TPW Television 2015-2016 Season

Big Bend National Park

Program 2401. October 18–24, 2015, and April 17–23, 2016

Big Bend National Park

Discover the biggest park in all of Texas. Beautiful night skies, river carved canyons, and magnificent mountains combine to make Big Bend National Park a place to remember.

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There is a place in Far West Texas where night skies are dark as coal and rivers carve temple-like canyons in ancient limestone. Here, at the end of the road, hundreds of bird species take refuge in a solitary mountain range surrounded by weather-beaten desert. Tenacious cactus bloom in the sublime southwestern sun, and the diversity of species is the best in the country. We’re dedicating an entire show to one topic: Big Bend National Park.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Brushland Birds, Fishing Piers & Old Trains

Program 2402. October 25–31, 2015, and April 24–30, 2016

Brushland Birds, Fishing Piers & Old Trains

Discover an abundance of birds in the brush lands of south Texas. Catch some fish and make some friends on the coastal fishing piers. And travel back in time on the Texas State Railroad.

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Join a group of Harlingen high school students as they discover birding. These South Texas teens realize they have some amazing birds right in their own backyard.

The Leopold Conservation Award winner for the Texas Parks and Wildlife 2015 Lone Star Land Steward awards is The BigWoods on the Trinity in Anderson County. Dr. Robert McFarlane has worked hard to show that you can manage East Texas bottomland hardwoods as a business and for wildlife conservation.

Meet some fishing peers while fishing off of one. With piers up and down the Texas Coast, you don’t need to own a fancy boat or to even get your feet wet to try saltwater fishing.

This season marks the Texas Parks & Wildlife show’s 30th year on the Texas PBS stations. All season long we’re going to take a look back at some of the older shows, and we’ll meet some of the people that have made the show what it is. We start with the very first segment from the very first show way back in 1985, a trip through east Texas on the Texas State Railroad.

The Smith Oaks Rookery on High Island is chock full of birds.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Dallas Paddling, Shotguns & Bighorn Sheep

Program 2403. November 1– 7, 2015, and May 1– 7, 2016

Dallas Paddling, Shotguns & Bighorn Sheep

Traverse the Trinity River near Dallas by canoe or kayak. Get some tips for safe, and accurate, shotgun shooting. Thirty years ago the Desert Bighorn Sheep was mostly gone from Texas. See what was being done to bring back the Bighorn.

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Grab a paddle and hit the river, wherever you live there is a paddling trail nearby. For folks in Dallas there’s one right in the heart of the city!

Improve the accuracy of your shotgun shooting with three everyday exercises: The Flashlight Drill, The Three-Bullet Drill, and other mounting exercises.

Hurricanes have taken a heavy toll on several East Texas state parks. We’ll visit Martin Dies, Jr. and Village Creek State Parks to see how they are coming back from the loss of native trees.

As part of recognizing 30 years of broadcasting the Texas Parks & Wildlife television show, we’re digging through the video archives. In 1986 we went deep into the West Texas mountains where the desert bighorn population once numbered into the thousands. Three decades ago there were no native bighorns left in Texas. Explore the causes behind its demise and what was being done to repopulate this species.

Prairie dogs have a lot of room to roam at Caprock Canyons State Park.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Dark Skies, Ranch Restoration & Rockin’ Arts

Program 2404. November 7–14, 2015, and May 8–14, 2016

Dark Skies, Ranch Restoration & Rockin’ Arts

Discover the spectacularly dark skies of West Texas, and meet some folks who are working to keep them dark. Take a trip back in time through the discovery of ancient rock art. Enjoy the beauty of a wide open Panhandle ranch.

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The Davis Mountains have some of the best views in the world for stargazing. Meet the astronomer working to protect the dark skies in West Texas and to keep away light pollution.

In 1997, Charlie and Marci Granstaff took ownership of a portion of the family’s Hill Country ranch, with hopes of restoring historically overgrazed habitat. By implementing various conservation tools, their goal was to bring back a sustainable, healthy and ecologically functional landscape.

Another look back at Made in Texas, as this show was once known. In 1987 we took an inspiring look at the rock art of Texas, as scientists offer personal reflections about the beauty and mystery that surrounds this legacy of art.

Visit a Panhandle cattle ranch in the spring.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Catching Up on Quail, Balmorhea Cool & RVs

Program 2405. November 14–21, 2015, and May 15–21, 2016

Catching Up on Quail, Balmorhea Cool & RVs

See what’s happening with Texas’ four distinct quail species. Get above and below the clear water of Balmorhea Springs. Travel Texas with some snowbirds in their RVs.

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Texas has long been known for its robust quail populations, but habitat loss has impacted all four quail species in the state. Though their homes range from desert floodplain and brush land to prairie grasslands, these quail species need native habitat to thrive. Find out how researchers, non-profits, and landowners and managers are working together to keep quail numbers healthy statewide.

At Balmorhea State Park the pool is cool. Get a look at some of the fun you can have from way above, and below the surface.

In 1988 Made in Texas television joined recreational vehicle aficionados on an RV camping tour of Texas. For these ‘winter Texans’ time in the Rio Grande Valley means bird-watching, campfires, making new friends, and just plain having fun.

The Yturria Ranches in south Texas have long been a haven for native wildlife.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Wild Firefighters, Cup Crusaders & Rabbits

Program 2406. November 21–28, 2015, and May 22–28, 2016

Wild Firefighters, Cup Crusaders & Rabbits

Meet some of the folks that fight fires in the Texas state parks. See how one very young man from Corpus Christi is trying to help keep trash out of the water. Watch some rascally rabbits much a bunch of lunch.

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Now more than ever Texans realize the importance of skilled firefighters, as 2011 was one of the worst wildfire years on record. See what it takes to be on the frontlines as part of Parks and Wildlife’s Wildland Fire Team.

A father and son, armed with a video camera, fight city litter, and raise awareness about the impacts of urban trash on water, fish, and wildlife.

Originally known as Made in Texas, the Texas Parks & Wildlife television show has been on the air for 30 years. In 1899 we explored a unique riparian ecosystem on the registry of Natural Landmarks, the Engeling Wildlife Management Area in East Texas. Get a close-up look at wood ducks, beavers and other inhabitants of the rich and diverse bottom land hardwood community.

On a coastal prairie, a contented cottontail enjoys the bounty of nature’s salad bar.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Refuge From the Storm, Flying Falcons & Piney Woods

Program 2407. November 28–December 5, 2015, and May 29–June 4, 2016

Refuge From the Storm, Flying Falcons & Piney Woods

Learn how a Texas woman takes refuge from Autism by hunting. Meet some modern day falconers and find out what draws them to these birds of prey. Head to East Texas and relax among the tall pines.

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For Robin Bradberry the outdoors is what she calls her “happy place.” That’s no surprise, lots of folks rush to nature for the release. But for Robin, it’s more than that, it’s a chance for her to escape the challenges of living with Autism.

Located along the Lavaca River, the Lavaca Rio Ranch is home to a diverse patchwork of coastal prairie, post oak savannah, bottomland hardwood forest, sloughs, and prairie pothole ponds containing rare plants and animals. The white-tailed deer and bobwhite quail populations have been responding positively to the active prescribed fire and grazing regime, which has also enabled the ranch to conserve and expand the important habitat types found on the ranch.

We’re looking back at Texas Parks & Wildlife television’s thirty years on the air. In 1990, Made in Texas looked at the ancient art of falconry and the modern day falconers and their connection with these birds of prey.

The beauty, serenity and wildlife of the East Texas piney woods is evident at the Winston 8 Ranch.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Wardens on a Boat, Swimming Holes & Flying at Franklin

Program 2408. December 5–12, 2015, and June 5–11, 2016

Wardens on a Boat, Swimming Holes & Flying at Franklin

Spend a few days with Texas game wardens as they patrol the waters off South Padre Island on a sixty foot boat. Enjoy a look at some of Central Texas’ finest swimming holes and see what has been done to conserve them. Jump off the cliff at Franklin Mountains State Park.

