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Texas Big Time Hunts Winners Announced
AUSTIN, Texas—For some of them, it could be the hunt of a lifetime.
That would appear to be the case for Ron Marsh, a Fort Worth-area aircraft maintenance support engineer, who was at first puzzled when a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department employee called to say he had won a contest. Puzzlement turned to astonishment as the employee explained to Marsh that he had won the Texas Grand Slam, one of the seven hunts offered the Texas Big Time Hunts program that raises money for wildlife research and conservation.
"This is unreal," Marsh said. "I can’t believe my stroke of luck and what it all entails. I thought I put in just for the white-tailed hunt, but after I figured out what it was and read through the stuff it just floored me."
Marsh was selected from among 20,588 applicants to win the Texas Grand Slam, a series of four separate guided hunts for all four big game animals in Texas-white-tailed deer, mule deer, pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep.
Marsh paid $10 to apply for the grand slam drawing. The bighorn sheep hunt alone is priceless, something only a handful of people ever get a chance to experience. For his four hunts, Marsh just needs to bring hunting gear and a valid hunting license. Guide service, food, lodging, and on-site transportation for himself and a non-hunting companion are all provided.
Here are the winners and hometowns for all seven Big Time Texas Hunts categories:
- Texas Grand Slam — Ron Marsh of Lakeside.
- Texas Whitetail Bonanza — Gary V. Alvis of Lucas, Ronald L. Cooper of Tomball, James M. Deckelman of Lubbock, Brad C. Hardin of Fredericksburg, Gary L. Miller of Ennis, Weldon R. Owen of San Antonio, Michael R. Pilley of Marble Falls, Thomas K. Roughton of Austin, Gregory R. Schaller of Deer Park, and Glenn A. Uecker of Boerne
- Texas Exotic Safari — John W. Phipps of Arlington and William E. Neslage of Fredericksburg.
- Texas Premium Buck Hunt — Reginald G. Cornelius of Marshall
- Texas Waterfowl Adventure — Charles A. Gray of Plano
- Texas Big Time Bird Hunt — Tommy G. Hallford of Mount Pleasant
- Texas Gator Hunt — Robert F. Sliva of Wharton
All told, hunters bought 80,599 Big Time Texas Hunt entries during this year’s sales period from Aug. 15 through the Nov. 6 deadline. This generated $805,990 in gross revenue to support wildlife research, habitat management and public hunting.
TPWD first offered the Texas Grand Slam in 1996 and expanded the concept to create Big Time Texas Hunts in 1999. Since then, revenue from the program has benefited a range of projects, including the following:
- Aerial surveys of desert bighorn sheep in the Trans-Pecos region.
- Landscape evaluation of pronghorn antelope and mule deer habitats in the Trans-Pecos.
- Habitat preferences and movement of pronghorn in the lower Rolling Plains region.
- Ecological studies on Gambel’s quail and Montezuma quail.
- Texas’ portion of a national mourning dove banding study.
- Rainwater collection system (guzzler) use by wildlife on the Black Gap Wildlife Management Area.
- White-tailed deer food habits in the Rolling Plains.
- Effects of disking on bobwhite quail habitat.
- Lesser prairie chicken habitat use and survival in fragmented and unfragmented habitats.
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