Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat


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.

Sept. 25 – National Hunting and Fishing Day.

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 Denison’s Hilton Garden Inn. For information, call Newt Wright at (918) 557-2622; Paul Terrell at (903) 267-4108; or visit www.ducks.org .

Oct. 23-31 – Oklahoma muzzleloader deer season.

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

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


Happy birthday to Will Burkhead, the youngest son of longtime Herald Democrat outdoor writer Lynn Burkhead. The younger Burkhead loves the outdoors just like his father does, now being a coordinating wildlife biologist for Quail Forever (www.quailforever.org ) in North Texas…The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation recently sent out a news release that recognizes that the Sooner State’s trout fisheries are a popular and important resource for both resident and non-resident anglers each year. To that end, ODWC announced that some new trout fishing regulations are going into effect this fall, all designed to help sustain Oklahoma’s good fishing for rainbow trout and brown trout now and well into the future. The agency will seek to accomplish that with new regulations that began on Sept. 11, 2021, regs that now allow anglers to harvest three trout per day instead of six in all special trout areas across the state. By reducing the daily limit to three, more trout will remain in the water for a longer period of time according to ODWC, keeping trout densities at a level that still provides a quality fishing experience to more anglers…If you fish for trout in Oklahoma, in spots like the Blue River near Tishomingo or the Lower Mountain Fork River near Broken Bow, then don't miss the full story on the regulations change in the latest issue of the Outdoor Oklahoma Journal... Tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 25, is designated as National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHF) across the nation and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is looking to celebrate and build on the event’s unique legacy. To do that, TPWD is launching a new initiative aimed at inviting more Texans into the outdoors according to an agency news release. That release says that the Lone Star State’s hunters and anglers are the ones who primarily fund the state’s wildlife management programs through the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses and stamps, as well as through taxes paid on hunting and fishing equipment, motorboat fuel, firearms and ammunition. This annually generates millions of dollars for conservation programs that benefit both game and non-game species statewide and TPWD is wanting to recognize that and spur on even more participation and conservation dollars being contributed. How can you help out? Simple, by taking someone hunting or fishing! “This year, in honor of National Hunting and Fishing Day, I challenge you to share your passion for the outdoors with someone new by providing an opportunity for them to hunt and fish,” said Carter Smith, TPWD executive director. “Not only will you help make lifelong memories, but you will help pass along one of the greatest gifts we can give future generations, a love of the great outdoors.”…One of the events around the state will take place when the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Game Warden Association combine to host the 3rd annual Cast Away Rods Guppy Cup KidFish this weekend on Saturday, September 25. The Gulf Coast competition will run in conjunction with the Galveston Island Shrimp Festival and National Hunting and Fishing Day…To find out more information about National Hunting and Fishing Day activities in Texas, visit www.tpwd.texas.gov...

Hunting Reports

Dove hunting reports are slow in much of North Texas, although the strong cool front this week should deposit some new migrating doves thanks to the strong northerly breeze…As the fall deepens, look for better dove hunting to begin to occur around native food sources like sunflowers, dove weed patches, and even stands of ragweed dropping small seeds. Also concentrate on waterholes as the recent warm and dry spell continues…Speaking of the north wind brought about by this week’s strong cool front, the combination of northerly breezes, the late dates of the month, and this week’s Harvest full moon should bring a few more blue-winged teal zipping into the Texomaland area…With archery deer seasons a few days away from their 2021 start on both sides of the Red River, most bucks around the area are out of their velvet and still in late summer and early fall feeding patterns…Early trail cam photos show another crop of big bucks across the Texomaland area, including a few record book contenders. Expect to see a few opening weekend big bucks fall if current weather and feeding patterns hold into early October…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temp is 76 degrees; and the lake is 1.73-feet low. TPWD reports that striped bass are good on live bait along the river channel with some topwater action 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...At Lake Ray Roberts, site of this year’s 51st Bassmaster Classic, water is lightly stained; water temp is 76 degrees; and the lake is 0.19 feet high. TPWD reports that white bass fishing is good on the early morning topwater bite, then it's good with anglers transitioning to deeper water later in the day while using slabs and jigging spoons 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 around timber, bridge columns, and in brush piles...At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temp is 80-degrees; and the lake is 1.46-feet low. TPWD advises largemouth bass anglers to try topwaters at first light on main lake points in 1-3-foot depths using a KVD Sexy Dawg. Later in the morning, try Shakyheads worms with GrandeBass Rattlesnakes or Lake Fork Tackle Baby Ring Fry in 5-8 feet of water…And finally, on the Texas Gulf Coast, the effects of recent Hurricane Nicholas continue to be felt, especially on the upper coast. At Sabine Lake, TPWD says that the water is still high after the Category 1 hurricane a couple of weeks ago, as well as from daily sea breeze showers. Small speckled trout are being caught in Coffee Ground Cove and at mid lake. TPWD advises anglers to look under the feeding birds in North Lake Sabine to find trout and redfish using Z-man glow chartreuse jig heads. Also try, drifting in 2-5 feet of water over shell reefs and mud…Further down the coast, near where Nicholas made landfall, at Freeport, TPWD says that the water levels have risen, scattering the fish. Drifting with a popping cork and shrimp will be your best bet for catches after Nicholas…At West Matagorda Bay, TPWD says that coastal fishing should really improve after the coming cold fronts blow through, lowering the water temperatures. The surf is excellent right now for trout and redfish…And finally, at Port Aransas, fall fishing patterns have begun in the intracoastal highway region and the fish are migrating from north to south with the beachline. The agency says that redfish have been on fire at the jetties in Port A in recent days, with live mullet, croaker, cut menhaden providing consistent action. Also, lots of big speckled trout in the 20-28 inch range have been caught along the jetties and surf on croaker and mullet freelined.

Tip of the Week

In just a few more weeks, 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.