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MARCH 2017

Central Texas Renovations at Lake Brownwood State Park See page 2

BOSQUE RIVER TRAIL PROVIDES OUTSTANDING EXERCISE See page 3

W W W.YOU RGL E N RO SE T X .COM

Glen Rose Reporter


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Central Texas Outdoors 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Renovations at Lake Brownwood State Park BY BLAKE MUNROE

BROWNWOOD BULLETIN bmunroe@brownwoodbulletin.com

The Lake Brownwood State Park has always been a popular area attraction, with both local and out of town visitors flocking to the location every spring, summer and fall. Since 1938 people from all around have called it their camping home. This year, however, people will begin to see some new changes to the park and they will most likely welcome them with open arms. “We’ve been real fortunate to receive a grant through a program that is made available from the state parks,” said John Holland, who serves as the park superintendent. “It helps us take care of a lot of our furniture out here. Many people don’t realize that we are still using the furniture that was made in the 1930s out here. Years of hard use has put that furniture in pretty poor condition, so this grant has really helped us out.” Those who stay overnight in the lodging that the park ofState Park, 23

Refinished furniture inside and outside, blinds, new bedding, and new kitchen shelving are among the renovations, as well as tables, chairs, and chest of drawers in the cabins at Lake Brownwood. The cabins were built in the 1930s and some had the original furniture. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS


Sunday, March 26, 2017 

Central Texas Outdoors

3

A change for the better

BY CALEB McCAIG

cmccaig@empiretribune.com

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The Bosque River Trail in Stephenville offers an opportunity for people to not only be active, but do so in the outdoors.

Inactivity and refusal of getting outdoors threatens the well-being of many, but a change is not farfetched. In the days of cell phones and social media getting outside and enjoying the outdoors has become something that people are doing less and less often. For many, especially children, getting outside is vital for the human body and the development of younger individuals. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife, research shows that children and families who play outdoors or thrust themselves into nature are healthier, happier and smarter overall. In addition, it’s also been proven that looking at a garden, trees or just going on a walk can make someone just happier in general. “It is very important for individuals to get outside, especially in a generation that is so sedentary,” says Tarleton State University Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness Rachel Cinquepalmi. “Many studies show that exercising outdoors bring feelings of increased energy levels and positive activity which then decreases feelings of anxiety, tension or sadness.” Being physically inactive as a whole is also considered Change, 9


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Central Texas Outdoors 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE FILE PHOTO

Brownwood Bass Club’s annual tournament scheduled for April 7

BY BLAKE MUNROE

BROWNWOOD BULLETIN bmunroe@brownwoodbulletin.com

Each year the Brownwood Bass Club puts on a large tournament that is open to the public. This year is no different, as they’re gearing up for what they hope to be their biggest and best one to date. With many prizes to give and numerous payouts up for grabs, there’s a great chance that will definitely be the case. This year’s tournament will begin on Saturday, April 7 at the Mountain View RV and Marina that sits on Lake Brownwood and it marks yet another one in the tournament’s long history. “This is the 44th annual tournament that we have put on,” said Tully Hair, a representative of Brownwood’s Bass Club. “We’ve been doing this awhile as you can tell from the num-

ber. We missed one year awhile back, around five years or so, and this was due to low water levels. So this is the 44th one but it just took us 45 years to get there.” “We actually do numerous tournaments throughout the year. We have a monthly tournament that we put on for our members. This one is different though. It’s the only tournament that we put on that is open to the entire public. We just do it once a year, which really makes it special,” he added. Besides offering prizes to winners, the tournament also helps improve the fishing experience on Lake Brownwood. “Our mission statement is to promote more and better fishing in Lake Brownwood,” Hair said. “This is our only fundraiser for the year. We keep a small percentage off the top

and then we use the rest for Lake Brownwood directly or we buy rods and reels for kids. Whatever money we have we try to reinvest to help make everyone’s fishing experience better. It changes each year on what we do, but we always try to put it back in the lake or invest it into something locally that has to do with fishing.” Last year’s turnout was quite high number wise and the Bass Club expects an even larger number this year. “We had 160 or so people at the 43rd tournament that took place last time,” Hair explained. “This year though I think it will be higher. I believe that the current lake level, which is very high, will be a big factor in that. We should have a great tournament this year.” The tournament itself offers something for everyone. There

are different divisions based on different criteria that allow participants to go head to head against people of the same age or the same sex. Everyone is encouraged to take part in the main tournament, however. “There’s a few of them,” Hair said of the divisions. “We have a women’s division so women can fish against other women. We also have a junior division for people under the age of 16. It’s one of those deals where if women or younger kids want to fish in the open division, they’re more than welcome to, but if not they can stay in their own divisions. The good thing about them is that they’re considerably cheaper when it comes to the entry fee when you compare it to the open tournament. They also offer prizes, but those prizes don’t pay as much as the regular tournament itself.”

