Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Outreach and Education Committee

Nov. 2, 2011

Commission Hearing Room
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744

BE IT REMEMBERED, that heretofore on the 2nd day of November 2011, there came to be heard matters under the regulatory authority of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission in the Commission Hearing Room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex, to wit:





      21                 COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN:  Thank you,

      22  Chairman Falcon.  We'll now move on to Outreach and

      23  Education Committee.  Chairman Martin, would you please

      24  call your committee to order.

      25                 COMMISSIONER MARTIN:  Thank you.  First

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       1  in order is I'd like to -- an approval on the minutes

       2  from the previous committee meeting held on March 30th,

       3  2011, which have already been distributed.  Do I have a

       4  motion for approval?

       5                 COMMISSIONER HIXON:  So moved.

       6                 COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Second.

       7                 COMMISSIONER MARTIN:  So moved by

       8  Commissioner Hixon, seconded by Scott.  All in favor,

       9  say yeah.

      10                 (A chorus of ayes)

      11                 COMMISSIONER DUGGINS:  I never can get

      12  that right.  I'm part pirate or something.

      13                 COMMISSIONER FALCON:  Yeahs.

      14                 COMMISSIONER MARTIN:  And those nay?

      15  Well, after that how can anyone say nay?

      16                 Committee Item No. 1, update on the TPWD

      17  progress implementing the TPWD Land and Water Resources,

      18  Conservation, and Recreation Plan.  Mr. Smith.

      19                 MR. SMITH:  Yeah.

      20                 COMMISSIONER MARTIN:  Do you want to make

      21  your presentation?

      22                 MR. SMITH:  Thank you, Madam Chair.  Just

      23  a couple of things that I want to share with all of you.

      24  You know, last weekend was the 5th Annual Toyota Texas

      25  Bass Classic there on the shores of Lake Conroe.  A

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       1  wonderful partnership that we have thanks to the

       2  generosity of Toyota.

       3                 You know, over the course of those five

       4  years, Toyota has donated over a million dollars to help

       5  support programs to get people out and fish, your

       6  neighborhood fishing program, and free fishing in State

       7  Parks and it's become a great weekend event.  I gather

       8  their turnout last week was particularly good, given the

       9  weather and certainly the culmination with the big

      10  sudden-death fish off was at least as exciting, if not

      11  more so, than the World Series.  So it ended with a

      12  great bang and another successful event and a very

      13  generous $250,000 donation from Toyota to Texas Parks

      14  and Wildlife and going to support the "Take me Fishing"

      15  trailer and the State fish art contest and lots of

      16  programs to get kids in the out of doors and so God

      17  bless Toyota.

      18                 So, yeah.  Thank you, Chairman, for you

      19  and your team.  It's been great to work with on that

      20  front, so I wanted to share the good news there.

      21  Anything you want to say on that or...

      22                 COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN:  No.  Thank you,

      23  it's nice to hear.  Appreciate it.

      24                 MR. SMITH:  Good stuff.  A couple of

      25  weeks ago, too, we took another step forward with the

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       1  management of the State bison herd there at Caprock

       2  Canyon State Park.  I think as we had informed y'all,

       3  the management of the State herd had been transferred

       4  from the Wildlife Division over to the State Park

       5  Division.  And one of the things that our team and State

       6  Parks and Wildlife worked on was moving the bison from

       7  outside of kind of the 300-acre pen that they had been

       8  in, into a larger area in the State Park.

       9                 The ultimate goal is to try to get the

      10  State bison herd, you know, grazing throughout the

      11  entirety of the 15,000 acres on the park.  We would like

      12  to -- you know, in a perfect world, we would love to

      13  emulate the historic grazing regime of the bison and

      14  have them kind of moving freely throughout the park

      15  where visitors could enjoy them and see them as they're

      16  coming to the park and this was another kind of first

      17  step in that direction.  There was a real celebratory

      18  event up at Caprock Canyon State Park that was very,

      19  very well attended and lots of renewed enthusiasm in

      20  support for the State bison herd, which has a lot of

      21  history and heritage.  So I wanted to share that with

      22  you.

      23                 So again I think, Madam Chair, in the

      24  interest of time I'm going to just stop there and let us

      25  keep going.

