It’s time to put a wrap on the 2014-2015 duck season. Hope yours was successful.
Our state had more ducks, at least from the State Waterfowl Study reports, than we’ve had in during any of the past five seasons.
It’s sure some of you didn’t see ducks by the hundreds of thousands that showed up in the southwestern parishes, and there’s no way to explain why your area suffered when others were covered up in birds for most of another 60-day season.
One wonderful sign was the return of ducks to the Terrebonne Basin. While there were more ringnecks there than most any other area in the coastal brackish and freshwater marshes, hunters there saw more teal, gray ducks and pintails than any year since the 1999-2002 duck bonanza seasons.
Moreover, it bodes well when public hunting areas like Atchafalaya Delta, Pass a Loutre and Pointe-aux-Chenes at times averaged more than four ducks per hunter. The only public hunting area that suffered was Salvador, where there apparently was good habitat but no ducks, not even the numbers of poule d’eau that usually take up residence on the lakes, ponds and marshes near Lafitte.
Maybe like Ducks Unlimited biologist Tom Moorman said last year, our coastal marshes are deteriorating to the point where ducks will find the most stable marsh habitat along the coast. And there’s every reason to believe the most stable marshes are lingering in the Terrebonne area.
Hunters there boasted of taking a limit of ducks early enough to get a limit of trout or redfish, or both, before they had to return to the landings in Dulac, Theriot or Four Point.
It’ll be interesting to read in the coming months the state-by-state “harvest” report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For most of the past 30 years, Louisiana has led the country in the numbers of ducks taken during a 60-day season, and usually Texas with a 72-day season (in the Central Flyway) and California with a 105-day season (in the Pacific Flyway) follow among the top five states.
A fitting tribute
Warren Coco is one guy who didn’t get shorted during this recently concluded season. He’s “Mr. Duck” around here and his innovations in shallow-water propulsion have made waterfowl hunting what it is not only here but around the world.
And he’s been an ardent supporter of all things ducks for longer than his Baton Rouge-based Go-Devil has been making it easier for duck hunters to navigate marshes.
In recognition of his achievements and his continued support of Ducks Unlimited, Baton Rouge’s DU chapter has set March 12 for the 6 p.m. dress-up Warren Coco Tribute at the Burden Museum. Call Scott Singletary (225) 235-7085 or Stephen Babcock (225) 445-2361.
It’ll be interesting to see what Warren wears. Few folks made business attire from denim overalls.