Migratory bird report
Jan. 25, 2012 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated Jan. 24, 2012 at 7:25 p.m.
• HIGH PLAINS MALLARD MANAGEMENT UNIT: Strong numbers of geese remain on Lake Etter and other watering sources near Spearman, but roosting sources remain a premium with drought conditions. Unseasonably mild conditions have encouraged geese to sit longer on roost ponds. Lubbock hunters have scored fair to good shoots over plowed ground. Sandhill crane hunting has been fair for decoying action. Duck hunting has been fair to good on playas and feed lots, though hunter participation has waned. Duck season ends at sunset Jan. 29. Goose season runs through Feb. 5. Prospects are fair to good.
• NORTH ZONE DUCK: Duck season closes at sunset Jan. 29. Fair to good hunts were posted around Franklin, Navasota and Crockett. Hunter participation has been minimal with mild conditions and poor duck numbers. Biologist Jared Laing said strange weather seems to have moved birds. Previously productive areas like tanks and ponds lost birds this week despite limited pressure. Wood ducks have been fair on sloughs and timber ponds. Mallards are fair on the Sulphur River. Shallow coves on reservoirs and lakes have held gadwalls and teal. Hunters just north of IH-10 saw an influx of teal over the weekend which helped fill bags. Prospects are fair.
• SOUTH ZONE DUCK: Duck season closes at sunset Jan. 29. Many prairie hunters reported seeing an influx of gadwalls and green-winged teal with stiff south winds. Foggy conditions over the weekend limited the flight somewhat, but most hunters reported better results this week compared to a week ago. Many prairie hunters said pintails have been scattered. Inland ponds near Port Lavaca and Seadrift have produced limits of teal, pintails, gadwalls and canvasbacks. Bay hunters reported excellent decoying action around Matagorda, Port O'Connor, Rockport and Port Mansfield for redheads. Hunting around Baffin Bay and the Lower Laguna Madre has been solid for redheads and pintails. Goose season ends at sunset Jan. 29, and green fields continue to produce. The Light Goose Conservation Order begins Jan. 30. Prospects are good.
• SEASON/BAG LIMITS: The High Plains Mallard Management Unit runs until Jan. 29. The North and South zones run until Jan. 29.
• The daily bag limit shall be six ducks, to include no more than the following: Five mallards (only two of which may be hens), three wood ducks, two scaup (lesser scaup and greater scaup in the aggregate), two redheads, two pintails, one canvasback, one dusky duck (mottled duck, Mexican-like duck, black duck and their hybrids are closed the first five days of the season in each zone). All other species: Six.
REPORTS COMPILED BY BINK GRIMES