Archive for August, 2011

What’s Your Line (doing littering the shore)?

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

When you get a snarl in your fishing line, it’s usually not worth trying to pick it apart, so you cut it off and toss it. But pitching monofilament line in the water or on shore is a bad idea.

10—People just don’t realize it can get caught up in boat motors, and it really has been quite a problem. There have been many animals that’ve been injured and killed with this monofilament fishing line.

Ann Miller just retired from her post as Aquatic Education coordinator for Texas Parks and Wildlife. You may think disposing of monofilament line in the water or on shore isn’t a problem, because UV rays will break it down, rendering it harmless.

15—But you forget that many times, if the monofilament is below the water line or in the shade, those UV rays are not there breaking it down. And so, we really do have a lot of monofilament that is in the environment for many, many years.

Circumvent future trouble by recycling line in outdoor collection bins, or at participating bait shops.

10—The goal of the monofilament-recycling program is to help reduce the amount of monofilament in the environment, to help protect wildlife and fish, and people’s property.

That’s our show…we receive support from the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program…which support diverse conservation efforts in Texas…funded by your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motor boat fuel.

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

Firearm Safety

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

The dove season opener is September 1, and if you plan to hunt this season, your firearm needs to work properly.

08—Before you ever start the season or bring it out to use it for the first time make sure that firearm is in good operable condition.

You want to listen to this man. He’s Terry Erwin, TPW Hunter Education Coordinator, and he knows a few things about firearm safety.

06—Make sure it’s clean and well oiled, and always keep that muzzle pointed in a safe direction while you’re handling that firearm.

Terry says to thoroughly clean your firearm using the manufacturer’s recommendations. Now, if you’re new to firearms and unsure of how to care for one, there’s no embarrassment in getting some help…

07—Take it to a qualified gunsmith to have those things looked after and make sure it’s in good operational condition.

Terry reminds us a properly maintained and sighted-in firearm will provide years of reliable service and enjoyment.

15—Once you go out to sight in your rifle and things like that, make sure all your scope rings and that mounts and bases are tightened so when you do sight the rifle in, everything is going to line up and be as it should when you actually go hunting.

Find hunter safety information on the Texas parks and Wildlife Website.

The Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series and works to increase fishing, hunting, shooting and boating opportunities in Texas. For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Ensuring a Safe Hunt with Hunter Safety Training

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

The closer we get to fall hunting season, the faster hunter education courses fill up.

08—Take it well before the busy season starts, because as the season progresses, courses get more difficult to obtain.

Hunter Education Coordinator, Terry Erwin says you’ll find the hunter education schedule on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

13—And then look under Outdoor Learning. Courses are listed under two-day courses, or even the online courses are available. And pick one that’s closest to your location and convenient to your scheduling.

Those born on or after September 2, 1971, who are at least nine years old, must take the course. Not having completed hunter education training could result in a fine if caught.

10—The fine could be a Class C misdemeanor up to $500 for not having a hunter safety course. That happens to be the number one citation written this year.

Young hunters between 9 and 17 years old may go into the field with someone who is licensed.

16—Once you turn 17 you have at least one-year option of buying the deferral, which gives you an extra year’s time to take the course. But, you still must hunt with a licensed hunter while in the field.

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

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

Dove Season in Texas

Friday, August 19th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

Every September first, in the north and central zones, dove hunters are out in force.

06—In Texas, we harvest approximately five million mourning doves, and in excess of one million white winged dove every year.

Corey Mason, dove program leader at Parks and Wildlife, says dove season in the south zone starts later.

Because of some of the possible negative impacts to late nesting mourning dove, the season is delayed approximately three to four weeks, so we start in later part of September down there.

And how long does dove season last?

It’s a 70 day season statewide, with a 15 bird bag.

And that’s 15 birds each time out, or 15 birds total for the season.

It’s a 15 bird daily bag. The aggregate can be composed of 15 birds up to and including whatever combination of mourning and white wing dove, and only up to two of those can be white-tip dove. Which are really only found in a few counties in south Texas.

So, hunters really need to know what they’re looking at before they shoot.

They do. You know, there’s also this new influence of Eurasian collar dove—or some folks call them ring-neck dove. They are not considered part of the daily bag limit. They can be shot year-round. The caveat to that being is if they are shot during dove season we strongly suggest hunters leave a wing, or some kind of identification mark on those birds, so if they’re checked by state or federal wardens they can differentiate between a collar dove and a white wing and mourning dove.

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

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

South Padres Island: Sea Turtle Restoration

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

Have you ever watched National Geographic specials about sea turtle restoration, including the release of baby sea turtles and wished you could see it for yourself. Well, you can…on South Padre Island. Bryan Frazier explains.

There’s a partnership effort going on for sea turtles. And you have Sea Turtle, Inc., non-profit rescue service. You have Texas Parks and Wildlife involved sea turtle restoration, you have the national park service and lots of other conservation groups.

And what you’ve gotten down in South Padre Island is a real tourist push. People come there from all over the United States and internationally to witness these turtles being released, and to be a part of it.

It’s become this volunteer effort. There will be dozens of people that show up.

Summer is the end of the hatchings being returned. They’ve all come out of the nest. The effort is year-round in terms of rescue and managing that habitat. And it’s a real success story. They’re slowly and gradually getting those populations back to viable numbers. And all stories like that are neat and interesting, but to see it firsthand…they’re just beautiful animals, and South Padre has established itself as a real flagship area for that.

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.