What the Farm Bill Means To Ducks.

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The last thing I wanted to do was start this blog with a political rant. But I need your help, because I’m as confused as ever. The one-sided viewpoints of our political leaders and activists just aren’t lining up for me, and I’ll explain why.

On the one hand, it's being drilled into us that Barack Obama, his administration and democrats in general are going to take away our guns any day. That issue alone, whether it's based in fact or fear, commands the attention of many outdoorsmen.

But the other day I read about the passing of the new Farm Bill. For those of you who don’t keep up, the Farm Bill is responsible for programs like the CRP, where farmers set aside lands for environmental purposes, rather than farming them. The farmers are then compensated by the government, rather than by selling crops. CRP land is directly responsible for producing more ducks -- not to mention other wildlife. And you know who’s behind the Farm Bill? President Obama and the democrats, for the most part. So what’s a duck hunter to do?

Another alarming fact: CRP land is on the decline at an alarming rate. North Dakota alone has lost more than 30 percent of its CRP land to farming since 2007. The culprit? Mainly corn, in the form of ethanol. We’ll save the ethanol discussion for another day, but my point is this: it takes a lot of research and discussion to decide what’s best for waterfowl. They require a complex environment, often over the entire continent, to be able to reproduce and thrive. Give a deer 3 acres of woods in a sub-division, and he’s happy, eating azalea bushes and tulip bulbs. I’ve seen a deer successfully reproduce in a backyard under a trampoline. But ducks are a different story. For the most part, they require the greatest preservation and restoring of native prairies and wetlands that we can muster in this country. So ducks are environmentalists, but I’m not supposed to be one. Because if I am, then I’ll have to give up my guns, and therefore my ability to shoot the ducks…

I avoid talking politics at a party or in a hunting camp. It’s not a cut and dry topic. Yet our political leaders and activists that influence elections think it can be. When will we ever have a political candidate that’s a lot like me and my buds? Probably never, because single-minded fantics have the money, and money controls our government. Period. So we all just stammer around as the majority minority. One thing I know is that, as waterfowl hunters, we need to do everything we can to educate ourselves on all the issues and support programs designed to help waterfowl. Because I highly doubt we're ever going to have leaders just like all of us.