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Attention duck hunters: breeding grounds breaking records

Stacey Spivey

POSTED: Friday, July 11, 2014 - 9:42pm

UPDATED: Friday, July 11, 2014 - 10:51pm

For more than 50 years the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been conducting surveys on waterfowl breeding grounds, this year, those numbers are breaking records. "We should have a phenomenal flight of birds coming south this fall," said Jared Laing, an East Texas wetland and waterfowl specialist. He said in the past 20 years more and more birds are being produced because of perfect breeding conditions, and "as long as the prairies stay wet, we should continue to have excellent reproduction."

According to Laing, usually around 30 million ducks fly south in the fall. This year, they say that number will be around 50 million! "There's a bunch of ducks coming but what dictates our success here is habitat conditions when they arrive," said Laing. He said our land looks good for ducks now, but that could quickly change. "If we turn off dry now until September we might not have many birds, if we continue to get wet and stay wet, we should have a pretty good spot for these birds to come," added Laing. Right now, he says East Texas is setting up to be a "waterfowl haven," come November. "If you are a duck hunter, its looks real promising, if not a duck hunter, it might be a good year to get into it," said Laing.

Wildlife biologist Chris Farrell agrees, and said, "If you're going to try duck hunting, this year this year might be a good year to do it." Farrell said this news made him even more anxious for duck season," when I saw the duck numbers were up I was pretty excited, we should have more ducks down here to hunt and maybe a wider variety of species." East Texan Lynn Ward hasn't been duck hunting in years, but after hearing the news he said, "I think I very well may this year." Ward also said, "I think that the fact theres going to be more ducks this year is a really good thing."

Regular gun duck hunting season will begin November 1, 2014. To find out more about this survey click here.

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