Day 60: What a season

ducksWe only killed three ducks Sunday morning, but we got back into the geese. We killed 12 specklebellies, so that made it a good hunt. The ducks were just few and far between. We had quite a few yesterday, but they just were not there this morning.

Day 60. In same ways, I’m glad it’s over because we hunt long and hard. We need to recharge our batteries. But at the same time I’m sad it’s over. The East Zone ended Sunday at sunset.

One thing is for sure, it’s been a great season. We killed three times as many ducks this year as we did last year and the mix was

Boss surveys the situation

Boss surveys the situation

great. We killed 50% mallards and that is very unusual for the rice fields. It’s usually around 20%. And the geese. Wow. We killed around four times as many specks this year as usual. Overall, I’d say it’s been better this year than in the past 10 years.

Now comes some of the hard part – picking up everything, getting everything cleaned up and putting everything in order. A little work now taking care of things pays big dividends later, though. Don’t put it off, especially when it comes to taking care of your guns and equipment.

Thanks for following the Duck Report. We at Simmons’ Sporting Goods in Bastrop enjoy bringing it to you. We’ll be doing a Turkey Report starting soon. Stay tuned. And be safe out there.

PS  –  Make plans to come see us on Saturday, March 4th for the winners of the annual Simmons’ Big Buck Contest. About 90% of the hunters that killed big ones will bring them back for the day and there are tons of prizes and fun. Come see us.

Day 59: Amazing waterfowl hunt!

Screen Shot 2017-01-28 at 6.03.47 PMWe started off the day in the wrong spot Saturday.  Things were pretty slow, but a buddy of mine called and said they were about to limit out and had lots of birds still flying. So we loaded up and headed down the road. By the time we got there, they had 24 ducks and were headed to the truck. We headed in and had just got settled in the blind when a whole flock of about 150 specklebellies came by.

I hit them with the call and they locked up and every one of them headed right into the decoys and landing. We popped up and got five out of that bunch. My guest from Realtree, Brad Shorr, said he’d like to do that again. I laughed and said you’ll be lucky to do that once in your lifetime. But then, about 15 minutes later, another group came and did the same thing. We got five more and had our limit. I’m still laughing. That’s one we won’t forget. We loaded up Brad’s son, Jackson, with the birds and it was all he could do to hold up the morning’s kill.

We didn’t have as many ducks flying, but we did have enough to get 19 ducks along with the geese so it was an outstanding hunt. Amazing might be a better word. Even after we limited out on specks, they still kept coming. Check out a video of that on our Facebook page. It’s unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like it in 50 years of waterfowl hunting.  Go to this page and scroll down:

One more day and the 2016-17 season will be in the books. I can’t wait to see what the last day has in store. This has already been a memorable season. But we’ve always got room for one more good hunt!  Be safe out there.

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Day 58: Fun, but tough

Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 4.12.05 PMWe had a fun day Friday, but hunting was tough. It may be that way through the last two days. We killed 17 ducks and two geese, but we had to hunt until 11:30.  Here’s the funny thing. We had one big drove come in and we killed eight out of that one bunch. That’s highly unusual. If we wouldn’t have had that moment, it would have been a pretty sad morning. These are all ducks that have been here and they know the drill. They are real shy about coming in to the decoys.

We had pretty good conditions with sunny cold weather. We could have used a bit more wind, but we ended up doing okay. I’m not complaining because it’s been pretty good all year. I can stand anything these last two days. We still had our guests from Realtree and had fun shooting and just being outdoors. It’s typical last weekend type conditions with the ducks.

Two more days, folks. There are lots of ducks in the area, so hopefully there will be lots of duck hunters out to keep the birds moving and we’ll have some good hunts. We do have lots and lots of water and the ducks are scattered. There aren’t a lot of new ducks either. You know me. I’m going whether it’s good, bad or ugly. I’m hoping for the first of those choices!

Day 57: Had to wait them out

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-8-44-47-amWe got 23 ducks Thursday, but we had to wait them out. It took us until 11 a.m. That’s a long time from legal shooting hours. But it was a good hunt. No big wads of ducks, but we had enough to keep us interested.

They didn’t really work like I thought they would. Conditions were good, but these were apparently ducks that have been around for a while and were a bit decoy and blind shy. We had Brad Shore and Chris Griffin and their boys down from Realtree so I’m glad we got some ducks, even if we had to work for them.

We killed a mixed bag – gadwalls, widgeons, pintails, teal. But not many mallards today. We had been seeing mostly mallards but they went somewhere else on us. Friday we are going to try a different spot where my farmer friend is telling me there were a lot of birds today. We’ll see and let you know here tomorrow.

Stay tuned. Hard to believe it, but there are three days left to the 2016-17 duck season. Get after ’em.


Day 56: Letting them rest

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-11-29-57-amWe laid off today to get a bit of rest and let the ducks rest a bit before hitting ’em hard the next four days. In fact, I didn’t talk to many people that hunted today, so I don’t have much of a report.

