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Seasons & Regulations 2014 ING HUNT T FORECAS WATERFOWL LEFT PHOTO © LEFTY RAY CHAPA / RIGHT PHOTO © TODD STEELE VIDEO Women’s Waterfowl Hunt T E X AS P ROV I D ES A W I N T ER H O M E to 90 percent of the Central Flyway’s ducks, roughly 10 mil- lion birds in an average year. And, with projected bumper production in the prairie pothole waterfowl breeding grounds in Canada and the Dakotas, fall flights could be exceptional. Where those birds will land is still up in the air, so to speak. “Naturally, it is very early in the game, but there are a couple things that we do know already,” offers Kevin Kraai, wa- terfowl program leader. “One, the nesting season is on time 24 O TEXAS HUNTING 2014 this year, unlike last year. Last year, a very late spring pushed back nesting and subsequent migration by as much as three weeks, greatly impact- ing things like teal season for many Texas hunters. “Second, it appears that moisture across much of the prairie potholes is average to above average and should result in another good breed- ing effort for ducks,” Kraai says. “Unfortunately, conditions here at home remain dire in many parts of the state.” Playa wetlands in the Pan- handle and the wetlands of Winchester Lakes in Knox and Haskell counties have been essentially nonexistent the last few years, and that con- tinues to have a huge impact on waterfowl hunting success. Sadly, little has changed at this point to reverse that trend in those areas. Many reservoirs in East Texas are still struggling to maintain water levels, a situation that has real potential to greatly impact some excellent public hunting the area is known to provide, warns Kraai. “Perhaps most notably, the drought impacting the High- land Lakes region of Central Texas is still in full force, and we are expecting as much as a 100,000-acre decrease in rice