Sixth-grader Seth Kile has the hunting bug, and he came by it naturally.
Duck hunts have been tough to predict during the first split all across Louisiana, but Central Louisiana has been particularly loony so far. Hunters are whacking them one day and striking out the next.
I made two hunts last week, one near Ferriday and one near Alexandria. Both were perfect examples of what’s going on.
After hearing that some friends hunting south of Tallulah on Thanksgiving morning had killed some pretty easy limits, I headed down to Ferriday on Friday morning to hunt a small cypress lake that is a known gadwall hole.
There wasn’t much to look at after the initial wood duck flurry finished. And this was the day after that Thanksgiving cold front that should have flooded ducks to the region. For whatever reason, they just didn’t come.
Several of the duck hunting guide services have reported the same thing. Hunter Shaffett, the head guide at Cypress Point Hunting Lodge in Clayton, said his hunters did pretty well on opening morning, but there hasn’t been much action since. The gadwalls that are their mainstay during the first split have been conspicuously absent.
Deciding to see if the even colder weather on Saturday would bring any more luck, I headed over to Alexandria to hunt with the newly formed Duckmasters Bayou Waterfowling. The morning was much colder, and the threat of rain gave us all hope that we’d shoot some ducks.
It’s hard to shoot ducks, though, when there aren’t any ducks. However, Gary Hayes, my guide for the morning, was able to bring in nearly every duck that passed by with his unbelievable mouth calling. Ducks that had someplace to be quickly turned and came back when they heard what Hayes was saying.
Saturday morning produced a lot more action as we killed a mixed bag of mallards, gadwall, ringnecks and spoonies. While the sky wasn’t black, Hayes summarized our day best while talking to his brother over the two-way radio.
“Two in … zero out,” he announced.
There weren’t a whole lot of ducks flying, but those that were didn’t make it out of our shooting range if they came too close.
Like everybody else in Louisiana, duck hunters in the central part of the state can hardly wait until the second split. As long as it brings in cold weather and ducks, all those long November days in the blind will be all but a distant memory.
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