Monthly Archives: December 2014

Day 34: Lots of ducks flying

We had a good morning. It was slow at first because it was so cloudy, but we saw lots of birds. After the sun popped out, they really worked well. We didn’t limit, but six of us had 32 ducks and about 20 of them were mallards. That’s a good day anytime.

The thing with the cloudy weather is that it makes it easier for the ducks to see every little thing. When the sun comes out and you’ve got wind to make the ducks work, it’s pretty much ideal.

I didn’t talk to a lot of folks today, but I’m sure the story is the same as recent days. Some folks are killing them and some aren’t. We did see lot of birds, but did not hear a lot of shooting. The weather looks good for the next couple of days so things are looking good.

REMINDER: Check out the post below and make sure you enter for prizes just for readers of the Simmon’s Duck Report. We’ll have more details about the prizes tomorrow!

 

Duck bonus: Click and win

There’s a new feature just for you on this site for the second half of the Louisiana duck season! Look at the right side of this page and you’ll see a place where you can sign up to win great prizes from Simmon’s Sporting Goods! You can get a jump start on the contest today!

Just click on the box, fill in the blanks and you’ll automatically be entered for great prizes weekly through the end of the season. It’s our way of saying THANKS for reading the Duck Report.

Winners will be chosen randomly, notified by email and listed in the Duck Report.

 

 

Day 33: A good limit!

It wasn’t the best looking morning, but five of us got our limit of 30 ducks, so you can’t complain about that. Thanks to a lot of good groups of teal early, we had some good shooting. We had several good groups of teal that worked good. They were better early, but we saw them pretty much all morning.  We finished the limit with gadwalls and pintails.

The mallards just won’t work for us. They have been here so long that I think I know them by name — old Joe, Bill, Tom, Greenie…. If you’ve been hunting much, you know what I mean. We still need some new ducks to help us have a great end to the season the next few weeks. I think they’ll come.

Most everybody I talk to is struggling a little with the same ducks in the area. There’s some good shooting, but not what we were hoping for over the holidays. Get out there after them, though. You never know when good will turn into great in a matter of a day or two. Be safe.

 

 

Day 32: Good day to be a duck

The only living thing I know of that could enjoy a morning out in the rice field like we had Sunday morning would be a duck. It was dreary, cold and raining. Thank goodness we got out of there right before the bottom fell out. And we did kill a few ducks, but it was slow. There’s nothing much worse than sitting in the blind with cold rainwater running down the outside of your Drake raincoat unless it’s sitting there in the cold rain with no ducks!

Actually, I’d call the number of ducks we saw flying “medium” . It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either. We had a few groups work, but for the most part, you would just look up and see a few ducks locked up and heading in. A little light calling and they were in shooting range. Three of us almost got a limit, but it took a while. We did hear some shooting, so there were some other folks having some luck.

The good news is that we got that rain we’ve really been needing. It was over two inches in most places and filled up the fields again. The extra water will help us hold new ducks when they get here. And with the weather up north, we should be getting more. The next few days look promising.

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Day 31: A good day

image-31Today was a much better day for us. We saw the same groups of ducks today, but we had a lot of them that worked real good.  We had 24 ducks although we had to hunt until 10 a.m. to get a limit. I think if the weather wouldn’t have been so gray, we could have limited out earlier. Most were mallards and pintails.

It’s funny this time of year. We saw all those ducks yesterday and couldn’t do anything with them. But today, several groups worked real well and we had a good hunt. I still think it’s the same groups of ducks that are working the entire area. Some days you get them, some days you don’t.

Everybody wasn’t so lucky today. A lot of folks we talked to got three or four, or maybe had to stay on up towards noon to get into double digits. It is supposed to rain tomorrow, so they probably won’t be good, but this cold weather coming next week should help.

 

Day 30: It’s halftime, but no break!

Thirty of the 60 days of duck season are behind us in the East Zone in Louisiana. Wow, time passes fast when you are having fun. It’s halftime, but we aren’t taking a break. Even if things are a bit tough like today.

We had more ducks today than I’ve seen in several weeks and they would break off in big groups and work the decoys. But then when they got about 100 yards away, they would just drift off. We got tired of messing with them about 8:30 and came on home. We had a little wind and I think if we had some sun, it would have helped a lot.

I pretty much heard the same thing from everywhere, except a few places still aren’t seeing any ducks.  So things could be worse. We aren’t seeing any teal, just big ducks. I think this rainy weather tomorrow may be the ticket to a change in weather. The cold weather next week will help. Seeing a lot of ducks at least was encouraging. We’ll be back after them tomorrow. One thing is for sure, if you don’t go, you sure won’t get any.

 

Day 29: Christmas Day report

There weren’t many folks hunting Christmas morning and we didn’t stay long, so there weren’t a lot of ducks getting stirred up. But we had a good hunt. We killed 10 before 8 a.m. and then headed back home. We saw quite a few more ducks and the ones that were not too far away worked really well. Myself, Lindsey and her husband went this morning.

There wasn’t any wind early and that didn’t help anything. When it picked up, we saw lots more action. If we would have stayed, I think we would have gotten our limit.

The next few days should be big days for numbers of hunters out, so they should keep the ducks moving. The weather is getting right, too. Good luck on your hunts and be safe.

 

Day 28: Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and your family from the Simmons’ family!

We had some good reports in from Christmas Eve hunts and if the creek doesn’t rise, I’ll be bringing you my first personal report in a few days. It’s a Simmons’ tradition to make a short duck hunt on Christmas morning before we celebrate more traditional ways!

Our group of four hunters this morning had 24 ducks and eight of them were mallards. I had one friend and his partner who haven’t seen hardly any mallards bring me a picture of a great limit from this morning of ducks from north of Bastrop in the Bartholomew bottoms. The photo is below. I also heard from several hunters who had good days to end a string of bad ones. There was a light wind and it was a good morning. This cooler weather can’t do anything but help and so good things should be ahead.

There is snow and ice all to the north of us and especially in Iowa and Missouri. That should send more ducks our way. Have a great holiday and don’t forget to check out the report each day.  And watch next week for some exciting new prizes that you can win by simply sending an email.

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Day 27: Things are getting better

Don’t ever let anybody tell you that reading the Simmon’s Duck Report doesn’t pay dividends. Not only do you get to keep up with the latest info on area duck hunting, but here’s a Christmas bonus: The first person who comes up to me in the store on Christmas Eve (Wednesday, Dec. shot24) and says “I read the Simmon’s Duck Report” gets a free box of Federal shotgun shells. That could be you! Next week we will be letting you know about some great prizes that you can win by reading the report…stay tuned.

I didn’t get to hunt today, but my son-in-law and three others went and they killed 24. It was their best hunt in a while. I talked to a lot of others who did much better as well. They said it was foggy and the ducks came out of the fog, worked easily and headed for the decoys. We got good reports from around here and better reports from Hwy. 15 and the Delta Area.

Wednesday should be windy and cooler and maybe the hunting will pick up. There’s lots of weather changing things north of us, too, and we should be seeing loads of new ducks.

LOUISIANA WATERFOWL REPORT: 

The December Waterfowl Report from state duck leader Larry Reynolds is in:

Northeast Louisiana: In NE Louisiana, the traditional cruise survey of selected habitats standardized in 2005 was conducted in November and December. In November, 139,000 ducks and 388,000 geese (85% snow geese) were counted with major concentrations of ducks seen in the flooded agricultural fields south of Grand Cote NWR, east of Ouachita WMA, and between Bonita and Mer Rouge, as well as Duck Lake of Catahoula NWR. Mallard and gadwall were by far the most abundant species, accounting for nearly 60% of the ducks seen. Ring-necked ducks and pintails made up another 30%, but almost all the ring-necks were counted on Duck Lake. This NE survey count is slightly above average since 2005 but lower than the 152,000 ducks counted in November of last year. Concentrations of geese were noted in those same agricultural locations, and the total number of geese on this survey was the highest since the survey was standardized. Habitat conditions across most of the survey area was drier than average with only managed water available in the agricultural regions and little backwater flooding in the major river systems.

In December, the survey crew counted only 104,000 ducks and 78,000 geese (87% snow geese) on the same selected habitats. A nearly 40% reduction in the counts of gadwall and mallard, and an 80% reduction in the number of ring-necked ducks more than offset increases in green-winged teal, shovelers, and pintails on this survey. The largest concentrations of ducks were again seen in the agricultural fields between Bunkie and Grand Cote NWR, between Bonita and Mer Rouge, as well as Delta Farms east of Catahoula Lake. This count is nearly 30% below average since 2005 for December, and continued dry conditions are probably a contributing factor. The large flocks of geese counted in November appear to have moved on, possibly to the coast where increases in geese were noted on the coastal transect survey but not quantified. Concentrations were noted in the agricultural fields of Delta Farms, Bonita/Mer Rouge, near Grand Cote NWR, and south of Ouachita WMA.

Statewide: Southeast and Southwest Louisiana have good numbers of ducks. The estimate of 3.20 million ducks from this survey is very similar to November’s estimate of 3.13 million, 64% higher than last December’s estimate of 1.95 million, 45% higher than the most recent 5-year average of 2.2 million and 28% higher than the long-term average of 2.5 million. It is the highest December survey estimate since 1999, when over 4 million ducks were estimated on the same surveyed areas. Estimates for mallard, gadwall, green-winged teal, shoveler, scaup, and canvasback increased from November, while blue-winged teal, pintail, and ring-necked duck declined. Estimates for mottled ducks and wigeon were about the same in November and December. Increases from November in greenwings (+283,000), gadwalls (+200,000), and mallards (+93,000) more than balanced the big declines in pintails (-340,000) and ring-necked ducks (-192,000).

Day 26: Some good; some bad

We usually have some kind of lull around this time of the season, especially when the weather doesn’t send us any new ducks. What we are seeing now is the same ducks going from one area to the other. It’s funny, but some places say they are zeroing and others are killing pretty good. Then a few days later, the areas are reversed.

We could use a good rain to bring in more water and we could use some real cold weather up north to drive ducks on down. Some folks on Hwy. 15 were killing today while others weren’t. And in the Mer Rouge area, things have been really slow. I talked to one friend up on the Cache River in northern Arkansas and they usually have as good a hunting as anyone. He said the past two weeks there have been the worst in the past 15-20 years.

The good news is that we’ll get some new ducks soon unless the weather is just crazy. Hang in there. It’ll be our turn soon.

I want to say thanks to all our customers who have been in Simmon’s Christmas shopping. We appreciate your business and we have been spending a lot of time in the store instead of hunting, but that’s what we are here for. Two more shopping days before Christmas! Come see us.