Louisiana duck hunting was off to a good start this winter, but results across the state varied.
It was a mix of good and not so good harvests for Louisiana duck hunting this season, as some parts of the state benefitted from the early cold fronts.
Kelly Haydel frequents Lake Charles and the Sabine Wildlife Refuge and spoke of the early cold fronts that pushed many ducks south. He told reporters;
Unfortunately, we got some south winds that pushed the birds back up past the freeze line. The weather we’re getting right now should help shift the birds. The migration of 200 to 300 miles is usually controlled by the wind. We look for the weather changes to refuel the birds in the southwest.
Larry Reynolds, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries waterfowl study leader, told reporters, “Overall around the state, hunters did pretty well in the first split, but not so much in the second split. After the first split, we had a lot of warm, stale, windless days and the lack of wind didn’t blow the birds around the state. It appears it was good along the coast until the rain last week.”
Conversely Mike Smith, operator of LA Marsh Guide Service has had no problems finding ducks for his customers. Less water in the northern parts of the Bayou State, meant better Louisiana duck hunting on the coast.
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Lloyd Webb of Bossier City, spoke of his early-season success and the less productive conclusion of the season. He told reporters he’s had more success with local birds.
The only way to get them is you have to know where they are and set up there. We’ll be lucky to get any more flight days this year. It’s just about over. We live for the flight days, but we missed a lot of flight days this winter.
In a recent report from Reynolds, the number of ducks counted in the Catahoula Lake region was 82,000. This number is much lower than the 144,00o ducks counted in November.