LSONews.com LoneOStar Outdoor News September 13, 2013 Page 1
September 13, 2013 Texas Premier Outdoor Newspaper Volume 10, Issue 2
Looking goodBucks coming out of velvet, expectations high for a solid season.
Medina Lake access is tight, but anglers still nding a way.
Low, but still holds fish
Port OConnor jetty holding bull reds, tarpon.Page 8
Head to the jetty
Innovative methods being used to increase doe harvest.
Dove opener a good oneBy Conor HarrisonLone Star outdoor newS
Thousands of hunters made the annual Sept. 1 pilgrim-age to fi elds across the upper
part of the state for the open-ing of dove season, and many returned with a limit of birds.We had a great opener,
said Justin Hill of Ranger Creek Goose in Haskell.
We shot over 150 limits on Sunday. If they could shoot, they shot limits. We shot close to 100 limits on Monday, but it wasnt nearly as good in the morning. The afternoon hunt picked right back up like Sunday, though.All in all, it was good.Many hunters experienced
the same thing, especially if
See DOVE, Page 14
FLYING HIGH: Dove hunters had a good opening weekend, with better success reported on some afternoon hunts rather than morning hunts. Photo by David J. Sams, Lone Star Outdoor News.
Big Bass Mania director arrested
Birds tougher in some areas on day two
More than a year after a failed fi shing tournament that prom-ised anglers thousands of dollars in winnings, hourly payouts and money going toward helping wounded veterans, then deliv-ered on none of it, the director has been arrested.Texas game wardens arrested
Michael Shane McCloud of Florida (formerly of Bryan-College Station) for theft related to a fi shing tournament.Following his arrest, the
44-year-old McCloud was booked into the Jasper County Jail. No bond has been set.The investigation that culmi-
nated in his arrest began in June 2012 after authorities received numerous complaints related to
See BASS, Page 19
LONG INVESTIGATION: After more than a year since the tournament on Sam Rayburn, Michael McCloud was arrested in Florida and brought to Texas. Photo by Alison Hart, Lakecaster Magazine.
SHARKS SQUANDERED: Illegal long lines set by poachers crossing the border from Mexico are taking a toll on Texas shark popula-tions. Along with sharks, some game fi sh also get caught. TPWD has confi scated more than 11 miles of lines this year. Photos by Erich Schlegel, for Lone Star Outdoor News.
By Conor HarrisonLone Star outdoor newS
Cameron County Game Warden Luis Sosa isnt surprised by much anymore when he heads just offshore along Texas southern border.When youve pulled
up more than 58,080 feet of illegal long lines this year alone, many with loads of dead or dying fi sh
attached, you start to wonder if the problem will ever be eradicated.It is defi nitely not
slowing down, Sosa said. I would prob-ably say it is steady. Its not really increas-ing or decreasing, just an ongoing issue that has been going on for a long time.Mexican poachers
sneak across the invis-ible border off South
Illegal long lines catching sharks, other game fi sh
Michael McCloud indicted in Jasper County, arrested
See LONG LINES, Page 17
New TV guidePage 34
CONTENTSClassifi eds . . . . . . . . . Page 16 Crossword . . . . . . . . . Page 24Freshwater Fishing Report . Page 10For the Table. . . . . . . . Page 24Game Warden Blotter . . . . Page 12Heroes. . . . . . . . . . . Page 22Outdoor Datebook . . . . . Page 37Products . . . . . . . . . . Page 30Prime Time . . . . . . . . Page 34Saltwater Fishing Report . . Page 16Sun, Moon and Tide data . . Page 24
TPWD has rst tweetalong on opening day of dove season.
