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Mid-Valley duck season ends with mixed results
More than 350 species and millions of birds follow the Pacific Flyway – the “great avian highway” – from the Bering Strait to South America. Birds stop in California as they migrate south starting in August and north in March.
Weather brought mixed results for the duck hunting season in Yuba and Sutter counties.
Jon Munger, a member of the Dingville Duck Club in Sutter County, said the season — which started in October and ended on Sunday — began strongly and, overall, matched the previous season.
"We've had a pretty good year," he said.
"This season hasn't been very good," he said. "We had better weather for hunting last year."
Casey Stafford, a guide who offers duck hunts, said he had a fair season.
"Not that it's been a banner year," Stafford added.
Duck hunting offers benefits, including getting outdoors, and that mean hunters will participate even in less-than-ideal conditions.
Jim Abbott, partner in Sutter Orchard Supply in Yuba City which sells farm and hunting supplies, said he has heard different accounts about the duck season. Some people spoke about awesome conditions and others called them terrible. "Most recently, they're leaning to the terrible side," he said. "The second half has been a little spotty."
Sales of hunting-related gear have been pretty steady, Abbot added.
Brad Burkholder, environmental scientist with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the unusual weather and higher temperatures have not helped hunting.
"It's been pretty sporadic this year," he said.
Weather plays a key role in the quality of the duck hunting season, Burkholder said.
Yuba and Sutter counties are in the path of the Pacific Flyway and home to prime bird hunting. The area has long attracted hunters to the region — the late actor and singer Bing Crosby among them.
"Crosby hunted more on the Marysville side," Abbot said.
CONTACT Ryan McCarthy at email@example.com or 749-4780. Find him on Facebook at /ADrmccarthy or on Twitter at @ADrmccarthy.