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In 1960 and in 1961 two "controlled" shooting areas with a total of 25 '"blind" sites were established at Lake Odessa, Wapello, Iowa. The remaining "uncontrolled" portion of the public hunting area was open without special restrictions. Checking stations were operated at each of the two main access points. A total of 6,014 hunters harvested 6,499 waterfowl in 33,968 hours, averaging one bird for each 5.2 hours of hunting in 1960. In 1961 a total of 3,391 hunters killed 3,391 waterfowl in 17,618 hours, averaging one bird for each 5.2 hours of hunting. Hunter success, expressed as the number of ducks per hunter per day, was 1.1 in 1960 and 1.0 in 1961: however, the aggregate harvest dropped 48 per cent in 1961. Season length was reduced 40 per cent and there was a 44 per cent drop in the number of hunters. The reduction in daily bag from 3 to 2 ducks had little if any effect upon the total harvest, and the reduction in season length was almost entirely responsible for the 43 per cent drop in mallard kill. Mallards comprised 78 per cent of the harvest and wood ducks 7 per cent. Flight dates during the 1961 season were indicated by peak kills of mallards on October 23, November 3, 8, and 17. The sex ratio of mallards in the kill averaged 1.5 males to 1 female during both years, but increased during the major flight dates to 1.7:1, indicating a preponderance of drakes within the population, selectivity on the part of hunters and their preference for drakes. Age ratios of mallards obtained at checking stations and from wing examination were almost identical (0.7:1 and 0.8:1) indicating very poor production of mallards supplying young birds for hunters at Lake Odessa in 1961.

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Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science





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© Copyright 1962 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



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