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fishuhalik

2016-2017 Texas Waterfowl Breakdown

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Well, I finally get to kick this thread off. I dont even know if anyone really visits this forum, so I guess I'm basically just doing it to keep a running log of my Texas hunting seasons. Anyways:

It's been a hectic year. I started a job in Corpus Christi on Nov 1, and was thinking since I worked there now, I'd be able to hunt a lot more. Well, it's kinda hard to hunt when you're working 100+ hours every week :/ My family is still living in Katy, 3.5 hours away. I work 2 weeks on, 1 week off, and after being away from them for 2 weeks I'd rather go home than hunt. Anyways, finally got a day off work and hit it hard. It's was a brisk 86 degrees & sunny today, with a 15mph wind from the south. The perfect wind for my favorite wigeon/pintail spot. Got to the access and 2 fellas were already on the way to "my" spot, so we decided to hunt together. The morning started off incredibly slow, and we shot 3 pins, 6 scaup and a hen redhead before they had to leave at 1100. I decided to stay and hunt all day since I hardly ever get a chance to go. Good call. At 1130, it was like a light switch went on and there was birds everywhere. Shot 2 gorgeous reds, a hen gaddy and a decent wigeon in about 40 minutes. The whole time, I was getting bombarded by redheads. I videoed about 30 flocks of 20-100 birds in that time. And yes, I sent them all to my buddy hahaha anyways, here was the totals for the day 

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Hunted many times out of Rock Port and hell man,   that ain't even a challenge.  Seems pure murder to me. Have seen mornings when you could walk across the backs of Redheads in the downtown tidal pool at Rockport.   But it is fun to sit out there as the sun comes up and the fog slips away.

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I haven't been able to go all season, and all of a sudden I have 2 days off in a row? Yes please. Was able to get out again this morning and it was a totally different story than yesterday. Yesterday, it was 86 degrees (no, that's not a typo) and sunny with a 10-15mph wind from the south. Today, when I got to the access, it was 38 degrees, cloudy and a 25-35mph wind from the north. One thing I've learned about hunting down here in the saltwater is you HAVE to pay attention to tide. I stayed away from my normal spot I go to when there's a normal north wind, because when you have a N wind, it pushed the water out of the bay and into the Gulf. S wind, water gets pushed into the bay and the tide rises. However, I wasn't sure how much the tide would go out. Usually, a 3-6" fluctuation is normal. Today, it dropped about 1' from yesterday's levels, which meant my backup spot was in 2-4" of water. We were still absolutely covered up in pintail & wigeon, & saw a bunch of divers, gadwall, teal, shoveler, and even a pair of mottled ducks. The only problem is, they would hover over the decoys, looking for water deep enough to land instead of putting their feet down. Not that I'm really complaining, but I like to shoot birds with their feet down. All in all, we had somewhere around 40-50 flocks of pintail, 30-40 flocks of wigeon and a few hundred other ducks in range. Bottom 6 are mine. Had a hen gaddy sneak in that was a victim of my colorblindness. Coulda swore she was a drake gad. My buddy is a little less selective than I am and was blazing away at lst & knocked a few hens, but they'll eat just fine. Heck of a day!

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Edited by fishuhalik

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Nice, dude. Should be a banner year throughout the entire south with the way the whole midsection of the country froze up. I head to Arkansas for 2 weeks of hunting on monday, cant wait

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Hopefully yall tear em up Sled. We've got all our normal coastal birds in spades right now. one of these years I'll find the time to get up to Arkansas. It isn't too bad of a drive for me and a good mallard timber hunt is on my bucket list

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Wow, very cool! Yes, lease keep posting there are still some of us who visit regular. Seeing those ducks make me imagine that MN will someday get a few to come back... heh.

 

Have a great rest of season!

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Had another awesome day today! Hundreds of pins and wigeon in the decoys. Had a couple different flocks of pins dump in after I had my limit of 2 that were around 100 birds. This never gets old. And wow, was it cold. At least, cold for down here. Actual temp when I was set up was 27, "feels like" was 17 with the 30mph wind from the north. Had to get up and walk around a couple times before LST. Shot my first mottled duck today too! I've been after one since I moved here in '14. Go ahead and laugh at my facepaint and guille suit made out of grass and zip ties. Kinda hard to get cover when there's only 8"-12" of grass to hide in

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Edited by fishuhalik

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Just read 3 young guys lost their lives down there duck hunting over the weekend. I cant believe not one of them had access to a life jacket or something if the boat flipped over. Maybe they didn't bring any with who knows it doesn't say. Really sad though.

 

(CNN)The bodies of three men who disappeared during a duck hunting trip on Texas' Gulf Coast have been found, authorities said Sunday.

Authorities identified the hunters as Starett Burke of Wallisville, Texas; Spencer Hall of Mont Belvieu, Texas; and Chris Ruckman from Dayton, Texas. Their bodies were recovered Saturday in a bay near Corpus Christi, the US Coast Guard said.

The three men had reportedly launched their 17-foot, flat-bottomed boat in a bay between Port Lavaca and Palacios before sunrise Friday morning, the Coast Guard said. Ruckman's girlfriend called the Coast Guard when the men failed to return as expected.

The men's boat was also recovered.

The incident is under investigation, but officials do not expect foul play, according to CNN affiliate KPRC. The Coast Guard confirmed there was a small craft advisory on the water all day Friday and conditions were choppy.

The Coast Guard, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Calhoun County Sheriff's Office launched a land and water search early Saturday morning with the help of a plane and helicopter.

It was not immediately clear what led to the men's deaths.

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Yeah, that's all over the Texas waterfowling FB pages. Incredibly sad, but so avoidable. It was absolutely brutal out there this weekend. Perfect duck day and man were they flying, but if I wasn't walking to my spot, I wouldn't of gone out in big water in anything less than an 18' Lund. These bays are huge. Around the size of upper Upper Red, or bigger. I don't know of many sane people that would head out on URL with 40mph gusts

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Yep, you're right about that. I suspect a lot of people do not understand how FAST the waters (inland) can get nasty down there. Or fogged in solid!  And speaking of cold.....we had three inches of snow on the edge of Rockport one morning several years ago. I was stunned! Called my fishing pal and he just laughed his head off.....lifelong resident and surprised by nothing when it comes to weather along the coast.

You must be feeding half the population of Rockport with all those ducks!!  :)

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Nope, just me and the family. I mean, I've only shot I think 38 ducks this year. I have a 4 day trip coming up next week though. Hopefully I can add another 24 to that number, but that's still around 38 light than my goal number and waaaay lighter than the 2 years I was in North Dakota. Doubt I'll ever beat those numbers though. I can't remember exactly, but my last year there i shot well over 200 waterfowl and pheasants just in the fall season. No idea how many snows were turned into jerky during the spring hunt

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Boy, that's a great total. Really never gave a thought to how many ducks or geese or deer or caribou or moose or sheep or fish or grouse or bears or marmots or foxes or wolves I ever shot.  Now you got me to thinking though that maybe I'd better go back and try to remember what a pile it must have been.

The ammo companies gotta love you!  :)

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Buddies from Michigan, MN, ND and WY got here Sunday, started hunting yesterday. Yesterday coulda gone better and coulda gone worse. We had 2 spots in a marsh that we were debating on setting up. Chose spot B. Had we chose spot A, we woulda been absolutely covered up in birds. There was about 1500 pins, teal and a few wigeon sitting there when we came by. at least we shot a couple nice bwt. Total take was 17. One drake bwt was already in the freezer when the pic was taken. 

 

Day 2 was a diver hunt. Mainly had redheads come in, with one nice flock of scaup that we dropped 7 drakes out of. Had 3 flocks of buffies buzz the edge of the longlines but not commit to

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Well, today was both awesome and extremely disappointing. We hadn't been hunting my pintail, wigeon and mottled duck spot because I had heard it got beat up pretty bad over the weekend and I wanted to let it rest for a few days & build some birds back up. Got all set up & had enough pintails work to make it interesting, but the wigeon were pretty much a no-show. The majority of the pins (a couple thousand!) landed to the west about 1/2 mile away in an area I've never seen birds work. Buddy shot one, and we had a flock of 8 buzz us while we were picking dekes (as they always do). On the plus side, we were only 1 bird short of our pintail limit (2 hens didn't make the pic) and 2 of them shot their first pintail. One guy that has been hunting for 25 years shot 2 gorgeous pins that are wall bound, the other guy that shot his firsts got a drake and a hen. All had sprigs but some were pulled before the pic to save for mounting as we didn't want them to get broken during transport. Also not pictured are 2 drake shovelers and a drake and hen red. All in all a slow day but my buds were ecstatic. Tomorrow, we head to a lake that I've never hunted but has had a lot of cinnamon teal (as well as bwt, gwt, wigeon, gads, fulvous and whistling ducks, pins and mallards) shot out of it this year. Wish us luck!!

 

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Edited by fishuhalik

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Probably my last birds of the season. We shot a 5 man limit yesterday and had an absolute ball. Gwt, bwt, ringers, gads, & all 4 of the guys that drove down got a mottled. We hired an airboat service to give us a ride out there and back, since I didn't trust my boat going through flooded timber and weed flats. Sadly I had to leave early and wasn't able to get in on the group pic, but it was an awesome day hunting freshly flooded timber. Finally got my bwt drake and it was perfect, so he's wall-bound. All in all, every guy that came down is bringing birds home for the wall and we had some great hunts. Already can't wait for next yearimage.jpg

 

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Ok Dave have a good weekend. Hope you get over the whole butt hurt Leech deal! Not sure where you got that I don't like folks smoking or grilling things?  I know I do enough. Have fun! 🙂  
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