The 1952 waterfowl hunting season.




Singleton, J.R.

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The 1952 waterfowl hunting season opened on October 31, following a period of extreme drought on the Texas Gulf Coast. Surface water was limited to flooded rice fields and irrigation systems, and to the coastal marshes, the latter being saline. Reports from the nesting grounds were highly favorable, and the prospects for a successful hunting season were not discouraging. These prospects would have been improved by rainfall in late October, which was not to be had. Waterfowl range conditions were very poor under these circumstances. Native foods were not abundant and marsh burning in August and September was of doubtful benefit to waterfowl in the absence of sufficient rainfall. Thus, in the northeastern portion of the coast, food was limited primarily to waste of lost grain in the harvested rice fields. Drought conditions did not restrict the growth of submerged saline aquatics of the shallow bays on the southern coast and native foods were sufficient. Thus, the season opened with a reduced carrying capacity on approximately one-half of the coast and normal carrying capacity on the remaining one-half.




waterfowl, ecological distribution, food availability, diets, habitat, biological surveys, nesting, surface water, hunting, droughts