Archive for the 'Hunting' Category

Forgotten Species: Javelina

Thursday, December 26th, 2019
Javelina Happy Hour

Javelina Happy Hour

This is Passport to Texas

Javelina, also called Collared Peccary, is a Texas native and lives in scrubby and arid regions of the state. Similar to hogs in appearance, they are not related. But mistaken identity doesn’t change their value in the ecosystem.

Javelina play a great role in nature, because they are an additional prey species for some of the predators out there.

Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist Froylan Hernandez explains why it’s important to keep track of the Javelina population.

Having Javelina out on the landscape is a sign of a healthy ecosystem. When you see declining populations that could also be a sign of declining habitat or degrading habitat and so they play an important role not just as a prey species but also an indicator of a good healthy system.

While Javelina act as an important indicator species, Froylan believes Javelina don’t always get the respect they deserve.

I like to call them the forgotten species, because they are seen often times as a pest or a nuisance species. You know they deserve the same type of respect as lets say a big whitetail would or a big mule deer.

Javelina have gained a stable population in Texas. Perhaps they’ll gain a little more respect as well.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series and funds Javelina research in Texas

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

Game Need Not Taste Gamey

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019
Wild turkey cooked and ready to enjoy.

Wild turkey cooked and ready to enjoy.

This is Passport to Texas

Don’t give up on eating wild game and fish because you think it tastes funny.

Most wild game and fish, if it’s off-tasting, is ruined between the kill and the kitchen, and not in the kitchen, itself.

Susan Ebert is a hunter, angler, forager and cook; she wrote the book Field to Table, a guide to growing, procuring, and preparing seasonal foods—including wild proteins.

As good as the recipe might be, unless people know how to care for that game from the time it’s harvested, to the time that they’re ready to cook with it, they’re going to be disappointed with the results.

Starts with a clean kill, proper field dressing and getting everything on ice as soon as possible. Once you have the meat at home…

Venison and wild duck—I will dry age those. Maybe 48 hours. Set them over a drip pan, on a rack. And let them just dry age in the refrigerator uncovered, with air circulating around them.

Ebert recommends brining rabbit and feral hog; brine can be as simple as sugar and salt dissolved in water.

Let that brine for a couple of days. Then, sear it over the grill and then either move it over indirect heat or put in it the smoker at a low temperature…

Until it is succulent. Find a recipe from Susan Ebert’s book Field to Table at

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

Redbud Blossom Jelly
Yields 6 half-pints


  • About a gallon ZipLoc bag of rebud blossoms
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, strained
  • 5 teaspoons Pomona Pectin© calcium water
  • 5 teaspoons Pomona Pectin© pectin powder
  • 2 1/2 cups organic sugar


  1. Rinse and drain the redbud blossoms, and pick out any wooden stems and bugs. Pack loosely into a half-gallon container with a tightly fitting lid and cover completely with boiling water. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.
  2. Strain through a fine mesh sieve or double cheesecloth in the morning, pressing lightly with a wooden spoon (don’t squeeze too hard, or you will get a bitter flavor).
  3. Add water, if necessary, to make 5 cups redbud juice. Pour into a large stockpot, and add the lemon juice and calcium water.
  4. Prepare your hot-water-bath canner, and wash 6 half-pint jars, lids, and bands in hot, soapy water. When the canner begins to boil, put the jars in it so they stay hot. Heat the lids and bands in a small saucepan; do not boil.
  5. Combine the sugar and pectin powder in a small bowl, and stir thoroughly to blend. Bring the juice to a full boil over high heat, then drift in the sugar/pectin mixture a bit at a time, stirring vigorously. Continue to stir until the mixture comes to a second boil.
  6. Pour into jars, release bubbles with a plastic spatula, affix lids, and finger-tighten bands. Process for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let the jars remain in the canner for 5 minutes. Remove them to a folded towel, and let sit overnight to completely set up.
  7. Store for up to a year in a cool, dark place.

Recipe from Susan Ebert, The Field to Table Cookbook

Learning to Hunt

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
Hunter Education

Steve Hall teaching a Hunter Education Class

This is Passport to Texas

For many, hunting is learned as a family tradition, passed down from elders to future generations. But if hunting wasn’t shared among your friends and family, and you want to hunt, how do you learn?

To start hunting you really have to find a mentor.

Steve Hall is the Hunter Education Coordinator at Texas Parks and Wildlife.

We’re actually starting some mentor hunts and those are probably the best way to learn about hunting, especially if you’re an adult.

Another good first step is taking a hunter education course. Hunters 17 years of age or older can take an online-only course at the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The hunter education course will teach you the basics on safety, responsibility. Everything from transportation to field considerations. But also things like hunter ethics, wildlife conservation and the hunter’s role in wildlife management.

Hunters under 17 years of age can take instructor-led courses to learn how to hunt safely, legally, and ethically, then sign up for a Texas Youth Hunting Program youth hunt. To find out more visit

We record our series at The Block House in Austin. Joel Block engineers our show.

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

Hunter Readiness: Preparing for the Season

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
Hunter education with Steve Hall

Hunter Education Class: TPWD employee Joshua Ndegwa takes shooting instructions form Hunter Education Coordinator Steve Hall.

This is Passport to Texas

Deer season is fast approaching, and hunter readiness is key to experiencing a safe and successful hunt.

Preparation, Practice and Planning for that upcoming hunt.

Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Hunter Education Coordinator Steve Hall.

The practice is the big one. I think that in our busy world we just don’t seem to carve out that time. But you can join clubs, you can join shoots like archery shoots or clubs like long-distance rifle shooting to kind of keep your skills honed.

Another way for veteran hunters to sharpen their skills is to become hunter education instructors, giving their knowledge and skills to young hunters. The number one citation written during hunting season is not having a hunter education course, required for anyone born on or before September 2, 1971. Educated hunters understand safety is paramount. Even so, Steve says hunters should be mindful of the most common mishaps.

Even though hunting is safe and getting safer, remember the three top hunting incidents. One is careless handling in and around vehicles. Number two is swinging on game outside of a safe zone of fire, and number three is being sure of your target, what is font of and beyond it.

Have a successful and safe hunting season and remember to share your knowledge with new hunters. That’s how we keep the tradition alive.

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

Big Time Wild Hog Adventure

Thursday, October 10th, 2019
Wild Hog Adventure

Wild Hog Adventure winner , his hunting buddies and their harvest.

This is Passport to Texas

Feral Hogs are an interesting predicament we have here in Texas.

Justin Dreibelbis is the Private Lands and Public Hunting Program Director at Texas Parks and Wildlife.

They cause a lot of agricultural damage for people trying to run ranches and farms. However, on the other hand, they are entertaining to hunt and they are good table fare. We run the wildlife phone bank here at Parks and Wildlife headquarters in Austin, and one of the biggest calls is out of state hunters wanting to come to Texas to hunt hogs. There is interest from hunters both in Texas and out of state.

Here comes the Big Time Texas Hunts’ Wild Hog Adventure. You and three friends could win a chance to hunt free-range wild boar on a ranch in the South Texas Brush Country.

You get to hunt on private land that’s covered in feral hogs. You get high quality lodging, high quality food, and a guide. A lot of people hunt feral hogs because of the food value. It’s organic, it’s lean and it’s good on the grill.

Each online entry for the Wild Hog Adventure is only $9. There’s a $5 online administration fee, but you can enter as many times as you want in a single transaction. Just search for Big Time Texas Hunts on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

Monies raised from the Big Time Texas Hunts program go directly to wildlife conservation and public hunting opportunities in Texas.

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