And speaking of prizes, there are numerous ones up for grab. “We offers both cash prizes and material prizes,” said Hair. “First place is $2000 and then we payout the top 25 places with different amounts. There is also bonus money that is given for various things such as the smallest stringer weight. On top of all that we have some great sponsors that donate some great items. We can’t thank them enough for all they do, because it gives us a chance to award fishermen with even more prizes.” For those wanting to take part in the Brownwood Bass Club tournament, signup forms are available at the marina, the Brownwood Chamber of Commerce, the Early Chamber of Commerce and they can also be found on the Bass Club’s Facebook page.


Sunday, March 26, 2017 

Central Texas Outdoors

Sunscreen: Can it REALLY let you tan safely?

BY J. MICHAEL ROSS jross@empiretribune.com

With spring already here and summer looming large on the horizon, many of us will be spending a lot more time out in the sun. That brings up the topic of tanning and the use of sunscreen to help prevent premature aging of the skin — and of course — avoiding skin cancer that can in some cases lead to death. This article is not intended as medical advice — always consult trained, licensed medical professionals for that. However, we can take a look at where the idea that being tanned is a beautiful thing became popular, and what people in the medical field have to say about the effects of tanning and the use of sunscreen, both good and bad. Eonline.com confirms that we can pretty much

blame the tanning obsession on fashion designer Coco Chanel — think suits and little black dresses — starting in 1929. “Prior to the early 20th century, many civilizations valued fair, porcelain complexions as a sign of wealth and luxury,” the website states. “Leave it to the ultimate trendsetter, Coco Chanel, to change things up and popularize tanning. Returning from a yacht-bound vacation, the style icon donned sun-kissed skin that many women started to emulate thereafter.” A recent report by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bio Engineering, [NIBIB] part of the US Dept. of Health and Human Services says, “Commercial sunscreens use compounds that effectively filter out damaging UV light. However, there is concern that these agents

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have a variety of harmful effects due to penetration past the surface skin. For example, these products have been found in human breast tissue and urine and are known to disrupt the normal function of some hormones.” In an article for Reader’s Digest by Lauren Gelman entitled, “10 Sunscreen Myths you believe that make dermatologists cringe,” she writes: “It’s a dermatologist mantra: There. Is. No. Such. Thing. As. A. Safe. Tan. ‘A tan is literally your body’s response to being injured by UV exposure,’ says Darrell Rigel, MD, a clinical professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center. Gelman continues, “When your cells are exposed to UV light, they produce more melanin, the Sunscreen, 19

TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE FILE PHOTO

Five ways to enjoy fishing without breaking the bank BY CALEB McCAIG

cmccaig@empiretribune.com

One of America’s favorite hobbies, especially for those who enjoy the outdoors, is fishing. Many people dream of the weekends of early mornings on the lake, tying hook knots and placing worms or spinner baits at the end of their lines. However, like with many hobbies overs the years fishing has also moved into a category of a hobby that can become expensive quickly, sometimes pricing those who love the activity out of partaking as much as they desire. Fortunately, there are several ways to enjoy a day on the water without breaking the bank.

1. Revamp a lure

TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE FILE PHOTO

Whether it’s your favorite colored Rapala X-Rap or your jig or crank bait of choice, just because a hook goes dull or the body picks up some rust doesn’t mean it’s the end of the line. Steel wool can help revive that shine

after a bit of scrubbing and a file or sharpener can get almost any hook back to looking new and fresh out of the package.

2. You don’t need a boat to fish One of the common misconceptions is that to be a successful fisherman you must own a shiny new boat. You can have just as much fun skipping the extra payment and visiting the many angling opportunities made available by the Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD). For example, the TPWD offers Community Fishing Lakes all over the state of Texas. These lakes are public impoundments of 75 acres or smaller that are located within an incorporated city limits or a public park, or any impoundment lying totally within the boundaries of a state park. The lakes are subject to special regulations on catfish and fishing gear and many are stocked annually with Fishing, 19


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Central Texas Outdoors 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hunting prospects promising for spring turkeys

TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE FILE PHOTO TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT news@brownwoodbulletin.com

AUSTIN — With a significant carryover of mature gobblers and an influx of young birds to match wits against, hunter patience as much as skill may be put to the test during this year’s spring turkey season. According to biologists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), Texas Rio Grande wild turkey numbers have boomed over the past few years thanks to timely rainfall and relatively cool summer conditions that have set the stage for optimum reproduction and recruitment. As a result, turkeys are making a comeback in many areas where they had been lost due to extended periods of drought and that’s good news for turkey hunters hoping to bag a bird this spring. More turkeys may not guarantee immediate success. Biologists predict the

early spring green-up and abundance of juvenile hens could have a profound impact on breeding behavior or at least on a gobbler’s willingness to come to the call this season. “Field observations indicate flocks have already begun to break up and toms have been strutting for weeks,” said Jason Hardin, TPWD Upland Game Bird Program specialist. “That means many hens could become interested in breeding near opening day of the season, effectively hampering a hunter’s chances of luring lovestruck gobblers. If you do go early in the season some of the best hunting could be mid-day after hens split off from males. “However, by mid-season most of the hens should be bred and incubating eggs leaving a large number of mature gobblers looking for love,” he noted. “Also, if conditions remain mild and if we get a few more timely rain events, Texas can

expect another good year of nesting and populations growth.” The spring season for Rio Grande turkey got under way March 11-12 with a youth-only weekend in the South Zone, followed by a general season that runs through April 30 and then culminates with a youth-only weekend May 6-7. In the North Zone, the youth-only weekend seasons are March 25-26 and May 20-21. The North Zone general season opens April 1 and runs through May 14. A special one-gobbler limit season runs April 1-30 in Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Fayette, Jackson, Lavaca, Lee, Matagorda, Milam, and Wharton counties. Hunters who were on birds last year can expect more of the same in East Texas this spring. “They should be there again this spring,” said Hardin. “We do not expect to see a significant population shift from the 2016 season.”

