Saturday, November 1, 2014

Hunting the Drought: a column for Shotgun Life

Just about every duck hunter in California went into this fall wondering what duck season would bring.

Our population of local ducks - especially mallards - is at record lows, but the migrants that just winter here are at record highs. And we're in a serious drought, meaning water for the wintering birds is seriously limited.

We had a general idea what to expect, but the way things started here didn't necessarily match those expectations. You can read about how my opener went in my latest column in Shotgun Life.

© Holly A. Heyser 2014


  1. I thought of this column again today. We had our first snowstorm of the season on November 2. Melting has been slow. Puddles for during the day, freeze over night, drain a bit under the ice, and it starts over again. Today, my domestic ducks are loose in the pasture, enjoying the huge puddles. A wood duck circled several times and started to land but decided against it at the last second. I thought of this then. In drought, there are no wild ducks visiting the domestics. It's a shame. They're a joy to see.

  2. That's really interesting - I never would've guessed that! And I know what you mean about the joy - whether I'm hunting them or just watching, live or on video, I always love seeing them.