Management of waterfowl habitat and hunting frequency is important to sustain hunting opportunities in Mississippi and elsewhere in North America. Managers have limited scientific information regarding the effect of weekly hunting frequency on waterfowl abundance for use in developing hunting plans for public hunting areas. We divided the hunted portions of three Mississippi Wildlife Management Areas into two treatments to evaluate the effect of hunting 2 versus 4 d/wk on duck abundance. Abundance of all ducks, mallard Anas platyrhynchos, northern shoveler Anas clypeata, and green-winged teal Anas crecca were not detectably different between weekly hunting frequencies. Sanctuary use increased approximately 30% during the first 1.25 h after sunrise regardless of hunting disturbance being present or absent. Our results indicate that duck abundance did not increase with increased rest days at Wildlife Management Areas, suggesting these areas may be hunted 4 d/wk without significantly decreasing duck abundance. Sanctuaries were used daily and may be vital to attract and retain ducks on Wildlife Management Areas.
- Waterfowl hunting
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Nature and Landscape Conservation