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Greg Willis downed this stark white wood duck during a late-December hunt with his grandson in Allen Parish. (Photo courtesy of Louisiana Sportsman)

Hunters kill rare white wood duck in Allen Parish

A rare sight was spotted late last month near the banks of the Calcasieu River in Allen Parish that led some to be thinking of a white Christmas.
A group of hunters including Greg Willis and his grandson Grayson, according to Louisiana Sportsman, found a pure white wood duck.
“We weren’t expecting very much with all the rains this year,” Willis said. “The cypress brake we hunt is flooded, and the birds can go anywhere they want.”
The white duck flew into sight with a group of other wood ducks. “I spotted a band of wood ducks swinging in toward our blind,” Willis said. “And I immediately noticed a white duck in the group. I only had enough time to say ‘Look at that’ when we all rose up to shoot.”
Willis shot the white winged fowl along with other wood ducks, and all the hunters were amazed at what was shot down. “We had never seen that bird before. No one had any idea he was flying around,” Willis said.
According to Louisiana Sportsman, After reviewing a few photos of the bird, Paul Link, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan Coordinator with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, said he couldn’t definitively say what caused the duck’s distinct appearance.
“It’s tough to tell from pictures whether it’s a true albino, leucistic, or some other variant of a mutation,” Link said, noting that for whatever reason, wood ducks are particularly prone to color mutations.
“These animals often have poor vision and depth perception as compared to normal bird’s eyes,” Link added. “It’s pretty amazing that thing could survive that long in the wild.”
The white duck made up for slow duck season thus far, and the hunt is one of Grayson’s most memorable.
“I’ve never mounted any ducks before, but I’m going to put this one on the wall,” Willis said.

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