The sight of racks full of camo clothing, ATV’s loaded in trucks and on trailers, as well as aluminum boats full of blind material and happy retrievers means the wait is almost over. The 2009-10 hunting season will kick off in September and the masses are already buzzing about in anticipation. All the outdoor stores, both hunting and fishing, have seen big jumps in the number of customers as local sportsmen begin to stock up on gear. With the dove opener just a couple of weeks away, followed closely by teal and archery season, it’s a great time to be an outdoor enthusiast.
Months worth of expectations are in the process of becoming a reality and the excitement is beginning to build. The prospects for the upcoming dove season look mighty good. I have made several scouting trips lately and the numbers of birds in our area are really good. One thing that many hunters could certainly take advantage of would be getting in some extra practice at the range or even taking a lesson or two before heading out to the field. Nothing ruins a good hunt like not being able hit your target thanks to off season rust. Believe me the morning dove can and will make you look foolish in front of your hunting buddies if you’re not ready.

It appears that the super heat from the summer will be with us for several more weeks; so be prepared for it as you scout or continue pre-season activities. The extreme heat will make water holes a hot spot for early season dove hunters as all the remnants from the early summer rains have all but dried up. The lack of rain during the months of July and August has made many hunting leases dry, especially in the southern part of the state. To the north of us it has been equally as dry and that has many hunters, especially waterfowlers, concerned. A few good doses of rain would make things better for all those playa lakes that at this moment are nothing but dusty depressions.

Speaking of getting better, I don’t know if it can get any better at Sabine or Calcasieu. The bite at both locations is ridiculous, just down right crazy and this past weekend was no exception. The water on the rocks at the jetty was clear with about two feet of visibility and beautiful green color. My group decided to spend the day throwing topwaters instead of plastics and was rewarded with some great fish. We spent the better part of three hours catching and releasing some nice trout and redfish. I have never seen anything like it, but I know I want to see some more and very soon. On Saturday, the same group of anglers enjoyed another successful day on the water, only this time, we went deep into some marsh on the west side of Calcasieu. The fish were as receptive as the water was clear, it was an outstanding morning. We managed to catch some beautiful redfish to 10 pounds and see countless others along the way. The marsh is in great shape and the upcoming teal season could be one to remember. In the mean time, we can continue to enjoy the great fishing and keep counting down the days until hunting season officially gets here.