Outdoors

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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I love snakes. NOT! In fact, in my way of thinking, the only good snake is a dead snake. And yes, I know that there are a lot of “good” snakes that keep the rodent population under control around our homes. That was going through my mind this week as I dispatched not one but two big rat snakes that just about gave me heart failure.

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 The latest report that I’ve received concerning the drought in the Texas Hill Country has been spotty, at best. The ranches that are in similar areas have different reports, at times. What seems to be the difference is that the ranches may be only a few miles apart and one has gotten a little rain while the other hasn’t. There is also the element of natural creeks or rivers and the presence of water tanks that are not dried up. No matter whether a ranch contains all of the water positives or none of them, it is super dry in the Hill Country.

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It’s been a long hot summer and it’s not nearly over yet, but hunting is on the horizon and Sept. 1 is the opener on doves, with teal up shortly after that. And before you know, it we’ll be getting up at 4 a.m. to make a duck hunt. With that in mind, it’s time to think about how the statewide Texas drought is going to impact duck hunts.

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Tarpon fishing along much of the Gulf Coast usually comes to life in June and gets better as we head in the hot months of August and September. Many are caught in October, or until the cool fronts begin to chill the water. In fact, the Texas state record tarpon was caught on Oct 4, 2006.

So where is the best place to fish for tarpon along the Gulf Coast? Based on personnel experience, you can’t go wrong out of Venice, La. Along the Texas coast, tarpon fishing can be pretty darned good from the Sabine jetties and on down the coast around Port O’Connor.

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I was discussing the upcoming archery deer season with Gary Cox, owner of Trophy Hunter’s Archery in Lumberton last week. Cox indicated that each year more and more folks were becoming involved in not only the deer hunting, but also all sorts of other hunting offerings. Feral hogs have become really a top-notch challenge for archers. There is an overabundance of the feral pigs, and archers are chomping at the bit to go after them.

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August is right here upon us, and that is normally the month when all sorts of outdoor activity is either happening or right around the corner.

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I have not abandoned writing about freshwater fishing. Normally by mid-summer, the saltwater action has taken precedence. That doesn’t mean that the sweetwater action has ceased. According to Rayburn professional guide Will Kirkpatrick, the topwater action is really good. The secret is to be on the water when first light appears in the east.

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