Assessing the Effectiveness of a Species-Specific Spinning-Wing Decoy on Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa)
The study I am conducting will tackle some of the questions put forth by both hunters and researchers in the field of waterfowl ecology. That is, how do wood ducks respond to an electronic spinning-wing decoy painted to resemble the same species? In past studies on spinning-wing decoys extensive research was completed using a mallard spinning-wing decoy, and these studies included effectiveness percentages for a number of duck species including wood ducks. Recently, the most popular electronic decoy producer in the waterfowl industry (MOJO) has created a spinning-wing decoy exclusively for wood ducks. This product is the “MOJO Screaming Woody” decoy and is meant to act as any other electronic spinning-wing decoy would act, imitating a duck just before it lands on the ground or water. However, in this study, I will find out exactly how effective a same species decoy is for the wood duck in a water environment. The most effective way in which to conduct a study of this nature is to establish a study site that is void in terms of human presence and hunting pressure. Essentially, the study will determine if wood ducks prefer a decoy spread that includes an electronic spinning-wing decoy.
I will use these data to run statistical models that will examine the significance of the data gathered. This data can then potentially be used to guide game regulations and set bag limits for wood ducks in order to manage their population.
Ackerman, J.T, J. M. Eadie, M. L. Szymanski, J. H. Caswell, M. P Vrtiska, A. H. Raedeke, J. M. Checkett, A. D. Afton, T. G. Moore, F. D. Caswell, D. D. Humburg and J. Yee. 2006. Effectiveness of spinning-wing decoys varies among dabbling duck species and locations. Journal of Wildlife Management 70: 799-804.
Ackerman, J. T., J. M. Eadie, & T. G. Moore. 2006. Does life history predict risk-taking behavior of wintering dabbling ducks? Condor, 108: 530-546.
Balkcom, G. D., P. R. Garrettson, & P. I. Padding. 2010. Predicting wood duck harvest rates in eastern north america. Journal of Wildlife Management, 74: 1575-1579.
Caswell, J., & F. Caswell. 2004. Vulnerability of mallards to bunting with a spinning-wing decoy in manitoba. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 32: 1297-1304.
Denton, J. C., C. L. Roy, G. J. Soulliere, & B. A. Potter. 2012. Current and projected abundance of potential nest sites for cavity-nesting ducks in hardwoods of the north central United States. Journal of Wildlife Management, 76: 422-432.
Ducks Unlimited. 2012. Wood ducks. Retrieved September/17, 2012.
Fergus, C.2012. Wood duck.PA Game Commission, Harrisburg, PA.
Hochman, R., W. Abrahamson, & J. Clark. 1996. Montandon marsh: A vegetation description of a potentially endangered wetland. Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, 70:22.
Miller, C. A. 2012. Spinning-wing decoy use and reported duck harvest in illinois: Implications for adaptive harvest management. Journal of Wildlife Management, 76: 583-587. Penssylvania Land Trust Association. 2012. Conserving Montandon marsh. Retrieved 18/September, 2012.
Szymanski, M., & A. Afton. 2005. Effects of spinning-wing decoys on flock behavior and hunting vulnerability of mallards in minnesota. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 33: 993-1001. Waterfowl population status, 2012.2012. US Fish and Wildlife Service, Laurel, MD.