The End of Duck Hunting in Texas

The end of Texas waterfowl hunting season is always a sad and happy day for me.  Sad because I can’t get up well before the crack of dawn and go off into the cold water.  Happy because I’m tired and I need the rest.  I hunt hard and hunt ducks extra hard – that’s part of the continuing thrill for me – to see how far out there I can go to meet them where they are.  But, I have a ton of very fond memories to last me through the warm weather until they come back in the Fall.

Foggy Sunrise While Texas Duck Hunting

Wispy White Foggy Sunrise Texas Duck Hunting
Foggy Sunrise Texas Duck Hunting

I love Texas duck hunting and I’ve seen countless stunning sunrises sitting in a duck blind – some bright and crystal clear and some foggy where it just keeps rolling over in wave after wave.  We have a lot of temperature inversions in the central Texas area and early morning fog is common.  It’s especially cool to hear them well before you see them.  I wear hearing protection and amplifiers so I hear better than most of my hunting buddies.  Nevertheless, the coolest mornings are when you can hear them literally falling into the honey hole but can’t see squat.  Drive my duck dog nuts!






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Coastal Sunrise Waterfowl Hunting

Orange, Blue and Grey Multi Colored Sunrise Duck Hunting in Rockport Texas
Multi Colored Sunrise Duck Hunting in Rockport Texas

I also frequently hunt the Texas Gulf Coast in the Rockport Texas area.  I’m always amazed and the huge quantity of ducks that winter in the Gulf Coast area.  Add to that, that you can see forever down there and the sunrises never fail to amaze and you have a recipe for a once in a lifetime hunt.  We’re fortunate (or unfortunate) that our section of the coast looks East so we get the benefit of beautiful sunrises but pay for it slightly later when the sun is right in our eyes.  All things of true value, especially when Texas waterfowl hunting, require some price to be paid.






New Rig for Texas Duck Hunting

Yellow Woven Grass and Camo Stool as Texas Duck Hunting Blind Setup
Texas Duck Hunting Blind Setup

I love experimenting with my Texas duck hunting gear!  I also enjoy getting into duck hunting places that are not generally accessible to others.  I’ve been experimenting with a light weight portable blind and think I’ve finally come up with a rig that works well.  It’s easy to hide behind, very light to pack in and out, cheap (a big one) and simple to setup.  It’s made out of a couple 4 x 4 sheets of woven blind grass and a couple 4′ pieces of 3/8″ conduit with a small angle bracket bolted to the top.  It holds up quite well and is big enough to conceal me and the dog.  As the end of the season approaches, a lot of the natural blind material and hides are gone so this let’s me get into and hunt places that other’s can’t – and I like that.





Texas Duck Hunting Blind in Travel Mode

Yellow Grass Duck Hunting Blind with Orange and White Dog Ready for Transport
Duck Hunting Blind Ready for Transport

A critical aspect of my portable Texas duck hunting blind is that I can pack it in and out by hand if needed.  In this situation, I simply roll the grass mats around the conduit pipes and tie them together with bungee cords.  I can carry it as easily as I carry my gun or can strap it to my backpack for longer distances.  My dog likes it too because she can easily see around it without having to be completely covered up.  Hey, if the dog’s not happy then change what you’re doing, right?






Texas Pheasant Hunt Charity Shoot

12 Adults and Children in a Cut Hay Pasture after a Texas Pheasant Hunt
Texas Pheasant Hunt

The end of duck hunting season brings a short month of quail and pheasant charity shoots.  I was tickled this year to be invited to a Wounded Warrior shoot at Dime Box Quail.  The format was a modified drive hunt or Semi-Euro Hunt but we don’t have many cliffs in Central Texas so they just shot the pheasants out of a very large slingshot.  Yeah, interestingly enough it worked!  The walk up hunt afterward was just a fruitful and enjoyable!  Kudos to our Wounded Warriors and I’m planning on doubling my sponsorship level next year so that more veterans can take advantage of this great opportunity.






New Long Choke for Texas Waterfowl Hunting

Round Black Titanium Texas Duck Hunting Choke
Texas Duck Hunting Choke

I’m an equipment junkie, especially when it comes to shotguns and waterfowl.  I shot a few rounds at the World English Tournament in San Antonio and found this choke in the vendor market place.  I’ve known about Mueller chokes for quite some time and seen them gain some great shooters as sponsors.  I’m generally happy with my Briley chokes for my Benelli Super Black Eagle but this one caught my eye.  I tend toward tighter chokes in general with the belief that they either knock them down or miss them completely.  Non toxic shot is tough enough on crippling birds and I don’t want to improve that crippling ratio by using open chokes.  This one though – called the UFO – how could I pass it up?  My current favorite is a Buck Gardner Extended Range but the owner of Mueller chokes told me he could knock down geese at well over 60 yards so I just had to give it a try.  As luck would have it, I’m going out to the range this afternoon to break it in. I can’t wait for Texas waterfowl hunting season to open!






Little Duck Boat Modifications

New Black Steele Motor Mount on Camo Painted Boat for Duck Hunting in Texas Rivers
New Motor Mount for Duck Hunting in Texas Rivers

Lastly, my newish Little Duck Boat.  Yeah, I have a Little Duck Boat and a Big Duck Boat – well, actually, my wife has a Texas duck hunting boat fleet and she let’s me use them when I behave.  This one, a Final Attack from BeaverTail is a real sweety!  I put a 2.5 HP Coleman outboard on it ($650 from Cabelas) and she runs like a champ.  She has wheels embedded in the transom so I can drag her down to the water – no need for boat launches!  The only problem was that the motor shaft was a bit long for the boat – even using the short shaft model.  So, I had an engineering buddy build me a small metal life to get my prop even with the keel.  I tried it out last weekend and it works great.  I do get a little cavitation when the throttle is above 70% but I also can now make it through much shallower water.  That help because the low design of the boat makes it a challenge to get in and out of, especially when water is shallow and flowing more rapidly.  Honestly, this rig is everything your six-year-old self wanted in a motor boat.



Summary of End of Duck Hunting in Texas

Texas duck hunting season is over and I’m both sad and happy – at least I get to sleep in a little now – if the dog would just let me rest!  I’ll miss the glorious sunrises, the sound of ducks I can’t and the forever vistas of the Texas Gulf Coast.  My experiments with new rigs went very well this season and I’m excited about trying some new things this Fall.  Lastly, my little duck boat has a shallower draft and now I can get into even more obscure places!

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