By most accounts, Texas waterfowlers have been enjoying a banner season, especially during the second half of the split. The December 8 opener coincided with the arrival of cold weather in the northern half of the Central Flyway, driving a fresh population of birds into Texas. My contacts there, along with forum postings, indicate a true mixed bag of ducks for hunters, including gadwall, green-winged teal, ring-necked ducks and plenty of pintails. What has been missing, at least until recently, has been a consistent population of mallards. Now that temperatures up north have struggled to overtake the freezing mark for the past week or so, water there is locking up, sending birds south where gunners await. The most recent mallard migration index puts peak numbers of birds in east Texas and along the Gulf Coast.