Well, I think we lucked out in the coastal marshes this year. Comparing the marsh to last years' dead zone, I would say we're way ahead. Last week, as Hurricane Ida nosed its way into the Gulf, I was still celebrating the great hunt that I had been on with Paul and Mike Woods during the youth weekend. I thought about all the submerged aquatic vegetation in the Delacroix marsh that would surely be scalped from the soft water bottoms. Wigeon grass, coontail, milfoil – it's been there all summer. Surely the storm tide would leave us with bare mud and no ducks.

I expected the worst, but Friday afternoon (Nov. 13) as the Go-Devil made its way into my favorite crack, about 75 grays got up from the corner of the lagoon. I spotted the grass flats, still alive and well, sprinkled with duck feathers. A few flocks of teal dipped up and down over the horizon. The tide was back to mean level, and the long milfoil stalks were draped over the water's surface. Promising indeed.

Our Saturday hunt was pretty memorable. My two hunting partners (one newbie and one seasoned hunter) showed up with one shotgun between them. No problem. I shared my Benelli with Mark and gave out some last-minute shooting lessons.

The morning started off with a few small, early flights of grays. I think we had knocked down two big drakes before they stopped flying and the teal started. The teal were pretty steady in the decoys for a while, although not in the big groups like they were during the youth weekend. Eventually the grays started moving again, and we added a few more to the stack.

At about 8 a.m., my hunting buddies announced that they were out of shells. I gave them the rest of my only box. At about 9, we had 15 birds down and no more shells. After a complete search and seizure of the boat's storage compartments, all the shell buckets and our pockets, the boys officially announced that the hunt was over due to exhausted resources. The final count was five grays, two mottled ducks and eight teal. We headed in, all smiles.

The marinas at Delacroix and Reggio had similar reports. Many hunters had limits in both areas. Several boats had cleaned up on specks and reds, too.

My friends at the Reggio camp had mostly limited out, and I heard others did well in Caenarvon. Reports from Hopedale were also great. Several limits came from the west side of the MRGO.

I did hear that the Bayou Bienvenue area near Chalmette was pretty slow. My buddy who hunts that area said last year was hot, and they're hopeful that things will continue to get better.

Sunday was pretty much a repeat, with several limits from the Delacroix area.  Although the birds are not as plentiful as in years past, there seemed to be plenty to go around. It is still pretty early, and I'm sure that the migration will continue to come our way with each passing cold front.

How was the hunting in your area? How's the marsh habitat this season? Tell us what's going on in your blind. I'll try to reach out to my friends in Southwest Louisiana and post some reports next time about what's going on over there. Till then "don't shoot the decoys."