Weekly migratory bird hunting reports are posted from early September through early February.
High Plains Mallard Management Area: Duck hunting has been solid on playa lakes near Amarillo, Etter, Dumas and Spearman. Outfitters are reporting lots of ducks, with teal, pintails, wigeons and a few mallards comprising the brunt of the bag. Canada geese are plentiful, and that season begins Nov. 7. Crane numbers are just as good, with most hitting corn, milo and plowed ground (opens Nov. 7). Pheasants are everywhere. Water is plentiful. Prospects are very good.
North Zone Duck: Recent rains have swollen rivers and bayous, making boating and hunting treacherous in traditional hunting locales. Some boat ramps have been closed due to the flooding. Lake levels are above normal in most areas. Few stellar hunts were reported opening weekend in Northeast Texas. Wood ducks were good in flooded timber. Best hunts were had on the prairie just north of IH-10. Nome, China, Winnie, Hamshire, Brookshire, Columbus and Sealy saw good shoots for blue-winged teal and green-winged teal. A bright moon and calm winds limited the flight to the first hour of daylight. The first split of the season runs through Nov. 29. Prospects are fair to good.
South Zone Duck: The coastal prairie was definitely the place to be in Texas opening weekend. Limit hunts were the norm in Eagle Lake, El Campo, Garwood, Chesterville, East Bernard, Hungerford and Wharton. Loads of blue-winged teal provided steady flights, with green-winged teal, shovelers, wigeons, gadwalls and pintails rounding out the bag. Overall, bay hunters saw slow hunting in Trinity Bay, Port O’Connor, Rockport and Port Aransas. Few redheads, scaup and pintails have hit the shoalgrass flats. Biologist Matt Nelson reported just over one bird per man (bpm) at the Justin Hurst WMA near Freeport during opening weekend. Mad Island WMA near Bay City enjoyed 2.8 bpm Saturday and 4.5 bpm Sunday. Guadalupe Delta WMA near Port Lavaca was closed due to high water. Few hunters chased geese during the opener, probably due to limited concentrations of snow geese. Specklebellies are strong in cut rice fields and some duck hunters took the odd speck in duck blinds. Snow geese are trickling to Texas in small bunches, however, the brunt of the population has not arrived. Prospects are good.