Billy Halfin's archive

The South Texas whitetail deer season will close on Jan. 15. There are 30 Texas counties that are affected by the season closing. After that, the spike and antlerless season will continue in 209 North Texas counties. The antlerless and spike season will be from Jan. 16 through 29 in 30 South Texas counties.

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Where the outdoors is concerned, 2011 has really been an unusual year. Even back into latter 2010, there was a definite shortage of rainfall. That situation has continued until even now. Sure, we have enjoyed some good showers in Southeast Texas, but the big lakes are all still at a very low level. But all in all, there have been many more positive things that have taken place than negative ones.

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With the cold fronts beginning to reach our area in greater numbers, the waters in our inland lakes and bays have cooled. The hoards of baitfish and shrimp that the north winds push from the marshes and bayous have mostly all gone out by now. With that situation, the anglers that are knowledgeable about fishing the cold water will be exposed to some really big fish. Speckled trout and redfish are the more available varieties, but the flat fish do show up from time to time.

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Thanksgiving has come and gone, and it seems as though most folks around our area fared well. Certainly there are exceptions to that, but for the most part things locally in the outdoors are good. Even with the drought curtailing food growth for the deer, they continue to feed mostly at night. That has been the case, in my experience, no mater the moon phase. Even so, there have been some really fine bucks taken in East Texas, which is nothing unusual. Their body condition is not as good because of the drought, but all in all they are not in bad shape.

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As we are getting into the Thanksgiving mood and then comes Christmas, most of the outdoor folks are deeply involved in hunting. There are many seasons now open, with the majority of the hunting being either waterfowl or deer. But we are now also into some of the better inland saltwater fishing action of the year.

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