Archive for July, 2017

Hunters: Could This be Your Lucky Year?

Friday, July 21st, 2017
This could be you, if you enter Big Time Texas Hunts.

This could be you, if you enter Big Time Texas Hunts.

This is Passport to Texas

The upcoming hunting seasons may still be months away, but you can enter the Big Time Texas Hunts drawing to win one or more of nine premium guided hunt packages now.

These exclusive packages include food, lodging, a professional guide, as well as taxidermy in some cases.

The crown jewel of the program is the Texas Grand Slam hunt package, which includes four separate hunts for Texas’ most prized big game animals — the desert bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, mule deer and pronghorn.

Other popular guided hunt packages included in the Big Time Texas Hunt program are: Ultimate Mule Deer Hunt, the Premium Buck Hunt, the Exotic Safari, the Wild Hog Adventure and more.

Entries for this year’s Big Time Texas Hunts are available now online for just $9 each online, or for $10 each at license retailers. There is no limit to the number of entries an individual may purchase and all proceeds benefit conservation, wildlife management and public hunting. Deadline for entry is October 15.

Big Time Texas Hunts is made possible with support from Toyota and the Texas Bighorn Society.

Find more details on all nine premium hunts on the Texas parks and wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

What to Bring into the Field When Hunting

Thursday, July 20th, 2017
Front of Texas hunting license

Front of Texas hunting license

This is Passport to Texas

Deer season is drawing near. Remember to bring a valid hunting license into the field with you.

Make sure it’s the proper one. We get people that put their old license in their pocket sometimes, and those won’t do them any good.

New licenses go on sale next month. In addition to your firearm, Game Warden Andrew Alexander reminds hunters of other items to carry into the field.

A driver’s license, or [other] form of identification. A pen for writing down the information on your tag and on your harvest log. And also something to cut your dates out with.

Ensure you and your firearm are ready for what’s to come by spending time at a shooting range before the season opener. If you’re new to hunting, learn the regulations.

Once you shoot a deer, the law says tag it immediately upon kill. You’ll find the proper tag. And then, you’re going to need a pen with you. You’re going to fill out the county that you are in, and the ranch that you harvested the animal. Tear it out—you will cut the dates out of it—you’ll tag that animal on the spot. And you’ll also fill out your harvest logs.

A harvest log is on the back of your hunting license.

And what the harvest log allows us to do, with the counties that have the antler restrictions, we’re able to trace those and make sure they [hunters] are only taking what they’re allowed. That’s why the harvest log is so important.

Find regulations and season information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife Restoration Program Supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Prepare for the Season with Hunter Ed

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017
Hands on Hunter Education

Hands on Hunter Education

This is Passport to Texas

Being a successful hunter begins with hunter education.

Anybody who handles firearms or goes hunting or practices shooting sports should take hunter education.

Hunter education is mandatory for those born on or after September 2, 1971. Steve Hall oversees the program at Parks and Wildlife. The course both prepares hunters for the season, and keeps them in good standing with the law.

The number one ticket we write is for no hunter’s education.

Andrew Alexander is a Texas Game Warden out of Bastrop County.

We write a lot of those [citations]. And the main thing we want there is—we don’t want them to pay a fine. We want them to take the course. They have 90 days to take the course and get their certification. Show proof to the judge, and then that citation will be dismissed.

The Texas Hunter Education program is primarily focuses on younger hunters, that’s not true of all states, which is important to understand if you hunt outside of Texas.

All fifty states require hunter education. We’re reciprocal with all of those states. And the ones that get us the most are the Colorado bound hunters who have to take it [if they’re born] on or after January 1, 1949. So, we get a lot of adults in our class that have it to have it to hunt in Colorado that may not need to have it to hunt in Texas.

Find hunter education information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife Restoration Program Supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Alligator Ancho Relleno Recipe

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017
Chef Jeff Martinez preparing Alligator Ancho Relleno.

Chef Jeff Martinez preparing Alligator Ancho Relleno.

