Where have all the Specklebellies Gone?
Peter Paul And Mary had a song in the sixties. Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
Goose hunters in Texas could add to those lyrics. Where have all the Specklebellies gone?
In the mid nineties there were over 400,000 Specklebellies counted on the Texas Coastal Prairie. In 2016 there were less than 50,000.
During the apex of goose hunting in Texas, we were allowed one dark goose either a Speck or a Canada.
Somewhere in the nineties, the limit was increased to two Specks. When the limit was one, a limit of a Specks usually took ten minutes. I coined the term Opening Morning Specklebelly as a way to describe the first goose you always bagged was a Speck.
What a difference twenty years has made. Limits of Specks are still obtainable, but boy, what a difference in numbers.
So back to the original thought. Where did they go? Quite simply Arkansas. Hunting in the Mississippi Delta rice prairies of Arkansas reminds me of my youth -- except for one big difference. The limit for Specks is THREE. And now we can use four wheelers and Silo socks. My dream come true.