Eastern spring turkey hunting in the counties having an open season is April 15-May 14. Hunters are required to report harvest of eastern turkeys electronically to TPWD within 24 hours of harvest. Reports can be made through the TPWD My Texas Hunt Harvest App or online from the TPWD turkey page at www.tpwd. texas.gov/turkey . The app is available for free download from Google Play or the App Store. Hunters will be issued a confirmation number upon completion of the reporting process. Hunters still have to tag harvested birds. The new harvest reporting app can also be used as a tool for voluntarily reporting and tracking harvests of other resident game species, including Rio Grande turkey. With My Texas Hunt Harvest, hunters can log harvested game animals and view harvest history, including dates and locations of every hunt.


6

Central Texas Outdoors 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hunting prospects promising for spring turkeys

TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE FILE PHOTO TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT news@brownwoodbulletin.com

AUSTIN — With a significant carryover of mature gobblers and an influx of young birds to match wits against, hunter patience as much as skill may be put to the test during this year’s spring turkey season. According to biologists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), Texas Rio Grande wild turkey numbers have boomed over the past few years thanks to timely rainfall and relatively cool summer conditions that have set the stage for optimum reproduction and recruitment. As a result, turkeys are making a comeback in many areas where they had been lost due to extended periods of drought and that’s good news for turkey hunters hoping to bag a bird this spring. More turkeys may not guarantee immediate success. Biologists predict the

early spring green-up and abundance of juvenile hens could have a profound impact on breeding behavior or at least on a gobbler’s willingness to come to the call this season. “Field observations indicate flocks have already begun to break up and toms have been strutting for weeks,” said Jason Hardin, TPWD Upland Game Bird Program specialist. “That means many hens could become interested in breeding near opening day of the season, effectively hampering a hunter’s chances of luring lovestruck gobblers. If you do go early in the season some of the best hunting could be mid-day after hens split off from males. “However, by mid-season most of the hens should be bred and incubating eggs leaving a large number of mature gobblers looking for love,” he noted. “Also, if conditions remain mild and if we get a few more timely rain events, Texas can

expect another good year of nesting and populations growth.” The spring season for Rio Grande turkey got under way March 11-12 with a youth-only weekend in the South Zone, followed by a general season that runs through April 30 and then culminates with a youth-only weekend May 6-7. In the North Zone, the youth-only weekend seasons are March 25-26 and May 20-21. The North Zone general season opens April 1 and runs through May 14. A special one-gobbler limit season runs April 1-30 in Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Fayette, Jackson, Lavaca, Lee, Matagorda, Milam, and Wharton counties. Hunters who were on birds last year can expect more of the same in East Texas this spring. “They should be there again this spring,” said Hardin. “We do not expect to see a significant population shift from the 2016 season.”

Eastern spring turkey hunting in the counties having an open season is April 15-May 14. Hunters are required to report harvest of eastern turkeys electronically to TPWD within 24 hours of harvest. Reports can be made through the TPWD My Texas Hunt Harvest App or online from the TPWD turkey page at www.tpwd. texas.gov/turkey . The app is available for free download from Google Play or the App Store. Hunters will be issued a confirmation number upon completion of the reporting process. Hunters still have to tag harvested birds. The new harvest reporting app can also be used as a tool for voluntarily reporting and tracking harvests of other resident game species, including Rio Grande turkey. With My Texas Hunt Harvest, hunters can log harvested game animals and view harvest history, including dates and locations of every hunt.


OUTDOOR LIVING | PASSING IT ON

Sunday, March 26, 2017 

Central Texas Outdoors

7

Outdoor Safety for Kids

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s there a more beautiful sight than watching a child gain great enjoyment from the outdoors? As parents, we are encouraged to let children explore the outside world so they can experience what lives and breathes around them.

There also are some real responsibilities that come with the fun of the outdoors, responsibilities that parents must make sure their children understand. By setting some basic boundaries and remaining vigilant of your child’s outdoor exposure, now is the perfect time to set up the next generation for a lifetime of love of all things nature.

IMPORTANT LESSONS There are certain rules children should learn to make sure they stay safe and sound outdoors. These include helping them become aware of the environment and the creatures that live there. You also should teach your kids more specific fundamentals, such as how to recognize poison ivy, poison sumac and poison oak. Let them know the importance of staying away from these pesky plants, and also to find you if they come into contact with them. Here are some other tips on what your kids should be learning from you, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children: • Children should always watch where they put their hands and feet, and if they leave shoes outside, make sure they know to check them

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before putting them back on; • Be cautious when lifting boards or rocks to find animals and insects, and be careful to observe what is living there without disturbing its environment; and • Don’t leave behind the

essentials when you hit the trail, packing plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen and a firstaid kid for a day of hiking.

