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 in October.

By the Numbers

The Lesser Scaup, aka bluebill, kicks off our list of the top ten ducks harvested in Texas. For the 2014-15 waterfowl season an estimated 42,979 bluebills were taken on Texas soil. Compare those numbers to 2013-14 and overall harvest numbers jumped up 20,000 ducks taken. For the 2013-2014 season there were 22,017 bluebills harvested in Texas. The bluebill held steady coming in at #10 for both the 14-15 & 13-14 season.

Opportunity to Hunt

Historical band recovery data provided by Bands Across America shows a large concentration of bluebill taken along the Texas coast and up in the north east part of the state. Banding locations vary but primarily focused in the prairie pothole region and the Yukon River area of Alaska. Only five banded bluebills were reported in Texas during the 2014-15 season compared to 25 in 2013-14 and 28 in 2012-13. The TPWD daily bag limit of six ducks may include no more than three scaup. scaup_banded

Table Fare

While most diver ducks aren’t cherished for their fishy taste the bluebill does have a few fans out there. And even one recipe from Rio on our Facebook page:

Gorgonzola was made for this duck. I call it black and blue duck, like the steak style. Pan seared. The cheese helps with the gamey taste bluebills are known to have. With a sharp cheese like gorgonzola, it doesn’t really mask the flavor, it takes the gamey and tricks your taste buds, leaving the sharp cheese, but delicious duck flavor in your mouth.

Thanks Rio! Hopefully we’ll get to try it out this season!

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

(I couldn’t find a good bluebill pic from Texas so if you have one send it along and we will add it to the gallery with full attribution!)

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