December 24 Outdoors Digest Calendar Fishing Hunting reports tip


Calendar

Through Dec. 29 – Oklahoma dove season second split.

Through Jan. 2 – Texas North Zone second split of dove season.

Through Jan. 2 – Texas North Zone general whitetail season.

Through Jan. 2 – General whitetail season in Grayson and Collin Counties with the means and method of take restricted to lawful archery and crossbow gear.

Through Jan. 15 – Oklahoma archery deer season.

Through Jan. 16 – Texas South Zone general whitetail season.

Through Jan. 30 – Texas North Zone duck season second split.

Through Jan. 30 – Oklahoma Zone 2 duck season second split.

Through Jan. 31 – Texas woodcock season.

Through Feb. 15 – Oklahoma quail season.

Through Feb. 27 – Texas quail hunting season.

Jan. 4 – Monthly meeting of the Red River Fly Fishers at the Rec Hall at Eisenhower State Park. For information, visit www.rrff.org .

Jan. 7 – Second TPWD trout stocking at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond.

Jan. 8 – 15th annual City of Denison Howard Caylor Trout Derby at Waterloo Lake Park Pond. For information, call (903) 465-2720 (extension 2034) or visit the city of Denison’s website at http://www.cityofdenison.com/parksrec .

Jan. 30 – Third TPWD trout stocking at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond.

Feb. 1 – Monthly meeting of the Red River Fly Fishers at the Rec Hall at Eisenhower State Park. For information, visit www.rrff.org .

Feb. 5 – 2022 Red River Fly Fisher’s “Red River Rendezvous” at the Rec Hall at Eisenhower State Park.

Feb. 26-27 – 5th annual Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival at the Mesquite Convention Center. For information, visit https://txflyfishingfestival.org.

Feb. 27 – Fourth TPWD trout stocking at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond.

Feb. 27 – TPWD trout stocking at Sherman’s Pebblebrook Community Park Pond.

Notes

On this Christmas Eve morning, allow the Herald Democrat Outdoors staff to wish you, your family, and your friends a very Merry Christmas! And thanks for reading!…Since 2012, the Game Warden Peace Officer’s Association has been working to relocate its memorial from the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens to the grounds of the Texas State Capitol. According to a TPWD news release, the life-size bronze figure of a Texas Game Warden stands to honor the Texas game wardens that have lost their lives in the line of duty as well as serving as a reminder of the enduring legacy of wardens across the Lone Star State. “The Association saw this as a necessary move since other memorials—specifically peace officer memorials—are housed on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol,” said Game Warden Peace Officer Association president and current Texas game warden Major Quint Balkcom, in the release. “Housing the memorial on Capitol grounds would also serve a larger audience, many who have never interacted with a Texas game warden. This is an educational opportunity to learn more about our history and our critical conservation efforts.” When the Game Warden Peace Officer’s Association took the reins of this project, they also facilitated the necessary funding and legislative efforts required for relocation according to TPWD. After multiple attempts, a 2017 resolution in support of the project passed through both chambers of the Texas legislature. And last week’s hearing of the State Preservation Board cleared any remaining logistical hurdles that had stalled relocation. “This is an incredible step in the right direction,” said Colonel Chad Jones, director of law enforcement for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “The fallen wardens this memorial honors aren’t just the wardens of the past. Some of them were my friends and colleagues. Placing the memorial at the Capitol ensures their sacrifices will be remembered daily by the leaders, residents, and visitors to this state.”…TPWD notes that despite overcoming monumental hurdles, the memorial still faces an uphill battle to reach its final home. “Now that the project has received final approval from the State Preservation Board, we have moved into the planning phase of relocation which will be a lengthy process as well,” said Balkcom in the news release. “Ordering the granite for a new pedestal and physically moving the memorial takes months to plan and perform, but I am thrilled the project is one step closer to its new home and honoring our fallen family the way it was intended.” Balkom also added that an updated sculpture will be replacing the memorial in Athens in the future…Did you know? As the state’s only conservation law enforcement agency, TPWD’s game wardens patrol a vast network of waterways across Texas, respond to natural disasters, and oversee hunting and fishing regulations statewide. Through the agency’s 125 year history, a total of 19 Texas game wardens have lost their lives while serving the people of Texas…ODWC reports that the Sooner State’s 2021 holiday antlerless deer gun season opened up in specific zones on Dec. 18 and runs through Dec. 31. And once again, the agency is reminding everyone that “Hunters in the Know … Take a Doe!” …ODWC says that every hunter who participates in the holiday season may harvest two bonus antlerless white-tailed deer, even if the hunter has already harvested the maximum aggregate limit of six deer for all other current deer seasons…The holiday season in Oklahoma runs 14 days in all open zones, providing ample time for hunters to get out and help manage the state’s deer herd by increasing the antlerless deer harvest…Dallas Barber, big game biologist for ODWC, is hoping hunters will respond and help create a more balanced buck-to-doe ratio in the state’s deer population…ODWC notes that it’s big game biologists have a goal for overall antlerless harvest between 40 and 45-percent for all seasons combined. Heading into this year’s holiday season, so far, only about 37-percent of the statewide deer harvest in 2021 has been antlerless deer. So, Barber is hopeful the holiday season will push antlerless harvest over the agency’s 40-percent goal…Why is such a higher antlerless harvest necessary? ODWC says that it yields several benefits including an improved buck-to-doe ration, which brings a healthier overall herd in the state; promotes better antler growth by reducing competition for forage; prevents localized deer overpopulation; reduces the potential for damaging and potentially deadly deer/vehicle collisions; and lessens the extent of potential crop depredation problems across the state’s agricultural lands…

Hunting Reports

Despite this being Christmas Eve, most reports indicate that hunting is slow over much of the Red River Valley due to the unusually mild weather here and to the north…On the whitetail hunting front, there have been few if any recent reports of bucks being tagged by archers in Grayson County…On the duck hunting front, Dakota Stowers and his North Texas Outfitters are still putting clients on mixed bag hunts in southern Oklahoma, but he admits that many are having to work hard to find huntable concentrations of birds on area tanks and small lakes…There’s no recent update on quail hunting in Texas and Oklahoma, nor is there any report on woodcock hunting in East Texas, where the season for timberdoodles opened up a few days ago…Looking for a good, different hunt with family and friends over the Christmas holidays? Then don’t forget that the second split of dove season continues in Oklahoma through Dec. 29 and in the Texas North Zone through Jan. 2…Also, don’t overlook small game hunting options for rabbits and squirrels in North Texas. Check the TPWD website for full details and regulations…While deer hunting is slow as the season winds towards its conclusion on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, don’t forget that several of Grayson County’s biggest bucks have been tagged over the holidays and in the final few days of the season…Right now, hunting food sources is your best option unless a yearling doe proves the secondary rut is true and a buck chases her through a bottleneck area in front of your stand…Buck sightings might be slow in the unusually warm weather, but you can’t tag a whopper whitetail sitting in front of the Christmas tree!…

