The final minutes were counting down on the dawn of a new duck season. Visions of last season’s gray ducks hovering over the decoys had faded with time, and teal season was only a taste of what this hunter envisioned to satisfy his insatiable desire for the thrill of duck hunting.
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No one who really knows me would accuse me of being a die-hard duck hunter. While I’ve spent a lot of time over the years pointing a shotgun at waterfowl (“pointing” being the operative term), what has traditionally gotten my hunting juices flowing has been the thought of climbing into a tree and having a deer — any deer — walk into range.
The second weekend of teal season seemed to show some signs of improvement over the first, but birds remain fairly scattered throughout the state, according to a spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
While many duck species populations are at or near historic levels now, officials are concerned that continued loss of wetlands in the U.S. Prairie Pothole Region, combined with the inevitable return of dryer weather there, will have serious implications for the future.
The good news is the aerial survey completed this week by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries revealed about 101,000 blue-winged teal had already arrived in advance of opening day this Saturday, an increase of about 51,000 birds compared to last year’s record-breaking low count.
“Hmmm — six blue-winged teal would make for a nice day and plenty to eat,” I thought to myself the night before the opening day of the 2013 teal season. “Seriously? Six birds. One half dozen. Who’d of ever of thought the day would come?”
Opening day hunters on private land can begin hunting doves one-half hour before sunrise this year, an important change to remember when the season kicks off statewide next Saturday, Sept. 6.Read More...