|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2010-10-29                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than six 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]
Oct. 29, 2010
TPWD Announces Big Time Texas Hunts Winners for 2010
AUSTIN -- Ken Garcia says he has been "poor man hunting" for nearly a half century; chasing mule deer across public land in New Mexico and hunting whitetails in Texas on small leases or by invitation from friends. Not this year.
Garcia will be living a hunter's dream after being selected this year's winner of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's ultimate hunting adventure, the Texas Grand Slam.
As the lucky winner of this year's Big Time Texas Hunts crown jewel, the Texas Grand Slam hunt package, Garcia receives four separate guided hunts for Texas' most prized big game animals -- desert bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, pronghorn antelope and mule deer.
"I've been entering since the start of the program," said Garcia, who turns 62 on Thanksgiving. "When I got the call and she asked if I was sitting down I knew it was something special. I figured maybe I'd won one of the whitetail hunts, but getting to hunt a bighorn sheep is amazing."
Garcia, who recently came out of retirement to work as a project manager for an energy efficiency company in San Antonio, said he intends to start making preparations for his four dream hunts immediately. "The bighorn hunt has me nervous," he admitted. "Not so much because of the prospect of having to make a long distance shot, I feel confident about that, but because it is such a rarity. I'm going to give it all I've got."
Garcia said he has entered the Big Time Texas Hunts drawings annually, but never dreamed of winning the Texas Grand Slam category.
"I've been hunting since I was 13, but mostly what I'd call poor man hunting; just wherever we could go and what we could afford, so to get something like this is pretty special," he added. "I have one whitetail hanging on the wall that I'm proud of, but I haven't killed anything huge out in New Mexico hunting mule deer and I've never hunted pronghorn in my life."
Garcia joins 16 other lucky sportsmen who 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 TPWD program.
All told, hunters bought 64,759 Big Time Texas Hunt entries during this year's sales period through the Oct. 15 deadline. This generated about $620,000 in gross revenue to support wildlife research, habitat management and public hunting.
Following are the winners of this year's Big Time Texas Hunts.
Grand Slam -- Kenneth Garcia, San Antonio.
Premium Buck Hunt -- Walter Poskey, Lufkin.
Exotic Safari -- Joseph Trahan, Alvin and Chad Kissinger, Austin.
Whitetail Bonanza -- Paul Todd, Smithville; Chris Zaiontz, Marion; Jesse Hauptrief, Melissa; Dennis Schroeder, Windthorst; Robert Moore, Fort Worth; Daniel Small, Weatherford; James Murphy, Como; Larry Siarski, Houston; Karla Ledom, Platte City, MO; Gerald Siegmyer, Houston.
Big Time Bird Hunt -- James May, Dale.
Waterfowl Adventure -- Christopher Evans, Southlake.
Gator Hunt -- John Oliver, Port Neches.

[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Oct. 29, 2010
Battleship Texas Dry Berth Design Contract Signed
AUSTIN - In a major step toward long-term preservation of the Battleship Texas, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has signed a contract with AECOM USA Group, Inc. - a globally recognized architectural and engineering firm - to design a permanent dry berth for the historic vessel before time and the elements scuttle the ship.
The 1914-vintage battleship, a veteran of both world wars, is the last of its kind. She's been moored at the San Jacinto Battleground since 1948. Her hull was last repaired in the late 1980s and has since become dangerously weakened from years of exposure to the brackish water of the Houston Ship Channel.
"The dry berthing of the Texas is the most complex project ever undertaken by this department," said TPWD project manager Neil Thomas. "The design and construction will be a very large civil engineering project. And the age and condition of the ship, which is a National Historic Landmark, adds a challenging naval architectural component as well. All these factors combine to make the project absolutely unique."
In 2007, as part of Proposition 4, voters approved a bond package that included $25 million to dry-berth the battleship. After TPWD conducted engineering studies and developed a project plan as directed by the 80th Legislature, the Legislative Budget Board approved sale of bonds "contingent on the ship being dry berthed in its current location." Funding for the project includes a $4 million contribution from the Battleship Texas Foundation.
Earlier this year, TPWD selected AECOM - a company with 40,000 employees world-wide - as the most qualified architectural-engineering firm to design the dry berth. Since that time the department has been in negotiations with the firm, a process which included developing the scope of work to be done and the products to be delivered. The contract was signed Oct. 26.
"AECOM is a highly qualified internationally recognized firm with offices in the Houston area and was the winning designer among a number of exceptional entries," said Andy Smith, manager of the Battleship Texas State Historic Site. "TPWD looks forward to working with AECOM over the coming years to devise a long term solution that combines preservation and proper stewardship with a world class display of this historic ship."
Smith said the goal is to save the historic ship, save the taxpayers money and provide a first class experience for the visiting public that is fitting of Texas and her namesake state.
Last June, a rag and a backup pump kept the storied battleship Texas from sinking in its mooring. When park staff noticed the ship resting more than two feet lower in the water than normal, a leak was discovered on the starboard side of the ship near the waterline. A rag was stuffed into the leak until the water could be pumped out.
The just-signed contract calls for AECOM to have its preliminary design completed by spring 2011. Following a federally mandated environmental assessment expected to take about two years, the bidding process for construction of the dry berth and temporary mooring of the Texas is expected to begin in mid-2014 with construction complete by the summer of 2017.