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For the folks tasked with enforcing fish and game laws along 350 miles of coastline, going to the office can mean heading out to sea. Climb aboard with the Texas Game Wardens who patrol offshore to protect the state’s precious Gulf resources.

Through an assortment of native habitat restoration practices, Rancho Zunzun in Bastrop County is providing wildlife viewing and bird watching opportunities and enhanced Houston toad protection. Prescribed fire, planting of loblolly pine seedlings and native grass restoration are just a few of the habitat management activities at Rancho Zunzun designed specifically for the benefit of the federally-endangered Houston toad. Rancho Zunzun shows that an expansive property is not necessary to make a big difference.

Central Texas is home to some of the state’s finest swimming holes. While these popular places have been around for generations, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be here for future generations. In 1991 the Texas Parks & Wildlife television show visited some of these spots and looked the efforts being made to protect them.

Take to the sky and soar, it’s paragliding at Franklin Mountains State Park

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Sky High Eye, Wyman’s Camera & Big Bend Above

Program 2409. December 12–19, 2015, and June 12–18, 2016

Sky High Eye, Wyman’s Camera & Big Bend Above

See how biologists learn about the lives and habits of wildlife using satellite transmitters. Travel back in time with Texas photographer Wyman Meinzer. Fly above Big Bend in the early morning light.

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Technology just keeps getting better, and as a result so does our knowledge of wildlife. With the use of satellite transmitters placed on wildlife we are learning more and new things about the lives and habits of Texas’ wildlife. See how biologists gather information about the lives of desert bighorn sheep as they move through the mountains of west Texas and Mexico, and the endangered Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle as they travel the Gulf of Mexico.

A former rice farm is now for the birds. See how Frank Gore and family are restoring a patch of coastal prairie and managing wetlands to benefit waterfowl and other wildlife.

Richard Roberts was the Executive Producer for the Texas Parks & Wildlife television show for twenty three years. One of his first stories for the show is also one of his favorites. In 1993 Richard followed along with well-known nature photographer Wyman Meinzer to see how this expert outdoorsman gets those up close shots of wildlife.

See how the early morning light makes the Big Bend glow.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Surfing Sands, Volunteer Family & Border Life

Program 2410. December 19–26, 2015, and June 19–25, 2016

Surfing Sands, Volunteer Family & Border Life

Go sand surfing a long way away from the ocean at Monahans Sandhills State Park. Meet the Gibson family, and follow along with them as they volunteer their time to help others learn about the outdoors. See how life was lived along the Texas/Mexico border back before it was a river and not a wall.

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Sun, sand, and surfing are not just found at the beach. Visit Monahans Sandhills State Park near Midland-Odessa and surf, slide, or tumble down the dunes for some family fun.

With two teens and a toddler, the Gibson family has a hectic schedule. But every year they squeeze in time to volunteer at the Texas Coastal Expo. Mom, dad and the kids all pitch in to help other families learn about the natural world. In return, the Gibsons say they’ve learned a lot about themselves.

Lake Fork fishing guide Mark Stevenson is arguably the most famous angler in Texas. He’s the guy that caught Ethel, a 17.67-pound largemouth bass that broke the previous state record and became the first entry into the ShareLunker program. Over the years Mark has donated trips to many worthy causes benefiting youth, veterans and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department projects such as construction of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.

In 1993 the Texas-Mexico border was pretty much wide open. This openness and the people living on either side of the Rio Grande inspired video producer Curtis Craven to travel the borderland in search of a story. At the end of the first day, Curtis and crew were welcomed, fed and given beds by the members of a small sheep herding community. This is the story of that place in time, where you might not find a road, but you could certainly find new friends.

Early morning anglers at Purtis Creek Lake State Park.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Wild Artist, Rio Grande Rafting & Balmorhea Birds

Program 2411. December 26, 2015–January 2, 2016, and June 26–July 2, 2016

Wild Artist, Rio Grande Rafting & Balmorhea Birds

Meet wildlife artist Clemente Guzman and find out where is inspiration comes from. Find out what rafting the Rio Grande is all about. A large group of barn swallows make their home at a small Balmorhea motel.

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From a migrant worker as a youth to an artist that discovers he has an amazing talent. Meet Clemente Guzman who is an inspiration for all of us.

Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited is the largest Trout Unlimited chapter in the world. The group has worked to develop a year-around trophy trout fishery in the Guadalupe River below Canyon Dam. In addition to its annual purchase of large rainbow trout for stocking into the river, GTRU also leases access points from private landowners to enable the public to access the best fishing spots. The members hold a Trout Camp on the river each summer to introduce youth to fly-fishing and conservation.

Kathryn Palmer worked as a video producer at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department from 1989 to 1992. In that time she covered stories on the 100 year old Pitchfork Ranch, the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup, and birding on the Texas coast. In Kathryn travelled to west Texas to shoot a story about Big Bend from the perspective of the Rio Grande.

Some surprise guests greet you at a Balmorhea motel.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Birds of Smell, Helicopter Training & Remembering D-Day

Program 2412. January 2– 9, 2016, and July 3– 9, 2016

Birds of Smell, Helicopter Training & Remembering D-Day

Travel to a birding hotspot that might be considered a marginal nature haven. Get in the water with some Texas game wardens as they learn how to get out of a sinking helicopter. Remember D-Day with some veterans who served on the Battleship Texas.

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Birding hotspots are not always where you might expect them to be. See the sights, hear the sounds, and smell the smells of a “marginal” nature haven.

The Helicopter Underwater Egress Training or HUET is part of NASA’s training for astronauts as well as the Coast Guard and other personnel involved in work over water. Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens recently purchased a new helicopter and have a Search and Rescue team which can benefit from the training.

Monarch butterflies roost each year among the trees in Manchaca, Texas, just south of Austin.

Producer Randall Maxwell worked on the Texas Parks & Wildlife television show from 1991-1996. With many of his family members having served in WWII, Randall set out to document the historic anniversary of D-Day at the Battleship Texas.

Go with the flow on a beautiful day at Guadalupe River State Park.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Gator Hunt, Neches Refuge & the Eco-tainer

Program 2413. January 9–16, 2016, and July 10–16, 2016

Gator Hunt, Neches Refuge & the Eco-tainer

Travel to southeast Texas to hunt alligators at the J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area. The Neches Refuge in East Texas is a haven for a lot of wildlife species. Spend some time with a singer who takes an environmental message to city schools.

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It’s a hot muggy afternoon in an east Texas marsh, and it’s time to hunt for alligators. We tag along with some lucky hunters that get a chance of a lifetime to hunt alligators at J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area.

The Neches Refuge in Houston County has strived to improve and enhance habitat for all native East Texas wildlife species, while managing for sustainable, healthy, profitable, and aesthetically pleasing forestland. The refuge has planted over 75 acres in longleaf pine with plans for an additional 20 acres of plantings. Numerous water control structures have also been installed to create seasonally-flooded wetlands, including a 42 acre green-tree reservoir.

Singer/songwriter John Stark makes his living by bringing an environmental message to city schools. His work is artistically rewarding, but financially challenging. In 1996 John was featured on the Texas Parks & Wildlife television show. This is part of our look back at the show’s thirty years on the air.

Texas is blessed with four different species of quail. See them all in their natural habitats.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

El Paso Trails, Saving Some Bison & Shifting Sands

Program 2414. January 16–23, 2016, and July 17–23, 2016

El Paso Trails, Saving Some Bison & Shifting Sands

Meet the El Paso trail builder who is still working away at age seventy nine. Almost twenty years ago the last of the Southern Plains Bison herd was moved from the J.A. Ranch to Caprock Canyons State Park. See the shifting sands of Monahans.

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We meet a trail building legend in El Paso. The Franklin Mountain range is the largest sustained mountain range in Texas, and it has some of the best mountain biking trails in the state. We’ll meet the man that has built many of those trails, and he’s doing it at the spry age of seventy nine.

