The first split has come and gone already. My personal totals for eight hunts with guests was 103 ducks. Not bad at all.

If you were lucky enough to have any ducks at all, the numbers were still way off from seasons past. Miraculously, Delacroix Isle, Reggio and the Canarveon area had some isolated areas that produced limits of grays and teal. I was one of the lucky ones this time.

But many more in our region struggled most days. Other areas along the coast did not fare very well either. 

I had a report from the Montegut area in Terrebonne Parish from one hunter who said he did not see a duck on the one trip he made. A friend of mine who hunts Lafitte, said, for the first time ever, he and another did not fire a shot on opening day. Another friend of mine who hunts the freshwater marshes around the Mermentau River in Vermilion Parish also had very slow reports.

I've even heard a few bad reports from Venice this season – and when Venice is struggling something is bad wrong with the migrations.

The birds have simply not showed up yet in the Louisiana coastal marshes. I guess we can attribute it to the high water levels and flooding of the Mississippi River Valley this year. With all the flooded agriculture just north of us, we can expect the ducks to stay there until the whole thing freezes over. I've got my fingers crossed for the weather up north to get ugly.

The hunting in Delacroix was mostly high tides and scattered birds. On the few low-tide days we had it seemed like the teal would really stack up on some of the grass flats and then disappear as the tides came back in.

Some days the high tides made the birds decoy shy and other days it didn't matter, with identical conditions. If you can explain that, I'm all ears.

Our birds consisted of about 50 percent teal, 30 percent grays and 20 percent mix of wigeon, mottles and spoonies.

Tell us how your season was this first split. I'm sure every region had at least a few cracks holding birds. Tell us about it. I'm sure other duck hunters in your area could use the encouragement.

One positive note: This morning I noticed several flocks of dos gris riding the swells in Lake Pontchartrain and another huge flock in the Mississippi River next to the grain elevators. That's usually a good sign that the weather is pushing the birds down.

It's encouragement anyway, and remember,  the only report that really matters is the one from within that 50-yard ring around your duck blind.