Archive for the 'Shows' Category

Hunting and Eating Rabbit

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018
Andy's Mother in Law's Gumbo Recipe

Andy’s Mother in Law’s Gumbo Recipe; just substitute rabbit.

This is Passport to Texas

Andy Gluesenkamp calls rabbit the third white meat.

Rabbit really is all white meat; it’s like a cross between pork and chicken. It’s very, very lean; there’s very little fat in the meat, itself.

Director of Conservation at the San Antonio Zoo, Andy has hunted and eaten rabbit since he was a boy.

I grew up eating curried rabbit that my mom made. And no one makes better curried rabbit than my mom.

A self-professed “good cook,” Andy likes to prepare rabbit he’s harvested. Preparation, he says, begins with properly field dressing the animal, which, he adds, is “easy to clean.” Rabbit is a versatile and healthy protein that lends itself to a variety of cooking styles.

I think my buttermilk fried rabbit is pretty good. I also make rabbit gumbo, based on my mother-in-law’s gumbo recipe; and that is exceptional. I’ve also done rabbit pot pie, and Teriyaki rabbit, and grilled rabbit, and poached rabbit. It’s really hard to mess up rabbit.

If you don’t hunt rabbits, yourself, make friends with a hunter who does. Barring that, you may find recipe ready rabbits at farmers markets or at your local specialty grocer.

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

Hunting Rabbits Around the Edges

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018
Staring down a bunny in Big Bend

Staring down a bunny in Big Bend

This is Passport to Texas

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

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

Andy Gluesenkamp, Director of Conservation at San Antonio Zoo, and an avid rabbit hunter, says hunting rabbits provides a “walk in the woods” experience. But what about those edges?

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 TPW’s public lands. Hunt rabbits year-round; however, the cooler months have their advantages.

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.

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

Boredom to Battle Zone: Hunting Rabbits

Monday, April 23rd, 2018
Cottontail

Cottontail

This is Passport to Texas

When most people think of hunting, they think: deer, dove, duck and feral hogs. But, Andy Gluesenkamp, director of conservation at the San Antonio Zoo, isn’t most people.

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.

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.

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, frontline, 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.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

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

TPW TV: The Bug Man

Friday, April 20th, 2018
Dr. Grubh searching for bugs.

Dr. Grubh searching for bugs.

This is Passport to Texas

The Blanco River flood of 2015 devastated vegetation along the river banks, and demolished river substrate.

These flood levels were really huge. Regular discharge on the Blanco river is about 90cfs, which means cubic feet per second, and it peaked around 150,000 cfs.

Archis Grubh is an aquatic biologist.

 I primarily focus on the invertebrates.

He says that flood knocked out nearly 90 percent of the river’s invertebrates, which are essentially aquatic bugs.

Invertebrates are really good indicators of water quality. Because, if the water quality is going down, those are the first ones to disappear from the water.

Since the flood, Dr. Grubh’s collected specimens, which he’s taken back to his lab.

We collect three samples; we just dump all whatever we have. There’s gonna be tons of insects packed in it. It’s very important, because I’m studying and finding out what all the diversity of these invertebrates are. So, I am capturing a snapshot here and recording what all we find.

Diversity means a healthier river ecosystem overall. Grubh’s research will help in future river management.

[I want to find out] Which ones were most affected and how they are doing now.

Learn more about Dr. Grubh and his work next week on a segment of the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS.

The Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Birds on the Move

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

Some birds, like the golden-cheeked warbler are endangered because of habitat alteration.

This is Passport to Texas

According to a National Audubon Society report on birds and climate change, 314 of the 588 North American bird species studied will lose more than 50 percent of their current climatic range by 2080.

Ornithologist, Cliff Shackelford, says climate change is impacting these species. As the temperatures rise, birds move north. Another reason is habitat alteration.

The interesting thing is that probably four or five decades ago there was another pulse or movement of birds that might not have been related to climate change. And what some people have suggested is a lot of these birds are extending their range because of fire suppression where grasslands were probably a good barrier to a lot of these woodland birds. And now that we don’t have fires to maintain grass, we have trees encroaching. Things like mesquite, huisache and retama are increasing, and a lot of those South Texas birds are moving in response to that.

Some birds, like the golden-cheeked warbler, are already endangered because of habitat alteration. And if something’s not done to restore the habitat, many more birds could find themselves without a suitable home.

They’re specialized they need a very specific habitat and when that is whittled away, they’re not able to adapt to other environments.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife I’m Cecilia Nasti.