Texas fishing

Proper hunting clothing is almost as important as the main hunting gear

 

 

I decided to write this post because one time, I went on a fishing trip without being prepared properly. I’m not only referring to a backpack with food and other necessities, I’m also talking about clothing. I know that many anglers think that there’s no difference between a pair of regular pants and one specifically intended for fishing.

It was a hot day when I went out with my buddies, and so I got a serious case of sunburn. I felt sick for a couple of days and what I learned from this was that you should never go out fishing or hunting uncovered. You need proper apparel because it’s far more protective than the one you’d buy at a regular store, believe me.

Another item I want to discuss is a good pair of polarized sunglasses. You wouldn’t believe the differences between a cheap pair that you could use while you’re at the beach with your family and one that’s normally used when going out angling. While I do not know the definition of polarization or have any interest in finding our all about it, what I can say is that I’ve seen pictures of the image that you’ll be seeing while wearing polarized glasses and regular ones.

Whether you engage in some boat or shore fishing, the fact of the matter is that you’ve probably been bothered by the glare at some point or the other. If you wear a decent pair of polarized sunglasses, you’ll even be able to get a glimpse of your potential catch while it’s still in the water! I know, it’s incredible, but it’s true.

Fishing clothing encompasses a wide variety of pieces from caps to vests and pants. Some beginning fishermen and women might be interested in purchasing a good set of waders, for example, especially if they go out either when the weather is hot or cold. I’ve been looking into purchasing a pair, as well, so I had to look at the many materials used in the construction. Rubber waders are mostly destined for chilly days, and that’s because they’re not particularly breathable and can keep you somewhat warm.

I like nylon and Gore-Tex models the most, but I am not sure just yet if I want to invest in a higher-quality set. The neat thing about breathable waders is that you won’t sweat in them because they can wick away moisture both conveniently and efficiently. Therefore, they’re great for summer fishing. Nylon does wonders when it comes to keeping you warm, so you might want to consider it for autumn angling, for example.

Waterproof apparel is particularly important if you’re bound to get wet at some point or the other. I hope that this article was helpful and that you can give me some more advice in the comments!

Texas fishing

Saltwater fishing in Texas

When fishing on the Texas coast, you ought to focus on several basic requirements which mostly revolve around getting the best equipment. Keep in mind that saltwater gear and equipment is considerably more durable when compared to its freshwater counterpart, so you have to invest in something worth the while. A rod and reel that can take up the abuse of saltwater will enable you to utilize them for a decent amount of time, therefore saving you money that you’d spend on getting replacements.

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Whether you intend to save some pennies and invest them in a high-end rod and reel combo or you plan to stick to the cheaper version, even more so if you do your angling on occasion, the fact of the matter is that your equipment needs to be correlated with your preferred technique. Baitcast reels are mostly used on the upper coast, and they seem to be the top choices of users who target bass. Usually, these anglers eventually transition to saltwater fishing, so the fact of the matter is that you’ll be able to master your expertise in the field with a little more practice than usual. Backlash is one of the common problems you’ll encounter if you’re inexperienced. However, mastering a baitcasting reel and rod combo is one of the most effective practices you can perform.

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Spinning equipment is also rather versatile as it can be used for casting different lure weights. The neat thing about this gear and technique is that there’s a low chance of any backlash occurring and affecting your performance. If you want your learning curve to be as smooth and short as possible, it might be a good idea to focus on getting a good quality spinning setup as it proves its worth in many situations.

While fly fishing might be more difficult to master, it’s one of the most rewarding techniques used along the Texas coast. Besides, it only requires a minimum amount of equipment and gear, so you won’t have to ruin your budget to get the several pieces you might need. In this area, fly fishermen and women usually catch redfish, and the neat thing about the region is that it has an abundance. Saltwater flies are commonly used with this technique, and what makes the experience a whole lot more pleasurable is that they are easy to pick up. They usually make the fish put up a good fight, therefore increasing the enjoyment on your part.

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Medium-action rods are to be preferred along the Texas Gulf Coast as they can be used for targeting anything from trout to redfish. The lure weight rating for such a pole has to be ¼ to ¾ oz. The price can vary depending on a broad array of factors, from the manufacturing brand to the capabilities and quality of construction of the rod. In most cases, if you plan to use the pole for as long as possible, you will have to spend at least one hundred dollars.

Texas fishing

Why bowfishing is getting more and more popular every day

 

There is a lot to love about Texas. Beautiful scenery, great food, friendly people and bowfishing. In the last ten years bowfishing has become a popular sport, with visitors from around the country coming to Texas lakes and rivers to try their luck with a bow and arrow. It might sound slightly insane, and to some people it is, but there is nothing quite like the thrill of catching a fish with an arrow. If you are still trying to figure out why we Texans love bowfishing here are some of the reasons  it is getting more and more popular every day.

 

No off season

Bow hunters used to have to spend the off season shooting at paper targets, and this doesn’t provide the same thrill. When whitetail and wild hogs aren’t in season bowfishing can be a great way to keep skills honed, while still providing avid hunters with the excitement they are looking for. Adding to the thrill is the fact that they are on the water, instead of shooting from solid ground. There is no better way for a bowhunter to improve his technique than aiming and firing from a gently rocking boat.

 

Plenty of variety

Even experienced anglers are dropping their rods and reels and picking up a bow and some arrows. Not only is this a new form of fishing that many anglers can’t resist mastering, it also provides them with a unique advantage. Casting with a rod and reel often limits anglers to the size or type of fish, but this doesn’t apply with a bow and arrow. Since you are not trying to entice the fish to take a bite you don’t have to worry about using the right lure and bait. This means that you can shoot anything that the state has declared legal.

 

Prizes and trophies

While game fish are illegal to hunt with a bow and arrow, the same is not true regarding alligator gar. Like their name implies these fish resemble an alligator and can grow up to an impressive 250 pounds, measuring 7 to 8 feet long. The chance to bag a trophy this large is simply to tempting for many hunters and anglers to ignore. Adding to the appeal of bowhunting is the simple fact that you can win prizes and money.

 

There are other reasons why bowfishing is becoming so popular in the Lone Star, but for you to fully understand you’ll have to give this new sport a try.

 

 

Texas Hunting

5 essential items to bring with you on a hunting trip

 

 

You might know the woods like the back of your hand simply because you’ve hunted there all your life, but there are just some things you need to carry in your backpack to ensure you won’t be sorry for keeping out some very essential items.

 

Illumination, nutrition and hydration

Whether you need them or not, light sources such as a flashlight, matches or a lighter should be in your backpack. It’s not a question of whether you need them or not, but when you’ll need them. If you would rather not use credit cards as emergency fire starters, you have to start making sure you always bring a lighter or matches.

Staying out long up in a treestand ( here are some amazing tips) or in a hunting blind, or running about in search of your target can get you dehydrated. Every time you take a piss, you lose water. When you sweat, you lose water. Even your eyes need to stay hydrated because staring long into a rifle or bow scope can get them tired or dry and irritated. Rehydrate yourself with a swig of water every now and then. Some hunters bring a pee bottle as well. Energy bars help keep your stamina up during the hunt.

 

 

Safety first

You’ll also need to bring a hunter safety system harness. Comprising a safety belt and harness, this system goes on before you commence your climb up in the tree and stays on till you are safely back on the ground after hunting. Some hunters use a chest-only belt instead of a full body harness. However, you would also have to bring along a sharp folding knife to ensure that when you fall using just a chest-only belt, you can cut your way out of an upside down position and make your way down the tree. The safety belt or harness can also double as a deer drag. Some rope will enable you to haul your weapons up into your tree stand to ensure safe climbing as well as safe descent. An arm and wrist guard protects your arms from injury, but you can improvise by trimming the foot off from one leg dark ladies’ tights.

In the summer, camo cotton gloves can be sprayed with scent killer. They should be on your hands from the time you leave your vehicle till you are fully set up in your tree stand. When hunting in cold season, go for polypro liner gloves that have also been similarly de-scented and then worn under wool gloves with the first two fingers and thumb cut off. This enables you to handle zippers, focus your rangefinder or binoculars and do tasks that require manual dexterity. A first aid kit with bandages and emergency medication including diarrhea and pain tablets, alcohol swabs and antibiotic cream will come in handy for emergencies.

 

Hunting accessories

Mechanical broadheads and arrows can be carried in a detachable quiver. A pump spray of scent killer enables you to easily spray the formulation on everything, from your tree stand, boots, bow, hat and body before you set out. You can carry a small bottle to the field for touch ups, such as before and after you’ve climbed up the tree, since you may sweat off the scent killer on your way up. A tree belt with hooks and clips to hold calls, optics, quiver, excess clothing, even pots and pans, will be handy.

A grunt call or call device that produces the sound of rattling antlers is a sensible item to have in your hunting backpack. There are models that can generate everything from a fawn bleat to a snort wheeze. Lure deer attractant covers your own odor while attracting the deer. This can induce the deer with an all-season curiosity scent or buck urine smell. Binoculars help you get closeups of your target.

 

 

Identification and orientation tools

Your hunter education certificate and other identification documents should be within easy reach when challenged. A laser rangefinder and GPS device will ensure you don’t lose your bearings easily especially when chasing your prey. A sighting compass will do fine for backup.

 

Survival kit

A folding saw lets you handle twigs or branches that get in the way of setting up your stand. A mylar heating blanket keeps you warm in the stand. Bring along water purifying tablets in case you need to draw water from natural sources. Extra batteries should also be available for your electronic hunting devices.

 

 

 

Texas Hunting

Animals to hunt in Texas

 

 

Texas offers great hunting opportunities. However, only certain animals can be legally hunted year round. A hunting license is necessary, with the licensing requirements being specific to passing a hunter education class, based on the stipulations from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Hares and rabbits are small mammals or small animals that provide year-round hunting in Texas. Squirrels are also available year round with no penalty, save for east Texas where squirrel season is from early October through late September, as well as the whole month of May. Ground and flying squirrels, prairie dogs and porcupines can also be hunted year round.

