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Outdoors Digest

By Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

Calendar

Through Jan. 15 - Oklahoma archery deer season.

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

Through Jan. 31 – Oklahoma pheasant season.

Through Jan. 31 –Second split of the Texas North Zone duck season.

Through Jan. 31 – Second split of Oklahoma Zone 2 duck season.

Through Jan. 31 – Texas woodcock season.

Through Feb. 7 – Second split of Oklahoma white-fronted goose season.

Through Feb. 14 – Second split of Oklahoma 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.

Jan. 16 – ATA New Product Premiere TV show on Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel.

Jan. 18-23 – SHOT Show New Product Premiere TV shows on Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel.

Notes

At last weekend’s Howard Caylor Adult Trout Derby at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond, ongoing COVID-19 pandemic conditions cut the angling field to about half of what is normally seen according to Denison Parks and Rec recreation manager Andrew Means. “We had around 40 participants,” said Means. “Normally, we’d see 75 or more. So, the ongoing virus concerns definitely made an impact.”…Speaking of the coronavirus, officials with the Bassmaster Elite Series announced a few days ago that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they have rescheduled the 51st Bassmaster Classic at Lake Ray Roberts from a spring event to an early summer derby. The tournament, known widely as the “Super Bowl of Bass Fishing,” had been previously scheduled for March 19-21, 2021. Now, the tournament moves to June 11-13, 2021 at Ray Bob… Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commissioners heard a status report about renovations taking place at the Durant State Fish Hatchery during their regular monthly meeting Jan. 11, 2021, in Oklahoma City. According to ODWC, assistant hatchery manager Shane Lewis presented a report and photos on the first and second stages of the project along with outlining what remains to be done in the renovation work…Also at the recent commissioners meeting in OKC, ODWC Wildlife Chief Bill Dinkines reported that this year’s total deer harvest will set a new record. He also noted that the department’s “Take a Doe” campaign to ask hunters to harvest more antlerless deer this year was very successful. According to ODWC, with the archery season continuing until Jan. 15, antlerless deer harvest is about 42 percent of total harvest so far, up from about 35 percent from last year. This figure reverses a downward trend over the past several years according to ODWC…TPWD says a total of 2,668 people hiked and biked 8,173 miles during New Year’s Day “First Day Hike” at state parks across Texas. Despite the special challenges provided by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there were a total of 60 such events across the state. “I am thrilled that Texans bundled up and joined others in hiking Texas State Parks on the first day of the year,” said Rodney Franklin, Director of Texas State Parks, in a news release. “It is a testament to the spirit of our visitors and their love of the outdoors to see so many for First Day Hikes.  It was great to welcome folks young and old and see them enjoying the day.  First Day Hikes is one of my favorite events and I would like to thank everyone that participated.  Here’s to a better 2021 and I look forward to hosting even more of you for First Day Hikes in 2022!”…

Hunting Reports

The Oklahoma 2020-21 archery deer season ends today on Jan. 15. Some social media reports have shown a few good Sooner State bucks being arrowed over the past week including another bruiser whitetail taken by Jeff Danker, well-known Sportsman Channel personality and Buckventures television show host…Texas hunters who took a big whitetail, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, or first big game animal harvest during the 2020-21 season are reminded that the postmark deadline to enter this year’s Texas Big Game Awards Program is March 1. For information, visit www.texasbiggameawards.org …Lots of gadwalls and some mallards have made up the limit and near limit shoots of North Texas Outfitters clients being guided this week by Dakota Stowers and his NTO guides on duck hunting spots out near Waurika, Okla. With a couple of weeks left in the season, the hunting remains fairly good in that part of the Texomaland region…NTO guides are also bagging some big Canada geese on occasion as the late season continues.…One Ducks Unlimited migration reporter in Collin County showed a fair number of birds locally over the last week. The poster indicated that his group had taken four-man bag limits twice in the past several days with bag limits consisting of mallards, gadwalls, and green-winged teal…A DU Migration poster near Ardmore reported a two-man limit earlier this week made up of gadwalls and shovelers…Woodcock season, which is best for upland bird hunters behind pointing dogs in the forested uplands of East Texas, continues through the end of the month…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is stained; water temp is 49 degrees; and the lake is 1.13 high. TPWD reports that striped bass are good on slow-moving shad-like swimbaits as well as live bait. White bass are fair on slabs and spoons. Largemouth bass are slow for those fishing soft plastic swimbaits, deep diving crankbaits, bladed jigs and spinnerbaits, and flutter spoons in 12-25’ of water. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished near boathouses, timber, creek ledges, and brush piles in 15-25’ of water. Catfish are fair on fresh cut bait and punch baits…Staying at Texoma, ODWC reports that winter fishing has been very good over the past week. Striped bass are good on Alabama-rigs, Flukes, live shad and shad fished in the main lake, around points and over the river channels. ODWC also says that live shad has consistently put the most fish in angler’s boats in recent days along with the majority of the stripers being caught in the western portion of the lake…At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 2021 Bassmaster Classic, water is lightly stained; water temp is 51 degrees; and the lake is 0.40 low. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are slow on crankbaits, jerkbaits, and jigs fished near drop-offs, timber, points, and deep creeks. White bass are slow in 15-35’ of water on slabs fished near main lake points, flats, and drop-offs. Crappie are slow on minnows and small jigs fished in brush piles and cover between 18-28’ of water…At Lake Fork, water is stained; water temp is 53 degrees; and the lake is 0.81 low. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are slow on finesse worms, crankbaits, and football jigs fished near creeks with timber, roadbeds, brush piles, creeks, and rocky shorelines. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished in 14-28’ of water in brush piles and standing timber near creek ledges or drop-offs… At the Blue River near Tishomingo, the river elevation is normal, water temp is 41 and the water is slightly stained. ODWC reports that rainbow trout are good on Mepp’s style in-line spinnerbaits, orange and chartreuse/mouse tail Power Bait, and small Little Cleo style gold spoons for conventional anglers. For fly fishermen, midges, nymphs, caddis dry flies, and egg patterns are working well. Look for trout in seams, channel braids, and near rocks…As cold water and low tides combine to slow wintertime fishing along the Texas Gulf Coast, TPWD reports that flounder are still good for coastal anglers using live shrimp in West Galveston Bay while redfish are good on shrimp fished along the north jetty rocks at Port Aransas...        

Tip of the Week

Want to see the latest and greatest gear in the bowhunting world for 2021? Then make plans to tune into the ATA New Product Premiere TV show airing on Saturday, Jan. 16 at 5 p.m. CT on Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel. To see what’s new for other hunters in 2021, tune in for six straight nights of SHOT Show New Product Premiere TV shows on Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel. The SHOT Show programming will run all of next week from Jan. 18-23 at 5 p.m. CT. You can also see online content covering all of the new ATA Show and SHOT Show products at OutdoorChannelPlus.com, GameandFishMag.com, Bowhunter.com, BowhuntingMag.com, and GunsandAmmo.com among others.