Each year, there is a surge of late season hunting for deer and prime time hunting for waterfowl the week after Christmas. This year seems to be in sync with all of the others for that statistic.
Prior to the so-called Christmas slump in hunting, there is an unofficial break that takes place as hunters regroup during the Christmas holidays.
The weather this week has been excellent for those late season hunters to take to the fields and marshes.
Even Christmas Day itself saw a number of hunters in the marshes along the Intracoastal Waterway. Fred Christopher, who hunts the Bolivar/High Island area and has for years, said that he was surprised at the number of shots he heard Christmas morning.
Normally there are a few shots fired; however, this year from just before sunrise until around 8 a.m., he heard constant gunfire, which reminded him of opening mornings during a number of years.
Tuesday, Jerome Matthews and his dad, Hank, endured rain in the rice fields near Winnie to take 12 light geese and two mallard ducks. Matthews called in asking for a recommendation for donating some of the geese.
Earlier this season he tried to donate seven geese to a food bank; however, they were declined.
Matthews said that he would have the birds processed beforehand, so if anyone has a recommendation, please let us know so others can share in the bountiful harvests of geese that are taking place this year.
On the duck hunting scene, lots of new flocks of big ducks made their way to the Texas Coast before Christmas and have settled in the marshes and back lakes.
Many of the ducks have moved to the middle coast where action on a variety of species is taking place. From Port O’Connor to Aransas Pass, duck hunters are finding easy limits, with redheads and pintails appearing on most of the straps.
The week before Christmas, I enjoyed being in South Carolina visiting our daughter and her family for the holidays. We stayed on Lake Keowee in Oconee County where Canadian geese are thick. A neighbor two houses down returned from a goose hunt nearby and had 10 Canadian Honkers that he and his son harvested, What a sight! Along with the Canadians were a number of snow geese taken as part of the nationwide conservation effort to help open up nesting grounds in Canada.
Whitetail deer season in Texas remains in effect; however, there were few reports this week. One in particular caught my attention and that came from Ernest Combs who took a 12-point buck from his lease located between Del Rio and Sanderson.
Combs said that this has been an excellent year for deer hunting in that area and the 12-pointer topped his old record. His largest prior to last weekend was a 10-pointer taken 5 years ago. Also mentioned was the fact that better quality deer are being harvested and Combs feels that good ranch management is to be credited for the improvement.
This weekend is forecast to be a very cold and, while the weather likely will benefit hunting, it will be a cold endurance test for hunters. Be especially cautious if you use a small boat to get to and from your duck blind.
Have a great new year and hopefully you will be out in the woods, in the marshes, on the prairies or roaming the hill country or South Texas to celebrate.