Coastal zone hunters across the state trekked to their blinds for the last time yesterday, ending a season that for many featured the most ducks they had seen in years.
“I had a really good, solid year,” said Capt. Jimmuy Corley, with Waterfowl Specialist Guide Service out of Delacroix. “Overall, it was excellent. We finished off strong yesterday with redheads, grays and teal.
“The second split started off kind of slow with the fog and the humidity and everything, but after that, when that cool weather came back in, it was on.”
Numbers-wise, Corley said the first split produced more ducks, but he noted this was his best year overall since about 2004.
“We shot more limits in the first split than we did in the second, but the quality of birds was better in the second,” he said.
Capt. Gene Dugas, with Rather Be Hunting and Fishing Adventures out of Hopedale, agreed that it was a solid season overall.
“We did well for the whole year,” he said. “We had a couple of slim days here and there, but I think I averaged about 10 1/2 birds a hunt, and 4 1/2 birds per hunter for the year,” Dugas said. “I didn’t think I did that well until I started crunching the numbers.”
But for Dugas, action slacked toward the end of the second split.
“The first part of the second split was real good, and then it got a little slow, tougher toward the end,” he said. “Birds were sitting a lot and you had to hunt later, and change your decoys up a little bit.
“They’d get in that open water and just sit. The wouldn’t move. They’d get up and go right back down. If we had a good windy day, those were the days you did better when they moved some. But all in all, I was happy with the season.”
Further west, near Welsh, David Faul with Bin There Hunting said the season opened up with lots of promise, but just wasn’t very consistent.
“I’d go with ok,” Faul said. “I’m not going to say it was great. It started off spectacular. I thought we were going to set some records the way it was looking the first two weekends, then it kind of just went downhill.
“Then it was hit and miss, with some really good days where you’d limit out in 10 or 15 minutes, then in another day or two, you’d be lucky if you got two birds.”
For the season, his hunters harvested a total of 1,237 ducks and 45 geese, including 488 teal for that season. Most of the action came in the first split, when 455 ducks were taken, he said.
“It was better early this season. Last year it was better late. Last year, it sucked all year long until the last two weeks,” he said. “But overall, I’m not going to complain. It was alright.”