Texas Weekly Migratory Bird Hunting Report – 11/12/2008
High Plains Mallard Management Unit: Outfitters say playa lakes look good and are holding lots of ducks and geese. Most of the birds are scattered throughout the region with the abundance of water. Colder weather should congregate the flocks. Pintails, teal, gadwalls, wigeons and a few mallards have been taken. The brunt of the population has not arrived, yet. Hunting has been fair at best recently with the milder than normal temperatures. Calm days coupled with blue skies have not helped decoying action. Sandhill crane hunting was fair during opening weekend. Those with a little wind saw better results. Goose numbers are building daily with the bright moon and a forecasted cold front that is expected to move through the region. Prospects are good.
North Zone: Duck hunting was fair at best on Northeast Texas lakes and reservoirs. Ponds near Dallas and north of the city saw mixed bags of gadwalls, teal and mallards. Mild temperatures have been the culprit in so few birds seen. Lake Wright-Patman was good for half-limits at best. Toledo Bend, Caddo Lake and Lake O’the Pines held divers and gadwalls. Water levels on lakes and reservoirs remain adequate for hunting. The southern portion of the north zone was fair at best as well. Fields near Brookshire, China, Devers, Nome, Sealy and Winnie held scattered flocks of specklebellies to go with a smattering of ducks. Conditions remain dry on rice and prairie ponds north of IH-10. Expect new birds to show with the full moon, despite no significant cold front forecasted. Prospects are fair.
South Zone: Duck hunting has been fair at best throughout the region, though prairie ponds holding adequate water has seen steady hunting. Best hunts have been in Wharton County, where blue-winged teal, gadwalls, pintails, wigeons and shovelers have filled straps. Fields near Garwood have been steady as well, with most ducks hunters taking the odd specklebelly, too. The Justin Hurst WMA near Freeport, Mad Island WMA near Bay City and Guadalupe Delta WMA near Port Lavaca has seen poor to fair hunting. Most of the freshwater compartments and moist soil units are dry. Duck hunting near Port O’Connor has been fair to good for those willing to put in the time to scout. The brunt of the diver population has not arrived, and the same goes for pintails, gadwalls and wigeons. Rockport has seen fair hunting at best. Large rafts of ducks have not arrived, yet. Goose hunting has been fair to good, with most hunters taking their limit of specklebellies. Snow geese have cooperated when the wind blows. A good hatch of young birds has aided in decoying action. Expect new geese to arrive with the forthcoming full moon. The region received needed rainfall early this week, as much as five inches in some parts, which should recharge parched ponds. Prospects are fair to good.