Ducks Unlimited Discussion

Submitted by trappersteph on 5/20/01. ( ) 64.12.96.136

This was being addressed in the wanted section, thought everyone else should see it. DU is greedy and anti trapping. Ok, you take up the rest of the discussion, I want to hear everyone's veiws. Thanks.

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A

This response submitted by michael S on 5/21/01. ( ) 205.188.208.234

hunting organization that is anti-trapping, how surprising. now you know what is wrong with the outdoor world and why the anti-whatevers are gaining ground, heck they are even getting a part of the P&R funds that come from the sale of hunting and fishing items. there are so many pro groups out there working for us, our money is spread so thin there really isnt one group large enough to really put any pressure on the government. the anti's bank account is huge. i said it before and i will say it again (sorry lars) we have to find some common ground get united, by simply voting and writing letters and making phone calls. hunting and or trapping is a way of life for many and without the conservation efforts and money from the sale of licenses, wildlife is going to suffer from loss of habitat etc...


Who said Dat?

This response submitted by Bill Gaither on 5/21/01. ( WILDART@prodigy.net ) 64.196.210.131

In an earlier post I mentioned that a lot of my donation effort went to DU. I have been a member for almost fifty years, and even during a time of intense personal disagreement with DU over past winter habitat policies, a fight the dissenters eventually won, I have maintained my membership.

Du is an 80 percenter, meaning that 80 percent or more of the annual funds raised go directly to wildlife conservation programs, research and habitat development and maintenance. DU publishes an annual financial statement which lists all data, as required by Federal Statute. This statement is a public record and leaves nothing to bar room speculation. The operation and maintenance of a global (now) organization which conducts circumpolar migration and population studies, as well as conducting active projects nationwide in the US, using just 20 percent of the funds received for administrative costs is doing far better that the US government and most major corporations. Many of the men in the expensive suits are volunteers, like me.

This week, the annual meeting is taking place in San Antonio, Texas. This morning, I discussed the anti-trapping matter with my fellow committee member, John Walker. John has been National Director of DU on four separate terms. The only man to have been nominated and elected to that post for that many terms. He is now heading up an International cabinet. He was packing to leave for the director's meeting while we chated this AM. He stated that there has never been an anti-trapping position held by DU. That he is unaware of any statement having ever been made to that end, and would like very much to have specific sources to that type of detrimental information.

John told me this morning that he would take this under advisement and table the trapping issue at this week's meeting. An official statement will be issued following the convention. While many of the DU projects under the 2000 plan involved farmer cooperatives and State and Federal mitigation, the basic issue of trapping on individual projects is left to statute and contract agreement. Many DU projects are living laborotories which are monitored for study of wild species interspecific competition and predator impacts. As such, wildlife is left undisturbed for all, or most of the year.

I am a trapper. I paid for a lot of my fancy education by selling hides, bits and pieces of critters forty or more years ago. I still trap if only as pest control favors for friends, or the enjoyment spending time in the field brings. I hope I never stop enjoying trading wits with a savvy boar mink or a man-wise bobcat, fox or coyote. During the early seventies, my entire DU Committee in Ohio took on the anti-trappers state wide and defeated the issue before the Ohio Legislature soundly. I personally appeared on numerous television shows with a representative of the ODNR to discuss the issue and debated on panel with the anti's and whupped their butts. I used to stick my hand in a number three onieda and spring it to show that it din't whack off my hand or cause crippling......(Then I would go off camera, backstage and cry.....lol..kidding).

There are rumours and rumours of rumours....We want facts. Who, What, and Where. No more BS speculation about what was heard, or what the first cousin of your daughter's mother-in-law said, but cold hard, black and white evidence of the matter at hand. It will be addressed later, after the director's meeting.

Ducks Unlimited has one single purpose, and that is to better the plight of our nation's waterfowl. While many DU projects are beneficial to other wetland and marsh species, most of what is done is for the web foots. No other mission statement exists. Individual members may have a personal agenda, but that is the right of every red-blooded American. DU is not anti anything, and always pro ducks.

Now, to address the original post that kicked off this nonsense, A stipend is, by definition, payment for services rendered, or an amount issued by share amounts over a specific time period. It is not a salary and is used to lure the services of graduate students desiring an internship to further their education. A "pay as you grow" concept that is used by industry, the sciences and other organizations. My son served a two year internship for the rich-a$$ed
U.S.of A. as a member of the "Peace Corps". He stuck his butt on the line by serving 24 months of his young life in a ^&*%$&%$##%$ Commie country and was paid a "Stipend" of $6,500.00 for the whole shebang. He is currently seeking his doctorate on a fellowship at the University of Ohio, (A yankee school, may my father forgive us!) and receives as stipend, $2,500.00 per semester and that is ummm....er....Hmmm......$833.33 per month. Maybe DU is wasting money, after all.


