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First split #8962094 11/26/23 06:56 PM
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I've been slammed at work and with family obligations so only got 3 hunts in so far. Overall it has been slow, bird numbers have been low for me. This morning was better, but still not great numbers of birds. I was hoping we would have gotten a big push of birds last night. In 3 hunts ended with 6 birds, 4 of them coming today.

Work schedule lightens up in December and I have a bunch of PTO I have to burn through so should get a dozen or so hunts in December.

How'd yall public land guys do?


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Re: First split [Re: 2flyfish4] #8962150 11/26/23 08:46 PM
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Falconry? I'd love to see that.


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Re: First split [Re: 2flyfish4] #8962186 11/26/23 10:04 PM
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Hit and miss. Overall was better than I expected with the drought and salt water being only water available in the coastal marshes. Hunted 13 times and every day was different. No patterns etc.

Re: First split [Re: 2flyfish4] #8962214 11/26/23 10:32 PM
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I’ve been seeing a fair number of birds on public. Also was hoping for a push of birds today but it didn’t come from what I saw. Been a good start to the season though. One son shot his first duck. His friend shot his first bird, a coot, and I am starting to get the hang of how the birds are moving on this lake. Seems like I find the area they like just have to fine tune how I setup there and what spot to pick. Also it always changes depending how the pressure is. Still got some hiccups to work out on the boat also but it is coming along.


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Re: First split [Re: 2flyfish4] #8962354 11/27/23 01:34 AM
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I’ve been busy with kids and college visits up to last weekend. So finally got to start hunting this thanksgiving break. Son and I hunted Friday and today and shot limits both days. A lot of teal with a few big ducks mixed in. But not many. Really thought some fresh big ducks would’ve pushed in last night. But didn’t seem so on our farm.
My buddies that hunt public have struggled. A few have decided to fish some days instead of hunt.

Ready to see those Northern states covered in light blue!!!!!!


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Re: First split [Re: 2flyfish4] #8962377 11/27/23 01:53 AM
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We don't have any water and I have zero desire to lay out on a bare beached big lake. I'm waiting until December to start and going elsewhere. I wished I would have put in for SD draw this year. Next year I will.


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Re: First split [Re: 2flyfish4] #8962399 11/27/23 02:35 AM
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My time on the water with my dog is always good. Lots of GWT.

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Re: First split [Re: 2flyfish4] #8962621 11/27/23 04:04 PM
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Early on public was good. Lots of birds around, but more or less concentrated with water being down. It didn't take long for them to get shot out.

I found a spot waaay out of the way that I was hoping was off the radar. I suppose when it's holding thousands of birds it was a matter of time. Too close to other areas to not get boom scouted.

My deer lease ponds, which typically hold a lot of dux, have been dead again this year.


Re: First split [Re: LarryCopper] #8962777 11/27/23 08:00 PM
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I was fortunate to go twice over the holiday weekend. We could've gone a 3rd time but upper management was PO'd. Couldn't have asked for a more perfect Friday morning. Wish I had the time & connections to just handle my partner in crime and rack up as many retrieves as we can.
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Re: First split [Re: 2flyfish4] #8962851 11/27/23 09:56 PM
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Same as every year in southeast Texas. We had good hunts but it gradually gets worse as the first season goes on from pressure. Too many hunters, less and less habitat for the ducks to safely rest on/in every year. This is a depressing area to be a duck hunter nowadays.


Originally Posted by garrett
I'm with GK because I like salty old dudes.
Re: First split [Re: john paul] #8962912 11/27/23 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by john paul
Same as every year in southeast Texas. We had good hunts but it gradually gets worse as the first season goes on from pressure. Too many hunters, less and less habitat for the ducks to safely rest on/in every year. This is a depressing area to be a duck hunter nowadays.

I can tell ya it's no different in North TX. I really hoped the whole Duck Dynasty effect would end and things would go back to the way it was. Most duck hunters I run into are in their 20's to early 30's and they aren't quitting. I'm not bashing them, I gotta respect their love for it, but the ones I know do things differently than us ol farts. They all share info with a big group of folks, go grind on a spot for a while, then regroup and move on to the next thing. There is no such thing as keeping a honey hole to yourself and your closest friends any more.

The only way I've learned to adapt is to hunt further and further away. Even that isn't a guarantee tho. I had some kids come walking up thru the woods out in BFE yesterday. I have no idea how they got there without a boat LOL. I recognized that sound of dekes over a shoulder a mile away but I never heard a truck or ATV.


