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Decades of restocking the Eastern Wild Turkey has proven successful for some East Texas counties, but many areas still aren’t seeing birds. A new research study will focus on some recently transplanted birds outfitted with GPS transmitters to find out what turkeys think is a good home. Hunters: report your harvest with this free app: http://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/hunt-harvest-app/
For those outdoorsmen and women who anticipate the opening of dove season September 1st, the wait is almost over and this year the season is 20 days longer. That gives hunters more time to take their shot at the more than 30-million mourning doves in Texas. For more information on Hunting 101 courses go to https://tpwd.texas.gov/education/hunter-education/101schedule Also an app is available that allows hunters to carry the Outdoor Annual with them on their mobile devices. You can download at http://www.txoutdoorannual.com/app And, Texas Parks and Wildlife reminds hunters they need to complete a hunter education course if they were born after September 2, 1971 and carry proof of certification with them while they hunt. Game bird conservation stamps are also needed to hunt dove, waterfowl, turkey and quail and to check the local regulations where they will be hunting.
A giant helping hand in the form of millions of dollars has reached out to state parks thanks to a significant increase in dedicated funding passed by the 84th Texas Legislature. 94 percent of the state sales tax revenue from sporting goods will now go to fund park facilities and operations. That has park staff and park visitors looking forward to a brighter future. To find out more about state park improvements go to TexasStateParks.org/BrighterFuture
Hunting season is right around the corner. But most hunting blinds are not designed for people with disabilities. Inks Lake State Park northwest of Austin has tackled that problem by building special hunting blinds that are accessible for people with physical limitations. Find public hunting opportunities at http://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/public/
For more than 100 years they’ve protected our natural resources, the fish and wildlife that we enjoy. They even help in disasters with water rescues and save human lives. But we don’t always see them in action …. until now. Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens have their own television series called Lone Star Law that begins airing June 2 on Animal Planet. State Game Wardens featured in the first season walked the red carpet in Austin at a sneak preview earlier this year. The show premieres June 2 on Animal Planet. Anyone can follow Lone Star Law at https://www.facebook.com/LoneStarLaw/
The battle to stop the spread of destructive zebra mussels has some new soldiers – canine ones. And they come armed with noses that can sniff out the culprits, tiny invasive mussels and their microscopic larvae that travel from lake to lake by hitching a ride on boats. Working Dogs for Conservation is a non-profit organization that is taking it's show on the road to inform people about the threat of zebra mussels. The demonstration aims to recruit boaters' help in stopping the spread by keeping their boats clean, drained, and dry. It is illegal to transport zebra mussels or to leave a public water body without draining all water. These statewide laws apply to all types or boats including sailboats, kayaks, canoes or any other vessel used on public waters. For more information on Zebra Mussels, including a video on how to clean, drain and dry your boat, go to www.texasinvasives.org/zebramussels
What’s been called America’s longest and wildest birding competition turns 20 this spring, and it’s not just for avian experts anymore. The Great Texas Birding Classic has moved from a week on the coast to a month statewide, and it’s added new categories so more people can take part. All this is generating record participation, and more entry fees to benefit bird habitat. Texas Parks and Wildlife has this report.The 20th annual Great Texas Birding Classic begins April 15 and continues through May 15 with chances to compete in numerous categories. Last year raised $25,000 in grant money through team registration and event sponsorship. That money was donated back to the bird habitat conservation and nature tourism projects in Texas with winning teams input. For more information go to www.BirdingClassic.org
Hunting season is wrapping up but many hunters will relive their hunts at the annual Texas Big Game Awards. For 25 years, the program, sponsored by the Texas Wildlife Association and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, has recognized hunters and landowners for conserving wildlife and wildlife habitat on private lands. The program is especially memorable for first-time hunters. For more information, visit https://www.TexasBigGameAwards.org
With the New Year comes new trends and one that is growing is a national movement to get folks out hiking on the first day of the year. Last year more than 15-hundred dedicated souls gave their soles a workout during First Day Hike events in more than 70 state parks across Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife has this report. For information on guided walks and hiking in state parks near you, visit http://TexasStateParks.org/FirstDayHikes
This winter, Texas Parks and Wildlife will stock more than 300-thousand rainbow trout at more than 140 sites across the state. The program hopes to hook new anglers into the sport by making fishing more accessible at urban lakes, state parks and reservoir tailraces. Now there is a new lake in the program at East Metropolitan Park in Travis County. Kingfisher Lake will launch its first Neighborhood Fishin’ event December 12. For more information about upcoming rainbow trout stockings or the Texas Parks and Wildlife Neighborhood Fishin’ program, check the Internet at www.neighborhoodfishin.org
Es una de las vistas más espectaculares de la naturaleza. Millones de mariposas monarca migran a través de Texas en su ruta a México para pasar el invierno. Pero la población monarca se ha desplomado, junto con las abejas y algunos otros polinizadores. Es una mala noticia para los agricultores, porque los insectos polinizan muchos de los alimentos que comemos. Lo bueno es que Texas está tomando medidas para salvar el insecto oficial del estado. El Departamento de Parques y Vida Silvestre de Texas tiene este informe. Ustedes pueden ayudar a las monarcas, y también a otros polinizadores, mediante la plantación de las especies nativas. Para aprender cómo crear hábitats para mariposas, visite el sitio web de Parques y Vida Silvestre de Texas.
