Archive for the 'Hunting' Category

Wildlife Research: Banding Mourning Doves

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Mourning dove in Texas

Mourning dove in Texas

This is Passport to Texas

Mourning doves are the focus of an ongoing, nationwide banding study.

17—We’re banding mourning doves to determine harvest rates or percent of fall population taken by hunters. We’ll also determine survival rates, and where they go, and when they get there and when they leave.

Jay Roberson, wildlife research supervisor, said returned bands also help estimate population size – which ties directly into the national harvest strategy. He invited me to observe as he banded doves.

07—And we’re going to go and take some birds out of the traps and see what we’ve got and put the right band on the correct leg.

The trapped bird flapped excitedly as we approached. Jay covered the cage with an old blanket to calm the animal. Taking it from its cage, he brought it to a picnic table for banding with a small silver ring that fit easily around the bird’s leg.

14—Those are the bands for the adults and the unknown age birds. Now I slip the open band in the pliers over the lower leg. And now I’m going to crimp that pliers down until it closes.

After Jay determined the animal’s age, he transcribed the number of the band, the date and location into a book, and then released the bird.

If you harvest a banded mourning dove, report it by calling the number on the band. The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program program supports our show and provides funding for the Private Lands and Public Hunting Program.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Hunting | Tech: Drawn Hunts Made Easy

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

New Online Drawn Hunts System

New Online Drawn Hunts System

This is Passport to Texas

In July the Texas Parks and Wildlife drawn hunt system entered the 21st Century when it moved completely online.

07— What I like about the system is everything works here real time. So, the moment you apply, you can see real-time what you have.

Kelly Edmiston, public hunting coordinator, says folks with hunting and fishing licenses or those who applied for drawn hunts in the past are already in the system.

19—If you are a previous customer, you can hit “check status” button; enter your last name and date of birth, and the customer number from your hunting or fishing license and find your account. You can see your loyalty points – or preference points – and see your history. And from there, you are allowed to just go right in and start applying for hunts, or browsing the catalog to see our available hunts.

The FAQ section on the drawn hunts webpage offers more ways to locate or create an account.

24—When you apply online and provide an email address, our customers are going to receive an email immediately after we do a drawing notifying them of their success. And, if they haven’t been successful they still can go online seven days a week, 24-hours a day to access their hunting information. Plus, if you’ve won, you’ll be able to pay for your permits online and get your permits sent to you by return email.

Find a link to the new online drawn hunt system at

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

Hunting | Tech: Drawn Hunts Online

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Drawn Hunts Online

Drawn Hunts Online

This is Passport to Texas

For the past couple of decades hunters who put in for drawn hunts on Texas public lands did so by mail.

20— We would have to provide a booklet that we would mail to customers (or mail to our [regional] offices for folks to pick up) that they would browse through. They would hand write applications that would have to be mailed to Austin; we would have to open those applications up and process those application fees and manually enter them into a computer drawing system.

Kelly Edmiston, public hunting coordinator, says that was just the tip of the manpower and paperwork iceberg. This year everything moves online…

16—You need to have access to the internet, obviously, to get to the parks and wildlife web pages to get into our new online system, You will need to have an email account, because that is how we are going to communicate with you. You’re going to need to have a credit card; you’re going to be making your payments to your application fees and permit fees online.

When you log on to the site, Kelly says it will feel familiar.

11—We actually made the appearance of these hunts visually similar to how we used to display that information in the book. So, it will kind of look the way it used to when you were looking at it on a printed page.

We’ll have more about the new online drawn hunt system tomorrow.

We record our series in Austin at The Block House and Joel Block engineers our program.

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

Big Time Texas Hunts: Sharing the Experience

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Out on a Big Time Texas Hunt

Out on a Big Time Texas Hunt

This is Passport to Texas

The first time Kelly Hill of Houston heard of Big Time Texas Hunts was in a hunter Education class.

14— I went and researched it when I got home; and I was like – this is amazing. Nine bucks to enter online; I took a certain amount of money and spread it over the ones that I was interested in, and I put six entries in for the grand slam, and one of them hit.

The Grand Slam gives one winner four separate guided Texas big game hunts: desert bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, pronghorn antelope and desert mule deer. The winner may bring guests along on some of the hunts. Kelly brought his dad on the first one.

14—I took him with me on the mule deer hunt, and it was just really good to have him out there. And then I took a friend of mine to the whitetail hunt, and they accommodated me and the non-hunter with me. So, it’s been absolutely amazing.

Although Kelly Hill won the Texas Grand Slam, that won’t keep him from buying entries for Big Time Texas Hunts for years to come.

04—Absolutely. Oh, I’m going to continue to put in and hopefully get drawn again.

Are you feeling lucky?

Hunters may purchase entries for this year’s eight premier hunting packages, including the Grand Slam, for nine dollars online or ten dollars by phone, mail or at license retail locations through October 15.

Proceeds benefit wildlife conservation, research and public hunting in Texas.

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

Big Time Texas Hunt: Grand Slam Winner

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Big Time Texas Hunt at Black Gap WMA

Big Time Texas Hunt at Black Gap WMA

This is Passport to Texas

Do you know when you’re lucky? Houston resident Kelly Hill does. He won the annual Big Time Texas Hunts grand slam package the very first time he entered.

06— I’ve heard that people have entered for several years and haven’t won it. So I know I’m a very lucky guy.

The Grand Slam gives one winner four separate guided Texas big game hunts: desert bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, pronghorn and desert mule deer.

14—I’ve been on the whitetail hunt, and I’ve been on the mule deer hunt. And they were both absolutely amazing. I’m about to go on the desert big horned sheep [hunt], and then I think sometime in September or October is the [pronghorn] antelope.

The Texas grand slam is one of eight premium guided hunt packages offered in Parks and Wildlife’s Big Time Texas Hunts program.

19—If you were to actually go and pay for one of these hunts – they are very expensive. The fact that Texas Parks and Wildlife has coordinated with these properties that have opportunities to take one of these trophy animals – it’s amazing. And the fact that it’s nine bucks…nine bucks is a pretty cheap entry fee.

You can enter to win the Big Time Texas Hunts through October 15. Purchase entries online for $9 each or for $10 each by phone, mail or where you buy hunting licenses.

All proceeds from Big Time Texas Hunts benefit wildlife conservation, research and public hunting in Texas.

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