Say good-bye to Moto

Mike Riley

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It's finally came down to it. DFG has the data (even though they are soft playing it in this news release) and its good-bye moto or hello strict mallard restrictions. Can you say bye-bye, I know I can.
****CDFG SCHEDULES PUBLIC HEARINGS TO DISCUSS POSSIBLE MOTODUCK
REGULATIONS****

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Fish and Game has
scheduled four public meetings to discuss the possible regulation of
rotating-wing decoys. For or against, if you would like your voice to
be heard regarding these controversial devices, plan on attending one
of the meetings.

They are scheduled as follows:

May 4, Sacramento, CDFG Resources Building Auditorium, 1416 Ninth
St., 6:00-8:00 p.m.

May 7, Long Beach, City Council Chambers, 333 West Ocean Blvd., 6:00-
8:00 p.m.

May 8, Redding, Redding Civic Center, 777 Cypress Ave., 6:00-8:00 p.m.

May 10, Oakland, Elihu Harris State Building, 1515 Clay St., 6:00-
8:00 p.m.

The following is the official news release:

The Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) is planning public hearings in
Sacramento, Oakland, Long Beach and Redding regarding the possible
regulation of mechanical duck decoys in California. The Fish and Game
Commission will also discuss and possibly decide the issue at
regularly scheduled meetings.

In the last two years, the use of mechanical duck decoys - also known
as spinning-wing decoys, "moto-ducks" or "roto-ducks" - has
increased, and so has the debate about whether they should be
permitted for waterfowl hunting. Some hunters claim that widespread
use of the devices will dramatically increase the waterfowl harvest,
resulting in the need to reduce bag limits and seasons. Others,
however, feel the devices will help recruit and maintain hunters by
increasing hunter success.

CDFG, in cooperation with the University of California at Davis;
California Waterfowl Association; United States Geological Survey,
Biological Resources Division; the Central Valley Habitat Joint
Venture; and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been collecting
and assessing data on the possible impact of these devices. Data
include information on the harvest, harvest rates, and the population
status of ducks breeding and wintering in California. In reports to
the Fish and Game Commission, the CDFG has not, to date, been able to
discern any biological effect. However, results from last year's
hunting season and other yet-to-be-completed assessments may warrant
a different conclusion and the CDFG may be making recommendations to
the Fish and Game Commission regarding mechanical decoy use prior to
the 2001-2002 waterfowl hunting season.

The Fish and Game Commission has also scheduled three meetings to
discuss and adopt hunting regulations for waterfowl. These meetings
are scheduled for June 15 at the Memorial Hall in Bridgeport; August
4, a Saturday, at the Resources Building Auditorium in Sacramento;
and August 24 in Santa Barbara at the City Council Chambers. For more
information, contact the Commission at (916) 653-4899 or through the
Internet at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fg_comm/index.html.
 

Fubar

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OK guys. Now that there is going to be discussion about MOTO decoys by the DFG lets take a poll. Are you for or against using MOTO decoys and why? I dont have one and have never used one. Do any of you have them? How do they work for you?      Thanks    Fubar
 

Fubar

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Mike I clicked on the link at the bottom of your post and it says that page does not exist.   Fubar
 

Jay

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I've got one, but it's lame compared to some of the two foot spinning wings I've seen.

I say good riddance. I'm tired of worrying about batteries. I just want to toss out my dekes and shoot some ducks on a level playing field.

How long till duck season?

If we ban the motos can we start a month early?

                               




(Edited by Jay at 4:47 pm on April 19, 2001)
 

Scank

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I hope the moto is gone. This will stop inferior clubs posting artificial harvest numbers. The quality clubs will again reign the roost. Even though the moto was not effective for the last 80 days of the season it is only right to outlaw them. We need more regulation and should consider a reduced mallard limit in conjunction with the moto ban. A year and a half slanted study conducted by the CWA and thier partner in Davis should not call for a moto restriction. We need more data.
They better ban everything that moves because people are currently working on devices to replace the rotating wing.
 

E A Hunt

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Time to pay the piper huuuugh.

