Kern National Wildlife Refuge 2022/2023 Season Long Stats

The end of the 2022/2023 waterfowl season at the Kern National Wildlife Area revealed some interesting stats for the number of birds checked in and the per hunter average take.

Last season I did not do a comparison with the prior season as Kern had a delayed opening for the 21/22 season. For the 22/23 season, although Kear’s opener was delayed again due to water issues, it was the same delay as the 21/22 season so a fair comparison can be made.

1019 adult and 55 junior hunters (1074 hunters total) harvested a total of 1491 Northern Shovelers, 99 Mallards, 468 Gadwall, 296 Widgeon, 213 Pintail, 933 Green Wing Teal, 31 Cinnamon Teal, 23 Redheads, 13 Canvasbacks, 36 Ring Necks, 4 Scaup, 103 Bufflehead, 4 Goldeneye, 3 Blue Wing Teal, 1 Merganser, and 15 Ruddy Ducks. In addition, there was also 1 Canada Goose, 5 Snow Geese, and 14 White Fronted Geese taken at Kern this season. 21 Coots were also checked in for the 2022/2023 season at Kern. This figured out to a total of 3853 Ducks and Geese or, with the Coots included, 3874 waterfowl taken for the season. The per hunter average take for 2022/2023 season came out to 3.59 Ducks and Geese per hunter or, with the Coots added in, 3.61 waterfowl per hunter.

In comparison to last season, there were 49 more adult hunters this season over last and there were 10 fewer junior hunters for a total of 39 more 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 -323 Northern Shovelers, +30 Mallards, +147 Gadwall, -119 Widgeon, -117 Pintail, +146 Green Wing Teal, +43 Cinnamon Teal, -24 Redheads, +4 Canvasbacks, +15 Ring Necks, +3 Scaup, +1 Merganser (0 last season), +2 Bufflehead, +3 Goldeneyes, -1 Blue Wing Teal, and -1 Ruddy Duck.
As for the Geese numbers, there were +1 Canada Goose (0 last season), +4 Snow Geese, and +8 White Front Geese.

There was also +6 Coots bagged this season. This was a total of -250 Ducks and Geese taken and, with the Coots included, -244 waterfowl taken this season compared to last season. The per hunter averages were -0.37 Ducks and Geese or, with the Coots included, -0.37 waterfowl this season over last season.

So, there you have it, the year-long stats for the Kern National Wildlife Refuge. Kern started off a little slow this season once it was opened but ending up with some great averages the latter part of the season. Hopefully, next season won’t have a delayed opener. Hopefully, Kern will get the water they need for a regular opener and the breeding populations will do their thing up north and we’ll get the weather needed to drive the duck south early in the season and things will improve next season.

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