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I know puddle ducks will eat snails, worms, insects etc.... but never in my life have I seen this. My kids thought it was cool. The mouth of this teal was overflowing with worms that it had been eating. As I looked deeper into the throat of this teal I found a ton of small seeds (wild millet maybe) too. Anyway, this teal made a bad decision by flying into our spread with a full belly after feasting.

December 07, 2014 at 7:10am

The second split came to a close for me yesterday. Heading to the dome today for the Saints game... Who Dat!!! Although I am still shooting plenty of ducks, my observation is the numbers are way down at the end of this split compared to previous first splits in years past. We have very few gadwalls in the area, but can still manage limits of teal. Personally I think with a lot of the high water we have had during the first split it displaces the ducks. Another consideration is this is the second year in a row with no storms so perhaps there is abundant feed through out SE LA spreading the ducks out thin. All in all, I still love this sport. Geaux Saints!!!!

December 07, 2014 at 7:05am

We had a little Thanksgiving bonus today. Low flying goose right over the decoys.

November 25, 2014 at 4:15pm

We had to end our hunt early today. My dog went to retrieve a duck that fell about 150 yards into the grass this morning shortly after daylight in the fog. He never came back and would not respond to my calls or whistle so we had to go look for him as at this point I realized he got turned around and was lost. After about 3 hours of looking for him, a fisherman called me who found my dog. He was about 3 miles away from where we were hunting. I cannot thank this fisherman enough. THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS.... My boys were happy to get their pup back...

November 24, 2014 at 7:29pm

The boys continued to whack em' and stack em' for the opening weekend. We had a blast!
We had one hen mallard. My oldest son is still trying to kill his first drake green head.....

November 17, 2014 at 5:32am

Always a blast to watch kids and video them shooting ducks on the youth duck hunt weekends. I'm honored to be able to insure the future of our sport by introducing young ones to duck hunting. It was a good weekend with some mighty fine shooting by these kids.

November 10, 2014 at 8:39am

My 8 year old son shot this hen ruddy duck today. Sure wish it was a drake as I would have mounted it for him. We had 2 hens come into the dekes. First ruddy duck my blind has shot since the 80's.

December 23, 2013 at 6:40pm

This is just my opinion, but based on Larry Reynolds aerial survey last week and my hunting logs over the last decade, the 2nd split opener is “always” better than the first split opener, hence I firmly believe we “always” have more ducks in South LA in mid December than we do in early to mid November. With that said, I still think the coastal zone opens too early. I still would like to see duck season for south LA open in mid November (or even the Saturday before Thanksgiving) and close on the last Sunday in January. Also, I find it strange that the West Zone which now extends up to NW LA closes in mid January and not the last Sunday in January. When I use to hunt Red River and Toledo Bend our best hunts with the mallards was always late January. Same thing held true for hunting in Monroe, LA and in Mississippi around Jackson and Vicksburg. The layout of the three zones seems weird too. It seems political to me to give hunters more than 60 days to hunt by hunting multiple zones. Why don’t we just have a north and south zone and if we did maybe the south zone border should extend a little further north above Hwy 90 so that areas like Big Branch, Bayou Savage, Manchac etc are in the south zone too. Perhaps Interstate 12 from MS to Interstate 12 in Baton Rouge could be the border for south and north zones. We could just have a statewide season too with no zones. This is just my two cents. Comments are welcomed as I do know Larry Reynolds does read these posts.

December 16, 2013 at 7:26am

The second split opener of the coastal zone opened with a bang with 4 man limits on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday we shot mostly green wing teal, however on Sunday we shot mostly gadwall and only two teal. It's weird what a difference a day makes. My boys and their friend had a blast with a lot of shooting for the kiddos.... I think these boys are now addicted to quack.

December 16, 2013 at 6:09am

So far this season has been hit and miss for most. It seems that we just don't have the numbers of ducks we typically have, despite all the feed in the ponds. The extreme high water is spreading the ducks thin and far. I hate hunting high water. Bring on the mud flats and super low water... It's crazy that the coastal zone opened on Nov 9th when Kansas just opened this weekend. Our season opens way too early. I would love to see the season close on Jan 31st regardless if it closes on a Sunday or not (can't go into February I know) with it opening on the Saturday before Thanksgiving with a split a week or two before Christmas. Limits or near limits have been the norm for most hunts but for one hunt when we only shot 4. We have to hunt late sometimes to fill the limit especially on cloudy, mild days. Blue bird cold days with strong North winds are the best days seeing the most activity. My boys and I shot 18 today from 7:30am to 9:30am setting up late. Cloudy days with south winds are the slower days. I made a hunt a couple of weeks from 9am to 12pm to shoot a 2 man limit on a cold blue bird day with strong north winds. If you hunt salt marsh, the birds are feeding on low tide so hunt the tides if you can. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hunting......

