"Hang on," I exclaimed. It gets shallow here just ahead going into Robb's Lake. I'm going to hit it on plane so we don't bog down." I twisted the throttle on the 40 HP tiller Johnson motor and the Weldcraft aluminum boat jumped. We blasted through the shallow cut into the huge open expanses of Robb's Lake. "Look," my excited client pointed to the sky. We had startled thousands of resting ducks and the sky turned black with a whirlwind of scattering birds. "Stop the boat" my client excitedly yelled back to me. "I need to get a GPS reading, this is incredible" he said. Thousands of Bluewinged Teal, Shovelers, Canvasbacks and a sprinkling of Mallards buzzed around us providing an unforgettable show of wild ducks. Ducks were everywhere. We just sat in the boat as the ducks resettled back into Robb's Lake, now unconcerned with our intrusion.

Watching ducks, I recalled just a few minutes earlier when back at Cove Marina as we looked over a Lake Livingston Map, my client asked, "Do you think we will see any ducks today?" "Maybe," I answered. What an understatement! I chuckled to myself.

We were on a scouting mission. The gentlemen had hired me to teach him about duck hunting on Lake Livingston. I had to appreciate the dedication of a hunter scouting for ducks in September.. After all it's only a month until the season opens. Realistically, more people should prepare for duck season now. Waiting until November to scout is too late. A person that is serious about successful duck hunting here on Lake Livingston's vast public properties will be far ahead in the game by spending time on the water now. Studying maps, talking to locals, and spending time with a guide now will help you when the season opens. Look for access points on your map and marinas closest to the area you want to hunt. Ask about property boundaries. You could get into big trouble by venturing onto private property. Use a GPS as my client did recently to mark your route, possible blind locations and bird concentrations. Ask about different specific habitat ducks are attracted to and when and where different types of ducks will be there.

If you plan to hunt Lake Livingston ducks this coming Fall, a scouting mission now will put more ducks on your strap in November. Pre-scouting is the number one factor in successful duck hunting here and now is the best time to do it. Simply put, now is the time to scout. Who knows, you might even see some ducks!


Dave Cox of Palmetto Guide Service is a regular contributor to the Lake Livingston edition of the Texas Sportsguide.  This article has previously appeared in that publication.

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