When people think about the state of Louisiana they generally think about boiled crawfish, saltwater fishing, Jazz music and Mardi Gras. Louisiana is known world wide for it’s traditions and rich heritage, but many people lose sight of the amount of wildlife that resides here. Every year ducks and geese from the north migrate south for the winter with their eyes set on the waters of Louisiana. As an avid waterfowler, and one who hunts the Mississippi flyway, Louisiana is hands down my favorite state to pursue birds because of it’s variety. Whether I want to hunt flooded timber, fields or marshland, Louisiana offers all three opportunities.
Late season flooding can be a problem for most hunters, but flood waters along the Mississippi river in the northern part of the state allows for more opportunities while hunting. Thousands of acres of timber flood each year along the river and attract large groups of birds in the process. Those brown river bottoms and their fall colors instantly turn green when the mallards move in and start feeding. A good cold front, some Mossy Oak Bottomland, a sequence of quacks and a few hail calls and the Louisiana timber can become a spot for some of the best duck hunting in the country!
The fields of southwest Louisiana are considered a hot bed for geese, especially White-fronted Geese, or as we call them, Specklebelly Geese. Barred up chests and the sounds of thousands of honkers cover the rice fields all throughout this part of the state during the migration. Under the right conditions, the hunting can be so good that limits of birds can be taken in a matter of just minutes. This would be the time to load the pits down with a few buddies. A couple dozen full body decoys and a cup of coffee can make for one fine morning in the blind. Once you get a taste of that grilled speckle belly breast, it will be well worth the trip!
Until one has experienced a sunrise in the marshes of south Louisiana, one is not truly living! Boat blinds covered in marsh grass, grey ducks thick as fleas and teal flying so low you can almost catch them with a fishing net. From Venice to Delacroix, mixed bags are scattered all throughout these waters. Late morning Pintails and the occasional Canvasback will make any cajun hunter smile! If the hunting gets slow there is always the possibility of loading the boat down with speckled trout and a few red fish!
Louisiana is home to us. We take pride in our heritage and all the opportunities the wildlife of this state offers us. The hospitality here is first class. Locals will treat you like family and the waterfowl hunting is second to none. People travel all over the country with the dream of pursuing waterfowl. We consider ourselves blessed to be able to live our dream right here in our own backyard. From those old flooded cypress brakes and timber bottoms… To the honey glazed rice fields… And that gumbo colored, dirty water of the marsh… Louisiana offers it all. But I guess thats why they call it the, “Sportsman’s Paradise”…