Outdoors Digest

By Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

Calendar

Through Oct. 31- Oklahoma dove season.

Through Nov. 1 - Oklahoma primitive arms / muzzleloading deer season.

Through Nov. 6 – Texas early archery deer season.

Through Nov. 12 – First split of Texas North Zone dove season.

Through Jan. 15 - Oklahoma archery deer season.

Oct. 31-Feb. 28 – Texas quail season.

Nov. 5-8 – Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest tournament on Lake Fork. For info, visit www.bassmaster.com .

Nov. 7-8 – Texas North Zone youth-only duck season.

Nov. 7-Jan. 3 – Texas North Zone general whitetail deer season.

Nov. 7-Jan. 3 – General whitetail deer season in Grayson County with means and methods of harvest restricted to lawful archery and crossbow gear.

Nov. 12 – Bryan County Ducks Unlimited Dinner at the Choctaw Events Center near Durant.

Notes:

With the approach of Oct. 31 tomorrow, here’s a “Happy Halloween!” wish from the Herald Democrat outdoors staff. May your day be filled with treats like a monster buck or a spooky big striped bass or largemouth pulled from an area lake...This Sunday, Nov. 1 is the final “Drawn Hunts” deadline this year for the popular Texas Parks and Wildlife Department public hunting lands program. Hunters will have the chance to apply for E-Card Hunts (which require purchase of TPWD’s $48 Annual Public Hunting Permit, as well as a guided hunt for bighorn sheep, and several youth hunts. Hunt applications are also included in this weekend’s TPWD deadline for the annual wintertime hog hunt and springtime turkey hunt at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge. See TPWD’s website at www.tpwd.texas.gov for more information… As with other Texas Parks and Wildlife public hearings and meetings since the middle of March when the coronavirus outbreak began, the upcoming TPW Commission Meeting and Annual Public Hearing will be held virtually on Nov. 9-10. For more information, visit www.tpwd.texas.gov ...

Hunting Reports

With this week’s big arctic blast, there were sightings of big ducks moving into the Texomaland region…Some mourning doves obviously moved out on the chilly north winds, but a few big “Kansas doves” were also seen moving in…The 2020-21 Texas quail hunting season begins this weekend and prospects are mixed. See the season forecast story in today’s Herald Democrat Outdoors section for full details…This should be a great weekend of hunting big bucks here in Grayson County as the chilly weather, sunlight, and move towards the rut leads to plenty of daytime deer movement. Expect to hear of one or more big Halloween time monsters to go down in the local woods…A social media report this week saw a very good Red River Valley eight-pointer get tagged by local hunter Chris Drake…TPWD reminds duck hunters that the special youth-only waterfowl season begins in the High Plains Mallard Management Unit on Oct. 24, followed by youth-only waterfowl season in the South Zone on Oct. 31 and the North Zone on Nov. 7. Regular duck season in the High Plains Mallard Management Unit opens Oct. 31, in the South Zone on Nov. 7 and the North Zone on Nov. 14 …

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temp is 71 degrees; and the lake is 3.40 low. TPWD says that striped bass and white bass are excellent on live shad, swimbaits, and slabs as diving birds mark feeding schools around the lake. Largemouth bass are good for those fishing Texas-rigged plastic worms, jigs, and diving crankbaits in 16-28’ of water. Some fish are also moving into shallow 3-10’ foot depths as they chase shad. Crappie are fair on minnows near boathouses, timber, creek ledges, and brush piles in 15-25’ of water. And Texoma catfish are good on cut bait and punch bait…At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 2021 Bassmaster Classic, water is lightly stained; water temp is 70 degrees; and the lake is 0.52 low. TPWD says that largemouth bass are good on finesse or wacky worms, chrome or silver crankbaits, and white spinnerbaits fished in 5-20’ depths near timber, rip rap, and creek ledges. White bass are good in 15-35’ of water on white or chartreuse slabs fished near main lake points, slopes, and drop-offs. Crappie are good on minnows and small jigs fished in brush piles between 18-28’ depths...At Lake Fork, site of next week’s 2020 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest tournament benefitting TPWD, water is lightly stained; water temp is 71 degrees; and the lake is 1.98 low. TPWD says that largemouth bass are good on jigs, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits fished near heavy timber, roadbeds, brushy points, and rocky shorelines. Crappie are good on minnows in 18-25’ depths in brush piles and standing timber found near creek ledges or drop-offs…Meanwhile, as fall fishing continues to be red-hot down on the Texas Gulf Coast, TPWD reports lot of male flounder moving through the pass at Bolivar Peninsula...Meanwhile, at Trinity Bay, flounder are good on minnows fished around the rocks...At East Galveston Bay, the autumn bull redfish run is strong. The same thing is reported around the dike at Texas City, with fresh-cut mullet producing some big reds for saltwater anglers...At Port O'Connor, TPWD says that the jetties are busy with speckled trout on Super Spook Junior topwaters, soft plastics, and minnows. Big speckled trout will also be near drop-offs and potholes in the late morning hours...On the Central Coast at Port Aransas, the bull redfish bite is good around the jetties and flounder are also good in the same spot for those fishing with soft plastics and mullet...Flounder are also good near docks and channel edges near Corpus Christi...Finally, at South Padre Island, TPWD says that redfish and speckled trout are good for those anglers using topwaters in the morning and soft plastics in the afternoon along the shoreline...

Tip of the Week

As the whitetail rut begins to approach in mid-November, be careful right now with the use of doe estrous scents and rattling bags and horns aimed at luring in a big buck. While the rut is not too far off and early reports are indicating that some younger bucks are starting to chase does a little bit on the Oklahoma side of the Red River, the peak breeding activity is still a couple of weeks away in most of the Texomaland area. Tickle the rattling tines together and maybe let a slight whiff of estrous scent go near your bowhunting stand this weekend, but don’t go overboard just yet with either hunting trick over the Halloween weekend.