That's All Nice Bill

This response submitted by George on 5/21/01. ( georoof@aol.com ) 205.188.209.103

But I know of a LOT of organizations who publish their annual financial reports and you don't have to be a lawyer to see the "incidentals" that are leaked out. DU may be all the things you say (Oh, And I too am a member), but it has a hard time denying the remarks made by DU Canada Chairman in ridiculing the part hunters have played in the salvation of waterfowl after the elimination of market hunting. They also have a tough time denying what biologists nationwide have designated as the largest threat to waterfowl proliferation, PREDATORS and having a viable plan for trapping and eradicating the. Eighty percent is a whole lot of money which the majority goes to Canada who traditionally have longer seasons and larger bag limits that we impose on ourselves. Also, at this point in time, there's very little pot-hole acerage that hasn't been bought and paid for and by it's very intent, very low maintenance. It's tough to go by national headquarters and see the opulence in structures, facilities, and artwork. You're going to get a lot of disagreement out disbursement of those funds as well. DU mandates that ALL monies raised go directly to the National Headquarters and then it's doled back in miniscule amounts to some of our states, I know of one state where The American Deer Foundation, the non-profit wing of Buckmasters, donated wood so that the local Greenwings could have materials to construct duck boxes. PARDON ME? The National Wild Turkey Federation and Buckmasters mandate that over half their collections remain in the individual state to be used locally for what the local chapters deem worthwhile. DU has even sold it's trademark logo to many commercial venues which also garners additional funding.

More and more DU gatherings are comprised of the hoity toity who do not hunt and really don't support hunting. It's becoming a yuppie group who can tout fuzzy baby ducklings and not have to think about actually shooting and killing wild ducks.

Don't get me wrong, I think DU was inspired on a good and noble cause and have worked to get a renewable resource back on its wings, but I fear it's on a slippery slope much like the old Sierra Club was. Their either going to have to change their act or find a new theater pretty soon if they don't start catering to their hunting/fishing/trapping members instead of leeching them for the sake of political correctness.


a-hem...

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 5/21/01. ( ) 152.163.188.3

So, where is this anti-trapping issue with the boys at DU? Who HAS heard of it, and please DO be specific. Yes, I too am a trapper. I dont know enough about DU to say either way. I dont buy many artists prints...


Well George

This response submitted by Bill Gaither on 5/21/01. ( WILDART@prodigy.net ) 64.196.210.184

If you and I were to sit down and define our ideas of what constituted beauty in the opposite sex, I am sure two distinctly different profiles would emerge. If one of us washed up onto a desert island with one female inhabitant, that ideal would soon go out the nearest window. Such is my feeling about DU. It is not perfect, and never will be since it is a human organization. It is the model for all the other opportunistic "Me too" groups out to promote any particular sport and "save" something. The biggest difference is that it was formed by folks like "Ding" Darling and other concerned individuals to address the plight of North American waterfowl in the late 1930's, nearly two decades after the end of market hunting.

You are old enough to remember the annual crow shoots that DU used to sponser in answer to the predatory nature of that species. Those shoots were ended not because of a change of heart by DU, but treaties between the US and Mexico dealing with crows. The biggest predator problem concerning nesting waterfowl isn't mammals, with the possible exception of feral and domestic cats in the lower forty-eight. Crows, ravens and seagulls do far more damage to nesting waterfowl than do mammals. Every study I have read about predator and prey relationships reveals one very basic and accepted fact: Without prey, there are no predators. The predator/prey balance has been kept in check by natural process since the emergence of both groups.

Of course the bulk of DU money has tradionally gone to Canada,for two reasons: 1.) Most waterfowl return there annually to nest. 2.) The clearance of Canadian wetlands for agro purposes was occurring at an alarming rate and the solution was to purchase or contract those lands for nesting habitat maintenance.

The success of the whitetail deer and the eastern wild turkey is largely based on state funded projects initiated long before someone created a group to honor them. The return of habitat caused by forest regrowth in the wake poor forestry practices was the primary factor in the population growth of EDF species in the second half of the last century. Ohio, for example was once 95% forested and 5% grassland prairie or marsh. By 1950, the buckeye state was 5% forest and 95% agro or pasture land, as a result of clear cutting and land clearing. As forest habitat returned to Ohio, so too, did the whitetail, the turkey and the grouse. There are a lot of private organizations that do provide a great amount of assistance to the re-introduction of wildlife, but none have done so much for a group in general than has DU accomplished for waterfowl.

