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  • #46
    The annual aerial goose surrey for the Texas coast has been completed.

    Spoke to someone involved in the flights.

    I was told the numbers are not good for two the zones they worked on. And one of the zones is almost always the best in the Texas coastal plain.

    They also said the other zones are not good either.

    Should have the results within 1-2 weeks after the numbers are compiled.

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    • #47
      please let us all know what the results are. Thank you for sharing.

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      • #48
        The Texas coastal goose survey surprisingly showed approx 82k more light geese this year from last year. The overall speck counts were down approx 5k from last year.

        3 of the 4 zones surveyed showed increases in light geese. Zone 2 usually has the highest concentration of light geese was down approx 34k and down approx 10k on specks.

        The 2020 surveyed showed a total of 325,589 light geese versus 243,016 in 2019.
        The 2020 surveyed showed a total of 11,057 specks versus 15,980 in 2019.

        Zone 1 77,589 light geese and 3,302 specks counted
        Zone 2 163, 629 light geese and 5,350 specks counted
        Zone 3 67,354 light geese and 1,055 specks counted
        Zone 4 17,017 light geese and 1,350 specks counted

        Keep in mind these numbers only represent the Texas Gulf Coast Region.

        I hunt zones 2 and 3 and attest to the low speck count in zone 2. Even though the light geese numbers are down approx 34k from last year, I would've lost a bet on the light geese numbers being 163k. They must be held up in a few remote isolated areas or they got confused and counted egrets and ibis during their survey. All I've shot so far are specks this season.

        Anyhow, I'm glad to see the overall numbers of light geese up from last season.
        Last edited by twdjr; 12-25-2020, 08:47 AM.

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        • #49
          Most of the increase came from Zone 1 which is east of Houston. West of Houston was up slightly.

          I was also surprised by the numbers. 325,000 white geese is very low by historic standards but I would have guessed the numbers would have been about equal to last year. Prior to 2003 we would have never believed our numbers could ever be at these levels.

          You can drive and drive and drive at 7:30-8:00 AM most anywhere in the Texas rice belt west of Houston and not see a goose in the air or on the ground.




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          • #50
            Thanks for sharing the counts. Wasn’t expecting the numbers to increase much either, but I guess we will take it. I think we always assume that with these increases we expect to see more geese scattered around, but it’s probably just the groups holed up on the large ranches fluctuating from year to year instead.

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            • #51
              Just got back from Northeast Arkansas.

              Hunted near Cash. Saw decent numbers of snows but not up to normal northeast Arkansas standards.

              Driving back through Fair Oaks, Cherry Valley, Brinkley and Carlyle saw numerous big groups on the ground and in the air.

              There was a group of snows and specs near Brinkley that was at least one mile long and 1/2 mile deep and big tornado of birds over the top

              The amount of rice farming in that region is hard to imagine even after driving through it. Seems endless. So is the amount of water held on that countryside for duck hunting

              It is easy to understand why so many geese, and ducks, have shitted to that area.

              Wish the Texas coast still wintered numbers like that.

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              • #52
                sounds like Arkansas will be the goose capital for many years to come if they keep holding water.

                Hope you are able to get into some Texas birds before they all head back north. Thank you for your reports this winter!

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                • #53
                  This was the first time I had ever been to northeast Arkansas during the winter so I don't have a reference point. But my guess is the numbers were quite a bit below average although there were plenty enough to hunt. 15 or so years ago I went to Stuttgart during the winter and saw some of the most insane goose numbers I have ever seen. The numbers were incredible.. It was nothing like that . The drive through Fair Oaks, Weiner, Brinkley and Carlyle had good numbers but I would say those numbers were also below average. judging from what people have told me about that area in past winters.

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                  • #54
                    Had a good report that there are thousands of snows up by Little Sioux. Traditionally they are south of that area by mid December.

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                    • #55
                      Still nothing to report on this end of the flyway. Have a few birds around, but they have zero interest in playing. Been tough to say the least.

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                      • #56
                        Friday I was south of El Campo and saw the largest group of geese I have seen on the Texas coast in many years.

                        Big tornadoes of geese for over 30 minutes were wheeling into an already large concentration on the ground'

                        Otherwise the numbers are poor.

                        A person can cover a lot of miles and not see a goose west of Houston in what has been our historic strongholds.

                        Duck numbers are also pitiful.

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                        • #57
                          Glad to hear you saw some some number of significance Brady. I was in Houston last Wednesday with a business associate that also hunts. We drove out 10 towards Katy. He was showing me all of this land that used to be nothing but rice, covered with snow geese. It's all housing and commercial development now. You would never have known it was a major snow goose wintering area. Sad!

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                          • Brady
                            Brady commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Yes, it is very sad.

                            Just saw the coastal duck survey which was recently completed.

                            Horrible.

                        • #58
                          Originally posted by Geez n Quackers View Post
                          Glad to hear you saw some some number of significance Brady. I was in Houston last Wednesday with a business associate that also hunts. We drove out 10 towards Katy. He was showing me all of this land that used to be nothing but rice, covered with snow geese. It's all housing and commercial development now. You would never have known it was a major snow goose wintering area. Sad!
                          It is sad G&Q to see all of that once prime waterfowl environment go from what it once was to what it is today. It's a sickening feeling. You once could drive that stretch and pull over on I-10 and watch the goose hunters shooting geese dang near a rock throw from the interstate.

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                          • #59
                            I covered quite a few miles through prime goose country.today.

                            Or more like what was once prime goose country.

                            I saw zero geese. And one sandhill crane.

                            The cranes also seem to be trending lower.

                            I was able to obtain the results of the duck survey for the Texas coast which was recently completed.

                            201,400 puddle ducks were counted.

                            That is beyond horrible.

                            We are, and have been, in a collapse.



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                            • jolle
                              jolle commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Maybe, but this year appears to be a weather anomaly all the way to Alaska. Record warm Temps all the way up. Lakes just freezing in some places of nodak last week. Canada still very warm in areas. I'm in MO and our duck season was very tough. Lots if birds never got here during season. So, this is an odd one. Not to say you in TX haven't seen a downward trend for years, but I'm not putting too much stock in this one. Drought and warm was our overall trend, and duck season for sure showed it. Hoping for some redemption with snows.

                            • Brady
                              Brady commented
                              Editing a comment
                              The future is always a foggy thing.

                              So, perhaps, we will have better years after this.

                              But the trends have not been good for us.

                              It has become largely a silent sky for the Texas coast.

                          • #60
                            Weather has always gone through cycles. There are better days ahead for sure.

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