Long time Florida duck hunters, were we just spoiled?
I have had this conversation with a few people. All long timers.
If you were lucky enough to Duck hunt just about any wetland in Florida in the late 70s to about the 90's, consider yourself as one of the lucky few. And you know what I am talking about. Seminole. George. Tampa Bay. Kissimmee. St Johns. Merritt Island. Okeechobee. Biscayne. All of those places are now a shell of what they were then.
But was it all just the way it should be or was it an outlier, fueled by the growth of an aquarium weed?
Other than what my Dad has told me about his youth, I don't know what Florida duck hunting was like in 1940, 50, 60.. But my friends Dad and his friends, guys who grew up Duck hunting Western Tennessee, Southern Mississippi, frequently said it would take them a whole day of sitting in the blind up North to equal the success we had on Lake O in an hour. This was back in 1980.
The curve topped out about then IMO. Then, aided by the spray war on the weeds the curve has, hopefully, now bottomed out? Is there a middle road, a "normal" down the road? I don't see how the natural vegetation can grow back in my, or even my kids lifetime.
Maybe we are at the bottom of the curve and come back to a "halfway point"? IDK. I'm not really optimistic.
But I do believe now, looking back....that it wasn't they way it was meant to be. And we got a bit spoiled.