Category: Columns

Woods, Waters and Wildlife: Duck Hunting Dangers

by John Jefferson   A message from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) last week cautioned duck hunters to “Wear your life jacket.” An accompanying illustration showed a man standing up while piloting a boat with another hunter and a retriever seated in the bow. I’ve hunted ducks for years from High Island to Corpus and have never seen a duck hunter wearing a life jacket. That’s good advice for anyone using a boat to get to the stand, though. But the illustration almost encourages standing up in a boat. The chance that boaters might strike debris causing a...

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Reflections from Red Oak Ranch

by Jan Fielden   The other night we went hog hunting. There are all kinds of things going on during the night time…did you know that?!! First of all, there were Field Larks or maybe they are called Meadow Larks that dart and fly all around as soon as the light hits them. We came across two coyotes running for their lives or else they were chasing something that we couldn’t see. They were young coyotes and full of energy. One of them must have run the wrong way because he abruptly changed directions. There was a skunk…no surprise…waddling his way across the pasture. Then there are the cows, calves, bulls, and horse “laying up” as in laying down! We had just about given up finding any hogs when suddenly…right! hogs everywhere! We came back around the Personal Grove and there was a sow with maybe 7-8 piglets, and a Boar. The hogs at first were just walking around. I thought they would run like crazy when the spotlight was put on them but the amber light did the trick. It gave The Colonel time to hand me the light and get out of the truck. As soon as his feet hit the ground he started shooting and the hogs started running. It is amazing how fast they can run with those little short legs! He was successful in...

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Home Country

by Slim Randles   Dud came in the Mule Barn truck stop all grins. Aha! thought the other members of the world dilemma think tank, Dud’s been up the road in deer camp three days now. We know what that happy look means. Or maybe not … “You fellas have GOT to come out to the camp with me and see what I’ve got!” Dud said. “You won’t believe it!” “Got a nice buck did you, Dud?” said Doc. “You just have to see for yourself,” he said. So after another round of refills, the guys went out and got in two cars and headed off to camp. And when they got there, they saw all of Dud’s camping gear stacked neatly, ready to go home, and his camouflage spring-steel-armed ground blind still standing. Picture an outhouse-sized tent. “Where’s the deer?” asked Herb. “Well,” Dud said, “I didn’t get one.” “So what do you want us to see?” “The ground blind,” he said. “I can’t figure out how to fold it up and get it back in the bag.” So Dud got one end and bent the steel inserts, and Doc got on the other end, while Herb and Steve each took a side. After half an hour of engineering arguments and cussing, the offending tent was back in its bag. When Doc got his breath back, he looked...

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Movie Review – Thor: Ragnarok

by Bob Garver   It’s been over two years since we’ve seen Thor (Chris Hemsworth), which seems like forever in Marvel Cinematic Universe time. He missed the dissolution of The Avengers in “Captain America: Civil War” and the rise of several new superheroes. We missed a lot with him as well. He broke up with his girlfriend and got himself imprisoned by a fire demon. The demon wants to bring about Ragnarok, or the destruction of Thor’s home planet of Asgard, which essentially means the end of everything Thor holds dear. Thor kills the demon in about a minute...

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Woods, Waters & Wildlife – Striped Bass Bonus

by John Jefferson   A friend, Bob Linder, told of his recent striped bass fishing jaunt on Lake Buchanan on the first really chilly day in Central Texas. The thermometer read “39 degrees.” Linder said the trip across the lake was “a little breezy” – perhaps the understatement of the season. Linder, his wife, and son fished with striper guide, Max Milam. He added that the three of them limited out with a 15-fish combination of stripers and hybrid stripers, and one large white bass, in just one hour! And, they caught them all at the first place they fished. The legal limit is five stripers, at least 18-inches long, per fisherman — not five stripers and five hybrids. Lake Buchanan, and most large Texas lakes, has been heavily stocked with striped bass for years. Back during the drought, the Lake Buchanan Conservation Corporation, with their money, and permission from Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW), began stocking the lake with hybrid stripers – female striped bass cross-bred in hatcheries with male white bass. The resulting hybrid is chunkier than pure striped bass, and well-suited for shallower, warmer lakes than the deep, open water lakes required for the pure breeds. Physically, they look alike to casual observers. Generally, pure stripers are long and slender, as opposed to hybrids, which one guide describes as “little footballs.” Stripes on the true stripers...

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