Fishing Reports

As Christmas weekend arrives at Lake Texoma, the water remains lightly stained, the water temp is 56 degrees, and the lake is 1.21-feet low. While there probably won’t be much fishing as families gather for the Dec. 25th holiday and travel far and wide across the state. But for those who do get out in the mild weather conditions, the current striped bass fishing at Lake Texoma is rated as excellent according to guide John Blasingame of Adventure Texoma Outdoors. He tells TPWD in its weekly fishing report that stripers are good in the main lake on Alabama-rigs, with the larger fish biting on swimbaits tossed around structure. The dead stick bite is also producing as jolly old St. Nicholas flies into town tonight.…At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 51st Bassmaster Classic earlier in the year, TPWD says that crappie are good on main lake brush piles in 20-30 feet of water on minnows. The agency says that the bigger slabs remain in the Buck Creek area in the standing timber around 20-foot depths, with bait suspended in the 10-12-foot range…At Lake Fork, where water is being steadily drawn to reduce the lake level for work on the dam, water is lightly stained; water temps are 62-64 degrees; and the lake is 4.36 feet low and falling. Fork guides Jason Hoffman and Marc Mitchell tell TPWD that largemouth bass are good using suspending jerkbaits along drop-offs and ditches in 6-10-feet of water. Slow rolling spinnerbaits are also working in these same areas work also. The veteran Fork guides also note that Viper XP jigs in black and blue are also working against big timber found along the creeks and ditches in 7-10-feet of water. Finally, Shakyheads are also working in these areas with a four-inch Ring Fry as the bait. The guides say good luck and Merry Christmas to all! Meanwhile, the crappie bite at Lake Fork is good between the 154 and 515 bridges on creek channels according to Jack Wiggins of Jack Wiggins Guide Service. He tells TPWD that the slabs are feeding up on bait, so they are shad and happy! The Fork guide says to fish deep in 45-55-feet of water with fish suspended around 20-30-foot depths, with the best action on top of the timber with minnows…At the Blue River, ODWC says that rainbow trout are good on in-line spinnerbaits, PowerBait and spoons cast along channel braids and rocks. In-line spinnerbaits and spoons have been working the best for catching trout, especially in metallic colors slowly retrieved just off the bottom. For fly fishers, try small streamer patterns, midges, and nymphs. ODWC says that trout are hugging the bottom and are in deeper pools because of how clear the water is and the lack of stream flow in the gathering drought conditions… If you’re heading for the Texas Gulf Coast over the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays, Galveston Bay in the Houston area is one place to consider. TPWD quotes Capt. David Dillman of Galveston Bay Charter Fishing as saying that there are plenty of sheepshead around structures such as pier pilings, oyster reefs, and rocks. He says that live shrimp is the best bait for sheepshead right now. Meanwhile, speckled trout and redfish are being caught on the shorelines around Eagle Point and April Fool Point. In the jetties, fishing is the same song and dance according to the guide. Bull reds are also being caught on the bottom by anglers using fresh dead shad and crabs. A few oversized black drum are also mixed in. Anglers throwing live shrimp against the rocks are catching slot reds and sheepshead too…At Rockport, Damian Hubbs of Mathis Bait Company tells TPWD that redfish are good in 2-4-feet of water in sand pockets on gold spoons and cut bait. Speckled trout are good in 2-4-feet of water on Bass Assassins and topwaters fished early. Black drum are good on dead shrimp fished near drains on an outgoing tide. And flounder are good on Berkley’s Gulp baits fished on the edge of channels…At South Padre Island, Capt. Lou Austin tells TPWD that there is a good mix of redfish and speckled trout when anglers find them and can stay with them. Redfish have been really soft in their bite on live shrimp under popping corks and for those anchored and using cut mullet. The guide says that a good place to look for redfish is around the gas wells and near Three Islands. He’s also heard of a good bite in the Arroyo for those using cut mullet. Some are catching a lot of sand trout and some whiting too and sheepshead are being caught around the jetties and both causeways. Finally, Capt. Austin says be safe out there on the water since it’s gotten cold and Merry Christmas!…

Tip of the Week

As the city of Denison gets ready to celebrate the city’s Sesquicentennial Celebration next year, D-Town is getting ready to host the 15th annual Howard Caylor Trout Derby early in 2022. This upcoming event will take place from 9-11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022 at Waterloo Lake Park Pond according to Andrew Means of the city’s Parks and Rec Department. Look for more details soon; call (903) 465-2720 (extension 2034) during business hours; or visit the city of Denison website at www.cityofdenison.com/parksrec .



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December 17 Outdoors Digest Calendar Fishing Hunting reports tip


Calendar

Through Dec. 29 – Oklahoma dove season second split.

Through Jan. 2 – Texas North Zone general whitetail season.

Through Jan. 2 – General whitetail season in Grayson and Collin Counties with the means and method of take restricted to lawful archery and crossbow gear.

Through Jan. 15 – Oklahoma archery deer season.

Through Jan. 16 – Texas South Zone general whitetail season.

Through Jan. 30 – Texas North Zone duck season second split.

Through Jan. 30 – Oklahoma Zone 2 duck season second split.

Through Feb. 15 – Oklahoma quail season.

Through Feb. 27 – Texas quail hunting season.

Dec. 17 – First TPWD trout stocking at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond.

Dec. 17 – Jan. 2 – Texas North Zone dove hunting second split.

Dec. 18-Jan. 31 – Texas woodcock season.

Jan. 4 – Monthly meeting of the Red River Fly Fishers at the Rec Hall at Eisenhower State Park. For information, visit www.rrff.org .

Jan. 7 – Second TPWD trout stocking at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond.

Jan. 8 – 15th annual City of Denison Howard Caylor Trout Derby at Waterloo Lake Park Pond. For information, call (903) 465-2720 (extension 2034) or visit the city of Denison’s website at http://www.cityofdenison.com/parksrec .

Notes

As the city of Denison gets ready to celebrate the city’s Sesquicentennial Celebration next year, D-Town is getting ready to host the 15th annual Howard Caylor Trout Derby early in 2022. This upcoming event will take place from 9-11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022 at Waterloo Lake Park Pond according to Andrew Means of the city’s Parks and Rec Department. Look for more details soon; call (903) 465-2720 (extension 2034) during business hours; or visit the city of Denison website at www.cityofdenison.com/parksrec… Grayson County’s first local stockings of catchable size rainbow trout have been taking place this week. The first such TPWD stocking was on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at Pottsboro Lake while the second one will happen today on Dec. 17 at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond …Wintertime is also trophy catfish season in Texomaland and ODWC reports that such action is heating up on 89,000-acre Lake Texoma.  Blues, channel cats, and flatheads are all good on cut bait, dough bait, goldfish, hot dogs, live shad, punch bait, shad, stinkbait and sunfish right now according to ODWC. Look for big whiskerfish along creek channels, in coves, near docks, on the main lake, near points, and in the river channels. Blue cat action should continue to get better according to ODWC as the winter season continues, with a lot of success coming on juglines in 15-45-feet of water for those using live shad…Renowned bowhunter Chuck Adams has tagged another Pope and Young Club world record animal. The velvet racked Sitka Blacktail Deer was taken on Alaska’s Kodiak Island in August and was panel measured last week by P&Y measurers. To see more on Adams latest world record big game animal, visit http://www.bowhunter.com ….

