Texas Weekly Migratory Bird Hunting Report

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Weekly migratory bird hunting reports are posted from early September through early February.

High Plains Mallard Management Unit: Duck hunting was generally good in the Panhandle region as the High Plains Mallard Management Unit (HPMMU) opened for a short stint Oct.25-26. Wigeons, teal, gadwalls and a few mallards were taken over playa lakes. Dumas, Spearman and ponds near Amarillo are holding adequate amounts of water from recent rains. Hunts near Knox City enjoyed limit hunts, though outfitters say they could use more rain. More geese are showing daily, especially with the recent front that dropped nighttime lows in the 30s. Canadas and sandhill crane numbers are looking good. The HPMMU season reopens and runs Oct.31. The West Zone goose season runs Nov.8. Prospects are good.

North Zone Duck: Duck numbers are fair at best for the Nov.1 opener. Fair amount of ducks, including gadwalls and wigeons were reported on Caddo Lake and Lake Wright-Patman. The region has received little rain since summer, which has many sloughs and backwaters devoid of moisture. Wood ducks look good in the timber, but another shot of water would help. The best region in the North Zone looks to be the agricultural fields near the coast just north of IH-10. Since rice production is up due to better prices, many fields have water to grow second-crop rice. Fields near Sealy, Brookshire, China, Devers, Nome and Winnie have a fair amount of teal, shovelers, pintails and mottled ducks. Prospects are fair.

South Zone Duck: Duck numbers are improving since the front passed early this week. The coastal prairie remains dry, except for second-cropped rice fields and ponds that have been pumped. Gadwalls, wigeons, teal, shovelers and pintails are building on leveed ponds and rice. Marsh ducks are building near Seadrift, Port O’Connor and Rockport. Scaup and redheads are showing on the bay near Port O, Rockport and Port Mansfield. Specklebelly numbers are building, though the brunt of the population has not arrived yet. A few snow geese are showing, but not enough to hunt. The marsh near High Island and Anahuac is devoid of food from saltwater intrusion which should affect the duck flight. As a whole, duck numbers are fair in the South Zone. The season opens Nov.1. Prospects are fair.

South Zone Dove: Dove hunting improved during the past week with the recent cool front. New birds showed in El Campo, Bay City, Collegeport and Blessing, though many hunters have lost interest due to upcoming deer and duck openers. Good shoots were posted in Laredo, McAllen, Port Mansfield and Brownsville, though most birds moved better in the afternoon. The first split of the season runs through Nov. 9. Prospects are fair to good.