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       1                 COMMISSIONER MARTIN:  Great.  Thank you,

       2  Mr. Smith.  And I would like to make a comment.  Thank

       3  you, Chairman Friedkin, for a spectacular event.  I

       4  wasn't there this year, but it's always happy and great

       5  and there in spirit; but it's nice to have these events

       6  that are all positive and happy and good.

       7                 COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN:  Well, thank you.

       8  It's nice to hear, but it really is a terrific

       9  collaborative effort between the Department and

      10  obviously all the folks at Toyota and everyone else

      11  who's involved with the tournament.  So we appreciate

      12  all the efforts of everyone.  Several of you here,

      13  obviously, Lydia, all your help with everything and your

      14  team's help and it's been a great relationship; so

      15  thanks.

      16                 COMMISSIONER MARTIN:  Thank you.

      17                 MR. SMITH:  And Dave Terry on the Inland

      18  Fisheries side worked very, very hard on this.

      19                 COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN:  Yeah, absolutely.

      20  That's right.

      21                 MR. SMITH:  He's in the back, so I'm not

      22  going to let him sit back there quietly.

      23                 COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN:  He's hiding

      24  behind Ann there, but I got a couple of his e-mails this

      25  weekend.  So, Dave, thank you.  Absolutely.

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       1                 COMMISSIONER MARTIN:  Great.  We'll move

       2  on to Committee Item No. 2, the Youth Sporting Clays,

       3  Ms. Nancy Herron and Mr. Charlie Wilson.

       4                 MS. HERRON:  Good afternoon,

       5  Commissioners and Mr. Smith.  I'm Nancy Herron.  I'm the

       6  Outreach and Education Director and I'm very pleased to

       7  introduce Charlie Wilson, our mobile shooting range

       8  coordinator who will brief you about our introductory

       9  shooting sports programs.

      10                 You know, when we talk about hunter

      11  recruitment and shooting recruitment and retention, the

      12  first thing we need to talk about is how do we get them

      13  started and that's where Charlie comes in.  These are

      14  programs that are safe and fun and successful, that

      15  ignite an interest in the shooting sports, and they are

      16  some of our most successful outreach programs.  And with

      17  that, I would like to introduce our pied piper for the

      18  shooting sports, Charlie Wilson.

      19                 MR. WILSON:  Thank you.  Good afternoon,

      20  Commissioners.  My name is Charlie Wilson, and I will be

      21  briefing you this afternoon on the mobile shooting

      22  sports program that we have in the state of Texas.

      23  Commissioner Martin, I would like to thank you for

      24  coming to several of our events in the past few years.

      25  We certainly did enjoy having you there.

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       1                 COMMISSIONER MARTIN:  It was certainly my

       2  pleasure and honor to be there, thank you.

       3                 MR. WILSON:  Thank you.  On the monitors

       4  you'll see the 40-foot trailer that was purchased in

       5  1996 from the National Sporting Clays Association.  The

       6  program actually began with a partnership between the

       7  National Sporting Clays Association and Texas Parks and

       8  Wildlife.  At the end of that partnership, Texas Parks

       9  and Wildlife purchased this trailer and it's been on the

      10  road ever since for Texas Parks and Wildlife solely.

      11                 Inside the trailer there are seven

      12  automatic clay traps and all the accouterments that it

      13  needs to go to an event and put it on.  We've got some

      14  great partners in this trailer as you can see -- Beretta

      15  Firearms, McBride's, Polaris is a great sponsor, and the

      16  traps came from Laporte.  So this trailer, I traveled

      17  about 40,000 miles a year across the state.  This last

      18  year, I did 48 different events across the state of

      19  Texas.

      20                 We also do a lot of special events.  The

      21  Keep Texas Beautiful event that takes place out at Texas

      22  Disposal Service every year.  The Legislative

      23  Sportsmen's Caucus, Operation Game Thief events, and

      24  several selected community events.  One that I've become

      25  all familiar with and work with has been one down in

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       1  Kingsville every year.  It benefits the Caesar Kleberg

       2  Institute.  Takes place every year in January.  And also

       3  for Life Flight -- Halo Flight, excuse me, in

       4  Kingsville.

       5                 Other special events we do, we call them

       6  youth shooting days that we do on our wildlife

       7  management areas, such as the Chaparral, the Neasloney

       8  Wildlife Area, which is just outside of Austin here

       9  around Luling, the Matador and out at the State Park at

      10  Nails Creek.  This is an opportunity for these kids to

      11  come out of their schools.  Most of the time, they come

      12  out of the agricultural classes and they get to

      13  experience shooting a shotgun, shooting a bow and arrow,

      14  archery, long rifles, .22s, and they get to hone their

      15  skills on live trails, exercises that we do.

