Archive for the 'Hunting' Category

Hunting Alligators in Texas

Thursday, November 8th, 2018
American Alligator, photo TPWD

American Alligator, photo TPWD

This is Passport to Texas

It’s a hot muggy afternoon in the marshes of east Texas; and that’s where we find hunters on the trails of alligators at J.D. Murphree Wildlife management Area.

The area that we’re hunting in, it’s a vast bayou of swamps and marshes, with canals running through. The adrenaline rush is way more than deer hunting or anything else because you’re after something that can actually get you. /There’s one probably about 10 foot and two seven footers right up here. In about 150 yards we’re going to try and put a set. / Never been gator hunting before. You know you see ’em on TV. See the alligator shows. And, this is exactly what it looks like. / Our bait is chicken thigh quarters/ Those smell savory. /It’s savory; thats for sure. Mmmm./And we let ’em sit out in the sun for a day or two and it got quite ripe./Upwind is better than downwind when you get those things out. [distant laughter] I am amped up; adrenaline’s pumping, and then it’s on!/ Alligator hunting — it’s just not like anything else I’ve ever done. You know, there’s one on the line and you start pulling me in. I don’t know. You get anxious, you get excited. You get nervous.

The story continues on the Texas Parks and Wildlife YouTube Channel. Find a link at passporttotexas.org. https://youtu.be/vPWtSs0iMBg

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series.

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

It’s Buck Fever Season

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

 Trophy buck taken by Tom Roughton with guide Rene Garza.

This is Passport to Texas

As you round a bend during a hike, you spy a buck with large, flawless antlers. Your heart races; your breathing becomes shallow; your nerves tingle. Hunters call this: buck fever. And it’s caused by the sight of perfect antlers.

Nice smooth lines, tall tines coming off the main beams; very symmetrical one side to the other.

John Stein knows a thing or two about perfect antlers; he’s curator at the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum in San Antonio. Antler and taxidermy covered walls draw visitors to the saloon by the thousands.

Overall, in the collection, there’s over 12-hundred trophies that are on the walls –of all difference species.

Some hunters shell out big money to landowners to bag trophy animals on their property; money the landowner funnels into management and conservation. For 25 years, deer experts at the Kerr WMA have studied the genetic and nutritional aspects of antler growth in bucks, and shared the data with landowners; biologist, Gene Fuchs.

The information that we’ve gained from this study shows that through selection – by never allowing a buck that was a spike to ever breed a doe – we produced no spike antler yearling bucks two years in a row. And, the percentage of good quality antler yearling bucks has steadily increased.

Opening day for deer season in the north and south zones is November 3rd.

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

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

TPW Magazine – The Buck Stops Here

Monday, October 15th, 2018

Muy Grande Deer Contest, Image: https://muygrandevillage.com/

This is Passport to Texas

The excitement mounts as hunters across Texas await the November 3rd deer season opener.

None are more eager than those who plan to participate in the annual Muy Grande Deer Contest–the granddaddy of all deer hunting contests. Read about it in an article by John Goodspeed, in the November issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.

Goodspeed captures the thrills and disappointments of the final day of the competition–the last day of deer season. Hunters continue to vie for dominance in multiple categories until the final hour. They agonize as they watch their rankings rise and fall on the leader board.

Leonel Garza founded the contest in 1965. Operating out of his family’s gas station and convenience store in Freer in South Texas, Garza started Muy Grande to celebrate the bounty and quality of white-tailed deer in his region. He says South Texas Deer are as wide as the Rio Grande and as big as the state of Texas.

The contest and Mr. Garza have been honored at the Texas State Capital contributions to whitetail conservation, deer management, and major economic contributions to the state of Texas and South Texas.

Catch the excitement when you read John Goodspeed’s article on the Muy Grande Deer Contest in the November issue of Texas parks and Wildlife magazine. On Newsstands now.

We receive support from RAM Trucks: built to serve.

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

TPW TV — Hunters Welcome

Friday, October 12th, 2018

TPW TV- Opening weekend of hunting season in small town Texas.

This is Passport to Texas

The week of October 21, Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series captures the excitement of deer season opening weekend; series producer, Don Cash.

We sent a lot of producers to Goldthwaite, Texas for the opening weekend of deer season. We follow a young deer hunter who lives in Goldthwaite; we spend some time at a processing facility–people bringing their deer in. We take a look at some of the businesses, restaurants and  different places in Goldthwaite that look forward to the opening weekend of deer season because it’s good for them financially. So, this is
something we’ve talked about for years–being able to show people the economic impact of hunting. I think it’s going to be kind of interesting, actually.

Cash said, his team could not have achieved this feat without the kind and enthusiastic support of the people of Goldthwaite.

A gentleman named Warren Blesh who’s the President of the Simms Creek Wildlife Management Association went out of his way, and the people of Goldthwaite went out of their way, to help us find people to tell their stories. And really cleared the way for us to come in and run wild with our cameras. And, we showed up with our cameras, and people were pretty excited about us coming in to tell the story of what goes on in a small town in Texas when hunting season rolls around.

See this show the week of October 21 on PBS; check your local listings.

The Wildlife restoration program supports our series.

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

Talkin’ Turkey via Wildlife Restoration

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
Turkey release.

Turkey release.

This is Passport to Texas

In the 1930s, it became evident that certain game animals were in decline due, in part, to unregulated overharvest.

In 1937, the Federal Government passed the Pittman-Robertson Act, thus creating an excise tax on the purchase of ammunition and hunting equipment.

Today, millions of dollars of funds generated by these taxes are used to manage and restore both game and non-game species.

One of Texas’ ongoing restoration projects involves the eastern wild turkey. Historically, the species occupied nearly 30 million acres in eastern Texas, but unregulated overharvest of both turkeys and timber led to their near extinction from that region. In 1942 there were fewer than 100 eastern wild turkeys remaining.

From 1979 to 2003, Texas parks and Wildlife Department translocated an estimated 7,000 wild-captured birds into 58 counties in central and east Texas, eventually seeing the population climb to 10,000–which is slow progress.

In 2014 the agency began a “Super Stocking” initiative, translocating 80 eastern turkey at a time at selected sites. Production and survival of the birds has vastly improved with this method. Thus, creating a brighter future for this big bird in Texas.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series and provides support for the translocation and surveying of eastern wild turkey.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti