Ray Sasser

Ray Sasser: Handy gifts for outdoorsmen

Christmas is fast approaching and there’s good news for everyone buying for an outdoorsman. Outdoors is increasingly a gadget-rich environment, and the gadgets come with price tags that fit most budgets. Here are some ideas.

Ray Sasser: Zara Spook lure dates to early 1900s

The best things about hunting camps are the stories repeated by hunters sitting around the table or campfire. Favorites are told and retold until they’re legend, like the night Melvin fell out of his bunk or the morning Emilie killed nine wild hogs with seven shots, plinking away as if in a shooting gallery.

Herring Press

Ray Sasser: Journal shows Unruh’s mastery of color

Readers might not recognize the name Jack Unruh, though they’ve surely seen his illustrations in dozens of magazines and books. Unruh’s style is unique, unforgettable and instantly recognizable.

Courtesy photo

Ray Sasser: Ducks should be abundant in Texas

For the second consecutive year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expects a very good duck migration. The fall flight forecast is based on aerial surveys of breeding ducks in Canada.

Getty Images

Edwards clinches berth in Sprint Cup finale with win in rain-shortened race

FORT WORTH — Carl Edwards arrived at Texas Motor Speedway likely needing a victory to advance to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finale with a chance to win the championship.

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Dale Jarrett discusses Stewart, today’s race at TMS

Twenty-seven times Tony Stewart has run a Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Today’s AAA Texas 500 will be the 28th and final time the three-time NASCAR champion takes the green flag in Denton County.

File photo

Ray Sasser:Tips for a good deer season

Every Texas deer season is a personal best for many lucky hunters. With two years of abundant rainfall, Texas is set up for an outstanding season. There is one slight flaw. There’s a gap in the most desirable age for whitetail bucks.

Texas fishing report

For the DRC

Ray Sasser: Deer hunters should try to ensure they shoot accurately

The long-awaited white-tailed deer season arrives Nov. 5, and there’s preparation work to be done. Job one is to make certain your rifle and scope are lined up to deliver as accurate a shot as possible.

DMN file photo

Ray Sasser: Wildlife offers us greatest show on earth

Hunting seasons are well underway in Texas, and the action ramps up in November with the opening of the general deer season, waterfowl seasons and quail season.

USDA Wildlife Service

Ray Sasser: Urban bobcats avoid humans

Many Dallas-Fort Worth residents share their neighborhoods with wild carnivores so elusive they are seldom seen. An urban bobcat study conducted in Tarrant County indicates that the wild cats readily adapt to an environment that includes more than 220,000 people, fast cars and housing developments.

Special Contributor

Ray Sasser: Prepare kids for hunting

In Texas, we tend to take children hunting at a young age, sometimes too young. They may be unprepared for what can be an intense experience. Some states have a minimum age for hunting, but not Texas. I’ve heard of kids as young as 5 shooting a deer. My son bagged two deer when he was 7.

Texas Fishing Report

Ray Sasser: Lunker changes for better spawning

The 2016-17 Toyota ShareLunker program begins Saturday with a few important tweaks and possibly significant changes planned for future seasons. ShareLunkers are largemouth bass weighing 13 pounds or more that are donated by anglers to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s selective breeding program at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens.

Texas Fishing Report

DMN

Ray Sasser: No place better than a waterhole for seeking doves

If dove hunting is the most fun you can have with a shotgun, and I’m inclined to believe it is, a good waterhole hunt is dove hunting at its best.

Ray Sasser: Tyler hunter builds own dove blinds

Alan Haynes is not as mobile as he once was, but the Tyler sportsman still hunts doves every chance he gets. He derisively calls himself “No Talent Alan,” but he’s being modest. Haynes, 77, still hunts doves with a .410 Remington 1100 auto-loading skeet gun that won’t fire anything but 2 1/2-inch shells. That means he’s shooting a half-ounce of pellets, as opposed to the full ounce of shot that most good 20-gauge loads hold.

