Archive for April, 2014

Hunting: Hunting Around the Edges

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Andy Gluesenkamp's son, Jack, with a rabbit harvest.

Andy Gluesenkamp’s son, Jack, with a rabbit harvest.

This is Passport to Texas

Expect success nearly every outing when rabbit hunting—especially when you hunt around the edges.

04—[Those are] Areas where people aren’t necessarily going to be conducting other activities.

Andy Gluesenkamp, a herpetologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, and an avid rabbit hunter, says hunting rabbits provides a “walk in the woods” experience. But what about those edges?

21—You would look for fence lines along fallow fields, or old pasture, or berry patches and cactus patches… So, there’s less competition with other land use – like cattle grazing. Rabbit hunting usually won’t disturb cattle. Or, you’re not going to be competing with deer hunters who are going to be in another kind of habitat.

Ask landowners about hunting their property, or consider hunting on Texas Parks and Wildlife’s public lands. Hunt rabbits year-round; however, the cooler months have their advantages.

14—It’s pleasant – getting back to that walking in the woods experience – also in summertime when it’s really dry, they can be a lot leaner. I prefer to eat them when they have a little bit of fat on them. If there’s green grass on the ground – that’s the perfect time
to go rabbit hunting.

Rabbit as a tasty treat. That’s tomorrow.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series and is funded by your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motor boat fuel.

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

Hunting: Rabbits

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Rabbit photo courtesy TPWD

Rabbit photo courtesy TPWD

This is Passport to Texas

When most people think of hunting, they think: deer, dove, duck and feral hogs. But, TPW herpetologist, Andy Gluesenkamp, isn’t most people.

04—I hunt primarily rabbits; rabbit hunting is really near and dear to my heart.

Andy’s love affair with rabbit hunting started when he was a boy spending time in the field alongside his father.

15—I have really fond memories of hunting rabbits with my dad. So, I can say I think it’s the best way to start kids on hunting,
because I can look at my personal experience and tie my love of nature all the way back to those early experiences.

Hunting for small game like rabbit has its own rhythm.

12—Rabbit hunting is the perfect balance between the abject boredom that goes with sitting in a deer blind, and maybe or maybe not seeing a deer, and maybe or maybe not getting to shoot at it, and the battle zone, front line, fire fest that can be a good day
of dove hunting. So, somewhere between being bored out of your socks and sounding like you’re in an air raid is rabbit hunting.

Andy Gluesenkamp says it’s like a walk in the woods interspersed with the excitement of sighting your prey and taking a good shot. More on rabbit hunting tomorrow.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series and is funded by your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motor boat fuel.

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

Event: San Jacinto Day Celebration

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Battle of San Jacinto

Battle of San Jacinto

This is Passport to Texas

One of the best historic reenactments in Texas commemorates the April 21, 1836 Battle of San Jacinto.

03— That’s the highlight of our educational program.

Larry Spasic (SPA-sick) is president of the San Jacinto Museum of History. The FREE annual San Jacinto Day Festival, April 26, commemorates that game-changing battle.

28—We reenact the surrender of General Santa Ana, the runaway scrape in 1836 when Texan settlers were running away from the advance of the Mexican army. And then they also reenact the battle. There is a Mexican camp and a Texian camp; inside of those camps you have reenactors in period uniforms who are very familiar with history – answering questions in character. It’s the
closest thing you can get to going back in time.

The reenactment isn’t the only fun to be had that day.

25—We bring in naturalists, historical organizations…we have a show of native birds of Texas. Medicine men. We have petting zoos. We have musicians. We have people quilting and spinning, and we even have square dancers. We have a children’s area; and we have make and take crafts. It is a wonderful safe, educational, free family event.

You will find information for the April 26 San Jacinto Day Festival on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

TPW TV: Mountain Biking

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Biking at Pedernales Falls State Park

Biking at Pedernales Falls State Park

This is Passport to Texas

The Texas Hill Country is becoming a mountain biker’s Mecca and state parks like Pedernales Falls attract folks looking for two-wheeled fun.

07— Here at Pedernales Falls, we have a great deal of trails that can accommodate all skill levels of mountain biking. Watch out for that bump!

John Alvis is a park ranger at Pedernales.

08— More of our campers are showing up with mountain bikes; particularly on weekends, we get a lot of mountain bikers staying in the park and training on our trails in the park.

Mountain biker, Vickie Lewis, says the trails at Pedernales are a hidden gem.

05— Right now, it seems like it’s fairly unknown for bikers. In fact, I don’t know if we’ve seen anyone on a bike.

Ranger John Alvis.

09— We have probably 8-miles of one lane dirt road trails that will accommodate basic skill level mountain bikers. It’s a good way to
get out and see the park.

Pedernales Falls SP has about 20 miles of secondary trails; Wolf Mountain is the most popular among them.

13— And it provides a combination of single track and wider jeep road type terrain. It can range from easy, flatter type terrain, to some pretty significant hills. It will provide a good challenge to any skill level.

Watch a segment on Pedernales Falls State Park mountain biking trails this week (week of April 20) on the Texas Parks and Wildlife PBS TV series. Check your local listings.

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

Aquaponics: Drought and the Future of Food

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Aquaponics: herbs, photo courtesy Heart of Gold Organics

Aquaponics: herbs, photo courtesy Heart of Gold Organics

This is Passport to Texas

Aquaponics is a method by which waste created by fish fertilizes crops through a recirculating filtration system. Using substantially less water than conventional agriculture, aquaponics may be the future of small-scale commercial farming.

15— With the recent droughts, Texas growers are hoping they’ll have more opportunities with aquaponics to engage in commercial growing and to produce lettuce and vegetables for restaurants as well as for selling to farmers markets.

Monica McGarrity is an aquatic invasive species biologist with Parks and Wildlife. Regulations, fees, and permits for an aquaponics system may apply; in some cases, producers raising tilapia may require a permit.

30—The key distinction is going to be whether they’re engaging in personal aquaponics or commercial aquaponics. If they’re not selling the fish, and the fish are Mozambique tilapia – this one species of tilapia – then a permit is not required. There are some stipulations, and that includes: the fish must be obtained from an exotic species permit holder; you also have to keep what’s called the exotic species transport invoice for as long as you have the fish; lastly – no fish can leave the property alive.

They must have guts or head removed before leaving the premises. We have links to more information as well as permit applications and transportation invoices at

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series and funds diverse conservation projects in Texas.

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