Texas Weekly Migratory Bird Hunting Report – 11/5/2008
High Plains Mallard Management Unit: Conditions look good in the Panhandle region near Amarillo, Dumas, Etter and Spearman. Outfitters say playa lakes are full of water and lots of waterfowl are roosting on them. Good duck hunts were posted for gadwalls, wigeons, teal and a few mallards. Lots of bluewings hanging around. Goose numbers look promising. Snow geese hanging around Lake Etter have lots of juveniles in the flock. Canada numbers look good as well. The West Zone goose season opens Nov. 8. Prospects are good.
North Zone Duck: The duck opener saw mixed results across the North Zone; however, compared to the 2007 opener, hunters saw better hunting. Decent hunts were posted on Lake Wright-Patman for gadwalls, wigeons and teal. Few mallards were reported. Caddo Lake hunters enjoyed the results, but most of the ducks were concentrated on big water. The same held true on Lake Fork, Toledo Bend and Lake Tawakoni. Bluebills, teal and a few redheads were taken on Lake O’the Pines. Good hunts were posted in rice and crawfish ponds near the coast on the southern border of the zone. Lots of hunters took their mottled duck along with greenwings and bluewings. Fog and calm winds along the coast this weekend hurt the flight somewhat. A pacific front is expected to drop temperatures later in the week. Prospects are fair to good.
South Zone Duck: Good hunts were posted on the prairie near Wharton and East Bernard. Lots of blue-winged teal were harvested along with gadwalls, shovelers, pintails and wigeons. Eagle Lake and Garwood enjoyed good shoots as well. Divers were taken on the prairie during opening weekend, but don’t expect them to hang around long. The prairie remains abnormally dry with water at a premium. Hunts along the bay were fair to good. The brunt of the duck population has not arrived, yet. Hunting was fair at best in the marsh east of Houston. A tidal surge of saltwater covered the entire marsh during Hurricane Ike and killed much of the duck food. Some of the rice was scorched by saltwater as well as water swelled well inland. Goose numbers look good. Limits of specklebellies were taken over rice, with a smattering of snows. Conditions were not favorable for goose hunting with calm conditions and clear skies. The juvenile population of snow geese looks to be in the 20-30 percent range, which bodes extremely well for decoying action. Prospects are good.
South Zone Dove: New birds showed up around South Texas since the front, but hunter participation has waned with the opening of duck and whitetail deer season. Some ranches that are primarily deer ranches have frowned on dove hunters shooting while deer hunters are on their stands. Sunflowers and watering holes have been the best bet. The season runs through Nov. 9. Prospects are good.