We have some company coming from Realtree the next couple of days, so I’m hoping for some good hunts. Several of my folks have told me some of our fields are really getting a lot of ducks in them, so I’m hopefully. It is also turning colder tonight and even colder Thursday night. It should also be sunny and windy, so I could not have ordered it up any better than that.

Make sure and come by the store and get anything you need to finish the season. We’ll be glad to help you. And stay tuned to the daily Duck Report to see how it goes at the end of the season. East Zone closes at sunset Sunday.


Day 55: We found them

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 7.06.47 PMAfter several great hunts recently, we had a one-duck hunt Monday. We didn’t even see many ducks. But on Tuesday, we found them again. Or they found us.

It was a great morning. Sunny. Windy. And even though we didn’t have tons of ducks, we had some good shooting and got a four-man limit of 24 ducks plus four specks. All four specks were singles who were way out, but when they heard the call, the locked up and came to us feet first. We had a few more that we should have shot, but tried to get them in too close and they flared.

As for the ducks, we had about half mallards and pintails. The ducks that we had worked well and I’m hoping the ones we left stick around a few days. If you’ve hunted as much as I have, I know you are tired, but time is running out. Tough it out these last few days and go get ’em.

And be safe.

Day 54: Never in my life

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See all those ducks? Me neither….

We sat in the duck blind Sunday morning and saw so many ducks it had us laughing. It was fun. We got our limit of mallards and gadwalls and got out of there with high expectations for today. There were ducks everywhere when we left Sunday.

Didn’t happen Monday, though. Never in my life – 45 years of duck hunting – have I seen so many ducks leave an area in just one day. We killed one duck. We fired one shot. It was something. I have no idea where they went.

We did see some ducks flying high, but they were way too far to even call. We didn’t see a half a percent of the ducks Monday that we saw this weekend. Unbelievable. But as I say, that’s why we call it duck hunting. Somebody somewhere got some new ducks today. Of course, there is so much water out there now and there weren’t many people hunting on a Monday, so they may not be too far away.  A few people I talked to killed a few ducks, but they had to stay all morning to do it. They were really few and far between.

We will try another spot tomorrow and let you know. Be safe.

Day 53: Duck storm!

Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 4.56.02 PMIt was another terrible night weather wise and scared everybody off but Hunter and me, but we went. It was a great morning. At legal shooting hours, I bet we had 1,000 ducks within view working the field. We had a duck storm! They were flying high, medium and low. It was something. Most of them were spooky of the decoys because of the cloudy, still conditions. They kept them trying to head for the shallow end of the field. But we ended up with plenty of good shooting.

We killed 12 early, six mallards and six gadwalls. We could have easily had five hunters kill their limits if we would have had them.

Kind of interesting that the last two mornings after big storms we have had so many ducks, but that is what has happened. There are a lot of ducks in the area. And the weather is supposed to be pretty most of the rest of the week. It’s shaping up as a good end to a good season.

Don’t miss a chance to take advantage. And if there is anything we can do to help you, let us know.

 Seven days and counting…

Day 52: An awfully good hunt!

Screen Shot 2017-01-21 at 2.30.12 PMWhen the lightning and thunder woke me up at 2 a.m., I just about figured our hunting would be ruined for the day. But by time to get up, it was clear and the stars were shining. Man, I’m glad. We had a great hunt. It started slow because there was no wind right at legal shooting hours. We popped one here and one there, but when the sun came out and the wind picked up a little bit, it got ugly.

We ended up with 30 ducks and several specks for six hunters and were out of there before 9 a.m. The neat thing was they were all big ducks. We had 16 mallards in the 30 , and the rest were pintails and gadwalls. We saw several big groups of ducks.

We were sitting there at 25 ducks for a little bit, but then a big wad of gadwalls came by and we got five out of the last bunch. A good way to end and awfully good hunt. I don’t know why. I figured with all the fresh water it would be tough. But we were in the right spot at the right time.

The good news is that a lot of these ducks acted like new ducks. They worked well and I think we got a push of ducks with that last rain. We haven’t hunted that spot for a couple of days and I think that helped. If you have more than one spot and you can keep from hunting the same spot every day this last week, it will probably help you.

Be safe. Eight days to go and counting…

Day 51: A good morning!

Screen Shot 2017-01-20 at 1.53.53 PMWe had a good morning Friday after having to lay out a few days due to the weather.

We killed 24 and had three specks by 7:20 and were back in the truck headed home by 8 a.m. That’s a good day. We had mostly teal, but we had four mallards and a couple of gadwalls. We also had a few specks.  We had a good wind and it was a good morning. The ducks worked like new ducks and came right on it. We didn’t see any big swarms, but the ducks were steady.

One thing that helped us this morning was that everybody shot good. We killed five in one bunch and four out of two others. It doesn’t take long to limit when you are doing that.

Some of my farmers told me they saw lots of ducks coming in yesterday afternoon. That got me excited about going back this morning and it paid off. It sounds like it will be good again this weekend. The total number of ducks are down from last month, but we still have so many more than this time last year.

The days are winding down. Get out there and enjoy yourself and be safe.