Summer Preparation for Duck Hunting in Texas

Duck hunting in Texas is right around the corner. Early Teal Season in September is the start of duck hunting in Texas each year. OK, it’s a ways around the corner, but still around the corner. Actually, we’re still waiting for the season dates to be set for duck hunting in Texas. Summer is a great time to get everything prepared and tested prior to starting the season. Texas duck hunting early Teal season starts in about 90 days which should be plenty of time to get my equipment repaired, replaced and checked. My list or things to do to prepare for duck hunting is Texas is pretty long so I have my work cut out for me.


The Work Begins for a New Season of Texas Duck Hunting

Summer Preparation with Brown and White Boxes of Decoys for a Texas Duck Hunt
Summer Preparation for a Texas Duck Hunt

I lost quite a few decoys last year when I was duck hunting in Texas. I hunted mainly in the rivers on the shallow, swift places and the current dragged some of my decoys downstream too far to retrieve. I can’t help but imagine that there is a place where the river dumps into the Gulf that has huge rafts of lost decoys from other guys losing them while they were duck hunting in Texas. I watched the online sales and coupons and when the time was right, I pounced – sort of like another kind of Texas duck hunting, only decoys this time!









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New Decoys for Duck Hunting in Texas

White Boxes of New Decoys for Duck Hunting in Texas
New Decoys for Duck Hunting in Texas

I prefer 2 basic set types when I’m duck hunting in Texas. I like a good sized spread of only teal (blue wings for me) for early teal season. During the full season, I’ve really come to like the mix in the puddler pack of gadwalls, pintails and widgeon – exactly the most popular ducks we see during Texas duck hunting. I also really prefer the Greenhead Gear brand because of their combination of light weight, keel weight distribution, life likeness and price when I can catch them on sale with a coupon.







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Texas Rigs for Duck Decoys on a Texas Duck Hunt

Grey Lead Weights and Clear Poly Line for Texas Rigs for Texas Duck Hunting
Texas Rigs for Texas Duck Hunting

I’m also a big fan of the Texas Rig for my decoys that I use for duck hunting in Texas. The Texas rig makes it very easy to pick and manage a dozen or more decoys. I also like that I can string them with a clip or wrap them for the times I have to backpack into a hole with my decoys in a sack. Yeah, I know I could make the Texas rigs myself but it’s just as easy to buy them ready built from Mojo.







Summary of Summer Preparation for Duck Hunting in Texas

The season for duck hunting in Texas is coming soon and I have a long list of things to do to be prepared. First on my list is repair and replacement of my decoys. I’ve been watching for sales and coupons and that has paid off. Another kind of Texas duck hunting you might say. I’m a big fan of Greenhead Gear and Mojo Texas Rigs. When the boxes arrived in the mail, I just left them boxed in my living room near my chair. It makes me smile every time I walk by as I think about my next adventure duck hunting in Texas.


I Miss Texas Waterfowl Hunting

Wow – I really miss Texas waterfowl hunting – especially duck hunting. The ducks were late getting off this year – I continued seeing them on local ponds until late April. We had a magnificent year with a huge duck hatch in the prairie pothole region and then a scarcity of water in Texas to really concentrate them. I changed my hunting tactics a little this year by un-joining my duck hunting club in favor of purchasing a john boat and hunting the river right behind my house. This also gave me more opportunities to take my kids duck hunting with me. Rather than a long trip and over night stay to hunt ducks, I could sleep in until 6AM and still be on the river and setup by shooting time. Now, all I’m left with are some great memories and pictures to while my time until Texas waterfowl season starts again and it’s time for some duck hunting in Texas.

The Majesty of Texas Waterfowl Hunting Weather

Early Morning Texas Waterfowl Hunting on the River
Fog Sets In On Early Morning Texas Waterfowl Hunting

One of the advantages of Texas waterfowl hunting in Central Texas is the wide variety of weather conditions – there is just never a dull moment. I particularly favor the cold, foggy mornings when it’s hard to see but easy to hear. It’s like magic when the ducks just appear out of nowhere into your spread.







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Easy Portable Duck Hunting Blinds

Yellow Grass Portable Texas Waterfowl Blind on a Sandbank in a River
Grass & Conduit Portable Texas Waterfowl Blind

I really enjoy hunting the river and the amazing array of choices for where to hunt for Texas waterfowl. I know a lot of duck hunters like to get there very early and get “their” spot and I don’t mind. I like variety and portability. I made up a quick and dirty portable duck blind that I can easily carry and setup almost anywhere. I made it out of 6 conduit pipes and a couple of grass mats. The only drawback is that my dog has trouble seeing out of it.





