Ray Sasser: This lunker season's a clunker

In the final week of the Toyota ShareLunker program, it seems resigned to die with a whimper. This will be the worst ShareLunker season since the program began in 1987.

North Texas Karters

Ray Sasser: Couple learns fun of spring turkeys

QUANAH — Along the scenic red rock bluffs of the Pease River, Dave and Dell Osborn of Rockwall bought a modest ranch in 2011. They call it Rustic River Ranch and have turned it into a successful hunting operation.

Motor sports: Kyle Busch wins rain-delayed Duck Commander 500

FORT WORTH — The rain fell, the sparks flew and a Saturday night hunt bled into Sunday morning. In the end, fresher tires made the difference and Kyle Busch won the weather-delayed Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. With his second win of the season, the defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion clinched a berth in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff.

Ray Sasser: Three organizations’ fundraisers worthy of support

Three stalwarts of the Dallas outdoors community will host fundraisers this month. It starts with the Dallas Ecological Foundation’s Rendezvous of the Guardians on Thursday, followed by the Dallas Woods and Waters Conservation Club’s 37th Annual Dinner and Benefit Auction on April 16 and the Dallas Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association’s 35th Annual Banquet and Auction on April 21.

AP Images for WWE

Steve Gamel: Who’s the bigger WWE fan, me or the kid?

ARLINGTON — I looked at my son for a brief moment Sunday night and wondered who was the bigger fan — him or me? We were at WrestleMania 32 and we were so excited that we couldn’t catch our breath.

Ray Sasser: Clunn oldest to win B.A.S.S. tourney

Rick Clunn struck a blow for seasoned anglers when he won the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Florida’s St. Johns River last weekend. At 69, Clunn became the oldest angler to win a B.A.S.S. tournament.

Bill Carey

Ray Sasser: Conditions ideal for bass fishing

Strong waterflow in rivers and streams this spring is good news for the Morone family of game fish. For most North Texas lakes, that means white bass, routinely called sand bass.

DMN

Ray Sasser: All fair when hunting these fowl

Wild turkey gobblers are kings of the spring, wearing their colorful feathers like royal robes, fanned out and strutting with self-importance. Wildflower-covered hills reverberate with their calls.

Ray Sasser: Try this for a strange fishing tale

After nearly 60 years of bass fishing, I thought I’d seen just about everything — at least everything involving fish. Keep your eyes and your mind open when you’re outdoors and you will constantly be amazed by nature.

Ray Sasser: Tips for landing the big one

Texas is on the cusp of big bass season. March is prime time.

DMN

Ray Sasser: Cuter than a lab, Huck masters birds

Few bird dogs are considered important enough to have a road named in their honor.

Hunters battle harmful exotic deer

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, free-ranging exotic deer have become so numerous that they’re damaging the habitat in at least two state parks and outcompeting native wildlife.

Motor sports: Pilot Point’s Richardson to settle Daytona fate today

As much as it’s even possible at Daytona International Speedway, Robert Richardson Jr. controls his own destiny. If the Pilot Point resident finishes ahead of Matt DiBenedetto, David Gilliland and Reed Sorenson in tonight’s second race of the Can-Am Duel, he will secure a starting position in the Daytona 500.

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Motor sports: Pilot Point resident lands Daytona 500 ride

Robert Richardson Jr. has started 161 races across NASCAR’s three national series, but he wasn’t sure he’d run another one.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Ray Sasser: ShareLunker program hits a lull

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Toyota ShareLunker season is off to a slow start. The program began in October and there’s just one entry so far, a Sam Rayburn Reservoir 13.2-pounder caught Nov. 2 by Ray Euper of Lufkin.

Local Schedule

Ray Sasser: DFW Boat Expo opens today

The DFW Boat Expo opens today at Dallas Market Hall, 2200 Interstate 35E in Dallas. The show is open through Sunday, then opens again Feb. 11-14.

Ray Sasser: DFW Boat Expo opens next Friday

The DFW Boat Expo is a seven-day show that’s spread over 10 days, Feb. 5-14. It’s closed Feb. 8-10.

Wally Marshall

Ray Sasser: Mr. Crappie eyes Ray Roberts records

Wally Marshall never planned to be a guest lecturer at a college. Marshall, also known by his trademarked “Mr. Crappie” moniker, will headline the upcoming Crappie University at Richland College.

It was derby!

Denton’s North Texas Fallout roller derby team won the 2016 Junior Derby Southern Showdown over the weekend in Houston, defeating the River City Riot in the final. The Fallout’s Ashlyn Clark and Carissa Snow were named the tournament’s top blocker and top jammer.

Ray Sasser: State park damage estimated at $26M

Water damage to state parks caused by the 2015 floods is estimated at $26 million, according to State Parks Division director Brent Leisure.

Friends of Achievers Invitational Results

Courtesy photo

Budding Star

Denton resident Austin Letsche, 9, won the Division 2 title at the recent Texas Novice State Championship wrestling tournament in the 65-pound class. The tournament features wrestlers with less than two years of experience. Letsche pinned three of four opponents, including his opponent in the title match in 55 seconds. Letsche, who attends Nelson Elementary, went on to compete in the Houston Open National Championship on Saturday. He won five of six matches and finished second. Letsche went 28-0 in novice events this season and won all nine tournaments he entered. He is the son of Joe and Alice Letsche.

Ray Sasser: Annual expo a growing adventure

In the last 20 years, the Dallas Safari Club’s annual Convention and Hunters Expo has quietly risen in status to become one of the nation’s premier outdoor shows.

