duck hunting

The good news is that the teal season is open through Sept. 24, but the bad news is that most of the very popular public hunting areas in Southeast Texas are closed due to the wrath of Hurricane Harvey. But with a well-timed cool front last week and the full moon Sept. 6, we had a load of teal migrate down the Central Flyway and settle into flooded fields in this region of Texas.

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The 2016-17 duck hunting season is officially closed and overall it was better t

The duck season closed this past Sunday at sundown, and based on reports here in Southeast Texas, it was a pretty run for most hunters. Some of the best shoots were at the J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area in Port Arthur. Coastal hunts in the marsh were fair, and guide Colby Denbow reports that his hunts between Beaumont and Winnie were pretty good overall.

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has already come out with the 2016-17 waterfowl hunting regulations. That might sound a little premature, since we just got through last season’s duck hunts, which were not nearly as good as expected. According to the latest data from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the USFWS, the reason duck hunts were so poor in Southeast Texas and other coastal regions of the state was due to an abundance of food in north Texas and farther up in the Central Flyway.

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For the first time in over 80 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved a 90-day dove season in Texas for 2016-17. That means we’ll be getting an additional 20 days of hunting during the fall, plus we’ll get to keep 15 doves per day. Also, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is recommending a later opener for duck hunting, with a shorter break between splits for the North Duck Zone and a later overall season in the South Duck Zone. This is all part of the statewide hunting proclamation for Migratory Game Birds that is up for public comment.

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