Improving wildlife populations is all about habitat management. Landowners can improve deer hunting through wildlife management practices, but white-tailed deer still need high quality native goods. An early and abundant acorn crop, combined with new growth of native vegetation may force Texas deer hunters to stray from supplemental food sources during the 2009-2010 general deer hunting season, which opens November 7.
Reports from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department field biologists indicate above average mast crop production and an early acorn drop. Recent rains across much of the state have also helped generate forb production, adding to the availability of native food sources for whitetail. “It’s been at least three years since ground moisture has been this good at this time of year,” said Mike Krueger, TPWD district wildlife biologist in Kerrville. “It looks like springtime in the Edwards Plateau at this time.” Continue reading
Although many flounder are taken by rod and reel, “floundering” or gigging offers the best challenge for this Gulf species. The flounder’s habit of entering the shallow waters at night to feed makes the flatfish vulnerable to thin-water giging. Flounder fishing is best during the Gulfward migration from October through December. During this time, lanterns and spotlights can be seen in and around the pass areas as anglers wade through the shallows in search of the elusive flounder.
Gigs ranging from single-pronged to modified hay forks are often used to spear the fish. The fishermen wade quietly along the shallows looking for flounder lying flat on the bottom. Once the flounder is within the light from the lantern, normally it will not move, allowing the fisherman a chance to “gig” the fish. Although this sounds like a sure-fire method, many fish are missed because they go undetected until they swim away or because of inaccurate gigging by an over-anxious fisherman. Continue reading
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) personnel are being pulled in to assist with fish kill assessments this week, as TPWD continues to monitor and assess red tide on the lower and central Texas coast. The current red tide event began about 10 days ago, originating on and affecting primarily the southern coast but extending up toward Mustang Island State Park. It is possible that a cool front late last week reduced the current red tide on the central coast, and a similar front later this week could do likewise.
However, there have been new reports of dead fish on the southern coast, including the first confirmed report of red tide in the Laguna Madre near Mansfield Pass. The current bloom has been relatively mild compared with some larger events in past years, but it has caused dead fish to wash onto beaches and produced a mild to moderate airborne aerosol that can cause human respiratory distress. Red tide has no negative impact on migrating waterfowl. During a red tide bloom, TPWD posts daily Web updates each weekday that allow beach visitors and news media to track the latest developments. Continue reading
Dave Lefebre won the Toyota Texas Bass Classic that was held October 16-18 on Lake Conroe. And the bass angler did so in dramatic fashion. The Pennsylvania native caught his last largemouth bass of the day with only 15 minutes left on the lake, which was all he needed to edge ahead of the pack. Lefebre caught only four ounces more than second place Andy Montgomery.The bass fishing tournament successfully wrapped up Sunday evening with the crowning of the inaugural Professional Anglers Association (PAA) Tournament Series World Champion.
The unique event focused on conservation and featured a catch and release program that highlighted the efforts of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Prior to the final day’s weigh-in, tournament backers presented the TPWD with a $250,000 donation, to go towards youth fishing and outreach programs across Texas. Dozens of TPWD employees in various divisions were involved, from helping plan and promote the event to helping run outreach activities and otherwise assisting on site this past weekend. Chalk the Toyota Texas Bass Classic up as a hit. Continue reading
Texas has a handfull of gigantic white-tailed bucks harvested each year. The number of truly impressive bucks taken by bowhunters makes up a small amount of those big deer, but archers do get a few. While most hunters are trying or preparing to get their buck this season, TPWD Game Warden Eric Minter is all smiles. That’s because this past week the Kaufman County warden found himself as the lucky hunter staring down the buck of a lifetime! Yes indeed, Minter put his own tag on a whopper 27-point non-typical buck!
The buck has not been scored, but the multi-tined monster should score well above the 200-inch mark on the non-typical side of the scoring sheet. “I’ve been kind of leery of telling everybody just yet because I don’t know what he scores and I don’t want to guess and it be a lot lower or higher than I expected,” Minter said. “But this is unbelievable.” Continue reading
White-tailed deer are amazing animals and they have adapted to live almost anywhere in the United States, from rurual to urban areas and anywhere in between. When it comes to wildlife management, deer have no problem increasing in numbers. In fact, the most important thing we can do is keep deer populations in check with their available habitat through regulated hunting. But that’s an article for another day.
With recent advances in technology, mostly motion-sensitive cameras commonly referred to as game cameras, humans can keep a close eye on what deer are doing out there in the woods. These simple game cameras are triggered by movement and then activate to take a photo. It really is a simple process, but the exciting part as the camera’s owner is never knowing what you will see until the pictures are downloaded. Continue reading
We all know that alligator hunting is not for the faint of heart, but one Texas boy got more than he expected. As in a huge Texas sized alligator! There are hunters who go a lifetime dreaming of that big kill. Then there’s Simon Hughes, who helped nab a beast of an animal on an East Texas hunt — while still in the first grade. The 5-year-old boy from Goodrich was part of a hunting crew that recently killed an 800-pound, 12-foot-6-inch alligator that has wildlife experts shaking their heads.
The reptile, whose size is at a state record level, is now at the taxidermist waiting to be mounted. Simon’s family, meanwhile, is fielding calls from CNN and Good Morning America to feature his exploits. Simon learned to drive all-terrain vehicles and shoot firearms when he was only 4. So he was primed and ready to go on an alligator hunt this past weekend with his father, Scott Hughes, a sixth-generation rancher, and hunting guide Chuck Cotton. Continue reading