The fourth week of the season started off with promise. After the rain passed through Monday, the temperature was in the 20s, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at shooting hours, with a cold north wind, and the ducks were flying. The temperatures began easing up on Friday, leading into another warm, muggy weekend. At sunrise it was 51 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday and 61 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday in a driving rain. Despite the mid-season drop off in duck numbers, the groups that hunted had fun. Nick, our Ohio boy learning to be a southern duck hunter, went for a swim. I finally convinced him not to shoot at mile high ducks (he gave a new definition to sky blasting) and thought he was settling in. After a strong volley at a group of ducks, I looked around and Nick was thrashing around in the water. I wasn't sure that he wasn't going down for the third time. Yes Nick, shotguns do kick. Guess I may have to teach Coop to be a rescue dog as a second occupation. Several groups (I won't call names) admitted that they shoulda, coulda had their limits. The Duck Dusters had a great Saturday shoot and limited out. With the freeze line considerably north of us, the main migration is hanging out in Iowa and Northern Illinois. However, we had a number of groups report large flights of gadwall that worked the decoy spread but never committed. Could be a sign of new ducks moving in. With the Christmas break approaching, our hunt groups are itching for the push and can't wait for January.
The fourth week's duck harvest was 205, bringing the total number of ducks harvested this season to 1,406.