WEATHER PREPARATION You should prepare your child to encounter rain, snow,

heat and cold when they are spending time outdoors. Wearing the right clothing is important to staying safe, warm and dry when the weather turns. Hydration also is key, especially on hot days. Don’t let

your kids get so distracted by nature that they forget essential hydration techniques, such as drinking enough water. Ultimately, spending quality time outdoors is about finding the natural balance between enjoyment and safety.


Central Texas Outdoors 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

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Sunday, March 26, 2017 

Change

CONTINUED FROM 2 a risk factor for several illnesses and medical conditions. According to the World Health Organization, about two million people worldwide die from conditions related to physical activity each year and it includes people of all ages. From children to the elderly, negative consequences are there if you live a sedentary lifestyle. Several consequences include an increased chances of hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, Osteoporosis, colon and breast cancer, gallstone formation and diabetes. That’s of course on top of the already known doubled risk of obesity and higher chance of developing depression or anxiety. “There are hundreds of benefits associated with physical activity. Weight control, increased endorphin levels, strengthening of bones and muscles, improving mental health and mood and the reduction of many chronic diseases are just a few of those benefits,” said Cinquepalmi. “Those who live active lifestyles are more likely to enjoy their life overall as they would experience physical well-being and reduced levels of stress.” For many, the idea of a healthier and active lifestyle outdoors is something they want. But it can be easier said than done. Questions like where to start and how to

Rachel Cinquepalmi Tarleton State University Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness become active are main questions that these people don’t know the answer to which only keeps them in their inactive ways longer. Tarleton’s Cinquepalmi has a simple answer for those searching for these answers. “When people ask me for the best exercise to do or to jump start that transition to a more healthy lifestyle, I always reply with the same answer - the best exercise is the exercise that you will actually do,” she says. “Regardless if one prefers walking, cycling, yoga or swimming, the key is to get moving. Try a variety of exercises if that’s what it takes and don’t be afraid to test the waters.”

Central Texas Outdoors

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Central Texas Outdoors 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Natural tips to beat seasonal respiratory health challenges

SPECIAL TO THE BULLETIN news@brownwoodbulletin.com

(StatePoint) — Spring and summer can be particularly difficult times of year for those with respiratory health challenges, when simple activities like gardening, walking the dog and reading a book on the patio can cause itching, wheezing, sneezing and trouble breathing. “It is all about improving one’s immune function in response to environmental factors, which can mean the difference between perpetual discomfort and a happy, vital spring and summer,” says Kelly Heim, PhD, senior di-

rector of Scientific Affairs at Pure Encapsulations, a leading manufacturer of dietary supplements. Whether you are looking to make your garden the envy of the neighborhood, or you simply want to stay active and comfortable while enjoying the outdoors, consider the following treatments and tips.

Something Sweet Honey isn’t just delicious; it can be therapeutic, potentially helping you to alleviate seasonal symptoms. However, it

Andrii Oleksiienko - Fotolia.com

is important you select honey produced in your local area for this strategy to work. You should also know that this immunotherapeutic approach won’t protect against all the causes of respiratory health challenges.

Dietary Supplements Your nutritional intake can have a large impact on the way you feel in spring. Consider a dietary supplement designed to support both innate and adaptive immune response. For example, Pure Encapsulations AllerEssentials with EpiCor contains a blend of nutrients and herbal extracts designed to promote healthy immune function in response to environmental factors. Research suggests that it enhances natural killer

cell activation, B cell and T cell function, and salivary IgA levels; and that the quercetin, hesperidin and vitamin C in the supplement provide additional support for stabilizing mast cells which can release histamines and exacerbate respiratory issues. More information can be found at PureEncapsulations.com/alleressentials.

Practical Considerations While building up your immune response is crucial in the battle against respiratory problems, you can make your home a healthy oasis from with a few practical considerations. Create a makeshift mudroom or landing zone in your foyer. Remove shoes and outer layers when you get home, and ask your guests to do the

same upon arrival. Keep your bedroom particularly protected from the outdoors, for example, don’t toss the same jeans and clothing that have been on a picnic blanket on your bedspread. Wash your hair in the evening before going to sleep, particularly after a day in the garden, and remember to change and launder your pillows and linens regularly.

Ask a Doctor When it comes to health, there is no one-size-fits all solution. Talk with your health care provider, who can help you pinpoint the exact source of your suffering, in order to determine the best treatment options for you. With a few lifestyle changes, you can look forward to a season of breathing easy.


OUTDOOR LIVING | TREADING LIGHTLY

Sunday, March 26, 2017 

Central Texas Outdoors

11

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I

Campfire Safety

t’s important to minimize our impact on the great outdoors. From the trees to the wildlife, there are many species that can be affected by how we choose to start, maintain and put out our campfires.

