Favorite Season of the Year




Every person who hunts or fishes has special season(s) of the year that are their favorite. For example, the freshwater angler can’t wait for the spring largemouth bass fishing. The saltwater angler eagerly checks water temperatures for when the action should pick up for speckled trout. If you’re a hunter, deer general gun season opening day is circled on your calendar. Waterfowl hunters are checking the skies when cold fronts begin pushing further south bringing ducks and geese for the upcoming seasons.

I like all the seasons, but during the fall and early winter, one of my favorite seasons is waterfowl. I’ve had the opportunity during my waterfowl hunting days to hunt a lot with guides. Days would begin at 4:00 a.m. at a local café with a bunch of other camo clad hunters, huddled over a cup of Java or maybe a couple of hot biscuits and gravy, sharing hunting license information with the guide. There wasn’t a whole of lot of talking going on, just waiting in anticipation for the guide to start sending hunters out to respective fields or blinds.

It was pitch black, no moon, and of course, cold as we rendezvoused along the side of the road along the field where we would be hunting. We were hunting geese in drawn down rice fields.

I hurried to put my waders on, put on my white parka over my regular parka, get my gloves, hat, shotgun and shells, but everyone else was finished before me and were dragging bags of decoy out into the field behind the lead of our guide.

I knew which direction they started out, but I could not see them. I could hear occasional noises of decoys being placed and the noise of geese awakening in an adjacent field … nothing else.

“Onward and upward,” as they say. I was doing a lot of staring upward as I floundered out across the deeply furrowed field. That rice grower must have been using the giant economy size disks on his tractor as they were deep and steep. Of course, I have never been known as being graceful, but I spent a lot of time on my backside or worse lying in the ditch between the sides of the furrow. After the third or fourth crash landing, and daylight slowly making itself known, I said to myself, “The heck with this, I’m staying right here in this furrow, and make my way to the group of hunters during a break in the action.”

As it turned out, I wasn’t too far off from the hunters and decoy spread. I don’t remember anyone making any comments as I struggled across the final set of furrows into the decoys, or maybe I should say I chose not to remember any good-natured comments made as I walked in. Gee’s … I was MIA and nobody even thought to send out a search party.

Maybe that’s what why I like waterfowl hunting … the camaraderie among hunters, the challenges of putting out decoys in the right patterns to fool the birds, the calling to bring the birds in. Have you ever heard a person “mouth call” a goose? It’s like a fine tuned trumpet, talking in the same language as the birds.

What’s your favorite hunting season, and why? I would like to hear some of your stories.




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Tuesday

Sunny

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Tuesday Night

Mostly Clear

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Possum Kingdom Lake

Fishing Report from TPWD (Jan. 19)

GOOD. Water lightly stained; 45-53 degrees; 1.27 feet low. Striped and sand bass fishing is absolutely amazing. Chartreuse and silver flukes, jigs and spoons continue to be the best baits. Deadsticking is also producing some great catches. Live shad are also bringing on the bite. Stripers can be found from mid-lake to north up the river. Crappie are good on deeper structure. Report by TJ Ranft, Ranft Guide Service.

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