Texas Parks & Wildlife Videos
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New Helicopter Strengthens Texas Game Wardens AUSTIN, Texas - December 22, 2014 — The Texas Game Warden’s unveiled its new Airbus AS350B3e helicopter that will enhance the department’s statewide law enforcement apparatus and assist with its search and rescue and disaster response efforts. The aircraft is outfitted with the latest law enforcement technology and emergency response equipment including a rescue hoist, thermal imager, searchlight, public address system, satellite communication and night vision. Funding for the new aircraft, which was approximately $5 million, was made possible through legislative appropriation during the 83rd Texas Legislative session. “This helicopter is going to be a tremendous asset and force multiplier for the Texas Game Wardens,” said Col. Craig Hunter, TPWD Law Enforcement Director. “We will not only be able to more efficiently move personnel and equipment across the state, but with the addition of the new hoist system, we will be able to better leverage our marine and ground assets to enhance our search and rescue capabilities during times of disaster.” Among the new aircrafts advantages are its ability to carry additional game wardens including its K9 teams during remote search and rescue missions or other specially trained personnel for specific assignments. In addition to the new helicopter, the department also has a fixed wing 2009 Turbo Cessna Model 206 aircraft. http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20141223a
A coalition of partners has raised nearly $38 million dollars to purchase 17,000+ acres of one of the largest remaining unspoiled tracts of coastal prairie in the state. The Powderhorn Ranch in Calhoun County is expected to become a future state park and wildlife management area for the people of Texas. For details, see http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20140821a. For more information about the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, visit http://www.tpwf.org/
How do you encourage young people to unplug and get outside? Here's a hint: scrap the nature hike and host a concert instead. Young volunteers are coming up with creative new ways to get their friends outdoors. Texas Parks and Wildlife has this report. For more information about becoming a Texas State Park Youth Ambassador, visit http://AmericasStateParks.org
We've all seen before-and-after pictures but here's one for the record books. A Texas family discovers a long-lost photo after 50 years, bringing it to life once again. Texas Parks and Wildlife has this report wrapping up its fiftieth anniversary. Start snapping those pictures! To find a nearby park, check out the Texas Parks and Wildlife website at http://TexasStateParks.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 11-hundred dedicated souls gave their soles a workout during First Day Hike events in more than 57 state parks across Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife has this report on hiking as the Outdoor Activity of the Month. For information on hiking in state parks near you, visit http://texasstateparks.org/hiking
You might think New England, not Texas, if you think of trees turning color in the Fall, but some parts of the state do see brilliant reds, yellows and oranges. So what happens inside a leaf to make these spectacular colors? Texas Parks and Wildlife gives us an inside look.To find out the best time to visit Lost Maples State Natural Area, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website at http://www.tpwd.texas.gov
When it comes to strange looking animals, it would be hard to beat the paddlefish, a huge prehistoric fish with a large paddle for a nose. It has survived for eons in the rivers of North America, but today it's nearly extinct in Texas. As Kevin Benz reports, a huge research study and restocking effort is now showing some success in east Texas. Paddlefish studies will continue into the next century, and researchers say they can use help. If you spot a paddlefish they ask you to report it to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Getting outdoors used to be thought of as something that was just for the boys, but for the last couple of decades, women have been learning everything from shooting sports to Dutch oven cooking. It's part of Texas Parks and Wildlife's Becoming An Outdoors Woman program. As Texas Parks and Wildlife reports, many of these women are not only learning outdoor skills, they're gaining a new sense of confidence in themselves. More than 6,500 woman have participated in The Becoming an Outdoors Woman Workshop in past two decades The program's 20th year celebration workshop will take place November 8-10 in Brenham, Texas. For more information check out www.tpwd.texas.gov
As fall comes to Texas, more than one million hunters are gearing up for another season, which will bring more than 3-billion dollars into the state's economy. 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 reminds hunters there are game bird conservation stamps to hunt dove and quail and to check the local regulations where they will be hunting. Bag limits and seasons can be different in each Texas County. For more information call 1-800-792-1112 menu 5, option 1 or check the Internet at www.tpwd.texas.gov
He is the pied piper of shooting sports. Charlie Wilson has taught shooting safety to adults and youth for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for more than 20 years. Traveling the state of Texas with his mobile skeet shooting trailer, Charlie has served as a mentor to generations of folks who want to learn how to fire a shotgun safely from just a sport to sometimes Olympic hopefuls. Charlie has just finished his career with Texas Parks and Wildlife, but says he will never be through mentoring kids. For more information on shooting sports, go to http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us and search shooting sports.
Meet the new K-9 corps! This story shows the first-ever K-9 team of Texas Game Wardens meeting their new four-legged partners. The first training phase shown here focuses on narcotics. That's a reality of what game wardens encounter in the field, though it's only one aspect of their broader work. K-9 teams also learn search and rescue, how to sniff out illegal hunting/fishing evidence, and many other skills. For more information on what Texas Game Wardens do or how to become a game warden, go to http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/warden/
October marks the second half of Hispanic Heritage Month as well as Texas Archeology Month. A wealth of unique cultural treasures stretch all across the state from the famous battlefields of San Jacinto to the farthest reaches of the Big Bend Country. Fort Leaton is an 1800s-era trading post in the "Junta de los Rios" area of the U.S.-Mexico border. Texas Parks and Wildlife invites visitors to travel back in time to this historic site. Many state parks and historic sites are hosting special events during Texas Archeology Month throughout the state. To find out more check out texasstateparks.org/history
September marks the opening of dove season and many hunters will step into sunflower fields waiting for that familiar whistle of wings. But just how will this year's hunting forecast shape up? Texas Parks and Wildlife tells us what hunters can expect in the field and how they can help in a nationwide study on doves. Hunters who report banded doves will receive a certificate of appreciation that identifies when and where the dove was banded. Bands can be reported at the toll free number 1-800-327-BAND (2263) or online at www.reportband.gov 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.
