Chris Nicolai is a certified “duck nut,” but he’s also a waterfowl scientist with a PhD and leads the waterfowl research program with Delta Waterfowl. For this episode, Aaron and Bill to talk duck and goose hunting just as a major front is hitting North America and sending a huge wave of waterfowl south. In addition to waterfowl hunting and this year’s migration, we talk about the current state of waterfowl, the confusion surrounding pintails and the future of the birds Chris loves.
https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl/longevity/longevity_main.cfm (Record ages of wild ducks and geese)
https://birdcast.info/migration-tools/live-migration-maps/ (Keep up with bird migrations in real time)
3:19 – Bill introduces Chris from Delta Waterfowl.
4:15 – Chris shares what he has been doing outside recently. #DuckHunting
8:58 – Chris chats about heat records and how it changed flight patterns of geese and ducks.
10:36 – Chris was born is Missouri and tells us about his background and how he got into duck hunting.
16:31 – Waterfowl migration is amazing to see.
17:45 - Summary of the status of ducks and geese right now.
23:10 – Studying nest site fidelity. #DuckBiology
27:50 – Storms, snow on the ground and duck production. What scenario are we looking at right now?
33:39 - Chris talks about pintail numbers.
39:17 - Chris talks about the conversation regarding climate change in the duck hunting world.
45:46 – “It all comes down to habitat, and a lot of those habitat decisions are made at the policy level.”
48:12 – Bill wants to go back to talking about pintails…
54:00 - Chris talks about reporting bands and how it breaks his heart that some folks don’t report them.
57:09 – What does the future hold and how do hunters and anglers play a role?
1:00:12 – Closing statements.