Archive for the 'Hunting' Category

Firearms: Locked (up) and (un) Loaded

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016
Keep firearms locked in a gun safe, separate from ammunition.

Keep unloaded firearms locked in a gun safe, separate from ammunition.

This is Passport to Texas

If you own a firearm, you owe it your family and your community to keep it stored properly when not in use.

All firearms in the home should be locked, and separate from the ammunition; [the ammunition] preferably in a locked location as well.

Steve Hall, hunter education coordinator at Texas Parks and Wildlife, also says when not in use, always keep firearms unloaded.

 And so, [we want to] make sure that kids don’t do like we did when we were kids: “Oh, what’s this? Let’s load that, and let’s put this in there…” [These are] the kinds of things that you don’t want kids doing with firearms that lead to accidents.

Curious children have unintentionally harmed themselves and others with firearms supposedly “hidden” in dresser drawers, garages, under beds, and top shelves of closets.

The good news is, that because of hunter education and because of all the firearm safety taught by organizations like the NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, accidents in the home have gone down. And so, there’s a safety record that’s a lot better than it was in the 60s and 70s; but still, one accident is too many. So, we’re trying to promote safety at all cost.

Owning a firearm is a full time responsibility. Always lock it up. Find more firearm safety tips and hunter education classes when you log onto the Texas parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series and supports shooting sports and hunter education in Texas.

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

Even Non-Hunters Buy Federal Duck Stamps

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016
2015-16 Federal Duck Stamp

2015-16 Federal Duck Stamp

This is Passport to Texas

Waterfowl hunters aren’t the only ones buying the federal duck stamp. Non-hunters across the state are spending $25 on the stamp to support conservation.

The federal duck stamp, which was never intended for postal use, is intended for wetland conservation.

Parks and Wildlife non-game ornithologist, Cliff Shackelford.

And even though it’s intended for duck hunters, it’s benefiting so many non-game birds. So, I recommend bird watchers and nature enthusiasts buy a duck stamp.

Hunting is only one way to use the stamp.

It makes a great gift. And for yourself, it’s a great way to go visit National Wildlife Refuges, where there’s an entry fee. That duck stamp will get you and your carload of birdwatchers in for free.

The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of endangered whooping cranes. The land was purchased in 1937 with duck stamp money.

So, just three years after the inception of the duck stamp, it was used to buy the Aransas Refuge at a time when there were only about 15 whooping cranes left. Now we have a little over 300. And so many other birds benefit from the duck stamp. When we’re protecting wetlands for ducks, we’re also saving habitat for grebes and rails and common yellow throats, and lots of shorebirds, and lots of other things that are not game birds, but really benefit from wetland conservation.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program support our series.

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

Guns: Lock ‘Em if You’ve Got ‘Em

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

This is Passport to Texas

Experienced hunters and gun owners understand the importance of firearm safety.

Basic firearm safety begins with firearm safety in the home.

Steve Hall, hunter education coordinator for Texas Parks and Wildlife, says Project Child Safe is a program that helps firearm owners maintain high standards of safety in the home.

It’s a long-standing program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and it provides free gun locks to anyone that needs to secure their guns in the home. So, we’ll be able to offer those through Hunter Education, through the Game Wardens, and through many outlets in Texas, because of a donation by the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Hall says Parks and Wildlife will distribute free gun locks to parents when they become available later this summer.

We should be receiving locks this summer in preparation for the busy hunter education season starting late July-August. We’ll have information on those locks [on the website] once Texas parks and Wildlife Department receives them.

Texas Parks and Wildlife offers hunter education classes throughout the year to help would-be hunters—and even non hunters—how to handle and store firearms safely.

Find Hunter Education classes on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

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

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.

Firearm Safety

Monday, May 30th, 2016
Be aware of safe zones of fire.

Be aware of safe zones of fire.

This is Passport to Texas

Firearm safety should be every gun owner’s top priority.

Firearm safety really revolves around four main things, and that’s the primary rules of shooting safety or hunter safety.

Steve Hall is hunter education coordinator at Texas Parks and Wildlife. He says the first rule of firearm safety is to have your gun pointed in a safe direction at all times.

Number two is, check the action and make sure it is unloaded. That’s the rule of treating every firearm as if it were loaded. Number three is keeping your finger outside of the trigger guard. And then number four is be sure of your target. What is in front of and beyond.

Hall says if there is one rule that gun owners break most often it is muzzle control.

There are a lot of folks who just unknowingly point the firearm in an unsafe direction. Whether they’re walking next to their buddies, or pulling a firearm out of a vehicle, or putting it into a vehicle—or even inspecting it in the home. Maybe when they’re cleaning the firearm.

Learning and practicing the four rules of firearm safety will prevent accidents in the field and at home. Need help? Find a hunter education class near you when you log onto the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series and works to increase shooting sports and hunting in Texas.

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