Big Water Ducks

The dead-of-winter can be punishing for duck hunters, even here in the balmy south; but last week my son Blake and I drew three perfect weather days for our annual Texas Coast duck hunt with Brad Smythe. Scattered clouds, pleasant temps, and just enough wind to keep the birds moving.

This year it appears that our coastal bays and marshes are a direct beneficiary of the ongoing drought in the Midwest. With scant roosting and feeding water in the heartland, the ducks have pushed on to the Gulf Coast in huge numbers. Two days of heavy rain scattered the birds just before our arrival, but we still had a great shoot. The redheads pounded us in droves and there were enough puddlers around to help us fill our strings.

Click here to see the rest of the shoot.

Tri-colored heron

Brad and Boomer

Redheads piling into the spread

Skint back

Widgeon colors

The mark

The line

The pounce

Sandhill cranes buzzing the flats

Headed for the smoker

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