Duck Season 2020-2021

Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Darren » Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:11 pm

Ericdc wrote:Tomorrow would be fun.


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Wasn't planning to since I have a scheduled hunt on Tuesday....but lets go

Getting there may be the hard part with icy roads
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Darren » Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:47 am

Ericdc wrote:Tomorrow would be fun.


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Guess we should have gone, another blind on the same farm from today:

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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Deltaman » Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:33 pm

Damn, what a pretty mess-o-ducks! Never fails eh..........shoulda been heah :lol:
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Ericdc » Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:36 pm

Snow and ice


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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Rick » Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:44 pm

Sweet.
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Ducaholic » Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:51 pm

Ericdc wrote:Snow and ice


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More rain than anything this way.
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Darren » Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:06 pm

Tues. 1/12/2021
Klondike area fresh marsh
Nick T. and I w/ guide Byron
North winds nil to 10, upper 20's to start, clear skies, big weather yesterday

Coming off big weather (and apparently strong flights in this blind and some others yesterday), feared today they may sit. Sure enough, they mostly did. Did some shooting but mostly at iffy range burning by resulting in long, often crippled falls and at least 3-4+ ducks downed and lost to local predators or just escape. Not much wanted to work, to say the least, and on the couple of ops we had at decent range we didn't make most of it, or couple of times got none.

Did, however, see a bazillion and ten ducks just north of us on some local property held as refuge....staggering numbers the "ducks don't come to La any more" crowd would lose their mind about. They'd get up when a boat would pass and mostly just go back down. Was thankful we were able to find 5 nice birds at hunt's end.

(5) 1 GW teal, 3 BW teal, 1 fulvous whistling duck

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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Deltaman » Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:32 pm

Free beer tomorrow..........but that was yesterday :shock: ........bummer they mostly sat today, but you don't know if you don't go, and it beats the hell out of the office. Glad y'all killed some, and know it felt good to at least see a big body of birds!
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Darren » Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:54 pm

Deltaman wrote:Free beer tomorrow..........but that was yesterday :shock: ........bummer they mostly sat today, but you don't know if you don't go, and it beats the hell out of the office. Glad y'all killed some, and know it felt good to at least see a big body of birds!


Was a nice January morning for sure, felt like we'd hope it to be, downright chilly. Can't complain that it never got cold this year when it's in the 20's along the Intracoastal Waterway of south Louisiana.
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby DComeaux » Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:17 pm

Darren wrote:Tues. 1/12/2021

staggering numbers the "ducks don't come to La any more" crowd would lose their mind about. They'd get up when a boat would pass and mostly just go back down.


Seriously dude?

COMMENTS:

The 2.21 million ducks estimated on this survey is over 2.5 times the 855,000 seen in November, but it was 14% below last December’s estimate and the most recent 10-year average of 2.57 million and remains 21% below the long-term December average of 2.79 million.
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby SpinnerMan » Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:17 pm

DComeaux wrote:The 2.21 million ducks estimated on this survey is over 2.5 times the 855,000 seen in November, but it was 14% below last December’s estimate and the most recent 10-year average of 2.57 million and remains 21% below the long-term December average of 2.79 million.

80% of the ducks are still coming is a far cry from 0%. 80% isn't the difference between limits and DNS. That's a whole different problem.

5 ducks instead of 4 just isn't going to change much. You only have to increase the current ducks by 25% to be on the LTA. Would 25% more ducks really make a noticeable change in hunter success? The problem sounds like way too much pressure in most areas and too many areas with no pressure and over the course of a few duck generations, they know where those areas are or quickly get educated as to where they are not. Got to keep them guessing.

Darren wrote:Did, however, see a bazillion and ten ducks just north of us on some local property held as refuge.

Where there nearly as many areas held as refuge back in the good old days? I doubt it, but I obviously don't know.

We see all the telemetry stuff about mallard moving at night. If we shoot the ones that move during the day and not the ones that move at night, over time, ... We all know the story of the peppered moth and the coal dust in Britain. Are ducks different?
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Johnc » Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:44 pm

DComeaux wrote:
Darren wrote:Tues. 1/12/2021

staggering numbers the "ducks don't come to La any more" crowd would lose their mind about. They'd get up when a boat would pass and mostly just go back down.


Seriously dude?

COMMENTS:

The 2.21 million ducks estimated on this survey is over 2.5 times the 855,000 seen in November, but it was 14% below last December’s estimate and the most recent 10-year average of 2.57 million and remains 21% below the long-term December average of 2.79 million.



Wow just wow—I am right there with you David.
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Duck Engr » Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:26 pm

I mentioned this a couple years ago, but I’m very much convinced that it’s not so much duck numbers that’s affecting hunters. It’s duck behavior.
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Johnc » Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:41 pm

Duck Engr wrote:I mentioned this a couple years ago, but I’m very much convinced that it’s not so much duck numbers that’s affecting hunters. It’s duck behavior.


I agree with that too. Nocturnal , and distribution ( they get where people either don’t or are forbidden)

This state as a whole is having a dismal season. Revenue from teal season saves a lot of the guide operations down here

And I too agree they don’t come here anymore,I am old enough to have seen true flight ducks. The marking the calendar that the mallards will hit us by this date. That’s long gone. So I know exactly how some feel
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Darren » Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:42 am

Glad to see the chatter moving along. No one claimed it to be the good old days, I simply implied that it's not barren skies that some make it out to be. My own observations across a number of habitats (varying location, and types) indicates birds have come down. In historic numbers? Don't think so. But quite a few have come nonetheless.

I believe pressure has created patterns in birds that make for difficulty, to say the least, in hunting them. The telemetry data is telling us just that, re: Mr. Link's mallards flying to feed in hunted fields only at night, then back to refuge before LST. There are masses piled up on large waters.....obviously not feeding out there, just holding there until evening then finding food where it's available and the guns and other human traffic aren't happening.

Guide yesterday had a report from a friend that encountered massive numbers of mixed puddlers (said to be a ton of grays) and others out in middle of Grand Lake, I think it was. I've seen this in the southeast marshes myself; piled up in huge rafts on big water waiting for late in the day or even night to go in the marsh to feed.

My friends hunting at home off Lake Pontch. for a couple of weeks reported staggering numbers of grays seen flying from the marsh right at LST out on to Lake Pontchartrain.

Pressure, pressure, pressure.


The take away here is not that ducks are here in numbers of 5-10 years ago necessarily, but that plenty enough have come to support a fair bit of hunters' straps in what most would find fulfilling quantities. But nooooo, for some it's "no ducks in Louisiana" no matter what other first hand accounts might indicate to the contrary.
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Darren » Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:44 am

DComeaux wrote:
Darren wrote:Tues. 1/12/2021

staggering numbers the "ducks don't come to La any more" crowd would lose their mind about. They'd get up when a boat would pass and mostly just go back down.


Seriously dude?

COMMENTS:

The 2.21 million ducks estimated on this survey is over 2.5 times the 855,000 seen in November, but it was 14% below last December’s estimate and the most recent 10-year average of 2.57 million and remains 21% below the long-term December average of 2.79 million.



DC,

As Spinner astutley pointed out, that's just a flock of four STILL HERE instead of what was a flock of five. YEA, we'll take that. This statistic is a far cry from gloom, doom, hang up your decoys that some make it out to be. And it's the friggin December survey, our most recent data point.
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Duck Engr » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:37 am

While we’re blowing up Darren’s log, (which I’ll note he brought on himself by poking the bear ) I’ll mention something I saw this year on the day before opening day while scouting. I scouted from noon to the end of what would’ve been legal shooting light. I saw around 1000 ducks combined airborne and on the water. After what would’ve been legal shooting light, I watched several thousand leave a federal rest area headed out to feed for the night. This was the day BEFORE season started.

Point to make is this change in behavior doesn’t reset every year. It’s compounded over several seasons. “Site fidelity” is a real phenomenon that transmitters are allowing us to see. The ones who don’t learn die. Even if we didn’t have a season next year, I don’t think hunters would notice much of a change the following year. It’d take several years of no pressure to reset what we’re seeing now.

I’ll add i’m not advocating for closed seasons, just using it as an example. I don’t know what the answer is. I hope we just let the cycle happen. More and more people started duck hunting because you could kill ducks pretty easily. Now, it’s getting pretty tough to kill a duck, so one would think less and less people will be hunting. It’ll take years, but duck behavior will start to come back to normal a little bit, then pressure returns, and we rinse and repeat.
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Johnc » Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:41 pm

Loss of viable habitat is not cyclic.

Yes I agree in the past it was cyclic—
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Duck Engr » Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:37 pm

Johnc wrote:Loss of viable habitat is not cyclic.

Yes I agree in the past it was cyclic—
That’s a good point. Who knows, maybe the corps will blow the levees around the big muddy and let the marsh be regenerated.
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Darren » Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:52 pm

Duck Engr wrote:
Johnc wrote:Loss of viable habitat is not cyclic.

Yes I agree in the past it was cyclic—
That’s a good point. Who knows, maybe the corps will blow the levees around the big muddy and let the marsh be regenerated.


This was NOT the year for the (remainder of) the coast to hold any birds given storms from Cameron to Venice. Surely rebound was amplified this year for sure. One of the few silver linings being the flush out of invasives from a lot of water that had been lost to them
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Darren » Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:12 pm

Sat. 1/16/2021
Bunkie area farm
Johnny and I with Harry
Winds W to NW 5 to eventually 10-15+, clear skies, 30’s to start

Lot of ducks working north cut at LST but still playing hell getting them the last 10 yards we need. Opted to pass on these ops in the low light only for it to mostly quit when it got a little lighter. Ducks that came later did same thing, like hitting a wall at about 40 yards out.....they’re smart. Did have three grays coming on a string only to have a pair of spoons swoop in and take them with them, grrrrr. Goose flight today was again unreal, just massive massive numbers moving most of the morning from nearly all directions. Specks, snows, whatever you want, they’re definitely here but not settling on our end of farm yet so most weren’t workable. Got one speck from a group that wouldn’t quite finish, should have gotten at least 1 - 2 more from that op.


1 speck

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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Rick » Sat Jan 16, 2021 4:53 pm

Good on Johnny.
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Darren » Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:34 pm

Fri. Jan 22, 2021
Delacroix lease - north blind
Will and I with Harry
Winds SW to NW 0-10, 60’s, light fog, heavy clouds, some light rain much of hunt


Hadnt been down this way in a while due to low water but had to get down to pick up a pirogue out in marsh and gather my gear at the camp for the season. Water is still low ! Roped Will into just goin see and glad we did because we got more action than anticipated. Not hot flights but had our chances for 9-10 birds for sure including a crip green wing that dove on Harry on arrival to retrieve never to be seen again. Missed a few we shouldn’t have but no gimmes today, and had one wad of green wings looking like all wanted to die before bailing at last second.

(6) 3 dosgris, 1 mottled, 1 gray, 1 GW teal

Slick mottled he chased way up this trenasse into small pothole before getting hold of it. Mud for days
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Back to the boat one last time this season. Field hunts only for rest of our season
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On ride in saw quite a good few birds all over, grays, teal and divers. More than we had been seeing for sure, very few hunters out today. Will is going again this weekend so should get another report or two. Boat is back on trailer and headed for the storage unit.
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Deltaman » Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:46 pm

"mud for days"........you ain't kidding, made worse by the consistently low tides this year in the a.m. Glad y'all killed some birds Darren, Thanks for the report and pics!
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Darren » Sat Jan 23, 2021 2:07 pm

Sat. 1/23/2021
Bunkie area farm
Chris, Johnny and I with Harry
NE winds 5-10, light to moderate fog, few sprinkles, 50’s

Usually like our chances with fog and today supported that theory, saw good many birds and most importantly they were working much better than had been. Missed more than our share, could have doubled our take. Large goose numbers didn’t show but later saw them on way out sitting in big bodies. The specks that came couldn’t be talked to the levee, lit out in field on us.

(8) 4 GW teal, 3 spoons, 1 sprig


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Trying to go try em tomorrow with similar weather, we’ll see
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Darren » Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:38 pm

Sun. 1/24/2021
Bunkie area farm
Johnny, Kyle and I with Harry
Wind 0-5 from SSE, light to moderate fog, upper 50s


Tried them again in the fog and was nearly identical hunt, maybe a few fewer ducks but still had fair many ops. Unfortunately didn’t cash in as well as we should have but had nice time. King cake in the blind was a nice late season bonus from Kyle. Better shooting and we double our take. Pintails and grays worked and worked but wouldn't get right, was lucky to get one of each.


(8) 2 dosgris, 4 GW teal, 1 gray, 1 pintail


Early morning ritual of bailing the blind, now seemingly leaking worse than earlier in season
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Try em again tomorrow in bigger south wind
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Darren » Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:43 pm

Monday 1/25/2021
Bunkie area farm
David B. and I w/ Harry
big south winds 10-15+ and gusty, heavy clouds, near 70 deg to start

Hoped the big winds would keep them moving for David at least as good as the weekend activity but was only a fraction of that, at best. Very few ducks moving, although lots and lots of geese on the move, mostly coming from the north. The little bit of looks we got from specks didn't last long, kept going south with the flights.

1 GW teal

hunt the big south winds, they say
IMG_5992.PNG


Didn't pan out for us today.
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Re: Duck Season 2020-2021

Postby Deltaman » Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:52 pm

That Pintail from Saturday is a Stud!!!!!!!
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