Hunting Reports

With the post-rut continuing, there haven’t been many more reports of big deer since Texas DPS state trooper Tarif Alkhatib arrowed what might be a new county record typical buck last week. If you missed that news story in last Friday’s Herald Democrat Outdoors section, the big 12-point mainframe buck has a reported green gross score in the mid-190s and a reported green net score in the upper 170s…As the second split of duck season continues, Dakota Stowers and his North Texas Outfitters guides are finding good limit shoots in southern Oklahoma, although it is taking some good scouting every day to find concentrations of ducks pushing into the region despite the mild weather…As Christmas Day approaches, most area waterfowling success is seeing wingshooters getting a few mallards, gadwalls, wigeon, green-winged teal, pintails and diver ducks like canvasbacks, redheads, and ring-necked ducks…Don’t forget that there are a couple of additional wingshooting options coming up in parts of the area over the next several weeks. First, the 2021-22 woodcock season begins in Texas as it runs its course from Dec. 18 through Jan. 31. Also keep in mind that the second split of the 2021 Oklahoma dove season is underway and continues through Dec. 29 on the Sooner State side of the Red River…In Texas, the second split of dove season begins in the North Zone today on Friday, Dec. 17 and continues through Jan. 2…Quail season is underway in both Texas and Oklahoma and there are a few reports of success. In western Oklahoma though, conditions are dry, wildfires have been erupting with ease, and scenting action is difficult for pointing dogs…

Fishing Reports

As the Christmas holidays approach, fishing remains good on Lake Texoma according to guide John Blasingame of Adventure Texoma Outdoors. He tells TPWD that the water is lightly stained; water temp is 56 degrees; and the lake is 1.35 feet low. Striped bass are good in the main luck on Alabama rigs, with the larger fish biting on swimbaits thrown around structure. The dead-stick bite is also producing right now…At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 51st Bassmaster Classic earlier this year, there is no current bass fishing report. But TPWD says that crappie are good on main lake brush piles in 20-30 feet of water on minnows. The agency says that the bigger fish are still in the Buck Creek area in the standing timber around 20-foot depths with the crappie bait suspended in the 10-12 feet of water…At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temps are 62-64 degrees; and the lake is 3.17 feet low. Guides Jason Hoffman and Marc Mitchell tell TPWD that Fork’s largemouth bass are still biting good on spinnerbaits and Chatterbaits worked along windy banks in 3-4-feet of water. Viper XP jigs are good on wood near creeks and ditches in 4-6 feet of water. Suspending jerkbaits are also good near points and creeks with some flooded timber in 4-7-feet of water…Fork crappie guide Jacky Wiggins says that the slab bite is also good between the 154 and 515 bridges on creek channels. Fork’s crappie are feeding up on bait, so they are shad and happy, if you will, says the guide. He says to fish deep in 45-55-feet of water, but keeping in mind that crappie are suspended around 20-30-feet on top of the timber. Success is coming for crappie anglers using small one-sixteenth ounce hand ties with a weight above it, but if they are biting, also add a minnow… At the Blue River near Tishomingo, Okla., ODWC reports a normal river elevation, water temp of 52 degrees, and clear water. The agency says that this past week, rainbow trout have been good on in-line Mepp’s style spinnerbaits, PowerBait, and small spoons fished along channel braids and rocks in the Johnson County stream…If your Christmas holiday travel plans take you near the Texas Gulf Coast, on the Upper Coast at the Bolivar Peninsula, TPWD is still getting many reports of bull redfish, redfish, and jackfish being caught on live finger mullet, fresh cut bait, or squid…On the Middle Coast at Port Aransas, TPWD says that the big bull reds are in 30-feet of water at the jetties and the Fina Docks, biting on cut and live perch and cut mullet. Sheepshead are good on live shrimp too according to Capt. Doug Stanford of Pirates of the Bay Fishing Charters…Finally, down on the Lower Coast at South Padre Island, Capt. Lou Austin tells TPWD that if you put in the work, you will bring home a full sack of fish that will rival Santa’s sack of toys. Trout are biting well on artificial lures tossed in murky water on the east side, and for those anglers using live shrimp on a popping cork around the gas well. Lots of sheepshead are being caught by those free shrimping dead shrimp around the Causeway. Schools of sand trout south of Coast Guard station are good too, but redfish are spotty, with some oversized fish being caught in the jetties. In the main channel, slot sized reds are coming to anglers using cut finger mullet near Channel Marker 68 near Three Islands…

Tip of the Week

With family, friends, and guests coming over for the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays, watching outdoor programming on your TV screen is a great way to pass the time. After all, if you can’t be outside fishing and hunting, watching some great outdoors programming is the next best thing, right? Thanks to Outdoor Sportsman Group’s MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) streaming platform, such programming is always available on demand with more than 20,0000+ hours available for viewing on your favorite devices like Xbox, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and LG and Samsung TVs. To give the gift of year-round outdoor programming, why not consider a gift card to MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) for a six month pre-paid plan ($49.50) or a 12-month plan ($98.99). For more information, visit www.myoutdoortv.com.



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November 18 Outdoors Digest Calendar Fishing Hunting reports tip


Calendar

Through Nov. 28 – Texas North Zone duck season first split.

Through Nov. 28 – Oklahoma Zone 2 duck season first split.

Through Dec. 14 – Oklahoma woodcock season.

Through Jan. 2 – Texas North Zone general whitetail season.

Through Jan. 2 – General whitetail season in Grayson and Collin Counties with the means and method of take restricted to lawful archery and crossbow gear.

Through Jan. 15 – Oklahoma archery deer season.

Through Jan. 16 – Texas South Zone general whitetail season.

Through Feb. 15 – Oklahoma quail season.

Through Feb. 27 – Texas quail hunting season.

Nov. 19-21 – Segment B archery deer hunt at Hagerman NWR.

Nov. 20-Dec. 5 – Oklahoma gun deer season.

Dec. 1-29 – Oklahoma dove season second split.

Dec. 3-5 – Segment C archery deer hunt at Hagerman NWR.

Dec. 4-Jan. 30 – Texas North Zone duck season second split.

Notes

If you haven’t noticed yet, the cooler weather and chillier water temperatures of late have ushered in the 2021-22 trout fishing season here in Texomaland. Earlier this month, the first stockings took place in Oklahoma at the Blue River near Tishomingo and will continue regularly through March 2022…On the Texas side of the Red River, the trout stocking season will start next month with stockings in Pottsboro on Dec. 14 at Pottsboro Lake and on Dec. 17 at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond. Additional trout stockings of catchable size rainbow trout—which will be smaller this year than in year’s past—will happen early in 2022 on Jan. 9 and Jan. 30 at Waterloo Lake Park Pond. The final stockings will happen at the end of February with stockings at Waterloo Lake Park Pond on Feb. 27 and Sherman’s Pebblebrook Community Park Pond on the same date…In Central Texas, where the upcoming antlerless deer season is coming up, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is reminding hunters to report their harvests during the Nov. 25 — 28 time period. As a reminder, the agency says that mandatory reporting is required for any antlerless deer harvested during the four-day doe season in Austin, Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Comal (East of I-35), De Witt, Fayette, Goliad (North of US 59), Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hays (East of I-35), Jackson (north of US 59), Karnes, Lavaca, Lee, Travis (East of I-35), Victoria (North of US 59), Waller, Washington, Wharton (North of US 59) and Wilson counties…Within 24 hours of harvest, hunters in the 21 counties listed above are required to report their harvest to TPWD using either the free My Texas Hunt Harvest mobile app (for iOS and Android) or on the My Texas Hunt Harvest web page…The Thanksgiving holiday period is also going to bring mule deer hunters into the field out in the Lubbock area. As a result, between Nov. 20 and 28, TPWD says that Lubbock area game wardens will dedicate extra patrol hours and state resources to the mule deer hunting season…The west Texas mule deer season attracts hunters from across the country, as well as around the state, due to the over-the-counter tags available as well as the region’s well-known trophy potential. The nine-day general season that is coming up is open to hunters with a valid Texas hunting license and landowner permission to hunt on the property.  Legal harvesting methods include the use of permitted firearms or archery equipment. The bag limit is one buck per legal hunter and does not allow the take of a mule deer doe unless a special MLD permit is obtained…If you are traveling west to hunt mule deer, remember that with the discovery of a positive CWD case in a local mule deer, TPWD is reminding hunters that harvest mule deer and white-tailed deer in the Lubbock area CWD Containment Zone that they are required by law to bring their animals to a TPWD check station within 48 hours of harvest…TPWD reminds saltwater anglers that the agency will close red snapper fishing in state waters as of Nov. 15. In January 2022, TPWD will reopen red snapper fishing in state waters, although fishing for red snapper in federal waters will remain closed until next summer…

