Wister 2022/2023 Season Long Stats

The end of the 2022/2023 season at the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area revealed the following stats for the number of birds taken and the hunter averages.

5232 adult and 243 junior hunters (5475 hunters total) checked in a total of 1030 Northern Shovelers, 263 Mallards, 699 Gadwall, 402 Widgeon, 1537 Pintail, 4835 Green Wing Teal, 2334 Cinnamon Teal, 18 Redheads, 14 Canvasbacks, 232 Ring Necks, 30 Scaup, 316 Bufflehead, 14 Goldeneyes, 37 Blue Wing Teal, 0 Wood Ducks, 3 Surf Scooters, 13 Mergansers, 1 Mexican Mallard, and 272 Ruddy Ducks. In addition, there were 2 Aleutian Geese, 1 Cackling Goose, 4 Canada Geese, 8 Ross’ Geese, 616 Snow Geese, and 13 White Front Geese bagged at Wister this season. 188 Coots were checked in for the 2022/2023 season. This worked out to a total of 12244 Ducks and Geese or, with the Coots added in, 12432 waterfowl. The per hunter average take for 2022/2023 figured out to 2.24 Ducks and Geese per hunter or, with the Coots included, 2.27 waterfowl per hunter.

In comparison to last season, there were 7 fewer adult hunters this season over last and there were 46 fewer junior hunters for a total of 53 fewer hunters accommodated in the 2022/2023 season compared to the 2021/2022 season. (This includes the Junior Hunters from the Junior Hunt weekend and the Veteran/Active Duty Military personnel for the special military post-season hunt). 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 -620 Northern Shovelers, +47 Mallards, +19 Gadwall, -382 Widgeon, +90 Pintail, +1544 Green Wing Teal, +1063 Cinnamon Teal, -16 Redheads, -9 Canvasbacks, +42 Ring Necks, -9 Scaup, +1 Mexican Mallard (0 last season), -1 Bufflehead, -3 Goldeneyes, -2 Wood Ducks (0 this season), +7 Blue Wing Teal, +4 Mergansers, +3 Surf Scooters, and -59 Ruddy Ducks.
As for the Geese numbers, there were +2 Aleutian Geese (0 last season), +1 Cackling Goose, -12 Canada Geese, +5 Ross’ Geese, +135 Snow Geese, and +2 White Front Geese.

There was also +14 Coots bagged this season. This was a total of +1393 Ducks and Geese taken and, with the Coots included, +1407 waterfowl taken this season compared to last season. The per hunter averages were +0.28 Ducks and Geese or, with the Coots included, +0.28 waterfowl this season over last season.

So, this season shows a decrease in some of the species of waterfowl taken, yet an increase in others, some very substantially. Of the species that showed a decrease, only Shovelers and Widgeon showed any substantial decrease with all the others only slightly decreasing. However, many of the species that showed an increase had quite a substantial increase. Also, the stats show a very slight drop-off in hunters utilizing Wister this season compared to last, but it was so small it was negligible, so hunter numbers were virtually the same as last season. Hopefully, we’ll get some weather up north early next season to drive the birds south. Also hopefully, we’ll have a large breeding population this year and more birds migrating down next season. Hope everyone has a great 23/24 waterfowl season.

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