Archive for the 'goose' Category

Outlook for the end of Waterfowl Season

Friday, January 5th, 2018
The Bigwoods on the Trinity. Waterfowl hunting

The Bigwoods on the Trinity. Waterfowl hunting

This is Passport to Texas

The regular duck season continues through January 28, in most of the state. Wildlife biologist, Dave Morrison, says overall, you still have good hunting ahead of you.

Total numbers of ducks are down. But when you take a look at the overall picture. We’re still at numbers we’ve never seen before.

The past five years offered “unbelievable” hunting, said Morrison. And while the populations of the ten species they surveyed this spring changed…it’s not bad news.

This year, five are up, five are down. But the good news is that—with the exception of pintails and scaup—all of them are above their long-term average. So, we’re still anticipating ducks showing up in Texas.

He says if you went out last season, then expect a similar outcome this season.

When you think about what Texas has been through, something that’s similar to last year is probably pretty good. Harvey wreaked havoc along our coast. But that habitat is recovering faster than anticipated. [1.5 seconds ambiance]

And for goose hunters: light goose season ends Jan. 28 in the east zone and February 4 in the west zone.

Texas is blessed; we’ve always had pretty good goose hunting here in this state. From the perspective of snow geese, we’ll have probably about the same as last year, simply because the numbers really haven’t changed.

The Texas Outdoor Annual has seasons and bag limits for all waterfowl.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

New Hunters on the Horizon

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017
Ladies Goose Hunt outside of Bay City, Texas

Ladies Goose Hunt outside of Bay City, Texas

This is Passport to Texas

Hunting is attracting new groups of enthusiasts.

Women are the number one growing group in a lot of the outdoor activities—especially in the shooting world. More women today are shooting now and learning to shoot a firearm and to hunt than any other group.

Heidi Rao is a Hunter Education specialist for Southeast Texas. She says many among this new tide of hunters—both women and men—identify as locavores. People who seek locally sourced, sustainably raised food.

So, they’ve become more interested in hunting because they know the animal was naturally fed—in nature, of course—and so if they shoot it, they’re directly part of that process. And then they learn how to cook it and prepare it, so it’s a complete that circle of life.

Not all people with a budding interest in hunting are ready for big game like deer or feral hogs. For them, Rao suggests something smaller, but no less challenging.

Squirrel hunting is a very great way to introduce somebody to hunting whether they be a youth or an adult.

Heidi Rao returns tomorrow to tell us what it takes to have a successful squirrel hunt, and why small game like squirrel don’t seem to get the attention they deserve.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series, and works to increase shooting and hunting in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Forecast for Duck and Geese in Texas

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016
Duck hunting

Duck hunting

This is Passport

Although waterfowl numbers are expected to be somewhat lower than last year, they’re still near record when compared to the long term average; the total number of ducks headed south looks promising

Conditions on the coast this year are going to be better for the ducks. What’s better for the ducks is not necessarily better for duck hunters. When you have dry conditions, birds are concentrated. Now there’s going to be good habitat conditions across the coast so everybody is going to be sharing in the wealth this year.

Dave Morrison is Small Game Program Director at Texas Parks and Wildlife. He expects an above average duck season with broader distribution of birds, despite a slight down turn in overall populations compared to last year. Having said that, the outlook for goose is should be better.

I actually had the good fortune of going to the breeding grounds this summer. We spent two weeks up there in Manitoba banding geese and from what I saw, it looks like goose numbers are going to be better than last year. We saw quite a bit of young of the year in there and so production looks like it’s going to be up. When production is up for geese, it means you got a bunch of young ones coming down that have not seen this game before, makes them more available to the hunters. So hopefully, our goose season may be a little bit better this year than last.

For complete waterfowl hunting information in Texas, get the Texas Outdoor Annual. Find it on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.