Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

Calendar

Through Sept. 20 – Oklahoma special resident Canada goose season.

Through Sept. 26 - Texas early teal season.

Through Sept. 26 - Texas early Canada goose season.

Through Sept. 26 – Oklahoma early teal season.

Through Oct. 31 –Oklahoma dove season first split.

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

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.

Nov. 6-Jan. 2 – Texas North Zone general whitetail season.

Nov. 6-Jan. 2 – General whitetail season in Grayson and Collin Counties with the means and method of take restricted to lawful archery and crossbow gear.

Nov. 6-Jan. 16 – Texas South Zone general whitetail season.

Nov. 13-28 - Texas North Zone duck season first split.

Nov. 13-28 – Oklahoma Zone 2 duck season first split.

Nov. 13-Feb. 15 – Oklahoma quail season.

Nov. 20-Dec. 5 – Oklahoma gun deer season.

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

Dec. 4-Jan. 30 – Texas North Zone duck season second split.

Dec. 4-Jan. 30 – Oklahoma Zone 2 duck season second split.

Dec. 17 - Jan. 2 - Texas North Zone dove hunting second split.

Dec. 18-Jan. 31 – Texas woodcock season.

Notes

TPWD game wardens patrolled more than 2,500 hours throughout the recent Labor Day holiday weekend, working to ensure that boaters and anglers had a safe, relaxing, and legal end to the summer boating season. “With last year’s sharp increase in water-related tourism and accidents, our agency took every precaution available to ensure the safety of all visitors on the water and in our parks,” said Cody Jones, assistant commander for TPWD Marine Enforcement, said in a news release. “We had 354 Texas Game Wardens on patrol and they made contact with at least 3,770 vessels on the water confirming everyone aboard was equipped with life vests, children were supervised, and boats followed state law.”…TPWD notes that its game wardens made 13 arrests over the Labor Day weekend, along with issuing 782 citations and warnings, a number that was up 100 from a year ago. The agency says that the charges included several cases of suspected boating or driving while intoxicated…TPWD says that the ramp up in game warden patrols this year, partnered with boater education outreach program efforts, combined to lead to the biggest success of the weekend, a 43-percent decrease in boating related accidents and 50-percent decrease in open water drownings since last year…“For me, the numbers are an indicator that what we are doing is working.” said Jones, in the news release. “Continuing to partner in communities across Texas, educating boaters while also supporting our wardens in the field with state-of-the-art equipment, new technology, and sophisticated training all pushes us to our goal of zero fatalities and zero boating accidents. Until then, we will remain vigilant.”…

Hunting Reports

Dove hunting reports continue to be spotty, with some hunters seeing little in the way or mourning doves or white-winged doves while others like those hunting with Dakota Stowers and his North Texas Outfitters guides have found a bit more good shooting…Talking to another longtime Texomaland dove hunting enthusiast, normally red-hot shooting conditions out in the area southwest of Wichita Falls have been slow at best this year, despite plenty of food and water around.  The keys to any good dove shoot right now are scouting for fresh concentrations of birds, having some reliable nearby waste grain or native food resources, and some water. Either hunt the food, hunt the water, or get in the middle and hunt the flyways the birds are cruising through…Early teal season reports are also spotty in the Red River Valley. While a few hunters have gotten some bluewings over the last several days, not many good reports have been received. Hopefully, the coming September full moon, the coming cool front, and the urge to migrate will push some bluewings and greenwings through over the season’s final week…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temp is 80 degrees; and the lake is 1.45 feet low. TPWD says that striped bass are good on live bait along the river channel with some topwater action occurring at sunrise. White bass are good on silver slabs and white swimbaits. Largemouth bass are good 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…At Lake Ray Roberts, site of this summer’s 51st Bassmaster Classic, water is lightly stained; water temp is 80 degrees; and the lake is 0.15 feet high. TPWD says that white bass fishing is good on the early morning topwater bite, with anglers then transitioning to deeper water later in the day with slabs and jigging spoons fished on points, humps, and ridges. Largemouth bass are fair on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and jigs fished near timber, rip rap, and drop-offs. Crappie are fair on minnows fished around timber, bridge columns, and in brush piles…At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temp is 82 degrees; and the lake is 1.42 feet low. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are good, especially on the early morning bite in water depths of 2-5-feet for anglers using Z-Man Chatterbaits. The mid-morning bite is also good in 10-15-feet of water, as well as the bream beds for anglers using Carolina or Texas-rigs with 10-inch plastic worms in either blue or green flake. Finally, midday anglers are finding success using shad-colored deep-diving Bill Norman DD-22 crankbaits. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs fished near brush piles, bridges, and timber…Finally, on the middle Texas Gulf Coast, TPWD says that after the passage of 75-mph Category 1 Hurricane Nicholas this week near Freeport, the fishing should be interesting in the coming days near East and West Matagorda Bay. How so? The agency says that “In the wake of Hurricane Nicholas, we should see an influx of fish in the bay. Historically, after a hurricane, baitfish is pushed up, and species of fish not typically found in the area are pushed north to us for a few weeks until they migrate back south. Redfish should be in herds up and down the banks. Wade fishing for trout in the surf will be good as the surf clears.”

Tip of the Week

A month from now, the Texoma Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will be putting the finishing touches on the local quacker backer group’s 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.