The goal of this podcast is to explore the WHY questions about hunting, and in doing so, unravel the science behind it. For example, why does cow calling work better than bull calling at certain times of the year for moose, why do some decoy spreads work better for ducks, and what is the science behind setting hunting regulations. We explore these questions by talking mostly with people who are both scientist and hunters. Please contact us if you have suggestions for topics. Enjoy.
Episode 19: Talking Bands II
We continue our conversations about banded waterfowl with Drs. Ray Alisauskas, Mike Anderson, Jim Leafloor, and Chris Nicolai.
0:25 – Introductions and Background
1:50 – Jim Leafloor gives us background about how the idea of using banded waterfowl to estimate abundance of birds came about
3:30 – Ray Alisauskas introduces himself and talks about his experiences with banded waterfowl, including how hunters play such an essential role in providing important data for management. How many mallards do you think are in North America?
11:15 – Jim Leafloor introduces himself and talks about developments and improvements in the banding program as well as his favorite stories. What percent of mallards do you think live more than 14 years?
20:50 – We discuss as a group the differences and similarities between estimates of abundance based on banding data vs those based on surveys.
26:28 – Ray describes why it is so important to report your bands. This conversation continues into stories about banding adventures, which is inevitable when you work with folks for many decades in field – Houstan we have a problem.
31:30 – Chris Nicolai introduces himself and talks about his banding adventures. Chris may have banded as many different species as anyone. Learn about Dewey the Blue Goose and many other birds. Chris tells us about how we learn about migration of waterfowl using modern technology including geolocators.
56:10 – We transition into great stories about banded Canvasbacks with Mike Anderson. Learn about how Mike used observations of individual Canvasbacks marked with nasal saddles (low tech), shown in featured photo, to learn about these fascinating birds. Mike pioneered work on individually marked birds, amazing data that we are still trying to fully utilize for management. Imagine we could manage harvest of birds based on their individual quality.
1:22:20 – We finish up with some fun banding stories.
1:28:00 – Outro.
Watch this episode with video!
* Map of movements by the Canvasback marked with nasal saddle JX. on the prairies of Manitoba. Map provided by Mike Anderson.
* US Geological Survey Bird Banding Laboratory
* Report Your Band!
* DU podcast on banding, citizen science, and band targeting – episode 33 and and 34 in season 1.
* Dewey the Snow Blue Goose in a banding net full of real Blue Geese (Baffin Island 2014). Photo Credit Chris Nicolai.
Feature Photo: A Canvasback pair marked with nasal saddles. Photo credit Mike Anderson.
Episode 18: Talking Bands I
Imagine the stories that bands and the waterfowl who wear them would tell if they could talk. We try to bring those muted voice to life in this episode by talking with Drs. John Eadie, Robert “Rocky” Rockwell, Jim Sedinger and Mr. Brandt Meixell about the 100,000s of birds they have banded.
0:25 – Introduction and Background on Waterfowl Banding.
6:22 – Jim Sedinger starts us off with stories about banded Black Brant, including the amazing story about the “Marnie Bands”.
30:45 – We transition to stories from John Eadie about banded Wood Ducks. John uses some cutting edge technology to learn really cool things about Woodies. How many nest boxes do you think a hen Wood Duck visits during a breeding season?
50:45 – Rocky Rockwell tells us his stories about Snow Geese based on his 51 years of experience and his involvement with banding more than 250,000 geese. Rocky has the added challenge of banding around Polar Bears.
1:10:00 – Brandt Meixell, who is duck catching machine, shares stories about the hows of catching ducks and the love story of a duck named Romeo. Do you think a Bufflehead has ever been harvested in Columbia?
1:24:15 – We finish with a general discussion of the value of banding data and the essential partnership between hunters and biologists for generating some these data. Report your bands and please don’t target bands.
* US Geological Survey Bird Banding Laboratory
* Report Your Bands!
* DU podcast on banding, citizen science, and band targeting – episodes 33 and 34 in Season 1.
Photo Credit: David Stimac (see also https://www.davidstimac.com/index)
Episode 17: Why We Hunt?
I talk with Dr. Todd Brinkman and Eduardo Wilner about the reasons why we hunt. We look at this question from a science and philosophy viewpoint, which I think you will learn through the podcast are similar views. There is a video of this episode if you’d like to watch instead of listen this time.
0:25 – Introductions, which bleeds into Eduardo talking about the similarities between science and philosophy
12:25 – We talk about the reasons we hunt.
21:30 – Eduardo talks about the difficulties of verbalizing the reasons why we hunt. He talks about how it is similar to trying to describe the reasons we run or perhaps give birth, if you are a women.
25:15 – Do we need to hunt?
28:50 – Why even ask why we hunt? Why don’t some people like hunting?
38:15 – Are we genetically programmed to hunt? How much has society shaped the reasons we do and don’t hunt?
43:50 – Todd talk about what surveys reveal about the reasons we hunt, which leads into a discussions about the importance of the kill and the ethics of hunting.
55:00 – Are the reasons we hunt and number of hunters changing? Listen to hear how Covid has affected hunter participation. What is public perception of the reasons we hunt? What are the greatest threats to the future of hunting?
