|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2009-05-28                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Rob McCorkle (830) 866-3533Project Manager: Corky Kuhlmann (512) 389-4590 ]
May 28, 2009
TPW Commission Okays Transfer of Boy Scout Camp to Texas Trails Council
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission today approved the transfer of 91.3 acres of Abilene State Park property to the Boy Scouts of America, which officially has been leasing the land from the state for 60 years.
The Texas Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America requested the transfer of the land that has been leased to the Boy Scouts as part of Camp Tonkawa since 1949. The transfer provides opportunities for the Scouts to build new facilities and/or renovate existing ones.
The leased property being transferred is part of Camp Tonkawa's total of 191.3 acres bordering the eastern boundary of the 529-acre state park. The lease originated on June 7, 1949 for a term of 19 years, and was renewed for 50 years and due to expire in 2018.
As part of the transfer agreement, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department would retain a conservation easement on the land that assures good conservation and land management practices, and protects the property's natural and cultural resources, according to TPWD senior project manager Corky Kuhlmann.
Kuhlmann said the transfer agreement will further stipulate that if the property were ever used for anything other than a Boy Scout camp, it would revert to TPWD ownership.

[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Rob McCorkle, 830-866-3533, robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov ] [RM]
May 28, 2009
Okay Given To Add Acreage To Lost Maples State Natural Area
AUSTIN, Texas -- Lost Maples State Natural Area, known for its spectacular fall foliage and Hill Country scenery, would expand to just over 2,900 acres as a result of action taken Thursday by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.
Meeting today in Austin, commissioners authorized the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department executive director to complete the acquisition of 732 acres of the former Rex Kelley Ranch abutting the park's northwest boundary that contains the entire Can Creek drainage. The confluence of Can Creek with the Sabinal River inside the state natural area is primarily responsible for creating Lost Maples' dramatic Hill Country topography of canyons, hills and creeks.
The acquisition would add acreage to the current 2,174-acre park named for the bigtooth maples that populate the canyonlands and whose foliage turns brilliant shades of crimson and gold most autumns, drawing thousands of visitors. The new acreage being purchased by TPWD from a willing seller will provide more land for potential hiking trails featuring ridge-top vistas, deep canyons and several perennial springs. The property also includes endangered bird and plant species, including the golden-cheeked warbler.
TPWD natural resource conservation staff told commissioners the state natural area's popularity and the impact of visitors on the Bandera County site's natural resources, especially in the fall, warrant expansion of Lost Maples and would create additional recreational opportunities.
Before opening to the public, the newly acquired property would undergo surveying and thorough investigation by natural and cultural resource specialists.

[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
May 28, 2009
TPWD Dove Season Framework Gets Commission Approval
AUSTIN, Texas -- Changes proposed for the 2009-2010 Texas dove season, including a 70-day season and 15-bird daily bag statewide, received approval from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.
The season framework change is part of a new adaptive harvest management regulations package developed for the 14 states, including Texas, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Central Management Unit.
Additionally, the commission approved moving the South Zone dove season opening the Friday nearest Sept. 20, but no earlier than the 17th. This year the season will open Sept. 18 if approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in late June.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department received relatively little input, although overwhelmingly supportive of the changes, during the public comment phase. Less than 100 comments were received via email or through the agency's online public comment survey and 32 comments during nearly two dozen public meetings around the state.
If authorized under federal guidelines, Texas dove season in the North and Central Dove Zones will run from Tuesday, Sept. 1 through Sunday, Oct. 25 and reopen Saturday, Dec. 26 through Sunday, Jan. 9, with a 15-bird bag and not more than two white-tipped doves.
The South Zone dove season will run Sept. 18-Nov. 3, reopening Dec. 26-Jan. 17 with a 15-bird bag and not more than two white-tipped doves. Possession limit is twice the daily bag for all migratory game birds except light geese, which currently does not have a possession limit.
The Special South Texas White-winged Dove Area will open to white-winged dove afternoon-only (noon to sunset) hunting the first two full weekends in September running from Sept. 5-6 and 12-13 and reopen when the regular South Zone season begins on Friday, Sept. 18 through Tuesday, Nov. 3 and again from Saturday, Dec. 26 through Wednesday, Jan. 13. The Special White-winged Dove Area season takes four of the allowable 70 days, so when the regular season opens, this area most close four days earlier than the rest of the South Zone. The daily bag limit is 15 birds, not more than four mourning doves during the first two weekend splits and 2 white-tipped doves. Once the general season opens, the aggregate bag limit will be 15.
The Service is also reviewing a proposal to give TPWD the option to adjust a portion of the boundary of the Special White-winged Dove Area. This change would remove portions of Jim Hogg and Starr counties and also received commission approval.
