Archive for October, 2010

A Steady Hand: Tripod use in Wildlife Photogrtaphy

Friday, October 29th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

How annoying is it to snap a once in a lifetime wildlife photo, only to discover it’s blurry? Our state park guide Bryan Frazier helps clear up this issue.

53—It seems like we always overestimate our ability to shoot without a tripod. And what’s funny is, even when we get excited when big deer comes into view, our heart tends to race and our breathing picks up—that’s enough to blur the image. So, when you can, use a tripod or a monopod—sometimes even both—if you have a big lens, you’ll want a tripod for your camera and a monopod for your lens. Or even things like a vehicle. If it’s parked on the side of the road, that can help stabilize your shot, by resting the lens on it. Wildlife a lot of times aren’t conditioned to look for vehicles. They won’t run. So, whether you’re leaning on a vehicle to take the shot across the hood of your car, or if you’re inside a parked vehicle looking out the window, you want to turn the engine off. Just the vibration can do that [blur the photo] but, just something to rest the lens on that will stabilize that will really make a difference. You’ll start seeing better photographs.

Thanks Bryan.

That’s our show for today…with funding provided by Chevrolet…building dependable, reliable trucks for more than 90 years. For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Hunters for the Hungry

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

More than a million Texas families don’t have consistent access to proper nutrition. Texas hunters who participate in the Hunters for the Hungry program help to feed them.

10—Most of the recipients of the meat are agencies that have some sort of feeding program, whether it’s a food pantry, a soup kitchen, or some type of food distribution.

Anitra Hendricks coordinates the program, and says donating your harvested deer is easy.

24—The hunter would have to find a participating meat processor that works with the program—we have several located across the state. Once they locate the meat processor, they take their deer in. There is a reduced processing fee which normally averages between $30 an d $40, they pay that feel, they’ll receive a receipt from the meat processor, and from that point on the meat processor will handle the actual processing and donation of the animal.

Feeding programs around the state receive packages of the donated ground venison to distribute to their clients, or to use as an ingredient in soups or sauces they serve directly to hungry Texans. Last season, hunters donated nearly 168-thousand pounds of venison to the program.

13—In terms of quarter-pound servings, it serves 671, 360 servings. There were approximately 100 agencies that received the meat across the state of Texas.

Find a list of participating processors on our website:

That’s our show…the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration program supports our series… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

At the time this web page was created, the list of participating processors had not been released.

Using Corn Feeders When Hunting Deer

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

Texas deer hunters use corn feeders to draw animals into the open to get a clear shot. That’s because deer are alert and clever creatures that can elude even the best hunters.

Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist, Alan Cain, says in order to properly manage the estimated million white-tailed deer roaming our state, hunters have to be able to see them.

24—We live in a state where private lands dominate most of the hunting areas out there. So, it’s not like you have a national forest out west or in some of these big places in the east, where a hunter can get out there and just walk for miles. So, he’s relegated to whatever size property he’s hunting on. So, to make those deer visible, where he has an opportunity to harvest one, he has to do something to attract them out there to that area.

Deer are harder to see in some areas of than others.

18—Any hunter that’s spent time—especially in south Texas—it’s difficult. The brush is so thick; the only place you really have to see sometimes is down the senderos [trails] or roads that are running through the brush country. So that’s where feeders or feed routes [where they feed out of a truck or corn the roads] that keeps those deer visible out there.

Strategically placed feeders allow hunters to be more effective when managing deer populations.

That’s our show…with support from the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration program…funded by your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motorboat fuel.

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

Tracking in the Time of Bounty — TPW Magazine Article

Deer Season Forecast

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

We’re on the threshold of deer season in Texas, and by all accounts, it’s going to be a good one because of abundant winter rainfall statewide.

09—And, so we’ve had anywhere, in some places, 13-inches of rain so far this year up to, you know, close to 40-inches of rain.

Early last month I spoke with Alan Cain, a Texas parks and Wildlife regional wildlife biologist for south Texas, and he told me more rain means more food on the ground, which contributes to larger populations of healthier animals.

36—We’re seeing lots of healthy animals this year. We’re just getting into the season right now. We’re just starting our deer surveys up, where the private landowners that we work with are doing their deer surveys right now. For example, on fawn production, we’re hearing good reports—anywhere from the 50% range, up to 90% [of animals will be recruited into the larger population]. And I’m sure when you look in other parts of the state, maybe like the Hill Country, where it’s a highly productive deer herd, their probably approaching that 90 to 100 percent in some areas out there. [results may vary] So, good conditions for deer production—and same for antler growth—we’re expecting good quality bucks out there this year from an antler quality standpoint.

Regular season for deer begins November 6. Learn more about white-tails, as well as hunting rules and regulations when you log onto the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show…with support from the Sport fish and Wildlife Restoration program…funded by your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motorboat fuel.

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

Parks and Wildlife Magazine: Computing Nature

Monday, October 25th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

One story in the November issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine definitely computes. Editor, Louie Bond.

69—I call it the nerdiest story we’ve ever run. You know, this is just a real different story. It’s about the evolution of computer use in our agency. In the years between 1974 and 1884, a group of pretty radical biologists here got together and decided they were going to map the vegetation of Texas. Well, Texas is a mighty large state. And, I don’t know if you r listeners are quite as old as I am, Cecilia, but back in the seventies, when you ran a computer program, you had to bring in boxes of punch cards, and that’s what these guys did. But they were working win NASA; this is top level, top science, it took them ten years to complete. And now here we are in 2010, and they’re redoing it using technology that looks like the Jetsons compared to the Flintstones when you compare what they’re doing now to what they did then. And Rae Nadler-Olenick does a masterful job in telling the story of these pioneers. And now the new young guns, who are taking their place with new technology, at the end of it will have this comprehensive map of vegetation and geological wonders across Texas they’ll be able to use for a base for science for years to come.

Thanks Louie.

That’s our show… with support from the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program…working to preserve native habitat in Texas

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