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Lake life

Duck hunting is tough

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The first split of the East Zone of the 2017-18 Louisiana duck season is over halfway through and for the most part, hunting results have been mixed at best. In fact, it has been downright tough. Unless you have a spot where water was pumped up early, you probably haven’t had much luck except a little pass shooting.

Even some of the top areas have been up and down. It seems like one group will kill ducks one day, then another group the next. But only a handful of folks we’ve talked to have killed ducks consistently.

The main problem is water. Everywhere there is water, it has been pumped up for a while. And everywhere that is, there are also duck blinds, so the ducks are getting shot at every time they come to the spots. There is literally no “lay up” water for the ducks to rest in. There are no flooded woods and the public areas haven’t been pumped up for the most part this year. I’m not sure why.

But tough conditions don’t deter duck hunters. If they did, they wouldn’t be duck hunters. You can keep up with local duck hunting reports all through the season by going to the home page and scrolling down to the Duck Report with Jeff Simmons at  http://www.simmonssportinggoods.com/

Stay after them. And stay safe. There has already been one serious accident in our area involving a duck hunter riding to hunting grounds at Wham Brake. Here’s that story:

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A morning of duck hunting on Wham Brake last Monday left one man seriously injured following a two-boat accident in the perimeter canal. The accident happened about 4:30 a.m. Monday morning, according to a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries statement.

According to witnesses, hunters in two 17-foot mud boats were on their way to their duck blind when one of the vessels collided with and ran over the other vessel. Thorne McKee was in Wham Brake when the collision happened. As his boat turned a corner where visibility was reduced by grasses, he saw the end of the accident with one boat airborne.

The operator of the boat that was underneath was hit by the second boat and launched over the top of the vessel. The operator was then ejected into the water. There were four people in the boat that was hit and two people in the other boat.

“We rode up to it, and there was a man laying in the water,” McKee said. “So we reacted and threw him in my boat and took him to the boat ramp.”

McKee said on the ride to the boat ramp the injured man’s brother held his hand.

“When we pulled up, he laid there, and we prayed over him, and his brother prayed over him, and we waited for first responders,” McKee said.

The operator was transported to St. Francis Medical Center for treatment. McKee said the boat that collided with the operator’s boat passed him speeding before the accident. He said it was a repeat of an incident the week before where McKee followed the driver, who he said was a 14-year-old, to discuss the speeding and attempt to locate the teen’s parents. He believes a second 14-year-old was a passenger in the boat.

“The accident, it could have been so easily avoided,” McKee said. “The whole time this was happening it was so foggy out there in certain places, certain spots on the water, it was so foggy you couldn’t see the front of your boat. When it’s foggy like that you should be required to reduce down to an idling speed.”

No one in the second boat was injured. according to the LDWF. The LDWF Enforcement Division is the lead investigative agency for this boating incident. No citations have been issued, though charges could be pending as the investigation remains ongoing.



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