Calendar


Through Dec. 29 - Second split of dove season in Oklahoma.


Through Jan. 5 - General deer season in Texas North Zone.


Through Jan. 5 - General deer season in Grayson and Collin Counties, with means and methods of take restricted to lawful archery gear and crossbows only.


Through Jan. 5 - Texas Panhandle pheasant season.


Through Jan. 5 - Second split of dove season for Texas North Zone.


Through Jan. 15 – Archery deer season in Oklahoma.


Through Jan. 26 - Texas light and dark goose season for Texas East Zone.


Through Jan. 26 - Second split of Texas North Zone duck season.


Through Jan. 26 - Second split of Oklahoma Zone 2 duck season.


Through Jan. 31 - Oklahoma pheasant season.


Through Jan. 31 - Texas woodcock season.


Through Feb. 2 - Texas light and dark goose season for Texas West Zone.


Through Feb. 9 - Second split of white-fronted goose season in Oklahoma.


Through Feb. 15 - Oklahoma quail season.


Through Feb. 16 - Second split of Canada goose season in Oklahoma.


Through Feb. 16 - Second split of light goose season in Oklahoma.


Through Feb. 23 - Texas quail season.


Jan. 4 - 13th annual Howard Caylor Trout Derby at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. For info, call (903) 463-5116.


Jan. 5 - TPWD rainbow trout stocking at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond.


Jan. 9-12 - Dallas Safari Club Convention and Sporting Expo at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. For info, visit www.biggame.org.


Jan. 24-25 - Red River Fly Fishers’ Fly Tying Extravaganza at Eisenhower State Park.


Feb. 2 - TPWD rainbow trout stocking at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond.


Feb. 23 - TPWD rainbow trout stocking at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond.


Notes:


From the Herald Democrat outdoors staff, here is hoping that you and those dear to you enjoyed a very Merry Christmas at midweek. And with New Year’s Day approaching next week, here’s a wish for a safe, prosperous, and Happy New Year…The annual Dallas Safari Club Convention and Sporting Expo is coming up quickly, scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 9 until Sunday, Jan. 12 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas. For information, visit www.biggame.org…TPWD confirms that chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in a free-ranging, 5 ½ year-old white-tailed doe discovered between Del Rio and Amistad Reservoir. The agency says that makes the case the first confirmed CWD report in Val Verde County…As a result of the CWD case, TPWD and the Texas Animal Health Commission are implementing an emergency containment strategy. Effective immediately under an executive order issued by TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith, a CWD Containment Zone and Surveillance Zone has been enacted in the area. Rules for the CWD Containment and Surveillance Zones include restrictions on the movements of carcass parts as well as live deer possessed under the authority of a permit…TPWD is also implementing mandatory CWD testing of deer harvested within the containment and surveillance zones within 48 hours of harvest at a new check station. That check station is located at the RV park at the Del Rio Fisherman’s Headquarters, 4957 US-90, Del Rio TX 78840…As noted last week, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is seeking public input on potential changes to hunting and fishing regulations next year. Among those possible changes is an effort designed to step up antlerless deer harvest numbers in the state. To achieve that goal, ODWC is proposing increasing the muzzleloader season bag limit from the current one antlered deer and two antlerless deer up to a potential six deer with no more than one antlered deer allowed. In addition, ODWC is also proposing to change the current Sooner State gun season from the current 16-day season with a bag limit of one antlered deer and two antlerless deer to a potential 23-day long season (opening up the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving) and up to six deer including no more than one antlered deer. The increased gun deer season length and deer bag limit changes would increase opportunity for hunters to take antlerless deer…FYI, all deer taken in the above proposals are included in the combined season statewide bag limits which remain unchanged…Other possible hunting regulation changes include the elimination of “long bow and arrow archery equipment” restrictions at the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area near Tishomingo, changing such restrictions to simply read “archery equipment.” Also included in possible hunting reg changes for 2020 is the potential reduction in acreage open to hunting at several Lake Texoma WMA units on the Oklahoma side. One such change is from the current 800-acres open to hunting at Platter Flats to a proposed 685-acres and from the current 400-acres open at Newberry Creek South to 305-acres at Newberry Creek North…On the fishing side of potential changes, proposed 2020 rules include several possible changes to regulations at the popular Lower Mountain Fork River Trout Area near Broken Bow. Among those changes are: increasing the minimum length limit for rainbow trout from 20-inches to 25-inches from the State Park Dam to U.S. Hwy. 70; increasing the minimum length limit of brown trout from 20-inches to 30-inches; reducing daily rainbow trout bag limits from six to three from Broken Bow Dam to the State Park Dam, only one of which may be greater than 25-inches in length; reducing the rainbow trout limit from the State Park Dam to U.S. Hwy. 70 to one rainbow trout 25-inches or greater; reducing the brown trout bag limit to one trout over 30-inches; expanding the trout area to include a portion from Rough Branch Creek to the re-regulation dam; eliminating bait restrictions; and requiring the use of barbless hooks… Public comment to these proposed Oklahoma hunting and fishing regulation changes is open until Jan. 3, 2020 - see the ODWC website at www.wildlifedepartment.com for more details…


Hunting Report


The second split of duck season continues on both sides of the Red River and some waterfowl hunters are finding fair hunts while other hunters are finding less than desirable hunting conditions… Scouting is a key, particularly now that few arctic fronts have come through in the last week or two. Most duck hunters agree that a new push of cold air is necessary to usher in new ducks from further up the Central Flyway…Gadwalls, teal, wigeon, mallards, ringnecks, and a few pintails seem to be most common species hitting waters in the Red River Valley right now… On the deer hunting side of things, hunting is slow as the post-rut continues and 2019-20 deer seasons wind down on both sides of the Red River. Most hunting success over the next few days will be during the evening hours and will center around preferred food resources…Do keep in mind that several of Grayson County’s biggest all-time bucks have fallen during the final few days of the season. So it is definitely worth an evening sit on a deer stand right now, slow hunting conditions or not…


Fishing Reports


At Lake Texoma, the lake elevation is normal; water temp is 53 degrees; and the water is clear. Bryan County game warden Trey Hale says that Texoma’s striped bass are good on Alabama rigs, flukes, and live shad right now when those baits are fished around flats, on the main lake, and near points. The ODWC warden says that wintertime fishing is now in full swing on Texoma with live bait and dead sticking often being the best methods for catching stripers. Hale also reports that blue catfish are fair on cut bait and shad fished around channels, flats, and points. Jug lining for blue cats with shad is also an effective method right now…There are no updated fishing reports available from TPWD for Lake Ray Roberts or Lake Fork due to the Christmas holiday this week…


Tip of the Week


Don’t forget that the 13th annual Howard Caylor Trout Derby is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond. The event, which will feature plenty of freshly stocked rainbow trout from TPWD and a lot of derby prizes offered by the Denison Parks and Recreation Department, will run from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. For info on the annual D-Town Trout Derby, please call 903-463-5116.