Hunting Reports

Duck hunting has been hit and miss across the Texoma area during the first week of action in the 2021-22 season. Dakota Stowers and his North Texas Outfitters guides have found a number of limit shoots out in southwestern Oklahoma and northwestern North Texas with fair numbers of gadwalls, wigeon and pintails being reported. There has also been some good Canada goose hunting reported as well by NTO guides…With a good cold front this week and the chance of a big storm and front later next week, expect the first split to get better in southern Oklahoma and North Texas as the Nov. 28 first split closing day approaches…This weekend marks the first weekend of the Oklahoma gun deer hunt and ODWC reports that deer are moving well all over the state. With a huge archery buck being reported in the Edmond, Okla. area few days ago, expect to see some more wallhangers fall in the Sooner State…After three very good archery bucks were taken during the Nov. 5-7 Segment A bowhunt at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, bowhunters take to the local refuge again this weekend. That’s when the Segment B archery hunt will take place Nov. 19-21, today through Sunday and with the rut peaking locally, there is another good chance for a few Hagerman hatrack bucks to be reported…FYI, the final Segment C archery hunt at Hagerman NWR will take place next month from Dec. 3-5…There’s been a report of another good buck here in the Red River Valley region, one that could easily qualify for the Texas Big Game Awards program and/or the Pope and Young Club’s archery record book…Quail season is now open on both sides of the Red River, but reports are scarce as most hunters are focusing on big bucks and ducks right now…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temp is 60 degrees; and the lake is 1.46 feet low. According to John Blasingame of Adventure Texoma Outdoors, striped bass are biting well all over the lake. He tells TPWD that anglers should follow the bird action to locate the active fish. Limits of striped bass are coming in around 1-10 feet of water for those using slabs, Alabama-rigs, and swimbaits…On the Oklahoma side of Texoma, ODWC says that striper fishing this past week has been great. Striped bass are currently described as good on live shad, soft plastic baits, Sassy Shad, and slabs fished in the main lake, around points, in the main river channel and in shallow water. On that last note, ODWC says that Texoma stripers are feeding very well right now on live shad in shallow water and that they are moving towards the northern end of the lake. ODWC also says that blue, channel and flathead catfish are good on chicken liver, cut bait, dough bait, goldfish, live bait, live shad, punch bait, stinkbait and sunfish below the dam, along river channels, creek channels, around docks, in the main lake, on points, and around the river channel and river mouth. ODWC also says that blue cats are being caught right now on juglines and rod-and-reel in 25-60 ft. of water. The blue cats on Texoma are biting well on sunfish and live shad.  Crappie at Texoma are fair on jigs, minnows and small lures thrown around brush and structure, in coves, around docks and on standing timber. Crappie are getting better every day at Texoma…At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 51st Bassmaster Classic this past summer, water is lightly stained; water temps are 60 degrees; and the lake is 0.48 feet low. TPWD says that white bass are moving quickly in 20-28 feet of water on main lake points and biting on 1-oz. silver and chartreuse slabs, with better luck coming on smaller slabs because the smaller size is most similar to what the sand bass are feeding on. There is no report on largemouth bass at Ray Roberts this week, but TPWD says that crappie are good on main lake brush piles in 20-30 foot depths on minnows. The bigger crappie are in the Buck Creek area in the standing timber, and TPWD says these slabs are coming into angler’s livewells from around 20 feet with the bait suspended in the 10-12 feet of water…At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temps are 62-64 degrees; and the lake is 2.63 feet low. TPWD says that largemouth bass are fair right now and clinging to the same holding pattern. Bass are biting on Chatterbaits in the backs of coves in 1-3 feet of water. TPWD also says that anglers should try Shaky Heads, and Texas rigged soft plastics. Those baits are good in submerged timber in 1-3 feet of water with Lake Fork Tackle Baby ring fry selections working best. Suspending jerkbaits around wood in 5-7 feet are also bringing some catches of bass at Fork. The crappie bite is good in the creek channels and the slabs are suspended to 15-20 feet of water for those using minnows and jigs. All in all, fishing is good right now according to Lake Fork fishing guides Jason Hoffman and Marc Mitchell…At the Blue River near Tishomingo, ODWC says that the river elevation is below normal, the water temp is 60,and the water is clear. ODWC says that rainbow trout are excellent on in-line spinnerbaits, PowerBait and spoons fished along channels and rocks. Orange and pink PowerBait seem to be producing the best right now although slow rolling 1/8 gold spoons have also produced lots of fish the past weekend. ODWC says that fly fishermen have done well with midges, caddis and Pat’s rubber leg fly patterns…At McGee Creek Reservoir, the lake elevation is below normal and the water temp is 66 degrees. ODWC says that largemouth, spotted and white bass are all good on crankbaits, jigs, soft plastic baits and topwater lures thrown around lake points, rocks, and shallow water areas…If your Thanksgiving holiday travel plans take you to the saltwater, TPWD says that on the upper Texas Gulf Coast at the Bolivar Peninsula, there are many reports of bull redfish, redfish, and jackfish being caught on live finger mullet, fresh cut bait, or squid…On the middle Texas Gulf Coast at Port Aransas, TPWD reports that bull redfish are in the jetty regions are biting on cut menhaden and blue crab. Black drum and slot redfish are also good in the bay biting dead shrimp…And finally, on the Lower Gulf Coast at South Padre Island, TPWD reports that as long as the wind is blowing, the fishing is good this time of year. The fish are feeding, so anglers that are using live shrimp under popping corks are being successful. And in a nice change from reports this year after last February’s deadly freeze, there are finally reports of limits of good-sized trout being reported. TPWD says that there are also good catches of slot redfish and many undersized reds as well…

Tip of the Week

Take a big whitetail buck this month? If so, you’ll probably want a good photo or two to share with family, friends, hunting buddies, and on social media. To get better buck harvest photos, be sure that the whitetail’s tongue isn’t hanging out; take a few moments to wipe away any excess blood from around the mouth, the nostrils, and the bullet or arrow entry and exit wound regions; and position the deer on the ground for a respectful harvest shot. While a shot or two in the back of a pickup truck is ok, be sure that you have something other than the standard pickup truck shot before taking the buck to the meat processing plant or the taxidermist’s shop. If you’ll spend a few moments here, and make sure that shots are respectful to the animal, you’ll have a photo suitable for inclusion in a hunting magazine, for use on social media, or even in a framed photo displayed in your den or family room!



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October 29 Outdoors Digest Calendar Fishing Hunting reports tip


Calendar

Through Oct. 31 –Oklahoma dove season first split.

Through Oct. 31 – Oklahoma muzzleloader deer season.

Through Nov. 5 – Texas archery deer season.

Through Nov. 12 – Texas North Zone dove hunting first split.

Through Jan. 15 – Oklahoma archery deer season.

Oct. 30-Feb. 27 – Texas quail hunting season.

Oct. 31-Dec. 14 – Oklahoma woodcock season.

