Archive for the 'Hunting' Category

What to Bring into the Field When Hunting

Thursday, July 20th, 2017
Front of Texas hunting license

Front of Texas hunting license

This is Passport to Texas

Deer season is drawing near. Remember to bring a valid hunting license into the field with you.

Make sure it’s the proper one. We get people that put their old license in their pocket sometimes, and those won’t do them any good.

New licenses go on sale next month. In addition to your firearm, Game Warden Andrew Alexander reminds hunters of other items to carry into the field.

A driver’s license, or [other] form of identification. A pen for writing down the information on your tag and on your harvest log. And also something to cut your dates out with.

Ensure you and your firearm are ready for what’s to come by spending time at a shooting range before the season opener. If you’re new to hunting, learn the regulations.

Once you shoot a deer, the law says tag it immediately upon kill. You’ll find the proper tag. And then, you’re going to need a pen with you. You’re going to fill out the county that you are in, and the ranch that you harvested the animal. Tear it out—you will cut the dates out of it—you’ll tag that animal on the spot. And you’ll also fill out your harvest logs.

A harvest log is on the back of your hunting license.

And what the harvest log allows us to do, with the counties that have the antler restrictions, we’re able to trace those and make sure they [hunters] are only taking what they’re allowed. That’s why the harvest log is so important.

Find regulations and season information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife Restoration Program Supports our series.

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

Prepare for the Season with Hunter Ed

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017
Hands on Hunter Education

Hands on Hunter Education

This is Passport to Texas

Being a successful hunter begins with hunter education.

Anybody who handles firearms or goes hunting or practices shooting sports should take hunter education.

Hunter education is mandatory for those born on or after September 2, 1971. Steve Hall oversees the program at Parks and Wildlife. The course both prepares hunters for the season, and keeps them in good standing with the law.

The number one ticket we write is for no hunter’s education.

Andrew Alexander is a Texas Game Warden out of Bastrop County.

We write a lot of those [citations]. And the main thing we want there is—we don’t want them to pay a fine. We want them to take the course. They have 90 days to take the course and get their certification. Show proof to the judge, and then that citation will be dismissed.

The Texas Hunter Education program is primarily focuses on younger hunters, that’s not true of all states, which is important to understand if you hunt outside of Texas.

All fifty states require hunter education. We’re reciprocal with all of those states. And the ones that get us the most are the Colorado bound hunters who have to take it [if they’re born] on or after January 1, 1949. So, we get a lot of adults in our class that have it to have it to hunt in Colorado that may not need to have it to hunt in Texas.

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.

First Time Adult Hunters

Monday, February 27th, 2017
A white-tailed buck.

A white-tailed buck.

This is Passport to Texas

It’s a bit of a phenomenon. Adults without previous exposure to hunting are expressing interest in learning the skills necessary to harvest big game. Texas Parks and Wildlife responded by developing a mentored deer hunt for adult novices, and offered its first workshop in December. Coordinator, Chris Hall.

The interest was overwhelming. We had it set up to ensure that we gave a quality program and had ample one-on-one time with hunters to address each individual’s needs. And I believe we were successful in what they were trying to get and achieve and where they were with their level of hunting and shooting.

Brad Sheffield, and engineer from Grapevine, took part in the three day program. Day one involved classroom and shooting range work; days 2 & 3 were devoted to putting new knowledge and skills to work.

We went out this morning to go hunting, and I passed on a button buck. And so I decided to see if there was more coming out—and there wasn’t. That was my only chance to shoot him.

Brad had success that afternoon. After waiting two and half hours in the blind, a group of deer came into view.

I was waiting for the doe to get in the right position because she turned around to go the other way, was behind the feeder, and then she finally got in a good spot. And I took my shot and dropped her—just like that.  [Cecilia] And do you think you’ll be doing more deer hunting. Absolutely. I’ll be taking my kids deer hunting as well.

More adult novice mentored hunts are being developed.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

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

Suggestions for Preparing Your Spring Turkey

Friday, February 24th, 2017
Roasted Wild Turkey Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Roasted Wild Turkey Recipe photo by Taste of Home

This is Passport to Texas

If you harvest a wild turkey, you can find techniques for preparing it from online experts who are hunters and chefs. A wild turkey has a rich flavor—some say gamey—and is quite lean, which makes it a little tricky to prepare.

Steve Rinella, the outdoorsman known as The Meat Eater, recommends brining wild harvested turkeys to keep them juicy.

Fill a large pot—one big enough to hold the turkey and brine—with a gallon of water. Next add 1 cup of Kosher Salt, 1/2 cup of sugar, the juice of three lemons, and a sliced onion. Heat the mixture to dissolve the salt and sugar. Let cool, and then submerge the bird in the brine and allow it to soak for 24 to 48 hours in the fridge.

Remove it from the brine, blot the moisture from the bird with paper towels, and then place it in a shallow baking dish on top of a rack, or on a bed of root vegetables. Rub the turkey with oil, and sprinkle it inside and out with your favorite seasonings.

Place it into an oven, preheated to 375 degrees. Roast the bird until an instant read thermometer registers an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Let the turkey rest at least 10 minutes before carving.

Steve Rinella says a hunting license should say “all hunters must brine their turkeys before cooking them—no matter the cooking method.” I say that’s a good idea.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

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

Spring Turkey Bag Limits

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
Imagine seeing this sight when you go turkey hunting this spring.

Imagine seeing this sight when you go turkey hunting this spring.

This is Passport to Texas

Eastern wild turkeys thrived from the coastal prairies to the Red River until the early 1900s when commercial hunting and development drove the birds to near extinction. Hunting these birds was off limits until years of restocking efforts created a huntable population.

We’ve spent a lot of time stocking birds into East Texas. We’ve had some really good success in some areas, and not as much success in others. So, we don’t have the densities that we have of Rio Grande…and we’re trying to keep a real good record of what’s happening with that population.

Jason Hardin, Turkey program leader for Parks and Wildlife, says Rio Grande turkeys, found in most of the state are plentiful; this spring, hunters have a four bird bag limit.

The bag limit is one for the Eastern Turkey, and it must be reported on Texas Parks and Wildlife’s My Hunt Harvest app for smart phones or online at Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Wild Turkey Page. Physical check stations for Eastern wild turkeys are no longer open in Texas.

The data helps Parks and Wildlife manage the species. Need a place to hunt the Eastern gobbler?

Some of our WMAs provide good Eastern turkey hunting as well.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series; it’s funded by your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motor boat fuel.

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