September 12, 2014 - Lone Star Outdoor News - Fishing & Hunting

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Text of September 12, 2014 - Lone Star Outdoor News - Fishing & Hunting

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    Biologists across the state are predicting a good archery season in many areas and a great season in others.

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    Bow season on tapFISHING

    Hunter Mark Lee sets TBGA state record with huge Houston County buck taken last season.

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    Record East Texas buck

    CONTENTSClassifi eds . . . . . . . . . Page 14 Crossword . . . . . . . . . Page 15Freshwater Fishing Report . Page 10For the Table. . . . . . . . Page 15Game Warden Blotter . . . . Page 12Heroes. . . . . . . . . . . Page 20Outdoor Datebook . . . . . Page 34Products . . . . . . . . . . Page 30Saltwater Fishing Report . . Page 14Sun, Moon and Tide data . . Page 15

    Weatherford bow angler shoots 809.5-pound mako off California coast.

    Page 8

    World record mako shark

    Early fall fun in the shallows for all ages.Page 8

    Wading for cats




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    A CHANGE OF PACE: TPWD has been investing in walleye popula-tions across several reservoirs in Texas. Photo by LSON.

    Tarpon Observation

    Network pursues fi sh as patterns


    September 12, 2014 Largest Hunting and Fishing Newspaper in Texas Volume 11, Issue 210 A FAMILY HUNT: Dallas hunters Justin Fourton and his son, Henry, wait for the birds to fl y opening day in a Kaufman County fi eld. Texas dove hunting is often an endeavor the whole family can enjoy together. Photo by David J. Sams, Lone Star Outdoor News.

    Feathers ying

    Dove season opens to good hunting

    By Conor HarrisonLone Star outdoor newS

    The sun was dropping behind the group of hunters on the opening afternoon of the Texas dove season.The east wind had picked up

    and the birds were returning to a pond from an afternoon feed at a nearby fi eld with sun ow-ers and milo.Dallas hunters Phil Lamb

    and Sean Polk were hiding in a converted duck blind on the

    edge of the water on the birds yway to roost. They came low and fast, rid-

    ing the wind and providing challenging shooting to hunt-ers who hadnt been in the fi elds in almost nine months.By the time the sun had set,

    the hunters were gathered around trucks cleaning birds, enjoying the fi nal moments of daylight and relishing the fact it was hunting season again

    See OPENER, Page 21

    PROOF IS IN THE TRACKING: Tarpon populations have been making a rebound in Texas for decades, and the Tarpon Observation Network supports just that. Photo by Capt. Jamie Pinter.

    By Steve SchwartzLone Star outdoor newS

    Following the Tarpon Observation Networks incep-tion in 2008, anglers have reported nearly double the amount of fish seen between 1976 and 2007. Biologists now must determine what that actu-ally means.We know they are there, and

    its all good information, Art Morris, constituent outreach specialist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, said of the network.Information is gathered from

    observations of tarpon along Texas Gulf Coast. These sight-

    Tracking the silver king

    See TARPON, Page 29

    An uncommon gameWalleye struggle to gain foothold

    in Texas watersBy Steve SchwartzLone Star outdoor newS

    If walleye didnt have enough trouble surviving Texas climate as a cold-water species, throw a severe drought into the mix as well but it doesnt mean the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department doesnt see the fi sh as a worthwhile effort.The water up here stays cool enough

    to where the fi sh actually do pretty well, Charlie Munger, a biologist with TPWD in the Panhandle, said. Theyre actu-

    ally a cold-water species, but weve seen them survive as far south as Amistad (International Reservoir). Weve had wall-eye in Texas since the 60s.Mungers department was responsible

    for the stockings in Palo Duro Reservoir and Fryer Lake, a small lake southeast of Perryton in the northern Panhandle. Both bodies of water maintain a temperature that will support a walleye population, if they hold water.Palo Duro went way, way low. The water

    See WALLEYE, Page 26

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    ANTLERS LOOKING GOOD: Biologists across the state are calling the upcoming deer season fair to good to very good in some spots like the South Texas brush country and East Texas Pineywoods. Photo by David J. Sams, Lone Star Outdoor News.

