The big duck season opener will be Nov. 6 when Oklahoma’s zone two opens for waterfowl hunting.
Zone two covers all of eastern, central and southwestern Oklahoma. Duck season already is under way in the Panhandle and zone one (northwest Oklahoma).
The forecast for duck season, according to Josh Richardson, migratory game bird biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, is both good and bad.
“On the bad side, warm weather has so far kept birds farther north of us, and an unusual dry stretch has wetland habitat in many areas in poor condition,” Richardson said.
“On the good side, this was another banner production year in the prairie pothole region and the birds will have to come through at some point. They may not stay for long, but they will definitely come through.
“Hunters wanting the best chance of success this year will really need to pay attention to the weather and do their scouting to know when the birds are coming through and where to catch them when they’re here.”
If it stays dry, Richardson suggests hunters try the public wetland areas.
“While many lakes, private ponds, sloughs and wetlands are dependent on natural rainfall, many of our wetland units are set up with alternative means of flooding, such as wells, pumps or irrigation lakes, alternatives that are often unfeasible for private landowners and hunters.”
A list of the wetland units managed by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and maps can be found on the agency’s website at www.wildlifedepartment.com