Archive for the 'Hunting' Category

Upland Game Bird Forecast

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
Bobwhite quail

Bobwhite quail

This is Passport

Substantial rainfall and mild summer temperatures across the state bode well for quail hunters.

Typically when you’re thinking about quail hunting in Texas, you’re thinking about south Texas and also the rolling plains up in north Texas and the Panhandle and things are certain looking great in both of those areas.

Robert Perez is Upland Game Program Leader at Texas Parks and Wildlife. Scale quail, in West Texas, are doing exceptionally well.

It’s why people come to Texas [to hunt]. And in the desert when it rains, everything turns green and blooms and the timing has been very good so our numbers are pretty staggering as far as what we’ve been seeing with scaled quail in west Texas. And we expect to see some great opportunities.

Quail isn’t the only upland game bird doing well this season. Perez says turkey hunting is on the rise.

Wild turkey hunting is a growing sport. The excitement of calling in a bird and it coming in—a big old Tom. They really rely on spring moisture to be successful at nesting. And, so we’re going to see a variety of ages, which is great for hunters because they’ll be looking for that mature bird but they’ll also be some three and four year old birds in there. If you had to put a number on it or qualify the season for turkey for Rio Grande Turkey it’s looking excellent.

Hunting in Texas is big business bringing more than three-billion dollars to the state’s economy.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

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

2016 Deer Season Forecast

Friday, December 2nd, 2016
White-tailed buck

White-tailed buck

This is Passport to Texas

Last year’s deer season was good; and this year’s season promises to be better.

The conditions have been incredible this year. We had a wet spring across the state—from El Paso to Houston and Amarillo to Brownsville.

White-tailed deer program leader, Alan Cain, says Texas Parks and Wildlife estimates the white-tail population…at about four-million animals. Yet, too many deer in one place can cause illness among them, including possible die off in the herd. Hunting helps to maintain a healthy balance.

We encourage hunters to take the full bag limit in those particular counties. And by doing so it helps improve the habitat. If they don’t want to put that meat in the freezer, they can certainly donate it to Hunters for the Hungry or different charitable organizations around the state.

With an excellent forecast for deer hunting this season, now is the time to get the next generation into the field.

And it’s a great opportunity to get kids outdoors; expose them to hunting. And recruit our future generation of wildlife managers into the state.

Download the Texas Outdoor Annual APP onto your smart phone. Before going on your hunt. It will help you find hunting season dates and bag limits for your county and a whole lot more. Find it on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife restoration program supports our series.

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

TPW TV – ADA Hunt at Inks Lake State Park

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

This is Passport to Texas

Hunting blinds aren’t typically designed for people with disabilities. Inks Lake State Park tackled that issue by building four hunting blinds accessible to people with physical limitations. Chris Hall is with Inks Lake State Park.

We have dropped the windows down to access the height and level of the wheelchair. The carpet is nonskid surface, very good noise dampener.

Elias Brown, a first-time hunter, and his dad Chase were among the first to try the new accessible blinds.

My son has a prosthetic leg. So, it’s more accessible to get into it. Even if you can get a person with a disability up into a traditional blind, it’s going to be almost impossible for them to move around. So these things are eight foot by eight foot, with plenty of head space.

Elias bagged a deer on his first try.

It was my first hunting trip, first shot, and he dropped. So, that was great.

Dad, Chase Brown, says the family will be back.

I have a daughter in a wheelchair and she could easily get there with me and her brother or her mom. It just opens up worlds.

And Inks Lake’s Chris Hall predicts more accessible blinds are in the park’s future.

With the increased popularity, the success of this year already, I don’t know exact numbers but I can assure you we’re going to start constructing a few more.

View a segment on Inks Lake State Park’s accessible hunting blinds the week of December 4 on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV Series on PBS.

The Wildlife restoration program supports our series.

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

Pheasant Hunters May Expect Successful Season

Thursday, November 17th, 2016
Cecilia Nasti's father after a pheasants hunt.

Cecilia Nasti’s father after a pheasant hunt.

This is Passport to Texas

Higher rainfall averages in the Panhandle bode well for pheasant hunters this season.

This year I had actually seen clutches in July and August. The past several years I hadn’t seen any babies at all.

Todd Montandon, a biologist based in Canyon, says the area’s seen successful hatches three years in a row. Even so, pheasant continue to play a game of catch up after years of drought.

The drought really, really did a number to pheasants. 2011 through probably 2013, there just weren’t good nesting conditions at all. There wasn’t any cover. There wasn’t any water on the landscape. Very little insect production. So, those nests that were successful, the chicks just didn’t make it to adulthood, because they couldn’t find enough food.

Despite the lower numbers of the game bird, Montandon says there are enough adults on the ground for a successful hunt, if you know where to go.

Typically, we’re probably going to see the best numbers around the Dalhart, Perryton, Stratford, Gruver areas. The Herford area also holds quite a few birds, and I’ve seen some hatchlings over there this year. And then as you get down around Tulia and Plainview it starts tapering off.

Pheasant season runs December 3 through January first. Based on current surveys, the recommended bag limit is three per day. Find more information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

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

Hunting as an Act of Conservation

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
Big Time Texas Hunt at Black Gap WMA

Big Time Texas Hunt at Black Gap WMA

This is Passport to Texas

Hunting is not only a tradition in Texas—it is also a commitment to wildlife conservation.

Hunters started to see declines in certain game species populations and habitat. And realized if they want to enjoy perusing game (it doesn’t even have be for harvest), just if they want to see that perpetuated so their kids, and future generations can enjoy that, they realized they needed to protect it.

Alan Cain, Texas whitetail deer program leader, says in the early 20th century, hunters chose to conserve wildlife through taxation.

In 1937, you had the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act – called the Pittman-Robertson Act – [signed into law]. Basically it’s a user pay system where the hunters said, ‘okay, we’re going to tax ourselves to help pay for wildlife conservation.’ And that’s been a huge success. In my opinion, that’s why North America has the best wildlife management conservation model in the world – because hunters pay for that.

Hunters pay with the licenses they buy, and the excise tax levied on firearms, ammunition and other equipment, which goes directly to fund conservation.

And then the second part of that is that hunters not only play a role in funding conservation that benefits everybody, but they also play a role in managing deer populations out there.

By removing deer from the landscape, they help keep habitat in balance for all wildlife.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series and funds whitetail research in Texas.

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