Wister 2016 / 2017 Season Long Stats

The conclusion of the 2016 / 2017 season at the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area revealed the following stats for the number of birds taken and the hunter averages.

4985 adult and 548 junior hunters (5533 hunters total) harvested a total of 516 Mallards, 709 Gadwall, 1224 Widgeon, 1595 Pintail, 3551 Green Wing Teal, 1272 Cinnamon Teal, 1405 Northern Shovelers, 98 Redheads, 10 Canvasbacks, 113 Ring Necks, 46 Scaup, 93 Bufflehead, 48 Goldeneyes, 1 Wood Duck, 71 Blue Wing Teal, 6 Mergansers, 5 Ducks identified as “Other” and 217 Ruddy Ducks. In addition, there were 6 Cackling Geese, 21 Canada Geese, 4 Ross’ Geese, 504 Snow Geese and 20 White Front Geese harvested at Wister this season. 136 Coots were also checked in for the 2016 / 2017 season. This figured out to a total of 11535 Ducks and Geese or, with the Coots added in 11671 waterfowl. The per hunter average take for 2016 / 2017 figured out to 2.08 Ducks and Geese per hunter or, with the Coots included, 2.11 waterfowl per hunter.

In comparison to last season, there were 692 fewer adult hunters this season over last and there were 9 fewer junior hunters for a total of 701 fewer hunters accommodated in 2016 / 2017 season compared to the 2015 / 2016 season. (This includes the Junior Hunters from the Junior Hunt weekend). As for the birds, I’ll list them with a plus by the number or a minus by the number to indicate how many more or less of each type of bird was bagged this season over last.

There were -18 Mallards, -299 Gadwall, -207 Widgeon, -164 Pintail, -1111 Green Wing Teal, +239 Cinnamon Teal, -1341 Northern Shovelers, +53 Redheads, +1 Canvasback, +45 Ring Necks, -3 Scaup, -4 Bufflehead, +30 Goldeneyes, +1 Wood Duck (0 last season), +58 Blue Wing Teal, +4 Mergansers, -1 Whistling Duck (0 this season), -1 Surf Scooter (0 this season), +5 Ducks identified as “Other” (0 last season) and -31 Ruddy Ducks.

As for the Geese numbers, there were -1 Aleutian Goose (0 this season), +1 Cackling Goose, -28 Canada Geese, -5 Ross’ Geese, -215 Snow Geese and +14 White Front Geese.

There was also +25 Coots bagged this season. This was a total of -2978 Ducks and Geese taken and, with the Coots included, -2953 waterfowl taken this season compared to last season. The per hunter averages were -0.25 Ducks and Geese or, with the Coots included, -0.24 waterfowl this season over last season.

As you can see, this shows a drop in almost all categories, with the bag of most birds down, some substantially, and fewer hunters this season also.  I’m sure some of the difference in the hunter numbers was due to access issues due to the rains, and the resultant muddy roads, at Wister this season, but, even if that was taken out of the mix it appears the hunter numbers would have been down a little anyway.  Hopefully the birds will have a better than predicted breeding season this year and the numbers will come up some next season.

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