Originally founded by Francisco Yturria, the 24,000-acre H. Yturria Land and Cattle Co. has been in the family for 157 years. The Butler family has worked tirelessly to develop the habitat and distribute water for all game and non-game species across the ranch. The Butlers have restored Rio Grande wild turkey populations in the area by trapping and restocking. This effort has proven successful and allowed them to provide birds for translocations to several adjacent landowners.

Television news producer Karen Loke has worked at Texas Parks and Wildlife for 24 years. In 1998 she spent 10 days on the J.A. Ranch in the Texas Panhandle documenting the capture and relocation of the last of the Southern Plains Bison herd.

The sands are constantly shifting at Monahans Sandhills State Park.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Friendly Flockers, Caddo Lake & a Rising River

Program 2415. January 23–30, 2016, and July 24–30, 2016

Friendly Flockers, Caddo Lake & a Rising River

Follow a group of friends as they compete in the Great Texas Birding Classic. Discover the timeless beauty of Caddo Lake. Watch as the river rises in a hurry at Colorado Bend State Park.

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A Classic Competition from the Coast is now statewide and open to all. How many different birds can be seen in a day, a morning, or from just one spot? Follow some folks who decided to find out.

Comprised of 30,000 acres of native range, the land management at the Mill Iron Ranch balances a working cattle operation with natural and cultural resource conservation. Several species of wildlife are benefitting from the grassland and riparian management on the ranch, including bobwhite quail, burrowing owls, prairie dogs, Cassin’s sparrows, meadowlarks, Rio Grande wild turkeys and Texas horned lizards.

Gwen Zucker spent twelve years as a video producer for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In 2000 she traveled to Caddo Lake to do a story on the people there, who gladly shared the beauty and tranquility of one of Texas’ greatest natural treasures.

Watch as the Colorado River rises through Colorado Bend State Park.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

El Paso Owls, Three Kingfishers & Richland Creek Water

Program 2416. January 30–February 6, 2016, and July 31–August 6, 2016

El Paso Owls, Three Kingfishers & Richland Creek Water

Take a peek at the burrowing owls of El Paso. Marvel at the rare chance to see three species of Kingfishers in one place at one time. See how a manmade wetland is cleaning the water for the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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Some owls in El Paso have a fancy new home, complete with a surveillance system, which gives biologists a bird’s-eye view of owl life.

Texans are faced with the problem of supplying water to a growing population while avoiding adverse impacts to our habitat. Texas Park and Wildlife partnered with the Tarrant County Regional Water District to provide a reliable water supply to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex while protecting the state’s natural resources.

If you been around the water in Texas you may have seen a belted kingfisher diving for small fish. The odds are long that you would see the other two kinds of kingfishers found in North America in the exact same location. But in 2001 that’s what happened to video producer Lee Smith at one of his favorite places in Texas.

Swim with the fishes inside the dive tank at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Night Photography, Fishing at Mueller & Some Survival Tips

Program 2417. February 6–13, 2016, and August 7–13, 2016

Night Photography, Fishing at Mueller & Some Survival Tips

Attend a night photography class near Big Bend Ranch State Park. An event at an Austin park teaches families how to catch fish, and how to cook them. We remember the late Dave Alloway, an expert in the art of survival.

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Follow landscape photographer Mike Mezeul II through Big Bend as he leads a nighttime photography workshop. Join the students as they learn to capture the Milky Way in the darkest night sky in Texas.

Researchers study the hidden lives of Texas dinosaurs through the use of both cutting-edge technology and old-fashioned scientific method through the analysis of their prehistoric tracks. Dinosaur Valley State Park has some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world, and this group is working to keep it that way.

An event at a neighborhood pond in central Austin introduces families to the sport of fishing, and a nearby cooking demonstration gives them a taste of what to do with the day’s catch.

Zebra mussels are an aquatic invasive species that threaten native fish, wreak havoc for boaters and clog water systems. To fight this threat, Brian Van Zee established a statewide network for research, monitoring and public outreach.

Mark Thurman worked as a video producer for Texas Parks and Wildlife for twenty one years. In 2002 he put together a series of outdoor survival tips for the television show with the late Dave Alloway. This is part of our look back at the show’s thirty years on the air.

Sunrise sparkles on Gorman Falls in Colorado Bend State Park.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Purple Palaces, Big Black Bears & Cleaning It Up

Program 2418. February 13–20, 2016, and August 14–20, 2016

Purple Palaces, Big Black Bears & Cleaning It Up

Meet some folks whose mission is to help build homes for purple martins. Follow a husband and wife team as they trap, tag and follow Black Bears in West Texas. See how Texas Parks and Wildlife employees mobilized to help wildlife after and oil spill.

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Meet some landlords looking out for their tenants at a small high-rise condo complex that’s completely for the birds. Purple martins seem to need people, and the birds provide some rewards for those who watch out for them.

In March 2014 approximately 168,000 gallons of oil spilled into the Houston Ship Channel. Within hours, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department joined a multi-agency effort to clean up the damages, help wildlife and provide baseline data for natural resource damage and recovery.

Producer Bruce Biermann has been with the Texas Parks & Wildlife TV series since 1994. His most enjoyable story for the show was following a husband and wife biologist team in the desert of West Texas as they trapped, tagged and followed some of the Black Bear population along the Rio Grande River. Bruce never thought in his life that he’d be able to touch a bear let alone smell its breath, of course while the bear was anesthetized.

See some crawling creatures of West Texas.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Moving Mule Deer, Social Mediator & a Yoga Hike

Program 2419. February 20–27, 2016, and August 21–27, 2016

Moving Mule Deer, Social Mediator & a Yoga Hike

The Pecos Pupfish is on the edge of extinction but a group of biologists is trying to help save the species. Meet the social media coordinator whose job it is to connect you with the outdoors. Travel to Sundown Island to see how Chester Smith takes care of all the birds.

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In a multi-year effort to boost mule deer populations in parts of Far West Texas, biologists are capturing and relocating female deer, or does, to help replenish herds after the drought of the 1990s.

Join a yoga hike at McKinney Falls State Park and get a new perspective on meditation and exercise.

Check out the Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area, where the bottomland hardwood swamps make it the perfect place for wintering waterfowl.

Whitney Bishop manages the social media applications for Texas Parks and Wildlife, enabling the agency to reach new audiences, many of whom have lost a connection to the outdoors.

Producer Abe Moore has worked on the show for about ten years and has covered all kinds of stories, but the ones he loves the most are about amazing people. His most memorable is about an old watcher of sorts, Chester Smith. Chester simply loves the birds of Sundown Island, a small rookery island in Matagorda Bay. He cares about this place so much he became an island warden for the National Audubon Society. Meet Chester and see what it takes to care for this special place.

See the Davis Mountains in bloom.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Butterfly Beauty, Enchanted Rock & the Inspiring Ecologist

Program 2420. February 27–March 5, 2016, and August 28–September 3, 2016

Butterfly Beauty, Enchanted Rock & the Inspiring Ecologist

Butterflies bring beauty to the world. But butterflies are at risk. What are we doing to reverse this troubling trend? View Enchanted Rock through the use of time lapse photography. The late Geraldine Watson spent her life protecting and restoring the Big Thicket area of southeast Texas.

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Some fragile flying insects bring beauty and business to Texas each year. Are we being good hosts?

Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Chief of Habitat Conservation Timothy Birdsong applies science-based stewardship to support healthy aquatic ecosystems. By establishing partnerships with landowners, local and national organizations, Timothy has helped improve habitat conditions for fish and wildlife in over 100 miles of Texas rivers and streams.

Video producer Ron Kabele worked on the Texas Parks & Wildlife television show for 23 years. As part of the show’s thirtieth anniversary, Ron introduces us to an inspiring character, Geraldine Watson. As a plant ecologist and Ranger for the National Park Service, Geraldine played a pivotal role in the creation of Big Thicket National Preserve. She was feisty and combative, passionate and self-sacrificing. Even after she retired, Geraldine spent her time and energy restoring a remnant of the beautiful virgin forests of her childhood.

