You can shoot them. Not all of them, obviously. And only when they’re in season—and the duck poses an imminent threat of not being shot by you, and imminence is imminent. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2011 Report on Trends in Duck Breeding Populations, there are now approximately 45.6 million ducks in north-central United States, south-central and northern Canada, and Alaska). That’s an 11 percent increase over last year’s estimate of 40.8 million birds and 35 percent above the long-term average (the total duck estimate excludes scoters, eiders, long-tailed ducks, mergansers, and wood ducks). Other highlights from the traditional survey area include . . .
- Estimated mallard abundance was 9.2 million birds, a nine percent increase from the 2010 estimate of 8.4 million birds and 22 percent above the long-term average.
- Blue-winged teal estimated abundance was a record 8.9 million, which was 41 percent above the 2010 estimate of 6.3 million, and 91 percent above the long-term average.
- The northern pintail estimate of 4.4 million was 26 percent above the 2010 estimate of 3.5 million, and similar to the long-term average.
- Estimated abundance of American wigeon was 14 percent below the 2010 estimate and 20 percent below the long-term average.
- The combined (lesser and greater) scaup estimate of 4.3 million was similar to that of 2010 and 15 percent below the long-term average of 5.1 million. The canvasback estimate of 700,000 was similar to the 2010 estimate and 21 percent above the long-term average.