      16                 And we give them a program about what the

      17  areas are and the work that goes on and reassure them

      18  that these are not our areas, but it belongs to them.

      19  That they can come out at any time, enjoy viewing the

      20  wildlife, and to take part in any of the activities that

      21  are going on such as our youth hunts that go on or get

      22  on the draw hunts and come with their parents.

      23                 Here it is.  This next slide -- I think I

      24  went too far.  Let me back up.  This slide right here is

      25  an event that we do.  It's called Becoming an Outdoor's

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       1  Woman Program.  This is an opportunity for ladies to

       2  move out of their comfort zones and come experience new

       3  and exciting things, such as shotgunning, archery,

       4  rifle, and physical backpacking, camping, canoeing.  If

       5  it's to be done outdoors and in the State Parks and so

       6  forth, we try to teach them and give them a good base

       7  foundation so that they can go out and enjoy it with

       8  their families.

       9                 We see a lot of people come through here

      10  that are single mothers that are wanting to experience

      11  different things with their children, and so this gives

      12  them the opportunity to know a little bit more than

      13  their children do about it.  One of the most successful

      14  programs that we have is a partnership with the Texas

      15  4-H Shooting Sports Program.  Kids join the 4-H Shooting

      16  Sports Program every year and they get to come out learn

      17  their safety, learn how to handle a firearm, and hone

      18  their skills.

      19                 It's just not about shooting.  This is a

      20  lifelong opportunity and a lifelong experience that we

      21  give them and a skill.  We see nearly 7,000 a year that

      22  come into the program every year.  Just new kids that

      23  are joining to try their hand at this.  When I first

      24  started, I did three events.  We got started a little

      25  late in the shooting sport's year, and I did three

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       1  events; but I recognized the depth of talent and the

       2  wealth of talent that we had and I wanted to do

       3  something that was -- so we could showcase these kids.

       4                 So I got with Terry Erwin and Steve Hall

       5  and Scotty Oliver and we developed a program that we

       6  called Whiz-Bang.  These kids compete from February all

       7  the way through the end of the 4-H shooting year in

       8  July.  And at the end of that, we invite the 15 top kids

       9  to the championship shoot off.  This past weekend, we

      10  held that in San Antonio in conjunction with the

      11  National Sporting Clays Championship where through

      12  partnership with Texas Hunter Education Instructors

      13  Association, we gave away a little over $36,000 worth of

      14  prizes to 15 deserving kids across the state.  We gave

      15  away six firearms, we gave away three lifetime hunting

      16  licenses, three lifetime memberships to the National

      17  Sporting Clays Association, 60 cases of ammo, things

      18  that these kids can use all throughout the year to

      19  further their endeavors.

      20                 The other program that we have that's

      21  growing by leaps and bounds is the Wildlife Fisheries

      22  and Ecology Management Course that is in conjunction

      23  with the FFA in the state of Texas.  We call it Ag

      24  Clays.  Since 1988, the hunter education curriculum has

      25  been in the FFA program.  It was called Ag Clays 381 at

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       1  that time, but they've changed the name now.

       2                 And you saw the kids earlier on these

       3  youth shooting days.  Well, I got to listening to these

       4  kids and they wanted to go Laredo wants to challenge

       5  Carrizo Springs, Carrizo Springs wants to challenge

       6  Crystal City.  So I was listening to them and I said,

       7  huh, let me see what can I come up with.  So that's how

       8  the program started.

       9                 These kids raise their own money.  They

      10  have barbecue cookoffs.  They sell picnic tables.  They

      11  weld together barbecue pits.  Whatever they can do to

      12  help them shoot and buy their ammunition and pay their

      13  State fees.  The banners that you see, remain with the

      14  school.  They are provided by the Texas Chapter of the

      15  National Wild Turkey Federation and the Texas State

      16  Rifle Association.  The medals, I felt like that we

      17  needed to -- those kids needed to have something that

      18  they can take home with them, so that's why we give the

      19  medals.  We give three banners and three medals --

      20  bronze, silver, and gold.  That's how that program

      21  started.