See Enchanted Rock State Park through the use of time-lapse photography.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Feral Hogs, History Keeper & Going to Garner

Program 2421. March 5–12, 2016, and September 4–10, 2016

Feral Hogs, History Keeper & Going to Garner

Crawl inside the caves at Colorado Bend State Park with some dedicated spelunkers. Dr. Cynthia Brandimarte makes sure that the history of state parks is easily accessible. The Fuentes family of Corpus Christi have been going to Garner State Park every Fourth of July for over 20 years.

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The threat of feral hogs to Texas agriculture and ecology looms large.  Hunters and trappers have long aided landowners in keeping wild pig populations in check, but the problem may be growing too fast for traditional means to stop.  To provide another tool for farmers and ranchers, research is being conducted that could offer a new kind of protection from this feral pig plague.

Dr. Cynthia Brandimarte helps tell the story of Texas state parks. An author of several books and Director of Texas state parks historic structures, Cynthia ensures that not only do all sides of the story get told but that these stories are accessible to all.

Producer Don Cash has been working on the Texas Parks & Wildlife television show since 1998. In 2008 he set out to do a story on the busiest state park on the busiest weekend. He ended up at Garner State Park. There he met a group of family and friends that have been dealing with the Fourth of July crowds at Garner for 19 straight years, and loving every minute of it.

Get a birds eye view of the 2015 Texas Water Safari.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Cave Crawlers, Outdoor Clubbing & a Frog Pond

Program 2422. March 12–19, 2016, and September 11–17, 2016

Cave Crawlers, Outdoor Clubbing & a Frog Pond

Scientists and geologists use laser technology to restore ancient rock art at Hueco Tanks State Park. Outdoor clubs are a great way to discover nature, and make new friends. Visit a manmade pond that gets taken over every spring by frogs.

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Who knows what darkness lurks deep in the heart of Texas? Cavers know! There are thousands of known caves in Texas and more yet to be discovered. Join some modern day cave explorers as they duck, climb, crawl, and squeeze their way through the dark and mysterious world that exists beneath our feet.

As the leader of Special Operations, Chris Davis keeps Texas Game Wardens on the cutting edge of law enforcement.

Producer Alan Fisher, has been working on the Texas Parks & Wildlife TV show since 2001. In 2009 he explored the world of outdoor social clubs, following adventurous members hiking, biking, paddling, and camping. The experience seemed to show that life is better outside, and perhaps best enjoyed with some company.

If you build a nice little water structure in your yard, you might just attract some native wildlife. Like frogs. And the occasional snake.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Pronghorns, Tent Revival & a Sinking Ship

Program 2423. March 20–26, 2016, and September 18–24, 2016

Pronghorns, Tent Revival & a Sinking Ship

The Texas Outdoor Family program helps teach families about camping, and cooking, and nature. Watch the Kinta S, a 155-foot freighter as it becomes an artificial reef. Spend some time watching the birds at the Hugh Ramsey Park in South Texas.

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Pronghorn antelope populations in west Texas have waivered in recent years.  Using satellite tracking data, biologists are finding new information and solutions to help the Pronghorns.

Many families in cities have lost touch with the great outdoors and all it has to offer, but the Texas Outdoor Family program is here to help, getting folks with little camping experience outside for some weekend fun.

While most Texans are enjoying weekends and holidays, Lori Kreitner is on call to ensure Texas state parks systems are running smoothly. In her 20 years of service, Lori has mastered the art of assisting frustrated customers and resolving problems quickly.

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip, that started from a Texas bay aboard a game warden ship...Producer Kyle Banowsky has been working on the PBS show for two years. In 2014 he stepped on board a game warden patrol boat and journeyed 8 miles off shore from Corpus Christi to capture the sinking of the Kinta S. The 155-foot freighter was sunk in the Gulf of Mexico as part of Texas Parks and Wildlife’s artificial reef program. Kyle worked with a team of photographers, shooting the event from every possible angle, high in the sky, beneath the waves, and inside the sinking ship. And he did not get seasick.

Just minutes away from Dallas, Cedar Hill State Park has a set of trails fit for all levels of mountain bikers. One reason riders find the trails so bike-friendly is the cyclists themselves build and maintain them.

It’s feeding time for the birds at Hugh Ramsey Park. Enjoy some South Texas avian beauties.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Pecos Pupfish, Prairie Dogs & Buffalo Soldiers

Program 2424. March 27–April 2, 2016, and September 25–October 1, 2016

Pecos Pupfish, Prairie Dogs & Buffalo Soldiers

The Pecos Pupfish is on the edge of extinction but a group of biologists is trying to help save the species. Caprock Canyons State Park is known as the home of the state bison herd. But there are some much smaller, fuzzier animals on site as well. See how Buffalo Soldiers re-enactors are teaching young people about the ultimate outdoorsmen.

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We follow along with some biologists that are worried about a tiny fish that is on the edge of extinction.

Learn to prevent the number one cause of hunting injury: falls from tree stands. By following these simple tips, you can ensure your safety while hunting from above.

The Bison that roam the prairies of Caprock Canyons State Park have some little friends. Check out the park’s prairie dog town and the furry animals that call it home.

Producer Whitney Bishop joined the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 2010, where she spends much of her time posting to the agency’s social media accounts. In 2014 she had a refreshing change of pace producing a story on the Buffalo Soldier living history re-enactors. There wasn’t a cell phone in sight as the soldiers engaged kids with activities like map-making and trap ball. When a young college grad joins the group, he discovers history’s ultimate outdoorsmen.

Enjoy a spectacular sunset at Monahans Sandhills State Park..

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Texas Water Safari, Loggerhead Shrikes & Woodpeckers

Program 2425. April 3– 9, 2016, and October 2– 8, 2016

Texas Water Safari, Loggerhead Shrikes & Woodpeckers

Follow two teams of paddlers as they navigate the 260 mile Texas Water Safari. Loggerhead Shrikes can be both beautiful and brutal. Baby woodpeckers are very demanding and noisy when they’re hungry.

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The Texas Water Safari is the World’s Toughest Canoe Race, and 2015 was no exception.  Historic flooding threatened to cancel the race, logjams made the San Marcos River extremely dangerous, but the race went on! We follow two teams to see if they can complete the 260 mile race from San Marcos to Seadrift.

The Loggerhead Shrike is a songbird with a raptor’s habits. They skewer their meals on barbed wire or thorns for easy eating. Some Shrikes have also found a nice nesting place in a busy Round Rock, Texas park.

Baby woodpeckers are very demanding and noisy when they’re hungry.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Preparing Powderhorn, Preaching Taxidermy & Caterpillars

Program 2426. April 10–16, 2016, and October 9–15, 2016

Preparing Powderhorn, Preaching Taxidermy & Caterpillars

See how several state agencies and environmental organizations came together to acquire the Powderhorn Ranch for outdoor recreation and conservation. There’s a preacher in Utopia, Texas who spends some time saving souls, and some time saving hunting and fishing mementos. See some tree hugging caterpillars in the Pineywoods.

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Through the efforts of many agencies and organizations, the largest remaining undisturbed track of land on the Texas coast has been acquired for conservation and restoration of native habitats and wildlife. Powderhorn Ranch is a unique and significant biological and recreational asset that will be an important asset for wildlife and outdoor recreation for future generations.

Meet a man in Utopia who helps save souls, when he isn’t helping save lasting mementos of hunting and fishing trips.

Pedernales Falls State Park is known for its falls of course. Lesser known are the 20 or so miles of hike and bike trails. Take a tour of the trails on two wheels.

The Texas Parks & Wildlife television show has been broadcast on the Texas PBS stations since 1985. Learn a little bit about the history of the show, and meet some of the people that have put the program together for the past thirty years.

