Florida duck hunting seems to keep getting tougher and tougher every year. The Teal came a week late this year making “Early Teal” season a bust. With only one good hunt under our belt we packed up our gear and prayed the main season would provide better bird numbers. The first week of regular season was excellent! Our birds showed up like they were supposed to and the hunting was epic for Red Heads on the west coast of Florida. During our cold snaps we shot good birds including Teal, Shovelers, Redheads, Scaup & Buffleheads. After the the first week of the second split birds got a little tough to find. We pushed our efforts north and found good numbers of Blue Bills, Red Heads & Buffle Heads. After about a week of excellent hunting the birds slowed up a bit. With touch-and-go hunting for about a week we got a big cold front which pushed big numbers down into the salt marshes. We finished the season with a BANG, harvesting over 110 ducks in the last four days of the season. I look forward to having everyone that hunted with me this year back and hopefully get to hunt with some new faces next season. Its time to get the guns cleaned and decoys put away because its time to fish, and Homosassa Tarpon season is right around the corner!
Food For Thought
Hunting every day of the season and providing a productive trip for a client is tough in Florida. Long days of scouting and following bird migrations is imperative to successful hunts. However this year was one of my most trying years to locate birds. Our food and habitat is slowing diminishing, leaving once lush duck habitat nothing more than a mere mud flat. Puddle ducks in the salt marsh have almost gone away completely. More and more development on the coastal and inland marshes is slowly destroying the once “ducky” areas in Florida. Several inland lakes and marshes I once relied on in the past were completely barren of ducks and duck habitat (i.e food). Lake Kissimmee, Lake Cypress, Lake Hatchineha, Lake Tohopekaliga, Lake Okeechobee and Lake Istokpoga had almost no food source which in return had even less birds. Just something for all hunters in Florida to consider if we want to maintain a hunting habitat in this great state of Florida for years to come.
Take Care, Sawyer