November 24, 2013 at 3:18pm

It's all about making memories and passing on a tradition and that's exactly what we did this past weekend. It should be a good season.

November 05, 2013 at 5:52am

Wow, what a great fishing trip this past Saturday with my youngest boy. We started off fishing for trout on the ICW and the bite was slow with a slack tide only landing 6 keeper trout on plastics so we decided to cross Lake Borgne to the Biloxi Marsh to go look for some reds. One stop, one pond and it was on! We limited out catching our 10 reds within an hour then played catch and release. It was so much fun teaching my son how to sight cast to red fish. He is getting the hang of it now. I might have a fishing partner for life as he is hooked on sight casting now. The water was crystal clear and we saw many schools of reds cruising the shore lines. All reds caught on red fish magic spinner baits.

October 28, 2013 at 6:31am

I am no scientist, however considering that Larry's (LDWF) teal count last week for early teal season is the lowest on record could the teal be changing their migration pattern in SE LA? The reason I ask this or possibly think it is because over the last decade (from Katrina on to Isaac) it seems that SE LA has had a tropical storm or hurricane pushing HIGH water into the area when the teal move through on their early migration. We all know teal prefer very shallow water to feed in. If the water is high then it displaces the teal pushing them into to the rice fields in SW LA and elsewhere unless they can find feed like wild millet seeds etc growing in the brackish waters in our SE marshes in the high water. Even without a storm in the gulf this past week we still have above normal tides with the SE winds creating high water. So my thinking is the teal are learning that SE LA always has high water this time of the year and they are shifting their migration more to the west to SW LA and Texas. What do you think Larry? What about others out there. Chip in your two cents.

September 16, 2013 at 9:21am

I had a great time this past Saturday teaching these boys how to sight cast for red fish in the Biloxi Marsh. All fish caught on spinner baits. Getting them hooked at a young age is what it's all about.

September 02, 2013 at 12:27pm

My 8 year old wants to go fishing tomorrow afternoon with a few of his friends for his birthday. Any one know where I can put them on some sheepshead, flounder, black drum or reds fishing with dead or live shrimp? I figure it will be too rough with 10-15 knot winds to fish the trestles in the afternoon.

April 12, 2013 at 8:28pm

Just wanted to thank the guys at BFC Marine/Gator Trax in Springfield, LA for outstanding customer service. My Briggs & Stratton mud motor has over 500 hours on her now and with the harsh salt water environment I hunt in I have had a few minor electrical problems this year. I guess it's like when you put 200k miles on a truck, things will start to go out. Each time I brought my boat & motor to them, they got it fixed in no time and had me back on the water in time not to interfere with me missing any hunting. Most of the time they fixed it while I waited. That's the kind of customer service one appeciates especially when you have a problem in the middle of duck season. Thank You!

January 17, 2013 at 5:57am

I'm anxious to get back in the marsh this weekend. The sky high water levels will change the game plan. Unfortunately the high water will push the teal out, but I know where to find the gray ducks in high water.

January 10, 2013 at 6:25am

It is very easy to make and delicious. Grays and teal in the pot with onions, mushrooms, garlic, cream of mushroom soup, carrots and seasoning. Will serve over rice once done this evening. Yum, yum good...

January 09, 2013 at 6:13am

Any reports from Venice in the 2nd split? A buddy of mine wants me to head down there to his camp this weekend for a fathers/sons fishing and hunting weekend, but I haven't heard of anyone doing that well down there. In Venice I normally hunt the Baptise and Red Pass areas as well as some private leases nearby that area.

January 03, 2013 at 6:38am

Made a huge batch (4-5 gallons) of duck, andouille and chicken gumbo along with grilled bacon wrapped ducks for NY's Eve last night... Man was it good............

January 01, 2013 at 11:37pm
A comment titled: Scouting in response to a report titled: Any Duck?

Considering it's 30,000 +/- acres you must scout to find the ducks. Tip - unless it's late in the season avoid hunting ponds that are 2-4 feet deep. Puddle ducks cannot feed in water this deep. Find the shallower ponds and broken marsh where the birds are feeding. Exception is late in the season the birds will raft up in the deeper big water ponds.

