Ducks cranking up behind cold front

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If a Monday morning marsh hunt with Hackberry Rod & Gun is any indication, Louisiana waterfowlers reluctantly counting down the days of the 2006-07 season may finish with a flurry thanks to the cold front making its way across the state. The front started blowing through Hackberry early Monday morning, and the mercury was steadily dropping on the thermometer before Kirk Stansel, Guy Stansel and I even finished breakfast.

“This ought to be a pretty good morning,” Stansel said while putting away a couple spoonfuls of biscuits and gravy. “We’ve actually been killing more ducks on the warmer mornings, but this front ought to have them stirred up pretty good.”

Our decision to put on our waders when we got to Stansel’s boat was quickly proven the wrong one as his windshield wipers began pushing the raindrops that were splattering on the glass. It was raining, it was getting cold, and the wind was howling. As far as duck hunting goes, we couldn’t ask for better conditions.

The ducks apparently thought differently as we watched shooting time arrive with nary a bird in the sky. After scaring away a few teal with wayward shots from yours truly, we eventually got the skunk off our backs thanks to a well-placed wad of No. 1s.

I had brought 2s and 3s to the blind, but Guy Stansel offered me a box of 1s to help my shot hold better in the wind.

“We may even have to go to 3 1/2 inches it’s blowing so hard out here,” he said.

The ducks eventually woke up and started moving our way from the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge. Gadwall, pintail and greenwing teal began filling the skies. Many of them felt it wasn’t worth fighting the wind when they saw our spread, and some made the worst decision of their lives as they decided it looked too good to pass up.

We finished by 10 a.m. with our 18-duck limit. The ducks flew in spurts with long stretches of clear skies, but the birds that did fly by our blind were very receptive to the Stansels’ calling, and they worked well.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that we seemed to be in an area where the ducks just wanted to be. More than half of our limit came on in without Kirk of Guy even having to blow a note.

There’s less than a week left in the west zone. If you’ve put up your gear because of a miserable past couple of weeks, you may want to get it back out and hunt behind this front. Like a 300-yard drive right down the middle of the fairway on the 18th hole, it will leave a good taste in your mouth and keep you begging for more.

Contact Hackberry Rod & Gun at or 337-762-3391.

About Chris Ginn 778 Articles
Chris Ginn has been covering hunting and fishing in Louisiana since 1998. He lives with his wife Jennifer and children Matthew and Rebecca along the Bogue Chitto River in rural Washington Parish. His blog can be found at