      22                 We started with 60 kids four years ago,

      23  and six schools from across the state.  This last year,

      24  the program had 474 shooters and 41 schools.  The video

      25  you're about to see was shot and released as a VNR and

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       1  it also has appeared on our YouTube channel here in the

       2  Department.

       3                 (Video is played)

       4                 MR. WILSON:  You know, I've probably seen

       5  this video several thousand times since it's been shot;

       6  but it just dawned on me that I can name all those kids

       7  and all of the parents that are in that program right

       8  there.  One of the boys that you saw in this video, you

       9  wouldn't recognize it.  He's my hero.  This young man

      10  has cerebral palsy.  He broke 51 out of 100 that year,

      11  and he was a tough individual; but he was game.  So we

      12  do not exclude anyone in any of our programs.  That was

      13  one of the things that I made specifically clear to all

      14  the ag teachers.  If these kids are qualified, I want

      15  them to come.  I don't want them left at home.

      16                 One of the boys you saw in there was a

      17  young man from up in -- he comes from west of Lubbock.

      18  First one to volunteer to help pull the curtains on the

      19  one act plays, to paint scenary, to set up tables and

      20  chairs; but he didn't excel real well in academics or

      21  nor was he very athletic.  That young man medaled that

      22  year and his coach saw him later that night walking down

      23  the hall with his medal still on and he says, "Coach

      24  Rutledge, this is the first medal that I have ever won."

      25  And so that changed that young man's life right there.

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       1                 One of the other stories that I tell and

       2  I ask to tell this story at the end because sometimes I

       3  don't make it all the way through.  At one of our youth

       4  shooting days, I meet the buses as they come in because

       5  I want to see the frame size of the kids that are

       6  coming; so if I have to pull out some shorter stocked

       7  firearms, I can.  I carry mostly standard equipment, but

       8  I do have some smaller stuff.

       9                 A young lady got off the bus and she had

      10  a white cane and I thought, okay, this is good.  But I

      11  watched that young lady and she was very attentive to

      12  all the programs that Chip Ruthven was giving that day

      13  and we broke and went to our respective shooting areas

      14  and I would watch her and see her from time to time, but

      15  she sat and she listened and she watched while all the

      16  other kids were taking part in the activities.

      17                 So when she got down to my shotgun

      18  station, I asked her assistant, I says "Do you think

      19  that Amanda would like to shoot?"

      20                  And she said, "Well, let me ask."

      21                 So I did or she did and I went over and I

      22  said, "Amanda, my name is Charlie Wilson and if you

      23  would like to shoot, I would be very proud to help you."

      24                 She says "Oh, I would love to, Charlie.

      25                 I said, "Okay."  I said, "As soon as

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       1  everyone else is through, I will come back and get you

       2  and we'll go do our thing."

       3                 She says "All right."

       4                 So after the other kids had shot, I went

       5  back over to her and took her a pair of safety glasses

       6  and I said, "I want to put these safety glasses on you."

       7                 And she goes "Well, you know, I am

       8  blind."

       9                 And I said, "Well, yes, I do; but you

      10  have very pretty eyes and we don't want anything to

      11  happen to them."  So we put them on.  We walked out to

      12  where we could get a good comfortable stance and she

      13  broke four out of five that day.

      14                 Two years later I ran into her and her

      15  mother in Crystal City in the grocery store.  I was

      16  shopping and I recognized her, of course, and I walked

      17  over and I said "Amanda," and the minute she heard my

      18  voice, she turned around and she said, "I remember you

      19  from the youth -- from the Chap. days."

      20                 And I said, "Yes, ma'am," and so we

      21  visited a little bit.  So those are little things that I

      22  like to share with people.

      23                 Successes, you might remember this young

      24  lady.  She was the last one I think you saw in the

      25  video.  Her name is Drucilla Meier.  The first time I

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       1  ever saw Drucilla, she was too short to reach over the

       2  safety bar in the shooting stages that we had, the

       3  shooting cages; and she turned around and she said,

       4  "Daddy, I can't do this."

       5                 And I said, "Wait a minute.  We'll fix

       6  it."  We got a target pallet, slid it into that cage so

       7  that we could just get her up about six inches so that

       8  she could get over that cage and shoot.  And as you can

       9  see right now, she doesn't need that cage -- she doesn't

      10  need that pallet anymore to see over the cages.

