At its basal level, a shotgun or rifle is a tool designed to do one thing: push a bullet or charge of shot down its barrel. That’s it! Those of us that love shooting and hunting with firearms have all sorts of specialized uses for our ‘tools’ and we have learned to adapt them to meet our special needs. But unlike many tools, firearms have the ability to protect us from harm, or to aid in putting a venison steak on our plate, or possibly provide us with a big skillet of fried quail and gravy. We cherish our firearms and become attached to them in ways that we would never feel about a chainsaw or hammer which are also ‘tools’. A firearm we have used for many years takes on a life of its own, and we look at it almost as we would a prized hunting dog. When we pick it up for a cleaning and put a light coat of oil on the barrel or stock, our mind is flooded with past memories: that brace of bull sprigs we took with our old English made over and under, or possibly that 300-yard shot with our trusty .270 on whitetail that enabled us to put that big whitetail mount on the wall.
Schools & Sports
Harry and I “fell down on our jobs” this year as far as reporting the wins and losses of the LIONS of (as we call it) E. T. S. U. (East Texas State University) in Commerce, Texas. So, here, briefly, is what transpired this past 2021-2022 season.
I began writing about retired Lake Lavon crappie guide Billy Kilpatrick a quarter century ago when he first began his almost quarter century guiding career on Lake Lavon. I first fished with guide Brandon Sargent this past fall at Lake Ray Hubbard. This week, I was honored to join both guides on Lake Lavon for some springtime shallow water crappie fishing.
Keep Mesquite Beautiful, Inc. (KMB) is seeking volunteers for its community litter cleanup event, Trash Bash, to be held on April 30 from 9 a.m. to noon. Trash Bash is an opportunity for families, neighbors, and groups to come together and help beautify Mesquite.
Trinity Valley Community College added another national championship trophy to their collection of hardware.
I grew up in northeast Texas in the fifties and sixties, way before there were big reservoirs to fish. My mother and dad were avid ‘pond’ fishermen and had access to the majority of farm ponds in northern Red River County. They were avid bass anglers; my mom used a steel rod and one of the ‘knuckle buster’ reels of the era. She had only a couple of lures and I remember vividly retrieving her snagged Lucky 13 plug from willow branches on many occasions. But the majority of our fishing was done with Calcutta poles and live shiners below a ‘cork’ or floater. We would ease along the ponds and vertically drop the live bait into likely bits of cover. Back then we ate every fish we caught, including largemouth bass.
If you’re like many deer hunters, the last time you touched your hunting rifle was several months ago at the close of deer season when you gave it a quick spray of gun oil, wiped it down and placed it in your gun cabinet. If you take a quick glance at your trusty rifle, she will look as good as new on the outside but what about your rifle’s bore? Did you take the time to completely remove all the fouling (carbon and copper) that accumulated throughout the season? It’s the lands and grooves inside the barrel that stabilize the bullet as it spins down the barrel. If these are plugged with residue, the bullet simply isn’t spinning correctly and accuracy cannot be achieved. If, like many Texans, you shoot and hunt with your rifle throughout the year on hog and exotic game hunts, regular cleaning is very important.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted multiple changes to the freshwater fishing regulations for the upcoming 2022-2023 season at the meeting held March 24.
The North Forney High School Winterguard recently competed in the North Texas Colorguard Association (NTCS) Colorguard Competition and finished with a top award. The competition, held on Saturday, March 26 in Lewisville, Texas was one of several competitions the North Forney Winterguard will compete in this year.
The Forney High School Highsteppers Dance Team recently competed in the HTE Dance competitions on Saturday, March 26 and returned home with the Grand National Championship title!
The Forney JV Color Guard captured the gold at the 2022 NTCA Championships over the weekend! With a final score of 92.4, the JV placed 1st out of all 38 competing teams. The Color Guard would like to thank all of the parent, teacher, and student volunteers that helped them have a remarkable season.
RESULTS FROM THE 26TH ANNUAL CLAY JONES MEMORIAL RELAYS
The Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame committee is pleased to announce that professional angler Gary Klein of Mingus, Texas will be inducted into the hall of fame in 2022. Klein has been an anchor in professional fishing for 42-years and an innovator on the cutting edge of the sport. Additionally, Klein generously gives back to the fishing community through volunteer work with kids and military veterans.
Nowhere but Texas! I was enjoying a nonstop white bass catching trip on Lake Ray Hubbard with my friend guide Brandon Sargent on a springlike day with temperatures in the seventies. One day later I found myself all bundled up and shivering, waiting for a wild hog to show in a stretch of remote bottomland up in Wood County. This is typical of Texas and experiences that most outdoors folks can relate to. In last week’s column, I recapped the red hot winter white bass fishing at Ray Hubbard, so suffice it to say the action is still underway. I was back on the water with Brandon Sargent, and white or chartreuse half-ounce slabs in water around 40 feet deep remains the ticket to a limit of good eating cold water white bass.
When I played basketball for the Jackrabbits in the late 1960s, we matched up twice against a good Wilmer-Hutchins team that featured Royce West as one of its stars, and I know we won one game and maybe the other! West was a “force,” and I always thought he might have been the best modern player they had— until a LITTLE GUY came along and made everyone forget about a lot of things as he “jumped out of the gym.” He was called “SPUD WEBB” and could accomplish unbelievable dunks and ball-handling plays!