|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2007-07-23                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than 10 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]
July 23, 2007
Hunters Urged To Beat The Rush, Buy Licenses Early
AUSTIN, Texas -- New hunting and fishing licenses for 2007-08 will be available beginning Wednesday, Aug. 15, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is encouraging hunters to buy early and avoid the rush heading into the Sept. 1 dove season opener.
"If you wait until the Friday before the dove season opener, you're probably going to be standing in line to buy a license," said Tom Newton with TPWD's licensing section. "Last year, we sold nearly 350,000 licenses during the four-day period around the opening weekend of dove season. It takes an average of five minutes to process a license sale transaction, so it's likely there will be delays if you wait 'til the last minute."
Newton said a little planning could save hunters a lot of time in the checkout line. "It's like planning your morning commute; you can sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic or you can leave early and breeze through. We average less than 20,000 license transactions a day during the two weeks prior to the dove season opener and five or six times that number on the days around opening weekend."
Sportsmen are reminded all current annual hunting and fishing licenses (except for the year-to-date fishing license) expire Aug. 31.
Texas issues 3.2 million hunting and fishing licenses annually through 28 TPWD field offices, more than 100 state parks and at over 1,400 retailers across Texas.
A last-minute license purchase rush is probably inevitable in some areas of the state, TPWD officials say, particularly along the I-35 corridor where many dove hunters descend. Fortunately, there are other license buying avenues available.
"Hunters who need to purchase a license at the last minute or those who don't want to stand in line have a couple of options," said Newton. "They can also purchase licenses online through the TPWD web site (http://tpwd.texas.gov/) or by calling (800) 895-4248. There is a $5 convenience fee for either option and a major credit card is required."
License sales call center hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday -- Friday. The online transaction system is available 24/7.
"We sold about 13,000 licenses online and by phone during the peak sales weekend last year," Newton said. "We'd like to steer more of the traffic to the call center and Internet during the peak volume periods."
A license confirmation number is issued at the time of purchase for online and phone orders, and the physical license is mailed separately. Confirmation numbers will verify that a license has been purchased, which is sufficient for dove hunting, but will not allow hunters to take fish or wildlife that requires a tag.
"Some people are using the convenience options to purchase licenses for everyone in their family or hunting group," Newton said. "It can help ensure that everybody who shows up to hunt, especially those coming in from out of state or kids coming in from college, already have a hunting license waiting for them. You can buy a license for someone else, even at the retail counter, but to avoid delays please be sure you have all their personal information."
In addition to a hunting license, all wing shooters will need to purchase a game bird stamp. To hunt doves or teal in September, a Migratory Game Bird Stamp ($7) is required. Duck hunters also need to purchase a Federal Duck Stamp and receive HIP (Harvest Information Program) certification. HIP certification will be printed on the license at the time of sale only after the purchaser answers a few brief migratory bird questions. Lifetime license holders must also be HIP-certified and purchase the Federal Duck Stamp to hunt migratory birds. All other state stamp endorsements are included with a lifetime license.
"Remember, it's your responsibility to make sure you are properly licensed, so be sure to check your license before you leave the sales counter," Newton said. "We do get a fair number of requests for re-issuance of licenses because the hunter forgot to get HIP certified."
There are other mandatory endorsements to consider at the time of purchase, too. An Upland Game Bird Stamp ($7) is required to hunt all non-migratory game birds, including turkey, quail, pheasant, chachalaca and lesser prairie chicken.
Of course, anyone who purchases the Super Combo license package, the best bang for the buck, automatically gets these needed stamps.
Hunter Education Certification is also required of any hunter born on or after Sept. 2, 1971 and who is at least 17 years old. For hunters who are unable to work in a hunter education class before hunting season for whatever reason, TPWD does offer a deferral option.
The deferral option allows people 17 years of age or older a one-time only extension to complete the state's hunter education requirements. The individual must first purchase a hunting license and then may purchase the deferral option.
Hunters using the deferral must be accompanied by someone 17 years old or older who is also licensed to hunt in Texas. The accompanying individual must have completed hunter education or be exempt from the requirements (born before Sept. 2, 1971). The extension is good for one license year, by which time the person with the deferred option needs to complete a hunter education course.
This option is not available to those who have ever received a conviction or deferred adjudication for lack of hunter education certification. They still must take the course before going afield.
There are a few changes in license requirements this year that license buyers should be aware of; probably the most significant change involves streamlining what had become a complex and somewhat confusing set of temporary fishing licenses created originally to provide additional licensing options for a variety of situations. Variations of the resident and non-resident temporary fishing options known as "Day-Plus Fishing Packages" have been consolidated into "One-Day Fishing Licenses" at a cost of $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents.
Anglers may purchase as many one-day licenses as they wish. No additional freshwater or saltwater stamp endorsements are required with the one- day licenses and one Bonus Red Drum Tag will be available for free with the purchase of the first one-day license.
There are now a "Senior Resident Hunting License" and a "Youth Hunting License," replacing what had been the Special Resident Hunting License. The fee remains at $6 for these licenses. Both resident and non-resident youth under 17 qualify for the new Youth Hunting License.
Along those same lines, senior anglers have several options under the "Senior Resident Fishing License Packages," which allows resident senior citizens to fish in freshwater for $11, saltwater for $16 or any Texas public waters for $21. The "Special Resident Fishing License" will be available only to individuals who are legally blind and will cost $6. Freshwater stamp and saltwater stamp requirements are waived.
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[ Note: This item is more than 10 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]
July 23, 2007
Public Hunt Drawings Offer Affordable Hunting
AUSTIN, Texas -- With fall hunting seasons shaping up to be among the best in recent memory, according to state wildlife biologists, now is the time to begin making preparations. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will be conducting special drawings for hunts and applications for these quality, affordable hunting experiences are available now.
During the upcoming hunting seasons, more than 5,000 hunters will be selected through random computer drawings allowing access to some of the state's high-quality managed wildlife habitat. Wildlife management areas, state parks and leased private property will be available for these quality supervised hunts for white-tailed deer, mule deer, pronghorn, javelina, alligator, exotics, feral hog and spring turkey.
Through an application process, hunters can select from among 31 different hunt categories and choose a preferred hunt date and location from 69 hunt areas stretching across the state. There's even a provision for hunting buddies to apply as a group -- in some cases up to four hunters can apply together on one application.
"Hunters interested in applying for drawn hunts this season should pay close attention to the application deadlines which have changed for some hunt categories," said Kelly Edmiston Program Specialist with TPWD's public hunting program. "Three new hunt categories have also been added for this year: private lands pronghorn, archery mule deer and gun mule deer. "
Eight free youth-only hunt categories are available to hunters who are between the ages of 8-16 at the time of application. All hunt positions are randomly selected in a computer drawing from all correctly completed entries received by the specified deadline.
In addition to exceptional hunting opportunities for big game, such as white-tailed deer and mule deer, TPWD's special drawing hunts will offer some unique opportunities. A guided bighorn sheep hunt at a West Texas wildlife management area will again be offered this year depending on the availability of a bighorn sheep permit.
There are also some unique guided hunt opportunities on Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area, including hunts for axis deer, waterbuck, white-tailed deer, scimitar-horned oryx and gemsbok.
Hunters drawn in the special permit hunts are not required to use a tag off their hunting license on white-tailed or mule deer that are taken during the hunt. The hunters will be issued a free TPWD legal deer tag at the area when they bring their harvested animal to the check station. This will allow the public hunters additional opportunity to use their license tags.
The application fee for adult applicants in most of the public hunt drawings is $3 per adult person on the application. Successfully drawn hunters pay an additional Special Permit fee ($75-125 in most cases) for a one-to-four-day hunt.
Special Permit fees do not apply to drawn hunts for pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, guided hunts at Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area, and drawn hunts on private land. Guided hunts and private land hunts cost $10 per adult person on the application.
The application deadline for alligator hunts is Aug. 2. For pronghorn antelope hunts on private land or the Rita Blanca National Grasslands north of Dalhart, the deadline is Aug. 16. Bowhunters also have until Aug. 16 to apply for special drawn public archery hunts. Entries for the general (gun) season deer hunts must be received by Sept. 6. Deadline for the Guided Bighorn Sheep Hunt is November 1.
Last year TPWD received 38,606 applications for the 5,833 positions offered in special drawn hunt categories.
Information and applications for Special Permit hunts are available on the Public Hunting Web site. Application booklets are currently being mailed to hunters who applied for special permit drawn hunts last year. The booklets are also available at TPWD law enforcement offices. Information about Special Permit drawn hunts can be found on-line or by calling toll free (800) 792-1112.
Because the outlook is so bright for this year's hunting seasons, TPWD is expecting a jump in hunter participation and is encouraging hunters to make plans early. Hunting licenses go on sale Aug. 15 and hunters should try to avoid the last-minute rush by buying a license early. Last year, nearly 350,000 licenses were sold over the Labor Day holiday weekend, which coincides with the dove season opener.
When purchasing your hunting license, be sure to enter for the opportunity to win one or more of TPWD's Big Time Texas Hunts. The BTTH program offers some of the finest guided hunts in the state. Proceeds from BTTH pay for wildlife conservation work and additional public hunting opportunities in Texas.
This year's BTTH line-up offers the following hunt packages:
--Texas Grand Slam -- one winner experiences a series of four separate hunts for desert bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, mule deer, and pronghorn antelope.
--Texas Exotic Safari -- two winners get to hunt a choice of African big game species.
--Texas Whitetail Bonanza -- 10 winners and their hunting companions receive a high-quality 3-5 day white-tailed deer hunt.
--Texas Premium Buck Hunt -- one winner and a hunting guest get the chance to hunt mature trophy white-tailed deer.
--Texas Waterfowl Adventure -- one winner can bring up to 3 hunting guests on a coastal prairie goose hunt and East Texas and coastal duck hunts.
--Texas Big Time Bird Hunt -- one winner and guests will enjoy quality quail, pheasant, dove and turkey hunts in some of the best places Texas has to offer.
--Texas Gator Hunt -- a rare opportunity for a 3-day alligator hunt on the J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area.