50 years ago, Governor John B. Connally launched a campaign to modernize state government. This led to the merger of the Game and Fish Commission with the State Parks Board creating a new agency dedicated to conservation, parks and outdoor recreation. This year, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is celebrating its 50th birthday by inviting people to share their stories and photos about memorable moments in the Texas outdoors. To become a Texas Parks and Wildlife ambassador or share your stories and photos, the department has set up a 50th anniversary web page at http://lifesbetteroutside.org Find the archive videos and entire PSA on Texas Parks and Wildlife youtube.
Visit http://TakeCareofTexas.org for a variety of materials that range from general information about environmental programs to specific, step-by-step instructions that address common environmental situations.
Shooting nature photography as a way to protect Texas wildlife is the goal of an annual professional photography contest called Images for Conservation. And for the past five years, the contest has brought pro-photographers and landowners together to share prize money in the hundreds of thousands. This year, there is also something new for all photographers -- a photo contest in Texas State Parks! From now until the end of April, visitors can capture moments like sunsets, wildlife and historic icons and enter for a chance to win a video camera, weekend excursion at a state park or up to six people at a Texas Outdoor Family workshop. Texas Parks and Wildlife follows two photographers as they work from dawn 'til dusk for that perfect shot. The next Images for Conservation contest takes place March 20-24 at Los Novios Ranch in South Texas. For more information, visit the Images for Conservation Fund Web site at http://imagesforconservation.org To find out more about the Texas State Parks photo contest, go to http://texasstateparks.org/photography and follow the links to the contest.
The sun is shining and the water's mighty fine at Possum Kingdom State Park.Two years after a wildfire roared through the park, the popular Texas getaway is ready for some springtime fun! Take a look at how the park has recovered and see why it is still one of the state's best vacation destinations. Check out the park at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/possum-kingdom.
Since 1993, Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists have created artificial reefs with retired oil rigs, pre-made reef structures and old ships making habitat for marine life for all to enjoy. To help better inform Texans, a new website with an interactive map, video and animation is now available, giving a rare look at this undersea world. Texas Parks and Wildlife shows us the men and women who create artificial reefs for a living. For more information on the Artificial Reef program, go to www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/water/habitats/artificial_reef/
Whether you're a hiker, a hunter or a sunset watcher, chances are you've spent some time with us. Here's why Life is Better Outside. Join us in exploring the great outdoors at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/
The largest bird watching tournament in the world is coming back this Spring and it's even bigger! For 16 years, the Great Texas Birding Classic was just a coastal competition but this year, it's gone statewide. Texas Parks and Wildlife takes us back to 1997 when a group of teenagers won their competition category the first year by looking at birds rather than picking up chicks. The Thrashers, now in their mid-30s, are still friends and avid birders. The 17th annual Great Texas Birding Classic kicks off April 15 with chances of competing in numerous categories throughout the month. Grant money raised through team registration and event sponsorship is donated back to the bird habitat conservation and nature tourism projects in Texas. Winning teams help select which projects are funded. Team registration deadline is April 1st. For more information go to www.BirdingClassic.org
The new year brings a lot of new year's resolutions and usually at the top of the list is to get more exercise. Well one man puts us all to shame with commitment to stay fit through mountain biking. At nearly 80 years old, Fred Schmid is not only exercising, he's competing and winning! Texas Parks and Wildlife has this report on February's outdoor activity of the month, biking in state parks. Fred Schmid has taken up a new type of bike racing—cyclecross- biking in snow and winning the national championship in January. For more information on biking in Texas, visit www.texasstateparks.org/biking The next big park biking event is Bike Fest in Big Bend State Park February 14-16.
The new year is bringing new life to Bastrop State Park as volunteers gather to plant the first of 220-thousand Loblolly pine saplings this winter. The new trees will replace some of those lost from the devastating Labor Day wildfires of 2011. Texas Parks and Wildlife has this report. The goal is to plant 2-million trees over the next five years. To volunteer for a future tree planting day or to make a donation to plant a tree, go to www.arborday.org/texas
DEC 2012 - A tropical Fork-Tailed Flycatcher has made a rare appearance in Texas near McKinney Falls State Park in Austin. For more information about this bird, see http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/releases/?req=20121220b.
Texas is one of the few places in the United States where you can see the endangered whooping crane. These 5-foot tall birds fly all the way from Canada to winter on our coast. But now some whoopers are choosing to stay in other parts of Texas. We need your help in tracking this rare bird. For more information, see http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/whoopingcranes
Spending the holidays away from home is always hard but it's especially difficult for U.S. Troops. In this next report, we get a sense of how an earlier generation of American fighters kept their holiday spirits up while far away from home and family. Texas Parks and Wildlife has this report from the Battleship Texas State Historic Site. A Sailor's Christmas continues throughout the month of December. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Live music and children's activities will take place December 8 on board the Battleship Texas where kids can send a Morse code message to the North Pole, have their picture taken with Santa and enjoy hot beverages and treats. For details on this and other celebrations at a park near you, check out the Parks & Wildlife website at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/calendar
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