Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat


Through Oct. 31 –Oklahoma dove season first split.

Through Nov. 12 – Texas North Zone dove hunting first split.

Sept. 11-20 – Oklahoma special resident Canada goose season.

Sept. 11-26 - Texas early teal season.

Sept. 11-26 - Texas early Canada goose season.

Sept. 11-26 – Oklahoma early teal season.

Oct. 1-Jan. 15 – Oklahoma archery deer season.

Oct. 2-Nov. 5 - Texas archery deer season.

Oct. 2-17 - Texas pronghorn antelope season.

Oct. 14 – Bryan County Ducks Unlimited Dinner at Choctaw Casino.

Oct. 19 – Texoma Ducks Unlimited Dinner at Loy Lake Park’s Mayor Arena.

Oct. 23-31 – Oklahoma muzzleloader deer season.

Oct. 30-Feb. 27 – Texas quail hunting season.

Oct. 31-Dec. 14 – Oklahoma woodcock season.


The Texoma Chapter of Ducks Unlimited is getting ready for its 46th annual fundraiser, moving from Loy Lake Park's Mayor Arena last year back to the Hilton Garden Inn in Denison this fall. This year’s Texoma DU dinner is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 19 and will see the doors open up at 6 p.m. According to a DU e-mail, tickets are $60 in advance for singles and there are also sponsor options available with a variety of ticket numbers attached to each level. The sponsorship levels are $300 for Bronze, $750 for Silver, and $1,500 for Gold. For tickets, sponsorship information, and local banquet information, call either Newt Wright at (918) 557-2622 or Paul Terrell at (903) 267-4108. For information on the national organization, or to purchase tickets online, visit www.ducks.org...As noted last week, the 25th anniversary year for TPWD's Big Time Texas Hunts is now underway and entries are available online for $9 each. The agency says that entries are also available for $10 each at license retailers around the state or by calling 1-800-895-4248. The deadline to purchase Big Time Texas Hunts entries is in a couple of months on October 15 and the agency says that winners will be announced within two weeks of that date. For more information on these hunts and how to enter, please visit TPWD's website at www.tpwd.texas.gov... TPWD has announced that the short film, “Bayou City”, has been nominated for a 2021 Jackson Wild Media Award in the Ecosystem – Short Film category. According to the Austin-based agency, the short film explores the 22 diverse bayou systems found throughout the city of Houston…

