The Winter issue of California Waterfowl will soon be landing in members’ mailboxes, and we’ve got some great stories for our readers! Not a member? If you join now by clicking here, then email Editor Holly Heyser at firstname.lastname@example.org, she’ll mail you a copy of this issue.
Here are some of the highlights:
On the cover: Associate Editor Wayne Tilcock photographed opening day at CWA’s Sanborn Slough duck club in the Butte Sink and captured this image of Anil Bembey of Santa Rosa as he scanned the skies for birds (read more here). Bembey was one of 10 lucky hunters who hunted there that day through CWA’s Hunt Program. CWA purchased the property this summer, and 468 people will experience waterfowl hunting there this season through the Hunt Program. Learn more about Sanborn Slough here.
Page 8 – Unethical shots, and how to make them ethically: We know there are shots that have a high likelihood of crippling birds that we then won’t be able to retrieve. No one wants that. But if you like pushing the envelope on your shooting, shotgun writer Phil Bourjaily has tips for mastering those dicey shots and putting those birds in the bag instead of leaving them for the scavengers.
Page 16 – Gear Guide: Many of CWA’s staff are avid hunters, and they put a variety of gear to the test in the opening weeks of the season.
Page 22 – First duck ever: Editor Holly Heyser thought shooting her first duck ever was going to be hard—after all, she was a pretty poor shot at that point. But it turned out the shooting was the easy part; it was everything that came after that made the story of her first duck a disaster.
Page 30 – Want more mallards? Do something about it! It wasn’t so long ago that California consistently killed more mallards than we do now. The mallard was our No. 1 bird for seven of eight seasons between 1999 and 2006! Not anymore, and we know the problem: breeding habitat. If you like bagging lots of spoonies and gadwalls, carry on. But if you like putting big, iconic greenheads on your strap, there is something every single one of you can do: duck club owners, public wetland managers, farmers and even ordinary hunters who don’t control land-use decisions. This article by Waterfowl Programs Supervisor Caroline Brady is also available online.
Page 42 – Not ducks: Ever get that nagging feeling you should know the species of some of the not-ducks you see flying through the marsh? Same here, so Communications Specialist Rebecca Fabbri details some of the most common bird species you’ll see while you’re out hunting.
Page 48 – The latest threat to wetland water supplies: The State Water Resources Control Board is proposing sending more water out to sea, which would mean less for wetlands. Director of Water Law and Policy Jeffrey Volberg explains. This article is also available online.
California Waterfowl also welcomed one new advertiser to this issue, wildlife, sporting and nature artist Michael Bocci. He does commissioned work!