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Big Time Texas Hunts Winners Announced
AUSTIN, Texas — Seventeen lucky sportsmen are making special plans for hunting season as winners of this year’s Big Time Texas Hunts. The hunters were selected by random computer drawing from applicants in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department program.
All told, hunters bought 79,327 Big Time Texas Hunt entries during this year’s sales period through the Oct. 15 deadline. This generated $776,229 in gross revenue to support wildlife research, habitat management and public hunting.
Stephen Bauer has been entering the Big Time Texas Hunts for years as a way to support TPWD youth hunting and public hunting efforts. Bauer, who owns and operates two feed stores in the Kerrville area, said he puts in for every hunt category and that support paid dividends as he was drawn as this year’s Big Time Bird Hunt package winner.
"I’m very excited about it," said Bauer. "This will give me an opportunity to hunt some bird species I haven’t hunted before."
Bauer, along with as many as three of his hunting buddies, will enjoy a unique package of upland game bird hunts: two days of quail, two days of pheasant hunting in the Panhandle and two afternoons of dove hunting. There will also be a two-day guided spring turkey hunt for two included in the package.
The winner of this year’s Big Time Texas Hunts crown jewel, the Texas Grand Slam hunt package — which includes four separate guided hunts for Texas’ most prized big game animals; desert bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, pronghorn antelope and mule deer — will be facing a significant logistical challenge. The winner, Matt Portch, lives in Hopewell Junction, New York.
"Luckily I have a lot of frequent flyer miles," said Portch, who works for a pharmaceutical company in Manhattan. "I lived in Texas for 10 years and have been entering the Big Time Texas Hunts since the first year of the program. I always applied with the hope, but never the intention of winning, so it was a marvelous surprise."
Portch admits trying to coordinate four major hunting trips to Texas on the calendar is going to be a big challenge. "But, I will make it happen, it’s too important," he said. "I have not done any hunting in New York, but have been looking for reasons to come back to Texas. Now I have four reasons!"
Following are the winners of this year’s Big Time Texas Hunts.
- Grand Slam — Matt Portch, Hopewell Junction, NY
- Premium Buck Hunt — Leon Pavlock, Guy, TX
- Exotic Safari — James Cavness, Sanger, TX; Joshua Bellman, North Richland Hills, TX
- Whitetail Bonanza — John Knotts, Streetman, TX; Kevin Harris, El Campo, TX; Dixon Presnall, Aledo, TX; Patrick Mitchell, Pine Bluff, AR; Clarence Davis, Groveton, TX; Matthew Zaiontz, San Antonio; Roddy Wade, Dallas; Neil Reichenback, Carrollton, TX; Thomas Patrick, Houston; Kenny Ferguson, Ackerly, TX.
- Big Time Bird Hunt — Stephen Bauer, Harper, TX
- Waterfowl Adventure — John Noland, Houston
- Gator Hunt — Mark Garrison, Houston
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