Read our Q&A with a South Texas duck hunting guide.
The season may be over, but it is never a bad time to talk about duck season.
Jeremy Boyd is a 23-year old student at Texas A&M-Kingsville who guides duck hunts in his spare time. We asked him what he thinks about the state of duck hunting, and what tips he would give hunters trying their luck at South Texas ducks.
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Wide Open Spaces: Jeremy why did you decide to start duck guiding in the first place?
Jeremy Boyd: Well, like most good things everything just falls into place. A buddy of mine who also guides needed help one weekend with some of his clients and he asked if I wanted to help. I've duck hunted for years and I figured why not, I like hunting and meeting new people so after that first guiding I was hooked.
WOS: What is the must have gear for you when you go out guiding or duck hunting on your own?
JB: Well first of all, I need my shotgun. Can't hit them if you don't have your shotgun ready (laughing). My next must have item would be my duck calls. My favorite would have to be my Echo calls and a close second would be my RNT calls. Finally, my decoys. I tell you, those decoys work and I use them almost every hunt.
WOS: You have a bird dog, Duke, and love him to death; do you prefer having a bird dog to not having one?
JB: Well, I have hunted for years and many of those years I never had a dog and it was still just as enjoyable. When I got Duke my whole perception changed. I didn't have to chase after wounded ducks, wade into shoulder-deep water or even search for what seemed like eternity in tall grasses. So yes, I definitely prefer having Duke around, plus he makes a great pal outside of hunting as well.
WOS: What is the best time to hunt around South Texas and where is your favorite place to hunt?
JB: In my opinion, the best time around here is the second weekend of the season or the last weekend. I mean, I do my guiding or my own hunts the entire time, but those dates are my favorite. In the second weekend the birds are coming in easy and there is more of them, and the last weekend just has phenomenal birds, but those guys are definitely weary compared to the ones coming in the beginning weeks of open season. My favorite place to hunt would have to be Port O'Conner.
Jeremy Boyd and his trusty sidekick Duke with a day's worth of ducks
WOS: What is your favorite type of duck?
JB: I love Mallards, those are the ones I try and go for all the time. I've only shot a couple myself but anytime we see those I try and make sure we get those pretty ducks.
WOS: What is it you enjoy most about guiding?
JB: I love working with people, old or new clients. It's fun to learn about people, what they do, how they started hunting and sometimes they end up teaching you new things that you never even thought of. Plus I get to make new hunting buddies from all over Texas.
WOS: Do you have any tips you would like to share?
Hmmm, over my years of my own hunts and even guiding I've noticed that if the birds just don't seem to take to the decoys, try changing your spread. It only takes a few minutes, but you get results pretty quickly. Granted, there are the days where nothing seems to be flying, but that is the joy of hunting; you never know what is going to happen.
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WOS: Is there anything else that you would like to share with Wide Open Spaces?
JB: I love hunting. Being able to be out on, in, or around the water when the ducks land is just awesome in my opinion. And being able to share this with people who enjoy the same things is why I keep guiding and coming back for more.