Great weather and a slow opener
The weatherman finally gave local hunters the forecast we have all desperately craved for quite some time, only problem was the birds and animals didn’t fully cooperate. The only thing good about this past weekend’s opener for many hunters was the cool temps. Early Saturday morning on the way to the duck blind my son Hunter was on his phone with Colton Coffman, a team mate at Panola, who was up at Lake Fork. They were using the Face Time feature on their IPhones when Coffman showed us the temperature readout from his truck that said 29 degrees. Talk about a stark contrast to the standard opener in Texas that usually means short sleeves and mosquito spray the majority of the time. The conditions were perfect while the results were less than desirable.
Now don’t get me wrong, there were some folks who had great opening weekends but they were not in the majority. About 2 weeks before the Texas opener I was speaking to my good friend Bink Grimes who runs Sunrise Lodge on Matagorda Bay and guides for Bill Sherrill Waterfowl in Wharton. “Gonna be a ton of teal killed during the opening weekend” said Grimes, “they are strung out from here to Canada right now; the migration was strange this year”. Well it appears Grimes was right, the majority of the ducks killed this past weekend were teal, blue wings and green wings both. Shovelers, gadwall, and a few pintails were mixed in on the straps I saw but the lion’s share of the birds taken were teal.
Hunter’s willing to brave the opening weekend crowds at a few of the refuges were rewarded with solid shoots as were some of the folks who hunt the rice fields to the west. The Katy prairie and on southward had plenty of birds on Saturday while the numbers on Sunday were noticeably less. Many hunters reported having to stay much later on Sunday to finish off limits compared to Saturday’s chaos. The folks who took to the coastal bays found enough ducks to keep them interested but still far from the normal numbers that will be here in the coming weeks.
Goose hunters are still staring at the sky waiting for the first solid numbers of snow geese to reach our part of the state. Up until now the only geese I have seen have been speckle bellies and they have been few and far between for the most part. The approaching full moon should do wonders for bringing more birds into the area and hopefully that will accompany more cold weather. Water levels and conditions in our immediate area could not be better but that all means nothing unless the birds show up. Louisiana opens there general waterfowl season in a little less than two weeks and that may coincide with a big push of birds entering the area. For hunters who cross the river and hunt in Louisiana this is music to their ears due to the fact the season is shorter compared to Texas. It does no good to have the season open if the birds aren’t here.
In the meantime most hunters have taken to the highways and waterways to do some scouting in preparation for this weekend. Another cool front is predicted to come through just in time to chill down Saturday and Sunday morning once again. At least the conditions will be favorable and hopefully the ducks will decide to cooperate.