Duck season’s near the end, and if you can brag about your hunting successes, then consider yourself among the most fortunate of Louisiana hunters.

It was 90 percent certain most of you would end these 60 days with a bad taste in your mouths. It doesn’t bode well for our state’s near 100,000 duck hunters when hunters in the Dakotas talk about being able to take ducks deep into November.

It’s not a good indicator for success when the southwestern parishes are inundated by heavy rainfall in the week before the season, nor is it good when the water keeps coming and southerly winds prevail to keep the water high well into the duck season’s second split.

And it’s an entirely unique set of problems when rainfall throughout the Mississippi River Valley pushes river levels to record heights at precisely the same time when winter takes hold up north.

What this season should tell us is that El Nino’s peaks are a double-edged sword here: We can celebrate its effects on minimizing storms during the hurricane season, then moan about the lingering warm weather that keeps ducks from moving here until winter releases its grip on the northern climes.

And what this season should do is give us appreciation for the years when biologists find record numbers on the breeding grounds, our state and our duck habitat survive summer’s tropical storms, winter takes hold throughout the Midwest in the middle of fall, and the ducks find a home in our rice fields and our marshes.

Yes, there have been years like that, but it just didn’t happen that way this year.

Friends

There are very few words to describe the depth of sorrow after family and friends gathered during the past two weeks to convey condolences and share memories after Richard Campbell and Kristen Wray lost their battles with cancer.

Richard and Kristen brought energy to their outdoor pursuits, Richard to his near 25-year push for the local Hunters for the Hungry efforts to move into every corner of our state, and Kristen for her drive to share all of what Grand Isle meant to her with visitors to our state’s only inhabited barrier island.

Richard was tireless in his H4H efforts. He engaged hundreds, maybe thousands, around the state to share the motto, “Hunters who Care, Share.”

Kristen’s Grand Isle eco-tours allowed visitors a window to her soul and her passion for pushing to preserve coastal environs. She will be remembered for her drive to establish Ride the Bull, a Grand Isle event that’s become the world’s largest extreme kayak fishing adventure.

Heartfelt wishes to Judy Campbell and Danny Wray. We know the depth of your losses. They will be missed, all the while knowing Richard and Kristen left lasting memories, legacies that will linger for decades.