The Record Newspapers - Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

By Capt. Chuck Uzzle
For the Record 

It's now or never


Last updated 1/18/2022 at 7:29pm

The home stretch for local waterfowl hunters is dead ahead as the end of January is staring right back at us. Fortunately, for many of those still chasing ducks and geese, the weatherman has decided to be somewhat friendly and finally give us some prolonged colder weather. This season has been ridiculously warm, in fact we had one of the warmest Decembers on record along with one of the driest. The conditions for shooting ducks and geese were about as bad as anybody could remember and that didn't even take into account the fact that the overall duck numbers were on a 10-year low. Put all those things together and you could almost make a country song it was so sad.


The final days of the season for many will be spent grinding it out by the faithful and I fully intend to be right there with them. A bad day in January may sting right now but I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to trade for it during the dog days of summer. Many local hunters will play out the final days of the season here at home while others will get on the road and try to find somewhere new in an attempt to salvage their season. There will be plenty of folks headed north to places like Arkansas, Kansas, and Nebraska to try and finish up their seasons and who could blame them. The snow and ice line to the far north has concentrated birds in some areas and there are always hunters willing to put in some drive time if it means increased success.


On the local front there are still some places holding solid numbers of ducks, but the competition gets tougher as the season gets closer to the end. Perhaps the most surprising element right now is the numbers of snow geese scattered all along the coastal prairies. There are huntable concentrations of birds from south of Lake Charles all the way west to Galveston Bay. Many of these groups of geese are starting to make the transition to winter wheat or green grass that's newly sprouted after some marsh fires. The snow geese will feed heavily on the green stuff as they prepare to start their migration back north so if you can set up in these areas and get a little help from the weather you may score a great shoot.


As bad as most of this season has been for the local waterfowler it could be worse, you could be Joe Biden and have the month he's had. After suffering huge defeats on virtually every front, including vaccine mandates and an abysmal approval rating, now comes a new group of states introducing "constitutional carry" laws. 21 states currently recognize the constitutional carry laws which allow citizens to carry their firearm without the need of an extra permit. Just recently Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Nebraska, and Ohio all introduced legislation to recognize constitutional carry as well. The very "anti-gun" Biden administration will certainly do everything they can to combat this growing trend, but it may be too little too late as it seems more Americans are standing up in an attempt to take their country back. Judging by the way the populations are growing in the red states and by how many of those from the left are dropping out of mid term elections it appears there is major shift coming from those suffering "presidential buyers' remorse". The "pro-gun" vs "anti-gun" agenda will no doubt be a hot topic as we get later in the year and closer to the elections, thank goodness we live in a state where there is great support for the second amendment and all that it protects. Texas hunters can truly be thankful for that.


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