|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2006-09-25                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than 11 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [SL]
Sept. 25, 2006
New Buck Antler Restrictions Take Effect in 61 Counties
AUSTIN, Texas -- Deer hunters in all or parts of 61 counties will need to size up the rack before making a shot as new buck antler restrictions take effect in many eastern and central Texas counties with the start of archery season Sept. 30.
Under the new regulation, a lawful buck in the designated counties is defined as any buck having at least one unbranched antler OR an inside antler spread of at least 13 inches. The bag limit in the affected counties will be two lawful bucks, no more than one of which may have an inside spread of greater than 13 inches.
These antler restrictions have been in place in 21 counties in the Oak Prairie ecoregion for several years. Harvest data collected by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wildlife biologists indicate the regulations have been effective in improving the age structure of the buck herd, increasing hunter opportunity, and encouraging landowners and hunters to become more actively involved in better habitat management.
Counties that fall under this regulation for the first time include: Bell, Bosque, Bowie, Burleson*, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Comal (east of IH 35), Comanche, Coryell, Delta, Eastland, Erath, Fannin, Franklin, Gregg, Hamilton, Harrison, Hays (east of IH 35), Hopkins, Houston, Lamar, Lampasas, Leon, Marion, Morris, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rains, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Somervell, Titus, Travis (east of IH 35), Upshur, Williamson, Wilson, and Wood counties.
Hunting pressure on buck deer in these counties has been excessive for many years, say wildlife officials. In 1991, the bag limit in most counties in the eastern third of the state was reduced from two bucks to one in an effort to mitigate excessive hunting pressure. Despite the reduction, the data continues to indicate excessive harvest of bucks, which results in very poor age structure, according to Mitch Lockwood, TPWD's deer program leader. Research results indicate that poor age structure within a buck herd creates a longer breeding season, which in turn leads to a longer fawning season and a reduction in fawn production. Poor age structure also contributes to adverse hunter satisfaction.
"This regulation is the answer to the problem we've been hearing from smaller landowners who are worried that if they let a buck walk, the neighbor would shoot it," said Gary Calkins, TPWD district biologist in Jasper. "People are more excited about going hunting this year than they have in a long time."
The criteria used for candidate counties were: the county currently must be a one-buck county, 60 percent of the buck harvest in the county must consist of bucks less than 3.5 years of age, and the county must have a contiguous border with another county in which antler restriction regulations have been implemented. On this basis, the department identified the 40 counties affected by the new regulation.
For county specific regulations and more information about the antler restrictions, hunters should refer to the 2006-2007 Outdoor Annual of Texas hunting and fishing regulations, available online at TPWD's web site and wherever hunting licenses are sold or contact their area game warden or wildlife biologist.
* Correction, Sept. 25, 2006: Burleson County was omitted from the original version of this release. (Return to corrected item.)

[ Note: This item is more than 11 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [RM]
Sept. 25, 2006
Big Bend Ranch Site of Fall Digital Photo Workshop
PRESIDIO, Texas -- Seasonal showers should help the Chihuahuan Desert put on its best "face" for photo buffs, both beginner and intermediate skill levels, looking to capture some of Texas' top scenery during the fall Big Bend Ranch Digital Photo Workshop.
Veteran photographer Jim Carr of Houston will teach the three-day workshop, Nov. 10-12, at Big Bend Ranch State Park in far West Texas.
"I'll be emphasizing photo composition and proper lighting," Carr said, "and most of all what to do with your pictures after they have been taken and stored on the memory card. Workshop participants will learn how to store, organize, delete, edit and resize the image for e-mailing, printing or posting on a Web site."
Carr is not only a professional commercial photographer, but also is knowledgeable about what makes Big Bend Ranch such a special place. He has been conducting trail rides and photo workshops at the scenic 300,000-acre state park and working cattle ranch for more than 10 years.
Participants will meet at 10 a.m. on Friday at Fort Leaton State Historic Site three miles east of Presidio on FM 170. Each person will need to provide his own lunch on Friday. On Saturday at the ranch, photographers will go into the field to take scenic and candid shots. The last morning is reserved for a discussion about what to do with the hundreds of photos that have been taken. After lunch on Sunday, participants are free to take photos on their own anywhere on the ranch before heading home.
The $400 workshop cost includes meals, lodging, all park fees and transportation in connection with the on-site workshop. Workshop participants will meet at Fort Leaton State Historic Site in Presidio and be transported to Big Bend Ranch.
To register for the workshop, call Big Bend Ranch State Park at (432) 229-3416. For additional information about the workshops, call Carr at (281) 486-8070 or send an e-mail to jcpic@sbcglobal.net.
On the Net:
http: tpwd.texas.gov/spdest/findadest/parks/big_bend_ranch