Winter season brings plenty of Texas-sized fun

Published 12:07 am Wednesday, December 8, 2021

With the great state of Texas facing near-record high temperatures in December, it is hard not to dream of living in a place where there is a chance of a white Christmas, or where herds of elk and mule deer roam.

I mean, who doesn’t love the mountains? Sometimes, I sit and wonder what it would be like to live in Colorado, Wyoming or Montana. Things would be cooling off. Snow would be falling, and the sounds and smell of a nice fire in the fireplace would put the whole house in a Christmas mood.

We would all be sipping hot chocolate and singing jingle bells… or maybe not. With just a quick jog of my memory, the pictures of snowmageddon 2021 are lodged in my mind. No power, broken pipes, frozen water hoses and my favorite fishing spots covered in a layer of ice, all remind me of why I love living in the south. Rarely do we see extremely cold temperatures that are commonplace in Northern states and for that I am thankful!
Now, make no mistake, Texas is a giant state and if you go up in the pan handle things get downright frigid, but the southern part of the state is much milder in the winter and offers plenty of world class opportunities for the outdoorsman.

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First off, I think of the camping. That’s right; camping! People that we call “snowbirds” bring their fifth wheels, motorhomes, and travel trailers from all over the country to simply camp in our parks and enjoy being in the lone star state during the winter. State parks, county parks, and private RV parks all offer a chance to camp and enjoy Texas. While camping in itself can be quite enjoyable, let’s not forget the things that campers or residents can do during the winter. There are so many opportunities. Texas is one of, if not the, best states for bass fishing (Florida may be a little better) in the country. From Sam Rayburn, Toledo Bend, and Lake Fork to the recently on fire OH Ivie, Texas has amazing largemouth bass fishing.
You have probably always heard that ducks migrate south in the winter. Any guesses as to where they are headed? TEXAS! From the farmland stock tanks, flooded river bottoms, a large reservoirs and crawfish pond to the coastal marshes and rice fields, Texas has great duck and goose hunting! Looking for a place to shoot waterfowl four months out of the year? Welcome to Texas!
If you aren’t into tromping out into the water and chasing ducks, how about sitting in a warm box blind waiting for a trophy whitetail. Texas has amazing deer hunting! Not only is there great quantity,  (just shy of 4 million) Texas also has deer with giant antlers! If you happen to hunt a ranch that is on the states MLD 3 management program, you can hunt from October until the middle of February. That means you can shoot deer for almost half of the year.
Want to add a little pork to your deer sausage? No problem with a wild hog population of close to 2 million, you can shoot wild hogs year round with any means and method. Rifle hunting, shot gunning, bow hunting, trapping, hunting with dogs, or even chasing them down with a spear, hogs are plentiful and opportunity awaits!
If you happen to be close to the coast, Texas offers amazing coastal fishing for those who want to live the salt life. Red fish, speckled trout, flounder, blue crab, croakers, sand trout and more can be found in our fertile waters.
If the above aren’t enough to get you excited about the opportunity that is afforded in Texas, don’t forget about squirrel hunting, rabbit hunting, frog gigging, alligator hunting, prong horn hunting and crappie fishing. The list goes on and on.  If you can’t find something to do in the great outdoors in this gray state, you simply aren’t looking.
With all of these possibilities, and the milder than other states winter weather, Texas is a great state where I consider my self fortunate to be a resident. As good as the state itself is, I consider the people to be even better! May God continue to bless Texas!


Brian Johnson is pastor of First Baptist Church of Winnie, owner of and writes about outdoors for Port Arthur Newsmedia.