Archive for the 'Hunting' Category

Hunting: Tips for Hunting Teal

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Green Winged Tealcinnamon-tealBlue-Winged-Teal

This is Passport to Texas

Good environmental conditions in teal’s northern nesting areas mean more birds and a 16-day early season in Texas.

16—Blue-wings are the most abundant, and are very common to Texas early and late in the year. Green-wing teal are kind of our winter residents. And Cinnamon Teal, for the most part, are more of a western bird. They’re not real common in Texas, but we do encounter them from time-to-time.

Kevin Kraai (CRY), waterfowl program leader for Texas Parks and Wildlife, says teal do not behave quite like other duck species.

24—One thing I like to tell hunters is these birds are actively migrating this time of year; it’s very dynamic from one day to the next. So, just wake up and go. You never know if today is the day that the migration is going to be strong. You can go out one day and there will be nothing, and go out the next and be covered up in them. So, I just say wake up and go. Find good shallow habitat, shallow water that has abundant food. And there’s a really good chance there’ll be teal there that day.

The season opens Saturday, September 13 and closes Sunday, September 28, with a six bird daily bag limit.

19—We haven’t looked this good in a long time. Right now we have abundant freshwater, from the Texas High Plains in the panhandle, all
the way down to the Texas coast.

Opportunity awaits. Find more hunting information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

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

Hunting: Early Teal Season

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Blue-winged Teal

Blue-winged Teal

This is Passport to Texas

Early teal season provides waterfowlers an opportunity to harvest ducks before the regular season opener in November. Whether hunters get a nine day or sixteen day season depends on the birds.

15—If the breeding population is above 4.7 million, you’re allowed a 16 day, 6 bird [daily] bag limit season. If it’s below 4.7 and above 3 million, you have a nine day season. Anything below – I believe it’s 3 million – the season’s closed.

Kevin Kraai (CRY) is waterfowl program leader for the wildlife division of TPW. It’s been a good year for teal.

15—We’ve had a sustained long-term wet period [this year]. Couple that with some timely Farm Bill programs – such as the Conservation Reserve program – that put large amounts of upland grass on the landscape. And the blue wing teal have just responded favorably to that.

A 16 day season opens Saturday, September 13 and closes Sunday, September 28. Kevin Kraai says to make sure you’re prepared.

11—Each hunter has to be certified in the Harvest Information Program. Additionally, they will need to have a migratory game bird stamp, offered by the state of Texas. As well as a [federal] waterfowl duck stamp.

Find hunting information for all game species on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series… and receives funds from your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motorboat fuel.

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

Hunting | Tech: New Online Drawn Hunts System

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Drawn Hunts Online

A variety of hunting opportunities are available through the drawn hunts system online.

This is Passport to Texas

The Drawn Hunts system (on public and private land) is online only now and streamlines the application process. Adult application fees are $3 per adult, except Private Lands and Guided Hunt categories, which are $10.

16—Our applications are not all at one time; they’re actually distributed through the month of August into January. We have regular gun/deer in September, and feral hog and exotics…and some of the later hunts for feral hog and spring turkey will actually go into December and January.

Kelly Edmiston, public hunting coordinator, says there are more hunts available than in years past, and selection notification will be faster than ever.

20— We will probably be able to draw one to three business days after a deadline because we’re not having to rely on data and mail and late arriving applications. Before you had to get it here by 5 o’clock the day of the deadline. Now, because it’s online, you’ll basically have until that last day – probably up until 11:59 [p.m.]—to be able to submit an application.

Preference points of the past are loyalty points today.

22— You can now apply more than once within a category. Your loyalty points will still apply to each application you submit in that category equally. So, if you have five preference points for a gun/deer either sex category, and you submit three gun/deer either sex applications, each at a different area, you’re going to get five points on each of your three.

Access the online drawn hunt system from the hunting section on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

Hunting: Gun Safety

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Hunter Education field class.

Hunter Education field class.

This is Passport to Texas

Hunters are taking their firearms out of the gun case and preparing them to go afield this fall. Prep work should also include reviewing gun safety rules.

15—Number one: always point the muzzle in a safe direction. Number two: Treat every firearm as if it were loaded. Three: Be sure of your target; what’s in front as well as beyond. And, then the fourth is unload your firearms when not in use.

Robert Ramirez, Texas Parks and Wildlife hunter education manager, says his department produced a new video – available on YouTube September 6th – illustrating the first four, of ten, rules.

05—In our hunter education course, obviously, we go over all ten gun safety rules.

Ramirez says you and your hunting party should commit the first four rules to memory before going into the field.

03—Firearm safety is everyone’s responsibility.

And if you have not taken hunter education, or need a refresher, it can only serve you well.

20—Hunter education is for everyone who is planning on going afield regardless of age. In the state of Texas, it is mandatory certification if you are going to hunt – 17 years of age or older. There is a grandfather date of September 2, 1971; if you’re born
on or after that date, it’s mandatory [to take] if you’re going to hunt alone.

Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website to find hunting rules and regulations, as well as hunter education classes – including online certification classes.

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

How to Avoid Hunting Accidents

Research | Hunting: Reporting Banded Doves

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Banding a dove.

Banding a dove.

This is Passport to Texas

An important game bird in Texas, the mourning dove (although there are other dove species in Texas) is the subject of a nationwide banding program. By crimping tiny silver bands around their legs, biologists track the harvest rates of these birds.

08—We’ll also determine survival rates, where they go, when they get there, and when they leave. And all kinds of good information.

Jay Roberson… wildlife research supervisor at Parks and Wildlife…says the bands are small, but packed with information.

13—And it has the toll free number on it that people can call. And a nine digit number and the office location of the bird banding lab in Laurel Maryland.

Newer bands even have a website where hunters can report their findings. Roberson asks dove hunters to examine their harvest for leg bands. The information on the bands hunters supply is invaluable when managing the species.

19—All the work we put in on banding doves is for naught, if they’re not reported by hunters or people who find them. And, it’s very important that hunters check their birds that they bag – make sure that their birds are banded. If they are, we ask they report the number to the toll-free number: 1-800-327-BAND.

Find more information about reporting dove data when you visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

Our show’s receives support from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, which provides funding for the Private Lands and Public Hunting Programs.

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