|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2004-09-07                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than 12 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [TH]
Sept. 7, 2004
Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo Offers Free Family Fun Oct. 2-3
AUSTIN, Texas -- America's largest free, family-oriented festival of the outdoors takes place here the weekend of Oct. 2-3. The 13th annual Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo will allow tens of thousands of visitors to try fishing, shooting, kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing and more, all at no cost.
The Expo began in 1992 as a tribute to the role of hunters in wildlife conservation, and it still promotes that tradition as a central focus. Today, it includes fishing, state parks, Texas history and almost everything else in the world of natural and cultural resource conservation and recreation. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department produces the event, which remains free to the public through sponsor support.
This year, organizers are putting out a special statewide welcome.
"It's your outdoors, and this is your outdoors festival,-- said Ernie Gammage, TPWD Urban Outdoors Program leader. "We put this event on as a free public service. From Brownsville to Beaumont, from Amarillo to Aransas Pass, whether you're in the next county over or halfway across the state, come on down. If you don't know anything about paddling or shooting or fishing or climbing, not a problem--this is your free chance to try it all.--
Photography is a major new activity this year at Expo. From the basics to high-end, visitors will have a chance to improve their photography and try out new gear. They can learn from the masters in daily seminars with renowned wildlife and landscape photographer Wyman Meinzer, who was named State Photographer by the Texas Legislature, and Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine staff photographer Earl Nottingham. Photography activities will be located near a beautiful wetlands area, where visitors can take and print digital photos using a variety of equipment. Lenses, video equipment, printers and binoculars will also be on hand to try, provided by Canon, sponsor of the activity.
Another new activity at Expo is bowfishing, one of the fastest growing sports in the country, in which anglers combine a bow and arrow with a fishing reel. At Expo, kids and adults can try their hands at shooting submerged three-dimensional fish targets from the bow of an airboat.
The popular "Design with Nature-- area continues to expand this year, with exhibits and demonstrations about sustainable design and alternative energy, including things people can do at home and work.
Just in time for hunting season, the Expo has hunter safety information and opportunities for visitors to try out their crossbow, archery and firearm skills. There are programs for people of any skill level. All participants must first attend the short Shooting Safety Orientation at the Expo, which imparts safe and ethical practices.
Those who prefer the water in the Texas heat may check out the fishing and aquatic events. Diverse fish and marine organisms will be on site for viewing. Fishing education programs can teach the hook and line-challenged how to catch that trophy fish. There's also a water safety program and an 8,100 square-foot tank aptly named "The Wet Zone-- where Expo visitors can try kayaking.
After cooling off, there are booths to visit and learn about State Parks, archaeology, camping and outdoor skills. There will also be chances to win fishing starter kids from Academy Sports & Outdoors, sponsor of the Family Fishing Celebration promotion. Visitors can try rock climbing, mountain biking and more. Living history comes alive as participants in period costume come from state parks across Texas to showcase life on the frontier.
Wildlife activities include scheduled shows where visitors can see live birds of prey and sporting dog demonstrations. "Settlers Prairie,-- a reproduction of the 19th century Blackland Prairie, will give visitors a chance to experience the state's wildlife history and native species.
Expo guests should also see the Law Enforcement exhibits to meet game wardens, look at confiscated illegal hunting and fishing equipment, and learn a little more about the law of the land. The ever popular "Whodunnit-- activity allows visitors to play the roles of game wardens, trying to spot the violations committed when wardens pose as lawbreakers in a mock hunting camp.
All events are free, as are water and air-conditioned shuttle service and parking. Although food may be brought in, coolers are discouraged because of the long walk to the fair grounds. There will be special shuttle service within the fair grounds for people with disabilities. And sorry, no pets allowed. Fido might scare the wild animals or be scared by the noise. Visitors need only bring cameras and sunscreen -- a little cash can be handy to buy food or outdoor gear and apparel.
Major Expo sponsors this year include Anheuser-Busch, Toyota, Dow Chemical Company, La Invasora radio, Canon, HOLT CAT and Clear Channel radio in Austin. Other sponsors include Academy Sports and Outdoors, Mossy Oak Apparel Company, Winchester Ammunition, ChevronTexaco, Careco Multimedia, Inc., Sportsman's Warehouse, Weyerhaeuser, Weatherby Foundation International, Boone & Crockett Club, Gary Grant Sales, Inc., Omni Austin Hotel-Southpark, Shikar Safari Club International Foundation, Arby's of Central Texas, National Shooting Sports Foundation, CEMEX and Austin Coca-Cola Bottling Company.
Out of towners looking for a place to stay during Expo can call the Austin Convention and Visitor's Bureau at (512) 478-0098 for hotel and motel information. To make reservations at a Central Texas state park, call (512) 389-8900 or book on-line (http://tpwd.texas.gov/park/admin/res/).
There is limited free parking near the grounds, but the best way to get to the Expo is to catch a free shuttle bus at Nelson Field at Reagan High School on U.S. 290 at Berkman Drive, just two miles east of I-35. Buses run from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.
For more information about Expo, including maps and directions, visit the Web site (http://tpwd.texas.gov/expo/) or call (800) 792-1112.