I said it over a year ago that sooner or later they were going to take birds or reduce our days. For all of you that say it's not that effective. Well you don't know jack. I saw this thing work all year long.

I hope it's banned but I think we'll get less birds or less days instead. Lotta money involved with these things.

How about this secenero.......You go to the check station and they ask you if your moto or non moto.
Motoers get a five bird limit non motoers get seven.

How much would this reduce the take on the birds ?

How many of you that use it would think twice about taking it out of the bag ?

Ban it I say. I'll still do allright.  it's get's old listening to that damn thing whinning all day in the marsh.
 

Greenhead

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I hate motos. Don't have one and I won't have one. While it's true that on some days they don't work, it's also true that on some days they are down right lethal. I've seen guys who couldn't have got a limit of ducks in a week shoot a limit in an hour, thanks to the moto.

If I get a vote, ban the moto and leave the season long. If needed to bring the population back up, cut the limit to five birds. I've never weighed in on the issue before because folks got so fired up, but that's my two cents.

Scank, what makes you say it's a biased study? Do tell.
 

mtngoat

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I've never used one and likewise wouldn't care if they banned them. I never got one because they were too much money and looked like a gimmic when they came out. I hunted a pond in parker,AZ last season next to some guys who had one and it didn't make a difference for us or them. The ducks had already been hunted on the pond and/or were already moto-shy. In the same area a couple years back on the last day of the season we found a mud puddle in the midddle of the desert and got a limit within an hour with no decoys at all. The ducks were attacking the puddle. Point is that I really don't care one way or the other, my best duck hunt has been with no decoys at all.
 

Scank

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Greenhead, have you seen the study..The only statistics are the DFG's comparison table...18% fewer ducks harvested this year at the refuges. If the mallards are down cut the mallard limit. Don't cut the length of the season or start banning special devices after just a year and a half of use. I don't use the roto myself but I've seen it in action and  still don't believe it has the same impact later in the season. Maybe the secret study will shed light on this. Rot water is a larger problem..
 

jerry d

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Couldn't care one way or the other. I've made "goal post" types for friends but I haven't, as of yet, used one and it's none of my business if someone else chooses to use them as long as it's legal. But if un-biased scientific studies, not "I saw, he saw" studies, show the moto has a lasting detrimental effect, then something must be done.

Something doesn't seem right here. Why hold meetings to discuss this issue when the article stated "the DFG HAS NOT, TO DATE, BEEN ABLE TO DISCERN ANY BIOLOGICAL EFFECT. However, results of last years hunting season and other YET-TO-BE COMPLETED ASSESSMENTS may warrent a different conclusion and the CDFG MAY BE making recommendations to the Fish and Game Commission regarding mechanical decoys use PRIOR to the 2001-2002 waterfowl hunting season".

Just wondering why, or if, these meetings will be held before the current studies are brought forth or if the current studies will indeed be made public.

Is the Dept. of Fish & Game holding "moto popularity" meetings to determine what should be done. If so, they're shirking their duties. Just stand up and make a decision from valid scientific evidence without a popularity vote, then let the chips fall where they may.

Has anyone seen the "results of last season and yet-to-be-completed-assessments".

If all the facts are not present for an informed decision to be made - there's a terrible odor in the air!!!!

My opinion.
 

tommyo

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Makes me wonder what is the agenda at work here.  Again, funding for a scientific study has taken place - let it be thorough and complete.  We hunters and fisherman are terribly vulnerable to press releases containing bad science (i.e. mountain lion, salmon) that eliminate access to our sports.
 

Speckmisser

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Hey Jerry,

Good, rational post.  I think the reason they're starting these hearings is because of the amount of debate the motos have created... all the noise must indicate an issue, so the folks at DFG are looking to head it off.  I'm also betting that the preliminary numbers comparing moto-rized take vs. non-moto show some shocking results.  Due diligence and all that, right?  

I don't and won't use moto, but I do use a kite and wind-socks.  They sure don't have the effect I've seen with moto, though.  That effectiveness runs right through the season, too, from my experience... including closing day, when I watched the two blinds down from me at Sac slay birds all day, pulling birds literally halfway across the refuge.  