Hang out with some true tree huggers along the Neches River in the Pineywoods.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Big Bend National Park

Program 2401. October 18–24, 2015, and April 17–23, 2016

Big Bend National Park

Discover the biggest park in all of Texas. Beautiful night skies, river carved canyons, and magnificent mountains combine to make Big Bend National Park a place to remember.

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There is a place in Far West Texas where night skies are dark as coal and rivers carve temple-like canyons in ancient limestone. Here, at the end of the road, hundreds of bird species take refuge in a solitary mountain range surrounded by weather-beaten desert. Tenacious cactus bloom in the sublime southwestern sun, and the diversity of species is the best in the country. We’re dedicating an entire show to one topic: Big Bend National Park.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Brushland Birds, Fishing Piers & Old Trains

Program 2402. October 25–31, 2015, and April 24–30, 2016

Brushland Birds, Fishing Piers & Old Trains

Discover an abundance of birds in the brush lands of south Texas. Catch some fish and make some friends on the coastal fishing piers. And travel back in time on the Texas State Railroad.

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Join a group of Harlingen high school students as they discover birding. These South Texas teens realize they have some amazing birds right in their own backyard.

The Leopold Conservation Award winner for the Texas Parks and Wildlife 2015 Lone Star Land Steward awards is The BigWoods on the Trinity in Anderson County. Dr. Robert McFarlane has worked hard to show that you can manage East Texas bottomland hardwoods as a business and for wildlife conservation.

Meet some fishing peers while fishing off of one. With piers up and down the Texas Coast, you don’t need to own a fancy boat or to even get your feet wet to try saltwater fishing.

This season marks the Texas Parks & Wildlife show’s 30th year on the Texas PBS stations. All season long we’re going to take a look back at some of the older shows, and we’ll meet some of the people that have made the show what it is. We start with the very first segment from the very first show way back in 1985, a trip through east Texas on the Texas State Railroad.

The Smith Oaks Rookery on High Island is chock full of birds.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Dallas Paddling, Shotguns & Bighorn Sheep

Program 2403. November 1– 7, 2015, and May 1– 7, 2016

Dallas Paddling, Shotguns & Bighorn Sheep

Traverse the Trinity River near Dallas by canoe or kayak. Get some tips for safe, and accurate, shotgun shooting. Thirty years ago the Desert Bighorn Sheep was mostly gone from Texas. See what was being done to bring back the Bighorn.

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Grab a paddle and hit the river, wherever you live there is a paddling trail nearby. For folks in Dallas there’s one right in the heart of the city!

Improve the accuracy of your shotgun shooting with three everyday exercises: The Flashlight Drill, The Three-Bullet Drill, and other mounting exercises.

Hurricanes have taken a heavy toll on several East Texas state parks. We’ll visit Martin Dies, Jr. and Village Creek State Parks to see how they are coming back from the loss of native trees.

As part of recognizing 30 years of broadcasting the Texas Parks & Wildlife television show, we’re digging through the video archives. In 1986 we went deep into the West Texas mountains where the desert bighorn population once numbered into the thousands. Three decades ago there were no native bighorns left in Texas. Explore the causes behind its demise and what was being done to repopulate this species.

Prairie dogs have a lot of room to roam at Caprock Canyons State Park.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Dark Skies, Ranch Restoration & Rockin’ Arts

Program 2404. November 7–14, 2015, and May 8–14, 2016

Dark Skies, Ranch Restoration & Rockin’ Arts

Discover the spectacularly dark skies of West Texas, and meet some folks who are working to keep them dark. Take a trip back in time through the discovery of ancient rock art. Enjoy the beauty of a wide open Panhandle ranch.

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The Davis Mountains have some of the best views in the world for stargazing. Meet the astronomer working to protect the dark skies in West Texas and to keep away light pollution.

In 1997, Charlie and Marci Granstaff took ownership of a portion of the family’s Hill Country ranch, with hopes of restoring historically overgrazed habitat. By implementing various conservation tools, their goal was to bring back a sustainable, healthy and ecologically functional landscape.

Another look back at Made in Texas, as this show was once known. In 1987 we took an inspiring look at the rock art of Texas, as scientists offer personal reflections about the beauty and mystery that surrounds this legacy of art.

Visit a Panhandle cattle ranch in the spring.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Catching Up on Quail, Balmorhea Cool & RVs

Program 2405. November 14–21, 2015, and May 15–21, 2016

Catching Up on Quail, Balmorhea Cool & RVs

See what’s happening with Texas’ four distinct quail species. Get above and below the clear water of Balmorhea Springs. Travel Texas with some snowbirds in their RVs.

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Texas has long been known for its robust quail populations, but habitat loss has impacted all four quail species in the state. Though their homes range from desert floodplain and brush land to prairie grasslands, these quail species need native habitat to thrive. Find out how researchers, non-profits, and landowners and managers are working together to keep quail numbers healthy statewide.

At Balmorhea State Park the pool is cool. Get a look at some of the fun you can have from way above, and below the surface.

In 1988 Made in Texas television joined recreational vehicle aficionados on an RV camping tour of Texas. For these ‘winter Texans’ time in the Rio Grande Valley means bird-watching, campfires, making new friends, and just plain having fun.

The Yturria Ranches in south Texas have long been a haven for native wildlife.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Wild Firefighters, Cup Crusaders & Rabbits

Program 2406. November 21–28, 2015, and May 22–28, 2016

Wild Firefighters, Cup Crusaders & Rabbits

Meet some of the folks that fight fires in the Texas state parks. See how one very young man from Corpus Christi is trying to help keep trash out of the water. Watch some rascally rabbits much a bunch of lunch.

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Now more than ever Texans realize the importance of skilled firefighters, as 2011 was one of the worst wildfire years on record. See what it takes to be on the frontlines as part of Parks and Wildlife’s Wildland Fire Team.

A father and son, armed with a video camera, fight city litter, and raise awareness about the impacts of urban trash on water, fish, and wildlife.

Originally known as Made in Texas, the Texas Parks & Wildlife television show has been on the air for 30 years. In 1899 we explored a unique riparian ecosystem on the registry of Natural Landmarks, the Engeling Wildlife Management Area in East Texas. Get a close-up look at wood ducks, beavers and other inhabitants of the rich and diverse bottom land hardwood community.

On a coastal prairie, a contented cottontail enjoys the bounty of nature’s salad bar.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Refuge From the Storm, Flying Falcons & Piney Woods

Program 2407. November 28–December 5, 2015, and May 29–June 4, 2016

Refuge From the Storm, Flying Falcons & Piney Woods

Learn how a Texas woman takes refuge from Autism by hunting. Meet some modern day falconers and find out what draws them to these birds of prey. Head to East Texas and relax among the tall pines.

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For Robin Bradberry the outdoors is what she calls her “happy place.” That’s no surprise, lots of folks rush to nature for the release. But for Robin, it’s more than that, it’s a chance for her to escape the challenges of living with Autism.

Located along the Lavaca River, the Lavaca Rio Ranch is home to a diverse patchwork of coastal prairie, post oak savannah, bottomland hardwood forest, sloughs, and prairie pothole ponds containing rare plants and animals. The white-tailed deer and bobwhite quail populations have been responding positively to the active prescribed fire and grazing regime, which has also enabled the ranch to conserve and expand the important habitat types found on the ranch.

We’re looking back at Texas Parks & Wildlife television’s thirty years on the air. In 1990, Made in Texas looked at the ancient art of falconry and the modern day falconers and their connection with these birds of prey.

The beauty, serenity and wildlife of the East Texas piney woods is evident at the Winston 8 Ranch.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Wardens on a Boat, Swimming Holes & Flying at Franklin

Program 2408. December 5–12, 2015, and June 5–11, 2016

Wardens on a Boat, Swimming Holes & Flying at Franklin

Spend a few days with Texas game wardens as they patrol the waters off South Padre Island on a sixty foot boat. Enjoy a look at some of Central Texas’ finest swimming holes and see what has been done to conserve them. Jump off the cliff at Franklin Mountains State Park.

