The 2010-2011 hunting season has now officially begun and it could not have opened under better conditions. The weatherman cooperated and Texas hunters were greeted to chilly temperatures and plenty from the deer blind to the duck blind. The annual opening morning for deer hunters is much anticipated event that thousands of hunters look forward to each year. The amount of traffic headed out of town and to parts unknown is staggering as hunters loaded with gear filled the highways starting early last Friday in anticipation of Saturday’s opener.  The majority of all the hunters I spoke with was really positive as many of them, especially here in east Texas, were impressed with the amount of animals they saw. There were some solid deer taken from the lakes area by local hunters keying in on acorn rich flats. Many hunters who opted for watching corn feeders got to see a show as well with the cooler temperatures increasing deer movement during the day.

The folks who went both south and west appear to be happy as late summer rains allowed for extra green foliage and browse to still exist as well as help out with body weights and antler growth. The numbers of animals and their overall condition was a common point of discussion with many hunters as they remarked on how good the overall deer herd looked. As of this column I haven’t seen any giant bucks that were taken opening weekend but you can bet a few hit the ground. Hopefully the cooler weather won’t stay away too long and will come back to help kick off the rut. Once the bucks start actively chasing does it’s just a matter of time before some real wall hangers start showing up.

Out on the water the story was a little different for local duck hunters as the fast and furious start to the season a week ago turned into the slow and torturous this past weekend. Evidently the big norther that came through our area pushed out a ton of birds and very few new birds moved in with the front. The amount of birds in the area was down drastically from last week in most areas and left hunters wondering what happened. Another factor that hurt was the super low tides, there were plenty of areas that held ducks last week that were nothing more than mud flats on Saturday and Sunday.

Heading into this weekend it looks like we are going to have a little bit of rain and not quite as cool temperatures as last weekend but still very comfortable. Louisiana will open up there duck season starting Saturday morning and for the past week the marsh has been buzzing with both hunters and ducks. Last minute blind maintenance has been tops on the list for most hunters. Many of the boats running in the bayous are piled full of cane and other materials along with hopeful hunters waiting on Saturday’s legal shooting time. The marsh looks to be in good shape and there are a fair amount of birds in the area. If you plan on making that run in the dark this weekend please remember there will be extra traffic so be sure all you lights work and you allow yourself enough time to get to the blind safely