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iPhones & Rattlesnakes

western diamondback rattlesnake animals

The rains we were blessed with earlier this year in South Texas made a tremendous difference to our landscape, rivers, lakes and wildlife. Time after time on the news you heard about encounters with snakes because of it being so wet. The moisture has pushed a lot of snakes out of their holes and into areas where they are normally not as prevalent. Remember to be careful and watch where you step. Oh, and never mix the great outdoors and iPhone music. I know firsthand.

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Fish Tank or Duck Tank

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_duckpond.jpgI have been doing a series on ducks and this is the last leg of a 3 part series. 

When you dig a stock tank on your ranch or lease does it have to be just for ducks or fish or can it be for both?  Dedicated duck hunters will argue that the perfect duck tank or pond if your from up north, needs to be shallow with a large surface area.  Fisherman want a deep pit and something that will support catfish and bass and be sustainable through some of the many long droughts we suffer in South Texas.

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How to Cook a Duck

b2ap3_thumbnail_seared-duck-breast.jpgI am currently doing a series on Ducks since it is duck season and this is blog #2 of a 3-parter.

When I was growing up we didn't do much duck hunting and therefore we never ate it either.  It wasn't until I was in college that my Dad and I did some goose and duck hunting the day before pheasant season opened in the Texas Panhandle.  When we got home we tried the duck and the goose and it was horrible.  Everyone always says "you didn't cook it correctly" or "that's not the way I do it and it is great when I cook it".  From then on whenever I tried it at different times I still hated it.  It tasted real gamey and a lot like liver and was usually tough.  It didn't really matter to me because I didn't do much duck hunting at the time so it was no big loss.

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Duck Hunting in South Texas?

b2ap3_thumbnail_ducks-in-marsh-valley.jpgMost people think to duck hunt you have to either go to the Texas Coast or the Eagle Lake area or Louisiana.  South Texas is famous for trophy deer, quail in wet years, and dove hunting. What about great duck hunting?  I bet you can count the number of people you know who duck hunt in South Texas on one hand and you may not even use a finger.  What most people don't realize is there are fantastic hunting opportunities for ducks all over the South Texas Trophy Deer country.

My good friend and neighbor Jim Lowe and I have been hunting ducks with great success for years.  It has been a learning process with some trial and error involved but we have a pretty good system now.  In the beginning we would sneak over the top of the tank dam (or at least I would) and we would position people strategically around a lake or tank (or pond if you’re not from here).  I would scare the birds up and we would begin shooting and then go to another tank.  Very seldom would we get our limit but we always would get a few birds.  While looking for some downed birds we noticed that some were trying to come back and land and that is when we changed strategies.

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Fall Is The Greatest Time of Year

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b2ap3_thumbnail_dove_zone_map_20130830-211432_1.gifFall is truly the greatest time of year if you live in South Texas and love to hunt and are also a sports fan.  Football is starting with college and pro games, the baseball playoffs are about to start, the NBA season is starting and of course finally, its hunting season.   This year is even more exciting for those of us who live and hunt south of HWY 90 and east of IH 35.  Several years ago a special white wing season was created for an area in the South Zone that was West of IH 37 and south of Hwy 90.  Also, the line that created the south and north zones was expanded around Loop 1604.  This meant the line followed Hwy 
90 from Del Rio to San Antonio, and instead of a straight line through the city and out IH 10 to Houston, it was expanded around the southern end of San Antonio along Loop 1604.  Of course our ranch and where we hunt is in the south zone, but even though we could see IH 35 from the porch of our house perched on a hill, we couldn’t hunt because we are east of IH 35.  Year after year the birds would come to the black jacks to eat Coma Tree berries that are usually ripe about the 1st of September.  About the last week of August the trees and skies would be covered with birds and all white wings.  White wing doves are a classy and more sophisticated bird than the morning dove.  White  wings live in the city and drink from people’s birdbaths and roost in their trees.  Then every morning they get up and fly out to the country to eat and then fly back in the evening before dark.  So for the last 5 to 6 years all these birds were coming to my house to eat but I could not hunt them, and people who had nothing to do with the birds being here could.  Talk about the ultimate hunting frustration!  By the time the south zone opened about the third week of September all the berries were eaten up and the birds were gone.

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