2 Cool Fishing Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

271 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This article was in the Corpus paper this morning. I didn't realize this was such an issue.

CORPUS CHRISTI — Conflicts between kayakers and duck hunters may not be a widespread problem here, but this has the potential to escalate.
Duck season runs through Jan. 24.
Some of the behaviors already are dangerous and possibly illegal.
Part of the problem is that kayaks are like motorcycles. They’re difficult to see, especially in the marshy mazes of Redfish Bay.
Each kayaker should install a tall colorful flag on their boat. This banner should extend well above the tops of mangroves and chordgrass.
And all airboat drivers should learn to drive more defensively, as if a kayak could be around every blind turn.
And kayakers be mindful of cuts traditionally used to enter and exit the flats. These are navigable pathways. Duck hunters in airboats use these to access their blinds. Don’t block them.
Game warden Albert Flores, who runs an airboat during duck season to check for game violations, said this is a common problem.
“Heck, I’ve gotten within 10 yards of hitting a kayak in a cut,” he said. “I just didn’t see it until it was almost too late.”
My advice to kayakers: Don’t paddle in the dark during duck season. In low light, kayaks must be outfitted with a 360 degree light that extends higher than the paddler’s head when seated. I’d put it even higher.
And now for the legal part. Texas has a law that forbids the harassment of hunters and anglers.
It states: No person may intentionally harass, drive, or disturb any wildlife for the purpose of disrupting a person lawfully engaged in the process of hunting or catching wildlife.
This is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas, punishable by a fine of $200 to $2,000 and/or 180 days in jail. Unfortunately, intent is difficult to prove.
But I can almost guarantee if you’re fishing within 100 yards of an occupied duck blind the intent argument would convince most judges.
So far this season, Flores said he’s not aware of any complaints filed in our area. But this doesn’t mean no violations have occurred. There have been yelling matches, dueling finger gestures and possible retaliation from both sides. It’s all childish behavior.
You want details? Apparently somebody mistook a duck blind for an outhouse. They left plenty of DNA evidence to punctuate their point. Another vandal left a sticker depicting an airboat with a red circle and diagonal line across the image.
And then a group of kayakers reported that an airboat driver ran circles around them while they were fishing. The harassment rule would apply in this case. There would be no point in debating who started this fight.
The rule is simple, Flores said. If a duck hunter arrives first (and they nearly always get there well before sunrise), then angles or other duck hunters must stay away. Decoys are the best indication that a blind is occupied. It’s usually obvious from a pretty good distance. Gunshots, silhouettes of hunters or dogs should serve as secondary clues.
Reports are rare of inconsiderate or defiant kayak anglers fishing within spooking range or shotgun range of blinds. But when this happens, the stories are told and retold with much drama and enthusiasm. This cuts deeply into the otherwise favorable image of kayak anglers.
The same is true about reports of rude airboaters. The descriptive adjectives used to report these rare incidents are not fit for print. But message boards tend to pour salt onto these public relations wounds.
Ironically, kayakers can be a duck hunter’s friend. Inadvertently, kayakers spook birds off feeding ponds, particularly on calm days when ducks are reluctant to fly and kayakers are more likely to be on the water.
Fortunately, as winter sets in and the weather deteriorates these conflicts will diminish. But the ill will between these user groups continues to fester.
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.