Monthly Archives: January 2018

Day 60: We’re done. Mixed bag this season

Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 6.12.30 PMSunday was a pretty day, but a mixed bag. Not as many ducks as earlier. I thought it was going to be a fantastic last week, but the wads of ducks we had early in the week just left. The storms from yesterday settled down and gave duck hunters one last good shot for the year. There were a mix of mallards, pintails and gadwalls across the whole area. An good number of teal were still hanging around as well. They were seriously decoy shy and it was a tough end to the season overall.

I hope you had a good, safe hunt. The sun has set on another duck season. The 2017-18 season is in the books. It wasn’t the best one ever, but it was good at times.  Things started off pretty mediocre and there were bad days. But there were good days, too. I guess it can’t be good all the time.

Weather was a major factor. We had everything from a drought to begin the season to an ice storm in the last days of  East Zone hunting this year. And there were some good numbers of ducks  later in the season. A mixed bag overall. Put another one in the books and thank the good Lord for the blessings to be able to enjoy the wonders of the outdoors. And it doesn’t get a lot better than right around here.

Even though we can’t hunt anymore, come by the store and share your stories. We’d love to hear from you and see you. Make sure you clean up your gear and take care of your guns. You don’t want to put that off.  And always remember Simmons’ Sporting Goods for all your hunting and outdoor needs.  Stay safe.

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See you next year!

 

Day 59: One day to go

Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 2.50.46 PMSaturday was not exactly what the duck Doctor ordered. It was a pretty miserable morning and there were not many ducks flying. There were some hunters who stayed a while and got some good lanyards of ducks, but it wasn’t easy to say the least. There was a lot more looking and waiting than shooting.The rain was bad everywhere but areas south of us got really pelted.

We have one more day and hopefully the final day will be better than Saturday was. The good news is that most of the rain is gone and it should be windy following the front Sunday. Give it a shot. You won’t get them if you don’t go.

 

 

 

Day 58: Another tough day

We’ve still got enough ducks to scratch out a limit, but the last couple of days have been tough. We had bunches of ducks earlier, but it seems like they headed out for somewhere else.

We’re still able to get enough ducks close enough to make hunting worthwhile, but limits have been a lot tougher to get the past two days. And it looks like with all the rain Saturday, it may stay that way. The good news with the rain is that it shouldn’t get heavy until close to noon, so that’s a bright spot. Sunday should be a good, windy day. The big question is how many ducks will we have. Maybe some more new ones will come our way for the last day.

It’s now or never for duck hunters. We’ve got two more days, so make the best of them wherever you are hunting. And as always, stay safe out there. No duck hunt is worth getting injured over.  Thanks for following the Simmons’ Duck Report. It doesn’t seem like we are closing in on the end of the season, but it’s here.

 

 

Day 57: Where’d they go?

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We’ve been swarmed with lots of ducks all week and then yesterday, there were fewer than I’ve seen for a while. Where’d they go? Beats me. Maybe they were heading out in front of this rain that’s coming Saturday. Who knows. That’s duck hunting. You know I love duck hunting, but I’m about ready to get all this mud off of everything, including me, and go do something else.

We did not have a good morning Thursday. It was pretty cold out there early and we had no wind. The ducks we did see were hard to work. I heard the same thing from others. It won’t be but a few days until old Boss gets a few well deserved days of rest! We all like to duck hunt, but nobody is more eager to get up and head for the water than our faithful hunting companions like Boss.

We are heading into the last three days of the season. If you are planning to go Saturday, get there early. Looks like we’ll have some rain even then, but it is predicted to be worse later in the morning. Sunday morning we should have a good wind. How will it go? Who knows.  Here’s a quick look at the forecast for the last three days:

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Day 56: We’ve got a lot of ducks

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-8-44-59-amWe’ve got a lot of ducks. Plenty to keep us busy through the weekend, when the season ends Sunday in the East Zone. We saw tons of ducks today. They are a little hard to work especially when there isn’t any wind. It was still this morning until about 8 o’clock, but we got a few along the way.

There were only three of us this morning, but we got 18 ducks — six mallards, three pintails and the rest gadwall and teal. We had to work for them. We just kept getting a few here and there. They won’t come in to the decoys at all. You just have to get them in shooting range and take your shot. Getting them to put their feet down, lock up and come into the decoys just isn’t happening.

Take good shots, but don’t want too late to take ’em.

 

 

Day 55: Lots of ducks today

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 6.41.24 PMI probably saw more ducks Tuesday morning than I’ve seen an a long time.  Between the first light of day and legal shooting hours, I bet there were 2,000 ducks coming into the field. The bad part is that none of them were coming near the decoys. We had to scratch out a limit, but we got 18 ducks and three geese in a couple of hours and had a good morning. We did some good shooting.

Lindsey hasn’t been able to much this season, but she got to take off and go with us, which was fun. She got her limit so we all enjoyed that. We had mallards, pintails, gadwalls and a couple of teal.  A good mix for sure. We had good reports from others that hunted today as well.