Re: First split [Re: Sinkey] #8962914 11/27/23 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Sinkey
I’ve been busy with kids and college visits up to last weekend. So finally got to start hunting this thanksgiving break. Son and I hunted Friday and today and shot limits both days. A lot of teal with a few big ducks mixed in. But not many. Really thought some fresh big ducks would’ve pushed in last night. But didn’t seem so on our farm.
My buddies that hunt public have struggled. A few have decided to fish some days instead of hunt.

Ready to see those Northern states covered in light blue!!!!!!


It's been cold up here last week or so, birds should be heading down.
They might be staging in Eastern Colorado.

Re: First split [Re: 2flyfish4] #8963067 11/28/23 02:23 AM
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We’ve hunted N Tx 3x so far 8 guns, 40 ducks so far. Also had 7 gun hunt in Oklahoma w 35+1 greater. Weather tough, stale ducks- gadwalls teal zero mallards seen ( didn’t decoy) many Pintails- shot canvasbacks and Red heads last weekend. Abundance of Ringers, which we try not to shoot many.

My VanZandt wetland doesn’t typically kick in until mid December. Will give it a shot this Sunday

Last edited by Greekangler; 11/28/23 02:25 AM.

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Re: First split [Re: 2flyfish4] #8963294 11/28/23 04:31 PM
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We were in Idaho for Thanksgiving, still not much snow but pretty cold. We stayed right on the Henry's fork of the Snake, lots of big ducks and LOTS of Canadas on the river...We live right on Ray Roberts and usually are being woken up daily by now with the shooting, not so much this year. Need some bad weather up North...

Re: First split [Re: LarryCopper] #8963360 11/28/23 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by LarryCopper
Originally Posted by john paul
Same as every year in southeast Texas. We had good hunts but it gradually gets worse as the first season goes on from pressure. Too many hunters, less and less habitat for the ducks to safely rest on/in every year. This is a depressing area to be a duck hunter nowadays.

I can tell ya it's no different in North TX. I really hoped the whole Duck Dynasty effect would end and things would go back to the way it was. Most duck hunters I run into are in their 20's to early 30's and they aren't quitting. I'm not bashing them, I gotta respect their love for it, but the ones I know do things differently than us ol farts. They all share info with a big group of folks, go grind on a spot for a while, then regroup and move on to the next thing. There is no such thing as keeping a honey hole to yourself and your closest friends any more.

The only way I've learned to adapt is to hunt further and further away. Even that isn't a guarantee tho. I had some kids come walking up thru the woods out in BFE yesterday. I have no idea how they got there without a boat LOL. I recognized that sound of dekes over a shoulder a mile away but I never heard a truck or ATV.

Someone needs to also tell them to pick up their empty hulls. Nothing depresses me more than that.

Re: First split [Re: Guy] #8963495 11/28/23 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Guy
Someone needs to also tell them to pick up their empty hulls. Nothing depresses me more than that.

No matter how old ya are, I'll never understand it. Even if you are just an ahole that has no respect for the resource, wouldn't you want to be smart enough to leave no trace of where you were? Boom scouters gonna find your spot quick!


Re: First split [Re: LarryCopper] #8963564 11/28/23 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by LarryCopper
Originally Posted by Guy
Someone needs to also tell them to pick up their empty hulls. Nothing depresses me more than that.

No matter how old ya are, I'll never understand it. Even if you are just an ahole that has no respect for the resource, wouldn't you want to be smart enough to leave no trace of where you were? Boom scouters gonna find your spot quick!


I've found many spots by people leaving shells. Some where good and some weren't, or were shot out. I pick up the other's shells I can get to and mark the spot. Probably makes me a boom scouter 3rd class but information is information. As long as there's no one currently there.

I agree, between fishing trash on the banks and empty shells, cans and broken chairs, it gets depressing. I don't know a way to cure it except call out people we find doing it and that has its own issues. I just try to pick up what I can and mark the spots....

I was on PINS last week and there were seven tents left on the beach. They thought the tide would be lower but it was up to the dunes. I guess they bugged out before their vehicle was stuck but they had enough time to pull the poles. All they had to do was wad up the tents and throw them in the back of the truck.. But still, come back in for your trash even if it is 40 miles.

I will say, when I was shooting an autoloader, if I wasn't diligent, and the current was decent, shells would get away from me. I'd at least look for them in any event.

I'm gettin' up there and one of these days, bending down to pick up someone else's brass is gonna cost me more than it's worth. I've got one of those magnetic pickers if I remember to carry it with me when I'm out of the boat. That helps a lot.