Making sure we stay cognizant of their needs and habitats is the first step to proper fire safety. The best, safest place to start a fire is within an existing fire ring. The ring should be located in an appropriate place — away from trees and buildings. Remember to keep your fire in the ring. You should only keep the fire burning for the amount of time you are using it. In other words, never leave your fire unattended. Here are a few tips on fire safety from

the Center for Outdoors Ethics: • Avoid using hatchets or saws, or breaking branches off standing trees. Dead and downed wood burns easily, is easy to collect and leaves less impact. • Use small pieces of wood no larger than the diameter of an adult wrist that can be broken with your hands. • Gather wood over a wide area away from camp. Use dry driftwood on rivers and seashores. • Don’t bring firewood from home. Either buy it from a local source or

gather it responsibly where allowed. • Burn all wood to white ash. Grind small coals to ash between your gloved hands, thoroughly soak with water and scatter the remains over a large area away from camp. Ashes may have to be packed out in river corridors. • Replace soil where you found it when cleaning up a mound or pan fire. • Scatter unused wood to keep the area as natural-looking as possible. • Pack out any campfire litter. Never burn plastics and foil-lined wrappers.


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Central Texas Outdoors 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Coleman County’s Pharmacy since 1923

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Our community invites you to spend time with us enjoying all our hunting opportunities, fishing in one of our local lakes, or just dining in a local restaurant or shopping in one of our unique retail businesses. Fall will be very busy in Coleman and Coleman County, come experience our festivals and events, family activities and spend some time shopping and dining with us. Be sure and bring your family and enjoy our small town charm. We are a quick drive from Brownwood, San Angelo and Abilene. For more information on what’s happening in Coleman you can contact the Chamber of Commerce at 325625-2163 or visit www.colemantexas.org.

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Central Texas Outdoors

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Central Texas Outdoors 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Where to bag a spring gobbler BY LUKE CLAYTON

SPECIAL TO THE BULLETIN news@brownwoodbulletin.com

PHOTO OOURTESY OF LUKE CLAYTON

Upcoming hunting seasons

We’re fortunate to live in a state where the turkey population is well dispersed from the pine and hardwood timberlands in the eastern portion of the state to the ruggedly beautiful Caprock country of the Panhandle. I’ve been chasing longbeards here in the Lone Star State for over 30 years now and can truly state that every hunt has been a great adventure and no two have unfolded exactly the same. Last year I called a boss gobbler to the banks of the Brazos River up in Palo Pinto County, yet he simply would not fly across, he was gobbling his head off just behind a big pile of driftwood. I went down river, around a bend, crossed the river and put the sneak on him. I also hunted the Eastern birds in East Texas and then traveled out to the Panhandle and enjoyed hunting birds that, before I arrived, likely had never heard a call. Calling up a wary Eastern bird on a pine-covered hillside in East Texas is a far different endeavor than tricking a Rio in the Edwards Plateau. Both hunts are exciting and, because of the vastly different

terrain, each presents challenges unique to the region. There are pockets in northeast Texas where Eastern birds are flourishing thanks to restocking efforts almost three decades ago, but numbers have been on the decline in other counties, resulting in a closed season in many counties that once allowed spring hunting. The counties up along the Red River (i.e. Red River, Lamar and Bowie counties) currently have good numbers of Eastern birds. Texas arks and Wildlife and The National Turkey Federation recently restocked wild trapped turkeys at Gus Engling Wildlife Management Area in Anderson County. With more stockings planned, the outlook is bright for the restoration of the Eastern turkey. Let’s take a look at the hunting opportunities here in Texas. Hopefully my experiences throughout the past three decades will help you decide where you might want to go prospecting for Ole’ Longbeard this spring! n THE EDWARDS PLATEAU: This huge region is home to one of the largest populations of Rio Grande turkeys in the entire

Andrews

Spring Turkey: April 1 - May 14, 2017

Gobbler, 20


OUTDOOR LIVING | EXCURSIONS

Sunday, March 26, 2017 

Central Texas Outdoors

Plan A Fly-Fishing Trip

Researching your destination before you get on the road can save you money, time and frustration. There is much to learn, including information about ease of access, terrain, available water, available species, weather and local catch laws. The more you know in advance, the more enjoyable your trip will be.

Y

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ou’ve saved your money for your dream fly-fishing trip, but how can you ensure that your trip lives up to your expectations?

KNOW YOUR FISH Decide which species of fish you’d like to catch and plan your trip accordingly. Just because a lodge lists many available species, don’t assume the species you’re after is always available. Call ahead and ask to save yourself from an unpleasant surprise later. If you’re looking to catch trout but it’s not a time of year when they are ample, you’ll have to choose another date on the calendar.

KNOW YOUR LODGE Research the lodges you’re considering. Look online, but also talk to folks who have spent time there. Here are some basic questions to ask before booking your lodge: • Will I have access to a fly shop and experienced guides? • Does the lodge specialize

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in a particular species during the time of year I will be visiting? • What kind of amenities are available in the lodge? What should I bring from home? • Can you provide me with

a list of references who recently visited your lodge? • What percentage of your business comes from repeat customers?

