Texas Migratory Bird Report No. 14

Texas Migratory Bird Report No. 14

Youth Duck Hunting Texas
Texas Migratory Bird Report No. 14
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

AUSTIN, Texas –-(Ammoland.com)- Weekly migratory bird hunting reports are posted from early September through early February.

High Plains Mallard Management Unit: The recent cold front pushed more geese to the High Plains. Goose hunters enjoyed better decoying action near Dumas, Spearman, Etter and Amarillo. Limits of Canadas have been taken from corn and plowed ground. A few snow geese have been mixed with dark geese. A good juvenile hatch of snow should help when snows develop a feeding pattern. Specklebellies and Canadas continue to work in Knox and Haskell counties. Duck numbers continue to build in the Panhandle, with more mallards showing with the cool front, but water remains a premium. Few playas are wet, so most ducks have had to resort to feed lot ponds and larger reservoirs. Sandhill crane hunters have enjoyed great decoying action. Prospects are good.

North Zone Duck: The first split of duck season ended at sunset Nov. 27 and results across the region ranged from poor to fair. Lack of water was the culprit, as the region and the rest of Texas have been suffering from a record drought. Many areas of the North Zone did receive solid rain as the front blew through over the weekend, but backwater sloughs and bayous that are normally wet soaked up the moisture quickly. Gadwalls and wigeons have been taken in shallow coves of lakes and reservoirs. Divers are steady around Lake O’Pines, Sam Rayburn, Lake Fork and Toledo Bend, though boat ramp access has been limited. Hunting was good around the zone boundaries of IH-10, especially after the front as an influx of green-winged teal hit the coast. Freshwater impoundments have held pintails, wigeons, teal and shovelers and the weekend rains helped recharge freshwater impoundments. The second split opens Dec. 10.

South Zone Duck: Duck hunters along the coast enjoyed the best duck hunting in the state during the first split. The coast continued to produce steady duck shoots on the prairies, marshes and bays. Gadwalls, wigeons, shovelers and pintails were taken on the coastal prairies. Large wads of green-winged teal had been absent during the past week; however, wads of greenwings showed on the heels of the blowing north wind. Bay hunters enjoyed limits to near-limits around Port O’Connor, Rockport and Port Mansfield. More snow geese showed with the front, but large concentrations have been using isolated ranches with multiple roost ponds. A bumper crop of young snow geese have decoyed well over rag spreads. Rice fields have been best thus far. Specklebellies have readily decoyed, with unofficial estimates of 30-40 percent juvenile birds in the coastal population. Sandhill crane numbers are steady, but the season does not open in Zone C until Dec. 24. Hunters must possess the free crane permit to hunt sandhill cranes. The South Zone duck season reopens Dec. 10.

Season/Bag Limits: The High Plains Mallard Management Unit runs Oct. 29-30, Nov. 4-Jan. 29, 2012. The North and South zones run Nov. 5-27 and Dec. 10-Jan. 29, 2012.

The daily bag limit shall be 6 ducks, to include no more than the following: 5 mallards (only 2 of which may be hens), 3 wood ducks, 2 scaup (lesser scaup and greater scaup in the aggregate), 2 redheads, 2 pintails, 1 canvasback, 1 dusky duck (mottled duck, Mexican-like duck, black duck and their hybrids are closed the first five days of the season in each zone). All other species: 6.

About:
The Mission of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, (TPWD), is to manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Visit: www.tpwd.state.tx.us