Despite a well-timed cool front and brisk temperatures Saturday morning, many Louisiana duck hunters didn’t have the second-split opening weekend they were hoping for.
“Saturday started off good and we killed a lot of birds, but Sunday got a little slower,” said Capt. Cody Obiol, with Cajun Fishing Adventures in Buras. “You could tell the birds got spooked with a ton of boats out here...
“I guess you could say the big push of ducks still hasn’t come yet.”
That was a common refrain from hunters interviewed by LouisianaSportsman.com: there just didn’t seem to be a whole lot of birds moving over the weekend — at least in areas where reports were filed.
“The ducks just have not pushed in,” Obiol said. “Usually you run out in the morning or the evening and you’ll jump a lot of birds, and you see a lot of birds get up. We don’t have that —lots of singles and pairs are what we’re seeing.”
Saturday marked the opening day of the second split for all hunters in Louisiana’s Coastal, West and East Zones. The season ends on Jan. 17 for Coastal Zone hunters, Jan. 24 for the West Zone and Jan. 31 for the East Zone, including Catahoula Lake.
Despite last week's December aerial survey indicating more than 2.6 million birds in the state, several hunters had a tough time finding them.
“It was bad,” said David Delahoussaye, 46, of New Iberia, who hunts in Grand Chenier in Cameron Parish. “Saturday we killed a greenhead, a gray duck, a teal and three ring-necks, and Sunday we killed four ring-necks. There’s just no birds.
“The reports I got from Creole to Pecan Island from people that are normally slaughtering them were basically the same thing as us. If we could get some cold weather, I think we could get some birds. But what’s going to move in with the 80-degree weather?”
Sportsman TV producer Jared Serigné hunted in Hopedale Saturday, and had friends who hunted in the Caernarvon area, but neither location had much success.
“None of it was very good. No new ducks, all the same ducks,” Serigné said. “The ducks we hunted in Hopedale were mostly gray ducks, and you could tell they weren’t new ducks because they didn’t want to decoy or respond to calls. They were on a mission.
“In Caernarvon, the folks who hunted there, in one blind they didn’t fire a gun, and one blind shot nine, but it was buffleheads and dos gris — pretty much all divers. So no new ducks, nothing to speak of and certainly no positive signs.”
Despite an excellent hunt Sunday morning made up exclusively of green-winged teal, David Faul with Bin There Hunting in Welsh's rice fields, said he didn’t feel like a lot of new birds had moved into the area during the split.
“Overall, it still sucks. There’s just not a lot of birds down,” he said. “Everybody around here didn’t do much Saturday or Sunday, but I thank my lucky stars we had some good hunts over here. They just wanted my pond Sunday morning.
“Today, there were lots of ducks, but they would circle outside and go land in the other end of the pond. Just some high-flying groups that didn’t want to have anything to do with us.”