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Louisiana hunters find weather too warm, rainy

January 12, 2012 at 05:27 PM

The Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Expecting deer or duck hunting success from warm, rainy days are about as good as expecting an Alabama placekicker making good on a 45-yard field goal.

Even Tuesday morning’s chill wasn’t enough to set things right in the woods and in the marshes.

“We did OK Tuesday morning,” Danny Freeman said Wednesday. “Today was tough.”

How tough?

“We had to stay in the blind until 10 o’clock (a.m.) to get our limit,” Freeman said promising to grace the company cellphone with a hazy photo when he had finished preparing the waterfowl for a New Year’s Eve feast.

Two guys, grinning like their yard passes were the equivalent of being released from a five-year stretch at Angola, held what looked like six grays, two wood ducks, a pintail and three teal, a haul that could hardly be termed “tough.”

To be fair, Freeman was using the word in a comparative sense and lingering in their Vermilion Parish blind past midmorning was unheard of in the state’s West Zone first split and into the first days of the second split.

“We’re taking ducks and the season is good. We just need another blast of cold weather, maybe a little more rain would help, too, to keep the ducks here and keep them moving.”

Reports from Lacassine, Grand Chenier and Little Chenier repeat Freeman’s report.

To the east, in places like Delacroix, the Biloxi Marsh and Pass a Loutre, the number of gray ducks, greenwing teal and pintail are holding in good enough numbers to keep hunters’ interests. Yet, with rising tides holding off until late morning into early afternoon, wild waterfowlers needing water to hunt marsh potholes are venturing out hours after first light east of the Mississippi River.

The southerly winds predicted to hold across the coast through Sunday won’t help.

“Prolonged south winds means we’ll have to change our decoy spreads, maybe even add a temp (temporary) blind to pull ducks to us,” Freeman said. “What we’ve found out in the last two days is that we’re not using the (mallard) hen call as much and going with a (mallard) drake call and pintail whistles to get the ducks to take a second and, hopefully, a third look at us.

“We’re hoping next week’s forecast (cold and wind predicted to move in Monday) will help. Now, I know it will. We’ll get more ducks.”

The mood isn’t much different on solid ground: Deer hunters along the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers and throughout the southeastern parishes are moaning about the recent run of warm weather.

“About the only thing saving us right now is that we’re seeing bucks chasing does. Except for Christmas Day when nobody hunted, we’re just not seeing that many does move to feed, and when the does don’t move, the bucks don’t move,” Ronnie Dugas said.

“We looked at the forecast and next Monday’s high (temperature) in the 50s should mean we’ll have lots of meat to put in the freezer,” he added. “We’ll see deer move then and I think we’ll fill some tags.”


Information from: The Advocate,

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