by Jeff Kurrus
Oklahoma's second season opened this past Saturday, bringing with it a level of excitement not seen this year in the area. Local hunters, including Avery Pro Staffer David Williams, were optimistic due to the state's recent storms. "Because the state has been so dry, our reservoirs are way down and a lot of birds have been passing right through on their way south," he said. "But with a few recent fronts giving us some water, we had more birds sticking around than we've had all year."
Over the weekend, Williams and other hunters he talked to saw more gadwalls
than any other ducks, providing excellent hunting in the eastern third of the state where there's more water. Williams found birds close to rivers, and said these are the best bests throughout Oklahoma
, including the North Canadian, South Canadian, Cimmaron, and Arkansas
"Look for places along the rivers adjacent to food sources, particularly beans," said Williams, "these bottom areas are holding a lot of birds right now."
Williams typically sets up a dozen floaters with at least a dozen full bodies on sandbars, matching the species in the area. "Once our spread is set, all we do is back into the vegetation and hide. Because there is so much cover, this isn't very hard to do."
Mild temperatures are projected over the next few days, and he's not expecting many new ducks. The mallards
to the north of him in Kansas
have no reason to leave yet, with plenty of food on the ground and no cold front on the horizon. Therefore, Williams and other hunters are focusing their efforts on gray ducks now.
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