|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2010-09-23                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than seven 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: Heidi Rao, TPWD/Houston, (713) 829-1377, heidi.rao@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Sept. 23, 2010
Take Me Outdoors Houston Set For Oct. 2 At Discovery Green
Houston's 2nd annual Free, Family-Oriented Festival of the Outdoors
HOUSTON --At a time when people in big cities are becoming increasingly disconnected from the world of nature and the outdoors, Take Me Outdoors Houston on Oct. 2 at Discovery Green will offer Houston's 2nd annual free, family-oriented festival of the outdoors.
Exhibitors will provide hands-on activities, booths and opportunities to engage audiences who haven't ever or don't often get exposure to the great outdoors - especially the resources located right in Houston's big backyard.
"By introducing Texans, especially urban adults and kids, to outdoor recreation, our woods and waters and natural places become more relevant and important to them," said Heidi Rao, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department hunter education specialist in Houston. "We believe recreation leads to conservation. If they're out there enjoying the natural world, they come to care about it and finally to care for it."
Take Me Outdoors Houston will take place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. Oct. 2 at Discovery Green, a 12-acre park created by a public/private partnership between the City of Houston and the non-profit Discovery Green Conservancy. The park's mission is to provide a beautiful, urban green space in the heart of Houston that serves as a village green for the city. It is located across Avenida de las Americas from the George R. Brown Convention Center and the Hilton Americas Hotel, sitting between the Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park. Since the park opened in April 2008, it has welcomed more than 1 million visitors and hosted more than 800 public and private events.
Take Me Outdoors Houston will consist of a variety of exhibitors clustered in topical zones.
The Nature & Environmental Zone will include the TPWD State Parks Division, TPWD Texas Outdoor Family Program, Houston Zoo & Zoomobile, Katy Prairie Conservancy, Armand Bayou Nature Center, Jesse Jones Park and Nature Center, Houston Sierra Club, Houston Audubon Society, Wetlands Center and Baytown Nature Center, Texas Coastal Watershed Program, Student Conservation Association, Friends of Sheldon Lake State Park, and 4-H.
The Hunting & Wildlife Conservation Zone will include the TPWD Hunter Education Program, TPWD Wildlife Division, Houston Gulf Coast Safari Club International, and Laser Shot Shooting Simulator.
The Fishing & Aquatic Conservation Zone will include the TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, and Landry's Downtown Aquarium in Houston.
There will also be two educational demonstrations of live hawks and other raptors in flight by master falconer John Karger of "Last Chance Forever - the Bird of Prey Conservancy" based in San Antonio, sponsored by Houston Gulf Coast SCI.
The Houston Grand Opera will also present the "Butterfly Migration" on stage for two shows.
For more information about Take Me Outdoors Houston, see the calendar of events on the Discovery Green website: http://www.discoverygreen.com/en/cev/eb/7868634/ or call (713) 400-7336. For general information about ways urban families can reconnect with nature and the outdoors, see the Life's Better Outside Web site.

[ Note: This item is more than seven 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. 23, 2010
Deadline to Enter Big Time Texas Hunts is Oct. 15
AUSTIN -- Break out your hunting "bucket list" and enter the Big Time Texas Hunts for a chance to check something off. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is reminding Texas hunters the deadline to enter this year's Big Time Texas Hunts is Oct. 15. Winners will be called before the end of October to give them time to make their hunting trip preparations.
The Big Time Texas Hunts offer hunters a chance to experience the best hunting packages in the Lone Star State with an opportunity to win one or more top guided hunts with food and lodging provided, as well as taxidermy in some cases.
Big Time Texas Hunts generates hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, with proceeds dedicated to providing more public hunting opportunity and to funding wildlife conservation and research programs in Texas.
The crown jewel of the program is the Texas Grand Slam hunt package, which includes four separate hunts for Texas' most prized big game animals -- the desert bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, mule deer and pronghorn antelope. There are several quality whitetail hunt packages available, as well as opportunities to pursue alligator, exotic big game, waterfowl and upland game birds.
Entries for the Big Time Texas Hunts are $9 if purchased online and $10 if purchased at a license retailer or over the phone at 800-895-4248. Online purchases will include a $5 convenience charge per transaction, meaning hunters can buy as many entries as they wish online for one low fee. There is no limit to the number of entries an individual may purchase. Purchasers must be 17 years of age or older.
For more information on Big Time Texas Hunts and to enter online, please visit http://tpwd.texas.gov/buybtth.

[ Note: This item is more than seven 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. 23, 2010
Big Bend Ranch Cattle Drive Set for Oct. 21-23
PRESIDIO - Live the lore of the Old West by saddling up for the biannual Longhorn Cattle Drive taking place Oct. 21-23 in Texas' largest state park - Big Bend Ranch. This fall marks the 16th year of the state park's most popular program that attempts to expose "city slickers" to the Southwest's cowboy culture.
Participants, some inexperienced "dudes" and others more accomplished equestrians, spend three days helping Big Bend Ranch wranglers round up, drive and pen the park's historic longhorns for vaccinations and branding. Over the years, hundreds of guests have come from throughout the United States, as well as from Australia, Canada and England, to experience a taste of the Texas' ranching heritage and the Wild West days at the more than 300,000-acre wilderness park.
The state park program can accommodate up to 15 wranglers. The cost of the three-day event is $975, which includes a horse and tack provided by a Big Bend area outfitter, park entry fee, lodging/camping fees, meals and the assistance of park wrangler guides.
Program participants will meet at 10 a.m., Thursday at Sauceda, the Big Bend Ranch headquarters. They receive an orientation to the ranch and cattle drive program, receive safety instruction and saddle up their mounts before riding to the pastures to start rounding up the longhorns. Cowhands can camp beneath the stars that night or return to the bunkhouse at Sauceda for the night.
On Friday morning, participants finish rounding up the cattle and drive them to the cattle pens at Sauceda to be "worked." A chuck wagon meal and cowboy entertainment each evening enhance the West Texas cowboy experience.
After a hearty breakfast the next morning, the dudes help ranch wranglers sort the calves from the bulls and heifers, and after receiving instruction, vaccinate, brand and ear-tag the cattle. Wranglers can then retire to the bunkhouse for rest or help drive the herd back to the pasture before heading home. Participants are welcome to come a day early and/or stay a day late but are subject to regular park fees.
Reservations are required and must be made by contacting the Customer Contact Center in Austin at (512) 389-8919.
Big Bend Ranch State Park is located in far west Texas just northeast of Presidio off State Highway 170.