Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
Herald Democrat


Through Oct. 31- Oklahoma dove season.

Through Nov. 6 – Texas early archery deer season.

Through Nov. 12 – First split of Texas North Zone dove season.

Through Jan. 15 - Oklahoma archery deer season.

Oct. 20 – 45th annual Texoma Ducks Unlimited fundraising dinner.

Oct. 24-Nov. 1 - Oklahoma primitive arms / muzzleloading deer season.

Oct. 31-Feb. 28 – Texas quail season.

Nov. 7-8 – Texas North Zone youth-only duck season.

Nov. 7-Jan. 3 – Texas North Zone general whitetail deer season.

Nov. 7-Jan. 3 – General whitetail deer season in Grayson County with means and methods of harvest restricted to lawful archery and crossbow gear.

Nov. 12 – Bryan County Ducks Unlimited Dinner at the Choctaw Events Center near Durant.

Nov. 14-29 –First split of the Texas North Zone duck season.

Nov. 14-29 – First split of Oklahoma Zone 2 duck season.

Nov. 14-Feb. 15 - Oklahoma quail season.

Nov. 21-Dec. 6 - Oklahoma deer gun season..


The Red River Fly Fishers have announced that due to COVID-19 social distancing recommendations, the local club is cancelling in person meetings through December 2020. “We hope to resume our meetings in January 2021,” said a statement on the group’s website at www.rrff.org .… After drawing a record crowd of 57,000+ to its three-day convention in Nashville last February, the National Wild Turkey Federation has announced plans to move its 2021 convention—the 45th in the NWTF’s history—to a virtual-only show in February. “Due to the ongoing pandemic and the inability to guarantee the health of convention-goers, the NWTF will be conducting its popular annual convention online in a format that will be announced at a later date,” said a news release…Renowned bowhunting authority Chuck Adams has taken a big pronghorn antelope, a mule deer, and a bull elk so far this fall, all three destined to qualify for the Pope and Young Club record book once the 60-day drying period is complete. When that happens, the trio of western big game animals should be record book entries #198, #199, and #200 for Adams. To see the complete story on Adams’ unprecedented bowhunting achievement, visit either Bowhunter.com or GameandFishMag.com… At the Bassmaster Elite Series event this week at the Santee-Cooper Lakes system, a big bass shootout was underway on Thursday afternoon at the famed South Carolina fishery. As B.A.S.S. anglers went to the weigh-in stage at press time, the unofficial BASSTrakk leader was Carl Jocumsen, the Australian born angler who lives in Frisco, with five bass weighing an estimated 25-pounds, 0-ounces. As the race for 2021 Bassmaster Classic qualification spots continues, Jocumsen was followed in the Top 5 by Brandon Palaniuk (19-5), Austin Felix (19-0), Steve Kennedy (17-0), and Cory Johnston (15-5). With the 2021 Classic looming at Lake Ray Roberts in six months, anglers will continue their quest in South Carolina today as the second of four days of competition gets underway. For more information, visit www.bassmaster.com …

