Prehistoric practice of using decoys becomes modern debate.Byline: Mike Stahlberg / The Register-Guard
B UILD A better mousetrap "A Better Mousetrap" is a first season episode of Beast Wars which first aired on October 8, 1996. Plot
Sentinel, a new automated defense system for the Axalon, is under development by Rhinox, as the Maximals' best line of defense against a Predacon attack. and the world beats a path to your door.
Build a better duck decoy DECOY. A pond used for the breeding and maintenance of water-fowl. 11 Mod. 74, 130; S. C. 3 Salk. 9; Holt, 14 11 East, 571. , and you get accused of unsportsmanlike conduct Unsportsmanlike conduct (or unsporting behaviour, or archaically ungentlemanly conduct) is a term used in many professional sports to refer to a particular player or team who have acted inappropriately and/or unprofessionally in the context of the game. .
To put the great decoy debate in perspective, a little background is in order.
There are only two basic approaches to hunting: Either you go out and search for your quarry, or you pick a likely spot and wait for it to come to you. Both methods are older than recorded history Recorded history can be defined as history that has been written down or recorded by the use of language, whereas history is a more general term referring simply to information about the past. It starts in the 4th millennium BC, with the invention of writing. .
With lots of time on their hands, prehistoric hunters who chose the sit-and-wait option eventually figured out they'd put more meat on that stick propped over the campfire if they did something to lure the game to them.
They learned to "call" animals by imitating the sounds they made, or the sounds made by their favorite prey. They baited animals by putting out food. And they eventually learned about the luring power of decoys that sent out the visual message that "this is a safe place for creatures like us."
Early hunters, in fact, used live animals or birds as a lure, if they had them. If not, they would try to construct similar-looking decoys out of mud, plants, wood or whatever material was handy. Archeologists say the use of decoys for waterfowl hunting Waterfowl hunting (also called duck hunting, goose hunting, or wildfowling) is the practice of hunting ducks, geese, or other waterfowl for food and sport. in North America North America, third largest continent (1990 est. pop. 365,000,000), c.9,400,000 sq mi (24,346,000 sq km), the northern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. goes back at least 1,000 years.
Eventually - long after humans no longer depended entirely upon hunting for their food - the concept of the "fair chase" hunt evolved. The idea was that a hunter is dishonored dis·hon·or
1. Loss of honor, respect, or reputation.
2. The condition of having lost honor or good repute.
3. A cause of loss of honor: was a dishonor to the club.
4. by taking a creature that does not have a "sporting chance."
Which was one of the notions behind the federal government's decision in the 1930s to ban the use of baiting and live decoys in waterfowl hunting.
The issue of fairness and sportsmanship is also at the heart of the decoy debate now under way among the nation's waterfowl waterfowl, common term for members of the order Anseriformes, wild, aquatic, typically freshwater birds including ducks, geese, and screamers. In Great Britain the term is also used to designate species kept for ornamental purposes on private lakes or ponds, while in hunters.
At issue are artificial decoys that are so realistic that they are - in some hunters' minds - the moral equivalent of using a string of live mallards as decoys.
Hunters of waterfowl now have the option of purchasing lifelike mechanical decoys, powered by tiny electric motors and operated by remote control from the hunting blind. These high-tech decoys move in a very realistic manner. Some decoys can even be programmed to dive and swim about, like a small group of feeding ducks.
Use of these "robo ducks" has flourished in the past four or five years. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is an agency of the government of the U.S. state of Oregon responsible for programs protecting Oregon fish and wildlife resources and their habitats. biologists estimate that more than 50 percent of the waterfowlers in some popular hunting areas are using these devices.
Apparently, the high-tech decoys do what their makers intended. They draw more birds within shotgun range.
A study conducted by the University of California The University of California has a combined student body of more than 191,000 students, over 1,340,000 living alumni, and a combined systemwide and campus endowment of just over $7.3 billion (8th largest in the United States). at Davis and the California Waterfowl Association The California Waterfowl Association is a non-profit organization established in 1945 and dedicated to the conservation and enhancement of California's waterfowl, their habitats and hunting heritage. External links
Increased harvest rates were also found in field research conducted in Missouri, Nebraska and Manitoba, Canada.
Such studies fueled the argument that electronic decoys are effective to the point of being unfair.
On the other hand, the significance of those limited studies is cast into question by the fact that overall duck harvest rates in the Pacific Flyway flyway: see migration of animals. have actually declined during the past five years - the period during which the use of mechanical decoys blossomed.
In any event, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission decided to look into whether some decoys should be banned.
In the Pacific Flyway, California and Washington have already adopted regulations restricting or prohibiting the use of electronic decoys. Pennsylvania and Minnesota also have banned "robo ducks."
Meanwhile, electronic decoys have actually been a bigger regulatory issue in turkey hunting than in waterfowling. Seven states have some kind of a ban in effect on turkey decoys. Four states ban deer decoys.
Oregon wildlife commissioners are currently accepting public comment on three options regarding the future use of electronic and mechanical decoys in all types of hunting, not just waterfowl.
Option A is to keep the current rules, which allow any type of decoy in hunting big game or game birds.
Option B would outlaw the use of all battery-, wind-, human- or motor-powered mechanical decoys. Spinning-blade devices, pull-strings used to give movement to traditional decoys, and wind-powered decoy "kites" would be included in the ban.
Option C would make it illegal to use battery-powered or motorized mo·tor·ize
tr.v. mo·tor·ized, mo·tor·iz·ing, mo·tor·iz·es
1. To equip with a motor.
2. To supply with motor-driven vehicles.
3. To provide with automobiles. decoys. But human- and wind-powered devices would still be allowed.
The commission intends to make a decision following a public hearing to be held during its Oct. 11 meeting in Sandy.
My opinion: Build a better decoy and the world shouldn't squawk.
You can weigh in on the issue by submitting written comments to: ODFW ODFW Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Game Bird Program, P.O. Box 59, Portland, OR 97207. Or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments received by Oct. 10 will be considered by the commission.
Mike Stahlberg is the Register-Guard's outdoor writer. He can be reached at email@example.com.