It’s official, hunting season in Texas is now 100% open and the results so far have been outstanding. South zone duck and goose hunters have been covered up with birds along coastal marshes for the last two weeks while deer hunters all over the state have been doing about average for this early in the year. Local deer hunters in east Texas are reporting sporadic rutting activity due to the warmer temperatures that have been present. Overall success rates have been about average according to several lease managers I spoke with this week. Some of the best reports I have gotten have been from the lakes area, several leases near Toledo Bend have had some nice bucks taken during the past week. Almost all of the better bucks that were taken from that area were chasing does. Hunters concentrating on food plots and corn feeders have reported slow action due to high water from recent rains. The woods are not only full of water they are full of forage and the deer don’t have to depend on outside sources for food. After the first frost or two and when some of this water recedes this will most certainly change.

I continue to get some great stories and reports from proud parents as the young hunters in our area continue to have success in the field. One local hunter who shot a dandy eight point this past weekend was Chad Dallas. Chad and his dad, Tony Dallas were hunting on their lease in Newton County this weekend when a nice tall tined eight pointer made the mistake of stepping out into the area where the Dallas clan was set up. Chad made a great shot and put the buck down. The last word I got was it was hard to tell who had the bigger smile Chad or Tony. Congrats to both of them on a job well done.

North zone duck hunters have reported tough going over the weekend. Hunters all the way to Lake Fork are reporting slow hunts compared to last year at this same time. The early season cold fronts really pushed the ducks farther down the flyways this year instead of stalling them out to the north like years past. The big problem is with high water conditions on playa lakes, the birds scatter and you just can’t get good concentrations of birds to hunt.

South Zone hunters continue to make due with plenty of teal and gadwall making appearances in the decoys and filling straps. The last full moon brought another push of teal down to our area but who knows how long they will hang around. Local hunters who cross the river to hunt in Louisiana will have their first opportunity to shoot ducks this weekend as the general waterfowl season opens Saturday. Most local marshes look good despite the super high water. Just like our neighbors to the north the high water will certainly scatter the birds and make them a little tougher pattern. Hopefully we can get some of this runoff out of the system and get back to more normal water levels. I spoke to some hunters coming out of Burrton’s ditch this week and they were laughing about how far under water their pit blinds were, I guess that’s all you can do when the water is this high.

Goose hunters on the coastal prairies are reporting really good numbers of birds for this early in the season. Compared to years past most guides agree the geese are a couple of weeks ahead of schedule. The increased numbers of geese early in the season make for some superb combination hunts. Right now your chance at a limit of ducks along with a hefty strap of geese is really good if you are in the right places. These odds should increase as the weather continues to cool and more birds reach our area.