Hunting Reports

The Texas archery deer season opened last weekend and the Grayson County big buck rumor mill is already at work. That’s because of a mid-week report that a photo surfaced of a huge buck supposedly taken near Dorchester last weekend…Meanwhile, a report of a potential Pope and Young Club state record non-typical buck has also come in from the King Ranch in deep South Texas. That multi-tined low-fenced giant has a reported net score of 260 5/8-inches…Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt bagged a Sooner State bruin with his bow last weekend while hunting in southeastern Oklahoma. ODWC reported the harvest on its social media sites, noting that the state’s black bear population is healthy and growing…While most local hunting focus has switched to archery deer hunts, the first split of dove season continues on for several more weeks. Down in South Texas, Denison wingshooter Kenny Conyers found the action to be very good on a recent hunt. “We hunted senderos that were natural flyways, but you had to watch where your birds went down and carefully pick your shots since they might wind up deep in a cactus patch where you couldn’t find them.” Conyers said some of the more experienced hunters in his group actually brought frog gigs along to retrieve birds that fell deep in the thorny stuff. In addition to watching out for rattlesnakes, Conyers said the group ate well with a big wild game cookout that featured plenty of grilled doves…Locally, dove hunting has slowed down as hunters wait for more mourning doves to push in from states up north…With a big cool front being advertised in long range forecasts, look for an uptick late next week in both the local dove hunting and deer hunting action…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temp is 76 degrees; and the lake level is 3.02 low. TPWD reports that striped bass and white bass are excellent on live bait, swimbaits, and topwater baits when fish are near the surface. At times, diving birds are marking feeding schools on the surface throughout the lake. Largemouth bass are good for those fishing black or purple Texas-rigged plastic worms and deep diving crankbaits in 16-28’ of water with some fish moving into shallow water in the 8-12’ range. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs by boathouses, timber and brush piles in 15-25’ of water...Staying on Lake Texoma, ODWC reports that striped bass are good on Alabama rigs and live shad fished around main lake areas and points. The Sooner State agency paints a different topwater picture for the big local lake, noting that surface action has been hit or miss at Texoma this past week depending on the day…At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 2021 Bassmaster Classic, water is lightly stained; water temp is 73 degrees; and the lake is 0.30 low. TPWD says that largemouth bass are fair on Carolina-rigged worms, deep diving crankbaits, and white spinnerbaits in 16-26’ of water near timber, rip rap, and channel edges. There is also an early and late topwater bite on points with a ledge or drop-off nearby. White bass are good in 20-40’ of water on slabs and jigging spoons fished near main lake flats, humps, and drop-offs. Crappie are fair on minnows in brush piles at depths between 18-28’…At Lake Fork, water is stained; water temp is 73 degrees; and the lake is 1.66 low. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are slow on slowly fished finesse worms and jigs in spots near standing flooded timber, on points, and near drop-offs. Crappie are slow on minnows in 18-25’ in brush piles and standing timber…As Oklahoma’s put-and-take rainbow trout season approaches its Nov. 1 start, there’s no word on current warmwater fishing action at the Blue River near Tishomingo…At Oklahoma's Arbuckle Lake, ODWC reports normal water levels and a water temp of 77 degrees. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are slow except at first light when the agency says that topwater lures are good off points. Anglers using a Shakyhead jig with a June bug plastic worm are doing well, while jigs are also producing occasional fair action…While the recent run of great fall fishing along the Texas Gulf Coast continues—it’s fall flounder season, after all—the approach of Hurricane Delta today will likely result in poor fishing over the weekend due to tropical storm force winds and rising water levels. If you want a sample of great fall fishing action on the saltwater, head for the Lower Texas Coast where conditions remain good. At Rockport, TPWD reports that the water temps are cooling down and angler numbers are declining. Spoons and topwaters are producing excellent results in many locations and the shipping channels are red-hot for redfish and speckled trout hitting live shrimp. Flounder are great around jetties and piers as well…At Port Aransas, TPWD says that bull reds are out in full force and are best caught on live shrimp or mullet. The North jetty and Redfish Bay are great for redfish and speckled trout right now on live shrimp or mullet. Flounder has been good on minnows as they move along the shoreline…At South Padre Island, TPWD reports that redfish and speckled trout are excellent and are in the flats on shrimp under a popping cork. The jetties also remain a steady hotspot....

Tip of the Week

While the Texas and Oklahoma archery deer seasons are still early, there are reports of rubs and scrapes starting to appear. If you find a cluster of rubs or a fresh scrape, that location might be worth a sit this weekend as mature bucks start abandoning early season food pattens, appear more often in daylight hours, and begin to transition towards the pre-rut phase later this month. On the other hand, sitting near an oak tree dropping acorns is also a good idea, particularly if it’s one of the rare white oaks that dot the Red River Valley region.