Mike Leggett

Mike Leggett is the outdoor writer at the Austin American-Statesman.

Latest from Mike Leggett

Latest deer season debate takes Texas hunters back to the future
 Live long enough, and you’ll see things begin to circle themselves, like an old dog closing in on that tail that has eluded him for so long. Trust me. For instance, Texas Parks and Wildlife commissioners on Thursday considered a change to the opening dates of deer season. The idea wasn’t earthshaking, though, since the change...

5:00 AM Saturday, Mar. 24, 2018

Live long enough, and you’ll see things begin to circle themselves, like an old dog closing in on that tail that has eluded him for so long. Trust me. For instance, Texas Parks and Wildlife commissioners on Thursday considered a change to the opening dates of deer season. The idea wasn’t earthshaking, though, since the change...
Trip to Georgia pays off with a quail hunt to remember
 The slight swaying of the old wagon and the cracks and creaks of the harness and rigging play perfectly against Elree Bush’s constant pleading for mules Bunny and Betty to “Step up there” and “Come on, now.” Bush, whose family nickname is “Cookie” because of his childhood love of vanilla wafers, has...

5:00 AM Saturday, Mar. 24, 2018

The slight swaying of the old wagon and the cracks and creaks of the harness and rigging play perfectly against Elree Bush’s constant pleading for mules Bunny and Betty to “Step up there” and “Come on, now.” Bush, whose family nickname is “Cookie” because of his childhood love of vanilla wafers, has...
Fishing trip to Mexico runs afoul of airport checks

6:00 AM Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018

I was scheduled to fish for bass in Mexico two weeks ago. Didn’t happen. I got to the airport Monday morning, and I had my fishing clothes. I had my fishing hat. I had my fishing cameras. I had my fishing passport, too, but that’s what screwed me up. That day started at 3 a.m., when I woke up and climbed out of bed for a quick...
Leggett: Encountering exotic animals close to home a surprise
 Most folks who live in the Hill Country are mildly familiar with the exotic animals that roam the area: hogs, axis and fallow deer, black bucks and various sheep. They are many and varied, depending on where you go and the kind of terrain in which you’re walking or riding or hiking or cycling. If you haven’t seen any, just take...

6:00 AM Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018

Most folks who live in the Hill Country are mildly familiar with the exotic animals that roam the area: hogs, axis and fallow deer, black bucks and various sheep. They are many and varied, depending on where you go and the kind of terrain in which you’re walking or riding or hiking or cycling. If you haven’t seen any, just take...
Determined approach to hunt pays off in form of massive buck
 Sometimes the best strategy for hunting a big deer is to be hardheaded. Bobby Parker always has been hardheaded about it, and it has paid off with a number of big deer he’s killed on leases in South Texas and at the family ranch near Camp Verde in Central Texas. Earlier this season, he killed a giant Hill Country buck there that had...

6:00 AM Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018

Sometimes the best strategy for hunting a big deer is to be hardheaded. Bobby Parker always has been hardheaded about it, and it has paid off with a number of big deer he’s killed on leases in South Texas and at the family ranch near Camp Verde in Central Texas. Earlier this season, he killed a giant Hill Country buck there that had...
Coyotes need to be viewed more as survivors than monsters
 I was a kid during the atomic bomb scares of the 1950s, and those were truly terrifying. So I came into this century with high hopes that my grandchildren would never have to endure those kinds of frightening warnings and practice drills of marching out of our classrooms and running down into the boiler room to hide from an explosion that...

6:00 AM Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018

I was a kid during the atomic bomb scares of the 1950s, and those were truly terrifying. So I came into this century with high hopes that my grandchildren would never have to endure those kinds of frightening warnings and practice drills of marching out of our classrooms and running down into the boiler room to hide from an explosion that...
Troublesome wild hogs leave us searching for solutions
 I still remember, and vividly, the first wild hog I ever saw. I was in high school and was squirrel hunting in Panola County, where I grew up. The weather was cold as it is now, and there was a nice sunny afternoon that just called out for some time in the woods. I had spent a little time sneaking into a spot where I had seen a couple of...

6:00 AM Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017

I still remember, and vividly, the first wild hog I ever saw. I was in high school and was squirrel hunting in Panola County, where I grew up. The weather was cold as it is now, and there was a nice sunny afternoon that just called out for some time in the woods. I had spent a little time sneaking into a spot where I had seen a couple of...
Lunker program gets a boost to benefit bass fishing
 In case anyone cares, I believe that Texas freshwater fishing is in good hands under the leadership of Inland Fisheries Division Director Craig Bonds. An able, curious and forward-thinking guy, Bonds has come into Austin and begun to push through some changes that needed to be made in programs and practices within the Texas Parks and Wildlife...

6:00 AM Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017

In case anyone cares, I believe that Texas freshwater fishing is in good hands under the leadership of Inland Fisheries Division Director Craig Bonds. An able, curious and forward-thinking guy, Bonds has come into Austin and begun to push through some changes that needed to be made in programs and practices within the Texas Parks and Wildlife...
Humans at fault for many nuisance species spoiling state’s environment

9:29 PM Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017

We should have our hands slapped over some of the things we’ve done in this state by letting plants and animals run wild. Think about it: We now have tens of thousands, probably more, of exotics — axis deer, black bucks, fallows, oryx, etc. — throughout the Hill Country. And while they do offer some income potential for...
Monster buck leads hunters on exhaustive search in Hill Country
 Anybody who drives in the Hill Country and counts the dead bucks along the highway should know that the serious part of the rut has been in full bloom for the past two weeks. The carnage has been great; the mangled bodies of bucks driven crazy enough on testosterone to try to cross the highway at night are everywhere. That includes well inside...

9:23 PM Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017

Anybody who drives in the Hill Country and counts the dead bucks along the highway should know that the serious part of the rut has been in full bloom for the past two weeks. The carnage has been great; the mangled bodies of bucks driven crazy enough on testosterone to try to cross the highway at night are everywhere. That includes well inside...
Is your checklist ready for deer hunting season?

5:00 AM Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017

Long ago, in a century before this one, I started deer hunting. Life was pretty simple then: Have a shotgun, buy some OO buckshot or a couple of slugs, slap on some warm clothes, put the extra shells in the pocket of my jeans and hit the woods. Things are a little more complicated today, but the essentials are still pretty much the same....