For the DMN

Ray Sasser: Big bass part of Mexico’s lure

It was cool in the late-afternoon shade cast by a steep bluff. An osprey, about the 40th we’d seen that day, seemed a lone sentinel, perched as it was atop a tall, dead tree.

UNT softball splits two at Getterman Classic

WACO — North Texas split its doubleheader on Day 1 of the Getterman Classic with a 6-3 win against Lamar on Friday morning and a 7-3 loss to Grand Canyon University in the afternoon at Getterman Stadium...

Larry Hodge

Ray Sasser: Time to reconsider ShareLunker rules

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Toyota ShareLunker program began the 2017 season in earnest last week, and the state agency desperately needs to breathe new life into a big-bass hatchery program that seems to be losing angler support.

Ray Sasser: Tips to make quail season even better

By all accounts, this is the best West Texas quail season since ... maybe ever. One report from an intensely managed Stonewall County ranch yielded 45 coveys seen in an afternoon.

Courtesy photo

Popular boats for more than fishing

A North Texas tradition, the DFW Winter Boat Expo, will be at Dallas Market Hall for a seven-day run starting today.The boat show is a one-stop aquatic shopping mall where boats, boating gear and boating...

Courtesy photo

Ray Sasser: Interest moves away from bass

The fishing world is subtly changing, a shift that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is addressing through its Catfish Management Plan and Neighborhood Fishin’ programs.

DMN file photo

Ray Sasser: Warm or cold, fish still biting

It’s been a weird winter. We’ve had record cold followed by record heat, and who knows how many times that cycle will repeat? It’s uncomfortable, if not outright dangerous, to go fishing with a big cold front in the forecast. In spite of weather extremes, North Texas fishing has been surprisingly good.

For the DMN

Ray Sasser: End of duck season could be epic

Duck season ends Jan. 29, meaning three hunting weekends to go, and they could offer the best duck hunting Texas hunters have seen in many years.

Courtesy photo

Ray Sasser: Safari club’s expo billed as the best

The Dallas Safari Club’s 2017 Convention and Expo runs through Sunday at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. It’s not only the biggest hunting show in Texas, it’s one of the biggest hunting shows anywhere.

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.

Getty Images

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.