Archive for the 'SFWR' Category

Conservation: Lone Star Land Stewards

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Prescribed burning

Leopold Lone Star land Steward Award winner 2014, Winston 8 Ranch.

This is Passport to Texas

The key to healthy habitat and wildlife populations rests in the hands of landowners. In Texas, we honor their skillful management.

09—Lone Star Land Steward is an award program where we recognize those landowners in Texas who are doing an exemplary job of managing their habitats and their wildlife.

Linda Campbell oversees the state’s Private Lands and Public Hunting programs.

13—We have all kinds of focus on these landowners. We have a great diversity of people. We have a regional award for each of the ten eco-regions. And then we have an overall award, the Leopold Conservation Award, for the overall statewide land steward.

Nominations for the awards opened June first, and will continue until the end of November.

23—Nominations can come from the landowners themselves, or those that assist them. We will take nominations from any member of the public. All of those nominations are evaluated, and we do site visited on those. We just want to make sure that we hold up those who are doing such an excellent job managing the resources of Texas.

Find nomination forms on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series…and funds the Private Lands and Public Hunting programs.

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

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.

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.

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