Monthly Archives: December 2011

Duck Hunting in Texas: Reports Sound Good

It’s almost the end of the calendar year, but still about mid-stream for the ducking hunting season in Texas. The early part of the season was hit and miss for some waterfowlers, but the late season is typically stronger when it comes to ducks and geese on the ground in Texas. The High Plains Mallard Management Unit hunting reports sounded fair, with goose hunters enjoying better decoying action near Dumas, Spearman and Amarillo with the snow and colder conditions.

Christmas Day brought four inches of snow on the High Plains which encouraged geese to decoy better. Larger Canada geese are showing with frozen ponds in the northern states. Snow geese and Canadas are solid on roost ponds near Etter. Duck numbers continue to build in the Panhandle, with more mallards showing on playas. Many divers are hanging out on reservoirs and other deep water ponds. Feed lot ponds are good for gadwalls and wigeons. Recent snow runoff has put water in many dry playas. Outfitters have said hunter participation has been down. Prospects are good in the near term for Panhandle duck hunting action. Continue reading

Prescribed Burn Associations, Alliance in Texas

There are many habitat management practices that can be used to manipulate native plants, but none are better than prescribed burning. It seems that a record-breaking wildfire season has private landowners and state agencies interested in controlling fuel loads. The Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, Texas AgriLife Research and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service have assisted prescribed burn associations throughout the state in forming the new Texas Alliance of Prescribed Burn Association.

The purpose of the prescribed burn alliance will be to safely increase the use of prescribed burning, according Roel Lopez, the institute’s associate director. Lopez said prescribed burning, or the controlled application of fire to the naturally occurring buildup of fuels in a predetermined area, has been used for years to improve and manage forests and rangelands, improve wildlife habitat and reduce the risk of devastating wildfires. Continue reading