[ Note: This item is more than 12 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [KE]
Sept. 7, 2004
Texas Big Game Awards Has New Deadline for 2004-05 Season
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.

[ Note: This item is more than 12 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Sept. 7, 2004
TPWD Game Warden Field Notes
The following are excerpts from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
--While working water safety on Lake Nocona recently, a Montague County Game Warden received a call concerning a boating accident on Lake Amon G. Carter. A bass boat headed back to the ramp from a morning of fishing fatally struck a 13-year-old boy being pulled on a tube behind another boat. There were two boys being pulled on two separate tubes. The other boy escaped uninjured. Wise and Jack county wardens assisted with the investigation. No charges have been filed, and the investigation is ongoing.
Justice Served
--Full moon patrols were conducted on Lake Fork during the night recently in order to check fishermen for compliance. Apprehensions included 12 for improper navigation lights, 18 for fishing violations, and 23 for other water safety violations.
--Recently, one of the three suspects involved in the shooting incident with Tyler County Game Warden Trey Shewmake on March 17 was convicted in District Court of Angelina County of attempted capital murder and two counts of aggravated assault on a Texas Peace Officer. The second suspect involved was convicted in District Court in Angelina County for Aggravated Assault on a Peace Officer.
--Montgomery County Game Wardens organized a water-safety patrol operation on Lake Conroe. The two-day operation yielded more than 40 citations being issued.
--Recently, a Washington County Game Warden organized a water-safety patrol operation on Lake Somerville. "Team Sport Racing" had scheduled two days of Personal Watercraft racing on the lake. There were 33 citations issued over the two-day period.
Part of the Community
--Lubbock County Game Warden Quentin Terrel and Capt. Rick Gully received certificates of appreciation from Attorney General Greg Abbott for their participation in a task force to roundup individuals delinquent in child support.
--Game Wardens Robert Levens, Keith Gerth, Jeff Hill, Chris Wilson and Jerry Gordon presented a "hands-on" Boater Education class to 25 State 4-H students at Lake Buchanan Dam. The wardens instructed the students in water safety, boat operation, and Personal Watercraft operations and let the kids operate the vessels with the instructors.
--Game Wardens participated in the West Texas Outdoor Camp sponsored by Game Warden Robert Newman. Forty kids were taken to the Buffalo Trail Boy Scott Camp in the scenic Ft. Davis Mountains, near Balmorhea. The cost of the camp and transportation were provided by the Texas Game Warden Association and other generous sponsors. The camp is a one-week instructional camp with courses in shotgun, archery, fishing, boating, climbing, hiking, horseback riding, and much more. Emphasis is placed on safety and responsibility. It is a joint endeavor of the Texas Game Warden Association and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
--By now Brazoria County Game Wardens are probably tired of seeing alligators. As of Aug.1, game wardens there had have responded to and dealt with more than 300 documented nuisance alligator calls in Fiscal Year 2004.
From the Files of the Genius Violators
--Recently, Game Wardens arrested a subject for Boating While Intoxicated on Lake Lewisville. The subject refused to provide a breath specimen. When asked how much he had been drinking, he responded, "Probably too much." Case pending.
--A Grayson County Game Warden cited a Denison man for killing a timber rattlesnake after the man had his picture with the snake put in the local newspaper. The suspect was quoted in the paper as saying, "The only good snake is a dead snake." The timber rattlesnake is listed as a threatened species in Texas. Parks and Wildlife regulations prohibit the taking, possession, transportation, or sale of any animal species designated by state law as endangered or threatened without the issuance of a permit. Case pending.
--Denton County Game Wardens arrested a Valley View man for Boating While Intoxicated on Lake Ray Roberts. The subject submitted a breath sample of .113 Blood Alcohol Content. While being interviewed, the subject was asked if he had any pills or injections. He responded, "No, but I smoked some weed." Case pending.
--A Freestone County Game Warden responded to an 'Operation Game Thief' hunting call in Navarro County. The warden found five students shooting skeet on a lighted range. To enhance their shooting ability, the men were drinking beer and smoking marijuana. One of the subjects attempted to ditch his stash of dope by throwing it out of his vehicle. The warden easily identified the owner of the marijuana since the subject's name was written on the bag. Cases are pending.

[ Note: This item is more than 12 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [KE]
Sept. 7, 2004
Stay Tuned
Information from Texas Parks and Wildlife is available on radio and television, as well as the newsstand.
Passport to Texas, TPWD's radio series of weekday, 90-second stories is broadcast on more than 100 Texas stations. Airing Sept. 6-10, They'll be talking trash at one Gulf Coast state park this month. Plus we'll tell you how you can enjoy the outdoors without leaving a permanent impression on the environment.
For more information, visit the Web (http://www.passporttotexas.org).
Video News
TPWD provides video news reports that run in newscasts on numerous Texas stations, as well as on cable and satellite outlets around the nation.
"Texas Parks & Wildlife" is a weekly half-hour television series seen on PBS affiliates around the state.
For more information about this week's programs and where they can be viewed, visit the Web (http://tpwd.texas.gov/tv).
Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine is always available on newsstands throughout the state and by subscription for $19.95 a year. To subscribe, call (800) 937-9393 or order online (http://www.tpwmagazine.com/).