Come along with the warden
Page 4 September 13, 2013 LoneOStar Outdoor News LSONews.com
By Mark EnglandLone Star outdoor newS
Ammunition flying off the shelves may be a headache for many hunters, but its result-ing in a windfall for wildlife conservation. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service official told Lone Star Outdoor News that a record amount of money will be dis-tributed to state fish and wild-life departments next year via the Pittman-Robertson Act, the federal excise tax on sport-ing arms and ammunition.On just the amount that
comes from firearms and ammunition, long guns, pis-tols and revolvers, based on what we know now, indi-cations are the total will be somewhere in the $790 mil-lion range, perhaps more, said Steve Barton, acting dep-uty assistant director of the USFWS Division of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.That amount would shat-
ter this years record-break-ing total of $552 million. Approximately $7 1/2 billion has been distributed since the laws enactment.Texas Parks and Wildlife
Department officials said the spike in revenue has forced them to get creative in meet-ing the 25 percent match needed to obtain Pittman-Robertsons three-to-one funding.Thats because of budget
cuts by recent legislatures.Sometimes we go through
universities for our research projects, said Clayton Wolf, director of TPWDs Wildlife Division. They can provide the 25 percent match when were match poor. Weve done that on some of our quail and turkey research.Texas received almost $24
million in so-called PR funds in 2013, a jump of more than $7 million from the previous year.For my budget, its over
half of it, Wolf said. Its a significant sum, not even counting the spikes weve been through recently.Money from Pittman-
Robertson is distributed by the USFWS based on a for-mula that accounts for a states size as well as its num-ber of licensed hunters. USFWS approves state projects through grant requests.It cant be a fluff project,
Barton said. It has to be sub-stantial and do something to meet the goals of the grant listed.TPWD uses PR funds for
everything from research projects to buying vehicles to offering hunter education.One project, funded at a
Record amount of money
heading to states from Pittman-
By Conor HarrisonLone Star outdoor newS
Bow season for white-tailed deer is less than a month away, and reports from across the state vary from good in South Texas to aver-age in most places to poor in some areas hardest hit by drought.Statewide, it is going to be an
average year, said Alan Cain, TPWDs white-tailed deer leader. I would say that is true for any district in the state.In South Texas, early spring
rains fell in some areas, while oth-ers were dry until August, when a new round of showers, especially nearer the coast, dropped lots of moisture.
Weve had good rains recently, said South Texas biol-ogist Daniel Kunz. Some places are still dry, but the majority of those places had good rains in the spring. Most of the bucks are still in velvet (as of Sept. 10) but some are not.Kunz said he would describe
antler quality in South Texas as good this season. Cain said he has seen bucks or
talked to biologists in the area west of Fort Worth around Parker County, and said some really good bucks have been seen.He also said pockets of the Hill
Country should have good bucks and East Texas was looking good for antler growth.
Some areas have had good rains and it is really green in parts of the Hill Country and East Texas, he said. The eastern Panhandle is doing OK this year and Im expect-ing good things from the area between Austin and Houston and down toward the coast.Antler restrictions have been
in place for about eight years now and those areas have an improv-ing age structure, which is a big part in having good bucks.Cain said he expects bowhunt-
ers to have a successful season.I expect them to have good
success unless we have a huge acorn crop, which I dont antici-pate, he said. It may be a little easier for bowhunters to pattern
bucks before the rut when they could be coming to a feeder.Trail camera images from prop-
erty near Haskell showed bucks in good condition heading into the hard-horned phase. Rain has been scattered across the Rolling Plains this year, but many ranches did get some moisture that should result in good bucks on many ranches.And, dont be surprised if
another couple of studs come from East Texas. The past two seasons, experts have been sur-prised by a number of big bucks that showed up out of nowhere in areas that normally dont pro-duce Boone and Crockett-class deer.
See PITTMAN-ROBERTSON, Page 18
BIG BUCKS THIS SEASON? Many hunters, ranch managers and biologists are seeing good but not a lot of great bucks this year. Average is the word most commonly used. Photo by David J. Sams, Lone Star Outdoor News.
On the horizonDeer season just ahead, predictions vary
but average in most places
Nesting successBy Craig NyhusLone Star outdoor newS
The May Pond Count results are in from the 2013 Waterfowl Breeding Population And Habitat Survey, and the numbers are exciting Texas duck hunters.If it would just rain.