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For the folks tasked with enforcing fish and game laws along 350 miles of coastline, going to the office can mean heading out to sea. Climb aboard with the Texas Game Wardens who patrol offshore to protect the state’s precious Gulf resources.

Through an assortment of native habitat restoration practices, Rancho Zunzun in Bastrop County is providing wildlife viewing and bird watching opportunities and enhanced Houston toad protection. Prescribed fire, planting of loblolly pine seedlings and native grass restoration are just a few of the habitat management activities at Rancho Zunzun designed specifically for the benefit of the federally-endangered Houston toad. Rancho Zunzun shows that an expansive property is not necessary to make a big difference.

Central Texas is home to some of the state’s finest swimming holes. While these popular places have been around for generations, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be here for future generations. In 1991 the Texas Parks & Wildlife television show visited some of these spots and looked the efforts being made to protect them.

Take to the sky and soar, it’s paragliding at Franklin Mountains State Park

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Sky High Eye, Wyman’s Camera & Big Bend Above

Program 2409. December 12–19, 2015, and June 12–18, 2016

Sky High Eye, Wyman’s Camera & Big Bend Above

See how biologists learn about the lives and habits of wildlife using satellite transmitters. Travel back in time with Texas photographer Wyman Meinzer. Fly above Big Bend in the early morning light.

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Technology just keeps getting better, and as a result so does our knowledge of wildlife. With the use of satellite transmitters placed on wildlife we are learning more and new things about the lives and habits of Texas’ wildlife. See how biologists gather information about the lives of desert bighorn sheep as they move through the mountains of west Texas and Mexico, and the endangered Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle as they travel the Gulf of Mexico.

A former rice farm is now for the birds. See how Frank Gore and family are restoring a patch of coastal prairie and managing wetlands to benefit waterfowl and other wildlife.

Richard Roberts was the Executive Producer for the Texas Parks & Wildlife television show for twenty three years. One of his first stories for the show is also one of his favorites. In 1993 Richard followed along with well-known nature photographer Wyman Meinzer to see how this expert outdoorsman gets those up close shots of wildlife.

See how the early morning light makes the Big Bend glow.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Surfing Sands, Volunteer Family & Border Life

Program 2410. December 19–26, 2015, and June 19–25, 2016

Surfing Sands, Volunteer Family & Border Life

Go sand surfing a long way away from the ocean at Monahans Sandhills State Park. Meet the Gibson family, and follow along with them as they volunteer their time to help others learn about the outdoors. See how life was lived along the Texas/Mexico border back before it was a river and not a wall.

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Sun, sand, and surfing are not just found at the beach. Visit Monahans Sandhills State Park near Midland-Odessa and surf, slide, or tumble down the dunes for some family fun.

With two teens and a toddler, the Gibson family has a hectic schedule. But every year they squeeze in time to volunteer at the Texas Coastal Expo. Mom, dad and the kids all pitch in to help other families learn about the natural world. In return, the Gibsons say they’ve learned a lot about themselves.

Lake Fork fishing guide Mark Stevenson is arguably the most famous angler in Texas. He’s the guy that caught Ethel, a 17.67-pound largemouth bass that broke the previous state record and became the first entry into the ShareLunker program. Over the years Mark has donated trips to many worthy causes benefiting youth, veterans and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department projects such as construction of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.

In 1993 the Texas-Mexico border was pretty much wide open. This openness and the people living on either side of the Rio Grande inspired video producer Curtis Craven to travel the borderland in search of a story. At the end of the first day, Curtis and crew were welcomed, fed and given beds by the members of a small sheep herding community. This is the story of that place in time, where you might not find a road, but you could certainly find new friends.

Early morning anglers at Purtis Creek Lake State Park.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Wild Artist, Rio Grande Rafting & Balmorhea Birds

Program 2411. December 26, 2015–January 2, 2016, and June 26–July 2, 2016

Wild Artist, Rio Grande Rafting & Balmorhea Birds

Meet wildlife artist Clemente Guzman and find out where is inspiration comes from. Find out what rafting the Rio Grande is all about. A large group of barn swallows make their home at a small Balmorhea motel.

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From a migrant worker as a youth to an artist that discovers he has an amazing talent. Meet Clemente Guzman who is an inspiration for all of us.

Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited is the largest Trout Unlimited chapter in the world. The group has worked to develop a year-around trophy trout fishery in the Guadalupe River below Canyon Dam. In addition to its annual purchase of large rainbow trout for stocking into the river, GTRU also leases access points from private landowners to enable the public to access the best fishing spots. The members hold a Trout Camp on the river each summer to introduce youth to fly-fishing and conservation.

Kathryn Palmer worked as a video producer at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department from 1989 to 1992. In that time she covered stories on the 100 year old Pitchfork Ranch, the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup, and birding on the Texas coast. In Kathryn travelled to west Texas to shoot a story about Big Bend from the perspective of the Rio Grande.

Some surprise guests greet you at a Balmorhea motel.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Birds of Smell, Helicopter Training & Remembering D-Day

Program 2412. January 2– 9, 2016, and July 3– 9, 2016

Birds of Smell, Helicopter Training & Remembering D-Day

Travel to a birding hotspot that might be considered a marginal nature haven. Get in the water with some Texas game wardens as they learn how to get out of a sinking helicopter. Remember D-Day with some veterans who served on the Battleship Texas.

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Birding hotspots are not always where you might expect them to be. See the sights, hear the sounds, and smell the smells of a “marginal” nature haven.

The Helicopter Underwater Egress Training or HUET is part of NASA’s training for astronauts as well as the Coast Guard and other personnel involved in work over water. Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens recently purchased a new helicopter and have a Search and Rescue team which can benefit from the training.

Monarch butterflies roost each year among the trees in Manchaca, Texas, just south of Austin.

Producer Randall Maxwell worked on the Texas Parks & Wildlife television show from 1991-1996. With many of his family members having served in WWII, Randall set out to document the historic anniversary of D-Day at the Battleship Texas.

Go with the flow on a beautiful day at Guadalupe River State Park.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Gator Hunt, Neches Refuge & the Eco-tainer

Program 2413. January 9–16, 2016, and July 10–16, 2016

Gator Hunt, Neches Refuge & the Eco-tainer

Travel to southeast Texas to hunt alligators at the J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area. The Neches Refuge in East Texas is a haven for a lot of wildlife species. Spend some time with a singer who takes an environmental message to city schools.

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It’s a hot muggy afternoon in an east Texas marsh, and it’s time to hunt for alligators. We tag along with some lucky hunters that get a chance of a lifetime to hunt alligators at J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area.

The Neches Refuge in Houston County has strived to improve and enhance habitat for all native East Texas wildlife species, while managing for sustainable, healthy, profitable, and aesthetically pleasing forestland. The refuge has planted over 75 acres in longleaf pine with plans for an additional 20 acres of plantings. Numerous water control structures have also been installed to create seasonally-flooded wetlands, including a 42 acre green-tree reservoir.

Singer/songwriter John Stark makes his living by bringing an environmental message to city schools. His work is artistically rewarding, but financially challenging. In 1996 John was featured on the Texas Parks & Wildlife television show. This is part of our look back at the show’s thirty years on the air.

Texas is blessed with four different species of quail. See them all in their natural habitats.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

El Paso Trails, Saving Some Bison & Shifting Sands

Program 2414. January 16–23, 2016, and July 17–23, 2016

El Paso Trails, Saving Some Bison & Shifting Sands

Meet the El Paso trail builder who is still working away at age seventy nine. Almost twenty years ago the last of the Southern Plains Bison herd was moved from the J.A. Ranch to Caprock Canyons State Park. See the shifting sands of Monahans.

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We meet a trail building legend in El Paso. The Franklin Mountain range is the largest sustained mountain range in Texas, and it has some of the best mountain biking trails in the state. We’ll meet the man that has built many of those trails, and he’s doing it at the spry age of seventy nine.

