Warm opener, but good numbers of ducks



North Texas duck hunters didn’t see the cold temperatures they had hoped for during this weekend’s opener, but enough birds were in the area to have produced good hunts for two LSON members.

Executive Editor Craig Nyhus hunted the Crosstimbers Hunting Club near DeLeon with friends Bryan Mansell of Crossroads and Steve Broadhurst of Grapevine. Craig said Saturday’s shoot was better than this morning, with the group shooting limits of gadwall and wigeon before 8 a.m. on Saturday.

“At shooting time, about a dozen gadwall came in, but it was too hard to see against the opposite bank and we only got one,” he said. “After that, the shooting was stellar. By 7:50, we had 13 gadwall and three wigeon. Two gadwall came in just before 8:00 and Steve and Bryan finished the limit.”

Craig added that Comanche County was very dry — the tank they hunted was less than half full.

On the other side of the Metroplex, Managing Editor Conor Harrison hunted in Smith County with several friends, and the shooting was also better on Saturday.

“We only got to hunt yesterday afternoon,” he said. “After building a blind, expectations weren’t very high for a stellar hunt, but we were pleasantly surprised when flocks of wood ducks began descending into the decoys an hour before sunset.”

The group experienced some less than impressive shooting, and only managed to take three woodies.

“This was our first time hunting this setup, and the birds came from a direction we didn’t expect, so a few caught us off guard,” Conor said. “And this morning, along with seeing a really nice 130-inch 8-point with a drop tine, several more groups of wood ducks and a flock of wigeon came into the decoys.”

Several more were added to the pot, and the group cooked breakfast tacos on a portable stove in the blind.

“I think most all of the birds we saw were locals,” Conor added. “I’ve heard reports of the migration heading this way, but by no means are the main waves of ducks here yet. It should just get better and better as the season goes on.

“But for an opener, it was a beautiful couple of days and we had just enough ducks to keep it interesting.”

Editors Note: We’d love to hear how your opening weekend went in the deer stand and the duck blind. E-mail your hunt reports to news@lonestaroutdoornews.com.