This is Passport to Texas

If you’ve never eaten alligator, its flesh is firm like pork, with a mild flavor of chicken and fish. Chef Jeff Martinez.

Most of the time when you get alligator meat, it’s going to be the jaw or the tail.

Using ground alligator tail meat, Chef Jeff prepares a recipe for ancho alligator chile relleno.

I’ve got a hot pan here. We’re going to add some extra virgin olive oil to the bottom. We’re going to add our white onion that’s been diced up. We’re going to let this sauté.

Next Chef adds diced garlic, tomatoes and ground gator.

Alligator is a very lean meat, so the cooking time is minimal. So, we’re going to add a little more flavor to this dish by throwing in some sliced green olives. And then we’re going to add some of these raisins. And we’re going to finish it off with slivered almonds that have been toasted, and fresh chopped parsley. And once you put that parsley in, you don’t want to leave it on the stove cooking for too long, because you still want that brightness, that freshness from the parsley.

He salts to taste and then stuffs the mixture into ancho chiles that he rehydrated in hot water and brown sugar.

I’m going to make sure it’s nice and full, but you want to leave enough room so you can take the ancho chile and wrap it back around the meat. And I’m going to set that into an oven proof baking dish.

That goes into a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. When done, he garnishes them with crema and parsley.

Find the recipe and instructions at passporttotexas.org.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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Alligator Ancho Relleno Recipe

Preparing the Chiles:

8-10 large ancho chiles
10 qts boiling water
3 cups piloncillo or brown sugar
Add piloncillo to boiling water. Let dissolve, stirring occasionally. Slit the anchos down the side, lengthwise. Remove seeds from inside. Place anchos in container that’ll hold anchos and piloncillo water. Pour hot piloncillo water over anchos and let sit for 2 hours or until anchos are rehydrated. They’ll become softer to the touch and brighter red in color.

Once 2 hours have passed. Drain anchos from piloncillo water and allow them to cool.

Making the Stuffing:

2 lbs ground alligator tail meat
2 medium onions, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1/2 cup green olives, chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup raisins
Salt and pepper to taste
Sautée onions and garlic for about 3 minutes. Throw in tomatoes. Let cook for about 5 minutes. Add ground alligator tail meat and let cook for 5 minutes. Mix in olives, almonds, raisins and parsley. Remove from pan and let cool.

Assembling the Rellenos:

Divide stuffing into 8 equal portions and stuff them into the anchos, being careful not to rip the skin. Once stuffed, place all rellenos on a baking dish and place in preheated oven set to 400 degrees. Leave in oven for 15-20 minutes or until hot all the way through.

Remove all anchos from oven and place on a serving plate. Garnish with Honduran crema or regular sour cream and chopped cilantro. Serve with white rice and beans.

Less Crowded State Park Gems

Monday, July 17th, 2017
A Texas State Park is closer than you think.

A Texas State Park is closer than you think.

This is Passport to Texas

With an increase in state park visitation by more than half a million over the past four years, parks stay pretty busy.

Some, too busy. In fact, the more popular parks in the system, such as Enchanted Rock, Garner, and Pedernales often close their gates early due to maximum visitor capacity.

To get around the crowds, try visiting during non-peak hours. Usually during the week. Check each park’s social media for the latest closure updates.

Of course, if you’re already there, instead of waiting in line for the gates to reopen, visitors are encouraged to consider the nearby alternatives to their favorite Texas state parks.

For example, if you find yourself on the wrong side of the gate at Garner State Park:

Lost Maples State Natural Area,

Hill Country State Natural Area,  and

Kickapoo Cavern State Park are three sites located within an hour of Garner.

And, just south of Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and Pedernales Falls State Park lie four hidden gems waiting to be discovered:

Old Tunnel State Park,

Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site,

Blanco State Park, and

South Llano River State Park.

Find a map of all Texas State Parks at texasstateparks.org, or download the Texas State Parks Mobile App, from iTunes or Google Play.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.