Spreading them out — big rain gives ducks plenty of new water

aducksMany parts of Texas saw the most rain they have seen all hunting season when a storm system passed through the state midweek.

For duck hunters, the abundance of new water compounded problems for an already tricky season.

“I have never had a great duck hunt during or after a big rain,” said Scott Keith, owner of the Quack Shack duck calls. “It spreads the birds out a bunch. They can go anywhere.”

Keith said this has been a “weird” season for North Texas duck hunters, with conditions during the early season setting up for a major push of birds later in the year.

“There isn’t a lot for them to eat between Texas and South Dakota,” he said. “All of the fields were plowed early up there. You’d think the birds would have no place to go but Texas, but it has been so hit or miss. One day you will shoot an easy limit, the next you don’t see anything.”

Reports are coming out of places like Montana, South Dakota and Colorado that tons of ducks, especially mallards, are still holding on water that is normally frozen this time of year.

“It just hasn’t been cold enough up north,” Keith said.

LSON Executive Editor Craig Nyhus hunted Richland Chambers Reservoir Friday morning and said the only species that was in any kind of abundance was green-winged teal.

“We killed five,” Nyhus said. “We weren’t in the best spot, but teal were about the only ducks we saw.”

With plenty of new, unpressured water to go to, ducks are finding out of the way spots to feed. Scouting will be key from now until the end of the season for local duck hunters.

LSON Managing Editor Conor Harrison is duck hunting this morning in Smith County. Check Facebook this afternoon for a hunt report.