December 17, 2014 at 9:04am
A comment titled: Poachers in response to a report titled: Will LDWF respond if I call about poachers?

I use to manage a 5,000 acre ducking hunting club in MS and I would inform poachers they were on private land and kindly ask them to leave. I would tell them I was taking a picture of their boat and boat numbers and reporting it to the authorities which I did. Sometimes I took a pic of them too, but be careful this really offends some people and they can get hostile. Not a comfortable situation when we all have loaded guns. Anyway, the sad thing is the wildlife and fisheries agents cannot enforce trespassing violations. It has to be enforced by the sheriff's department. I would get boat numbers and call both the sheriff's department and the LDWF asking them to send letters to the boat owner. If in Orleans parish, then you will have to call NOPD.

December 07, 2014 at 6:58am
A comment titled: E collar in response to a report titled: Thank You, Thank You....

My dog is conditioned for an e collar, but I rarely use it or even put it on him. The problem is I can't see him when he goes into the tall grass chasing a crippled. I don't want to shock him just because I can't see him when he may be on the crippled duck. The e collar has a 1/2 mile range so if I shock him when he is in the grass and if he does not know which direction the blind is it may make matters worse for him. I guess it would be like us being in a large corn field with stalks above our head trying to find our way out. Also, I think the high water had a lot to do with it. Considering the water was high and there was no dry ground in sight, I think it is hard for the dog to find a scent on the duck and also hard for the dog to find his on scent to back track himself to the blind. I might need to look into a GPS tracking collar to put on him.

November 26, 2014 at 7:40am
A comment titled: Thanks in response to a report titled: Thank You, Thank You....

Thanks guys. Today I was hunting with my friend's dog and he did the same thing. He was sent out after a crippled in the tall grass. After the dog disappeared for 15 minutes in the tall grass we went out after him this time. It took us about 10 minutes to find him and round him up. Thank goodness. I was way too nervous after yesterday. I guess the drive of these dogs is so high that they never give up on crippled ducks especially in the tall grass. The water was very high the last two days so the grass is all water so there is no scent for the dog to track the duck down or to find it's way back to the blind.

November 25, 2014 at 4:14pm
A comment titled: Tips in response to a report titled: Ducks gone!

Yes to hunting bigger water. Try hunting from 10am to 1pm if you can. The ducks are still here. Of course the last two days we have had very little wind which does not help.

November 21, 2014 at 9:06am
A comment titled: Now the question at hand is? in response to a report titled: Delayed migration of ducks ?

Now that the aerial surveys have been conducted and Larry says we have the most ducks in over a decade for the November count, does this have anything to do with the fact that the season opens a week later and the survey was done a week later too than previous years. I'm sure it does. Of course the cold weather helps, but I just think we are better off with a mid November opening.

November 17, 2014 at 5:27am
A comment titled: Late season tactics in response to a report titled: Delayed migration of ducks ?

Late season tactics consist of but not limited to less to no calling, leave your duck calls at home, hunt in the grass not in a blind or boat blind, use fewer decoys when hunting small water such as dozen or less set out in pairs, hunt a very large spread on big water set up with a crossing wind, some times I will hunt in the middle of large water surrounded by 100+ dekes, scout and figure out where the birds are resting and feeding and probably the best advice I have is hunt late and sleep in. After Christmas many of my hunts will not even start until 8 or 9am and I will hunt till noon or so. Some of the best flights of ducks in the late winter are between 10am and 12pm. Good Luck!

November 12, 2014 at 6:48am
A comment titled: Flight Ducks in response to a report titled: Here They Come!

I will say that on last Saturday during the youth hunt I saw V after V of large flocks of ducks flying high heading south. I didn't see as many on Sunday as I did on Saturday. Regardless I can't remember the last time I saw so many flight ducks heading south during the day light hours. Perhaps back in the 80's I use to see this migration.

November 12, 2014 at 6:39am
A comment titled: One other note: in response to a report titled: Delayed migration of ducks ?

I have always pushed for the season to end as late as possible in January. Yes, it is very tough hunting in late January with the low tides and north winds, but some of my best hunting is in late January. Why? Because I feel that with each artic blast we get in January more birds come down especially mallards. When the water is low it concentrates the birds too compared to high water when they can land anywhere. Far less hunters in late January too equals less pressure. Those who are willing to work hard, scout and change their tactics to late season tactics can harvest just as many ducks if not more ducks in the second split as they do in the first split. My hunting logs I have kept over the last decade prove this theory.