DMN

Ray Sasser: Protect hearing from firearm blasts

By now, a million or more shots have been fired at fast-flying Texas doves, and most of the state’s estimated 415,000 dove hunters have destroyed just a little bit more of their hearing.

AP

Late pass by Rahal leads to tight win

FORT WORTH — James Hinchcliffe led the Firestone 600K for 76 days. Graham Rahal led for nine seconds and took home the trophy Saturday night after the closest Indy car finish in Texas Motor Speedway history.

Local schedule

Todd Brewer

Gowdy repeats in bull riding

Despite an afternoon downpour that turned the North Texas Fair and Rodeo arena into less-than-perfect conditions, the skies cleared by showtime and the seats were filled with a sold out crowd.

For the DRC

Bull Blowout begins at fair

The North Texas Fair and Rodeo went to the bovines Thursday night for the first of three nights of the annual Bull Blowout.

For the DRC

Aubrey cowgirl Rutledge takes second in three events

Wednesday night was the second night of the annual 21-and-under rodeo at the North Texas Fair and Rodeo, featuring youths from around the region competing in the same rodeo events as the professionals.

Ray Sasser: Bass bite sweet with topwater lures

The topwater lure landed with a soft splash, and I allowed it to sit until the ripples played out and the surface was again slick as a mirror. I was just about to move the lure when that mirror surface fragmented and the eponymous maw of a largemouth bass inhaled the lure.

Denton cowboys take three events at fair’s youth rodeo

The future stars of rodeo were at the North Texas Fair and Rodeo for the first of two nights of 21-and-under rodeo competition Tuesday.

For the DRC

Sikes Ranch takes rodeo title

Denton-area ranches competed Monday night in the annual ranch rodeo at the North Texas Fair and Rodeo.

Courtesy photo

Scores at rodeo continue to climb

Better conditions meant for better scores and faster times for the professional rodeo action that concluded Sunday night at the 88th annual North Texas Fair and Rodeo with the third of three PRCA rodeo performances.

Colorado cowboy prevails in bareback riding

Despite less than perfect conditions due to the heavy rains, rodeo fans packed the stands Saturday night at the North Texas Fair and Rodeo, including the additional 1,000 seats added for this year’s event, for the PRCA action.

Courtesy photo

Heavy rains muddy first day riding

Heavy rains on Friday made for a muddy arena as the 88th North Texas Fair and Rodeo kicked off with the first of three Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association performances.

Ray Sasser: At least licenses carry no new fees

New hunting and fishing licenses went on sale at about 1,800 Texas retailers Monday, or you can buy them online at http://tpwd.texas.gov. There is a transaction fee for internet sales. Most current licenses expire Aug. 31.

Ray Sasser: Heat affects the fish, too

The dog days of summer are upon us. That doesn’t mean the fishing is bad — it’s not even uncomfortable for the first three or four hours of daylight.

North Texas Karters set to host Grand Nationals this weekend

North Texas Karters will host the International Karting Foundation 4 Cycle Sprint Grand Nationals on Thursday through Saturday at the North Texas Kartway, 3738 Memory Lane, north of Denton.

Ray Sasser: A cheaper alternative for hunting

About 1.25 million Texas hunting licenses were sold during the 2015-16 license cycle, which ends Aug. 31. New licenses go on sale Aug. 15. The state has many more potential hunters who cannot afford to pay private landowners for a hunting lease.

Ray Sasser: Get a dog, avoid snakes

Now that wild quail seem to be making a comeback, a good bird dog is more valuable than ever. That’s why it makes perfect sense to enroll your dogs in a snake avoidance clinic.

DRC

Summer ice

While most Texas high school athletes spend the summer preparing for their upcoming football, basketball or volleyball seasons, Denton’s Kimball Johnson gears up for a cooler, less popular sport.