It’s a season of plenty for upland bird hunters this year thanks to a lot of rain and a mild summer. Hunting in Texas is big business bringing more than three-billion dollars to the state’s economy. And Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists say this year should be one of the best for bird hunters. Check out Texas Parks and Wildlife Digital Hunting Forecast for all species at http://www.tpwmagazine.com/digital/2015/hunting/ A new app is now available that allows hunters to carry the Outdoor Annual with them on their mobile devices. You can download at http://www.txoutdoorannual.com/app Texas Parks and Wildlife reminds hunters they need game bird conservation stamps to hunt dove, waterfowl, turkey and quail and to check the local regulations where they will be hunting.
Throughout December, state parks all over Texas are celebrating Christmas in special ways. Many historical parks allow visitors to step back in time and take part in holiday traditions of days gone by. Texas Parks and Wildlife takes us to a Christmas on the Brazos and a candlelight ceremony at Barrington Living History Farm at Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site. Christmas on the Brazos featuring Barrington’s Candlelight Christmas takes places Saturday, December 12 from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. For more information go to www.TexasStateParks.org/holidays
Less than a month after wildfire engulfed Bastrop County and Buescher State Park, both state parks are open for business. The Hidden Pines Fire of 2015 was just an ember compared to the historic Bastrop County Complex Fire of 2011 but it did burn nearly 700 acres of park land. Texas Parks and Wildlife has this report.For more information on state parks, go to www.texasstateparks.org
Record rainfall and flood waters strike McKinney Falls State Park forcing evacuations and closure. For updates check the Texas Parks and Wildlife website or Facebook page http://www.texas.gov
Deer hunting brings in more than 2 billion dollars to the state’s economy each year and as fall comes to Texas, more than one million hunters are gearing up for another season. But just how is this year’s season shaping up for sportsmen and women now that we’ve seen a little rain? Texas Parks and Wildlife has this report. For more information about Chronic Wasting Disease, including how to submit deer samples for testing, go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website at www.tpwd.texas.gov/cwd Also, a new app is now available that allows hunters to carry the Outdoor Annual with them on their mobile devices. You can download at http://www.txoutdoorannual.com/app
Every October millions of monarch butterflies migrate through Texas on their way to Mexico for the winter. But the monarch population has plummeted, along with bees and some other pollinators. That’s bad news for farmers since insects pollinate many of the foods we eat. The good news is Texas is taking action to save the Texas state insect. To find out how you can help monarchs, visit http://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/wildlife_diversity/texas_nature_trackers/monarch/
The five year recovery plan for Bastrop County after the historic Labor Day Fire in 2011, didn't include another wildfire. That fire burned 34,000 acres.So far this year's Hidden Pines Fire has burned more than 4,000 acres. Once again, Texas Parks and wildlife firefighters and other first responders are on the ground and in the air combating another blaze. To find out more about park closures and an update on the wildfires, check the Texas Parks and Wildlife website at http://texasstateparks.org
Wildfires in Bastrop County, Texas threatened Bastrop & Buescher State Parks. The fires started early in the afternoon Tuesday October 13th. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Wildland Fire Team along with a number of other area firefighters battled the blazes throughout the night. At Buescher State Park firefighters set back fires to help contain the blaze. Firefighters expect the fire to burn for at least a few days.
For most of the more than a million people who hunt in Texas each year, the chance to pursue all four Texas big game animals is a dream that may seem forever out of reach. But one Texas Parks and Wildlife program gives hunters a shot at the big four where all the money raised goes to wildlife and habitat conservation. Here's the story of one lucky winner from San Antonio. For more information on Big Time Texas Hunts, check the Texas Parks and Wildlife website at tpwd.texas.gov/bigtimehunts or call 1-800-895-4248. Hunt package entries can be bought for $10 each at retailers that sell hunting licenses or by phone. On-line entries are only $9. The deadline to enter is October 15.
The 2015 flood waters brought lake levels around the state up and boaters back on the water. The downside is the threat of invasive zebra mussels spreading from lake to lake. Texas Parks and Wildlife is asking boaters to help stop the spread of these economically and environmentally damaging pests. The law requires boaters to clean, drain and dry their boats and water compartments that can carry microscopic larvae. Ray Roberts Lake State Park plans to open by the end of September. It is illegal to transport zebra mussels or to leave a public water body without draining all water. These statewide laws apply to all types or boats. It includes sailboats, kayaks, canoes or any other vessel used on public waters. For more information on Zebra Mussels, including a video on how to clean, drain and dry your boat, go to www.texasinvasives.org/zebramussels
There’s good news for dove hunters who are looking forward to that opening day of dove season September first. A rainy spring has sprouted lots more sunflowers and seeds across the Texas landscape bringing 30-million mourning doves into the state. Biologists say dove numbers have increased over last year as much as 20 percent which is good news for both veteran hunters and those who are new to the sport. An app is available that allows hunters to carry the Outdoor Annual with them on their mobile devices. You can download at http://www.txoutdoorannual.com/app Texas Parks and Wildlife reminds hunters they need to complete a hunter education course if they were born after September 2, 1971 and carry their certification with them while they hunt. Game bird conservation stamps are also needed to hunt dove, waterfowl, turkey and quail and to check the local regulations where they will be hunting.
In High School, sports often get a lot of attention. But there is an up and coming sport that suits all students no matter gender, age, or physical ability. Shooting sports from archery to shotgun clay pigeons have shown to boost student confidence and for some can be quite lucrative.
Memorial Day floods swept through communities in Texas taking life and homes, but they also struck more than 50 state parks. As the rivers and creeks along many state parks recede, park employees are assessing the damage and are grateful that no one was injured. Texas Parks and Wildlife has this report.Many state parks with minimal damage are partially open now, and many may reopen in a matter of days or weeks. For more information check the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. Visitors can also check the status of their park reservations by contacting the Texas State Parks customer service center at 512-389-8900 or by contacting the park directly.