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MOORE JR. COLUMN: Reader outdoors questions answered

Every few months I get a large enough stack of interesting and often-repeated questions I find necessary to address here.
This week’s definitely fall into the “interesting” category and are among some of the best questions I can remember:
Q: Chester, you seem to be skeptical of the duck counts that are given every year. Can you explain why?
A: I am not skeptical of the counts. They do as thorough as job as possible, covering a vast amount of habitat. What I am skeptical of is anyone predicting how good a duck season will be based on the breeding index. There are simply too many factors going into a duck season to make any truly accurate predictions.
Winter weather, the amount of standing water between Canada and Texas and hunting pressure all factor in as much as the actual duck count.
Q: Is it true there are sea snakes out of Sabine Pass?
A: No. Sea snakes are not supposed to live in the Gulf of Mexico, although it is possible a few have slipped through Panama Canal. There are certainly no notable populations of them.
Q: How is it possible that I saw a buck chasing a doe near Galveston last week? The rut is supposed to occur in November, isn’t it?
A: Rutting periods for whitetail deer vary greatly in Texas. In fact the earliest rut in the United States is along the Upper/Middle Texas Coast around Matagorda, so seeing a buck chasing a doe near Galveston in early September is possible.
Q: Is it true the state is changing the minimum size limit on largemouth bass in the coastal areas?
A: It is true the potential to change the rule is being examined. A 12-inch limit has been brought up as a drawing card for bass tournaments and I have heard the scientific end of that is being examined.
Q: How far up will redfish go in the local river systems?
A: There really is no boundary in terms of their ability to go up river as they can live in freshwater. I have heard of consistent catches in the past near the railroad track on the Sabine River north of Interstate 10, but in general using I-10 as a boundary for reds works.
Q: What did you think of Aaron Marten’s performance in this year’s “Angler of the Year” race in Bassmaster?
A: From the time he finished strong in the first event in the Sabine River, I knew he would do well. He and Rick Clunn are the most knowledgeable and yet natural fishermen I have ever met. He pretty much had the thing won bell to bell, although Dean Rojas was at the top for a couple of weeks.
This is Marten’s third Angler of the Year and that is quite an accomplishment, especially considering how intense the competition is in the Bassmaster Elite Series.
On top of that, he is a very nice guy who, when meeting with my wife’s high school bass team a few years ago, spent as much time telling them to take care of their bodies and wear sunblock as he did fishing tactics.
That showed me he cares.
To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at chester@kingdomzoo.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com.