 

 

Nutria, muskrats, minks, foxes, beavers and badgers can be harvested the entire year. This is also true with skunks, ring-tailed cats, raccoons, otters, and opossums. Armadillos can’t be possessed or sold.

On private land, large animals without any closed season can be hunted such as feral dogs. Also included are elk, axis deer, aoudad sheep, fallow deer, sika deer, nilgai antelopes, blackbuck antelopes and Russian boars. Mountain lions, bobcats and other large cats are open game. Since 2015, coyotes have been under statewide rabies quarantine conditions.

Holding a place of distinction among many Texans, the white-tailed deer enjoys nearly statewide presence. It is currently the most high-numbered big game animal in Texas and the US. White-tailed deer occurs in large numbers in Texas compared to other states, with population estimates pegged at 3 to 4 million. Annual harvest rates are placed at approximately 430,000 to 500,000, which is greater than on any other state. The harvest limits for antler-free deer and bucks vary from one county to another, with many counties imposing antler restrictions. The back of your license should be filled in on the white-tailed deer log for every white tail you harvest.

Occurring primarily in the Pecos River as well as in parts of the High Plains of the Texas Panhandle, the mule deer has experienced significant population fluctuations, with west Texas showing substantial population decreases. The declines are believed by experts to be due to the prolonged drought as well as the deficiency in available forage and the loss of cover. To maintain viable mule deer populations in the state, there’s a definite need for proper habitat management. Mule deer typically have larger body weights compared to white-tailed deer. Mule deer ears are also noticeably larger, thus the animal’s name. Mule deer season dates differ from those for white-tailed species. The difference also lies in the harvest limits for buck and antlerless deer.

The American Pronghorn is exclusive to North America. There was a time when the American Pronghorn ranged the deserts and prairies west of the Mississippi River, across the Rocky mountains as well as south to central Mexico. Original numbers peg American Pronghorn population at an estimated 30 to 40 million. At this time, populations for the animal are limited to the southern Rolling Plains, Panhandle and Trans-Pecos regions.

The Desert bighorn sheep numbered as high as 1,500 in the late 1800s. The last documented sighting of a native bighorn was in 1958. A cooperative agreement between private conservation interests and federal and state agencies developed in 1954 and gave rise to restoration efforts for bighorn sheep. Since 1959, the transplantation of desert bighorn sheep has been undertaken from Mexico and several states into the mountain ranges of Texas.

The collared peccary or javelina is the only peccary specie found in the US, and in Texas, the animal occurs in the semi-arid to greatly arid parts of the state. Most occur in the brush country of South Texas, the Edwards Plateau oak-juniper woodlands, and the Trans-Pecos desert.

More details and up to date regulation: http://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/regs/animals/rabbits-and-hares

 

 

Texas

Hello, there!

I’m Frank Withers, and for those of you who don’t already know that, for more than a decade I used to host radio talk shows about two of the best sports you can practice in Texas: hunting and fishing. I’ve always loved speaking my mind and discussing with other aficionados about these activities, but now I’m retired, and until some other opportunity arrives, I’ve decided to open up this blog to let you on what I’ve learnt over the years.

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Even being born and raised in Texas, where I have resided all my life, has taught me so much about the joys of being in nature and enjoying its gifts, that so many of this state’s fine people know as well. I feel that here, we share more than a hobby. For many of us, it’s a true lifestyle and what better way to celebrate it than to keep on sharing our experiences and our advice?

My shows used to bring together masters of the bow and rod with pure beginners in an attempt to reveal all that these sports have to offer. We used to talk about everything, from bluegill hotspots to optics for our favorite rifles, tournaments and even culinary advice for hunting trips.

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I plan to do the same here. My posts will gather interviews, comments, and most of all, I’ll be sharing all the information I have, and I’m sure many of you will find it useful. I know there are quite a few dedicated forums out there, but I feel that a more organized dialogue will bring us all more benefits. This is why all of you are invited to comment and share your opinions and knowledge.

The great thing about hunting and fishing in Texas is the wide variety of species that are open to hunting and fishing. But what’s even more exciting is the great number of people who dedicate themselves to this lifestyle. No matter how competitive these two enterprises can get some time, we are all aware of the fact that we form a community, and we can benefit from helping each other.

I wish you will all consider this blog as a meeting point where everyone is heard and treated with respect, whether we’re experienced hunters of beginner anglers.

When the idea of keeping a blog flourished in my mind, I began working on a posting plan, with different themes and sections, but IC warmly encourage you to request other subjects, if you are confronted with specific problems, or if you’re curious about different techniques. I would also like to ask you, if possible to share your favorite locations for fishing and any change in hunting and fishing regulations you might know about. The law is constantly changing and we want to avoid anybody getting in trouble because of disinformation. In my long career I’ve learnt that this is the number one cause of people’s problems.

 

I’ll see you soon!

Frank