Just one look at that picture and you might think, "I'll never eat duck again." Totally understood. I think I'd be right there with you.

Duck season begins this Saturday, November 13 for hunters in Louisiana's West Zone. According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Safety, this season lays out like this for 2021-22.

  • Regular season: November 13 - December 5; December 18 - January 2; and January 10 - 30

Of course our area was once blessed with an extreme amount of waterfowl but over the last ten to fifteen years, we've seen a downward spiral in the volume of ducks coming through each fall. Most experts attribute this to a change in agricultural practices with more and more ducks stopping short of the Bayou State and possibly even moving further to the west.

However, those blessed with the bounty from God's kitchen, can be in for some extremely fine dining when sitting down to duck cooked properly.  But, if you began to clean the duck and its breast looked like this, would you keep it or immediately throw it away?

If it looks like this duck has worms, you'd be right.  According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, this duck was suffering from Sarcocytis, otherwise known as Rice Breast.  It's a parasite found in ducks, geese, and other birds. Mammals and reptiles can also be infected.

But can humans get it from eating the meat of an infected animal? Experts say no, there is no known risk to humans, but you still might not want to keep it.

Apparently, the affected tissue is unappetizing and should not be eaten. But, if you want to take a gamble, research shows that the parasites can be killed when completely cooked. Course, that won't change the fact that you're eating unappetizing worms, but if that's your thing, go for it.

Good luck this season and if you've got room in the blind, try to always take a kid!

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