Heading for the home stretch
Last updated 1/19/2021 at 7:59pm
With just a precious few days left in the 2020-21 hunting season most outdoors folks are scurrying around trying to finish up on a high note. Whitetail season is done except for a few special seasons or permitted hunts and waterfowl season is not far behind. Texas hunters have until the end of the month while those who hunt across the river will finish up this coming weekend. Most folks agree that if you haven't made it happen yet that more than likely you won't before the season closes. Still there are those who will continue to hunt hard until the final day and enjoy the last opportunities provided before everything closes for 8 long months.
Before we take a look at what's left in the season I need to answer a question that I've been asked several times here recently. On more than a few occasions local hunters and fishermen have asked me if I agree with everything that is written in "The Record" newspaper, specifically on the political side. To be completely honest I adamantly disagree with the way President Trump is portrayed on some of the pages here. I realize and respect that everyone has the right to free speech so all I can say is that I agree to disagree on this subject and I will continue to support the things President Trump stood for, most importantly putting America and Americans first. The next administration will be extremely unfriendly to those of us who enjoy the outdoors so all of the outdoor enthusiasts need to brace for some very uncomfortable challenges in the days ahead. It would prove extremely wise to stay informed on legislation and be active when voting because the way of life that many of us believe in has never been so close to being nothing but a memory.
Okay, being that waterfowl season is basically all that's left to focus on it's time to call it like it is and the only word that comes to mind is "dismal". We all agree 2020 had more than it's share of trials and tribulations so adding to that long laundry list of woes is the fact that we have had well below average duck numbers in virtually every state. I was in Arkansas 2 weeks ago near Stuttgart, one of the meccas of duck hunting, and I all the talk centered around how poor the season had been and how few ducks they have had during the season. When an area like Stuttgart starts singing the blues you can bet it's bad. I hunted 4 states this season and each one sang the same song, hunting was hit and miss at best. No consistency whatsoever in the migration has been the thorn in the side of waterfowl hunters all year. A multitude of factors, weather mostly, has been responsible for the dismal season and it looks like that pattern will hold out until the end.
Another unprecedented factor this year was the border closure in Canada. Thousands of American hunters converge on the great white north during the season, especially early in the season around September and October. The affect of little to no hunting pressure on the ducks and geese is unknown but it certainly seems to have allowed the birds more time to stay up north rather than begin the southern migration. The lasting effects will not be known for a while but just the fact that an entire age class of birds never migrated all the way south will be a hard trend to reverse later because the young birds won't know they are supposed to leave. Only time will tell.
Hopefully all of you who are still hunting can end your season on a high note one way or another. The snow goose conservation season is just around the corner for the die hards and after that it's time to get back on the water and wait until September comes back around when we can do it all again.