Archive for the 'Events' Category

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.

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.

Same Day. Different Day. What?

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018


This is Passport to Texas

Make plans to observe National Wildlife Day on February 22. Why tell you about it today? Well, until this year, we’ve observed it every September fourth for more than a dozen years.

That doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate today. Just as every day should be Earth Day. Why not recognize every day as Wildlife Day? Think about it. What would your world look like if there were no birds, insects, furry animals, reptiles, amphibians and fishes? Sort of sad, right?

National Wildlife Day was founded by Colleen Paige, in memory of wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin—whom you may recall was The Crocodile Hunter. He died tragically on September 4th, 2006, when a stingray barb pierced his heart. Paige changed the date to his birthday: February 22.

National Wildlife Day fosters global awareness of endangered animals, and the need for conservation and preservation.

Whether you recognize National Wildlife Day on February 22 or today, you can observe it by visiting zoos where biologists work to save endangered species like the Houston Toad and Horned lizard. Or by simply meandering along a Texas Wildlife trail counting the animals you see.

Some funding for preservation of the horned lizard and Houston toad comes from the sale of the horned lizard conservation license plate.

Learn more about endangered and threatened species on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

Bust a Move for the Bison

Monday, September 3rd, 2018
Bison Fest 2018

Bison Fest 2018

This is Passport to Texas

Experience living history at Caprock Canyon State Park. That’s where you’ll find the state’s official bison herd.

This bison herd was started by Charles Goodnight in 1878. It’s one of the only remnants of Southern plains bison that are left; it’s one of the five foundation herds that all bison today are related to. They’re important culturally and historically.

Donald Beard is Caprock Canyon State park superintendent. On September 22, the Texas State Bison Music Festival takes place in downtown Quitaque, Texas.

The festival is to raise awareness and to raise funds for the Texas State Bison herd and their restoration inside of Caprock Canyon State Park.

Bison Fest offers a full day and night of activities, music and dancing for the entire family; children 10 and under admitted free. Proceeds fund important work.

We’re trying to restore the park back to its original appearance prior to European settlement. Which means we’re trying to remove a lot of the invasive mesquite and junipers, and restore a lot of the rolling plains. We’re doing some scientific research on the bison; we’re looking at all that. We’re [also] trying to do some citizen science projects, where we’re trying to get park visitors involved in helping us to do some of the restoration work—or at least monitoring part of the work. We’ve got a lot of neat stuff that we’re working on.

Find ticket information and a full list of performers for the Saturday, September 22 Bison Fest at

Support for our show is provided in part by Ram Trucks. Built to Serve.

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

2018-2019 Drawn Hunts

Monday, August 13th, 2018

Hunters in the field

This is Passport to Texas

If you’re a hunter who enjoys a game of chance—apply for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Drawn Hunts. This year about 9,500 permits in 49 hunt categories are up for grabs… for drawn hunts on public and private lands. Apply online.

New this season: hunters may draw special permit hunts for exotic Sambar deer, as well as for white-tailed deer on the new Powderhorn Wildlife Management Area. Also new this year: a youth archery deer hunt through an e-Postcard drawing at Palmetto State Park.

You can also apply for hunts managed by other entities, including almost 2,200 deer and exotic hunt positions on four U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuges in Texas and 2,500 antlerless deer permits for U.S. Forest Service properties in East Texas.

Then there’s the program’s highly-popular private lands dove hunt permit category, which features almost 150 hunt slots at seven prime locations around the state. These permits are for dedicated hunt positions with quality dove hunting outfitters. Application fee is $10 with no additional hunt permit fees for this category.

Application deadlines are the first and fifteenth of each month. Entries cost $10; Youth Only category entries are always free. All applications, fee payments and permit issuance is handled electronically.

Find more information and view interactive maps on the Texas Parks and Wildlife drawn hunts webpage.

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