Outdoors

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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I have gotten so many reports — mostly good — this week that I might not be able to cover them all. There are a couple of hunting seasons now open and another coming along soon. Fishing has been good in some places and excellent in others. There has also been some news concerning the drought’s effect on wildlife.

It is the time of year to finalize your hunting places and dates and to sight in rifles. Hey, folks, it is the early fall in Southeast Texas and things are beginning to happen, so it’s time to get ready.

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On the second morning of this month’s teal season, Beaumont’s Warren Claybar pretty much summed it up as four of us sat in a blind near Winnie with very few birds to shoot at.

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It normally takes some fairly strong cold fronts to put the flounder on the move. That has not been the case this year. At least it hasn’t been the case for those anglers that are going after them primarily.

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It does seem more like the beginning of summer than the beginning of fall. There was an extended winter last year with very little springtime before the hot summer began. With a cold dry fall and a hot dry summer, many of the duck ponds have disappeared. With the bluewing teal already migrating into our area, the folks that have water will have teal.

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