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Duck numbers down slightly ... but still up.

Above average rainfall in the Prairie Pothole Region once again spells good news for duck hunters. Although overall duck numbers fell slightly from last year's record, they are still well above the long-term average. The USFWS estimates the total duck population in the mid-continent region of the Dakotas and southern and central Canada at 45.6 million. The number is 6 percent below last year's count, but 33 percent above the long-term average.

Mallards (10.4 million) are about the same as last year and are 36 percent above the long-term average. Blue-winged teal are down 16 percent from last year, but are 60 percent above the LTA. Green-winged teal numbers are similar. About 3.3 million pintails will make their way south this winter and 4.2 million greater and lesser scaup were counted. Pintails are 17 percent below their LTA and scaup are down 20 percent from historic numbers. Canvasbacks, however, are doing well. There are more than 750,000, 37 percent above the long-term average.

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Title Annotation:PASS SHOTS
Author:Hart, David
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2013
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