As far as wood duck boxes go, there have probably been more built by the BSA, 4H and other private groups than any state agency or DU. The mission statement of DU was to preserve the Canadian prairie habitat. I had a real problem with that over southern winter habitat and took it to all who would listen. Those of us who disagreed finally won out over the hard corps and now DU is involved in the lower 48 and Mexico. Addressing reduction in wood duck populations caused by spoilage of streams and loss of habitat, was not on the original DU agenda.

To say that the membership at large is not composed of hunters is a fact, simply because those of us at the core of the group bust our fannies each year to sell tickets to our banquest and events. Since a membership is included with the price of a ticket in most cases, the non-hunters and other guests are members, but that is by circumstance, and not by design. Many of the smaller chapter's members are nearly one hundred percent hunters and outdoorsmen.

I am not familar with the statement you attribute to the Canadian official, although I am acquainted with the individual. The "average" hunter has not made much of a personal contribution to the cause of wildlife preservation. The contribution by many is simply the purchase of a hunting license annually and not one iota of sweat equity in a lifetime of pursuit. The P-R funding received from the sale of items is about the only contribution and darn few of the buyers are aware of that. (Most think Pittman is the bottom guy on a well digging team.) Granted, a lot of folks are involved as I know you are, and my hat is off to them. Texas has more than 600,000 migratory bird hunters each year. If you made a call for volunteers to ditch and drain a portion of public hunting land, how many do you think would show up?

The National Wildlife Federation has probably done more for wildlife through its collective membership than all the Buck Masters and NWTF and DU groups will ever do, yet it maintains a low profile to this day. The licensed use of the DU logo is just another way to raise funds. It might not have been the best concept, and I was personally against it at the time. The current direction of DU is still on course with the original mission, and it is still a good bet for our continent's wildfowl into the forseeable future. The difference bewteen the hoity toity and us, George is that they got what we ain't got much of....money. In the center of that well maintained chest, under the high dollar suits, still beats the heart of a sportsman. The leaders of the pack still don those waders and climb into blinds each Fall. The only difference is that they may have a gun bearer and someone to row the boat, pick their ducks and prepare the meal at their private clubs..........I can't hate them for that, George, but I am jealous as all heck...........


Yox, that is my question too.....

This response submitted by Bill Gaither on 5/21/01. ( WILDART@prodigy.net ) 64.196.210.184

Well, who said what is important to the issue. This week the directors of Du will be trying to find that out. They have asked me to copy and send these threads to their national meeting for review.....They want to know too.

And Bill, now that I know that you don't buy wildlife art prints, you are off my Christmas list..........lol.....


all I know....

This response submitted by Trappersteph on 5/21/01. ( ) 205.188.208.234

...is what I had read at a few trappers forums and saw printed in the Trapper and Predator Caller Magazine. I too want to know more about this.A letter was published in this months T and PC requesting an article about DU's stance and whats going on, I second that.


"Gaither" or Bill, as I would call you

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 5/22/01. ( ) 205.188.209.103

I said I dont BUY prints (a shot at the latest DU trend) but I DO accept them as gifts very graciously! Leon Parsons would be my favorite, followed by Hayden Lambson, Carl Brenders or Ned Smith, in case anyone is keeping score at home.


Heck...I worked for DU and we trapped or hired trappers.

This response submitted by Jay on 5/23/01. ( ) 24.76.169.175

Guys I've never heard about DU's antitrapping policy but have participated in trapping beaver to control problems in maintaining marshes and water control structures. I'm up in Canada though and maybe its different with Y'all Americans.

Cheers_____________________________________Jason


IF

This response submitted by Michael S on 5/23/01. ( ) 205.188.208.103

D.U. is anti-trapping then they should lower their collective heads in shame. okay, so they have done a lot for a lot of things and even have a magazine geared toward children, if they want to draw a line in the sand and choose sides there for helping the anti's battle against trapping, i say WHOOPEE for all they have done. if this issue is true then what they have done doesn't count for much, you can't be pro duck, pro sportsman, pro gun and anti trapping or anti anything for the outdoors.
i dont trap and never have, i dont have the time or dedication it takes to run a proper trap line, i am all for trapping and those who wish to trap may do so if they wish and i will never have anything bad to say about it or them.
the last thing the outdoor society needs to do is divide ourselves into select groups, its sort of like the bowhunters who use compounds picking on the recurve/longbow guys or belittling the folks who choose crossbows. the more we become divided,the anti's get that much closer.
let cooler heads prevail and see what happens after the D.U. meeting, then those of us that are concerned,can then voice fact based opinions regarding D.U. and what to do with our memberships etc..


Since varmints are a large cause of duckling loss.

This response submitted by John C on 5/29/01. ( ) 208.44.115.79

How could they be anti-trapping. Seems like to promote trapping would add more ducks to the returning populations.


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