    HIGH-TECH BOBWHITES: New free apps are available to land managers and hunters to answer questions on northern bobwhite quail restoration. Photo by David J. Sams, Lone Star Outdoor News.

    Free quail apps available from AgriLifeTwo new free apps are available to Texas bobwhite quail

    enthusiasts that help with habitat management and evalu-ation.

    Northern Bobwhite Management Calendar:Northern bobwhite populations have been declining

    for decades due to a combination of factors, the most important being the loss of useable habitat. Active land management benefi ting quail could reverse the decline. The Northern Bobwhite Management Calendar pro-vides the user with instructions on habitat management practices and population census by giving monthly rec-ommendations. These focus on enhancing habitat and understanding quail populations and predator manage-ment.

    This app takes up 40.2 MBs of space.Northern Bobwhite Habitat Evaluation:Habitat loss is a major factor in northern bobwhite

    declines over the last few decades. Although the plant species included are specifi c to Central and West Texas, The Northern Bobwhite Habitat Evaluation app offers valu-able habitat evaluation techniques for other regions as well. This tool allows the user to quickly assess the habitat condition on the users property by posing a series of ques-tions to be answered while in the fi eld. The app calculates a habitat quality score based on the users input and pro-vides recommendations for improving habitat benefi cial for northern bobwhite.This app takes up 9.9 MBs of space.Both apps are compatible with iPhones, iPads and iPod

    touch and are free to download and can be found at

    Trending downward

    Fewer wildlife biology students have hunting experience

    By Craig NyhusLone Star outdoor newS

    There is a shift taking place at Texas universities that offer wild-life biology degrees. Fewer and fewer students entering the pro-grams are hunters, and more enter the programs with a reduced regard for the states hunting heri-tage.Louis Harveson, the director of

    the Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross State University, has been informally surveying the incoming classes for 15 years.I would ask them how many

    own guns, how many hunt, etc., Harveson said. Our freshman classes have changed signifi cantly from 90 percent male to now 50 percent, from 5 percent minor-ity to 25-35 percent, and from 90 percent hunters to maybe 65 per-cent.At Texas A&M University-

    Kingsville, most of the wildlife biology students are still male, but Animal and Wildlife Sciences

    Department Chair Scott Henke is seeing a decrease in students with exposure to hunting.We have more and more stu-

    dents who havent had the oppor-tunity or access to hunting, Henke said. The hunting group is getting smaller and smaller. We have more students from the cities now, and many havent had any hunting opportunities.Dr. Mark Wallace, professor

    and Chair at the Department of Natural Resources Management at Texas Tech University, echoed Harveson, and noted that at the larger universities, the fi gures are even more lopsided.We are certainly seeing the

    same kind of change, he said. With that change comes several other interesting changes. Todays students do not have the same skill sets as prior generations. Some have never been camping at all.Wallace said the potential lack

    See STUDENTS, Page 7


    Sept. 27 will see archery hunters head afi eld; bucks should be good in most areas, especially Pineywoods, South Texas

    By Conor HarrisonLone Star outdoor newS

    Texas bowhunters cant wait until Sept. 27, when archery season begins across the state.And this year they should be

    excited adequate moisture across much of the better rack-producing regions of the state have given bucks solid nutrition through the antler-growing period, especially East Texas.Last fall we had a real crummy

    acorn crop, said Gary Calkins, Texas Parks and Wildlife Departments Pineywoods Region leader. The deer had a hard, lean winter, but this spring things turned around and range conditions are excellent. It is as good as Ive seen in years.Calkins said the deer on trail cam-

    eras have really good body conditions and have recovered nicely from last winter.Were seeing some big old chubby

    brown bodies, he said. Id call the antler development we have seen on trail cams as great. I dont really like to go out on a limb like that, but weve got some big deer this year.Calkins credited antler restrictions

    in East Texas as the main reason for the overall increase in antler growth.Antler restrictions have com-

    pletely turned this area around, he said. These bucks are getting some

    See BOW SEASON, Page 27

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    By Jayme RutledgeFor Lone Star outdoor newS

    It was December 1999, with a hint of winter in the air, when my father, Ron