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Take Your Kids Duck Hunting in Texas

White and Red Dog with Blond Girl Texas Waterfowl Hunting
Take Your Dogs and Kids Texas Waterfowl Hunting

I absolutely love hunting with my daughters – but one at a time. They don’t shoot yet but are always ready and willing to join me on an outing. This precious one on one time is too valuable to pass up. Sometimes we don’t even have much to say to each other – just the experience of being together and sharing an adventure hunting Texas waterfowl is enough.







A Happy Dog and a Full Strap of Texas Waterfowl

Red and White Brittany Texas Waterfowl Retriever with Grey Ducks
Unusual Texas Waterfowl Retriever

Another advantage to hunting on the river is the availability of natural brush to create your own blind. There always seems to be plenty of downfall laying around to quickly build a blind. Now, it won’t be the most concealed blind that you’ve ever seen but come on – they’re ducks! I think a good spread and sitting still until they commit is good enough – my dog and the full strap of Texas waterfowl seem to indicate that I might be on to something.






Unique Bird from Goose Hunting in Texas

Rust Head Blue Goose from Goose Hunting in Texas
Rust Head Blue Trophy Goose from Goose Hunting in Texas

I also really enjoy a goose hunting – especially snow goose hunting. Snow geese are so very wary that it makes hunting them a real challenge. I especially enjoy picking out the blue geese among the flocks of white snow geese – that’s an even rarer treat. I shot this one in a late Texas waterfowl season conservation order hunt and was drawn to it’s curious red/orange head. A little research pointed out that these birds get that color on their head from eating corn that has a lot of rust in it. It was the first one like this that I’d ever seen.





Summary of Texas Waterfowl Hunting

I miss hunting Texas waterfowl – especially the ducks. I love the wide variety of weather conditions we have for duck hunting in Texas. I’m enjoying my change from a hunting club to a wilder public hunt location on a local river. I’ve developed an easily portable duck blind that allows me to setup almost anywhere I find ducks to hunt. While I do know that a duck blind is important, I also think that’s it’s easy to over do it and not give enough priority to the spread, sitting still and waiting until they commit. I also enjoy goose hunting in Texas – particularly for the unique birds among the large flocks. I miss hunting Texas waterfowl and can’t wait until it starts up again in September.


Public Duck Hunting in Texas

I love duck hunting in Texas.  I used to belong to a duck hunting club on the Katy Prairie but resigned my membership this year and bought a small john boat and motor, along with a public hunting permit.  I live very near the COlorado River and wanted to experience more duck hunting and less duck shooting.  Well, I definitely got my wish and I’ve had more amazing adventures than I can remember.  Being near the river – really, about 15 minutes – has allowed me to log well over 25 duck hunting days and I still have a month to go.  Duck hunting in Texas has never been better for me.


Public Duck Hunting in Texas

Grey Muddy Water and Barren Trees in a Texas Duck Hunting Public Access Pond
Texas Duck Hunting Public Access Pond

The Texas Public Hunting Permit also get’s you a booklet with maps, limits and description of all of the places for duck hunting in Texas.  Oh yeah, it also includes other waterfowl, doves, quail and large and small game.  I’m not so interested in those, although the dove hunting was pretty good this year.  Since I’m near the Colorado River, that is my prime spot for duck hunting in Texas.  A little internet scouting for side ponds, rapids/riffles, sand islands and deep holes is the place to start.  Google Maps and Google Earth are both good tools and seem to use the same set of base maps.  That said, nothing beats actually getting in the boat and doing some real scouting.  The biggest lesson I’ve learned this year, and I’m a neophyte duck hunter, is that the ducks are ALWAYS where they want to be and seldom where I think they would like to be.  Early morning scouting can provide some clues and late afternoon can provide some more clues but nothing beats just getting out there and giving it a try.