Nov. 2 – Monthly meeting of the Red River Fly Fishers at the Rec Hall at Eisenhower State Park. For information, visit www.rrff.org .

Nov. 6-Jan. 2 – Texas North Zone general whitetail season.

Nov. 6-Jan. 2 – General whitetail season in Grayson and Collin Counties with the means and method of take restricted to lawful archery and crossbow gear.

Nov. 6-Jan. 16 – Texas South Zone general whitetail season.

Nov. 13-28 – Texas North Zone duck season first split.

Notes

As Oct. 31 approaches this weekend, Happy Halloween from the Herald Democrat outdoors staff!… Ducks Unlimited, working in partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), will construct approximately 206 acres of new wetlands within the Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area. According to a TPWD news release, water from the Trinity River will flood the wetland complex during the winter to provide habitat for a variety of bird species and the associated recreational benefits. After the winter, water from the wetland units would be released back to the Trinity River. The wetlands are designed to reduce sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorous levels in the water, providing valuable treatment and improved water quality for the Trinity River. The project is also anticipated to have more than 200 million gallons of water replenishment benefits annually. “The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department is excited to be working alongside Ducks Unlimited and the Texas Water Action Collaborative on this important project,” said John Silovsky, Wildlife Division Director at TPWD. “Ducks Unlimited is a long-standing partner that has provided direct assistance to TPWD to construct approximately 1,350 acres of wetland habitat on Richland Creek WMA since 1987.  Texan by Nature through the Texas Water Action Collaborative has taken the lead to protect and enhance water resources in the Trinity River Basin and connect TPWD  with corporate sponsors that recognize the importance of supporting water and wetland conservation.”…Did you know? According to TPWD, Richland Creek WMA is managed by the agency and is adjacent to Richland Chambers Reservoir, which was built by the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) in the 1980s to help meet the growing water supply needs of the Dallas-Fort Worth region. A TPWD news release indicates that the WMA was created to mitigate wildlife habitat loss resulting from the construction of the reservoir…Since its creation, TPWD has worked closely with TRWD to develop an extensive wetland treatment system on the WMA that currently covers over 2,000 acres and helps treat raw Trinity River Water before it enters the reservoir and gets delivered to municipal and industrial water users. This highly successful collaboration is the model for the new project that will provide similar benefits to fish and wildlife and water quality in the Trinity River…Did you know? TPWD notes that the Lone Star State’s population of 29 million people is expected to double by 2050, putting pressure on the state’s land, water, wildlife, and infrastructure. As the 10th largest economy in the world with a GDP of $1.9 trillion, TPWD says that new water opportunities and conservation actions are needed to maintain economic leadership… TPWD says that Ray Roberts Lake State Park will be reopening the Highway 380 access point to the Greenbelt Unit as of Wednesday this week. This will reopen about four miles of multi-use trail and allow for hiking, biking, and equestrian access. The kayak launch and designated equestrian trailhead at the highway 380 access point will remain closed until further notice. “We are excited to be able to reopen this portion of the Greenbelt unit to visitors in time for them to enjoy the cool fall weather on the trail,” said Robbie Merritt, Superintendent of Ray Roberts Lake State Park. According to TPWD, this portion of the Greenbelt Unit has been closed since 2015 due to significant flooding along the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. These periodic floods, caused by several large log jams in the river channel, have caused damage to large sections of the multi-use trail, the equestrian trail and the parking area at the Highway 380 access point over the years.  In addition, the log jams have closed off approximately 2.5 miles of paddling trail along the river channel. The agency says that it has made several attempts to repair the trails and the Highway 380 access to their original condition over the years.  Each of these attempts were disrupted by subsequent flooding events causing the area to remain closed. “In the future, TPWD plans to perform the basic clean up necessary after each flooding event in order to reopen the Highway 380 access as soon as possible, providing a  primitive trail experience for hikers, bicyclists, and equestrian riders along the multi-use trail,” said Merritt, in the news release. The agency says that state park staff are currently working with TPWD’s partners with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, the Greenbelt Alliance, and the City of Denton to develop a more long-term solution to the flooding issues at the park…

Hunting Reports

The 2021 muzzleloader season continues in Oklahoma this weekend, ending at sundown on Halloween. With cool temps over the weekend and the approaching rut, this is a good weekend to be out with a smokepole in the Sooner State… As archery hunting continues on both sides of the Red River, whitetail action is picking up in the Red River Valley with a good bow buck being reported in recent days from northern Fannin County. In southern Oklahoma, North Texas Outfitters owner and lead guide Dakota Stowers and his wife Summer both took excellent archery bucks on back-to-back days this week near Waurika, Okla.…Quail season opens up in Texas this weekend for its Oct. 30-Feb. 27. With fair hunting out west and good hunting down south—at least that’s the expectation—scenting conditions should be decent for pointing dogs in the state’s best areas this year. Expect good opening weekend action with some cooler weather and lighter winds, particularly down in South Texas where a good season is forthcoming…As first split waterfowl seasons approach in North Texas and southern Oklahoma, bigger ducks are beginning to slowly filter through the area with the passage of each cold front… The first split of dove season ends on Sunday, Oct. 31 in Oklahoma. The second split runs from Dec. 1-29 in the Sooner State. In Texas, the first split for the North Zone runs through Nov. 12 while the second split is slated to run from Dec. 17 until Jan. 2. While many hunters have moved on from dove hunting as deer, duck, and other hunting seasons arrive this fall, there are a decent number of mourning doves filtering into the area with the passage of each front. The key is scouting to find these limited pockets of birds, particularly around native food sources…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temps are 75 degrees; and the lake is 1.58 feet low. TPWD says that stripers have moved up to shallow water, with an early topwater bite occurring and then a swimbait bite later in the day. Seagulls continue to guide the way to schooling stripers on the lake, while some bigger stripers are also being caught on topwaters and in 20 to 60-feet of water over windblown points. Meanwhile, for Texoma crappie, anglers are finding good action on minnows and jigs fished near boathouses, timber near a channel, and over brush piles…On the Oklahoma side of the two-state reservoir, ODWC says that striped bass are good on Flukes, live shad, soft plastic baits, slabs, and topwater lures fished below Denison Dam as well as on main lake points. Stripers are also being caught on live shad and topwater lures right now, particularly near Washita Point, Platter Flats and the islands…At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 51st Bassmaster Classic this past June, water is lightly stained; water temp is 76 degrees; and the lake is 0.67 feet low. TPWD says that white bass are moving quickly in 20-28-feet of water on main lake points and are biting on one-ounce silver and chartreuse slabs. Anglers are finding better luck on smaller slabs because the smaller size is most similar to the size of baitfish that the sand bass are feeding on right now. Sandies are moving quickly, so the bite is best on the bottom using Alabama-jigs in 30-35 feet, letting the bait hit bottom and slowly reeling up, particularly as the wind blows. Largemouths are good on jigs and crappie are good on main lake brush piles sitting in 20-30 foot depths as anglers use minnows. The biggest slab crappie are coming in the Buck Creek area in standing timber around 20-foot depths as anglers fish with their bait suspended in the 10-12 feet of water…At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temp is 66 degrees; and the lake is 2.14 feet low. TPWD says that fishing is slow, but the shallow bite is the ticket right now. Bass are good for anglers using Chatterbaits early in the day in 1-3-feet of water. After the early bite tapers off, transition to squarebill crankbaits like an Xcite XB 1 in 3-5 feet of water. Shakyheads are also good in submerged timber in 3-6 feet of water, especially when a Lake Fork Tackle Baby ring fry is in use. The crappie bite at Fork is heating up as November approaches, as slabs are moving into creek channels and suspending at depths of 12-26-feet of water. Best crappie baits at Fork are minnows and jigs…At the Blue River near Tishomingo, the river elevation is normal, the water is clear, and the water temp is 66 degrees as the wintertime trout season continues to approach. For now, ODWC reports that largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass are good on crankbaits, spinnerbaits and topwater lures fished around brushy structure, channel braids, and rocks…At McGee Creek in Oklahoma, the lake elevation is below normal, the water temperature is 72 degrees, and the water is lightly stained to clear. ODWC says that largemouth bass and spotted bass are good on crankbaits, jigs, and topwater lures fished around coves, points, and submerged rocks…On the Upper Texas Gulf Coast at the Bolivar Peninsula, TPWD reports that the fall fishing has been great this past week. Many reports of bull redfish, flounder, redfish, and jackfish are coming in and most catches are coming on live finger mullet, fresh cut bait, or squid. As with other areas of the coast, TPWD urges anglers to get in their final flounder fix over the next few days since the catching season closes from Nov. 1 until Dec. 14…On the Middle Coast at West Matagorda Bay, the shrimp migration continues, and TPWD says that the fishing is good. Follow the bird activity for schooling fish. Drifting or wade fishing for redfish and flounder is also good for those using artificial lures or live shrimp. Also, wade fish the drains for flounder prior to the Nov. 1-Dec. 14 closure…On the Middle Coast at Port O’Connor, TPWD says that a few 5-20 pound tarpon continue to be caught using live croaker…On the Middle Coast at Rockport, TPWD says that redfish are good in the flooded grass biting finger mullet. Redfish and scattered trout have been caught along the jetties and in the surf on croaker and mullet freelined. Flounder are good near structure and docks for anglers who are dragging minnows along the bottom…On the Lower Coast at South Padre Island, a strong blue norther blew through at midweek and the expected cool nights through the weekend will play a role in angler success. Point of note, TPWD says that big schools of mostly oversized spawning redfish are heading for the Gulf right now. Redfish are strung out along the spoil banks to the north, on Gas Well Flats, and on the edge of the sand on the east side to the saucer. Trout are still hugging the edge of the Intracoastal Highway, but are mostly undersized…

