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1 June 2006 Effectiveness of Spinning-Wing Decoys Varies Among Dabbling Duck Species and Locations
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Spinning-wing decoys are strong attractants to ducks and increase kill rates over traditional decoying methods. However, it is unknown whether all duck species are attracted similarly to spinning-wing decoys and whether the effectiveness of these decoys changes with latitude. We examined the effectiveness of spinning-wing decoys for 9 species of dabbling ducks during 545 experimental hunts in California (1999–2000), Minnesota (2002), Manitoba (2001–2002), Nebraska (2000–2002), Missouri (2000–2001), and Arkansas (2001–2003). During each experimental hunt, we systematically alternated between 2 paired decoy treatments every 15–30 min (depending on study site): traditional decoys only and traditional decoys with a spinning-wing decoy. Overall, 70.2% (n = 1,925) of dabbling ducks were harvested (shot and retrieved) when spinning-wing decoys were turned on, ranging from 63.6% (n = 187) in Missouri to 76.4% (n = 356) in Minnesota. Effectiveness of spinning-wing decoys increased with latitude of study sites. Proportions of ducks shot when spinning-wing decoys were turned on differed among species, from a low of 50.0% (n = 8) for cinnamon teal (Anas cyanoptera) to a high of 79.0% (n = 119) for American wigeon (A. americana). The probability of being shot when spinning-wing decoys were turned on increased with annual survival rates among species; for example, spinning-wing decoys were more effective for American wigeon and mallard (A. platyrhynchos) than they were for cinnamon teal and American green-winged teal (A. crecca). Effectiveness of spinning-wing decoys did not differ consistently by age or sex of harvested ducks. Our results indicate that the effectiveness of spinning-wing decoys differs among duck species and changes with latitude; thus, consideration of these effects may be warranted when setting harvest regulations and methods of take.

JOSHUA T. ACKERMAN, JOHN M. EADIE, MICHAEL L. SZYMANSKI, JASON H. CASWELL, Mark P. Vrtiska, ANDREW H. RAEDEKE, J. MICHAEL CHECKETT, Alan D. Afton, THOMAS G. MOORE, F. DALE CASWELL, RICH A. WALTERS, DALE D. HUMBURG, and JULIE L. YEE "Effectiveness of Spinning-Wing Decoys Varies Among Dabbling Duck Species and Locations," Journal of Wildlife Management 70(3), 799-804, (1 June 2006).[799:EOSDVA]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 June 2006

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