Some hunters got limits, others didn’t fire their guns
Duck hunting can be a lot like real estate — it’s all about location, location, location.
That seemed true this weekend for the opening of the 16-day 2019 teal season: Some hunters set up where teal wanted to be and shot limits, while others didn’t see very much at all.
Results from the field backed up the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ aerial September teal survey conducted last week, which estimated only about 127,000 birds statewide — 45 percent below the long-term average of 230,000.
But Buras was a bright spot, according to Capt. Ryan Lambert at Cajun Fishing Adventures.
“We did well. We limited out, with 48 birds on Saturday and 24 on Sunday,” Lambert said. “But the number of birds diminished greatly on Sunday. They still have some migratory flights coming down, but as usual we could use a good cold front to really kick it off.
“The last two years we didn’t have a cold front during the season.”
Lambert said social media posts — or lack of them — were a good indicator of how the season opened.
“There was a lot of moaning and groaning,” he said. “Facebook was empty — no teal.”
Unfortunately, that was pretty much the case for David Delahoussaye of New Iberia, who hunted in Grand Chenier in Cameron Parish this weekend.
“This is not a lie — in two days, I didn’t fire my gun,” Delahoussaye said with a laugh. “It was bad. This was by far the worst start I’ve seen since I’ve been going out there for eight or nine years…
“We saw a few birds, but nothing was really working,” he said, noting he heard similar reports from hunters in Pecan Island. “I guess they have birds in certain areas, but where we were, they didn’t have much worth counting.”
One spot that shined was a freshwater impoundment between Montegut and Chauvin hunted by Capt. Anthony Kyzar and his clients.
“We were on the X. It was amazing,” said, Kyzar, with Cajun Fishing and Hunting Charters out of Houma. “We put a crew together Saturday and Sunday, and just about everybody got limits.”
That was in spite of some rough weather that rolled through early Saturday morning.
“We got messed up because a big squall came through right at daylight, so we weren’t able to catch that first 15 or 20 minutes when it’s really good,” he said.
The local habitat was likely a big contributor to the bounty of birds there, Kyzar said.
“We’re lucky right now. We have a bunch of grass,” he said. “Year to year, you never know. It’s an impoundment with a water control, and there’s a lot of grass this year. Hopefully, a good teal season will turn into a good duck season, too.”
Jeff Davis Parish
Up in the rice fields of Jeff Davis Parish, David Faul with Bin There Hunting in Welsh said opening weekend was a success — all things considered.
“It wasn’t great by any means, but it sure wasn’t the worst we’ve had either,” Faul said. “I shouldn’t be complaining. People I”m talking to, a lot of them aren’t getting any, or just ones and twos. We managed 95 on opening day and we got 36 on Sunday.”
Faul said he actually saw more birds on Sunday, but they weren’t really cooperative.
“Once shooting time rolled around, everything that came passed us or through us had another mission in mind,” he said. “They didn’t respond to a call or whistle. They didn’t even flinch — they weren’t thinking about stopping.”
Up until the middle of last week, Faul said there weren’t really any teal to speak of on his property.
“The most I saw was about 50. We weren’t holding birds, and there was nothing around. Then I got a few reports they moved into the marsh south of us on Wednesday night, and then some farms on the north end got a few birds, also,” he said. “I’m definitely not bragging, but I’m not complaining either, with some of the stuff I’m hearing.”
Further west, in the marshes south of Sweet Lake, Capt. Nick Poe with Big Lake Guide Service said the going was pretty rough this weekend.
“It’s the toughest opener I’ve seen in a long time,” Poe texted. “I’ve heard they’re killing north and south of me, but I haven’t done much.”