Need for Spanish Speaking Hunter Ed Instructors

July 28th, 2015
Youth Hunt

Preparing for Youth Hunt

This is Passport to Texas

The average age of Texas hunters is mid-forties. As these hunters decrease their time in the field, some increase their time in the classroom.

05—Some become [hunter education] instructors, and really want to give back to something they’ve enjoyed all throughout their lives.

Nancy Heron is director of outreach and education at parks and wildlife. She said the program has a need for instructors with special skills.

12—Parks and Wildlife has a lot of constituents who are bilingual, and who just speak Spanish. We are looking for bilingual instructors that are able to teach the hunter education program in Spanish and English.

The Spanish speaking population in Texas is growing, and Parks and Wildlife wants to ensure this group has easy access to hunter education, and a great outdoor experience.

11—We certainly could use those instructors to help us reach those constituents that we normally wouldn’t be able to reach. And, we do want to offer them [Spanish speaking constituents] an opportunity to get out in the outdoors and enjoy it.

We have information on becoming a volunteer Hunter Education instructor at

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series.

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

Hunting License Deferral

July 27th, 2015
Hunting for white-tailed deer.

Hunting for white-tailed deer.

This is Passport to Texas

People interested in hunting, born on or after September 2, 1971, must take a hunter education training course. However, Nancy Herron, says there is a way around it—at least temporarily.

09—Anyone who has not been certified by the time they turn seventeen, can go and get a deferral. They must buy a hunting license, and ask for deferral type 1-6-6 at the point of sale.

Herron is director of Outreach and Education. The deferral allows people to hunt as long as a certified licensed hunter accompanies them.

05—And if you like it, go get certified; you have by August 31st of the current license year to do that.

It costs $10 for a deferral. The deferral program started in 2005, and about 10-thousand people sign up each year.

14—It offers an opportunity for someone who has not hunted before to give it a try and it brings in lapsed hunters. If they’ve been out of hunting for awhile, and didn’t get certified, they can come in, take the deferral, and then have an opportunity to get back into the outdoors.

A deferral may only be obtained once and is only valid until the end of the current license year; after that, hunters must complete the certification course.

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.

TPW TV: A Fish Called Ethel

July 24th, 2015
The big girl who started it all: Ethel

The big girl who started it all: Ethel

This is Passport to Texas

Ethel was a big girl from Lake Fork, and the first largemouth bass entered into the Sharelunker program in 1986.

06— And if you’d ever seen a picture of Ethel, she was as big around as she was long.

The Sharelunker program works to improve and grow bigger largemouth bass. Ethel was a 17.67-pounder caught and donated by fishing guide, Marks Stevenson. She served the program well, and changed the face of bass fishing in Texas

Former Director of Inland Fisheries, Phil Durocher, says bass fishing in Texas was very different before Ethel.

17— Back before ’86, bass fishing was primarily fish caught for food. People kept the big fish, and released the little fish. And we realized the larger fish were so valuable that we had to change the direction from a consumptive sport to recreation.

They brought Ethel to the Tyler fish hatchery where her survival was touch and go, says David Campbell, who oversaw the Sharelunker program from the beginning until his retirement in 2012.

13— This fish did not eat for a long time. My concern was if this fish died, it may kill the whole program. And I spent hours at night with a sunfish or something on a string and dangling it in front of her and she just sort of was sitting there looking at it.

She eventually, and literally spawned the success of the Sharelunker program. Learn more about Ethel and her legacy in a segment next week on the PBS Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series. Check your local listings.

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

Swimming Opportunities at State Parks

July 23rd, 2015
Preparing for a dive into the crystal clear, spring fed, Balmorhea State Park swimming pool.

Preparing for a dive into the crystal clear, spring fed, Balmorhea State Park swimming pool.

This is Passport to Texas

From spring-fed rivers to Texas-sized lakes, to diving in a pool, Texas State Parks offer swimming opportunities. Spring floods affected many natural swimming holes, so call ahead to find out about access and safety. Meantime, parks with public pools were largely unaffected.

Abilene State Park in the Panhandle has a large swimming pool and pavilion built by the Civilian Conservation Corps decades ago, which continues to provide visitors with summertime swimming and a separate wading pool for children.

Balmorhea State Park welcomes swimmers to the crystal-clear water of the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool. Swim or just relax under the trees at this CCC created historic park in arid West Texas.

In Far West Texas, Indian Lodge, within the boundaries of Davis Mountains State Park, has a lovely facility for its guests, who can relax poolside with a cool beverage or snacks from the lodge’s restaurant.

Bastrop State Park, in Central Texas, entices campers and folks from the surrounding area to its pools for summertime fun. The pool opens at noon daily.

While Goliad State Park and Historic Site in South Texas doesn’t offer swimming on premises, it is available across from the park, at a junior Olympic swimming pool, operated by the city of Goliad.

Wherever you are, there’s still time to get wet in the wilds of Texas this summer.

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.

Before Summer Ends, Take the Family Camping

July 22nd, 2015
A family camp out at lake Somerville State Park and Trailway.

A family camp out at lake Somerville State Park and Trailway.

This is Passport to Texas

It seems summer just got rolling, and now August and the new school year is nearly here. It’s time to make the most of what’s left of summer, and camping is the perfect way to do that. With state parks throughout Texas, your destination is just a short drive away.

Most state parks have campgrounds, and some of those have water and electric hook-ups. Some parks even accommodate RVs for those who wish to bring a little piece of home with them to the great outdoors. Check ahead to see what RV connections are available at your campsite.

For the pampered camper, check out state parks that offer cabin and lodge rentals. Historic landmarks and secluded ranches make for a relaxing getaway.

When tent camping, remember to properly dispose of food waste to discourage unwanted animals visitors; and always pack out what you pack in.

Whenever you’re outdoors, remember you are not just a visitor, you are part of the natural world, and as such, it is your responsibility to keep it healthy and inviting to others.

If you’ve never been camping before, consider attending a Texas Outdoor Family workshop where Texas Parks and Wildlife staff teaches you and your family the basics in a fun-filled weekend.

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

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti