"This season, I'm forecasting the "near February" closure of the Duck Season to be more important than in any season in past memory. Delayed Winter in the North and an absence of freezing conditions has delayed the migration. We've still got openings during the week and around Christmas in December. January has a few weekend dates and plenty of weekdays available at this time. Call us to schedule your trip today, 1-888-618-4868."
Ducks, Seadrift to Wisconsin
I talked to Capt. Matt Railey again in Prairie-du-Chien, WI and he said they are still not looking at any freezing weather until after the season closure end of this month. Mild and un-seasonably warm conditions have made their season and our first split less than we’d hoped for given such a strong hatch. Plagued by weak weather, the Mississippi River pools near the Wisconsin area are holding hundreds of thousands of ducks that have yet to make a move. Matt said their problem is “too many ducks and coots and no weather”. While we made the best of the first split here in Texas, no one has any doubt that we were playing with very few birds. We had some awesome hunts in and around weather. Mild cool fronts led to immediate slick-offs and warm ups and that made it tough at times.
Our thoughts are focused up North and the welcome timing of our 2 week split and some impending freezing weather in the Northern States. With freshwater flowing into the bays, the ravages of this summers drought and high salinity are being replaced with an explosion of submergent vegetation. Slime, aka duck salad to us, a green stringy algae like slime grass has bloomed and is growing like crazy. The stuff won't grow in higher salinity levels and that can have an impact on duck hunting. Once they get on "the slime", they won't leave it. So hopefully, we'll get some weather up North and get the heart of the flyway on the move to the wintering grounds here on the coast.
Rather than a season that wanes toward the end, I believe this duck season will see one of the strongest second splits (opening December 12th through January 24th) on record. With the Migratory Waterfowl Treaty limiting hunting to the end of January, past years haven’t seen a real need for the late closure. With delayed Winter in the North, this year that late closure will likely be closure to the migration pattern.
Goose Hunting - Seadrift
With the duck season closed here along the coast of Texas, the emphasis has shifted to goose hunting. We are picking up more geese here in Calhoun Co. but even their arrival is late and under-populated. With crop failures rampant in the area, vast fields of shredded corn are laying in wait. One such field near Seadrift is holding somewhere around 10,000 geese with the majority being Snows along with plenty of Specks. We are going to pounce on it tomorrow barring any more significant rainfall. Field conditions in row crop are a little shaky at present due to recent rains. According to our own Capt. Jake Huddleston, “Strategic and very costly Rye grass plantings may have been for “naught” with such an abundance of grain remaining in the fields”. Whether or not these plantings will yield dividends looks to be dependent on cold weather and the birds tendency to go to grass during those times. Rainfall has caused the Rye grass growth to be significant. With out the presence of cattle to keep it short, the grass will get too tall and the geese won’t hit it.
Castaway Lodge, Inc.
109 W. Austin
Seadrift, TX 77983