The New England states, and New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and West Virginia should have good gunning seasons if the right weather prevails. Blue-and green-wing teals have arrived in the same numbers as last year, but black ducks are down.
Opening day turnout on Merrymeeting Bay in Maine was an estimated 5,000 hunters, and shooting space is hard to buy. Ducks are plentiful (estimated at 20,000 in bay) and scattered flocks of geese are being seen. The bay is holding a few remaining blue-and green-wing teals; and goldeneyes, blue-bills, ringnecks and pintails are migrating the length and breadth of the state. Jump shooters in the famed grounds of Allagash, St. John, Penobscot and Kennebec River watersheds report hot gunning and high bags.
That is how the 1956 waterfowl season shapes up as of now. Ducks and geese of all kinds are on the wing in record-breaking numbers, thanks largely to the year-round nesting groundwork of the sportsman-supported Ducks Unlimited organization. The success of the hunting season from now on depends on the weather, which must be foul to be good, and the skill of the individual hunter. If the weather cooperates, wildfowlers can look forward to a season as good, if not better, than ever before.