hunting

 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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Big Thicket National Preserve Superintendent Wayne Prokopetz announced today that the preserve will start issuing this season’s free hunting permits on Saturday, September 1. Available 2018/2019 permits will be issued until February 28, 2019.

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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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Faith, Kennedy and Grace Vaughan posing with hunted Geese near China.

January is one of the very best months to be a duck hunter. The regular gun season on deer is closed across most of the state, and with that down time, it’s easy to work in more waterfowl hunts. It’s cold, there are very few mosquitoes, snakes are scarce and more birds are moving into freshwater ponds and the coastal marsh with each passing cold front.

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Wild hogs captured by night vision camera

Pigs make white-tailed deer look stupid. It’s a fact that deer can become fairly predictable. Where you see them one day, you’ll more than likely see them the next in the same area, especially if you’re sitting in a blind watching a feeder. On the flip side, pigs are capable of being here, there and everywhere on any given day or night.

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Buddy Oaks photo of three men holding flounder fish

Flounder are some of the wackiest fish we’ll ever catch, but more often than not, they can save the day. That was the case last week during our first good blast of cold air. A few days ago, I was talking to guide Buddy Oaks across the border at the Hackberry Rod and Gun Club. That’s about 30 minutes east of Sabine Lake. He got to talking about their great catches of flounder and sent me a photo. Three guys at the club fished jigs at the mouths of bayous to catch a box full of flounder to four pounds.

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deer are set to be moving and looking for food in this week's cold front

Our first good blast of cold air arrived this week, and that will guarantee that both hunters and fishermen will be getting the jump on game and fish across Texas.

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Allie Thorpe hunting on Running Bear Ranch near Fredericksburg

As we move into the holidays, there will be a whole lot of deer hunters heading out in hopes of filling tags and stocking up on venison. The good news is that this is about the time that lots of does and bucks begin showing up at corn feeders in the Pineywoods and the Hill Country. That makes it a lot easier to fill doe tags, and maybe get a shot at a pig or turkey. December is definitely one of the finest months to be in the hunt for deer – it’s cool and we have very few pesky mosquitoes to contend with.

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Thanksgiving is not exactly a turkey’s dream come true. But for deer hunters it’s always nice to get lucky and harvest a turkey for the holidays. 

If it wasn’t for the Rio Grande turkeys, we wouldn’t have much of a turkey hunting season. The Rio Grande turkey is by far the most populous and widest-ranging wild turkey subspecies in our state. The other two subspecies with populations in Texas are the eastern turkey and the Merriam’s turkey.

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