EXTRA FEES When choosing a lodge or

fishing destination, ask about extra fees that may be associated with your stay to avoid sticker shock at the end of a fun trip. Be sure to find out if there is a minimum requirement for the amount of nights you

stay, and don’t forget to inquire about bringing pets or additional guests. The key is to make sure you know what you want to get out of your trip before you throw down a sizable deposit on a lodge.


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Central Texas Outdoors 

Sunday, March 26, 2017


Sunday, March 26, 2017 

Central Texas Outdoors

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OUTDOOR LIVING | TOOLS

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Cleaning Your Rifle

Central Texas Outdoors 

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

ny hunter knows the importance of cleaning and maintaining weapons. But that point really hits home when you’re out in the field with a suddenly jammed rifle, immovable because of poor maintenance.

Especially during cold-season hunts, moisture can collect and freeze in the dirt living inside your rifle. Fortunately, by following some simple cleaning tips, you can make sure your weapon remains at your side. Before you go on your next big hunt, take a few minutes to consider the following recommendations.

KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME One of the most important factors in keeping your weapon clean is routine maintenance. When cleaning your rifle, remove the bolt and look in the muzzle. If there are any signs of built-up powder residue, clean it immediately. Your shooting accuracy can be impacted as your barrel accumulates this residue. If you want an accurate shot, it’s time to grab your cleaning tools.

A THOROUGH CLEAN If it’s time to clean the inside of your rifle, it’s probably time for an exterior cleaning, as well. Your entire weapon — including the magazine follower and spring — likely could use a light application of solvent to remove grease and oil. A good blast of carb and choke cleaner also will work wonders. Let the cleaner evaporate and check out the per-

© FOTOLIA

fectly bare metal that will improve the functionality — and look — of your favorite weapon. Finally, don’t forget to follow any cleaning instructions that came with your rifle.

IN-THE-FIELD ADJUSTMENTS If you’re hunting in the elements, it’s important to be prepared for any type of weather condition that can compromise your weapon, especially

rain or snow. A few tools to remember to bring into the field include a rod and solid brass tool in case the barrel gets plugged, a can of oil and cotton rags for cleaning on the spot.

No matter what type of weapon you have at your disposal, keeping it clean should be a priority. A clean gun makes for accurate, smooth shooting and keeps you safe.


Sunday, March 26, 2017 

Sunscreen CONTINUED FROM 5

pigment that colors your skin, which is why you tan. But this is a sign that damage has already been done, not protection against future sun exposure.” Finally, here are some impor-

tant points from the Skin Cancer Foundation to consider when tanning and using sunscreen: • Broad Spectrum: It’s essential for your sunscreen to offer broad spectrum protection, which means that it offers effective protection against both UVA(ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) rays, the solar wavelengths proven to damage

Central Texas Outdoors

the skin. UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB, and are the chief cause of wrinkles, sagging and other signs of aging. UVB rays damage the skin’s upper surface and are the main cause of sunburn. Both cause skin cancer. • Sun Protection Factor (SPF): SPF is a measure of how long a person can stay in the sun

before its UVB rays start to burn the skin. Let’s say with no sunscreen, your skin starts to redden in 20 minutes. An SPF 30 will theoretically allow you to stay in the sun 30 times longer without getting burned. It’s important to reapply every two hours and after swimming or heavy sweating.  Also note that above SPF 50 the amount of

Fishing

additional sun protection is negligible. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends always using a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher – SPF 30 or higher for extended stays outdoors. For more information about tanning, sunscreen, and the effects of tanning on the skin, visit www.skincancer.org.

4. Make the most of your line

CONTINUED FROM 5 catfish and/or rainbow trout. While there are no Community Fishing Lakes in Erath County, there are locations in Somervell, Bosque, Hamilton, Palo Pinto, Eastland and Brown counties. Locations can be found on the TPWD website.

Fishing line is expensive, especially if you’re using braid or fluorocarbon by the 300 yard spools. One way to make the most of your line investment is to you fill the bottom half of your reel spool with cheaper line. Almost all reels will hold much more line than you’ll likely ever cast so using some filler can be an ideal option.

5. Take advantage of fishing reports

3. Make your own lures

TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE FILE PHOTO

Every fisherman gets fed up with buying lures. Whether it’s a $10 crank bait or jig, no matter how many hits it gets, it isn’t as fun as making your own and catching that first fish. Skirt-making kits can be purchased online and the customization options are endless. Anglers can mix and match skirts to jigs, spinnerbaits and anything they can imagine - and for a much lower price.

Before going out anywhere in the state of Texas, to make the most of your trip anglers should check the TPWD website for their latest fishing reports. Here fisherman can read about the water’s sustained temperature and what fish are biting on in their respective waters. The reports are written by region making the entire hunt for the lake your hitting that much shorter.