November 11, 2014 at 1:37pm
A comment titled: Amen! in response to a report titled: Delayed migration of ducks ?

So glad Larry Reynolds listened to the hunters b/c I know I have emailed him before. I love it that the season opens on the third Saturday of November and closes on the last Sunday of January for the coastal zone. I could not have asked for the frame work to be any better. I like how the 2nd split opens on Dec 21st right before Christmas during the Christmas break to give the kids in school something to look forward to. Although LA harvests more ducks in the first split than the 2nd split, my argument has always been we will still harvest just as many if not more ducks in this first split as previous years even though the season opens up a week later. I'm sure the end of the season stats will show this. Although the season is opening a week later, the ducks are not going anywhere once they get here as there is no hunting pressure to move them anyways. With a late migration and later season opening date we might even have more ducks here for opening day this year than previous years. One thing I use to always say and believe is that most of the gadwall (our bread and butter duck) arrive in the LA marshes around Halloween, however when I scouted on November 2nd this year I saw very few ducks. A week later for the youth hunt on Nov 8th we had 5 times more ducks. I can only expect we will have even more come this Saturday especially with the artic front this week. Again, Thank you Larry for listening and for your hard work.

November 11, 2014 at 1:30pm
A comment titled: Duck? in response to a report titled: Youth Duck Hunt 2014

Not sure if anyone noticed but the duck in the first pic is a pintail hen. The only thing that could of made this hunt even better is if the boys dropped the bull sprig. It was a flock of 3 pintails that came into the dekes.

November 11, 2014 at 9:10am
A comment titled: Proud Pop in response to a report titled: Youth Duck Hunt 2014

Thanks Proud Pop..... I enjoy reading your posts of your annual hunts with Phil. I've hunted with him in the 80's and one of his nephews who is one of my best friends from college comes down from Monroe to hunt and fish with me several times a year.

November 11, 2014 at 9:08am
A comment titled: decoymaker in response to a report titled: Youth Duck Hunt 2014

It's depends on their age, maturity, and size... I started taking my boys with me in the duck blind at age 4-5 years old. They would bring their BB guns and shoot at the ducks with them teaching them gun safety as well. I even let them believe they killed a duck with their BB gun. Of course we talked about this over the weekend while in the blind and they know they cannot kill a duck with a BB gun and dad was bending the truth just a little bit. Both of my boys started shooting/hunting at age 7 but I have big boys. They are now 12 and 9. I recommend a 20 gauge pump or 20 gas auto (kicks less) over a single shot with no recoil. Start them with only 1 shell until you are comfortable to give them 2, then eventually give them 3 shells. I let them shoot #6 steel shot and if you get the birds within 35 yards you will be surprised how much they can knock down with the spread of #6 shot. Again it all depends on each kid when they will be ready to shoot, but don't force it on them. If they are scared wait a year then try again. If they get cold or bored, go home and don't force them to stay. Do bring lots of snacks and an ipod etc so they have something to do when the hunting is slow.

November 10, 2014 at 12:48pm
A comment titled: Bayou Savage in response to a report titled: Bayou savage?

How old is your brother? In order to hunt Bayou Savage you MUST have a youth hunter age 15 years or younger with you. I believe the days it is open are Wed, Thur, Sat, and Sunday (closed the rest). Bayou Savage is a federal refuge (not a state ran WMA) so check out the regs on their site before you head out that way. Hunting is only allowed outside of the levee system (no hunting inside the levees such as between Hwy 11 and Interstate 10). There is some good hunting between Venetian Isles and Lake P. There is a launch on Hwy 90 between Hwy 11 and the Chef where you might be able to access some areas to hunt if you only have a trolling motor. Big Branch refuge might be your better bet since you do not have an outboard. Lots of people hunt near Salt Bayou (Fritchie Marsh) with pirogues only and in Lacombe and around Bayou Liberty.

December 24, 2013 at 6:43am
A comment titled: 2nd Split in response to a report titled: Let's hear it, Give your comments.

