Texas Weekly Migratory Bird Report No. 17

Texas Weekly migratory bird hunting reports are posted from early September through early February.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

AUSTIN, Texas –-(Ammoland.com)- High Plains Mallard Management Unit: Duck hunting has improved with recent rains and snow. The Panhandle received more rain early this week and snow is forecasted as well.

Good numbers of mallards, gadwalls and teal have been harvested, along with wigeons, mallards and gadwalls.

Goose hunting has been great, according to several sources, with best goose hunts coming over wheat and corn. Lots of Canada geese on Lake Etter. Snow geese have been mixed with darks. Outfitters have reported larger Canada geese have moved in to the region with freezing temperatures in the northern states. Prospects are good.

North Zone Duck:  Biologist Jared Laing said hunters have enjoyed good shoots for mallards in backwaters along sloughs, river bottoms and beaver ponds. Recent rains have drastically improved habitat in what had been a dismal first split of the season. Mallard action has been good along the Sulfur River and Red River bottoms. Gadwalls and wigeons have dominated the bag for the most part, but green-winged teal and divers have helped, too. Caddo Lake and Lake O’Pines are solid for divers, gadwalls and a few mallards. Lake Fork and Toledo Bend saw good shoots in shallow creeks and coves for mallards, canvasbacks, gadwalls and green-winged teal. Laing said the Neches, Sabine and Angelina rivers have improved with recent rains for mallards, gadwalls and wigeons. Hunting remains steady around the zone boundaries of IH-10 around Sealy, Brookshire, China, Winnie and Columbus. Lots of green-winged teal have filled the bag, along with gadwalls and shovelers. Prospects are fair to good.

South Zone Duck: Pintails, green-winged teal, gadwalls and shovelers continue to be the mainstay on prairie ponds near Wharton, El Campo, Eagle Lake, Garwood, Lissie and East Bernard. An influx of blue-winged teal moved through the region last week. Bay hunters enjoyed limits t near Port O’Connor and Rockport. Redheads have been steady and so have wigeons, pintails and gadwalls. Lower Laguna Madre hunters have shot steady limits around the Arroyo Colorado and Port Mansfield. Goose hunters continue to take advantage of a high percentage of juvenile snow geese. Foggy conditions last week yielded banner hunts. Specklebellies have become much tougher to decoy, most of the times skirting white spreads and snubbing boisterous calling. Sandhill crane hunters get their first shot Dec. 24, and numbers look good around roost ponds. Limited water has concentrated cranes in very large groups. Prospects are good.

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.

This service is provided to you at no charge by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

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