, Port Arthur, Texas


August 24, 2013

Chester Moore column: Mangy coyotes causing stir

PORT ARTHUR —   A story at has caused quite a stir in the wildlife community.

  The story, accompanied by an unusual game camera photo, details strange sightings in the state some link to the “chupacabra”.

  For those who do not know “chupacabra” which means “goat sucker” are the alleged yet scientifically verified creature that sucks the blood out of goats and other creatures.

  The photo in the story does indeed look strange but as the story itself details the subject is not a mythical creature but simply a coyote with mange.

  When animals lose their hair, they can look flat out weird and over the years, I have seen numerous photos of coyotes and foxes with mange that were labeled as “chupacabra”.

  Having a lifelong interest in mysterious wildlife, I do believe some of the strange creatures reported over the centuries are soon to be verified by science. In my opinion, chupacabra is not one of them.

  The reports started showing up in the 1990s whereas sea serpents for example have been reported for centuries. Animals that are as allegedly as widespread as the chupacabra (Puerto Rico to Texas) would have a history of being seen beyond 20 or so years. They might be called other names but creatures of the same species would be seen.

  These mangy canines are something very few people see but with game cameras, set all over the place and the proliferation of cameras on cell phone more and more of them have been documented and in the process have caused quite a stir in the media.

  Since the Louisiana Sportsman story broke, I have read several interesting comments online. One of them involved a hunter who said on two occasions he has seen something that looked like hyenas in East Texas.

  This sparked my curiosity because I had someone tell me they saw two “hyenas” in the Hill Country a few years back.

  Of course, the theory is these were escaped pets but the reality is no one has hyenas as pets. There are some in zoos but they are well maintained and the chances of them escaping and being seen by multiple people in different regions of the state over a span of a few year is not even close to likely.

  Look at some of these mangy coyotes at a distance they would appear as a hyena. They are not nearly as big but they give off that appearance.

  People who spend a lot of time outdoors have strange encounters from time to time and with modern technology, we are all able to share information on them more than ever.

  My favorite thing about being in the woods is pondering just what lurks beyond the treeline. The day I quit getting excited about the mysteries of nature will be time for me to find another pursuit in life.

  I do not however think that will be happening any time soon. There is also something a bit strange and mysterious investigate and perhaps encounter.

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at

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  • Chester Moore column: Bank fishing good approach on catfish

     Summer is one of the best times to seek catfish in Southeast Texas and thankfully, for local anglers without a boat, there are catfish in just about every canal, drainage ditch and bayou in the area.
      Fishing from the bank has its disadvantages but there is a way around it. This involves making the fish come to you.
      European catfish and carp anglers who typically fish exclusively from the bank use a system called “ground baiting,” which involves putting chum out with the bait. They attach a small cylindrical device above their swivel, which holds chum and dispenses it as the water rushes by. The problem is these rigs are not readily available in our marketplace.
      However, with a little ingenuity, taking a 35-millimeter film canister, punching a hole in the bottom and on the lid and then punching more holes along the side can make a similar device. This acts as a perfect chumming device and is very inexpensive.
      Not everyone has film canisters these days so the softer plastic aspirin bottles will also get the job done.
      Rig this above your swivel and weight, and then fill it with your favorite chum. Now you will not only be chumming the area you fish in but also bringing fish directly to your bait.
      Any kind of chum will work, but a mixture I have had some success with was menhaden oil (available through many mail order offshore supply catalogs) mixed with soured milo. The oil creates a huge chum slick and when it mixes with the milo, the smell is almost unbearable, which means catfish love it. The best part is that a little bit goes a long way.
     Something else to consider is using jack mackerel as bait.
     This oily fish is available in larger supermarkets in a can for less than $1, and I can attest it will bring in fish. While fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and tagging sharks for the Mote Marine Laboratory, my partners and I were able to chum in and catch nearly 40 sharks while using less than two cans of the stuff. It is oily and stinks to high heaven, so catfish should love it.
      For anglers interested in using film canisters to chum their bait, something else to consider is the use of a popping cork. Even if your bait is on the bottom, you can rig a popping cork above it and attach a baited film canister below. This will allow you to do some extra chumming and use the cork to “pop” the chum out whenever you want to release more.
     Another great tip for land bound anglers is to use braided line. In talking with several anglers who pursue brackish blues from the bank, I have learned that loosing striking fish can be a problem.
      I am not sure as to the reason but a definitely solution is using a braided line because they have no stretch. When making long casts with monofilament from the bank you have the potential for lots of line stretch when can make a poor hookset.
     Sixty yards of line might have five or six feet of stretch and that is plenty for a big blue to undo. When using a braid like Fireline, Gorilla Braid or Spiderwire you can forego these problems and greatly enhance your chances of putting some catfish in the frying pan.
     (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on the radio Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on “Moore Outdoors” on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at and watch him Saturdays on on “God’s Outdoors with Chester Moore”.)

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