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Central Texas Outdoors 

Gobbler

CONTINUED FROM 14 country. I’ve often been asked by novice turkey hunters where to go in order to experience large numbers of birds. My answer is, “The western edge of the Edwards Plateau,” more specifically counties within a two-hour drive of San Angelo. For many years, I’ve hunted a ranch in Schleicher County and it’s very common to see two to three HUNDRED birds coming to roost trees along a draw late in the afternoon. I once took a buddy with me on a spring turkey hunt here and we both took nice gobblers during the morning hunt. I told him to leave his shotgun in the truck during late afternoon and follow me; he was going to see something he had probably never seen before. We eased into a ground blind on the edge of the draw with a video camera and waited to see the birds heading to roost. Later that evening, we reviewed the video and estimated 250 birds had walked with view of our blind, there were probably that many more we didn’t see. Don’t think for a moment that all the good turkey hunting in Texas takes place in the Hill Country. But if it’s sheer numbers of birds you wish to experience, book yourself a two day hunt on a good ranch in the Texas

Sunday, March 26, 2017 Hill Country in early to mid April, when the breeding season is usually at its peak. n CROSSTIMBERS AND PRAIRIES REGION: This huge areas encompasses approximately 26,000 square miles and is bounded on the east by Denton County and on the west by Howard, Glasscock and Reagan counties. The terrain varies here from blackland prairie to areas covered with dense mesquite and oak. The region is big and obviously there are areas that hold large numbers of birds and others where turkey sightings are rare. Counties such as Coleman and parts of Brown, as well as several others, hold numbers of birds that rival the Edwards Plateau. The bigger ranches where turkeys are intensively managed can be especially good places to come prospecting for a boss gobbler. I’ve had some great hunts on ranches in Coleman and the western half of Brown County through the years. It’s important to do your homework when choosing a ranch. Find the right ranch where turkey numbers are high and you can be in for the hunt of a lifetime. Remember, it’s nice to see 200 birds a day, as can be the case in the Edwards Plateau, but all you really need is one long bearded gobbler to come strutting with shotgun or bow range! n TEXAS PANHANDLE: I LOVE hunting this region. Hunting pressure is light or non existent and in certain areas, the turkey population is high. Much of this

country is relatively open and some of it, down around Memphis in Hall County, is highly agricultural. Big, wide draws are common here and each winter large numbers of turkeys roost in the larger trees along the creek banks, where they are sheltered from the elements. When breeding season comes, the birds disperse from the bottoms to nearby CRP fields and mesquite flats to nest. Locate a good ranch with one of these draws traversing the property and your scouting is 90 percent done! Just set up on the edge of the big timber along the drainage and catch birds coming up to the more open country. n BRAZOS COUNTRY: The big ranches, some as close as an hour northwest of Ft. Worth, provide excellent turkey hunting. The Brazos River in this region, below Possum Kingdom Lake, is really more of a stream that can we waded in most places, but the constant and dependable water source through the hot summers helps to insure good turkey numbers. If you’re flying in to Texas to hunt turkeys, the DFW Airport is only an hour away. Ranches around Palo Pinto, Graham, Mineral Wells and Breckenridge provide good hunting. n EASTERN BIRDS: While there are many states with much higher populations of Eastern Turkeys, Texas does now have a huntable population in many of the eastern counties, several of the WMA’s in southeast Texas offer hunting for a nominal fee and there are

scattered concentration of birds on several of the national forests. My choice for the traveling hunter coming to Texas to hunt eastern turkey would be along the Red River in Red River or Lamar County, where numbers are highest. If you choose Texas for a spring turkey hunt, I highly recommend bringing your bow or at least some rifled slugs for your shotgun and do a little hog hunting, spend your morning and afternoons chasing our plentiful longbeards, then setting into a ‘hog blind’ around a corn feeder during the last hour or so of daylight! With any luck at all, you’ll return home with the making of plenty of BBQ pork dinners and some fresh turkey breast for the smoker! A COUPLE OF LUKE’S FAVORITE RANCHES FOR SPRING TURKEY HUNTS: n Rio Rojo Ranch, in Red River County offers hunts for Eastern Turkeys. Contact Mike Ford at 903-674-3750. www. riorojorancho.com . n Dale River Ranch, situated on the Brazos River in Palo Pinto County. Day hunts offered. www.daleriverranch.com contact Randy Douglas 214 797 2217 n Ranger Creek Ranch www.rangercreekranch.com in Knox County. Contact Ranell Walker Listen to Outdoors with Luke Clayton Radio Show at www.catfishradio.com. Contact Luke with hunting and fishing news from your area via the web site.


