Meat Processors Help Feed Hungry Texans

October 26th, 2016
Huinters for the Hungry

Hunters for the Hungry helps feed Texans

This is Passport

Feeding Texas is a non-profit association that represents food banks in the state. Hunters for the Hungry is one of the programs it oversees.

The way it works is, we recruit meat processors to help us get venison out to the families that we serve. For hunters it’s an opportunity to donate back to their communities. And, for our food banks, it’s an opportunity to have access to a really great lean source of protein that the families that we serve really need.

Celia Cole is CEO of Feeding Texas. She says Hunters for the Hungry enjoys enthusiastic hunter participation among deer hunters. Yet, Cole says they need more processors.

Our greatest challenge is bringing in enough processors. So, in all of the areas where there is a lot of hunting, we are in need of more processors. And that is the key to making this program work.

Cole says it’s easy for processors to sign up.

We have our website and processors can go there to sign up. Really, all they need to do is enroll with us and show a copy of their inspection and be willing to package the meat in the packaging that we provide. So, it’s fairly simple for a processor to register and become involved in the program.

Tomorrow: how Hunters for the Hungry benefits processors, hunters, and the community.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

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

Turkeys on the Move

October 25th, 2016
Randall Kroll, a TPWD wildlife biologist, releasing wild eastern turkey. Image: Houston Chronicle

Randall Kroll, a TPWD wildlife biologist, releasing wild eastern turkey. Image: Houston Chronicle

This is Passport

East Texas once had abundant wild turkey populations. Then, around the turn of the 20th century over harvesting by European settlers nearly wiped them out.

There were no regulations to stop them from harvesting those animals and no law enforcement out there to enforce the few regulations that we did have.

With new regulations in place, turkey restoration got underway. Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist, Jason Hardin, says decades of restocking Eastern Wild Turkey has been successful for some East Texas counties.

The early efforts began with wild trapped Eastern turkeys in 1979. Dr. Roel Lopez coined the phrase ‘super stocking’. He said if we put large numbers of birds on the ground—up to 70 to 80 birds—that even under the worst case scenario, you’d have a really good opportunity for success as long as you’re focusing on quality habitat.

Thirty-one turkeys from Iowa, recently released in the Angelina National Forest, brought the total number to 80 birds. Outfitted with GPS transmitters, researchers plan to track them to determine their preferred habitat.

Essentially, we’re just going to be looking at the movement behavior. We’ll start doing vegetation sampling at each nest site. And then, that will go into this first years’ worth of data, and then we’ll come back and do it again next year.

Since 1979, more than 7,500 Eastern Turkeys have been released into 56 counties in East Texas on wildlife management areas, private lands and national forests.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

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

Pokémon Guide to State Parks

October 24th, 2016
Nathan Adams and his kiddos searching for Pokémon.

Nathan Adams and his kiddos searching for Pokémon.

This is Passport

Since adding a Pokémon Guide to the Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine APP, the publication’s art director, Nathan Adams and his sons, have spent a lot of time in Texas State Parks.

So, every day when I come home, my boys who are six and 10, they want to see what’s been added to the APP–what new parks have been added. And as they flip through the APP on my iPad or my iPhone, [they give me] a laundry list of ‘here’s where we have to go this weekend.’

Through augmented reality, the Pokémon GO APP by Niantic, Inc., populates the outdoors with creatures suited to their locales. Texas Parks and Wildlife’s guide helps to find them in Texas State Parks.

They’re tied to geographic locations. So, if there’s a lot of water in a park, for example, then more water type Pokémon would be there. If there’s a lot of rocks in the park, then you’d have more rock-type Pokémon. So, what you’d find at Hueco Tanks is going to be very different than what you’d find at McKinney Falls.

Parks can harbor some rare Pokémon, but that’s not all.

More than that, going to the park lets you encounter non-virtual creatures who are stunning and beautiful in their own right, and are not pixilated. My children refer to it as Pokémon IRL—or Pokémon in real life. Where suddenly it’s like: ‘Hey, Dad—what is that?’ And it’s caused them to look at other things. It’s caused them to be outside more.

Download the Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine Pokémon APP for free from the Texas Parks and Wildlife website…and get outside.

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

Hunting for Pokémon in State Parks

October 21st, 2016
Even Pokémon love Texas Wildlife

Even Pokémon love Texas Wildlife


This is Passport

When Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine art director, Nathan Adams’, tech-obsessed sons started to willingly spend time outdoors, he grew curious about their uncharacteristic behavior.

The kids are going outside. They’re going on long walks. And I’m like—what are we doing? ‘Oh, we’re catching Pokémon.’ And I was thinking the card game. But it’s this new video experience.

The Pokémon GO APP by Niantic Inc., became an overnight sensation upon its release in early July. App users search for Pokémon characters in “augmented reality”. This gave Adams an idea.

Because they [his sons] were doing lots of walks and lots of outdoor activities, I thought, ‘Do these exist in parks?’ And lo and behold they did! Hence the idea: can we tie our existing magazine app and our existing parks content to this new phenomena that’s bubbling through the zeitgeist of Pokémon GO?

Under his direction, Adams’ unleased two twenty-something interns on the project, and they created a new digital guide in the magazine’s free mobile app that offers tips and tricks for Pokémon hunting adventures in Texas State Parks.

And so, if you download the APP, which is free, you’ll find maps of over 25 parks—and we’re adding to it regularly—where you can find poke stops, poke gyms and Pokémon that have been seen or captured in that park.

Download the Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine Pokémon APP for free from the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

The Wild Art of Billy Hassell

October 20th, 2016
Billy Hassell's Powderhorn Ranch

Billy Hassell’s Powderhorn Ranch

This is Passport to Texas

Billy Hassell may live in Fort Worth, but this full-time artist says nature is both his muse and his subject.

I grew up in a time when there was still come open spaces and creeks. And, I got to experience a little bit of nature even though I grew up in a pretty urban environment. I guess my love of nature was born from those experiences, and I’ve been searching for that throughout the rest of my life. I’ve been seeking out opportunities to be out in nature and find places to inspire my work.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation commissioned Billy to create a series of prints to celebrate wildlife habitat conservation in Texas. His first: Powderhorn Ranch, 17 thousand acres of coastal prairies and marsh along Matagorda Bay.

We decided on five land projects [30 prints each] around the state of Texas—Powderhorn being the jewel in the crown. It’s very heartening to me seeing large areas of land like this preserved for the future.

Billy is in awe of Powderhorn’s complexity.

And as I learn more and more about it, I’m fascinated by the complexities of it, and how practically every plant and every little creature plays a role in the overall balance of a place.

Proceeds from Billy Hassell’s lithographs help Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation keep places wild places wild forever. See photos of his prints, and where the prints are displayed at

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


Galleries that will carry the Keeping it Wild lithographs include:

Conduit Gallery, Dallas

William Campbell Contemporary Art, Fort Worth

William Reaves Fine Art, Houston

Questions? Contact TPWF at 214.720.1478.