Hunting Reports

Dove hunting reports have gotten much more spotty in the aftermath of last week’s opening day barrage…While great shooting was still found by some hunters—including those at North Texas Outfitters this past Labor Day weekend—others found their Sept. 1st honey holes dried up. That included Sherman’s Jim Lillis and Gainesville’s Phil Bellows, who found spotty shooting on Labor Day out near Wichita Falls just days after opening bell limits. Meanwhile, other normal hotspots like the Panhandle region and the area near Stamford saw slim dove numbers according to reports on TexasHuntingForum.com…Now that the local doves have been scattered by the intense shooting pressure in many areas, hunters must now give their hunting spots some rest. Also helping out will be any frontal passages from the north that bring new birds into the state…As the 2021 early teal season gets ready to kick off this weekend, there are scattered good reports around the state. Playa lakes in the Panhandle are reporting good numbers, as are the rice prairies and coastal marsh areas southwest of the Houston area…Locally, teal are coming and going in their typical fashion. One waterfowler in Grayson County saw a big flock of bluewing teal a couple of weeks ago, although they had vacated the premises the very next day. The same thing happened in the same exact spot earlier this week as two small flocks buzzed in one afternoon, only to be gone early the next morning…Reports on TexasHuntingForum.com show some fair bluewing teal numbers out west towards Abilene and even Midland, and some superb numbers along the coast on water in the rice prairie region…This weekend also marks the opening bell for resident geese in Texas and Oklahoma. With resident Canada goose flocks slowly building over the years, if you’ve got a good spot scouted out where the big ganders are regularly coming in, you can get a good shoot or two before they move on elsewhere…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temps are 86-89 degrees; and the lake is 0.92 feet low. TPWD says that striped bass are good on live bait fished along the river channel with some topwater action still occurring at sunrise. White bass are good on silver slabs and white swimbaits. Largemouth bass are good for those fishing Flukes, Shakyhead jigs, crankbaits and Texas-rigged plastic worms. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs fished near boathouses, timber near a channel, and brush piles...On the Oklahoma side of the two-state reservoir, ODWC game warden Garrett Beam reports that striper fishing this past week has continued to get better with striped bass being reported as fair on Alabama-rigs, Flukes, live shad, soft plastic swimbaits, Sassy Shad, and slabs fished below the dam, along main lake flats, in the main lake itself, and around points. Striper are also being caught near Washita Point on live shad, slabs, and Alabama-rigs. Striped bass anglers are also catching lots of striper below Denison Dam too... At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 51st Bassmaster Classic earlier this year, water is lightly stained; water temp is 87 degrees; and the lake is 0.03 feet high. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are fair on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and jigs fished near timber, rip rap, and drop-offs. White bass are good with some topwater action early in the day, with anglers seeking sand bass in 30-40-feet of water later in the day near underwater structure as they use slabs and jigs. Crappie are fair on minnows fished around timber, bridge columns, and in brush piles...At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temps are 87-90 degrees; and the lake is 1.94 feet low. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are good. The early morning bite is happening in water depths of 2-5-feet for anglers using Z-man Chatterbaits. The mid-morning bite is in 10-15-feet of water and around the bream beds for those using Carolina- or Texas-rigs with 10-inch worms in blue or green flake. Transitioning to midday, successful anglers are using shad-colored deep diving Bill Norman DD-22 crankbaits. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs fished near brush piles, bridges, and timber...At Oklahoma's McGee Creek, the lake elevation is below normal and the water temp is 86 degrees. According to Atoka County game warden Jay Harvey, largemouth bass and spotted bass are fair on crankbaits, jigs, and soft plastic baits fished in coves, around points, and near submerged rocks...At the Blue River near Tishomingo, the river elevation is normal, the water is clear, and the water temp is 82 degrees. ODWC reports that largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass are good on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and topwater lures fished around brushy structure, rocks, and the stream's shoreline areas...At the Lower Mountain Fork River near Broken Bow, the year round trout fishery continues to fish well with ODWC reporting good action for rainbow trout on PowerBait, Tube Jigs, and worms. For fly anglers, try caddis fly dry patterns, caddis fly nymph patterns, and worm patterns along the creek channels and spillway zone…On the Texas Gulf Coast, at the Bolivar Peninsula near Galveston, TPWD says that the first bull redfish of fall and slot redfish are being caught on mullet and squid. Lots of sharks are being caught on the beach and the jetty area by anglers using horse mullet and stingray for bait. Flounder in the jetty region are biting mullet, minnows, and artificial lures as the fall flounder run starts to approach. Speckled trout and sand trout are in the jetty zone, biting shrimp too. And as always, crabbing for blue crabs in the area remains excellent...At Port O'Connor, TPWD says that fishing is excellent in the Matagorda jetties region. Speckled trout are being caught on large shrimp and croaker fished in 20-30-feet of water. Redfish are being caught on dead sardines and dead shrimp. Black-tip sharks and bonnet sharks are biting anything that anglers are casting cast. And as social media photos are showing, tarpon have been rolling at the end of the jetties...At Port Aransas, TPWD says that summertime fishing patterns still persist. Tarpon are at the jetties on live mullet while redfish are also near the jetties in 30-feet of water on live shrimp. Speckled trout are plentiful on shrimp too. Keep in mind that sharks are in the surf around the bait balls, so TPWD says to please fish with caution...

Tip of the Week

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has announced that it is currently accepting applications for the agency's 65th Texas Game Warden Cadet class, which begins later next month. All cadets who are accepted into the program are required to live at the Game Warden Training Center near Hamilton, Texas, for the duration of the 33-week training period. That training is set to begin in October 2022. For more information on becoming a game warden and to see the agency’s requirements for being considered, please visit the state’s game warden career page at https://tpwd.texas.gov/warden/recruiting-careers/career . Information can also be obtained by e-mailing Texas game warden recruiter Chelsea Bailey at chelsea.bailey@tpwd.texas.gov or by calling the agency toll-free at 1-800-792-1112.