17 Dec 2008 – Texas Weekly Migratory Bird Hunting Report

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17 Dec 2008 - Texas Weekly Migratory Bird Hunting ReportWeekly migratory bird hunting reports are posted from early September through early February.

High Plains Mallard Management Unit: Overnight lows dipped down around 5 degrees near Amarillo and Dumus Monday, which is just what outfitters like to get geese in a feeding mode. Temperatures had been below freezing with snow for several days last week, but winds gusting at over 40 miles per hour made it tough to decoy birds and keep decoys from blowing across the High Plains. More geese are roosting around Etter and Cactus Lake since the cooldown. Shallow playas are frozen, which has moved ducks to warmer and deeper feed lot ponds. Knox City hunters have taken wigeons, mallards, gadwalls and teal. Pheasant season has been solid, with limits being the norm. Prospects are good.

North Zone Duck: The second split of duck season opened to temperatures resembling early teal season. More mallards arrived in Northeast Texas during the split, and a round of rain during the past week helped recharge shallow sloughs and backwaters. Conditions changed dramatically Monday as a stiff cold front pushed through the region bringing with it rain and sleet. Green-winged teal have been seen on shallow flats on lakes and reservoirs. Mallards have been solid on Lake Wright-Patman, Lake Palestine, Lake Fork, Lake Tawakoni and Cooper Lake. More divers have shown on Toledo Bend, Lake O’the Pines and Lake Fork. Wood ducks have been steady in wooded sloughs. Inland ponds near the coast were fair over the weekend. Mostly teal, gadwalls and shovelers were taken. Water continues to be a problem near Sealy, Brookshire, Nome, China and Winnie. Lack of rain is drying ponds and many landowners are not pumping due to the high costs. Prospects are fair to good.

South Zone Duck: The second split of duck season was generally good along the coast. Limit hunts were posted near Wharton, East Bernard, Garwood, Chesterville, Eagle Lake and El Campo. Ducks flew early, then a little later in the morning due to the full moon. If you had water, you had birds. On the east side of Houston near High Island, good hunts for gadwalls and wigeons were posted in the marsh. Hunting was fair at best in the marsh near Anahuac and Trinity Bay. The Collegeport marsh saw good hunts for greenwings and bluewings. Hunting was fair to good in the bay near Port O’Connor and Rockport. Low tides pushed many redheads to the bayfront, but tides rose as southerly winds blew and back lakes filled up with water Sunday. Pintails, wigeons, teal, scaup and redheads were harvested. Goose hunting continued steady, though specklebellies have become a bit finicky. Snow geese have decoyed well over rice and some groups are beginning to hit green fields. Many more Canada geese have hit the coast which has helped fill the bag. Prospects are good.