Outdoors Digest

By Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

Calendar

Through Nov. 29 – First split of Oklahoma light, dark, and white-fronted goose season.

Through Nov. 29 –First split of the Texas North Zone duck season.

Through Nov. 29 – First split of Oklahoma Zone 2 duck season.

Through Dec. 6 - Oklahoma deer gun season.

Through Dec. 15 – Oklahoma woodcock season.

Through Jan. 3 – Texas North Zone general whitetail deer season.

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

Through Jan. 15 - Oklahoma archery deer season.

Through Jan. 31 – Texas East Zone light and dark goose season.

Through Feb. 14 – Texas West Zone light and dark goose season.

Through Feb. 15 - Oklahoma quail season.

Through Feb. 28 – Texas quail season.

Dec. 1-Dec. 29 – Oklahoma second split of dove season.

Dec. 1-Jan. 31 – Oklahoma pheasant season.

Notes

From the Herald Democrat Outdoors staff, allow us to wish you and those dear to you a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend … In addition to the six Grayson County rainbow trout stockings noted in last week's edition of the Herald Democrat Outdoors page, TPWD will also stock 1,000 rainbows at Lake Ray Roberts’ Johnson Branch Pond 2 in Cooke County later next month. That stocking will be on Dec. 31, 2020 ... Speaking of rainbow trout, the first stockings in Grayson County this winter will be on Dec. 15 at Pottsboro Lake and Dec. 17 at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond…Persevering through tough fishing and unfortunate circumstances were the keys for Shepherdsville, Ky. angler Tommy Williams in winning the Basspro.com Bassmaster Central Open on Lewisville Lake last weekend with a three-day total of 41 pounds, 15 ounces … TPWD says that the 2019 Texas Hunting Incident Analysis report indicates that the Lone Star State has seen a marked decrease in hunting-related accidents and fatalities since Hunter Education became mandatory in 1988. In that first year of mandatory Hunter Ed, more than 18,000 Texans received HE training, but there were still 12 fatalities and 70 accidents in the state in 1988. Last year in 2019, there were more than 56,000 HE certifications against only 1 fatality and 21 accidents statewide according to TPWD … 

Hunting Reports

The start of the 2020 Oklahoma gun deer season was a good one this past weekend as a number of big bucks were reported across the Sooner State. One of those fell to Durant’s Mark Webb, who posted photos on Facebook of the drop-tined monster. Webb, a longtime Texomaland banking figure and former media personality, described his buck as “the biggest deer of my life” in a Facebook post…Out at North Texas Outfitters’ hunting operation in Waurika, Okla., it was also a good start to the Sooner State’s rifle season as several big bucks went down this past weekend including one heavyweight known as “Blades” according to outfitter Dakota Stowers…The second Hagerman NWR bow hunt of 2020 took place last weekend at the well-known big buck property on Lake Texoma. From reports gleaned from TexasBowhunter.com, the Segment B hunt looked appreciably slower than the Segment A hunt. At least one good buck was taken along with a several does. The fall season’s third and final Hagerman NWR deer bowhunt is scheduled for early December…Fair to good duck hunting continues to be reported in portions of the Texomaland area as the first split runs its course towards a Nov. 29 closing date on both sides of the Red River…Most ducks in the area right now include the usual early season species of gadwalls, wigeon, pintails, green-winged teal, divers, and a few mallards…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temp is in the low 60s; and the lake is 1.69 low. In its most recent fishing report, TPWD notes that striped bass and white bass are excellent on live shad and slabs. Largemouth bass are also good for anglers fishing plastic worms, bladed jigs and spinnerbaits, and jerkbaits in 2-12’ of water. Crappie are fair on minnows near boathouses, timber, creek ledges, and brush piles in 15-25’ of water...At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 2021 Bassmaster Classic, water is lightly stained; water temp is in the low 60s; and the lake is 0.79 low. TPWD indicates that largemouth bass are fair on jigs, jerkbaits, and spinnerbaits fished in 3-15’ of water near points, timber, rip rap, and creek channels. White bass are plentiful in 15-35’ on slabs fished near main lake points, flats, and drop-offs. Crappie are good on minnows and small jigs in brush piles between 18-28’… At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temp is in the low 60s; and the lake is 2.14 low. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are good on skirted jigs, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits fished near heavy timber, roadbeds, brushy points, and rocky shorelines. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs in 14-25’ in brush piles and standing timber near creek ledges or drop-offs…At the Blue River near Tishomingo, ODWC reports clear water, normal river level, and a water temp near 60 degrees in its latest fishing report. Anglers seeking rainbow trout at the Blue are finding excellent results using in-line spinnerbaits (Rooster Tails), small spoons, Power Bait, and small flies. Target rainbows along current seams and anything that breaks the current like channel edges and rocks…At Lake of the Arbuckle’s, ODWC is reporting good bass fishing on crankbaits, Shakyhead worms and spinnerbaits fished on windy days. Crappie are good on jigging spoon and jigs in 38-57 ft. of water in mid-lake ledges and the dam…On the Texas Gulf Coast, TPWD reports that the tarpon bite is very good at Port O'Connor on mullet and pinfish...Meanwhile, at Port Aransas, the agency says that bull redfish are plentiful around the jetties, while flounder are biting excellent at the jetties on cut mullet…

Tip of the Week

It’s time to celebrate the Christmas holidays, with a little touch of Denison’s most famous resident added in for good measure. TPWD reports that anyone visiting Denison’s Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site during the first three Saturdays of December can find some holiday fun by grabbing a self-guided tour packet and walking the grounds free of charge. As they do so, participants can learn about how Christmas was celebrated in North Texas during the 1890s (when America’s 34th President was born in Denison) and during the 1940s (when the City of Denison preserved the Eisenhower Birthplace house). TPWD says that children’s craft kits will also be available for purchase through the site’s retail-to-go program while supplies last. Birthplace house tours are also available with advance reservation and payment. For more information on the holiday festivities at Denison’s Eisenhower State Historic Site, please call -903-465-8908.