Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

May 28, 2015

Maybe we should put the hog trap on the front porch


May 25, 2015

crappie still hitting hair jigs



May 20, 2015

Now this is what we need> Warthogs and Feral Hogs

Filed under: Hogs — Freddie Keel @ 11:22 am
Tags: , ,


Written by Craig Nyhus, Lone Star Outdoor News

Biologist Daniel Walker saw an unusual although not totally unexpected sight when flying a helicopter survey over the Chaparral Wildlife Management Area near Cotulla.

A warthog was running beneath the chopper.

“We knew some were on the property,” he said, “A neighboring ranch had released some last spring and I had seen one on the ground at the WMA, so we figured we might see him as we flew over this area.”

How did the African pig that gained fame in the U.S. in the movie The Lion King get there?

“There are warthogs around,” said Stephen Lange, area manager at the Chaparral WMA. “Most likely they were released behind high fences, and those usually hold them in. But warthogs burrow, like a big badger. It was probably a matter of time before some of them got out.

“I’ve also heard that they were the rage to have as pets at one time, kind of like the Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs.”

Lange said, similar to the axis deer roaming the Texas Hill Country, the warthogs began to move across the South Texas landscape.

“We told our hunters about them and that as a nonnative, like a feral hog, they could be shot. Only one of our hunters saw one this season,” he said. “He got too excited and missed.”

Near Encinal, about 35 miles south of the Chap, one of the hunters at the Snowden Ranch did connect with a warthog.

“It’s the only one we have seen so far,” said ranch owner Mickey Snowden. “I hope it’s the only one — it was the nastiest thing. The buzzards wouldn’t eat it — even the ants wouldn’t eat it.”

A few other warthog sighting have been reported. James Newport at Mesquite Creek Taxidermy in Pearsall has one in the shop.

“It was killed in Woodward,” he said. “And I heard of another that popped up southwest of Cotulla.

Warthogs, native to Sub-Saharan Africa, aren’t nocturnal like feral hogs. They feed on roots, tubers and graze on short grasses, and they burrow in cavities or holes at night, facing outward. During hot weather, they will go to waterholes to cool off.

At the Chaparral WMA, the 15,200-acre high fenced ranch owned by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for research and demonstration areas, several have been seen but Lange thinks they come and go under the fence.

“We saw the one by helicopter in September (2014), Lange said, and we’ve seen a half dozen at any one time since. We’ve had 5 inches of rain in April, though, and it’s plenty wet here. We may not see another one until August.”

Lange said he doesn’t believe the warthogs originated from the same exotic ranch.

“They have been seen on our adjacent ranches and 35 miles to the south,” he said. “They are at enough places that they probably didn’t all come from one place or ranch.”

Lange is unsure if the species can take hold in South Texas.

“We haven’t noticed reproduction, yet,” he said, “and all the ones we have seen are about the same size with the exception of one large boar.”

Photo by Daniel Walker, TPWD.

May 17, 2015

Expensive Alligator

Filed under: Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 11:10 am
Tags: ,



Texas Game Wardens Arrest Two Killeen Men in Alligator Death

TEMPLE, Texas – A Texas Game Warden investigation sparked by social media posts on Facebook detailing the killing of an 11-foot alligator has resulted in the arrests of two Killeen men.

Texas Game Wardens today arrested Bradley Gillis, 26, and James Haff, 33, on Class A misdemeanor charges for taking wildlife resources without landowner consent. The pair was booked into the Bell County Jail. Bond was set at $7,500 each.

Game wardens in Bell County learned about the killing of a large alligator along the Lampasas River above Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir earlier in the week, including alleged details and photos on Facebook. Wardens then used the same social media outlet to solicit information from the public. The game warden Facebook post garnered statewide news media attention, as well as numerous tips from the public that helped in the investigation.

Alligators have been observed in the Lampasas River above Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir for many years and reports of illegal harvest or documented dangerous interactions with the recreating public or local livestock have been extremely rare.

Alligators may be taken in Texas on private property only during the April 1-June 30 open season outside a 22-county core area in southeast Texas. Alligators may be taken from public waters adjacent to private land by all lawful means except firearms; however, the person taking the alligator and the taking device must be on private property. State law requires that if a person wants to engage in alligator hunting, they must be licensed, have prior landowner permission and a tag must be purchased upon harvest.


May 15, 2015

Gar Fishing on Trinity River

TPWD Temporarily Closes Alligator Gar Fishing in Trinity River Downstream of Dallas

AUSTIN — Due to flooding conditions on the Trinity River, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is temporarily prohibiting fishing for alligator gar in portions of the river between the Highway 31 Bridge near Trinidad and the Highway 7 Bridge near Crockett.

TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith issued the emergency order on Tuesday, May 12, to temporarily prohibit taking or attempting to take alligator gar in order to protect spawning alligator gar, which is a species of conservation concern in the Trinity River. The order takes effect immediately and will remain in effect for not more than 30 days and can be rescinded before that date if conditions warrant. While the order is in effect, anglers cannot fish for or harvest alligator gar in the Trinity River and flooded backwaters in the reach of the river specified above.

The temporary prohibition does not affect alligator gar fishing in parts of the state other than those areas of the Trinity River detailed above.

Department staff has been monitoring water conditions this spring for indications of conditions that normally trigger spawning by alligator gar. Water conditions targeted by staff, such as water temperature above 68degrees F and presence of a flood level at the moderate stage as reported by U.S. Geological Survey gauges http://www.srh.noaa.gov/wgrfc/ are currently occurring.

Typically, alligator gar do not spawn every year. Research data indicate alligator gar in Texas have the greatest chance at spawning successfully if the creation of preferred spawning habitat (the seasonal inundation of low-lying areas of vegetation) occurs in late spring through early summer. Because the conditions for spawning do not exist on a regular basis, and because spawning occurs in shallow waters where numerous gar can be concentrated in one area, alligator gar are extremely vulnerable to harvest during spawning.

The TPW Commission in 2009 adopted a daily bag limit of one alligator gar per person, which was intended to protect adult fish while allowing limited harvest, thus ensuring population stability. This action was taken to protect alligator gar populations in Texas, as Texas is one of the last remaining strongholds for the species in the U. S. Since 2009, the department has been conducting research to determine the estimated harvest of alligator gar, quantify reproduction, understand habitat usage and determine geographic differences in populations.


May 13, 2015

One More Feral Pig caught in trap

The feral hogs are smart animals.  They will avoid our traps.  But occasionally, one makes a mistake and he is removed from the farm.  No more destructive rooting in hay meadows for this feral pig.


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May 11, 2015

Crappie still hovering in 14′


May 5, 2015

Grandson tied me a new crappie jig


It will be a few days before I tie this new crappie jig onto my rig,

but I thinking it will be a good fishing lure.

May 2, 2015

They moved from the shallows

Filed under: Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 10:46 am
Tags: ,


I was a little surprised when the crappie

had moved from the shallows.


Finally located them in deeper water

holding on edge of grass.

I use a hair (green/black)  jig tied by a grandson.


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