PORT ARTHUR —
Rain makes all the difference.
With super wet nesting grounds in the prairie pothole region of the United States and parts of Canada, we are seeing an amazing breeding duck population with an estimated 48.6 million birds.
The verdict is still out on brood survival but since these numbers are 43 percent over the long-term, average since 1955 we will call it a victory.
Lots of ducks mean liberal seasons and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just agreed on season dates for the Lone Star State.
Here they are.
Early Teal: An early season for teal statewide, and for Canada geese in the eastern goose zone, runs Sept. 15-30 with a daily bag limit of four teal and three geese.
North and South Zones
All species other than “dusky ducks”: Nov. 3 – 25, 2012 and Dec. 8, 2012 — Jan. 27, 2013; “Dusky ducks”: Nov. 8 – 25, 2012 and Dec. 8, 2012 – Jan. 27, 2013; Youth-only Season: Oct. 27-28, 2012
High Plains Mallard Management Unit: All species other than “dusky ducks”: Oct. 27-28, 2012 and Nov.2, 2012 – Jan. 27, 2013; “Dusky ducks”: Nov. 5, 2012 – Jan. 27, 2013; Youth-only Season: Oct. 20--21, 2012
The daily bag limit for ducks is six, to include no more than five mallards of which only 2 may be hens; three wood ducks; two redheads; two pintails; one canvasback; and one “dusky” duck.
Dusky ducks include: mottled ducks, Mexican-like duck, black duck and their hybrids. For all other species not listed, the bag limit is six.
The daily bag limit for coots is 15. The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, which may include no more than two hooded mergansers.
Shooting hours are one half hour before sunrise to sunset.
Light geese: Nov. 3, 2012 – Jan. 27, 2013, the daily bag limit for light geese is 20 and no possession limit.
White-fronted geese (specklebelly): Nov. 3, 2012 – Jan. 13, 2013, daily bag limit is two;
Canada geese: Sept. 15-30, 2012 and Nov. 3, 2012 – Jan. 27, 2013, daily bag limit is three.
Light geese: Nov. 3, 2012 – Feb. 3, 2013, daily bag limit is 20 and no possession limit.
Dark geese (specklebelly, Canadas): Nov. 3, 2012 – Feb. 3, 2013, daily bag limit is five in the aggregate to include no more than one white-fronted goose
Light Goose Conservation Order
Eastern Zone-Jan. 28 — Mar. 24, 2013, no bag or possession limits.
Western Zone- Feb. 4 — Mar. 24, 2013, no bag or possession limits.
Zone A: Nov. 3, 2012 — Feb. 3, 2013, daily bag limit is three and possession limit is six.
Zone B: Nov. 23, 2012 — Feb. 3, 2013, daily bag limit is three and possession limit is six.
Zone C: Dec. 22, 2012 — Jan. 27, 2013, daily bag limit is two and possession limit is four.
Keep checking our outdoors reports for the best information on waterfowl hunting in Southeast Texas.
(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at email@example.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI.)
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