Outdoors

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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Christian Frillou of Orangefield caught this largemouth bass weighing 11.1 lbs o

Keith Lake fish pass was loaded with fishermen on Good Friday. Some were on the bank, but most were in boats and fishing with anything from live shrimp to fresh-caught mullet. The only problem was a lack of fish. After Rocky Chase had caught a couple of undersized reds, we made the decision to crank up and head across Keith Lake to the south shoreline and fish protected water with jigs, topwater plugs and Wakers. That’s where we found a limit of reds.

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Chuck Simmons used a 4-inch Big Bite craw tube to catch this Lake Waco bass and

I just got in from a bass fishing road trip that took me from Sam Rayburn to Lake Waco in five days. This is definitely my favorite time of year to target bass. They are up shallow and spawning. It’s the only time of year in Texas when you can actually see bass on the beds. And if you hit it just right the fishing can be phenomenal.

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A snake-eating snake, this rarely photographed 7-foot long indigo was seen on a
Bald eagle resting after being shot from the nest by a teen.

This has been one of the warmest winters on record for Texas, and with all that sunshine comes bad news in the form of snakes.

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Sabine Lake guide Jerry Norris with one of many trout caught on 5-inch Shad Assa

We didn’t leave the dock until about 10:30 last Thursday morning, but it really didn’t matter. The weather was drop-dead perfect for fishing on Sabine Lake.

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