Outdoors

Opening day of deer season in Texas is Saturday, Nov. 3. That’s the most anticipated opening day of hunting for over a million hunters in the Lone Star state. It’s estimated that Texas has around 4.6 million white-tailed deer, which are among the most popular big game animals in the nation. Deer hunting brings in more than 2 billion dollars each year, and as fall comes to Texas hunters begin gearing up for another season. The general gun season runs through Jan. 6 in North Texas and Jan. 20 in South Texas.

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The season opener on teal and doves was pretty much  a wash out. But all that changed with a full moon and a north wind last weekend. Instead of getting hammered by rain, a whole lot of hunters on ponds and in the marsh dropped easy limits of teal.

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The Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center will be reopening, after closing for more than a year due to Hurricane Harvey, Wednesday, Sept. 12. Admission is free; however, due to the flooding from Harvey, the Outpost Tours will be under repair and therefore suspended until early 2019. The Exhibit Hall will also be closed. Though it has been closed for some time the garden is ready for visitors again. 

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 With the dove hunting opener fast approaching it’s time to get geared up with everything from a new hunting license to shotgun shells.

The new 2018-19 hunting and fishing licenses went on sale last week. Now is a good time to go ahead and renew. If you wait until the day before dove season opens you could be stuck standing in line for a good while. The most popular license is the Super Combo that includes both hunting and fishing and stamps. That way you’ve got everything on one piece of paper.

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Another season of dove hunting begins Saturday, Sept. 1. That’s when the North and Central Zones will open, and the regular season of the South Zone will open Friday, Sept. 14. One thing is certain: It’s not going to be much cooler then. With that in mind, you might want to start making short walks around the neighborhood to kind of get yourself in shape for hunting in steamy weather. Ditto that for your retriever.

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Joshua Davis

Memorials, objects that serve to remind of a person or event, have been erected for various people, occasions and organizations from the Haymarket Martyr Memorial to the National September 11th Memorial & Museum. Memorials serve a much-needed function for citizens to remember and, therefore, live with a greater passion. The Big Thicket is now host to one of these remembrances thanks to Joshua Davis, West Brook freshman.

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Buddy Oaks photo

This past weekend was one to forget if you had plans on being outdoors. With temperatures in the 40s and a gusting, cold and wet wind, it was the perfect weekend for watching the Masters golf tournament. But believe it or not, if the weather is not topsy-turvy, there’s some pretty good fishing to be had.

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Corky fishing lures

Without a doubt, the best lure you can tie on and fish for trophy trout right now is a Corky. It’s the lure Jim Wallace used to catch the state record rod and reel trout weighing 13.11 pounds. It’s a classic mullet imitator, which is why it’s so good at catching big trout from Sabine Lake on down to the Laguna Madre. There are three types of these lures made: the Paul Brown Original, the Fat Boy and the Soft Dine.

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Cold and wet weather put the skids to fishing on inland lakes and bays last weekend, but with a decent warming trend this week, things should pick up.

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Cool weather flowers

Just when you think one more day of dreary drizzly weather will send you straight to Mexico, you see a patch of colorful winter blooms that cheer you up. February is when I need a splash of color the most. We seldom freeze, but our cool weather temperatures have scared away most of our summer bloomers by now. But think about cheery pansies, snapdragons, ornamental kale, English daisies and my favorites, primrose and cyclamen. We can enjoy them here until temperatures start to climb in late spring.

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