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If You Ain't First, You're Last

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The first split has come and gone here in the east zone of Louisiana and actually none of us are too sad to see the break.  You always anticipate skies full of birds that have hardly been hunted in past year and this year that simply was not the case for the most part.  The first two days were good as they always are, but after that it began to get tough quick.  Early season birds started acting like late season birds and we just simply were not seeing the numbers we are accustomed to.  Had it not been for ring necks and woodies it would’ve certainly been an even greater struggle.

I tend to prefer hunting fields early in the year because they are generally full of green winged teal and specklebellies, both of which I love to eat!  While the geese were certainly plentiful the green wings were not.  It is one of the strangest first splits I can remember for the simple fact that I killed almost as many blue winged teal as I did green wings.  The blue wings should be well into mexico by now but they are still holding relatively strong here in north Louisiana.  The second week of the split saw a large rain event happen that brought some fresh birds into the area and hunting picked up for a few days but as quick as it picked up it was gone again.  The gadwalls are just starting to show up in good numbers here so that is good news for us no doubt.  They tend to love several of the places we hunt so hopes are high for the next split.  

For the first time in a while we actually left Louisiana while our season was open.  We went to see our friend Barrett in Kansas and I am sure glad we did.  We actually got to hunt and take some of the elusive mallard ducks.  I love going north during the season because the birds are generally more friendly than they are here in Louisiana.  Our 3 day stay in Kansas yielded approximately 80 birds with most of them being mallards with gadwalls and pintails making up the majority of our off ducks.  We even saw blue winged teal in Kansas in December! That's just nuts!

We aren’t looking for our season to get much better though unless Arkansas dries up some.  The Cache and White rivers are out of their banks and have been for a few weeks now.  They are putting water on fresh food that people have a hard time hunting so the birds feel no pressure to continue their journey southward.  Good news for us is that Red Dawg lives in central Arkansas so we are planning a reunion with him to help encourage some of these birds to continue their journey.  I sure hope everyone's seasons are going well and your skies are full of ducks! Stay Tuned!


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