Archive for August, 2012

Hunting: Dove Hunting in Texas

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

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, Wildlife Regional Director for Region Three, says dove season in the south zone starts later.

56—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 kind of that later part of September down there. And how long does it 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 the south Texas brush country and in the portion of a few counties in deep south Texas. So, hunters really need to know what they’re looking at before they shoot. They do, you know, and 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 Wildlife and sport fish restoration program supports our series and celebrates 75 years of funding diverse conservation projects throughout Texas…

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

Hunting: Supporting Conservation

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Bighorn Sheep Release at Big Bend Ranch

Bighorn Sheep Release at Big Bend Ranch

This is Passport to Texas

Kenneth Garcia has a name for the kind of hunting he usually does.

08— I called it poor man hunting, because I hunted on state property in New Mexico for mule deer, and some small leases and stuff here in Texas.

The cost of high fence hunting leases offering premium animals are out of reach for most hunters.

07— I look all the time at what they cost nowadays here in Texas, and I go – how can I justify that expenditure –and the answer is I can’t.

Kenneth got a chance to hunt like the “one percent” when in 2010 Texas Parks and Wildlife drew his name to win the grand Slam from Big Time Texas Hunts: four guided hunts for mule deer, white tail, pronghorn and desert bighorn sheep. He’d been spending $10 dollars annually on entries for a dozen years.

06— Oh, okay. So I did it for 12 years; so I put $120 dollars toward that hunt before I won it…whoop-de-doo.

He considers it an investment in habitat conservation, which is how entry fees are used.

17— If you’re a hunter, or a person who enjoys the outdoors, even if you don’t win, it’s being put to good use. And all of us can spare ten bucks—we drop it on useless stuff every day. So putting it on something like this is a whole lot better in the long run.

There are seven premium Big Time Texas Hunts hunt packages, including the grand slam. Online entry is $9 dollars, $10 dollars at license retailers. Deadline to enter is October 15. Find more information the TPW website.

The Wildlife and sport fish restoration program supports our series. For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Hunting: Kenneth Garcia’s Grand Slam Ram

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Bighorn Sheep

Kenneth Garcia with his Bighorn Sheep

This is Passport to Texas

For 12 years Kenneth Garcia entered Big Time Texas Hunts, hoping for a chance to win the grand slam: a package of four guided big game hunts including whitetail, mule deer, pronghorn and big horn sheep. And in 2010 – he did.

11— I’ve hunted mule deer and whitetail – I’ve never hunted pronghorn. But, when I knew that I had that sheep hunt in that package, that was – to me –the cream cheese icing on the carrot cake.

Hunters pay a $9-dollar fee online or $10-dollars at a license retailer to enter the contest—and there are more hunts than just the grand slam. Money raised goes to conservation project in Texas. It can take more than a year to complete all the hunts in the grand slam package. Kenneth finished this past March with a bang… and a bighorn.

25— Our idea the first day was to look at everything and make decisions on what we were going to go hunt. Well, we crawled and walked about 300 yards, and all of a sudden they walked right over to us. Of course, we got to looking at them real close, and found the ram that I eventually shot — that same evening he presented me an opportunity and I took him Oh, about oh just probably ten minutes to five o’clock that evening.

The ram he harvested made the record books.

08— He has been accepted by Boone and Crockett for their all time record book. He came in at 171 and three eighths inches.

Find information on this year’s Big Time Texas Hunts on the Texas parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife and sport fish restoration program supports our series and celebrates 75 years of funding diverse conservation projects throughout Texas… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Conservation: Endangered Sea Turtles

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Donna Shaver Releasing Ridley Turtle With Satellite Transmitter

Donna Shaver Releasing Ridley Turtle With Satellite Transmitter

This is Passport to Texas

The Kemps’ Ridley may be the best known—and most threatened—sea turtle that occurs along the Texas coast, but it’s not the only one.

19—The ones that we hear most commonly about are the Kemp’s Ridley, and the green sea turtle—the green sea turtle is threatened in Texas and the populations are increasing. Also in Texas, there’s the Loggerhead, that’s a threatened species. What we hear about less are both endangered turtles: The Hawksbill and the Leatherback.

Dr. Donna Shaver is with the US National Park Service at Padre Island National Seashore. She says if you ever see stranded or nesting sea turtles, report your observation to officials.

17—Many of our entrances to beach access roads, signs are posted that have a telephone number to call. And then once they call, they will receive a recorded message that will tell them the proper contact number for the particular geographic area where they are located.

The number to call is 1-866-TURTLE5…And if you come across a nesting female…

17—Stay back from the nesting turtle until she’s dug her hole with her rear flippers and is remaining mostly motionless and laying eggs. At that time, without touching the turtle, look for any tags, and without piercing anything into the sand, put a designating market next to where the turtle laid her eggs.

The number to call if you find a nesting female is 1-866-turtle5.

The Wildlife and sport fish restoration program supports our series and celebrates 75 years of funding diverse conservation projects throughout Texas…

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

State Parks: South Padre Sea Turtle Release

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Kemps' Ridley Sea Turtle Release

Kemps’ Ridley Sea Turtle Release

This is Passport to Texas

All species of sea turtles are endangered: and none more than the Kemp’s Ridley. Our state park guide Bryan Frazier was on South Padre Island recently and witnessed the release of some Kemp’s hatchlings.

54— Sea Turtle, Inc., which is a partner with TPW and the National Park service..they do such fantastic down on South Padre Island and the Gulf of Mexico in rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing sea turtles back into the wild. And while I was down there on vacation they just happened to be having a hatchling release: 89 baby Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles, which are critically endangered. And I got to photograph that release back into the Gulf of Mexico. It was a profound experience. The whole summertime is the time when those hatchlings come out of the eggs and are released back into the Gulf, and so it’s still a time to do that, and they’re open to the public. If people will visit Sea Turtle, Inc. Like them on Facebook, or call them while they’re down there on South Padre island, they can witness this as well. And the work that’s going on there is impacting things all the way down into the interior of Mexico and the Mexican coast. Follow them and us on Facebook and see the incredible story that the sea turtles have to tell, and how relevant that is to all of our efforts here in Texas.

Thanks Bryan

That’s our show for today…with funding provided by Chevrolet, supporting outdoor recreation in Texas; because there’s life to be done.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife I’m Cecilia Nasti.