We are entering the last week of the regular hunting season for most waterfowl and the last weekend of the South Texas deer season. After Jan. 28, most of the hunting will be over.

There is the exception of the special conservation season for light geese in the coastal areas that immediately follows the closure and runs through March 18.

A daily bag limit of 20 light geese is allowed during this extended season and is the result of efforts to thin out the prolific population of snow geese.

The big problem exists up north in the nesting grounds where light geese will take over and run off other waterfowl attempting to nest. Unfortunately, this extended season is not as popular with hunters as originally intended; however, those that take part in it contribute to the efforts to balance out the flocks of geese.

Last Wednesday, I was scheduled to make my last duck hunt of the season; however, the sub-freezing conditions just were not appealing, so six ducks were able to escape the grill.

We have mentioned in previous reports that the 2017-2018 waterfowl season has been one of the best in years. The cold weather north of here did wonders for sending huge flocks of ducks and geese to coastal areas.

The area I hunt the most during duck season normally does not have a large number of ducks until well after Christmas. This year, the flocks started showing up in good numbers just after the opening of the second half of the divided season.

One thing that was noticeable this year was the number of tree ducks or whistlers that remained throughout the season. Normally those ducks migrate here from Central America in the summer, nest and then head south in early autumn. Other than the tree ducks, bluebills or scaup were the primary ducks in the area.

In South Texas, there were several reports of trophy deer taken earlier this week. A report from Pearsall indicated a 14-point buck coming from a managed game ranch in the area.

Jimmy Helstrom called in with a message that if wall-hanger quality pintails are on your list, the Rockport/Aransas area is holding a lot of the big sprigs as they often are called. The season ends on the 28th so there is time to plan a hunting trip to that area. Redheads also are thick throughout the middle coast.

Quail hunting continues to be on the slow side, with few reports coming in this season. Fortunately, quail hunters have another month to hit the brush country, as hunting is allowed through Feb. 25.

This is the final Fowl and Game Report for this season. Hopefully you were able to make it to the woods, marshes, Hill Country or South Texas to enjoy the great outdoors and harvest some game.

Joe Kent is a columnist for The Daily News. Report your game harvest to waterfowl.report@galvnews.com or call 409-683-5341.

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