Outdoors

As one would suspect, the duck season opening weekend was a good one. Those that hunted spots with water and or food made quick work of limits. By far, teal were the most numerous birds that showed up on the stringers. There were also shovelars, pintail and widgeon also in fair numbers. Since the opening weekend, the last cool front pushed some gadwall and mallards into the area.

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Certainly we are on the edge of “D” day as this article is published, the D indicating the opening of both deer and duck seasons. Much time and expense has already been put forth just getting ready for these annual events. On the Friday before the deer season opener, our local major highways are packed to the gills with vehicles either carrying ATVs or pulling trailers with ATVs aboard. The deer hunters, being confident folks, will also be taking plenty of. The caravan reminds one of mass evacuation that we have witnessed before, except on a smaller scale.

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The first couple of weeks of November are two of the best you’ll experience on the right side of Texas. Deer and duck seasons are open, and fishing on Sabine Lake for trout and reds under the birds is red hot.

The entire month of November is prime time deer hunting in the Pineywoods. There is one reason why – bucks are in the rut and running does all over the place night and day. It’s not easy to get the jump on a mature buck, unless you hunt the rut.

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Just recently, I was kayaking on B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir near Jasper and couldn’t help but notice the number of tent and RV campers in the adjacent Martin Dies Jr. State Park. It was a cool Saturday morning and aside from folks cooking breakfast around their campsites, I saw hikers, bikers and lots of people on the water paddling rental canoes.

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The central zone dove season is already closed until Dec. 23 and the south zone is closing Oct. 30 until Dec. 23, but with duck, goose, and deer seasons opening Nov. 5, hunters are all smiles. And saltwater fishing on the inland lakes and bays could hardly be better. The speckled trout, redfish, croaker, sand trout and flounder are showing up in many coolers.

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Ah, sweet October – cooler weather and all the reds and trout you want to catch under the birds on Sabine Lake. It’s doesn’t get much better than that.

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During the times of the year where the prevailing winds are southeast with some due south and southwest thrown in, the marshes hold plenty of water. The past couple years the salt content, even back in the marshes, has been higher than normal. Many species of saltwater fish have been caught by anglers who were fishing for up into the rivers. Both the Neches River and the Sabine River have yielded some excellent catches of speckled trout, redfish, flounder, croaker and sand trout.

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With the great October fishing going on, it is a good idea not to overlook preparing for he upcoming duck, goose, quail, pheasant, turkey and general deer season. For one reason or the other, some folks including this writer will continue to procrastinate concerning preparing for hunting. There are a good number of things that should be taken care of before much more time slips away.

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The archery season on deer is open for the entire month of October, and once again bowhunters will be allowed to use both crossbows and compound bows in most Texas counties. The only county not allowing crossbows is Grayson.

The big question is what can hunters expect to see, now that we’re in the middle of the worst drought in Texas history? Without a doubt, white-tailed deer in Texas are facing tough conditions heading into the fall hunting season.

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Exit teal season, enter archery deer season and you have what’s happening for hunters in Texas. The icing on the dessert is that squirrel season, archery for Rio Grande turkey season, and javelina season mean there is no shortage of outdoor opportunities available.

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