Limit Duck Hunts in Texas

Siz Black and Grey Puddle Ducks in a Texas Duck Hunting Mixed Bag
Texas Duck Hunting Mixed Bag

Since it is public duck hunting in Texas, don’t be surprised if you find someone “already in your spot”.  My experience is that this is generally OK and most Texas duck hunters are polite enough to either let you hunt with them or not object if you just move on down a little ways.  Ask nicely, be generous and mind your manners when you’re hunting with new friends – you’ll probably find that you make new friends and find a new hunting buddy.  I found several this year and a hunt shared is always better than a hunt alone.  Also, I don’t think it is reasonable to expect limit hunts every time.  If you want that, then a duck club is probably more in line with what you want.  That said, there are limit days and they are magnificent.  I am particularly impressed with the wide variety of ducks that winter on the Colorado River.  I’ve come to believe that the river is some of our finest duck hunting in Texas.


Duck Hunting Gear in Texas

Orange and White Brittany with Camo Ground Cover and Green Backpack as a Texas Duck Hunting Rig
Texas Duck Hunting Rig

It doesn’t take a lot of equipment for duck hunting in Texas.  A dog is very helpful since you never know what you’re going to find on the bottom of the river – it might be sand or rocks or it might be 2 feet of mud.  I’ve cross trained my bird dog as a retriever and she does just fine.  After that, a small backpack, ground cloth, shotgun and a few decoys is really all you need.  You probably won’t see huge flights of ducks working the river like you do on the coast.  So, a smaller spread seems to work just fine for duck hunting in Texas.






Wide Variety of Texas Ducks

Six Various Puddle Ducks make a Texas Duck Hunting Limit
Texas Duck Hunting Limit

Another nice mixed bag from duck hunting in Texas.  Again, don’t expect limit hunts every time – some days you just get lucky and find yourself on the X.  Otherwise, you’re going to see single and pairs but they do seem to work three times each morning starting a 7AM and then again around 8AM and 9AM.  It really depends on the sunshine and number of other hunters on the river.  Less sunshine is good and more hunters are good as well.  There is plenty of river and plenty of ducks for everyone to enjoy duck hunting in Texas.






Scouting for Duck Hunting in Texas

Orange and White Brittany Spaniel Working as a Texas Duck Hunting Retriever
Texas Duck Hunting Retriever

I like trying new spots and new times.  I’ve heard the afternoons can be good but I haven’t found the right combination yet.  Nevertheless, I do like getting out in the afternoon to do some scouting for Texas duck hunting and my dog never denies me the chance to go duck hunting in Texas.








Duck Hunting Blinds in Texas Rivers

Brittany with Ducks abd shotgun showing Texas Duck Hunting Results
Texas Duck Hunting Results

My experience is that duck blinds aren’t really as important as most people think – at least not on the river for the number of ducks we have.  I guess if you’re hunting a high volume pond it might make a difference but a simple stack of sticks to break up the lines seems to do just fine.  Now, they don’t decoy all the way in and will get smart about 25 yards out but that’s well within my range and gathering a pile of loose brush and sticks is easier than hauling a complicated blind out into the field for duck hunting in Texas.  Even my bright orange and white bird dog doesn’t seem to scare the ducks off.






Small Islands for Duck Hunting in Texas

Sparse Island with Hunter Showing a Texas Duck Hunting Blind
Texas Duck Hunting Blind

Island in the river seem to be an excellent place for duck hunting in Texas.  They are even better when they have some loose brush to build a redneck duck blind.  An added attraction is that the small islands also tend to have rapids or riffles near by and the morning ducks seem to like these areas.  It also helps that the rapids/riffles wiggle my decoys and I don’t need a jerk rig.  That said, I’ve lost more than my fair share of duck decoys this season.  I have to imagine that there is some slough near the mouth of the Colorado River that has just thousands of loose decoys at the end of the season – I’d sure like to find that place – would certainly save me a lot of money replacing lost decoys for my duck hunting in Texas.






Summary of Duck Hunting in Texas

Public duck hunting in Texas is just fine – plenty of opportunities and locations – just make sure you’re legal with the Public Hunting Permit when you get your license.  Do your scouting!  It’s OK to ask on the chat boards but a lot of the people there will be snarky about “their secret spots”.  Expect to have to do your own internet and physical scouting.  I like to use a duck hunting trip to a new location as part of my scouting.  I’m out for the adventure rather than the bag limits.  The Texas duck variety is wonderful and it doesn’t take a whole lot of equipment for duck hunting in Texas.  Step out to a new place and meet some new people who can share a boat ride and decoys with you.  A dog helps but isn’t entirely necessary, you’ll just need to be aware of where you’re shooting so your ducks don’t float down river faster than you can retrieve them.  Islands with rapids and riffle also make great places for duck hunting in Texas