April 26, 2013 - Lone Star Outdoor News - Fishing & Hunting

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  • LSONews.com LoneOStar Outdoor News April 26, 2013 Page 1

    April 26, 2013 Texas Premier Outdoor Newspaper Volume 9, Issue 17


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    Biggest bass in the stateMonsters over 13 pounds.

    Page 23


    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

    long search

    See BIGHORN, Page 17

    Crappie spawning

    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.

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    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.

  • LSONews.com LoneOStar Outdoor News April 26, 2013 Page 5

    By Conor HarrisonLone Star outdoor newS

    Standing inside a circle with seven launchers, the shooter anticipates the winged target to

    fl y from one of the launchers.With the command of Pull, the bird is launched into the air to be picked up by the wind and taken wherever it


    Having less than two seconds to react, the shooter fi res one shot, knocking the small, white cap called a witness cap from the center of the two plastic orange wings.The cap lands inside the cir-

    cle, and the triumphant shooter scores a point.What started as an alternative

    to live pigeon shoots in Europe is taking wings here in Texas.Helice (pronounced ha-lease),

    means propeller and aptly

    describes the targets, called ZZ birds, which consist of a central wit-ness cap ringed by winged, plastic propel-l