How rice industry might be influencing duck hunting. When I first started reading this article, I thought it was about how well rice pairs with duck, leading to more duck hunting. Ironically, it’s about how rice drives away the main course. That’s the Buzz from americanpress.com:
“I talk to hunters every day and from them I’m finding out that the number of ducks in our area is just not what they used to be,” Buzzy Brunot (above) said. “I can remember shooting mallards in a pond where Memorial Hospital stands right now. And one of the area’s biggest rice mills was on the northwest corner of Sallier and Ryan streets.
Turns out Buzzy’s uniquely qualified to offer an explanation for LA’s great duck disappearance.
Buzzy Brunot was renowned as one of the area’s top fast-pitch softball players during those decades and is a member of the state Hall of Fame.
No, not that.
He was also a rice inspector for the federal government for 30 years and was often called to Washington D.C. and other areas in the USA for his expert opinion on anything dealing with the grain.
That, along with his many years as a hunter, he feels, qualifies him to offer an opinion.
“When I first started with the grain division (1954), the rice that farmers in the area were planting were short grain and medium grain,” he said. “Later, farmers found that they could get a better yield with long-grain rice.”
Rice facts ahead!
Statistics show that in the state in the 1980s, short and medium grains accounted for 65 percent of the rice grown in Louisiana while just two years ago long-grain rice made up 85 percent of the rice grown. Also, different varieties of the long-grain rice have been developed that gives a better yield and works better in the state’s climate. Louisiana is listed as the third-largest producer of rice in the USA.
And ducks’ dinner preference is . . .
Brunot said mallards, as well as other ducks, prefer the short- and medium-grain rice.
“The long-grain rice, when it is in the rough stage, has a hull on it that has a sharp point,” he said. “This point gets into the ducks’ craw (opening part of its digestive system) and sticks.
“Ducks don’t like that so they begin to eat other food.”
Like the food found in . . .
Brunot noted that Arkansas farmers have continued to plant short- and medium-grain rice, and therein lies his theory.
“I think that this is helping Arkansas keep the ducks up there because we’re just not getting near the number that we used to.”
Ducks prefer the food in its natural state [sic] rather than risking a meal in sportsman’s paradise. Who knew? Besides Buzzy.