That said, I'm not really for blindly banning anything without good support for the negative impacts.  However, I'd much rather see them banned than to see any reduction in the seasons or bag limits.  So if it came to that choice...
 

KID CREOLE

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I have mixed feelings on the use of motos, yes me and my buddies own them and have used them.  We started using them to level the playing field, we saw guys suck birds away from us with them.  The good thing about banning them is that those of us who have learned how to be successful through good calling, choosing good spots, adjusting to weather conditions and invested lots of money in good quality decoys will continue to be successful.  Lets get back to traditional duck hunting instead of duck killing
 

steve

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I would rather see the moto's go rather than seeing a shortening of the season.The season already goes by way to quickly.the only thing I would really like to see is real science done.Instead of just opinions then ban the moto's
 

Duck Fan

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If you read everyone's various opinions on Motos, you will see that the following words are used most often (even on the CWA site where they provide some insight):

Words such as:

"potential"
"may"
"managers lack information"
"biologists can provide little insight"
"Anecdotal information suggests "
"if"
"but we stress the need for quantitative information "
"We need to know more"
"It is premature to draw conclusions about any of these possible effects."
"appears"

and it goes on and on.....

I have never used a moto - but I plan on trying it this year to see for myself.  But, before we ban them (or any other mechancial decoy such as swimmers, tip ups that vibrate, torpedo motors, bilge pumps that spray water, etc), I hope we have specific data to support it.  
 
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3curljohnny

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i tried to refrain from posting but i just couldn't take it any longer. some prior posts stated the ONLY determining factor of this issue, research, does not indicate a detrimental effect of overall pops.it is appauling to me that a few posts here,(i won't mention names but his initials start with E.A.) recommend that we rush to banning something without the neccessary research. as was mentioned earlier, it was just a few years back through "public opinion" we banned mountain lion,add to that a good portion of bear season,lowered salmon quotas and highly restrictive logging regs. because of these meetings. we as sportsmen need to see through this DFG b.s. and stand against an infringement on our hunting rights.DFG is trying to take the easy way out and ban something they don't care to get involved with  by taking  joe citizen and the anti's word that this thing is detrimental. it's time people that we unite as sportsmen and make it clear to DFG that they should get back to biologically based management decisions instead of public opinion before the refuge you may hunt on becomes a preserve due to "public opinion". make the effort to attend one of these meetings and express your opinion not only for us but future hunting generations
 

Mike Riley

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I am writing this around another post I made, but I think it applies here.  DFG does have biology here and they are waiting for the last few pieces before they come public at these forums.  Depending on these last counts and some banding data, they may or may not have to take action prior to this season.  Better that they are making you aware of the situation and there is a very good chance that action will have to be taken.  It is better that they are proactive in the process than just spring a moto ban at the last minute after data indicates some action must be taken.  So don't get on this DFG "takes away this and that" kick.  This is just managing within the waterfowl framework.  If action needs to be taken, the choice is method(moto) or season length.  Either way some folks aren't going to be happy, but if it is needed to protect populations and not endanger future seasons, tough.  I hunted the 4 bird - 49 day seasons years ago and don't want to visit that again or worst yet even more restrictive framework. So heres the other post:

The UC, Davis study wasn't done by a "Bunch of Liberals" - it was done by the waterfowl folks in the Biology dept. Almost all these folks are hunters. The observers for the study were hunters who were/are waterfowl biology majors. The study also was never intended to give you total harvest numbers or if redistribution took place. The study was to prove or disprove the effectiveness of the moto. The early season resulted in a harvest ratio of between 7-6 to 1 in favor of the moto. By late season the moto advantage had dropped to between 3-2 to 1. Still very a significant number for effectiveness. Ducks do not have a well developed long term memory so we know the effectiveness should continue like this every year, but there is now one new difference. There are far more motos in the field than at the time of testing. So we are still seeing the same type of moto advantage numbers, but it is spread out amongst multiple motos in a given area.
Now DFG has done a harvest number survey. The high early harvest seems to create some problems. We are killing record numbers of mallards the first 2 weeks of season. The young and the stupid die early. In Ca this presents another problem, our mallards are local to the flyway and are for the most part all here Day One. There is no learning curve during migration through less hunting pressured areas. In a year where overall harvest was down 19%, the mallard harvest was one of the highest on record and 49% of that came in the first 2 weeks of a 100-day season. It is becoming clear to DFG that they must take some action. One hope both DFG & CWA have voiced is an increase in the male sprig limit. We have 4 to 5 times as many pintail as mallards wintering in CA. Yet our limits for pintail is one and our mallard limit is 7. Increasing the pintail limit would take a lot of pressure off the mallards. With the now proven stability of pintail populations outside of the Canadian Prairie region this should be a real possibility, but chances of the USFWS doing this are slim(old habits die hard). The other more likely alternatives seem to be a more restrictive season or restrictions on moto. I hear folks saying restrict the mallard bag, but that really doesn't work. Biologist know that hunters will shoot an average of number of mallards per day- no matter what the limit is unless the daily limit is lowered to very near or below that average. So we would get a daily mallard limit of 1 or 2 to make a restriction that doesn't involve season length. You want to see more hunters in the sport - a 1 pintail, 1 or 2 mallard limit is not the way to do it. Redistribution is not a problem - total harvest and timing of that harvest seem to be presenting the problem. We must give DFG credit here, they realized we have a problem, but are going to let the hunting community have a say in how the solution is crafted. If after the spring nesting pair counts measures must be taken, they are asking for our input as to which ones to take. They must work within the federal framework, so you either get seasonal restrictions, method restrictions or some combination of both. Our answers will help decide DFG’s direction. That is a far cry for the past. Majority rule - the way it should be. My vote is obvious, but to each their own.
 

Duck Fan

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As I have stated prior, it is interesting (I think) to note that at the DFG's Feb 2, 2001 meeting in Sacramento -   Deputy Director Mansfield discussed the department's written report and reported that the Department is unable to detect any population declines due to the use of a mechanical duck decoy.

THEN...at the April 5th meeting in Monterey, this is what was noted: "Sonke Mastrup provided the department's report and reported that preliminary hunter harvest data may indicate that success is slightly higher using mechanical duck decoys.

Maybe they are looking at different data (?), but words such as "unabel to" and "may" don't appear to me to allow for a firm conclusion....yet.
 

Scank

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Get ready for a shorter season. The CWA will not accept the DFG report as oulined at the Feb. 2nd and April 5th season. They will lobby the DFG and stress the moto ban or a shorter season. The CWA will find themselves backed into a corner and to save face will have to accept a more restrictive season. The facts are not there or seem to be very weak regarding the moto ban. This should not be even on the table for discussion until a detailed study is completed. Don't buy into the CWA propaganda, the majority of the Adminstration and Directors would do anything to ban the moto including accepting a shorter season. Watch out...
 
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3curljohnny

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mike riley, first of all i ask what in the sam hill does CWA have to do with our duck season? as i understand it is mandated by the feds and proportioned by our DFG. are you insinuating that CWA has an influence on this, if so i resign my 8 year membership. second, your "proactive" approach is B.S. for you to impliy that this is a "this and that issue" makes me think think that constructive criticism and public review of our DFG is irrelevant to you. if statistics are compiled from our valley refuges, isn't that site specific?? this is a big state and flyaway and contrary to your belief we harvest ducks  in all reaches of this state.your "it's better they tell us approach" insults our intelligence in my opinion.although i understand our esteemed CWA wouldn't do such a thing, how can an organization endorse legislation, whether pro or con, without representing our statewide hunters?finally, mike riley, i hunted the 7 spring days years ago and as you stated there are record numbers in our state now. maybe it's time that CWA recognizes that we are not a "significant"mallard rearing state and regress to what it was intended to be, an organization of CA waterfowlers with the interest of keeping our monies for our local habitats, not creating a new beuracracy!
 

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