Like the changeable early voting returns that begin to roll in on election night shortly after the polls close, the early reports on the 2013-14 duck and general deer seasons are bringing mixed results south of the Red River after just one week of action.

Like the changeable early voting returns that begin to roll in on election night shortly after the polls close, the early reports on the 2013-14 duck and general deer seasons are bringing mixed results south of the Red River after just one week of action.


Take last weekend, the opening salvo for the Texas North Zone duck season.


After months of build up from biologists touting the third highest number of ducks to ever wing their way south, results last weekend were OK but nothing to write home about.


"On opening day, we shot 49 total ducks," said J.J. Kent, the Pottsboro based owner of Kent Outdoors (www.kentoutdoors.com/; 903-271-5524). "That’s not terrible but you’ve got to remember that we had several different groups out with our guides. That just shows that there weren’t a lot of birds around."


Erik Burns, who guides for the Sherman-based Bullzeye Outfitters (www.bullzeye.us/ ; 903-816-2925) along with current and four-time Texas state duck calling champ Clint Johnson, also found mixed results the first few days of the season.


Burns found decent shoots on Saturday and Monday sandwiched around a red-hot limit shoot on Sunday.


"We limited out on the second day of the season," stated Burns. "The birds worked awesome and were in our faces that morning. I had my buddy Roy Eperjesi with me that day. It was his first duck hunt and he is forever hooked."


What type of ducks were taken by local hunters on opening weekend?


The usual early season hodgepodge of gadwalls, wigeon, green-winged teal, redheads, ringnecks, and the occasional mallard, wood duck, and blue-winged teal.


Duck numbers appear to be slowly building after this week’s strong cold front, a weather system that brought Wednesday morning low temperatures down into the mid-30s here in the Denison/Sherman area.


Still not great numbers yet, mind you, but better ones.


Case in point was on Wednesday when Kent filmed a television episode with Scott Keith and the "Quack Shack TV" crew. He described the mid-week action as improved and noted that the group took limits of wigeon and teal.


What should duck hunters expect over the next week or so? Better hunting and perhaps even much better hunting.


That forecast comes thanks to meteorologists dropping hints about the possibility of an unusually strong November cold front for some time next week. In fact, while none of this is etched in stone, being the weather geek that I am I can tell you that there are even a couple of forecast models out there that bring snow into a portion of Oklahoma.


Whether that materializes or not remains to be seen, but it would appear that a strong Central Flyway cold front and an equally strong storm are in the offerings for the middle to end of next week.


That should bring much improved duck hunting action to Texomaland.


What about the prospects for local deer hunters?


So far, after a relatively active October that saw several record book buck candidates taken in Grayson County, the early days of November have been relatively quiet.


Unless you were hunting at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge last weekend, that is.


The Hagerman NWR Segment A bow hunt saw 65 of the 75 drawn hunters actually register for the hunt according to reports.


(Editor’s note: On a side note, perhaps those 10 no-shows indicate a need for a "Stand-By" hunter pool like the one that Texas Parks and Wildlife Department employs on its permit hunts. But that’s another story for another time.)


For those hunters who did show up at the refuge, they ended up taking a total of 22 deer last weekend. Out of that figure, 14 were does and the remaining eight were bucks. All told, the 22 deer taken on the Nov. 1-3 hunt represent the highest Segment A harvest figure recorded since 2008.


As expected, after several years of sitting out of the refuge’s annual hunt unit rotation, the Big Mineral Unit drew the most attention from hunters. Some 15 deer were tagged from Big Mineral including seven of the eight bucks that were taken.


Of the eight bucks taken, at least three of them appear to be contenders for the Pope & Young Club and Texas Big Game Awards program record books.


One of those bucks, a 10-point taken by Denison bowhunter Dakota Stowers, appears to be a 130-inch class typical.


Another Hagerman buck, a heavy beamed main-frame 12-point with a kicker or two was taken by bowhunter Matt Harris. Harris’ buck is said to be a 150 to 160-inch class typical from what I’ve been told.


"I know there are much bigger ones out (there) but he’s one of the best bucks I’ve ever had an opportunity at and this hunter couldn’t let him walk," said Harris in a text message. "He had lots more mass than any deer I’ve ever seen while hunting."


With the first stages of the whitetail rut beginning to happen in the local woods, not to mention the cooler weather and the first quarter moon, don’t be surprised to see things heat up in a big way here in Grayson County over the next 10-14 days.


In fact, yours truly wouldn’t be surprised if the next Hagerman hunt — the Segment B hunt scheduled for Nov. 15-17 — hits the rutting frenzy bulls-eye just right and produces multiple big bucks.


With a successful deer hunting year under way here in Grayson County, I also won’t be surprised if a Boone & Crockett monster or two falls to a hunter’s well-placed arrow between now and Thanksgiving.


Because the local hunting is fairly good this year. And it should only get better between now and Thanksgiving Day.