Track and field: Denton’s McAfee off to Junior Olympics with eyes on 2020

Whether it’s just before the sun rises or long after it has set, Denton High School’s Ben McAfee can be found running. Committed to his dream of making the 2020 U.S. Olympic team, McAfee knows how much work is ahead of him. On Monday in Sacramento, California, he will take a major step toward accomplishing his goal as he competes in the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Championships.

Ray Sasser: Biologist turns AC shells into art

Trey Carpenter calls his metal work “recycle art.” It’s made from the thin metal shell of air-conditioner air handlers.

DRC

Denton resident in running for drag racing title

FORT WORTH — If it has a motor and wheels, Brent Harper is willing to race it.Harper, 47 and a Denton resident, has made a name for himself racing competitively in everything from karts to motorcycles.

Ray Sasser: Zebra mussel invasion can be prevented

Add Lake Worth, Eagle Mountain Lake and Lake Livingston to the list of Texas lakes infected by zebra mussels. Since these east European invasive mollusks were discovered in Lake Texoma in 2009, six lakes and three river basins are fully infested.

DRC

Roller derby girls

In a poorly lighted indoor skating center in Denton, youngsters skate alongside high school kids on a Wednesday evening, but this isn’t the typical skate night made popular in the 1980s with music blaring over the speakers.

Ray Sasser: White bass plentiful, so arrive early

Fishing has been good for white bass in Dallas-Fort Worth lakes. In North Texas, white bass are commonly referred to as sand bass or sandies.

Texas Fishing Report

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ray Sasser is on vacation. His column will return in early July.

Canoe gets 78-year-old moving

Not long ago, 78-year-old Mac McCann tossed a pair of hand-crafted walking canes into a closet in his north Denton home and chose, instead, to grab a featherweight canoe paddle. “Six months ago, I could barely walk,” he says.

Getty Images

Motor sports: Storms during track repairs force postponement of Indy car race

FORT WORTH — A Verizon IndyCar Series race that was rained out Saturday did get started Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, but an extended caution period after a scary crash saw the return of heavy showers and another postponement.

Allen Americans drop Game 2 of Kelly Cup

ALLEN – Following their Game 1 win on Saturday, the Allen Americans had less than 24 hours to rerack for Game 2 of the ECHL Kelly Cup Finals and after the first period and a half it was clear they were playing a different game.

Allen Americans take opening game in Kelly Cup series

ALLEN – Less than two minutes into Saturday’s Game 1 of the ECHL Kelly Cup Finals between the defending champion Allen Americans and the Wheeling (W. Va.) Nailers, fans in the Allen Event Center leapt to their feet in excitement thinking their team had scored, but it was a shot off the side of the net that triggered a false horn as the referee waived his arms emphatically to signal no goal. Despite the tease, the Americans gave their fans several more opportunities for celebration as they rolled to a 4-1 lead in the second period behind a pair of goals from defenseman Tristan King and fended off a late, penalty-infused rally by the Nailers for a 5-3 victory to open the best-of-seven series.

Staff Photographer

Alcohol, water bad mix for boaters

Mild climate means a year-round boating season for Gulf Coast states. That’s a contributing factor to U.S. Coast Guard statistics that rank Texas second only to Florida in boating accidents and fatalities.Nationally,...

AP

Rangers’ Banister facing Pirates, his team for 29 seasons

ARLINGTON — Ranger manager Jeff Banister will be facing his past when he looks across the field this weekend at something he has never seen in more than three decades in professional baseball. “It’ll be...

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Ray Sasser: Ray Roberts tourney starts today

The 10th Toyota Texas Bass Classic is set for Ray Roberts Lake today through Sunday. The tournament is accompanied by the Toyota Texas Fest at Frisco’s Toyota Stadium.

Ray Sasser: Calling fly fishers to test bass skills

The seventh annual World Championship Bass on the Fly Fishing Tournament was Saturday, with headquarters at Lake Fork Marina. “This tournament is exclusively for fly fishing anglers,” fly fishing instructor Ted Warren said. “Only rods, reels, lines and lures made for fly fishing can be used."