Trophies on the mind

October is a special month for every hunter and fisherman for a variety of reasons and they are all good. Our first real crisp mornings generally show up in October and that triggers all kinds of irrational behavior for sportsmen. The idea that hunting season is about to be wide open is enough to make even the worst attitude switch around for the better. Add in the fact that the fishing from Sam Rayburn to Sabine is about as good as you’ll find and you have a winning combination that rarely gets topped.

Whitetail deer hunters got a head start on the rest of the world as they are close to winding down the archery only season that began a few weeks ago. The rest of the state of Texas looks like a sprinter in the starting blocks waiting for the gun to sound as they count down the days to the opener on November 1st. Much of the state has been blessed with timely rains and rather moderate weather which has accounted for above average whitetail population numbers in many counties. East Texas in particular had great weather and rainfall when needed this year and it has really shown in the antler quality and body weights of deer taken during the archery only portion of the season. I have seen several really nice deer taken from public lands near the big lakes and they had the bodies to go along with their impressive head gear. If the early results are any indication of what’s to come then we should see some exceptional deer taken once the season completely opens.

Now the hunters are not the only ones with trophy visions dancing around in their heads, the fishermen are right there with them in that regard. October tends to be overlooked a little bit as far as trophy fish are concerned because most anglers are playing the numbers game. Schooling trout and redfish under working gulls will often cause the most hardcore trophy angler to leave their area and jump into the fray. It’s funny how that happens, one shrimp skips across the water and gets slurped up leading to an hour long frenzy of one fish after another and all of a sudden the those big fish thoughts are all but forgotten. Well if you can turn your back on the carnage that happens under the birds you can take a shot at some of the biggest fish of the year. The big redfish are stacked along the jetty and some absolutely huge flounder are beginning to gang up at the passes as well. The trout fishermen who resist the temptation of schooling fish can also be rewarded with some exceptional fish prowling the shallow flats along the lake, especially in the late afternoons. A solid tide movement late in the fall afternoons is a recipe for success if you are hunting a big fish of any species right now.

The anticipation that will build in these next few days leading to the month of November will test the patience of many sportsmen. The long wait is almost over and all that preparation will begin to pay dividends for those who put the work in earlier during the year. From ducks to deer it doesn’t matter, the day we have all been waiting for is upon us and the conditions could not be better for the opener. As always remember that woods will be full of people and safety will be as important as ever. No trophy is worth the risk of getting hurt or hurting someone else. It’s almost here, lets enjoy it.

 Photo: Trophies like this monster 191 inch buck that Blaine Boudreaux shot recently are what Texas hunters dream about.