Originally founded by Francisco Yturria, the 24,000-acre H. Yturria Land and Cattle Co. has been in the family for 157 years. The Butler family has worked tirelessly to develop the habitat and distribute water for all game and non-game species across the ranch. The Butlers have restored Rio Grande wild turkey populations in the area by trapping and restocking. This effort has proven successful and allowed them to provide birds for translocations to several adjacent landowners.

Television news producer Karen Loke has worked at Texas Parks and Wildlife for 24 years. In 1998 she spent 10 days on the J.A. Ranch in the Texas Panhandle documenting the capture and relocation of the last of the Southern Plains Bison herd.

The sands are constantly shifting at Monahans Sandhills State Park.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Friendly Flockers, Caddo Lake & a Rising River

Program 2415. January 23–30, 2016, and July 24–30, 2016

Friendly Flockers, Caddo Lake & a Rising River

Follow a group of friends as they compete in the Great Texas Birding Classic. Discover the timeless beauty of Caddo Lake. Watch as the river rises in a hurry at Colorado Bend State Park.

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A Classic Competition from the Coast is now statewide and open to all. How many different birds can be seen in a day, a morning, or from just one spot? Follow some folks who decided to find out.

Comprised of 30,000 acres of native range, the land management at the Mill Iron Ranch balances a working cattle operation with natural and cultural resource conservation. Several species of wildlife are benefitting from the grassland and riparian management on the ranch, including bobwhite quail, burrowing owls, prairie dogs, Cassin’s sparrows, meadowlarks, Rio Grande wild turkeys and Texas horned lizards.

Gwen Zucker spent twelve years as a video producer for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In 2000 she traveled to Caddo Lake to do a story on the people there, who gladly shared the beauty and tranquility of one of Texas’ greatest natural treasures.

Watch as the Colorado River rises through Colorado Bend State Park.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

El Paso Owls, Three Kingfishers & Richland Creek Water

Program 2416. January 30–February 6, 2016, and July 31–August 6, 2016

El Paso Owls, Three Kingfishers & Richland Creek Water

Take a peek at the burrowing owls of El Paso. Marvel at the rare chance to see three species of Kingfishers in one place at one time. See how a manmade wetland is cleaning the water for the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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Some owls in El Paso have a fancy new home, complete with a surveillance system, which gives biologists a bird’s-eye view of owl life.

Texans are faced with the problem of supplying water to a growing population while avoiding adverse impacts to our habitat. Texas Park and Wildlife partnered with the Tarrant County Regional Water District to provide a reliable water supply to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex while protecting the state’s natural resources.

If you been around the water in Texas you may have seen a belted kingfisher diving for small fish. The odds are long that you would see the other two kinds of kingfishers found in North America in the exact same location. But in 2001 that’s what happened to video producer Lee Smith at one of his favorite places in Texas.

Swim with the fishes inside the dive tank at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Night Photography, Fishing at Mueller & Some Survival Tips

Program 2417. February 6–13, 2016, and August 7–13, 2016

Night Photography, Fishing at Mueller & Some Survival Tips

Attend a night photography class near Big Bend Ranch State Park. An event at an Austin park teaches families how to catch fish, and how to cook them. We remember the late Dave Alloway, an expert in the art of survival.

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Follow landscape photographer Mike Mezeul II through Big Bend as he leads a nighttime photography workshop. Join the students as they learn to capture the Milky Way in the darkest night sky in Texas.

Researchers study the hidden lives of Texas dinosaurs through the use of both cutting-edge technology and old-fashioned scientific method through the analysis of their prehistoric tracks. Dinosaur Valley State Park has some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world, and this group is working to keep it that way.

An event at a neighborhood pond in central Austin introduces families to the sport of fishing, and a nearby cooking demonstration gives them a taste of what to do with the day’s catch.

Zebra mussels are an aquatic invasive species that threaten native fish, wreak havoc for boaters and clog water systems. To fight this threat, Brian Van Zee established a statewide network for research, monitoring and public outreach.

Mark Thurman worked as a video producer for Texas Parks and Wildlife for twenty one years. In 2002 he put together a series of outdoor survival tips for the television show with the late Dave Alloway. This is part of our look back at the show’s thirty years on the air.

Sunrise sparkles on Gorman Falls in Colorado Bend State Park.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Purple Palaces, Big Black Bears & Cleaning It Up

Program 2418. February 13–20, 2016, and August 14–20, 2016

Purple Palaces, Big Black Bears & Cleaning It Up

Meet some folks whose mission is to help build homes for purple martins. Follow a husband and wife team as they trap, tag and follow Black Bears in West Texas. See how Texas Parks and Wildlife employees mobilized to help wildlife after and oil spill.

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Meet some landlords looking out for their tenants at a small high-rise condo complex that’s completely for the birds. Purple martins seem to need people, and the birds provide some rewards for those who watch out for them.

In March 2014 approximately 168,000 gallons of oil spilled into the Houston Ship Channel. Within hours, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department joined a multi-agency effort to clean up the damages, help wildlife and provide baseline data for natural resource damage and recovery.

Producer Bruce Biermann has been with the Texas Parks & Wildlife TV series since 1994. His most enjoyable story for the show was following a husband and wife biologist team in the desert of West Texas as they trapped, tagged and followed some of the Black Bear population along the Rio Grande River. Bruce never thought in his life that he’d be able to touch a bear let alone smell its breath, of course while the bear was anesthetized.

See some crawling creatures of West Texas.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Moving Mule Deer, Social Mediator & a Yoga Hike

Program 2419. February 20–27, 2016, and August 21–27, 2016

Moving Mule Deer, Social Mediator & a Yoga Hike

The Pecos Pupfish is on the edge of extinction but a group of biologists is trying to help save the species. Meet the social media coordinator whose job it is to connect you with the outdoors. Travel to Sundown Island to see how Chester Smith takes care of all the birds.

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In a multi-year effort to boost mule deer populations in parts of Far West Texas, biologists are capturing and relocating female deer, or does, to help replenish herds after the drought of the 1990s.

Join a yoga hike at McKinney Falls State Park and get a new perspective on meditation and exercise.

Check out the Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area, where the bottomland hardwood swamps make it the perfect place for wintering waterfowl.

Whitney Bishop manages the social media applications for Texas Parks and Wildlife, enabling the agency to reach new audiences, many of whom have lost a connection to the outdoors.

Producer Abe Moore has worked on the show for about ten years and has covered all kinds of stories, but the ones he loves the most are about amazing people. His most memorable is about an old watcher of sorts, Chester Smith. Chester simply loves the birds of Sundown Island, a small rookery island in Matagorda Bay. He cares about this place so much he became an island warden for the National Audubon Society. Meet Chester and see what it takes to care for this special place.

See the Davis Mountains in bloom.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Butterfly Beauty, Enchanted Rock & the Inspiring Ecologist

Program 2420. February 27–March 5, 2016, and August 28–September 3, 2016

Butterfly Beauty, Enchanted Rock & the Inspiring Ecologist

Butterflies bring beauty to the world. But butterflies are at risk. What are we doing to reverse this troubling trend? View Enchanted Rock through the use of time lapse photography. The late Geraldine Watson spent her life protecting and restoring the Big Thicket area of southeast Texas.

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Some fragile flying insects bring beauty and business to Texas each year. Are we being good hosts?

Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Chief of Habitat Conservation Timothy Birdsong applies science-based stewardship to support healthy aquatic ecosystems. By establishing partnerships with landowners, local and national organizations, Timothy has helped improve habitat conditions for fish and wildlife in over 100 miles of Texas rivers and streams.

Video producer Ron Kabele worked on the Texas Parks & Wildlife television show for 23 years. As part of the show’s thirtieth anniversary, Ron introduces us to an inspiring character, Geraldine Watson. As a plant ecologist and Ranger for the National Park Service, Geraldine played a pivotal role in the creation of Big Thicket National Preserve. She was feisty and combative, passionate and self-sacrificing. Even after she retired, Geraldine spent her time and energy restoring a remnant of the beautiful virgin forests of her childhood.

