(This is part two of an interview with Phil Robertson, “The Duck Commander”, star of “Duck Dynasty” and many legendary waterfowl hunting videos.
(The full interview appears in Chester Moore’s award-winning book Texas Waterfowl which you can order here.)
Just as frustrating for him as the presence of so much refuge land off-limits to hunting is the lack of predator control programs in the prairie pothole region.
“Pretty much everyone agrees we are losing about 85 percent of our ducks before they ever fly down due to predation in the nesting areas. Think about that for a second,” Robertson said.
“What we get to fly down is around 15 percent of the potential ducks. If you have a total flight of 100 million ducks, decreasing predation by only five percent would add 30 million ducks to that. If you could ever get predation down to around 70 percent you could pretty much double the fall flight every year.”
Robertson said he believes if hunters knew just how much of a role raccoons, foxes, mink and other predators played in duck production they might support paying more for federal duck stamps to support predator control.
“No one wants to wipe out the predators. God put them here to do their role, but he also put ducks here for us to hunt and to eat and we can balance things out if we put the effort into it,” he said.
“With fur being out of fashion because of the animal rights people and very little trapping, you have a situation where you have more predators on the breeding grounds than ever and we are seeing the results every fall,” he added.