All Big Time Texas Hunts packages include food, lodging and a hunting guide. Some packages, such as the Texas Grand Slam and Texas Exotic Safari provide taxidermy of harvested game. For each BTTH hunt package, the winner can bring along one or more guests, and in some cases guests may also hunt or enjoy other benefits -- see the Web site or brochure for details. The deadline to apply in the BTTH drawings for 2007-08 is midnight Oct. 15.
Entries for the BTTH hunt packages are still only $10 and hunters can purchase them at any license vendor location or with a major credit card online or by phone at (800) 895-4248. Participants must be age 18 or older to enter and may apply as many times as they like.
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[ Note: This item is more than 10 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Burnie Kessner, 979-862-7341 or burnie.kessner@tpwd.texas.gov ]
July 23, 2007
TPWD Archery in the Schools Program Offers Instructor Training in August
The Texas Archery in the Schools Program (TASP) will offer Basic Archery Instructor training at several locations in August. An October training also is scheduled.
TASP is the Texas State affiliate of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) adopted by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Sponsor organizations include Texas Field Archery Association, Texas Hunter Education Instructor Association, Toyota and Dallas Safari Club.
The program's focus is to provide Olympic-style target archery training in elementary through high school physical education classes. The program is designed to introduce target archery to students during a two-week physical education course.
Archery is a life sport that circumvents traditional barriers to engage students of all genders and physical abilities, even facilitating participation and competition in students with disabilities. The ability of archery and the TASP to engage this broad spectrum of students has led to rapid growth and acceptance of the program, as well as expansion to after school clubs and inter-school competition. Schools participating in TASP have experienced a number of favorable spin-off benefits as well, including reduced behavior problems and improved school attendance.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department adopted the program in September 2004 and hosted the first training in Austin at a school adjacent to the TPWD headquarters complex. A total of 16 participants were trained as Basic Archery Instructor Trainers and the program was officially kicked off in February 2006.
Started in Kentucky, and in only its fifth year nationally, the program is now in 45 states, Canada, Australia, and growing. National and regional competitions have been held recognizing top schools and individuals, but the program is geared towards teaching youngsters in skills that involve discipline, focus and precision.
"What's great about archery is that everyone can participate and excel at the sport," said Roy Grimes, the national director who helped developed the program. "Those inclined to go on and compete can do so; those that simply want to have fun can be involved, too."
Ronnie Gill, an Abilene area archer that lives in Buffalo Gap near Abilene, completed the training and is able to train teachers and coaches in the Abilene region. He and his wife, Diane, are long-time archers, and Ronnie was already a Level II National Archery Association trainer before gaining his TASP certification.
"We've needed this program a long time." Gill said. "I get asked all the time if I can teach archery in a teacher's physical education class or at a summer camp. TASP, supported by all the top archery industries and organizations, is the tool we need to deliver an effective program locally -- one that meets national and statewide goals and curricula."
Basic Archery Instructors (BAI) may attend a one-day training or those Instructors wishing for more advanced training may attend a three-day training workshop and become a Basic Archery Instructor Trainer (BAIT.) Advanced training is offered during the first two days of the workshop for participants familiar with archery fundamentals, range setup and coaching techniques. It is designed for those who want to train teachers statewide in the program. The third day focuses on basic level training specifically for teachers wanting to use the program within their school curricula -- primarily physical education, agriculture science and outdoor education courses.
As a popular Olympic sport, archery has enjoyed a renewed interest, especially among school children.
"The program is really taking off, and it shows that youngsters have an interest in archery as an integral sport taught in gym classes across the United States," said Olympic Gold Medalist Rod White. "Everyone can compete, everyone can be successful, and everyone can have fun learning how to shoot with bow and arrow."
"A lot of kids that we might not capture in traditional team sports whole-heartedly came out for the archery team, said Wimberley coach Val Jeter. "It's a good motivation for their grades, behavior."
The archery course can be set up in a school gymnasium in a safe, easy fashion, and the equipment is available at reduced rates to teachers. TPWD and its partners will provide assistance to schools in acquiring equipment. Other non-school organizations trained in TASP that come on-board will be able to purchase the basic sets at the reduced rates directly from the manufacturers sponsoring the program at the national level.
The first Texas state tournament was held in February 2006 with 126 students representing 13 schools. The second annual tournament in February 2007 grew to 398 students representing 43 schools statewide.
For more information about the program, call Burnie Kessner, archery coordinator, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at (979) 862-7341 or email him at burnie.kessner@tpwd.texas.gov.
TASP is part of the state's hunter and bow hunter education efforts; programs that are supported from the sales of archery equipment through the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service "Federal Assistance in Wildlife Restoration" efforts.
Upcoming Archery Instructor Trainings:
--August 8, 2007: BAI, Somerset High School, San Antonio, TX *
--August 6, 2007: BAI, Welder Wildlife Foundation, Sinton, TX
--Date To Be Determined: BAI, Alpine, TX
--Oct 10, 11, 12, 2007: BAIT/BAI, El Paso, TX
* Correction, July 30, 2007: This date has been revised. Aug. 8 is the correct date. (Return to corrected item.)
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