Hunting Report: Jan. 2016

Chris Chelsey duck hunt
Chris Chelsey duck hunt

So far the Lake Okeechobee duck season looks as if it is off to a slow or late start. There seems to be more hunters than ducks. Those few flocks that are spotted in December were getting sky blasted by trigger happy hunters.

South Florida belongs to the Atlantic Flyway which follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains. This area experienced a mild November and December so ducks lingered up north to feed on the snow- less grain feeds. Places like Georgia and north Florida are seeing occasional northern flocks. We still need a strong cold spell to energize the Flyway but with a strong El Nino this winter, this may not happen. Another contributing fact is the newly formed STAs (Stormwater Treatment Areas). These new wetlands offer incoming ducks safe haven from heavily pressured hunting grounds.

Still Lake Okeechobee offers some quality hunting opportunities.

Just be considerate of your fellow hunters. A few simple rules will keep your hunting experience enjoyable.

RULE #1

Don’t set up too close to another party. If someone has occupied your favorite spot don’t crowd them.

RULE #2

When ducks are working another party’s decoys, allow that hunting party to call the ducks in.

RULE #3

Don’t Sky-Blast. Shooting ducks out of range shows a lack of respect for nearby hunters and needlessly injures the ducks.

RULE #4

Don’t liter. Nothing is worse than seeing the discards of urban society in a pristine wetland.

RULE #5

Leave your temper at home.

What’s better than having a good hunting spot? Having a so-so spot to yourself. Many hunters are creatures of habit. They short change themselves on scouting and continue to hunt the same tried- n-true locations so when the ducks aren’t there, they have no back- up plan. To be successful in a slow season you need a Plan ‘A’, and Plan ’B’ and a Plan ‘C’. Good waterfowlers scout often and adjust their hunting zones according to the season.

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