See Enchanted Rock State Park through the use of time-lapse photography.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Feral Hogs, History Keeper & Going to Garner

Program 2421. March 5–12, 2016, and September 4–10, 2016

Feral Hogs, History Keeper & Going to Garner

Crawl inside the caves at Colorado Bend State Park with some dedicated spelunkers. Dr. Cynthia Brandimarte makes sure that the history of state parks is easily accessible. The Fuentes family of Corpus Christi have been going to Garner State Park every Fourth of July for over 20 years.

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The threat of feral hogs to Texas agriculture and ecology looms large.  Hunters and trappers have long aided landowners in keeping wild pig populations in check, but the problem may be growing too fast for traditional means to stop.  To provide another tool for farmers and ranchers, research is being conducted that could offer a new kind of protection from this feral pig plague.

Dr. Cynthia Brandimarte helps tell the story of Texas state parks. An author of several books and Director of Texas state parks historic structures, Cynthia ensures that not only do all sides of the story get told but that these stories are accessible to all.

Producer Don Cash has been working on the Texas Parks & Wildlife television show since 1998. In 2008 he set out to do a story on the busiest state park on the busiest weekend. He ended up at Garner State Park. There he met a group of family and friends that have been dealing with the Fourth of July crowds at Garner for 19 straight years, and loving every minute of it.

Get a birds eye view of the 2015 Texas Water Safari.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

Cave Crawlers, Outdoor Clubbing & a Frog Pond

Program 2422. March 12–19, 2016, and September 11–17, 2016

Cave Crawlers, Outdoor Clubbing & a Frog Pond

Scientists and geologists use laser technology to restore ancient rock art at Hueco Tanks State Park. Outdoor clubs are a great way to discover nature, and make new friends. Visit a manmade pond that gets taken over every spring by frogs.

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Who knows what darkness lurks deep in the heart of Texas? Cavers know! There are thousands of known caves in Texas and more yet to be discovered. Join some modern day cave explorers as they duck, climb, crawl, and squeeze their way through the dark and mysterious world that exists beneath our feet.

As the leader of Special Operations, Chris Davis keeps Texas Game Wardens on the cutting edge of law enforcement.

Producer Alan Fisher, has been working on the Texas Parks & Wildlife TV show since 2001. In 2009 he explored the world of outdoor social clubs, following adventurous members hiking, biking, paddling, and camping. The experience seemed to show that life is better outside, and perhaps best enjoyed with some company.

If you build a nice little water structure in your yard, you might just attract some native wildlife. Like frogs. And the occasional snake.

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Pronghorns, Tent Revival & a Sinking Ship

Program 2423. March 20–26, 2016, and September 18–24, 2016

Pronghorns, Tent Revival & a Sinking Ship

The Texas Outdoor Family program helps teach families about camping, and cooking, and nature. Watch the Kinta S, a 155-foot freighter as it becomes an artificial reef. Spend some time watching the birds at the Hugh Ramsey Park in South Texas.

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Pronghorn antelope populations in west Texas have waivered in recent years.  Using satellite tracking data, biologists are finding new information and solutions to help the Pronghorns.

Many families in cities have lost touch with the great outdoors and all it has to offer, but the Texas Outdoor Family program is here to help, getting folks with little camping experience outside for some weekend fun.

While most Texans are enjoying weekends and holidays, Lori Kreitner is on call to ensure Texas state parks systems are running smoothly. In her 20 years of service, Lori has mastered the art of assisting frustrated customers and resolving problems quickly.

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip, that started from a Texas bay aboard a game warden ship...Producer Kyle Banowsky has been working on the PBS show for two years. In 2014 he stepped on board a game warden patrol boat and journeyed 8 miles off shore from Corpus Christi to capture the sinking of the Kinta S. The 155-foot freighter was sunk in the Gulf of Mexico as part of Texas Parks and Wildlife’s artificial reef program. Kyle worked with a team of photographers, shooting the event from every possible angle, high in the sky, beneath the waves, and inside the sinking ship. And he did not get seasick.

Just minutes away from Dallas, Cedar Hill State Park has a set of trails fit for all levels of mountain bikers. One reason riders find the trails so bike-friendly is the cyclists themselves build and maintain them.

It’s feeding time for the birds at Hugh Ramsey Park. Enjoy some South Texas avian beauties.

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Pecos Pupfish, Prairie Dogs & Buffalo Soldiers

Program 2424. March 27–April 2, 2016, and September 25–October 1, 2016

Pecos Pupfish, Prairie Dogs & Buffalo Soldiers

The Pecos Pupfish is on the edge of extinction but a group of biologists is trying to help save the species. Caprock Canyons State Park is known as the home of the state bison herd. But there are some much smaller, fuzzier animals on site as well. See how Buffalo Soldiers re-enactors are teaching young people about the ultimate outdoorsmen.

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We follow along with some biologists that are worried about a tiny fish that is on the edge of extinction.

Learn to prevent the number one cause of hunting injury: falls from tree stands. By following these simple tips, you can ensure your safety while hunting from above.

The Bison that roam the prairies of Caprock Canyons State Park have some little friends. Check out the park’s prairie dog town and the furry animals that call it home.

Producer Whitney Bishop joined the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 2010, where she spends much of her time posting to the agency’s social media accounts. In 2014 she had a refreshing change of pace producing a story on the Buffalo Soldier living history re-enactors. There wasn’t a cell phone in sight as the soldiers engaged kids with activities like map-making and trap ball. When a young college grad joins the group, he discovers history’s ultimate outdoorsmen.

Enjoy a spectacular sunset at Monahans Sandhills State Park..

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Texas Water Safari, Loggerhead Shrikes & Woodpeckers

Program 2425. April 3– 9, 2016, and October 2– 8, 2016

Texas Water Safari, Loggerhead Shrikes & Woodpeckers

Follow two teams of paddlers as they navigate the 260 mile Texas Water Safari. Loggerhead Shrikes can be both beautiful and brutal. Baby woodpeckers are very demanding and noisy when they’re hungry.

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The Texas Water Safari is the World’s Toughest Canoe Race, and 2015 was no exception.  Historic flooding threatened to cancel the race, logjams made the San Marcos River extremely dangerous, but the race went on! We follow two teams to see if they can complete the 260 mile race from San Marcos to Seadrift.

The Loggerhead Shrike is a songbird with a raptor’s habits. They skewer their meals on barbed wire or thorns for easy eating. Some Shrikes have also found a nice nesting place in a busy Round Rock, Texas park.

Baby woodpeckers are very demanding and noisy when they’re hungry.

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Preparing Powderhorn, Preaching Taxidermy & Caterpillars

Program 2426. April 10–16, 2016, and October 9–15, 2016

Preparing Powderhorn, Preaching Taxidermy & Caterpillars

See how several state agencies and environmental organizations came together to acquire the Powderhorn Ranch for outdoor recreation and conservation. There’s a preacher in Utopia, Texas who spends some time saving souls, and some time saving hunting and fishing mementos. See some tree hugging caterpillars in the Pineywoods.

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Through the efforts of many agencies and organizations, the largest remaining undisturbed track of land on the Texas coast has been acquired for conservation and restoration of native habitats and wildlife. Powderhorn Ranch is a unique and significant biological and recreational asset that will be an important asset for wildlife and outdoor recreation for future generations.

Meet a man in Utopia who helps save souls, when he isn’t helping save lasting mementos of hunting and fishing trips.

Pedernales Falls State Park is known for its falls of course. Lesser known are the 20 or so miles of hike and bike trails. Take a tour of the trails on two wheels.

The Texas Parks & Wildlife television show has been broadcast on the Texas PBS stations since 1985. Learn a little bit about the history of the show, and meet some of the people that have put the program together for the past thirty years.

Hang out with some true tree huggers along the Neches River in the Pineywoods.

SHOW FEATURED SEGMENTS 

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Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program

The Texas Parks & Wildlife series on PBS is made possible in part by a grant from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Additional funding is provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation.

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