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Louisiana Ducks Should Be Safe from Drought, For Now

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Louisiana ducks are avoiding the affects of bad drought conditions.

The Times-Picayune reported that despite doomsday speculation from Louisiana duck hunters, the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) won’t see poor duck numbers this year.

The PPR has seen high levels of rainfall for years, leading hunters to believe a swing in the opposite, ultra-dry direction is imminent.

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That would greatly affect the duck population in the area, but Ducks Unlimited, North America’s largest and most influential waterfowl conservation organization, says it will be above average conditions once again in Louisiana’s duck hunting lands this fall.

The Prairie Pothole Region covers 300,000 square miles from Iowa to Alberta, Canada, and produces up to 70 percent of North America’s waterfowl.

Image via USFWS
Image via USFWS

The ultimate affect droughts have on waterfowl boil down to nest cover.

Ducks and most other waterfowl make their nests in the grassland areas near ponds and swamps.

When rainfall is adequate, the grasses are thick and provide more cover, therefore protecting the ducks and their eggs from predators.

When rainfall is poor the grasses are not as lush, and waterfowl and their offspring are more vulnerable.

This time of year is critical for the next generation of ducks and geese, as the hens are in the process of building nests and incubating eggs.

The eggs of Canada geese should start hatching any day, and the first mallard and pintail eggs will begin to hatch in a few weeks, according to Ducks Unlimited.

Do you anticipate better than normal duck hunting this year?

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Louisiana Ducks Should Be Safe from Drought, For Now