Successful waterfowl hunters will adjust techniques that adapt to changing conditions to achieve continued success.
Story and Photography by Nate Skinner
For Texan duck hunters, the last month of the year means one thing — the second split, which is the longest stretch in the regular season, has arrived. North Zone shotgunners will get the first crack at slinging steel this month as the season reopens in this portion of the state on December 1st. Waterfowlers hunting in the south zone will have to keep safeties engaged until their second split begins on December 8th.
This may be motivation enough for some to set up decoy spreads on ponds north of Interstate 10 in order to cash in on an extra week’s worth of days to hunt. The other option would be to hunt in the High Plains Mallard Management Unit where duck season is also open every day during December.
Regardless of where they choose to chase feathers, duck hunters will have to adjust their strategies and adapt to the birds’ behavior as the season wears on. Aside from the days that the season has been closed in the North and Central Zones, the ducks have been experiencing hunting pressure since the beginning of November in the Lone Star State. Add to that the shot filled skies waterfowl have flown through in Canadian Provinces or northern states since birds left their nesting area and they have seen just about every trick in the books.