LSONews.com LoneOStar Outdoor News April 26, 2013 Page 1
April 26, 2013 Texas Premier Outdoor Newspaper Volume 9, Issue 17
Biggest bass in the stateMonsters over 13 pounds.
CONTENTSClassifi eds . . . . . . . . . Page 22 Crossword . . . . . . . . . Page 28Freshwater Fishing Report . Page 10For the Table. . . . . . . . Page 28Game Warden Blotter . . . . Page 12Heroes. . . . . . . . . . . Page 18Outdoor Datebook . . . . . Page 24Outdoor Business . . . . . Page 20Products . . . . . . . . . . Page 22Saltwater Fishing Report . . Page 14Sun, Moon and Tide data . . Page 28
Dog, owner inducted into HOF.Page 4
Hall of Fame pair
Bunched up toms frustrate hunters.Page 4
Weird turkey season
LED lights improve nightfi shing.Page 8
Green is good
Nice fi sh feeding near cuts.Page 8
Trout in the fl ats
By Craig NyhusLone Star outdoor newS
The phone call of a lifetime was followed up by the hunt of a lifetime but not without its share of appre-hension and near despair. Britton Schweitzer, owner of the Weatherford
Downtown Cafe, was on his way home from work last
From despair to jubilationGrand Slam winner fi nds bighorn after
See BIGHORN, Page 17
By Jacob LongoriaLone Star outdoor newS
With the waters in Texas lakes gradually warming, crappie are moving to the their protected areas to spawn. In lakes Palestine and Fork, the
See CRAPPIE, Page 15
Feeding frenzy in Galveston By Jacob LongoriaLone Star outdoor newS
Patience and timing are the two biggest bits of advice anglers need to remember fi shing the Galveston bays. If the angler knows where the
fi sh are, its just a matter of working each area thoroughly.Capt. Gary Francis keeps it sim-
ple in his presentations to catch redfi sh and trout, using popping corks with live shrimp. For Francis, its all about working multiple areas
of the bay until he gets a strike. Francis has been fi shing all parts of
the bay up to 3 feet deep. He caught several slot redfi sh and a few 23-inch trout. If anglers want to fi sh for sheepshead, he recommends the toll bridge using live shrimp.
Francis, like most captains, laments the weather.One day its strong south winds
and the next few days its from the north, he said.
See GALVESTON, Page 15
TAIL GRABBERS: Anglers are releasing lots of solid redfi sh this month in the Galveston Bay complex. The fi shing is picking up for trout and ounder, as well. Photo by Scott Som-merlatte, for LSON.
year when his phone rang.It was from an unknown number so I
ignored it, he said. Later, he checked his voicemail and listened
to the message.It said I needed to call Texas Parks and
Wildlife right away and left a number I thought, Thats not good, he said. I had shot a deer with my bow the week before but was sure everything was legal.Schweitzer never considered the call could
have to do with the Big Time Texas Hunts drawings.I hunt whitetails and pigs locally but
had never hunted mule deer or pronghorn, he said. Every year when I buy my license online, I buy $100 in tickets in different cat-egories I look at it as a donation and forget about it.The next day, he called the number and was
asked a question by the TPWD offi cial.He asked, Are you sitting down?
Schweitzer said. You won the Texas Big Game Hunt.Schweitzer replied that he had registered for
several and asked which one did he win.You won the Grand Slam, the man said. I
had to ask what it included.
BIG-TIME BIGHORN: Britton Schweitzer fi nally found this desert bighorn after a 3-day search. Photo by Britton Schweitzer.
HIT THE BRUSH PILES: The crappie spawn is on in many Texas lakes. Photo by LSON.
Page 4 April 26, 2013 LoneOStar Outdoor News LSONews.com
By Craig NyhusLone Star outdoor newS
TJ Joe Fisher of Midland started hunting with a dog as a kid.It wasnt worth much as a
hunter, though, he said.Things began to change,
though, when a friend gave him a Brittany when he was living in Ozona and working for Texaco.Gene Lilly gave me the dog
in the mid-80s, he said. And that dog led to another dog, then another.Fisher, an avid bird hunter,
started looking for trainers but came up disappointed.I couldnt fi nd one that I felt
knew what he was doing, he said. So I started buying books and trying to learn everything about dog training. I went every-where and picked the brains of dog trainers and dog owners.After he moved to Midland, a
coworker was being sent overseas.He gave me his Brittany,
named Tucker, Fisher said. I was having trouble getting him to retrieve and talked to one of the best trainers in the country,
From gift of dog to Hall of FameMidland trainer, dog set records
By Conor HarrisonLone Star outdoor newS
Gobblers bunched in groups all the way through the season.Roving bands of jakes dominating the landscape.Hens that appeared disinterested.Those were some of the reports from hunters throughout South
Texas over the past six weeks, as many tried to fi gure out just what the gobblers were doing and how to kill them.Near Tilden, hunter Braxton Gillam spent the second to last week
of the season chasing longbeards, and reports having to deal with windy conditions that made it tough to hear any gobbling, but the toms just acted odd.It was a weird deal, Gillam said. The birds were not gobbling
very good. I found one that acted like he was supposed to, and we had some nice moments, but overall it was an odd hunt. Wed fi nd big groups of gobblers three here, four there, six
over there. The gobblers were all bunched up.
See DOG, Page 25
Delmar Smith from Oklahoma.His training career took off from
there.Tucker was outstanding, he
said. I was doing my own training and going to trials with Shoot to Retrieve (one of the fi eld trial orga-nizations).Later, the National Upland
Classic Series became more conve-nient, and Fisher and Tucker made the switch.Through the series, he met
trainer Nolan Huffman from North Carolina.He was the most famous bird
dog trainer out there, Fisher said. He had a great dog named Buddy.And then came High Brass
Skeet, produced by Huffman out of Buddy. Skeet started winning every-
thing.He is the winningest dog ever
in Upland Classic, Fisher said. And he is still competing hell be 11 this year. Field trial participants hope
to gain points in hopes of reach-ing the level of Champion. A trial win gains 5 points, with 3 for sec-ond place and 1 for third. To reach the Champion level, 20 points are needed during the year with half of those coming from wins.Skeet, though, reached unheard-
of levels.If you do it (reach Champion
status) fi ve times in a row, youre a Grand Champion. Ten times, youre a Super Grand, Fisher said.Skeet is one of only two Super
Grand dogs ever in the Upland Classic series.I have a trophy room you cant
walk in, Fisher said. Its too crowded.Fisher attributes the success of
both his dogs and him to extended time hunting in the fi eld.I worked dogs at two preserves
Jakes dominate in weird South Zone season
West Texas triple
By Craig NyhusLone Star outdoor newS
After the massive wildfi res in West Texas in 2011, many experts pre-dicted a quick and full recovery with little effect to the wildlife. In some parts of the state they
were wrong, according to Natural Resources Conservation Services Wildlife Biologist Steve Nelle. We faced a combination that
most have never faced before, Nelle, of San Angelo, told attendees at the Texas Deer Study Group meeting in Glen Rose on April 19. The fi res came during a drought, and then were
Drought, fi re, more drought kills grasses, causes erosion
See WEST TEXAS, Page 16
In north, turkeys gobbling, still henned up
See JAKES, Page 16
TOP DOG: High Brass Skeet and his owner/trainer, TJ Fisher, entered the Upland Classics Hall of Fame together. Photos by Carla Fisher.
LOOKING FOR TOMS: Big southern zone toms are not talking this year like normal. However, large bands of jakes are coming readily to hunters calls. Photo by David J. Sams, LSON.