DMN

Ray Sasser: Decades of hunting yield great stories

In 45 years of deer hunting, I’ve been lucky enough to hear many legendary thoughts from a big deer camp full of interesting people.

Denton’s Webb wins buckle in Las Vegas

With Christmas still a week away, Denton’s Riley Webb already has received a huge present.

Ray Sasser: Teen girl bags rare black buck

It was a memorable deer season for Brooke Bateman, 14, of Dallas. Hunting with her father, Mike Bateman, Brooke bagged her first buck Nov. 21.

Ray Sasser: Collin County home to big bucks

If you could set up an archery stand for hunting white-tailed deer anywhere in Texas, you probably wouldn’t choose Collin County. Steve Purcell thinks he has the best archery stand in Texas, and he didn’t even pick out the tree. It’s on an 84-acre tract of land about 20 miles from downtown Dallas.

Ray Sasser: Salvinia threatens Texas’ top bass lake

There’s discouraging news from Lake Fork, where Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists on Nov. 18 confirmed the presence of giant salvinia in Chaney Branch, west of the dam.

DMN

Ray Sasser: Rattling shakes things up

In 1990, I was inextricably linked to the least effective but most exciting form of white-tailed deer hunting when the late Jack Cowan used me as a model in a painting called Coming to Horns.

Ray Sasser: 80-year-old bags rare smoke turkey

Doug Fox was hunting with a crossbow in Bosque County the first time he saw the odd-colored Rio Grande hen turkey. It was during the October archery season. It’s legal to shoot a hen turkey in Bosque County, so Fox, 80, let his arrow fly.

Local Schedule

DMN

Ray Sasser: Harvest now to protect deer population

Deer hunters are afield by the hundreds of thousands this weekend, and many will end their first hunt without firing a shot.

Courtesy photo

Notebook: Denton’s Villagomez wins drawing for Whitetail Bonanza hunt

Virgil Wilson of Euless won the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Texas Grand Slam hunt through the department’s Big Time Texas Hunts computer drawing. A total of 13,478 hunters bought entries at $10 apiece.

Motor sports: Johnson uses late pass to win again at TMS

FORT WORTH — Brad Keselowski arrived at Texas Motor Speedway likely needing a win to advance to the championship round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. For the second consecutive year, six-time champion...

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Motor sports: Nemechek returns after birthday, first win

When John Hunter Nemechek was at Texas Motor Speedway in June, the Camping World Truck Series driver was a spectator.

Ray Sasser: Rain produces growth, boosting deer

White-tailed deer season is setting up as one of those memorable seasons that hunters will speak of in hushed and reverent tones for years to come. Abundant spring and summer rain over most of the state’s whitetail range created a lush growth of native food that left animals fat and healthy entering fall.

Motor sports: Denton banker Ratcliff relishes U.S. Nationals victory

Though he doesn’t have a green jacket to show for it, Kyle Ratcliff likens his winning a drag racing championship in the Stock Eliminator class at September’s Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals to another popular, albeit slower-paced, sporting event.

Ray Sasser: 2015-16 duck season: Expect record number of birds

This year, said Kevin Kraai, hunters should at least open the season with better habitat conditions than usual. Kraai heads the waterfowl program for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Thanks to heavy spring and early summer rains, most reservoirs in north and east Texas remain at healthy levels.

Local Schedule

AP

Motor sports: Hamilton wins U.S. Grand Prix and F1 season championship

AUSTIN — Lewis Hamilton had quite a day at Circuit of the Americas. He spun in the rain during a rare Sunday morning qualifying session, eventually losing out on pole position to his teammate. He later forced that teammate, Nico Rosberg, off the track in the first turn of the race to take the lead. Faster cars passed Hamilton, and he found himself running second on the final restart.

Motor sports: Heavy rain ruins U.S. Grand Prix qualifying in Austin

AUSTIN — Fans danced in ponchos and mechanics horsed around on pit lane, but there was no on-track competition Saturday at the United States Grand Prix.

Ray Sasser: Quail rebounding after rainfall

Quail season begins statewide on Halloween. It looks like quail hunters who remain after years of drought and low bird numbers are in for a treat. Robert Perez was right, and I was wrong.

Ray Sasser: Texas buggies worth three-year wait

John Lannom has built ranch buggies in Fort Stockton since 1975. He’s never advertised his product, never put up a highway billboard, never had a website. Most of the time, Lannom doesn’t even answer the shop phone.

Ray Sasser: Youth weekends offer chance to mentor

Important dates are upcoming in October. Youth-only weekends are set for duck and deer hunting. These early seasons were created so mentors can give their full attention to the kids they guide. Texas children are routinely introduced to hunting at early ages and often without the preparatory work necessary to ensure success.

Ray Sasser: Archers appear to be growing in number

Archery season for white-tailed deer, mule deer and Rio Grande turkeys begins Saturday and continues through Nov. 6. It’s hard to know how many archery hunters are out there, in spite of the fact that they must pay a $7 stamp endorsement to take advantage of the early season.

Ray Sasser: Old-timers share love of good bird dogs

MIAMI, Texas — Delmar Smith and T. Boone Pickens have a lot in common. Both are Oklahoma natives, and both men have a reverence for good bird dogs. Not just bird dogs — good bird dogs, canine Geiger counters that sift the often dusty air for the subtle aroma of America’s finest game bird.

North Texas Karters

North Texas Karters