77, Day 3
What Kind of Ducks Winter on the Snake River
NOTE: Outdoorsman Thayne Barrie of Boise, Idaho, loves to hunt ducks
on the Snake River near Grand View, Idaho. He and the employees who work
at his store in Boise, Sunset Sports Centers, can help hunters obtain
information on Idaho duck hunting. Recently I went on one of the best
duck hunts with Barrie.
QUESTION: Thayne, we saw an awful lot of ducks
today. How many ducks can you legally take in Idaho?
ANSWER: Seven a day. They can be all mallards, with the exception
that only two can be hen mallards. But any combination of seven ducks
QUESTION: Most people think the ducks leave the
north country and come south during the winter. Why are they staying here
ANSWER: Many times we get a lot of birds that winter over because
of the warmer weather patterns in the valleys of Idaho. We'll have great
shooting from the latter part of November through December and the end
of the season. We have a good local bird population, and then we get those
migrating birds. This is typically as far as a lot of them go in the winter.
Where are these birds migrating from, Thayne?
ANSWER: A lot of them come from Alberta, Canada. We shot quite
a few banded birds this year, and most of the certificates coming back
show that the birds were banded in Alberta. We did get a few bands from
Great Falls, Montana, which is kind of a right turn heading south from
where we are. But for the most part, our birds come from Alberta and other
QUESTION: So ducks and geese will stop over here
rather than come on down the flyway, right?
ANSWER: Yes. Like I say, the 2000-2001 duck season has been kind
of an untypical year. We've got a lot more birds that have moved on this
year than normal just because we had such a long stretch of cold weather.
But this section of Idaho still carried quite a few birds over.
QUESTION: In a morning's hunt with six people,
what do you generally expect to take?
ANSWER: This has been an exceptional year with today only the fourth
time we haven't taken our limit, whether that would be with four, five
or seven guys going out.
QUESTION: So taking 40 or 50 birds with a good
number of people isn't unusual here?
ANSWER: The most people we've taken out are seven, and we've shot
limits with seven people, which is 49 ducks.
That's a lot of ducks for a morning shoot. Now, where are your geese coming
ANSWER: Most of the geese are coming down the same flyway from
Alberta, Canada, but we have a really strong local population of geese,
too. We've got some good holding areas for geese with the reservoirs in
QUESTION: You're seeing nothing but Greater Canada
ANSWER: We've shot one Lesser Canada goose this whole year -- the
first Lesser I've ever shot in Idaho.
QUESTION: But no other geese have been coming
ANSWER: No. Early in the season you'll see flights of snow geese,
but they fly right through our section of the country.
How much competition is on the Snake River for ducks and geese?
ANSWER: There's a lot of competition in some places. The more accessible
the area, the more pressure there is. We try to find the places to hunt
that are more difficult to get to and that fact tends to keep the number
of people hunting down.
QUESTION: Are far are we from Boise?
ANSWER: We're about 63 miles.
QUESTION: If you were going to tell somebody where
we were hunting, what would you tell them?
ANSWER: We're hunting just right above the Birds of Prey Refuge
in the Snake River Canyon, 18 miles below Grand View.
To obtain maps of the Snake River with the best spots
marked and to get information on how, where and when to rent boats, contact
Thayne Barrie at Sunset Sports, (208) 376-1100, 5804 Fairview Avenue,
Boise, ID 83704.
TOMORROW: What You Need to Know to Hunt Ducks in Idaho