This Saturday marks the annual start to deer season in the great state of Texas as bow hunters from all over will hit the field in search of that deer in their dreams. This season will certainly present new challenges and offer up some great opportunities courtesy of the incredible drought that has held Texas in it’s grip for months now.

The lack of available water has all but destroyed seasonal patterns in many areas and produced new ones for much of the state. The well below average rainfall has really hurt the acorn crop and has forced many animals to become much more dependant on supplemental food sources.

The average corn or protein feeder looks like a beacon in the night to many deer as they hunt for food in the driest parts of the state. The increased demand on the feeders has made it much easier to pattern deer since the food sources like acorns and other natural feed have become a little more scarce than normal.

Along with being able to pattern the deer many archers I have talked to have been just absolutely covered up with wild hogs. Look for plenty of pork to hit the ground this weekend as their populations have gone through the roof.

While archers everywhere are set to get their season underway local teal hunters were brought theirs to a close this past weekend. This first chapter in the waterfowl season has been a good one to say the least, it could not have been scripted any better. Ample rains at just the right time coupled with cool weather made for outstanding shooting all over the coastal marshes and river bottoms.

Outfitters from our area reported solid shoots on almost a daily basis, especially those with rice fields. Several outfitters who hunt in the Winnie and Anahuac areas, called in to report some terrific hunting over the last couple of days of the season.

Bink Grimes who runs Matagorda Sunrise lodge echoed the same report, “We shot limits of good blue winged teal each morning, we were done in less than an hour most mornings and sometimes it didn’t take more than 20 minutes after shooting time. All the marshes we hunt were in good shape and the birds were in good shape as well.”

Hopefully big duck season will be just as good.

A little farther south in the El Campo, Eagle Lake, and Garwood region most hunters added another top notch Teal season to their resume but it cost a pretty penny to make it happen.
Unlike our part of the world which benefitted from scattered rainfall and a tropical storm many of these hunters had to pump water to their fields.

Water prices during the current drought were staggering and in some cases not even available as the local authorities put a ban on pumping water for anything but residential use. A few farmers who had their own wells were able to fill enough ponds so the birds had a place to go and you can only imagine how good those areas were.

Concentrating that many birds into fewer places resulted in just some world class hunting for those fortunate enough to be there.

All eyes turn now toward the opening of the full fledged duck an goose season opener on Nov 5th, with a little luck this may be another one to remember for some time to come.

In the mean time local waterfowlers will have some time to get ready, maybe the fishing will hold them over until they can get in the marsh again. We’ll see.