Archive for June, 2010

Hunter Education

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

This is passport to Texas

Hunting is a tradition passed on from one generation to the next. Since 1971, teaching the basics is no longer the sole responsibility of family members.

10—Anyone who is born on or after September 2, 1971, and who has attained the age of 9, is eligible to be certified in hunter education.

The course is hunter education. Terry Erwin oversees hunter education at Texas Parks & Wildlife. He says volunteer instructors are the backbone of this popular program.

07—Many of the individuals have gone through the Hunter education course themselves, and found out that they really wanted to give something to the sport.

Volunteers also save taxpayers a nice chunk of change in the process.

07—If you put a dollar value on it, probably in volunteer hours and things like that, way exceeding half a million dollars.

The volunteer aspect goes beyond the classroom; these dedicated instructors also take on mentoring roles.

13—We always encourage every instructor to take at least one or two youth hunting each year that they train. That starts a mentoring process in which that student goes out under the training and guidance of an experienced hunter.

Learn how you can volunteer to teach hunter education classes, visit our website:

The Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program support our series working to increase fishing, hunting, shooting and boating opportunities in Texas.

Sharing the Hunting Tradition

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

Golfing has often been described as a good walk spoiled. The same has never been said about hunting. Hunting includes a good walk as well as a chance to pass on a Texas tradition to the next generation.

06—I’d like to encourage all hunters to take their youngsters hunting even if they start them out with a pair of binoculars.

That’s Terry Erwin who oversees hunter education at Texas Parks & Wildlife. The idea, says Erwin, is to help kids become comfortable with the outdoors.

09—They can be out there in the woods observing nature, even if they don’t hunt at the time. But as they gain insight and become older, they may want to start hunting.

Hunting is an activity that fathers and mothers are encouraged to share with their children, but learning at a parent’s side is no substitute for a sanctioned hunter education class. With more than 3-thousand classes offered annually, there’s one to fit every schedule.

07—They go on year round, from January all the way up through December. So that’s not something that’s just a seasonal thing right before hunting season.

You will find a complete list of hunter education classes on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

Our show is made possible by the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program…working to increase fishing, hunting, shooting and boating opportunities in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

SP Getaway–Equestrian Camping

Monday, June 28th, 2010

This is a Passport to Texas State Park Getaway

Taking in the scenic beauty of the state on horseback is an experience like no other, and some of the best views and equestrian trails Texas has to offer are in state parks. Bryan Frazier has details.

Horseback riding, and just viewing a state park from horseback is just becoming more and more popular, and so to accommodate our customers, we’re trying to put equestrian friendly, or equestrian accommodating camping in our parks.

And we do have several state parks that have equestrian facilities, from corrals and pens, to a simple hitching post where you can tie off your animal for the night right there in your campsite. And we have those for site that are developed for water and electricity, or we have them for tent camping.

So, as the equestrian camping and the equestrian experience in our state parks becomes more and more popular, I think people are going to see that they don’t just have to do it for the day trip. They can bring their horses to a state park and enjoy the camping experience. Particularly in Texas with the romance that we have with cowboys and horses and things.

When you can see a state park and the beauty and the grandeur and the scenery from the back of a horse, that’s a really unique experience, and something that’s popular for a very good reason in our state parks.

Thanks Bryan.

Find more state park information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show … For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Becoming a Park Host

Friday, June 25th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

Ed and Paula Smith don’t like to go home in the winter…

:04—It’s cold at home…Michigan is cold.” (ES) “So we came down here and we just keep coming back.

The couple’s winter address is often Bastrop State Park…and their house is 37-foot motor home.

:04—It’s probably nicer than our home at home (laughs).

And while you might think they keep coming back to Bastrop because the retirees just want a chance to play golf, you’d be surprised to know that it’s not all play.

:05—I mow and then I come back and weed whip… just try to make the park look pretty.

For the past several years Ed and Paula have spent their winter months in Bastrop State Park as park hosts. They volunteer about 25 hours a week working as additional representatives in the park, and assisting park staff.

:08—You’re getting some exercise and you’re having a good time, then you’re enjoying your stay…It’s a give and take…and we really appreciate the opportunity.

Find state parks information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show for today…we record the series at the Production Block Studios in Austin, Texas…For Texas Parks and Wildlife… I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Dutch Oven Cooking, 2

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

Cast iron is a durable metal with an outstanding capacity to hold and transfer heat. No wonder Dutch ovens are made from it.

:07—A Dutch oven is a cast iron pot that pioneers used to cook their meals in over an open fire.

Tim Spice is in education and outreach at parks and Wildlife, currently serving in Iraq in the Army Reserves. He’s also an accomplished Dutch oven cook.

:07—I’ve done some stuffed Cornish game hens and quiche. Whatever you can bake in your oven you can bake in a Dutch oven.

For the new Dutch oven enthusiast, Spice recommends starting with a foolproof recipe.

:17—Stews are easy. Liquid recipes are forgiving in a Dutch oven. So, I just tell people to start with that. Pick a great beef stew or a chicken stew and go after it. Vegetables, stock and the meat of your choice – and just let it cook away. And you’ll have a great meal in a short period of time.

If you’re worried about using your Dutch oven for the first time in the wide open spaces, Spice recommends, doing a test run indoors.

:16—If I want to try something on a fire, I’ll get my Dutch oven out and I’ll cook it in my oven so I don’t have to worry about temperature control. I can focus on recipe adjustment. Let’s face it, when you’re out in the woods, camping – you’re trying to have a good time –you don’t have a full kitchen behind you. So, that’s what I do. I use it a lot.

That’s our show for today… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti