Archive for the 'Shows' Category

TPW TV –Game of Gobblers

Friday, September 21st, 2018
Turkey release.

TPW biologist Trevor Tanner releases a Rio Grande turkeys on Price 77 Ranch near Blooming Grove, Texas

This is Passport to Texas

When European settlers started coming to East Texas, turkeys were thriving. But those settlers quickly changed the landscape.

Around 1925, a hunter could harvest up to 25 turkeys a year. By the 1940s there were less than 100 eastern wild turkeys throughout East Texas. Over-harvest as well as habitat decline really led to the demise of the population.

Kyle Hand is a Texas Parks and Wildlife Natural Resource Specialist. In the 1970s, the agency started a program of bringing wild trapped turkeys from other states to Texas. The program looked promising. Over the next 20 years, more than 7000 eastern wild turkeys were stocked in East Texas.

Now we’re using a super stocking strategy where we release 80 turkeys onto one area of good habitat in hopes that the population will grow from there.

Thanks to the success of these stockings, hunters like Terrence Jackson of Houston have an opportunity to enjoy spring turkey hunting in parts of East Texas.

When I’m on these turkey hunts, basically I love to get away from the busyness of Houston and work and the crowdedness. The sound of the birds, the quiet in the morning and walking through the woods. It’s something that pulls at you.

Experience an East Texas turkey hunt the week of September 23 on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series.

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

National Hunting and Fishing Day

Thursday, September 20th, 2018
Kayak fishing

Kayak fishing at Gum Slough, part of the Hen House Ridge Unit at Martin Dies SP

This is Passport to Texas

Do you know what the North American wildlife conservation model is? It’s a science-based, user-pay system that fosters conservation success. Do you know who’s responsible for it? Hunters and anglers.

More than 100 years ago they recognized that rapid development and unregulated uses of wildlife were threatening the future of many species. These guys were proactive. You know how we have hunting and fishing licenses and game laws? What about the promotion of the sustainable use of fish and game? It’s thanks to them.

They were so committed to the preservation and reasonable use of resources that they even lobbied for taxes on sporting equipment to provide funds for conservation to state wildlife agencies.

To celebrate the passion, commitment and forward-thinking of hunters and anglers then and now, we observe National Hunting and Fishing day on September 22nd.

President Nixon signed the first proclamation of National Hunting and Fishing Day on May 2, 1972. It’s now observed annually on the fourth Saturday of September.

Observe the day by grabbing a fishing pole, some bait and head to a state park with fishing opportunities. While you relax on the bank, or lean over the railing of a pier, or bob around on a boat, remember those hunters and anglers then and now who do what they can to ensure we all have meaningful outdoor opportunities.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Northward Migration of White-winged Dove

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018
White-winged dove.

White-winged dove.

This is Passport to Texas

At the turn of the last century, white winged dove populations in Texas were robust. Found mostly in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, their numbers declined as agriculture took root there.

They [farmers] took out a lot of native habitat—your brush and shrub species that are native to South Texas. That’s where the birds bred and roosted, so they required that habitat. A lot of that was wiped out for agriculture. So, through the 20s and 30s and 40s, we saw a big decline in the white-wing population in Texas.

Citrus dominated the landscape. Owen Fitzsimmons is Texas Parks and Wildlife’s web-less migratory game bird leader. As citrus groves matured, the doves rebounded.

They like open areas with large mature stands of trees—and citrus groves were perfect for that. So white-winged doves quickly colonized those citrus groves.

Hard freezes in the 40s & 50s, and again in the 80s devastated the citrus groves, and also the doves.

So, the white-winged dove population fluctuated up and down through the middle of the century.

In the 80s, urban expansion moved northward along the I-35 corridor and white-winged doves followed.

They’re found throughout Texas, now. They’re found all the way up into Oklahoma. They’re breeding in Kansas and Missouri. Northward expansion is unlimited at this point.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series and funds research on White-winged Dove Density, Distribution, and Harvest.

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

Big Time Texas Hunts Deadline Approaches

Friday, September 14th, 2018

Previous winner, Steve Knowles, with his mule deer from the Ultimate Mule Deer Hunt.

This is Passport to Texas

When you enter Big Time Texas Hunts, you enter for a chance to win one of ten premium hunt packages while also supporting conservation.

Big Time Texas Hunts is a conservation fundraiser, basically. We try to raise money that we can put directly back into wildlife conservation work on our wildlife management areas and all of our public hunting lands across the state.

Justin Dreibelbis is Texas Parks and Wildlife’s program director for private lands and public hunting. Big Time Texas Hunts includes 10 premium hunt packages for a wide range of game animals.

The easiest way to buy chances for the hunt is to go onto our Texas Parks and Wildlife website and search Big Time Texas Hunts. There you’ll find opportunities for all 10 of these hunt packages. And you can buy as many as you want online; they’re nine dollars apiece.

There’s a $5 online administration fee, but it allows unlimited entries in a single transaction.

Right off the top every year, a portion of that money goes into our desert bighorn sheep program. It pays for surveys and a lot of that translocation work. We’re trying to put new populations in new mountain ranges in West Texas where they originally occurred. It also goes directly back to our Wildlife management areas for habitat projects. It includes all kinds of access improvements for our public hunters. So, it’s all going back to things that our public hunters care about.

The deadline to enter Big Time Texas Hunts is October 15th. Find complete details on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

Fishing is for Families

Thursday, September 13th, 2018
A family fishing outing at the lake.

A family fishing outing at the lake.

This is Passport to Texas

Catching a fish never fails to excite, especially if you’re a child. Reeling in one of these wiggly wonders has never been easier in Texas urban areas.

That’s because places for family fishing fun are in, or near, your neighborhoods…as are the opportunities for gaining the skills necessary for catching the fish.

Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Neighborhood Fishin’ program brings the fish to you. Currently, eighteen neighborhood fishin’ lakes are dispersed among eleven Texas cities: from Abilene to Houston and points in between.

Stocking takes place every two to four weeks during summer and winter seasons. Which means there should be a good supply of fish to catch and bring home for dinner whenever you find time to visit!

In addition to the Neighborhood Fishin’ program, state parks host fishing events where you learn about the best gear and bait to use, how to cast, and even how to cook what you catch. Some parks also loan tackle.

Fishing is a gateway activity into the Texas outdoors, and something the entire family can share together.

Find a list of the Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. While you’re there, check out the calendar section for fishing events near you.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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