Sunday, March 26, 2017 

Central Texas Outdoors

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West Texas lake produces Toyota ShareLunker 569

news@brownwoodbulletin.com

Angler John Vineyard of Lubbock entered the first West Texas Toyota ShareLunker of the year March 21 with a 13.34-pound largemouth bass he caught at Alan Henry Reservoir southeast of Lubbock. The Toyota ShareLunker program encourages anglers who have caught 13-poundplus largemouth bass to lend the fish to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for spawning ShareLunker 569 purposes. ShareLunker 569 is the 27th entry from Alan Henry Reservoir, which is well-known for yielding big bass to West Texas anglers. The current water body record holder at the lake is ShareLunker 414, a 15-pound largemouth bass angler Billy Greeson of Amarillo caught March 31, 2006. ShareLunker 569 was transported to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens where she will be cared for by the staff and attempted to spawn before being released back into the lake later this year. ShareLunker 569 is the second largest bass caught so far this season. ShareLunker 568, caught by angler Ronnie Arnold of Karnack March 10, weighed in at 15.7 pounds; ShareLunker 567, caught by angler Larry Mosby of Garrison Feb. 28, weighed in at 13.06 pounds; and ShareLunker 566, caught by angler Ryder Wicker of Fort

Worth Feb. 10, weighed in at 13.07 pounds. ShareLunker 569 is the fourth 13-pound or larger Florida largemouth bass submitted to the Toyota ShareLunker program so far this season, but anglers have until March 31 to submit their catch for TPWD to collect as broodstock for spawning. Anglers can enter 13 pounds or heavier bass into the program for certified weight, DNA sample and immediate release through April 30. For complete information and rules of the ShareLunker program and tips on caring for big bass see www.tpwd.texas. gov/sharelunker. The site also includes a searchable database of all fish entered into the program along with pictures where available, and a list of official Toyota ShareLunker weigh and holding stations equipped with certified scales. The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible by funds provided by Gulf States Toyota and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation. Toyota is a longtime supporter of the Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, providing major funding for a wide variety of education, fish, parks and wildlife projects. For updates on the ShareLunker program and to view photos of ShareLunker 569, TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT PHOTO visit https://www.facebook.com/ShareJohn Vineyard of Lubbock entered the first West Texas Toyota ShareLunker of the year March Lunkerprogram/. 21 with a 13.34-pound largemouth bass he caught at Alan Henry Reservoir. Home of delicious hot sandwiches served on our famous Baked Fresh Daily buns, your choice of Rye, Sourdough, Wheat, and Jalapeño Cheese, and individual sized Sourdough Crust Pizzas

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Central Texas Outdoors 

Sunday, March 26, 2017


Sunday, March 26, 2017 

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CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

Refinished furniture inside and outside, blinds, new bedding, and new kitchen shelving are among the renovations, as well as tables, chairs, and chest of drawers in the cabins at Lake Brownwood. The cabins were built in the 1930s and some had the original furniture.

State Park CONTINUED FROM 2

fers to rent will notice the biggest changes according to Holland. They’ve been the focal point of the renovations that have been underway since last year. “There are 16 cabins in the park and basically at this point they’ve all been redone,” Holland said. This includes the tables, chairs and the furniture that is used day to day. We have revamped it all and have tried to make it look as original as possible to the furniture that was brought in here in the 1930s. Everything up to this point looks great and we are real proud of it. This includes the furniture on both the inside and outside of

each cabin.” “We’ve been able to add more seating to the cabins too. We didn’t really have any besides those straight back wooden chairs and there were two to four of those per cabin, depending on the size of them. This has allowed us to put much more comfortable seating in each cabin, especially with couches. They too look pretty similar to what was there in the 1930s, just much more comfortable. People will enjoy it much more I think.” It’s not just the seating that’s been upgraded. Each room inside the cabins have seen changes. Each cabin has had modifications made to it, some more than others. “As a whole the entire cabin has been upgraded,” Holland explained. “Like I said, people are

going to really like it. From the furniture to the bathroom sinks, we’ve put in a lot of work on each one and you can really tell. The amenities are much nicer now, but they still have that old timer feel like the original furniture that was here.” Those who are avid fisherman will be happy to hear that there’s some good news coming out of the park. After a sluggish start, the fishing on Lake Brownwood has began to improve steadily. “The fishing is really picking up,” said Holland. “We had a lot of folks out trying during spring break and it was a little slow then, but it’s picking up now. The two main things we have out here are white bass and crappie. Both of those are doing pretty well now, especially the crappie. It’s not unusual for people to

come out here and hit their bag limit of 25 pretty quickly. One thing we’ve been surprised about is the largemouth bass though. I’ve seen some really nice ones up to this point. People have caught some four, five and six pounders already and that’s been pretty solid. We don’t have a ton of those, but we’ve seen some really nice ones.” If you aren’t interested in testing your skills with a rod and reel, Holland says you can rest easy. The park offers plenty of other activities for outdoor lovers. “We have plenty of other activities out here as well. We have acquired some kayaks and will be renting those out to people, most likely over the weekends. That is always a lot of fun. The hiking is always great and we have many

trails that are both short and long. Right now we’re also seeing a lot of wildflowers beginning to bloom and the birdwatching is also really picking up,” he said. It sounds like there’s something for everyone, no matter the age. With the warm weather picking up, now is the time to enjoy it. “It’s definitely a fun time to be involved with the park, that’s for sure,” Holland said. The Lake Brownwood State Park is open daily, with office hours being 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To rent a cabin or reserve a camping spot, contact the park at 325784-5223. For more information on the activities, check out the Lake Brownwood State Park on Facebook or head to tpwd.texas.gov/ state-parks/lake-brownwood.


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Central Texas Outdoors 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

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