From a USFWS news release:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently issued a new report summarizing sport hunter activity and harvest for the 2006 waterfowl season. The reports shows more than 13.8 million ducks were harvested, up more than a million ducks from the previous season. Hunters also harvested nearly 3.6 million geese, down slightly the previous season.
Managing migratory bird populations and providing opportunities for people to enjoy nature are each among the six priorities the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has established to guide its actions. Sport-hunting surveys like the current report, which gauges the health of waterfowl species and provides data for setting hunting seasons and bag limits, serve both of these goals.
The Service bases the estimates contained in the annual waterfowl harvest report upon hunting diary surveys maintained by selected waterfowl hunters, through the cooperative State-Federal Harvest Information Program and the Waterfowl Parts Collection Survey. These surveys provide critically important information used by state wildlife agencies and the Service to establish the next hunting season and maintain healthy waterfowl populations.
In Alaska, more than 65,000 ducks were harvested by sport hunters, down from nearly 75,000 in the previous season. The sport-hunted goose harvest, at 7,500, was up from 5,500 in 2005.
Nationally, duck hunters spent about 6.8 million days in the field, compared with 6.5 million days of duck hunting the previous season. Hunters spent more than 4 million days hunting geese, which is similar to the previous season. Mallards were the most prevalent duck in the bag for hunters in the United States, with nearly 4.7 million birds harvested last season. Other species popular among waterfowlers were green winged teal with nearly 1.7 million birds harvested; gadwall with more than 1.5 million harvested; wood duck, at more than 1 million harvested; and blue winged teal, with more than 940,000 harvested.
The waterfowl hunter activity and harvest estimates for the 2006 hunting season are available on the Service's web site. Recent survey data on the subsistence harvest of waterfowl in Alaska can be seen as well.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 97-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 547 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.