Copperhead Counterfeits

I am a long time fan of Joe Doggett’s outdoor writings. He knocks another over the fence with this informative, well written, much needed article. All true and no one else is as likely to concur with his “sad outdoor behavior” comment than I.

Also a “snake catcher” from an early age growing up in southwest Houston, I was given, by my father, a hard copy of “Field guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians” by Roger Conant for my 7th birthday. Included was the advice, “If you’re going to catch them, you need to learn to identify them.” I also thought guys like Ross Allen and John Werler were near gods or, at least, some of the luckiest dudes with the coolest jobs in the world.

I continue to be dismayed by the misinformed, misguided and downright untrue ‘information’ that is passed around especially by mainstream media. A few years ago I saw local station news promoting a sensationalistic ‘news story’ that read something like “Dangerous poisonous snakes invade Houston!” First picture shown was a Eastern hognose that a homeowner in the Tanglewood subdivision had found in their swimming pool strainer and smashed. He was quoted as saying he ‘knew’ it was deadly venomous by its triangular head and luckily he had spotted it first and killed it otherwise he would have surely been bitten. (Maybe so—if he was a gulf coast toad!). Annoyed at the ignorance of the near ‘victim’ and completely pissed off at the news station for running the story I subsequently hounded that poor reporter and their news editor with a thorough  ‘bad journalist’ tongue lashing (no real need for verification before publication as long as people watch, right?). Eventually she conceded, sort of, but only after contacting the Houston zoo for proper I.D., at my insistence. 

You may guess correctly though that there was never a correction much less a 5 pm retraction made.

Please continue to publish these kinds of articles. Keep up the good work. Thanks Joe!

Robert Lewis

Editor: Joe is an awesome outdoorsman and world-class writer. We are blessed to have him as a columnist. Your points are well taken and they certainly fit within my worldview of how to respect nature.

Teen Poaching

I read the article by Chester Moore on teen poaching in the April issue and I was shocked. I was not aware there was such a problem with this and salute your publication for raising awareness to the issue.

Mary Helms

Chester Moore’s column on teen poaching a couple of issues back really hit me. To see teens kill whooping cranes and eagles made me stop and think. I know it seemed like Chester was investigating why this was going on and may not have a full answer but what is his gut on why this has started to happen?

Christopher Ryan

Editor: It is something I am investigating and it will be very much ongoing so I honestly don’t know. In the early stages I am leaning toward there is some kind of rebellion and a desire for fame. The reason I say that is on more than one occasion they have bragged about their kills on social media. At the end of the day it is their fault but I am concerned we have created an environment that is easy for troubled youth to find dark leeway in these situations.

Ray Sasser

Matt Williams, Thanks for your article “R.I.P. Ray Sasser” (Texas Freshwater, May 2018) I had the good fortune to hunt early teal with Ray and my dad, Fred Buxton, of Houston, back some 15 yrs. ago. The hunt was with B’Wanna Outfitters on leased farm land. Didn’t have many birds, but what flew over went home with us.

I was not one of his friends but Ray treated me with respect on that teal hunt and I never forgot that.

Seems like the good guys lost another member.

Rick Buxton

Game Wardens

My experiences with game wardens have always been received with some trepidation that I have “forgotten” something. How easy is it for something to slip through the cracks?! However, it seems that having checked to get things right before going out has paid off and I have never received a ticket. 

My oldest son had come in from out of state for a three day duck hunt and fishing trip in a marshy area off of the Northern access of Garcitas Creek several miles inland. I had bought his out of state 3-Day fishing & hunting license and a duck stamp. We were standing on a rickety old wooden bridge crossing Garcitas Creek when the game warden showed up. Checked everything, including the specs we had been catching. As he began checking our licenses I said I had not bought him a Saltwater stamp because we were quite aways inland. Well, we were just inside the highway boundary separating the need for a saltwater stamp.

He said, “There is an old country store up the road that I frequent and they have Saltwater Stamps. I trust you will go up there when you leave and get one.” Absolutely! And I did and have been thankful ever since for his thoughtfulness!

Skipper Strong


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