Outdoors

There seems to be one cold front behind the other now coming through Southeast Texas. For those of us that prefer staying warm, the cold is only tolerable. For those of us that enjoy the lower temperatures, the cold fronts are welcome. I’ll say here that what is cold in Southeast Texas is not cold in the more northern areas. That is unless you add in the wind and humidity. That situation does close the cold gap.

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A few days ago, I was at a South Texas feed store that also sells deer blinds and feeders. Something caught my eye — three blinds. One was painted in UT burnt orange, another was Texas A&M maroon and the other was hot pink in honor of breast cancer awareness. I mentioned something in regards to the traditional camouflage green stands to the salesman. The guy laughed and said they had actually sold quite a few of the odd colored blinds. It seems that deer no longer care what color the blind or feeder is as long as it’s still slinging tasty nuggets of corn.

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When sitting in an East Texas deer stand before daylight, there is time to reminisce about all sorts of things. The first sign of the coming sunrise is the raspy sound of the thrashers. These little chatterers seem to always be around to usher in the new day.

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It’s big deer time in South Texas and Beaumont hunter Danny Byrom didn’t waste any time in tagging the best deer of his life while hunting on his brother’s ranch in Uvalde. Danny shot his first deer three years ago at the age of 60. That was a 10-pointer.

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Yes, we can have trees with color in our yards. Folks might not make an annual pilgrimage here to see our leaves change color as they do where climates are colder, but if you make the right choices with trees, you can watch your own leaves become orange, purple, red and yellow.

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Even though the water temperature on Sabine Lake is slowly dropping, it’s still an unseasonably warm 66.5 degrees. That’s good news for flounder fishermen on the lower end of the lake and in the pass. Guide Jerry Norris says he’s never seen the flounder fishing as good as it is right now.

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There are several places that allow public waterfowl hunting for a minimal amount of money. The McFadden national Wildlife Refuge between Sabine Pass and High Island offers several different hunt situations. The area known as the Spaced Blind Hunt Unit is the Star Lake/Clam Lake Hunt Unit. This area has a $10 fee per hunter. The Central Hunt Unit and the Mud Bayou Hunt Unit are non-fee hunts. There are specific days when hunting is allowed. On the Spaced Blind Units, the hunts are Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday.

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There has been much ado about the fall fishing in the inland saltwater lakes and bays. By November, there are huge schools of speckled trout showing up. Add to that the annual flounder run and the schools of beautiful bronze colored redfish, and you have fall fishing in Southeast Texas. That being as it may, and nature being what it is, the fall action, although still great, has not been what it usually is. Not bad, just different in some cases. I’ve made several trips into Lake Sabine lately, and fish catching was unusual.

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The first split of the duck season closed with a bang on Nov. 25, with lots of great reports coming in from hunters at the J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area and the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge. The second half of the duck season will open Dec. 8 and run through Jan. 27.

Goose hunts have been hit and miss. Best shoots have been on windy days over rice or plowed fields west of Beaumont in the Winnie area.

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It’s hard to believe, but the sweet potato plant is a cousin of the morning glory. Go figure! These big bright green vining leaves are what many gardeners are after. Whether you choose to use this savory beauty as an ornamental or as a crop is your choice.

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