The ducks are really decoy shy. They did not work well at all. If it wasn’t so much work, I’d get out and move all the decoys out of the field except for about six. But I don’t think that will happen this late in the season. I did have a couple of folks tell me they’ve backed off and just aren’t calling and that is working some. I gotta tell you, I can’t do that. I can back way off, but if I had to sit there and not call and just hope they’d come in, I’d just have to load up and go home.

It looks like it’s going to be a good end to the season. It’s been kind of mediocre overall so far, but this week could kick it up a notch. If you get a chance, get out there and get after them.

 

Day 54: Quick limit

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Monday morning was a good duck hunt. There was no wind early, but we saw lots of ducks. We were wrapped up with teal early and then the wind picked up and the big ducks started working better.

Three of us got a limit of 18 ducks and five specks pretty quickly and we saw lots more ducks.

We’ve got six more days, so take advantage of the favorable weather conditions and the good numbers of ducks. It’ll be over before you know it.

Here’s a quick note from the latest LDWF duck survey:

“We have experienced continued delays in completing the January mid-winter waterfowl inventory due to weather and to date have completed only the coastal transect and Catahoula Lake cruise surveys and a portion of the coastwide goose survey. NW, NE, and scaup surveys, will be flown later this weather allowing.  Despite limited data, the estimate of 3.07 million ducks on this survey is essentially the same as December’s estimate of 3.02 million. It is 50% higher than last January’s estimate of 2.05 million, 17% higher than the most recent 5-year average of 2.61 million, and slightly higher than the long-term average of 2.98 million.  Large increases from the December survey were seen for mallards (94,000 to 188,000), green-winged teal (364,000 to 623,000, all in SW LA), shovelers (146,000 to 372,000, also all in SW LA), and lesser scaup (106,000 to 273,000).

Most of the ducks, more than 70%, showing up in the survey were in SW La.  As stated, the crews were not able to fly north Louisiana, where large numbers of ducks are located in the last week of the season. 

 

 

 

Day 53: Tons of ducks; hard to work ’em in

Screen Shot 2018-01-21 at 7.08.43 PMWe had an okay day. We saw tons of ducks. It was non stop ducks flying or working the field from daylight until 10 a.m. The only problem was it was still and cloudy and they got right up to the edge of the decoys and peeled off, never to return. Some of them would land at the end of the field or over by the road. We even got out and moved the decoys right up by the blind. It didn’t help. They still wouldn’t get close.

How many times have I said “if we only had some sun”. Well, add today to that list.  We did end up getting 20, but we had to make some long shots. It was good to see so many, but frustrating to not be able to get them in.

There are a lot of ducks here. Mostly, it’s gadwalls, but some fields have big numbers of mallards. When this rain gets out of here Sunday night and the sun comes out next week, I think it is going to be on.

 

Day 52: Decoy “skirters”

Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 6.11.55 PMIt was that kind of morning. We saw lots of ducks, but it was cloudy and still. The ducks were flying, but they were skirting the decoys. We’ve reached the point of the season that the ducks are skittish if things aren’t just right. They’d get close, but most of them got out of there before they were in range. We got 10 ducks but should have had 20. We didn’t exactly shoot like we were on the skeet team this morning.

By the time the wind had picked up and the sun came out, the ducks had pretty much quit flying. We did ride around to a couple of other blinds we’ve got nearby and it looked like we went to the wrong spot. There were quite a few ducks at those blinds and we saw quite a few mallards there. We will relocate to one of them tomorrow and see if our luck is better.

It was a mixed bag for most folks I talked to. Some did pretty good and others struggled. The good news is that it may rain tomorrow night, but it looks like the wind will blow, it will be sunny and the temperature will be cooler again next week. That should give us a good end to the season.

Day 51: Still thawing and lots of ducks

Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 8.08.54 PMWe didn’t go out until about 10 a.m. Friday, but we had a pretty good day. It was cloudy so some of the ducks would fly in and then flare off before getting in shooting range. When it is cloudy, they can see every little thing — like us in the blind and the decoys frozen in the ice.  Six of us did get 28 ducks and a speck. Half of them were mallards and a lot of pintails. That’s a good day.  We would have had an easy limit if we had a little sun, but that just didn’t happen.

We heard good reports from all over. It’s still frozen up pretty good in south Arkansas, but it has thawed a lot down around Mer Rouge. By noon Saturday, it should be pretty well thawed. I’m expecting things to bust loose the next few days. We have lots of ducks and they are itching to get back in those fields and feed. We walked out on the ice all the way to the decoys this morning and the ice didn’t even crack. We had birds trying to land on the ice and the dogs had to slide out and get the ones we shot. It was crazy.

Time’s running out on this season, but it’s lining up to be a good ending to this story. I’m thinking there will be loads of hunters and loads of ducks this weekend. Be safe out there.

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