According to FWC's Check Station Harvest Data, bluebills
and teal comprise the bulk of bag limits.
When I look back on the week, we saw a fine mix of bufflehead, green-wing teal, black duck, northern shoveler, ruddy ducks, hooded mergansers, blue-winged teal, bluebills
, mallards, long-tailed ducks, common scoters, tundra swan and Canada geese.
Scaup numbers were similar to last year and continue to hover below the long-term average, but officials with the USFWS decided to ease harvest restrictions on bluebills
after the season and bag limit was altered last year to reduce the overall harvest.
Running the open water, you'll see a mix of lesser scaup ("bluebills
"), canvasbacks, redheads and ring-necks.
Hunters target Canadas, mallards and pintails in the surrounding croplands or shoot divers, including bluebills
, canvasbacks and redheads, from the shores and islands.
Available in front- or rear facing bill models, the built-in face mask keeps your shiny visage a secret from decoying greenheads and bluebills
, but it won't interfere with your hearing (so you can detect those sneaky ducks coming in from behind), and it's compatible with eyewear.
And in the case of divers, the art of decoy carving and rigging reached its pinnacle when market hunters targeted canvasbacks and bluebills
for the restaurants along the East Coast.
Alan Afton said there are several theories but no hard answers on why scaup, also known as bluebills
, are declining.
While duck hunting was limited largely to salt marsh black ducks, beaver bog woodies and coastal sea ducks, my youthful fervor was fueled by books like Hunting Adventures with Jimmy Robinson, particularly stories like "Bull Cans of the Delta" and "Rockets of the North," and by Chet Reneson's artistic renderings of bluebills
and redheads winging through wind-driven snow.
As such, Iowa's stretch of the Mississippi has for decades attracted the layout men with their small pumpkinseed boats, high-walled tenders and scores upon scores of cork bluebills
, canvasback and redheads.
But then there are the waterfowl--the canvasbacks and wigeons; the pintails and buffleheads; blue-winged, green-winged, and cinnamon teal; mallards, mandarins, and Argentine bluebills
Over twelve mallard blocks, the four of us killed redheads, canvasbacks, bluebills
, ringnecks, goldeneyes, mallards, widgeon and greenwings.
"Generally, there's some pretty good shooting on area potholes for wigeon, pintail, redheads and bluebills
up until about Oct.
Still, there's just something about the divers--brutish, bull-chested and strong of wing, canvasbacks and redheads, bluebills
, buffleheads and goldeneyes challenge and frustrate even the most jaded of water-fowlers.
Just before heading over to the field, I had asked if they shoot many canvasbacks at Elite; we were going to chase brant and bluebills
from layout boats the next day, and I was optimistic a can might get thrown in the mix.