Tip of the Week

TPWD reminds waterfowl hunters gearing up across the state in anticipation of opening day to know that they play a key role in helping contain and avoid the additional spread of invasive species like giant salvinia and zebra mussels from one water body to another. Because of that increasing and ongoing need, TPWD is urging waterfowl hunters to do their part by cleaning, draining, and drying their boats and equipment after a day in the duck blind. That includes decoys and other hunting gear, by the way, and those pieces of duck hunting gear should be cleaned, drained, and dried before anglers travel from lake to lake this upcoming season.



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Neiman Marcus CEO says a more normal social and travel calendar will help the luxury retailer


As customers return to their social lives, Neiman Marcus believes it has a tailwind of higher sales to build on during the holiday season.

Men’s apparel, women’s shoes, handbags and jewelry have been the top-selling categories that drove a 6% sales increase in its fiscal fourth quarter that ended on July 30 compared with the same quarter in 2019, said Neiman Marcus CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck.

“The social calendar is not where it was, and that’s why women’s apparel is still not where it was before,” van Raemdock said. “Lifestyle is still constrained, but we continue to do well with our loyal customers, and we’ve increased the number of new customers.”

The Dallas-based company reported its latest results privately to its owners and corporate debtholders on Tuesday and shared some of those financials with The Dallas Morning News. It declined to disclose total sales and actual dollar results.

“We expect that the social calendar and travel calendar will really drive demand this holiday season,” van Raemdonck said, noting that many people “haven’t had a chance to do proper holiday gifting and shopping for almost two years.”

Luxury and much of retail are using 2019 as the year to beat as the pandemic temporarily closed stores and canceled events that drive fashion spending.

Van Raemdonck said that while most of Neiman Marcus’ goods come from Europe, the company has a series of contingency plans if more supply chain disruptions surface and labor tightness for seasonal workers worsens.

“What we’ve learned during the pandemic is this organization is very resilient and can move very quickly,” he said. “So we look at the holidays with a lot of confidence.”

The healthy sales increase in the spring-summer quarter came as inventories were down 21%, which means the retailer was able to sell its merchandise at full price. Van Raemdonck said that resulted in “a very strong quarter for us” with a profit margin of 10% of revenue in the quarter, higher than pre-COVID levels.

The big important European brands such as Christian Louboutin, Saint Laurent, Brunello Cucinelli and Dior continue to drive results.

The retailer’s top 20 brands were significant contributors to the improved financials and were up 50% from pre-pandemic levels, he said. “Everything we sold was at a higher price.”

The new customer is being watched closely, he said. Many of them had a higher disposable income during the pandemic because they weren’t going out socially or commuting to work.

New customers are making return visits at a more frequent rate: 1 in 5 new customers comes back within 3 months, an improvement from 1 in 6 before the pandemic.

“We are tracking them and then when we attract them, they buy full price and they come back quicker,” he said, “which is all about our strategy of focusing on quality customers that we can develop to have high lifetime value with us.”

Neiman Marcus is serious about being the luxury leader, he said, noting that it shut down its Last Call operation last year, leaving just a few locations to operate as true clearance centers instead of having a separate off-price brand.

A “roaring ‘20s” could reshape the U.S. luxury market, according to Bain & Co. The firm’s annual forecast in May predicted a rebound in the U.S. based on an improved economy, buoyant stock market, increasing consumer confidence and a fast vaccine rollout.

Worldwide, Bain forecasted that the global market for personal luxury goods will be 5% larger in 2021 than it was in 2019.

Twitter: @MariaHalkias

Looking for more retail coverage? Click here to read all retail news and updates. Click here to subscribe to D-FW Retail and more newsletters from The Dallas Morning News.





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Mom on TikTok Shares Helpful Coparenting Calendar For Kids


@skywalkeraa16_18

Co-parenting visual calendar for your kiddo if they live in two households. This has been a huge at our house! #coparenting #tipsandtricks #calendar

♬ original sound – Kinsey M

Though simple, one mom’s visual calendar might be highly effective for separated and divorced couples navigating coparenting. “If you’re coparenting right now I have a little trick that might help with your kiddo’s transitions,” she said before walking TikTok viewers through her coparenting calendar.

Here’s how it works: A designated color is used for each day of the month to indicate which parent the child will be seeing that day. Red dots above the date indicate coming or going, or rather, a day in which the child will have to travel between either house, and completed days are erased before bed so the child can easily locate the plan for the following day. She added, “My daughter had been struggling with transitions so giving her a visual to look at gives her a sense of control over the situation, which in turn has given her comfort.” Watch the TikTok above for the full rundown.





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February 19 Outdoors Digest Calendar Fishing Hunting reports tip


By Lynn Burkhead
 |  For the Herald Democrat

Calendar

Through Feb. 28 – Texas quail season.

Through March 14 – Texas East Zone Light Geese Conservation Order Season.

Through March 14 – Texas West Zone Light Geese Conservation Order Season.

Through March 30 – Oklahoma Conservation Order Light Goose Season.

Feb. 20 – Red River Valley Chapter of Ducks Unlimited annual fundraising dinner beginning at 6 p.m. at the Gainesville Civic Center. For information, please contact Phil Bellows at (940) 390-0081 or Jared Groce at (940) 736-3885.

