The cold front hunters have been waiting for is finally here, and swampateers hope it means deer will move with a sense of urgency to feed while morning frosts cut down some of the vegetation to make rabbit and quail hunts better.

For fishermen, it’s a different story: A cold front packing extra-strong north winds brings bluebird conditions and a rapidly rising barometer. That barometer is predicted to hit an extra-high 30.41 inches Sunday, the highest reading this fall.

For some folks Tuesday and Wednesday rains were needed. Duck hunters spread across vast acres from Pecan Island west to Sabine continue to have problems with high water — while much lower than during September’s teal season after Hurricane Harvey — the water levels are limiting ducks' ability to get to submerged aquatics, the food waterfowl seek in Louisiana’s marshes.

Talking to old-timers over last weekend and they’re reading this cold front as Mother Nature’s blessing for the Dec. 16 opening of the second split in all three waterfowl zones (first splits closed Sunday).

A couple of biologists friends looked at this coldest of the season’s fronts differently, and said if the ducks don’t come on this front, then Louisiana hunters are in for a slow rest of the 60-day season.

It takes frigid weather to get ducks to move from the Midwest, and eight of the next 10 days have lows in the 20s for Kansas City on the same days when our low temps dip into the mid 30s. But there are only two days of below-freezing mornings in the same period forecast for Stuttgart, Arkansas.

No matter, this blast from the north certainly will buoy the hopes of waterfowlers across the state, even if this run on new migrating birds lasts only the first nine days of the second split.

Commission meeting

Updates on the delisting of the Louisiana black bear and chronic wasting disease from the State Deer Study leader share the agenda for Thursday’s 9:30 a.m. Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting at state Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters on Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.

Another point for debate will be discussion of an amendment on the transportation of sterlet sturgeon into the state. Raising this nonnative species is in the Notice of Intent stage for the LWFC. It’s expected Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists will be called upon during the discussion.

For at least the last two and a half decades, LDWF fisheries bioloigists have stood firm against bringing in nonnative species into the state whether for commercial operation.

The meeting is available on a live-stream feed.

2018 calendar

Dec. 22 is the deadline for submitting activities and events for The Advocate's Outdoors 2018 Calendar scheduled to be published Jan. 4.

Please include: Event's name/title, time, date and location including the site, address and city.

Also include all fees, age limits or skill-level requirements and any other particulars for the event, including beneficiaries for fundraising events.

Other requirements are a full name of the contact person with the area code and phone number and e-mail address.

Send to Joe Macaluso, Advocate outdoors, P.O.Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821 or email: