Regional Reports-South

Barataria Bay

"The Tensas River is probably one of the best-kept duck secrets in Louisiana," says David McEacharn, a guide at Southern Wings Plantation in Delhi. "There are some flooded flats that are excellent duck holes and never see a duck hunter." Even in Louisiana, home to about 40 percent of the wetlands in the contiguous United States, not everyone can travel to marshes or afford to lease duck blinds. However, nearly everyone in the Bayou State lives near a river, bayou or creek. In oxbows off the Mississippi, backwaters along the Red, swamps of the Atchafalaya and Pearl or sloughs flowing into the Sabine, Louisiana duck hunters find that a river runs through prime public hunting property just about anywhere they look. Navigable waters belong to the public and hunters may set up decoys wherever they can float a boat. Army camouflaged netting stretched over a frame makes outstanding blind material. Ducks use rivers the way people use highways for navigation. With the boat as the blind, hunters can follow duck concentrations and create a decoy spread quickly or relocate just as quickly. Contact: Southern Wings Plantation (318-878-9794); Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (225-765-2358; www.wlf.state.la.us).