By John Jefferson
Lights, Camera, Action!
A new television series on Animal Planet, Lone Star Law, premiered in June 2016. The fast-paced series, filmed on location, features Texas game wardens as they patrol throughout the state to protect the state’s fish and wildlife resources and keep public waterways safe for innumerable outdoor activities, often encountering the unexpected along the way. For a short preview, go to the Lone Star Law Facebook page.
2015 Safest On Record
A little learning can be a lifesaver. Only 20 incidents were reported during the 2015 hunting season—the lowest number of accidents per 100,000 licenses sold since the 1960s. TPWD hunter education coordinator Steve Hall attributes this encouraging report to hunter education, which teaches hunters about the safe handling of firearms. There is still room for improvement, however. The most common types of accidents included bird hunters swinging on game outside a safe zone of fire and careless handling around vehicles. Hall reminds hunters to always point their muzzles in a safe direction. This one rule alone will prevent countless tragedies. See the Hunter Education web pages for more information.
Better River Fishing Access
Have trouble finding a place to fish? It just got easier. TPWD has worked with landowners to arrange riverbank access with landowners for public fishing and launching canoes and kayaks along the Brazos, Colorado, Guadalupe, Llano, Nueces, Neches, Sabine, San Marcos, and South Llano rivers. Amenities such as restrooms and running water may or may not be available, and there may not be any on-site staff, but, hey, this is about getting on the water to fish! If it’s pristine, all the better. “These leases are intended to offer a serene wilderness experience and a high-quality fishing opportunity on Texas’s scenic, wild, and storied rivers,” said Timothy Birdsong, of TPWD’s Inland Fisheries Division. Some sites require advance reservations. For more details, see TPWD's river fishing information.
Crime Doesn't Pay, It Costs!
Over the past year, Operation Game Thief (OGT) has received 2,205 tip calls about illegal poaching of game and fish. Some of those tips led to convictions and fines totaling $7,500, and cost the perpetrators an additional $6,900 in civil restitution to replace the value of fish and game they confiscated. Poaching is not wise. Rewards to callers for information amounted to $13,500. No state funds were expended; OGT is financed through donations and fund-raising events. To report game or fish violations, call 800-792-GAME (4263).