Archive for the 'Education' Category

The Next Steps: Hunting 101 Classes

Thursday, June 9th, 2016
Learning to shoot during Hunter Education

Learning to shoot during Hunter Education

This is Passport to Texas

Would-be hunters born on or after September 2, 1971 must successfully complete a Texas Hunter Education training—where they learn firearm safety—in order to legally hunt. But the learning doesn’t have to stop there.

In our advanced hunter education efforts, [you’ll learn] everything from dove hunting, to deer hunting and turkey hunting—and all the kinds of hunting that goes on in Texas. You can learn more about the species, about its habits, behaviors. Where to go hunting and the time of year to go hunting for those species.

Steve Hall is hunter education coordinator for Texas Parks and Wildlife. Hunters have an opportunity to expand their understanding of the species they hunt.

We’re launching a Hunting 101 program that enables folks to really learn more about individual species or methods, such as bow hunting and muzzle loading.

The new Hunter 101 program will launch this summer.

We’ve been testing dove hunting 101, turkey hunting and hog hunting 101workshops already. So, we’re going to launch this summer 2016 –mostly for dove hunting, in preparation of the dove hunting season. And we’re doing that in partnership with the Texas Dove Hunter’s Association. All of these Hunting 101’s will be in partnership with conservation organizations. All of them, of which, are located in Texas as well.

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.

Should Texas Worry About the Zika Virus?

Thursday, May 5th, 2016
Zika

Zika infographic courtesy of Unicef.org

This is Passport to Texas

According to the World Health Organization: Zika virus is an emerging mosquito-borne virus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947.

It’s one of these tropical diseases that was known in the literature, but there weren’t any outbreaks until more recently.

Mike Quinn is an entomologist in Austin who’s been following reports of the virus and its carrier, often called the yellow fever mosquito.

The consensus is that it’s Aedes aegypti that’s the main culprit. The Aedes aegypti being people specific is an effective vector in that it can bite one person with the disease virus, and then bite another person and transmit that virus.

The World Health Organization tells us: Substantial new research has strengthened the association between Zika infection and the occurrence of fetal malformations and neurological disorders. We’ve seen this most markedly in Brazil, with an increase in microcephaly in newborns of infected mothers. Do we need to worry in Texas? Is this mosquito in our midst?

It’s an introduced species. And it is most common around the southeastern gulf coast states, but it’s in the eastern half of Texas.

Direct infection by a mosquito has not occurred in Texas. Reported cases have been in people who traveled to zika hot spots. Tomorrow: what we can do to manage mosquitoes around the home.

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

Become a Volunteer Angler Education Instructor

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016
Bullfrog Pond Family Fishing Event.

Bullfrog Pond Family Fishing Event.

This is Passport to Texas

You don’t have to be a pro to teach angling to others.

I used to be a school teacher, and you just need to know a little bit more than the person you’re instructing. We have people come that have no background knowledge whatsoever in fishing. Picture a scout troop in which none of the leadership has a background in fishing, and yet they want to extend that to their scout troops.

A dedicated volunteer base allows Texas Parks and Wildlife aquatic education training specialist Caleb Harris and his crew to reach a larger audience than they otherwise would.

That’s exactly why we need them. They extend our outreach efforts to hundreds of places a weekend. We’re a staff of four in our outreach office, and so they really multiply our efforts as a department to get the word out.

Harris says becoming a volunteer angler education instructor begins with a weekend workshop.

Our instructor workshops are normally on Saturdays, and they’re held all over the state. They’re listed on our Texas Parks and Wildlife calendar of events, and they’re free for anyone that wants to attend them. And they normally last about six hours, five hours. They’re, I’d say, about half classroom time and half playing the type of games and learning the type of fishing skills that we’d like our instructors to pass on. So, they’re pretty active workshops.

Find an angler instructor workshop near you in the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website…and get ready to get hooked.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Celebrating 10 Years of Take Me Fishing Hutsell

Thursday, April 21st, 2016
Take Me Fishing Hutsell, image courtesy Katy Times.

Take Me Fishing Hutsell, image courtesy Katy Times.

DUE TO RECENT FLOODING,  IT’S ADVISED TO CHECK WITH THE SCHOOL TO FIND OUT IF THE EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE AS SCHEDULED

This is Passport to Texas

Once a year, Hutsell Elementary school students in Katy ISD, trade school books for rods and reels.

Each year, in the spring, we invite our third, fourth and fifth grade students to Peckham Park. And we have a beautiful pond there. And through Texas Parks and Wildlife, they stock the pond for us. And on a Saturday, the children and their families all attend a fishing event.

That event is Take Me Fishing Hutsell. Principal Margie Blount says this year’s event is special, because it’s the 10 year anniversary of the program in the school.

We are going to be inviting the alumni. And those students will be invited to come back and enjoy the fishing event and enjoy the 10th year anniversary with us.

Over the years, Hutsell educators have seen improvement in the test scores of students who’ve participated in the Take Me Fishing program. Principal Blount says the upcoming celebration on April 23 is for the entire community.

Texas Parks and Wildlife will be there. They have been a great contributor. Game Wardens will be there. We will have angler clubs that will be coming. We’re looking at this to be one of our bigger fishing events.

If you’re in the area of Peckham Park between nine and noon on Saturday April 23, Hutsell Elementary Principal Margie Blount invites you to join in the festivities.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our Series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Partner with Texas Outdoor Families

Thursday, December 10th, 2015
Texas Outdoor Family Workshop.

Texas Outdoor Family Workshop at Inks Lake State Park


This is Passport to Texas

Being popular is a good problem to have for the Texas Outdoor Families program. It means lots of people want to learn how to engage the outdoors. To accommodate as many families as possible, program director, Robert Owen says Texas Outdoor Families is recruiting and training nonprofit community partners to facilitate the weekend campouts.

13 — We’re setting up these partners to run an event with some ranger guidance in the beginning, and then turning them loose after we feel confident in their abilities to have a safe, low, impact and fun time in a state park.

After a successful 3-year pilot program in Houston, Owen says they’re expanding to Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio.

14—We’re looking to grow by quite a few partners. In order for folks to get on board, would encourage them to give me a call to talk over the program and the opportunities and just hear where this organization is coming from—to see how our goals overlap.

Owens says the program needs at least 10 nonprofit community partners in each region.

24— We hope that organizations see the return in time spent outside. Some recent research has suggested that youth benefit from time spent outside through unstructured play, but also through the opportunity to make their own decisions and find themselves in a challenging environment. And camping does provide that. It’s very much a growth experience.

Find Robert Owen’s contact information and details about the program at texasstateparks.org/tof

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