Well, I cannot speak for others, but I can speak for myself. So far this 2nd split just as in the 5-6 years past has been better than the first split, hence I still think the later season opening dates are better. Sure we have plenty of ducks in early November, but once they get pressure they tend to leave quickly. At least later in the season we have more cold fronts pushing new birds into the area and I have the luxury to pick my days and hunt the strong northern windy days as today. Although it was a mixed bag today, I am not complaining and we definitely had new easy decoying birds today in the area. My sons shot at a flock of buffle heads that landed on the water today and they killed 6 of them with only 2 shots... LOL.... Ended up with 11 greys, 1 widgeon, 1 ruddy duck, 4 gw teal and and 7 buffle heads today. I do let my boys shoot at diving ducks on occassion. BTW, they cook up fine in duck chili or gumbo....

December 23, 2013 at 8:50pm
A comment titled: Nice! in response to a report titled: Banded with a tracking device

Great work by the sportsmen and the biologists.... That's a trophy for sure.

December 23, 2013 at 8:25pm
A comment titled: PS in response to a report titled: Let's hear it, Give your comments.

PS: I started duck hunting in the 70's in the Manchac area and hunted flooded timber off of the Tickfaw river too and did some hunting out in the rigolets area. Even the Manchac prairie back in the day had an amazing amount of mallards and it was hard core hunting, no go-devils back then. The hunting use to be so good in Manchac you could walk in from the RR tracks in Manchac to a pot hole and shoot a limit of mallards. I don't blame the pressure on Manchac as to why the hunting is not good there anymore, I blame the lost of the habitat that surrounds manchac specifically the flooded timber in Maurpeaus. Also I remember the bread and butter duck in the rigolets back in the 70's were pintail. Heck, they were only 10 points each back then for those of you who remember teh point system. You could shoot 10 pintails a day....

December 22, 2013 at 4:57pm
A comment titled: Oh what a good problem to have, in response to a report titled: Let's hear it, Give your comments.

In Maurpeaus and in north MS is the only two places where I use to have a problem of shooting mostly green, then we had to wait hours some times for our filler ducks (gadwall, spoonies, teal) to fill our limit. Those were the days.....

It was insane how we hunted back then in the 70's and 80's with no GPS, no cordless q-beams, no cell phone, etc etc... just a hand held flashlight, a compass, lots of land marks and we would flag our way in with survey tape so we could get back out at dark.

December 22, 2013 at 4:48pm
A comment titled: Wishin I was Fishin in response to a report titled: Let's hear it, Give your comments.

I hunted the Maurpeaus swamp area from 1984 to 1990 with my best friend from college who is Phil Robertson's nephew. Althugh I never hunted this area with Phil, I have hunted with Phil several times on his property in Monroe back in the late 80's but never in Maurpeaus. Phil filmed his first duck commander videos in this swamp. We use to hunt the Garyville swamp area, some hunting near the Reserve canal and often we would just walk in from Interstate 10. The maurpeaus swamp was by far the best mallard hunting I have ever seen in my life time until the giant salvanina took over. I've hunted all over including Canada, and this area was the best I've seen in my life time for mallard hunting. There were mallard roosts in that swamp where mallards would come in by the hundreds right at dark bigger than any woody roost I have ever seen. At daylight the sky would be full of thousands of mallards leaving the timber to go feed then they would trickle back in during the mid morning to roost during the day. Most people that hunted this swamp were deer hunters. Most of the clubs were deer hunting clubs, hence there were not many duck hunters in this timber. Although it was private land, I never ever saw another duck hunter back then in this swamp. This entire area to the blind river and amite river was prime duck hunting until we loss our flooded timber habitat due to salvania just as we are loosing our wetlands to erosion. Loss of habitat is a key factor guys. While we are loosing habitat we are not building or gaining enough new habitat to keep up with the loss. The northern states do not have as big as of a problem of loosing habitat as we do with the excepiton of pot holes and prarie lands being developed, so anything they do to build and create habitat is only increasing the amount of areas ducks can use encouraging more and more ducks to use these areas while we are decreasing and loosing the amount of areas ducks can use. Also keep in mind that many of our rice fields and farms are now sugar cane and not rice anymore. Unfortunately, I do not think LA will ever be able to keep up with the loss of habitat and wetlands. Sad to say it, but my boys and grand kids will not experience the duck hunting success we have now when they become adults. I hope I am wrong though...

December 22, 2013 at 4:22pm
A comment titled: LA Marsh Service in response to a report titled: Let's hear it, Give your comments.

That's not a bad idea letting the season open 2 weeks after the youth hunt weekend which means it would have opened on Nov 16th this year, however I do not want to see the youth hunt in late January as it was not many years ago and some hunters are pushing for that again.

December 22, 2013 at 3:57pm
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