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Re: First split [Re: john paul] #8963566 11/28/23 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by john paul
Same as every year in southeast Texas. We had good hunts but it gradually gets worse as the first season goes on from pressure. Too many hunters, less and less habitat for the ducks to safely rest on/in every year. This is a depressing area to be a duck hunter nowadays.


I only hunt southeast Texas and have had a very good season thus far. Would provide some general areas but then I'd get my head bit off on here

Re: First split [Re: 2flyfish4] #8963646 11/29/23 01:50 AM
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I bought a new property this past year in NE Texas near Cooper lake and have been working hard to build some duck habitat. We hunted it three times in the first split. Shot limits of teal on each hunt with one mallard in the mix. Hopefully some big ducks move in soon.

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Re: First split [Re: 2flyfish4] #8963658 11/29/23 02:04 AM
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Sounds exactly like our hunts. And we are not far from Cooper at all.


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Re: First split [Re: 2flyfish4] #8963680 11/29/23 03:13 AM
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I’m hunting my ponds in between Katy and Columbus south of I10 and it’s been really tough. Last several weeks with the exception of (1) day we have seen A LOT of pins but they are headed straight for the coast and a couple hundred yards up. I have only been able to call in (2) small groups. We have been getting GWT and Gads fairly frequently but the flights are sporadic. Some days it’s first hour others it’s well after 9 am they start to move around. We have had water and food. I hunt rice country, but the birds don’t seem interested in staying in our area. Even our white fronted geese haven’t really shown up. I’ve been following the weather and I don’t think it has been consistently cold enough for the push to SE Texas. Surprisingly we have a lot of Sandhills but I’m not holding my breath I have a feeling come December 16 for our zone they will be adios. I bit the bullet and bought goose floaters as I’ve read they add confidence so we shall see. It’s been almost a 100% guarantee when a line of specks or snows fly over the pins are not far behind. We are switching to layouts for the second split to see if maybe that will help. I’ll say this, despite not having a lot of birds to shoot at. This being the first year to take my little boy with me more than makes up for it. Good luck to everyone for the 2nd split!


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Re: First split [Re: 2flyfish4] #8963844 11/29/23 03:17 PM
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Went to two different lakes near me and dang they are void of water. One will be over a mile walk and and will have to use a ground blind to hunt it. Just ain't as mad at these ducks like I used to be.

Unless we get a ton of rain my only hunt may be in Jan with a guide.


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Re: First split [Re: 2flyfish4] #8964068 11/29/23 08:39 PM
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Hunted nine days in the south zone (Southeast Texas area, private land) Shot our full limit every hunt (2-3 guys per hunt, just me on one hunt) without shooting divers. Most days it was good for the first 30-45 minutes then died off rapidly, typically where I hunt the first hour to an hour and a half is slow and then it gets good for a couple of hours. Had to shoot our birds early this split. Have not seen the amount of green-winged teal we normally see. The last hunt of the split on Sunday was SLOW. Very little shooting.

I never hunted southeast Texas during the glory days it is not as depressing for me as it is for JohnPaul; but I can definitely see in the next ten years it turning into a Florida situation where you shoot ring necks, mottled ducks, blue wings, and squealers only.

Re: First split [Re: 2flyfish4] #8964111 11/29/23 09:44 PM
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Number wise its been the best season so far but local public has been tough. My mother has been staying with us for a few weeks so I cannot get out for several days or travel to far.
2nd split should be great with my plans and options.

Re: First split [Re: OTL91] #8964209 11/29/23 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by OTL91
Hunted nine days in the south zone (Southeast Texas area, private land) Shot our full limit every hunt (2-3 guys per hunt, just me on one hunt) without shooting divers. Most days it was good for the first 30-45 minutes then died off rapidly, typically where I hunt the first hour to an hour and a half is slow and then it gets good for a couple of hours. Had to shoot our birds early this split. Have not seen the amount of green-winged teal we normally see. The last hunt of the split on Sunday was SLOW. Very little shooting.

I never hunted southeast Texas during the glory days it is not as depressing for me as it is for JohnPaul; but I can definitely see in the next ten years it turning into a Florida situation where you shoot ring necks, mottled ducks, blue wings, and squealers only.


I listened to a podcast about the east coast flyway. They believe the release of pen mallards in the north east have severely damaged their population. I was skeptical until i listened to the whole podcast. I could see how that would cause a problem.

I'd prefer mallards and pintails. But I'll eat ringnecks. It's what I was raised on. I just don't keep the skins and use a lot of spices.


No matter how high a duck flies a hammer still breaks a window.
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