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  #1  
Old 11-06-2015, 03:40 PM
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Default Duck numbers way down

NOT GOOD NEWS FOR WATERFOWLERS***

The early November Louisiana waterfowl count is complete.
And this is just in from LDWF waterfowl study leader Larry Reynolds.
"The estimate of 1.21 million ducks from this survey is 61% lower than last November’s estimate of 3.13 million, 33% below the most recent 5-year November average of 1.81 million, and 44% lower than the long-term average of 2.15 million. This is the fourth lowest November estimate since this survey began in 1969, but the large variation between this and last November is almost certainly due to the earlier survey dates and higher temperatures prior to the survey. Fewer of all species except blue-winged teal were seen compared to 2014, and only bluewings (LTA=183,000) and shovelers (LTA=93,000) were above their long-term averages. Weather conditions in the Mississippi Flyway have not been conducive to moving larger numbers of birds into Louisiana, and the near absence of mallards, scaup, and canvasbacks show we are still very early in the typical migration.

The distribution of ducks was skewed toward SW Louisiana, which is typical for November but is in contrast to 2014, when large numbers of ring-necked ducks in SE Louisiana skewed the total toward that region. Large concentrations of ducks were noted in the marsh of the East Cove Unit of Cameron Prairie NWR, and in the agricultural habitat north of Intracoastal City. Another large concentration was noted off the transect lines (and not counted) in the agricultural fields between Thornwell and Welsh.

On the SE Louisiana transects, ducks were especially clumped with the only large concentration seen in the marsh across the river from Venice. About 85% of the total ducks counted in southeast Louisiana were seen on that 1 line.

The 23,000 ducks counted at Catahoula Lake on this survey was far lower than the 144,000 counted last November and 154,000 counted in 2013. Recent heavy rainfall has flooded the lake to nearly 3 feet above management targets and 5 feet higher than normal water levels this time of year. That rainfall has also flooded a large acreage of agricultural and other habitat in proximity to the lake and likely contributed to substantially lower November duck use.

Habitat conditions in coastal marshes and Catahoula Lake were good to excellent prior to the recent heavy rainfall and extensive flooding. Despite drought conditions over much of the state, there was solid submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and moist-soil production in marsh habitats, and moist-soil plant production at Catahoula Lake was the best since 2009. High water levels and turbidity precluded visibility and evaluation of SAV during this survey, but good stands were still evident in a number of locations. Water levels exceed those optimal for foraging dabbling ducks in the marsh habitat and at Catahoula Lake. However, the rainfall eased or eliminated drought conditions across the state and produced an abundance of habitat for migrating waterfowl in the agricultural regions across the coastal zone. Far above normal November amounts of shallow-flooded grain fields and pastures were noted in all locations during this survey.

The northwest and northeast Louisiana aerial surveys will be flown in the next 2 weeks because of aircraft and observer availability and the staggered opening dates for duck hunting in the West and East zones. Those results will be provided in the December aerial survey report."
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  #2  
Old 11-06-2015, 03:56 PM
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not what i wanted to see....
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  #3  
Old 11-06-2015, 03:56 PM
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Thank God they're opening a week early.
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  #4  
Old 11-06-2015, 04:20 PM
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dem coots doe
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  #5  
Old 11-06-2015, 04:30 PM
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I posted it on another forum, but compared to the last 11 years, this survey is about the same as 6 of those years, give or take a few 100k. 10 of the last 12 (including this year) have been below the long-term average, and by a long shot.

Take that for what you will, but I think this is more the norm for November based on the last 12 years. Last year was the first time since 1995 that the November count was over 3 million, according to that survey. And between 1999 and 2006, only the 2002 survey topped the 2006 numbers (2.6 million in 2002; 2.3 million in 2006). The November estimate has only met or eclipsed the 2 million mark 7 times since 1995, and only 3 times since 2000. And its been at or below 1.5 million 8 times since 2000 (maybe 9, 2001 looks borderline 1.5 million).
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  #6  
Old 11-06-2015, 04:41 PM
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I'll be CRUSHING those "above average" smileys if they even think about looking at my decoys. Knocking all their front teeths out.
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  #7  
Old 11-06-2015, 06:35 PM
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24 spoons or bust.....lol
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  #8  
Old 11-07-2015, 11:27 AM
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Im glad the powers that be on the commission went against public opinion and the waterfowl biologist study leader for LDWF and opened a week early. Looks like they knew what they were doing.
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  #9  
Old 11-07-2015, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunt Drag View Post
Im glad the powers that be on the commission went against public opinion and the waterfowl biologist study leader for LDWF and opened a week early. Looks like they knew what they were doing.

Sounds like your morning was similar to mine.


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  #10  
Old 11-07-2015, 12:23 PM
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"We kill more birds early." Talked to lots of people with above average blind that didn't kill limits. Most of these people have never missed a limit on opening day.
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  #11  
Old 11-07-2015, 02:04 PM
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Worst opener in over 20 years of hunting I can remember.
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  #12  
Old 11-07-2015, 02:19 PM
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I was pleasantly surprised, covered up in Teal this am, great hunts.

We're South of Big Burns, heard they did well too.
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  #13  
Old 11-07-2015, 02:25 PM
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Had 2 groups I know at the wax and neither had even fired a shot at 8 and said they hadn't even seen a large group of teal much less big ducks
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  #14  
Old 11-07-2015, 02:32 PM
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4 Of us ended with 20...should of had 24.

13 teal
1 pin
6 greys
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  #15  
Old 11-07-2015, 02:39 PM
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Was at the wax, very slow, we got six between 2 people. As bad as I have ever seen it in 27 years of opening days. Maybe saw 300 birds all morning.


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  #16  
Old 11-07-2015, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Top Dawg View Post
Worst opener in over 20 years of hunting I can remember.
Sounds like you need DU to make some improvements to your lease; worked for us.
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  #17  
Old 11-07-2015, 04:46 PM
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4 man limit by 8, south of Kaplan. Mostly green wings. There were a lot of bad reports at Suirs.
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  #18  
Old 11-07-2015, 04:52 PM
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Very slow in Pecan Island for us. Got to the blind late due to boat issues though. Ended up with 6 shoulda had a few more. Talked to a lot of people that struggled. Did hear of an 8 man limit south of the highway and another couple of good hunts though.
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  #19  
Old 11-07-2015, 05:29 PM
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worst Sabine opening in 35+ years, no birds before 8:30 and 13 by 12:15 between 3 hunters
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  #20  
Old 11-07-2015, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitramiii View Post
4 man limit by 8, south of Kaplan. Mostly green wings. There were a lot of bad reports at Suirs.
of the 13 teal we killed......10 were BW.

Also, I did not see a lot of teal but the ones I saw were mostly BW.
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