Texas Big Game Awards Has New Deadline for 2004-05 Season

Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov

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SAN ANTONIO — For more than 13 years, the Texas Big Game Awards (TBGA), a partnership of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Wildlife Association, has been the leader in recognizing the contributions that landowners, land managers and responsible hunters make to managing and conserving wildlife and wildlife habitat on Texas’ private lands.

The purpose of the Texas Big Game Awards is to emphasize the important role ethical hunting and habitat management play in a healthy ecosystem. According to this program, awards are given to all “Scored Entries— that meet minimum regional requirements and there are no entry fees.

Hunters who harvest a white-tailed deer, mule deer, or pronghorn antelope this season meeting the minimum Boone and Crockett (B&C) requirements for their respective Region may be eligible to receive recognition in the Scored Entry category as well as the landowner of the property where the trophy was taken. Hunters of any age who harvest their first big game animal in Texas are eligible for the First Big Game Harvest category. And, any youth hunter (younger than age 17 when they purchase their hunting license) with a Special Resident Hunting License who harvests a white-tailed deer, mule deer, or pronghorn antelope is eligible for the Youth Division whether they harvest a buck or doe, regardless of score.

Some new changes, great additions, and regular features will kick off this October for the new hunting season. The major change will be the new deadline date of March 15. But we highly encourage hunters to mail their entries in early, as the TBGA will continue the “Early Entry Special— whereby those entries entered early during the months of October through January will be eligible for drawings to receive great prizes including a Grand Prize of a Lifetime Hunting License.

Also, the top five entries in each TBGA category in each region must have been scored by an official B&C scorer before results become “official.— Once the final “un-official— standings are determined, the top five entries, unless scored initially by a B&C scorer, will be re-scored by an official B&C scorer. That score will stand as the “official— score for that entry.

The TBGA Web site for this season will include the $20,000 College Scholarship Program sponsored by Carter’s Country Outdoor Stores. Scholarship applications will be available in November and due by March 1. All program information, program history, entry rules and minimum scores are also featured on the Web site. Also this fall, keep up with news on the TBGA program and current hunting issues with the TBGA News Link.

You can also find a local scorer in your area for official entry forms, or download the First Harvest/Youth Division forms on-line, as no scorer signature is required for those entries. The TBGA website will also feature photos of entries that are entered this season. Last season more than 700 photos were mailed in. You can check out links to great TBGA Sponsors, and see last season’s rankings by region too.

The Texas Big Game Awards is proudly sponsored by Statewide Sponsors Hixon Land and Cattle Company, Carter’s Country Outdoor Stores, and Anheuser-Busch.

Texas Regional Sponsors include: Remington Arms, Leupold and Stevens, Gerber Legendary Blades, Horton Crossbows, C. Young and Company, DoskoSport, Tecomate Wildlife Systems, Smith’s Abrasives, Hunter’s Specialties, Moultrie Feeders, ThermaCell, Wildgame Innovations, Michaels of Oregon, Solar Edge, All Seasons Feeders, Universal Scoring Products, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Eastman Chemical Company, The Hunting Directory, and Sportsman’s Choice Premium Game Feeds.

For more information on the Texas Big Game Awards, entry information, or for a local certified TBGA scorer, please visit the Web site (http://www.TexasBigGameAwards.com/ or http://www.tbga.org/) or call (800) 839-9453, ext. 114 for more information. The final deadline to enter the Texas Big Game Awards for the 2004-05 season is March 15.