INSIDE OUT

Ducks still around for late season

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The third split of Colorado's duck hunting season begins Dec. 13, and there still are plenty of ducks remaining for late-season hunters.

The 2002 Colorado duck hunting season began with low expectations, but late-season precipitation and favorable weather patterns saved what looked to be a dismal duck season. The drought had dried up much of existing duck habitat throughout the state, leading many to believe that waterfowl from the north would quickly pass over Colorado during their migration south.

Fortunately for waterfowl hunters, however, this season so far has produced some fair harvest rates throughout the state.

"There was a lot of late-developing water that provided some really nice habitat that not only attracted, but held birds," said Jim Gammonley, waterfowl biologist for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. "We also had good weather conditions that created some good pushes of birds during the season. In many areas throughout the state, these variables added up to create good hunter success."

Southeast Colorado has much to offer waterfowl hunters during the third split. An aerial survey on Dec. 9 showed fair numbers of ducks and geese using many bodies of water as a late-season stop.

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