The big increase in bear sightings across my native state of Texas inspired Higher Calling Wildlife to focus heavily on black bears throughout our launch year of 2019.
This year there have been many more sightings, especially in West Texas. In fact, there were closures in some areas of Big Bend due to high bear activity.
In the podcast we did with Stephen F. Austin University officials, we learned in the eastern third of Texas, the best migrational routes in terms of undisturbed habitat for bears to preoccupy Texas comes from Oklahoma.
My close friend and research partner Todd Jurasek got some incredible game camera videos of black bears in the Kiamichi Mountains in Southeastern Oklahoma, showing the Sooner State has a burgeoning bear population in some areas.
Check out the clips by clicking on the links below.
People in states that have had large bear populations for decades like Oregon, Montana, and Alaska understand these animals.
But all forest-loving Americans need to become bear aware and realize these apex animals are increasing in the southern and eastern portions of the country.
Enjoy the above clips. Bear coverage in Texas and non-traditional bear states will continue.
The latest episode of my Dark Outdoors podcast is up and it talks about dangerous rogue waves in Texas bays. You don’t want to miss hearing these firsthand testimonies of fishermen that encountered waves up to 15 feet in Texas bays.
Ever seen a 10 foot wave that went across an entire bay?
How about a 15 footer with a sheer wall that hit a 15 foot boat?
We have these stories and more from eyewitnesses/survivors, plus some information from a boating group trying to raise awareness to this growing issue.
We explain what is causing these waves and show how they can make the outdoors experience go dark-very dark.
Permit in Texas
While we’re talking about bears in Texas, we might as well talk about something unusual on the aquatic side of things.
Permit are stunning sea flats-dwelling species that get big. They are said to be the moodiest of flats slam species (includes bonefish and tarpon) and will often ignore the most perfectly placed lure or fly.
Permit are indeed present in Texas in small numbers.
Jared Guinn caught the Texas state record in the Gulf of Mexico in 1993. It only weighed 1.50 pounds. I’ve heard anecdotal evidence of permit close to this size caught in the Galveston Bay complex in recent years, from very informed anglers.
One of Capt. Brian Barerra’s young clients (pictured above) caught a permit in the South Padre area. It wasn’t a monster but in a very real way, it was the catch of a lifetime.
Have you ever caught a permit in Texas? We’d love to see the photo. Email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gulf temperatures have been gradually warming and species like permit and even bonefish have been showing up in small numbers on the Texas Coast.
Duck Counts Are In
There has not been a duck population/pond count since 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Delta Waterfowl has put out a graphic of the numbers in comparison to the 2019 numbers (when they were counted last time). There is some interesting data here that reflects interesting trends in habitat conditions.
We will address that on an upcoming episode if the Higher Calling Wildlife® podcast and post it here.
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