Feb. 22-26, 2021 – MLF REDCREST Championship on East Texas’ Lake Palestine (Note: the schedule has been pushed back one day). For information, visit www.majorleaguefishing.com .

Feb. 22-26 – ODWC Virtual Rack Madness Event. Visit www.wildlifedepartment.com for information.

Feb. 26 – TPWD rainbow trout stocking at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond.

Feb. 27 – 22nd annual Youth Trout Derby at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond. For information, call Denison Parks and Rec at (903) 463-1115 or visit the City of Denison’s website at www.cityofdenison.com.

Feb. 27-28 – 4th annual Texas Fly Fishing Festival at the Mesquite Convention Center. For information, visit www.txflyfishingfestival.org, e-mail festival director Beau Beasley at [email protected] , or call 703-402-8338.

Feb. 28 – JC Outdoors Lake Texoma Spring Team tournament out of Alberta Creek. For info, visit the JC Outdoors Facebook page or call (214) 773-5451.

Feb. 28 – TPWD rainbow trout stocking at Sherman’s Pebblebrook Community Park Pond.

Notes

The Texoma Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its annual Couple’s Event on March 19 at the Mayor Arena at Loy Lake Park, beginning at 6 p.m. in Denison. Tickets are $60 for individuals and $75 for couples. For information, contact Kris Spiegel at (903) 820-8882, Eric Kloppers at (903) 815-2229, or Jim Lillis at (903) 815-8002…Because of severe winter weather conditions hampering angler travel into the snow and ice covered East Texas region surrounding Lake Palestine, officials with Major League Fishing have pushed back next week’s Bass Pro Tour REDCREST Championship event by one day. As of now, weather conditions permitting, the REDCREST derby on the reservoir near Tyler is scheduled to occur between Feb. 22-26. While the event will be closed to fans due to COVID-19 restrictions, live-streaming coverage can be seen throughout the entirety of the championship derby at www.majorleaguefishing.com . Post-game coverage can be found at the MLF website mentioned above or on the www.BassFan.com website…FYI, the winner of the REDCREST derby—where former Southeastern Oklahoma State University grad Edwin Evers is the defending champion—will award the winner a $300,000 check…With weather conditions forecast to moderate significantly over the next week, the Denison Parks and Recreation Department’s 22nd annual Denison Youth Trout Derby remains on schedule as of now. Barring any unforeseen complications with the delivery of the stocked trout to Waterloo Lake Park Pond for next weekend’s event, look for full details in next week’s Herald Democrat Outdoors…Already hampered in recent months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is operating at limited capacity this week due to ongoing power outages and ongoing winter weather conditions including more snow in Austin at midday on Thursday….In addition to the Austin headquarters being closed, field operations are operating at limited capacity along with all telephone services and some online services being partially or completely unavailable. TPWD reports that this includes the agency’s main telephone line, State Park reservations, boat titling, and the Law Enforcement call center…As the cold weather siege continues, to report game violations, TPWD advises contacting the local sheriff’s office…

Hunting Report

After the severe arctic blast of the last week and a half, Texomaland waterfowlers can only watch and ruefully think about what might have been as a big push of ducks hangs out in the region’s dwindling supply of open surface water. Lots of mallards, pintails, wigeon, teal, and more puddle ducks are being seen…On Lake Texoma and other smaller water bodies with open water, lots of divers are also being seen including a few buffleheads on Wednesday…In Texas, the Lone Star State’s spring’s Conservation Order Light Goose Seasons are off and running in both the East and West Goose Zones. Hunting for spring snows continues through March 15…Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s annual springtime Conservation Order Light Goose Season (COLGS) is also underway and runs until March 30…Upland bird hunters in Texas have one more week of quail hunting action left on the calendar. The Lone Star State’s current quail season comes to an end on Feb. 28…Texas hunters who took a big whitetail, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, or first big game animal harvest during the 2020-21 hunting seasons are reminded that the postmark deadline to enter this year’s Texas Big Game Awards Program is March 1. For information, visit www.texasbiggameawards.org…

Fishing Reports

After the historic arctic blast of recent days, all area lakes and rivers have seen significant ice buildup on many coves, creek channels and lake arms that don’t have flowing current or aren’t exposed to the northerly wind. At Lake Texoma, the Big Mineral Arm is frozen near Hagerman NWR according to social media photos. With subzero temperature readings earlier in the week—including an all-time record low of -4 in Denison/Sherman, along with -6 in Denton and -7 in Durant—most smaller water bodies in the region are completely ice covered and blanketed with snow…In short, most fishing in North Texas and southern Oklahoma is very difficult, if not outright impossible, and remains dangerous given the bitter cold and serous wind chills. The best bet for Texomaland anglers right now is to wait a few days until the weather moderates, the snow and ice melts, and water temperatures begin to warm up…The last fishing report from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department showed that striped bass fishing was good at Lake Texoma on live shad. Meanwhile, fishing for white bass was fair on slabs and jigging spoons. Largemouth bass were slow on plastic worms, crankbaits, jerkbaits and flutter spoons in 15 to 30-feet of water. And crappie were fair on minnows and white jigs fished in 18 to 32-foot depths near boathouses, sunken timber, and brush piles…There was no fishing report this week from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation since offices are closed and many Sooner State lakes and rivers are ice covered and surrounded by deep snow…Even lakes as far south as Lake Amistad on the U.S./Mexico border are being affected by the cold and snow. In fact, the Del Rio area was under a Winter Storm Warning on Thursday afternoon due to very heavy snowfall in the region…Because of the severe cold wave and its effects all the way to the Rio Grande Valley, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department used their emergency power to close various portions of the Texas Gulf Coast for a couple of days this week as fish trying to survive the cold blast congregated in deeper saltwater holes where they were vulnerable to both the weather and overfishing…Fish kill reports are scattered along the upper Texas Gulf Coast so far, but more numerous fish kills are being reported along the middle coast and lower coast regions of the state. Reports of dead speckled trout, tarpon, snook, mullet and other saltwater fish and baitfish are becoming increasingly common in Texas waters from Port Aransas south to Port Mansfield…

Tip of the Week

At last check, tomorrow night’s Red River Valley Chapter of Ducks Unlimited is still planning for the group’s annual DU fundraiser. The 2021 dinner is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the Gainesville Civic Center according to the DU website at www.ducks.org. Tickets are limited to table sales only this year because of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions that remain in place. For information and to inquire about purchasing a table for tomorrow night’s DU event in Cooke County, please contact Phil Bellows at (940) 390-0081 or Jared Groce at (940) 736-3885. Next month, it will be Grayson County’s turn as the Texoma Chapter of Ducks Unlimited holds its annual Couple’s Event beginning at 6 p.m. on March 19 at the Mayor Arena in Denison’s Loy Lake Park. Tickets to the Texoma event are $60 for individuals and $75 for couples. For information, contact Kris Spiegel at (903) 820-8882, Eric Kloppers at (903) 815-2229, or Jim Lillis at (903) 815-8002.



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January 1 Outdoors Digest Calendar Fishing Hunting reports tip


By Lynn Burkhead
 |  For the Herald Democrat

Calendar

Through Jan. 3 – Texas North Zone general whitetail deer season.

Through Jan. 3 – General whitetail deer season in Grayson County with means and methods of harvest restricted to lawful archery and crossbow gear.

Through Jan. 3 – Pheasant season in the Texas Panhandle.

Through Jan. 3 – Second split of Texas North Zone Dove Season.

Through Jan. 15 – Oklahoma archery deer season.

Through Jan. 31 – Texas East Zone light and dark goose season.

