ARE THERE BULL sharks in some of Texas coastal rivers?
Editor: Yes. Bull sharks are extremely freshwater tolerant and have been caught as far north as the Mississippi River in Illinois. Sabine Lake and Galveston Bay both have a healthy population of bull sharks in the summer, and they travel up the rivers that feed them. In fact while fitting alligator garfish with tracking devices Texas Parks & Wildlife Department officials caught numerous bull sharks at the Trinity River Bridge on Interstate 10.
How common are they? No one really knows but their presence in summer months is undeniable.
SAW YOUR MOUNTAIN LION story. I saw a big one—not 15 feet away from me while I was deer hunting in a ground-level box blind—in the early 90s when I was in college. Scared me to death. In my haste to get the hot end of the lever-action .30-30 between us, I bumped the roof of the blind with the barrel of the rifle, and at the noise, the huge cat shot off like a bolt.
Gone in less than a second.
This was in Leon County near Hilltop Lakes, Texas, down toward the Navasota River bottom. Never saw one in the wild before or since, but they’re out there.
HEY CHESTER I saw two big cats way back in the late seventies or early eighties on the out skirts of Beaumont. Once you see one you never forget. They’re beautiful!
Back about 1947 or so, my grandfather owned around 1,000 acres just east of Waco just south of Highway 31.
In the only time in my memory I was allowed to go with him to check up on a 32-acre plot and remember him carrying his Winchester double 12. He wanted to look for squirrels.
We walked back to the far side of the old post oak woods and sat down on the side of a tank (stock pond). As we sat there he showed me a mountain lion that eased up on the other side.
Watched it get a drink and it eased back over the side and left.
Asked why he didn’t shoot it, and he said he had bird shot shells. Not only was it a good ways over to that side, he wasn’t hurting any thing as he didn’t have any stock close.
Can still remember being with him, watching that cat.
Editor: It’s great to read all of these reports. Cougars are truly amazing animals and represent wildness better than any animal in North America. They have my utmost respect.
WHY DO STATES like Kansas and New York ban hog hunting? How do they expect to control their numbers?
Editor: Both states feel the biggest reason feral hog populations spread is because of hunters moving them and release them on properties to hunt. And that is probably 100 percent accurate.
Over the years thousands of hogs were moved in Texas and stocked on various ranches both high and low fence and of course they do not abide by property boundaries or fences for that matter. Hogs were brought to the United States by Spanish explorers in the 1500s and Texas along with Florida got the first dose of them.
For the most part up until the 1990s they were mainly restricted to creek bottoms in East Texas, the Hill Country and South Texas.
Now they are everywhere.
Both Kansas and New York plan on doing focused hog trapping and Kansas officials are shooting hogs from helicopters along their Oklahoma border. Banning hunting in Texas would never work because hogs are here to stay no matter what we do.
In those states, the jury is still out on their plan of action.
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