don't know about you, but I'm still moving forward making my plans for the upcoming season.