1:13:00 – We finish with our favorite hunting stories that characterize our reasons for hunting.
1:19:52 – Outro.
* US Fish and Wildlife Survey on Hunting Participation
Photo Credit: Eduardo Wiliner. This photo has a dreamy quality because of the fog and image quality, which seems appropriate for the question of why we hunt.
Episode 16: The Science and Politics of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act
Do you want more ducks on the strap or dead in a tailing pond? Your vote this fall may affect the outcome for waterfowl. I talk with Dr. Michael Anderson, retired biologist from Ducks Unlimited Canada, about how policy decisions by the current administration affect waterfowl management and possibly even your hunting experiences. You may not subscribe to the science behind climate change or even some of the science of Covid-19, however, there is no denying that the science behind the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) is being compromised by politics. Before you vote this fall, be sure you understand how the all the policies of both candidates might affect your hunting.
0:25 – Background and Introductions
7:00 – Mike describes why he was involved the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.
9:10 – We dive into some of the details of the Migratory Bird Treaty.
17:00 – How much money do you think natural disasters like the deep water horizon spill contribute to migratory bird conservation because of the MBTA? What are other sources of funding under the MBTA that may be in jeopardy.
19:50 – How does political support by hunters affect conservation action. This segment was inserted after the initial recording because of technical problems.
21:10 – How well has the 102 year old MBTA worked?
27:00 – We discuss how proposed changes by the Trump administration will affect the MBTA and how that may affect your hunting?
32:00 – Why propose these changes when migratory bird management has been working for 100+ years?
36:30 – How do I stay informed about how politics affects bird conservation and how do I influence these policies? See Additional Resources and Vote!
43:00 – We briefly discuss proposed changes to the Clean Water Act under the current administration.
44:35 – Do these proposed changes affect your hunting experience?
51:15 – Mike concludes with a story about a banded Canvasback (9X), a species he studied for many years. Learn more about the feature photo for this podcast. Stories about banded waterfowl will be the focus of a future podcast – stay tuned.
1:00:40 – Outro
* American Bird Conservancy
* National Audubon Society
* Harvard Law School Environmental Rollback Tracker
* North American Waterfowl Management Plan – Canada
* North American Waterfowl Management Plan – US Fish and Wildlife Service
Photo: Mike Anderson (standing far left) prepares a crew to trap Canvasbacks in the prairies of Manitoba in 1987. Yours truly is kneeling front right. Listen to the podcast to get the full story behind this photo.
Episode 15: Do you have GRIT?
Dr. Peggy Keiper, Director of the Sport and Recreation Business Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, talks with us about Grit and how it is important for hunting. We also discuss our efforts to advance hunting education at a university level.
0:30 – Introductions
11:15 – Peggy discusses our efforts to bring education about hunting and hunters to university environment.
17:00 – We solicit your input on how we can best develop hunter education.
18:10 – We transition into an in depth conversation about Grit. What is Grit?
23:55 – How do you measure Grit?
29:45 – Who do you think has Grit?
33:50 – Can you develop Grit?
38:25 – We talk about some recent studies that Peggy completed. We hoped to post them with the podcast, but they aren’t quite ready yet for public consumption. Stay tuned.
40:30 – I’m happy to report that mental techniques for being Gritty that Peggy discusses here, worked well for the sheep hunt that my son and I did after recording this podcast. Give them a try.
42:22 – Why does Peggy have the nickname Ocho?
45:25 – Peggy discusses how your past experiences influence your Grit.
52:20 – Peggy shares a concluding story of Grit.
59:45 – Concluding remarks.
Episode 14: The Science of Whitefish Ecology and Glowing Fish
In this episode, we continue our conversation with Randy Brown (see episode 10) and do a slight diversion from hunting to talk about fish ecology. Specifically, Randy describes his fascinating story of Whitefish, which includes Sheefish, ecology and migration on the Yukon River, Alaska. We also talk about the science behind glowing salmon.
0:30- Introductions (listen to episode 10 for more details about Randy’s resume).
1:50 – Randy gives some background about his fish research on the Yukon River.
6:00 – He provides details about how they conducted studies of Whitefish demography and migration.
8:15 – Do you know how to age a fish?
10:30 – How far do Yukon River Whitefish migrate and how often do they do this migration?
17:45 – We discuss the life-history of Yukon Sheefish and other critters with amazing migration behavior.
25:40 – Why do some salmon glow in the dark?
34:30 – Concluding remarks.
* Glowing Salmon Worry Residents
* Alaska’s Randy Brown Receives Rachel Carson Award for Exemplary Scientific Accomplishment
Photo: Randy Brown holding a Sheefish caught in the Yukon River in 1997.
Talking Bands II!
This podcast is nothing short of spectacular. The guests invited were right on target with their knowledge, were articulate, and the information they provided was nicely educational without any stuffiness. Mark encouraged them to tell entertaining stories about their banding and neck collaring efforts, and that really brought the podcast to life. Good work! This series has quickly become a favourite, and I look forward to listening to more episodes.
Really enjoy this podcast. Highly informative.
Great resource to understand wildlife management. As a hunter it is great information. Just one critique - I’m not sure what the background noise is, but it can be distracting.