Archive for the 'Hunting' 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.

2018 Spring Turkey

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018
Wild turkeys in Texas

Wild turkeys in Texas

This is Passport to Texas

If you were in the field on opening day of spring turkey season, you might have wondered, “Where are the birds?

According to biologists with Texas Parks and Wildlife, field observations prior to the opener suggested hens were playing hard to get and showing little receptivity to Toms and breeding.

Jason Hardin, Upland Game Bird Program specialist, said hens’ interest picked up near opening day of the season, effectively hampering a hunter’s chances of luring love-struck gobblers.

He adds that by now, most hens should be bred and hunting ought to be good from the time the toms leave the roost until they go back up for the night.

Biologists report habitat conditions throughout the state look promising. One region of concern, however, is the Rolling Plains, where the landscape is very dry with limited rain in the last six months.

The regular spring season for Rio Grande turkey continues through April 29 in the South zone. The North Zone general season runs through May 13.

Eastern spring turkey hunting in counties with an open season is April 15-May 14. Hunters must report harvest of eastern turkeys electronically to TPW within 24 hours of harvest. Reports can be made through the TPW My Texas Hunt Harvest App or online from the Texas Parks and Wildlife turkey page

The Wildlife restoration Program supports our series.

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

Pronghorn Restoration and Rural Economy

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018
Pronghorn Antelope

Pronghorn Antelope

This is Passport to Texas

Wildlife biologist Shawn Gray finds pronghorns fascinating, and hopes you will, too.

The pronghorn is a unique mammal of North America; it’s the only one found in its family. It’s the fastest mammal in North America. It’s a big game species.

Gray is the pronghorn program leader and oversees the Pronghorn Restoration Project. Because it’s is a game species, hunting them should pick up as their population grows, thus benefitting local communities.

In 2008, we issued probably like 800 buck only hunting permits. And, shoot, in 2009 or 10, we were issuing less than 100. And there’s a lot to that. Not only is it the money that they get for trespass access for hunting, but the hunters come into the local communities and spend time and spend money. So, there’s a lot of those economic impacts as well with a much reduced pronghorn population out here.

The Trans-Pecos pronghorn population dipped below 3K in 2012, and Gray says through translocation and natural reproduction, they hope to see the number rise to 10K.

Most of the local communities in the Trans-Pecos really miss the pronghorn. And they really want to see pronghorn back on the landscape at numbers that they are used to seeing.

With the continued success of the restoration project, they may get their wish.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series and funds pronghorn restoration in Texas.

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