Robert Sloan's archive

“Committing to a healthier lifestyle continues to be one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions for millions of Americans,” said Bryan Frazier with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “And this year, Texas State Parks are providing more than 40 places where folks can do just that—many of which are located close to major metro areas.”

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Just before the duck season began, I talked with Jim Sutherlin, Upper Coast Wetland Ecosystem project leader, at the J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area in Port Arthur. Thanks to the drought, he wasn’t too sure how good the public duck hunts were going to be at this Southeast Texas hotspot. His thinking was that the ducks would get here but leave in short order due to an acute lack of food. Come to find out, big time numbers of birds are here, and duck hunts at the J.D.

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We easily had over a thousand geese circling the decoys Sunday morning, Dec. 11, and there was no doubt that they we’re coming on down, so it was no surprise when guide Evan Botsford, yelled for us to shoot ‘em.

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I don’t know if it’s possible to have a better duck season than what we have experienced so far. The first split came to a close on Nov. 27, and based on what I’ve seen and heard, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was dead on when they advised duck hunters to get set for a better than average season. The second half will run from Dec. 10 through Jan. 29 in both the north and south zones.

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A number of years, ago I did a grim deer-hunting story on a man that went into the woods and didn’t come out alive. I got a call from a game warden about a guy that left his house one afternoon to go deer hunting at a local club he belonged to that was not far from his house in Jasper. The man packed up his gear and told his wife he would be home shortly after dark. When he didn’t return late that evening, his wife called the sheriff’s department, which in turn called a game warden.

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