TPWD is making no changes to other early migratory game bird seasons other than to reflect calendar shifts.
If Texas gets a 16-day September teal season, the dates will be Sept. 12-27, while a nine-day season will run Sept. 19-27.
The season for rail and gallinule is Sept. 12-27 and Oct. 31-Dec. 23; for snipe, Oct. 31-Feb. 14; and for woodcock, Dec. 18-Jan. 31.

[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
May 28, 2009
Commission Approves Public Hunting on 44 State Park Sites
AUSTIN, Texas -- Nearly half of the sites in the Texas State Parks system will conduct public hunts during the 2009-2010 hunting season. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved scheduled hunts on 44 state park units at its May 28 public hearing.
Most of the state parks approved for public hunting will be offered through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's computer drawings for a variety of game and hunting options, including new youth opportunities. Selected hunting opportunities on state parks comprise 1,676 hunt positions, including 253 for youth, out of nearly 5,000 total positions available in this year's special drawings for hunts on public lands in Texas.
Three new park units are included in this year's offerings: Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Lake Texana State Park and Stephen F. Austin State Park. Three other units are returning to the hunt schedule, including: Pedernales Falls State Park, Pedernales Falls SP Annex and Mother Neff State Park. A complete summary of approved state park hunts, including hunt type and date, is available on the TPWD Web site.
Other state parks where public hunts will take place are: Atlanta; Big Bend Ranch; Brazos Bend; Caprock Canyons; Choke Canyon -- North Shore Unit; Colorado Bend; Cooper Lake -- South Sulphur Unit; Copper Breaks; Davis Mountains; Devil's River; Devil's Sinkhole; Enchanted Rock; Fairfield Lake; Fort Boggy; Garner; Guadalupe River; Guadalupe River Bauer Unit; Hill Country; Honey Creek; Huntsville; Inks Lake/Longhorn Caverns; Kickapoo Caverns; Lake Bob Sandlin; Lake Brownwood; Lake Mineral Wells; Lake Somerville Birch Creek and Nails Creek; Lake Whitney; Lost Maples; Martin Dies Jr., Possum Kingdom; Purtis Creek; Resaca de la Palma; San Angelo; Sea Rim; Seminole Canyon; South Llano and Tony Houseman.
To minimize conflicts between park user groups, public hunts are offered during off-peak visitation periods, typically on weekdays in the winter months. A number of youth hunts are scheduled during school holidays. During these events, signs are posted at parks alerting visitors that a hunt is in progress. The public is urged to contact the park or check the hunting calendar posted online before heading out during hunting season.
Applications for special drawing hunts to be conducted on state parks, wildlife management areas and other TPWD-managed properties during the 2009-2010 season will be available in early July from TPWD headquarters and field offices, and posted on the TPWD Web site. Each hunt's application fee ranges from $3 to $10 for adults and is free to youth, who must be accompanied by an adult hunter.
Deadlines to apply for TPWD public hunts are as follows:
--Alligator, Youth Only Alligator -- August 5, 2009
--Prong-horned Antelope -- August 12, 2009
--Archery Deer, Archery Mule Deer, and Archery Exotic -- August 12, 2009
--Private Lands Management Either Sex, Private Lands Antlerless/Spike- August 12, 2009
--Gun Deer (Either-Sex, Antlerless/Spike, Youth Only Either Sex, Youth Only Antlerless/Spike, Management Buck, and Youth Only Management), and Mule Deer -- September 3, 2009
--Javelina, Youth Only Javelina and Guided Deer Hunt Packages -- October 6, 2009
--Guided Gemsbok Hunt Packages and Exotic Only -- October 6, 2009
--Guided Bighorn Sheep Hunt -- November 4, 2009
--Feral Hog, Youth Only Exotic and Youth Only Feral Hog -- November 4, 2009
--Youth Only Spring Turkey, Spring Turkey, and Guided Scimitar-Horned Oryx Hunt Package- November 4, 2009
Many parks will also provide hunting opportunities as part of the department's Annual Public Hunting Permit program, which offers purchasers of the $48 permit hunting access to more than one million acres throughout the state.
Among the hunting opportunities available to permit holders are leased small game-hunting units, primarily for dove. Many of these hunting sites are leased from private landowners within close proximity to major urban areas. The permit also provides access to hunting for other species, including deer, feral hogs, waterfowl and small game.
