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December Aerial Survey

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What's the word Mr, Reynolds?

Thanks
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Re: December Aerial Survey
I'm pretty sure he started flying the survey today, depending on the weather where they started. I'm assuming he'll fly through either Thursday or Friday, with the full report out Friday afternoon or on Monday....
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Re: December Aerial Survey
Patrick is about right. LDWF is currently 1 pilot down, so competition for the 1 active pilot is worse than ever.

I'll start the survey tomorrow with 3 days to do 2.5 days of flying. The guys flew NE LA last week and got Catahoula Lake, but I've not yet seen those data. If all goes well, I'll complete the survey on Friday, with the report coming out Monday afternoon.
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Re: December Aerial Survey
Larry,

Can you tell us how it is looking? Should we expect a good opener to the second split this weekend? I hear from a buddy in the Arkansas wildlife and fisheries that with the drought in Arkansas and other places the birds especially more mallards than normal should be here in Louisiana. Don't really believe it but nonetheless hope everyone kills and has a good second split. Thanks
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Re: December Aerial Survey
We flew 13 lines from the Texas state line over to Rayne, and saw a LOT more mallards than in November, and a pretty good number of mallards for anytime on the coastal transects. However, I don't think we saw any more, and maybe total fewer ducks than in November. The number of birds on the lines through Sabine, Cameron Prairie, and Lacassine, and in the marsh in general, were down from November, but the number of birds in the ag habitat was clearly up. We saw very large numbers of birds in the ag fields north of Lacassine NWR and White Lake WCA. So it appears there has been a net redistribution of birds toward the ag habitat compared to the November survey.

DISCLAIMER: I haven't 1) transcribed my recordings, 2) seen what my co-observer saw on the other side of the plane, or 3) crunched the numbers to generate comparable estimates. I'm just giving you my impression of what I saw in 1 day of flying.

The coastal survey is a 3-day survey, but I couldn't get out of Baton Rouge all day yesterday, and with the short days, I don't think there is any way we can finish the survey in 2 days. We managed 2 extra lines today and will fly hard tomorrow. I will have estimates for SW LA, Catahoula Lake (123,000 almost all cans and ringnecks), NW LA (6 times what we counted in November), NE LA (up 30% from November mostly due to big increases in diving ducks), and the scaup survey on Lakes Pontchartrain, Maurepas, and Borgne (over 200,000 and a record high for Lake Borgne), but it's doubtful we will finish SE LA. We'll do what we can.
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Re: December Aerial Survey
Here's the link to the story I just finished after talking with Larry Reynolds tonight after his flight on Day 1 of December's aerial waterfowl survey: http://www.louisianasportsman.com/details.php?id=10367
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Re: December Aerial Survey
Thank you Larry. Good luck to everyone this weekend. One good thing is we have the strongest cold front of the year coming through this weekend so I remain hopeful.
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Re: December Aerial Survey
Me and my hunting buddies never count on mallards to fill our duck straps but the first split we have killed 5 mallards and 3 mottled ducks and hope for a nice influx of mallards for Second Split!!Hunting exclusively NorthShore Marsh but there are certain holes that mallards/mottled ducks seem to favor and I intend to do my level best to out-smart some greenies!!!
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Re: December Aerial Survey
Larry
I am tired of throwing thoughts around in my head as what just happened. I figure if I can hear it from a knowledgeable person with experience of the migration and the behavior of such ducks, then maybe I could rest my mind.

Can you give your speculation or opinion on what just happened with the ducks. Very good numbers of ducks as I witnessed myself then all of a sudden majority gone.

I have been hunting for 38 yrs now and have seen first hand the ducks leave with a warm up. But have never seen such a magnitude of a reverse migration. I believe I hunt NE of you a ways. I am SW of Creole.

Thanks for your input as it is much appreciated. And Merry Christmas.
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Re: December Aerial Survey
I'm afraid I don't have any additional input beyond the severe weather reversals timed with the opening of statewide hunting seasons on the heels of unexpectedly high number of birds in the state due to overflying dry habitat to the north of us. That sets the table for a potentially large redistribution of birds given a weather change.

I hunt north of Creole, but left the state on Wednesday after spectacular weekend hunting. I've not witnessed the loss of birds, but I'm getting regular reports. Quite different from those he comments I was getting earlier in the week about understated estimates if ducks in the state. See my comments in the December Aerial Survey thread.
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Re: December Aerial Survey
Sorry about that .... I meant see my comments in the 'best duck count in years' thread, for what they're worth.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas!!

I'm sitting in a hotel in San Francisco this morning; as we are assisting elderly relatives living nearby. But the joy of the season surrounds us!!
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