As the end of the 2016-17 duck season arrives this weekend, the hunting reports are surprisingly good considering the late date on the calendar.
Take Bullzeye Outfitters guide Erik Burns and his sidekick, four-time Texas state duck calling champ Clint Johnson, for instance.
Last weekend, the two guided a small group of clients to a steady shoot for mallards, green-winged teal, gadwalls and a diver or two. When they were done, the group was two birds shy of their five-man limit.
“It was a steady, gentleman’s (kind of) hunt,” said Burns. “Not too fast and furious and not too slow either. Just a steady morning. And I would say high quality for sure.”
Burns and Johnson aren’t the only guides getting into good duck shoots over the past week however. Guides over at the BC Wetlands Hunting Club near Boswell, Okla. are also doing well.
In fact, on an evening hunt at midweek, a group of five hunters ended up with a limit of greenheads, pintails and gadwalls according to social media posts.
Pottsboro outfitter J.J. Kent is also closing things out this week with a bang. He guided three-time world duck calling champ Barnie Calef earlier this week to a sizzling hunt in southwestern Oklahoma.
Calef was visiting Kent’s Bucks & Ducks Lodge near Bellevue, Texas to film an episode for the Drakes Migration Nation television show on Sportsman Channel.
Shooting a bunch of mallards, a pintail or two and some teal and gadwalls, Calef posted a video on social media concerning the hunt.
“It is awesome,” said Calef in his post. “It’s been super fast action this morning. It’s basically been shoot, reload, shoot and reload again with a little bit of calling (mixed in).”
That’s high praise considering that Calef is one of the country’s best known waterfowlers who hunts every year in some of the continent’s best duck hunting spots while filming TV shows.
In addition to his longtime video work, the Iowa resident also won the world duck calling title in Stuttgart, Ark. three times back in 1989, 1999 and 2000, using a different brand of duck call each time.
Since then, Calef has gone into business for himself, producing high-end acrylic calls for hunters by way of his Calef Calls company (www.calefcalls.com).
So what does all of this late season duck talk mean? That as the 2016-17 seasons shut down this weekend, there is still opportunity to be found for some good hunting.
Put in some scouting time to find the ducks and be waiting on the proverbial spot known as the X the following morning to enjoy one or two final good shoots this weekend before the curtain closes again until next fall.
Because if you do, it might be one of the season’s most memorable hunts…and then some.