Through Jan. 31 – Oklahoma pheasant season.

Through Jan. 31 –Second split of the Texas North Zone duck season.

Through Jan. 31 – Second split of Oklahoma Zone 2 duck season.

Through Jan. 31 – Texas woodcock season.

Through Feb. 7 – Second split of Oklahoma white-fronted goose season.

Through Feb. 14 – Second split of Oklahoma light and dark goose season.

Through Feb. 14 – Texas West Zone light and dark goose season.

Through Feb. 15 – Oklahoma quail season.

Through Feb. 28 – Texas quail season.

Jan. 1 – TPWD First Day Hike at Eisenhower State Park (self-guided scavenger hunt)

Jan. 1 – TPWD First Day Hike at Bonham State Park (self-paced hike)

Jan. 8 – TPWD rainbow trout stocking at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond.

Notes

On this New Year’s Day, please allow the outdoors staff here at the Herald Democrat to wish you, your families, and your friends a very healthy, prosperous and Happy New Year!…With the start of the New Year in North Texas, all eyes in the local outdoors world will begin to look towards the 51st Bassmaster Classic on Lake Ray Roberts from March 19-21, 2021. Look for numerous stories over the next several weeks as the local region gets ready to host the Classic for the first time since 1979 at Lake Texoma…Looking for something fun and healthy to do on this New Year’s Day? Then consider the two local “First Day Hikes” being offered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The first, a self-guided photo scavenger hunt, is being hosted today at Eisenhower State Park. Eisenhower SP Ranger Elizabeth Booth says to bring your cameras and sense of adventure for the hike, checking out the park’s Scavenger Hunt list along the way. Visitors are encouraged to take pictures of their discoveries and share them on social media, including the park’s Facebook page. There are four miles of trails at Eisenhower SP as well as an 0.8 mile Interpretive Nature Trail complete with benches and markers describing the ecosystem surrounding the trail. Add in the Ike’s Hike and Bike Trail with its 3 miles of rugged terrain and amazing views of the natural beauty surrounding Lake Texoma, and there’s no limit to the New Year’s Day fun that hikers can have. For more information, contact the park at (903) 465-1956…Meanwhile, over in Fannin County, the self-paced hike at Bonham SP runs from 1 to 3 p.m. today. In its news release, TPWD says that participants can see historic CCC structures, explore the parks natural beauty, and meet volunteers who can help educate visitors about the park’s history and natural resources….At all First Day Hike events around the state, TPWD asks that visitors do their part to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, staying 6-feet from those who don’t live in the same household and following the strong encouragement from the agency to wear a mask for everyone’s health and safety…

Hunting Reports

The 2020-21 deer season concludes this weekend in Grayson County and the rest of North Texas. The archery season will continue on to its Jan. 15 closure in Oklahoma. Keep in mind that as was pointed out last week, some of the best bucks ever put into the Grayson County Whitetail Record Book have come at the end of December and the beginning of January…Three of those buzzer-beater bucks easily come to mind—Robert Taylor’s 219 1/8-inch non-typical in late December 2012, Mike Benson’s 201 1/8-inch non-typical on the last weekend of the 2007 season, and Dale Moses’ 184 0/8-inch non-typical “Captain Hook” buck taken at the end of December 2014—proving that there’s still plenty of reason to head into the Grayson County deer woods as the 2020-21 season concludes…Local duck hunting action is fair to good across Texomaland for a mixture of ducks. Hopefully, this week’s big front and storm will bring even more ducks as the season enters its final month…A glance at the social media accounts for Dakota Stowers and his North Texas Outfitters operation shows good duck hunting out near Waurika, Okla. with numerous limits of gadwalls, wigeon, teal, and a few mallards…Stowers’ NTO guides are also taking some Canada geese, including one banded goose earlier in the week…Charlie Holder and the Sure-Shot Game Calls crew were in southern Oklahoma recently for a media hunt with writers from several publications in camp, including Wildfowl magazine. Duck hunting was good and stories of the hunts should be forthcoming online and in future magazine issues…Ducks Unlimited’s website had a “Migration Alert” on Dec. 23, telling of good duck hunting across portions of Oklahoma, particularly in the western part of the state. To see that DU report and more, visit www.ducks.org …As the New Year arrives, a few plump mourning doves are still flying through Texomaland as the second split of dove season wraps up for the Texas North Zone on Sunday, Jan. 3…Covey Rise magazine editor Matt Soberg is a Minnesota resident who likes to chase grouse and woodcock among other upland birds. In recent days, Soberg has been in East Texas for a family holiday visit. And from the looks of his recent social media posts on Instagram and Facebook, the well-known outdoor writer and upland bird hunter is finding some good woodcock hunting as the Texas timberdoodle season continues…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temps are 50-52 degrees; and the lake is 0.87 below seasonal pool. TPWD says that striped bass and white bass are fair on live shad. Meanwhile, largemouth bass are fair for anglers fishing soft plastic swimbaits, deep diving crankbaits, bladed jigs, spinnerbaits, and spoons in 15-30’ of water. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished near boathouses, timber, creek ledges, and brush piles in 15-25’ of water…Continuing on at Texoma, ODWC reports that blue catfish action is good on cut bait and shad fished in the main lake and river channel. Jug-lining for blue cats has also been good in about 50 ft. of water for anglers fishing with whole shad…At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 2021 Bassmaster Classic, water is lightly stained; water temp is 55 degrees; and the lake is 0.99 low. TPWD says that largemouth bass are slow on skirted jigs, crankbaits, jerkbaits, bladed jigs and spinnerbaits fished near drop-offs, timber, rip rap, and deep creek channels. White bass are slow in 15-35’ of water for those fishing slabs near main lake points, flats, and drop-offs. Crappie are fair on minnows and small jigs fished in brush piles between 18-28’ depths… At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temp is 53 degrees; and the lake is 2.31 low. TPWD says that largemouth bass are fair on green pumpkin weighted worms, spoons, diving crankbaits, and Shakyheads fished near creeks with timber, roadbeds, brush piles, creek channels, and rocky shorelines. Crappie are fair on minnows in 12-25’ of water in brush piles and standing timber near creek ledges or drop-offs…Due to the early deadline brought about by the New Year’s Day publishing schedule, there’s no trout fishing report this week for the Blue River near Tishomingo. For those braving the cold and potential rain and/or snow at week’s end, trout should be hitting on small inline spinnerbaits, Power Bait nuggets, and fly selections including nymphs, Wooly Buggers, and Blue-Winged Olive nymphs, emergers, and dry flies…If your holiday travel plans take you to the Texas Gulf Coast, TPWD reports good coastal fishing at Port O’Connor where speckled trout have been very good lately on live or fresh baits such as shrimp or crab fished near shallow sand bars. Redfish are also very good in back bays on live shrimp while flounder are good on mullet in the shallow grass flats…Meanwhile, further down the coastal bend at Rockport, TPWD rates the holiday fishing action as good in back lakes and drains where the speckled trout and redfish are taking shrimp and topwaters. Meanwhile, the good flounder bite continues for those using mullet…

Tip of the Week

TPWD’s wintertime rainbow trout season is well underway across the Lone Star State, including at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond. The small pond in D-Town, which received a stocking of rainbows earlier in December, is scheduled to get its second stocking of rainbow trout next week. That load of catchable sized rainbow trout will be just in time for the city’s 14th annual Howard Caylor Trout Derby. Look for more information on the trout derby in next week’s Herald Democrat outdoors section or visit the City of Denison website at www.cityofdenison.com or call (903) 463-5116.



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