Texas Waterfowl Hunter’s ‘Top Ten Texas Ducks’ is a series of posts which detail the specifics on the most popular waterfowl hunted in the state of Texas. Harvest numbers are based on the annual harvest report published by Flyways.us. This should keep us busy while we wait for duck season. Countdown updated every Tuesday & Thursday.

By the Numbers

The wigeon, aka baldplate drops into the spread at #6 on our list of the top ten ducks hunted in Texas based on reported harvest numbers. For the 2014-15 waterfowl season an estimated 75,310 wigeon were taken in Texas. Compare those numbers to 2013-14 and harvest numbers dropped big time by 11,347 ducks taken. For the 2013-2014 season there were 86,657 wigeon harvested in Texas. The wigeon dropped from #4 in total ducks taken last season.

Opportunity to Hunt

Historical band recovery data provided by Bands Across America shows a consistent concentration of baldplates taken across most of Central & East Texas, The primary banding locations for the wigeon are spread pretty evenly up the Central flyway and into Canada as well as Alaska. For the 2014-2015** season only 9 banded wigeon were reported in Texas compared to 18 banded birds reported for the 2013-14** season.  The TPWD daily bag limit allows for 6 wigeon per day as part of your total 6 bird limit.

** This might be a mistake in the way I’m reading the data – I’ve asked for clarification regarding banding numbers and if they are calculated for season or calendar year. If its calendar year then Id expect quite a few more banded birds of all species to be recovered in 2015 once the season opens.

wigeon_banded

Table Fare

Wigeon are a good medium sized duck and make for good eating overall. There aren’t a ton of baldplate specific recipes (That we could find) but this recipe for sunrise supper (wigeon with wild mushrooms) looks like its worth a try for sure!

All data provided by the 2015 Status of Waterfowl Report at Flyways.us