      11                 The gentleman on your top left is a

      12  gentleman by the name of Clay Hart.  This picture was

      13  taken in Cairo, Egypt, where he was shooting in a World

      14  Cup.  I started Clay on the road when he was 10 years

      15  old.  He went all the way through the 4-H program.  He

      16  was six times U.S. Olympic Junior Shooting International

      17  Skeet Champion.  This is him accepting his medal from

      18  Coach Lloyd Woodhouse, his sixth time that he won that

      19  medal.  Clay continued on and joined the United States

      20  Army and become a part of their marksmanship team and he

      21  shot for the United States Army shotguns.  He walked

      22  right into a position after he got out of boot camp and

      23  basics.  Those are just a few of our successes that

      24  we've had.

      25                 What's new?  A new partnership has been

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       1  formed with the Texas High School Rodeo Association.

       2  Just this past year, we held our first championship

       3  shoot that they had.  It was in Clyde, Texas.  I was

       4  contacted by their marketing director and asked if I

       5  could help her put something together and she said, "How

       6  long will it take?"

       7                 And I said, "Oh, about 15 minutes."

       8                 And she said, "Are you sure?"

       9                 And I said, "Yes, ma'am.  I'm pretty

      10  sure."  So I said, "Call me back."

      11                 So I called Drucilla's dad in Clyde,

      12  Texas, and I said, "I need to have the range on June the

      13  11th.  Here's what I'm doing, and I need the range."

      14                 He said, "Well, whatever we got, you have

      15  it."  It's one of the ranges through our range grant

      16  program that we've helped get started.  I called her

      17  back and said it's a done deal June the 11th.  She goes,

      18  "Okay, you handle it."

      19                 And I said "Yes, ma'am.  I will."  And

      20  what this does is it opens up a whole new audience for

      21  us.  Anyone can join this organization and be eligible

      22  to shoot and win a spot on the state high school rodeo

      23  team that advances to the National High School Rodeo

      24  finals ever year.  This next year they'll be in

      25  Colorado.  So that's just several of our successes.

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       1                 I would like to thank you for your time

       2  today and if you have any questions, I would be willing

       3  to answer any that you have.

       4                 COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN:  That's wonderful.

       5  Thank you.  It's terrific.  It really is.

       6                 COMMISSIONER MARTIN:  Mr. Wilson, thank

       7  you.  Thank you for your enthusiasm and support with

       8  these kids and the program.  And I have attended your

       9  events and they are fun and the way you I think really

      10  encourage all the students and the kids there is

      11  spectacular and I'm sure you've changed many lives in

      12  that program.  So thank you.  Thank you for your

      13  commitment, to the Department, too, for this program.

      14                 Nancy, as always, you're amazing.  Thank

      15  you for all that you do.

      16                 MR. WILSON:  Thank you for your time.

      17                 COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN:  Thank you.

      18                 COMMISSIONER MARTIN:  Chairman Friedkin,

      19  at this time this Committee is done.

      20                 COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN:  Thank you very

      21  much.  Mr. Smith, this Commission has completed its

      22  business and I declare us adjourned.

      23                 MR. SMITH:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

      24  Thank you, Commissioners.

      25                 (Meeting adjourns)

       1                    C E R T I F I C A T E

       2  STATE OF TEXAS   )

       3  COUNTY OF TRAVIS )

       4            I, Paige S. Watts, Certified Shorthand

       5  Reporter in and for the State of Texas, do hereby

       6  certify that the above-mentioned matter occurred as

       7  hereinbefore set out.

       8            I FURTHER CERTIFY THAT the proceedings of such

       9  were reported by me or under my supervision, later

      10  reduced to typewritten form under my supervision and

      11  control and that the foregoing pages are a full, true,

      12  and correct transcription of the original notes.

      13            IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my

      14  hand and seal this Turn in date _____ day of

      15  ________________, 2011.




      19                             __________________________

      20                             Paige S. Watts, CSR, RPR
                                     CSR No.: 8311
      21                             Expiration: December 31, 2012
                                     Firm Registration Number: 87
      22                             1016 La Posada Drive
                                     Suite 294
      23                             Austin, Texas 78752
                                     Job No. 95402


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