Outdoors

Deer photo by Robert Sloan

This past weekend was the opener of deer season across Texas and the duck season in the South Zone. It was the one weekend when hundreds of thousands of Texas hunters put on the camo, loaded their favorite gun and headed outdoors.

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Robert Sloan

The cold front that moved through Southeast Texas last weekend was a game changer that will set up some excellent deer hunting for the opener Nov. 4. Plus, it definitely moved a lot of ducks down the Central Flyway and into the coastal marshes and backwater lakes for the South Zone opener this weekend. And don’t forget about the fishing. The topwater bite on Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend is going strong, and along the coast, black drum and bull reds are on a big run.

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Robert Sloan

Last Sunday morning, the perfect storm blew through Southeast Texas, one that could easily sink boats.

“I got up at 7 a.m., went outside and the wind was dead calm,” says Sabine Lake guide Jerry Norris. “The forecast was showing that the front would be moving through around noon, or maybe a little earlier. We had been catching a lot of trout on the north end of the lake, and it was tempting to load the boat and head out. But having been caught on the water with a cold front moving through, we decided to cancel the trip and set up for another day.”

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The good news is that the teal season is open through Sept. 24, but the bad news is that most of the very popular public hunting areas in Southeast Texas are closed due to the wrath of Hurricane Harvey. But with a well-timed cool front last week and the full moon Sept. 6, we had a load of teal migrate down the Central Flyway and settle into flooded fields in this region of Texas.

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We’re just a couple of weeks away from the opening of dove seasons across Texas, and that is going to be followed up by the mid-September teal season, with the bow season on deer the first week of October. It’ll all be here before you know it, and right now is the right time to start getting ready for bird hunts. It all starts with getting your new hunting and fishing license, which is on sale right now.

All current Texas hunting and fishing licenses expire Aug. 31.

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Canoers and kayakers will abound during the second annual Village Creek Classic Canoe and Kayak Race on Saturday, Aug. 5, beginning at 8 a.m. The Silsbee Chamber of Commerce will host this fundraising event, which begins at Highway 327 and ends at Baby Galvez. There will be free parking at First Baptist Church (350 Highway 96 S.) and shuttle service for participants, boats and spectators. The rental and non-rental entry fee is $40 per person or $75 for parent/child duo in four race categories: Adventure Seeker, Passionate Paddler, Elite Sponsor and Creek Clean-Up.

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Being a Texas game warden is not all that easy and at times it can be downright grizzly with lives on the line. It involves extensive night work and dealing with scum of the earth that are most often carrying guns, liquored up and downright mean. I’ve rounded up some of the trials and tribulations that Texas wardens run into on a daily basis. Some are comical, while others are downright crazy.

Sam Rayburn Jet Ski without a driver

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Photo courtesy of Shangri La

Every Wednesday until Aug. 16, from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center will be hosting family-friendly educational programs. These programs are included with the cost of admission. Space is limited for Wild Wednesday programs, so reserve a spot by calling (409) 670-0803 or online at shangrilagardens.org.

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The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced that an agreement has been reached with the National Marine Fisheries Service to extend the 2017 recreational red snapper season by 39 weekend days in the Gulf of Mexico for recreational anglers.

Red snapper fishing will reopen for private recreational anglers in the Gulf out to 200 miles every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including Monday and Tuesday of the July Fourth holiday and the Monday of Labor Day. This 39-day season opened June 16. State seasons will run congruently with the federal season.

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What is the greatest thing about living on the right side of Texas? The outdoor options – it’s that simple.

Unfortunately the cold front that moved through Southeast Texas last weekend is probably the last one we’ll see for a while. But for the time being we’ve got some mild weather to deal with and if you’re looking to have to fun outdoors now is the time to get there.

Get into crabbing

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