Larry Gore and the Dewberries
Larry Gore owned Eagle Lake and Katy Prairie Outfitters (ELKPO) during the 1980s and 1990s. He was the absolute king of waterfowl outfitters in Texas. Although I never worked for ELKPO, I was always a friendly competitor and had numerous BS sessions with Larry.
About this same time each year, during the spring, the subject of the BS with Larry was about how the snow goose hatch was going to be. Larry had an interesting theory about how to predict if the snow goose hatch would be bad or good. He proposed that there was a direct correlation between the quality of the goose hatch and the quality of the Texas dewberry crop.
A Texas dewberry is a blackberry native to Texas that makes a very thorny shrub that grows wild along fence rows. When I was a kid it was a BIG deal to gather the dewberries so my mother could make dewberry pie or jelly. I was never much of a fan. There are about a million seeds in dewberries, and they are not the soft kind like in a strawberry. No, with dewberries, I never found that I could make my way through a dewberry anything without winding up with my teeth full of tiny, gritty seeds.
But back to Larry Gore and his dewberry theory.
He thought that if we, in Southeast Texas, had an early spring and the dewberries were abundant, it stood to reason that the snow would melt early in the Arctic and there would be a good snow goose hatch.
No actual science was being used here that I could see, but I thought it was an interesting theory, so I started to chronicle the correlation. Low and behold, my records showed that the dewberry theory turned out to be about 95 percent accurate.
Not only that, in the 1990s it was an all out 100 percent accurate. We only had one bad snow goose hatch in the 1990s, and the dewberries had one crappy crop. For whatever reason, they happened the same year.
But I have to say, as time went on (four decades to be exact), it became apparent to me, through my data collecting, that the dewberries almost always had a good crop. And it also became apparent that the snow geese almost always had a good hatch. So it turned out to be kinda like predicting that the sun would be coming up from the East.
But for the record -- just in case you were wondering. The dewberry crop in Texas was off the charts this spring.