The $48 Annual Public Hunting Permit is available for the 2009-2010 seasons on Aug. 15. Permits can be purchased wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold. Map booklets detailing public hunting units can be viewed on the department's Web site beginning August 15. Drawn hunt information can also be found on the department's Web site. Drawn Hunt booklets and web information will be available late June. For public hunting information or to request a free Drawn Hunt booklet, please call Wildlife Information at 800/792-1112, option 5 Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
May 28, 2009
TPWD Announces Proposed Waterfowl Season Framework
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas will likely revert this fall to the standard 74-day season and six bird daily bag limit framework for ducks during the general waterfowl seasons. The department is proposing dates and bag limit possibilities based on a liberal season package, pending authorization of the federal framework for the Central Flyway by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Texas has the option this year of taking the duck season to the last Sunday in January, however, TPWD staff is recommending a return to the Sunday nearest Jan. 20 due to biological concerns.
TPWD is recommending the High Plains Mallard Management Unit waterfowl season run Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 24 -- 25 and Friday, Oct. 30 through Sunday, Jan. 24, with a youth-only season of Saturday/Sunday, Oct. 17-18.
The proposed season for the North and South Zones would run concurrently Saturday, Oct. 31 through Sunday, Nov. 29 and Saturday, Dec. 12 through Sunday, Jan. 24, with a youth-only season of Saturday/Sunday, Oct. 24-25 to avoid conflict with the youth deer season.
The daily bag limit statewide would be six ducks, with the following species and sex restrictions: five mallards (of which only two may be hens), three wood ducks, two scaup, two redheads, one pintail, one canvasback, and one "dusky duck" (mottled duck, Mexican-like duck, black duck and their hybrids).
"There still remains the outside chance that pintail, canvasback and mottled ducks could have a season within a season structure or a 39 day season within the 74 days allowed," said Dave Morrison, TPWD waterfowl program leader.
The season dates TPWD is proposing for the Western Goose Zone are Saturday, Nov. 7 through Sunday, Feb. 7. The daily bag limit is 20 light geese in the aggregate and four Canada geese and one white-fronted goose. Possession limit is twice the daily bag limit for dark geese and no possession limit on light geese.
Proposed dates for the Eastern Goose Zone are Saturday, Oct. 31 through Sunday, Jan. 24 for light geese and Canada geese and Saturday, Oct. 31 through Sunday, Jan. 10 for white-fronted geese. The daily bag limit is 20 light geese in the aggregate and three Canada geese and two white-fronted geese.
"Texas is allowed a maximum of 107 days for Canada and light goose hunting," Morrison explained. "As in the past we are suggesting a season that has fewer days than allowed by federal framework to take advantage of the Light Goose Conservation Order and begin this special management practice on the day after the regular duck seasons close."
White-fronted geese may be hunted for only 72 days. All goose seasons would open concurrent with duck season but the white-fronted goose season in the Eastern Zone would close two weeks earlier because of the difference in total number of days allowed for hunting.
The dates being considered for the Light Goose Conservation Order are Monday, Feb. 8 through Sunday, Mar. 28 in the Western Goose Zone and Monday, Jan. 25 through Sunday, Mar. 28 in the Eastern Goose Zone. These dates open the Light Goose Conservation Order the day following the close of the regular duck or goose season.
Federal frameworks allow sandhill crane hunting in Texas between Sept. 1 and Feb. 28. Texas is allowed up to 93 days of sandhill crane hunting in Zones A and B and up to 37 days in Zone C.
The recommended sandhill crane season dates for Zone A are Saturday, Nov. 7 through Sunday, Feb. 7 with a daily bag limit of three birds.
The season opening in Zone B is delayed about 3 weeks after Zone A opens to give whooping cranes that might be migrating through the zone adequate time to move through before sandhill crane season begins. TPWD is proposing Zone B season to run Friday, Nov. 27 through Sunday, Feb. 7 with a daily bag limit of three birds.
Zone C does not open until late December to give whooping cranes adequate time to get to the Aransas area and the proposed dates are Saturday, Dec. 26 through Sunday, Jan. 24 with a daily bag limit of two birds.
Since the limited comments received during scoping at the various public hearings indicated the opening of the Light Goose Conservation Order should begin the day after the duck season closes, this would require a shortening of the Zone C crane season by one week. This season would be 30 days rather than the 37 days prescribed by current federal frameworks.
Possession limits statewide are twice the daily bag limits.
Suggested dates for falconry season for ducks are Monday, Jan. 25 through Tuesday, Feb. 9 in the North and South Zones. There is no Extended Season in the High Plains Mallard Management Unit because the total 107 days allowed are used by the other ducks season in this area.
The public is invited to comment on the proposed migratory seasons by contacting Dave Morrison, TPWD Waterfowl Program Leader, 4200 Smith School Rd., Austin, TX 78744 or email dave.morrison@tpwd.texas.gov.