Where the Money Goes
Proceeds from Big Time Texas Hunts support public hunting opportunities and wildlife habitat conservation in Texas. If you've entered Big Time Texas Hunts, thank you for helping make Texas one of the best places to hunt in the country. Below are just a few of the projects supported by your entry.
Wildlife Conservation and Management
- Bighorn Surveys – Big Time Texas Hunts entries have helped fund annual desert bighorn sheep helicopter surveys in West Texas. Monitoring allows wildlife biologists to collect population data, including sex and age ratios and herd health, and identify animals available for relocations or harvest. Within the last five years, desert bighorn sheep have been restored to three distinct mountain ranges, where there had been no sheep since their extinction 50 years ago.
- Food Plots – Food plots are being planted to provide additional resources for white-tailed deer, turkey and other wildlife species at Gus Engeling WMA. At Guadalupe Delta WMA, Big Time Texas Hunts entries also funded a new seed spreader that help expand food plots for dove and other game species.
- Hog Traps – Feral hogs have been a constant nuisance for both landowners and conservationists. This prolific species destroys $52 million annually in agriculture products and natural resources habitat, damages trees and competes with wildlife species for food. Thanks to Big Time Texas Hunt entries, traps are now in place to help remove hogs at select East Texas WMAs.
- Giant Cane Control – Wildlife biologists at Black Gap WMA are working to remove and control Giant Cane, an invasive species plaguing Texas rivers. This highly invasive grass can grow to over 20 feet high, blocking access for hunters, and consumes large quantities of water, forcing native species out. Giant cane is also a fire hazard and its shallow roots lead to bank erosion. Removal will improve hunter access and the quality of wildlife and vegetation in the WMA.
- Brush Control – Control efforts are underway at Yoakum Dunes WMA
for shin oak, Matador WMA for prickly pear and
Elephant Mountain WMA for juniper. As these species are removed, bunchgrasses and other
native plants can thrive. These native grasses and plants provide quality foraging and fawning habitat for mule deer and pronghorn. Lesser prairie chicken, northern
bobwhite and scaled quail also benefit with additional cover to nest and raise their young.
Healthy populations of big game and bird populations will hopefully lead to even more hunting opportunities for future visitors.
- Native Grass Reseeding – Tawakoni WMA is clearing trees and replanting 20 acres of native grasses to support native game species.
- Mulching – Gus Engeling WMA is mulching vegetation to decrease the dense woody understory and increase native grass openings.
Public Hunting Opportunities
- Hunt Camp Expansions – Sierra Diablo WMA is building new camp shelters for public hunters and Pat Mayse WMA is expanding their check station and camping areas with improved road access. This coming year, at James E. Daughtrey WMA, hunters can enjoy new fire rings and picnic tables after their day in the field.
- New Hunting Blinds – New and upcoming blinds at Guadalupe Delta,
Gus Engeling, Kerr,
Mason Mountain and
James E. Daughtrey WMAs.
- Chaparral WMA now offers ADA accessible blinds with ramps.
- Check Stations – Thanks to Big Time Texas Hunts entries, hunters can now access new and improved equipment at check stations at the following WMAs: Richland Creek, Gus Engeling, Big Lake Bottom, Keechi Creek, Chaparral and J.D. Murphee.
- Online Draw System Enhancements – Thanks to system enhancements, hunters can now purchase a stand-by hunting permit by credit card at any WMA with internet access. Also new this year, groups of hunters can apply and be drawn for APH postcard hunts through the online draw system.