|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2017-11-16                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Nov. 16, 2017
TPWD Congratulates 2017 Whiz Bang Sporting Clays Finalists
SAN ANTONIO - The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, in cooperation with Texas 4-H Shooting Sports, recognized finalists in this year's Whiz Bang sporting clays competition at the National Shooting Complex here recently.
The 20 finalists represent 14 Texas counties, advancing from a field of over 1,000 clay target shooters who competed throughout the 4-H year in 42 Whiz Bang matches held across the state. The finals are held in conjunction with the National Sporting Clays Association's National Championship each year.
4-H Shooting Sports is one of the largest 4-H projects in Texas and is open to youth from 3rd to 12th grades. The Whiz Bang program is one aspect of the shotgun program that emulates hunting and teaches safety, hunting skills, sportsmanship and leadership development.
Whiz Bang Finalists for 2017 are:
Juniors (Grades 3-5):
1st Place Matthew Young, Cherokee County
2nd Place John Cantu, Victoria County
3rd Place Chance Hehman, Frio County
4th Place Matthew Hada, Andrews County
5th Place Chase Hunter, Comal County
Intermediates (Grades 6-8):
1st Place Carson Childress, Crockett County
2nd Place Logan Lotz, Chambers County
3rd Place John Snider, Cherokee County
4th Place Ty Hehman, Frio County
5th Place Angelina Garza, Harris County, Spring 4-H
Senior 1 (Grades 9-10):
1st Place Jett Thompson, Tom Green County
2nd Place Trey Birkner, Montgomery County
3rd Place Trent Allen, Guadalupe County
4th Place Cade Vinson, Tom Green County
5th Place Hunter Barnes, Taylor County
Senior 2 (Grades 11-12):
1st Place Jorge Garza, Harris County, Spring 4-H
2nd Place Cody Hada, Andrews County
3rd Place Grant Kolajajck, Harris County, Crosby 4-H
4th Place Greg Garrett, Tom Green County
5th Place Tyler Birkner, Montgomery County
TPWD also sponsors the Texas Agriculture Science Clay Target Shooting program for Texas FFA members in high school who have been enrolled or are currently enrolled in Wildlife, Fisheries and Ecology Management.
For more information about TPWD shooting sports programs contact Morgan Harbison, TPWD Hunter Education Specialist, Mobile Range Coordinator

[ Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Nov. 16, 2017
10th Anniversary of USTS Texas Clipper Sinking as an Artificial Reef
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas - The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's (TPWD) Artificial Reef Program sank the USTS Texas Clipper 10 years ago on Nov. 17, 2007. Prior to its sinking off South Padre Island, the 473-foot vessel was a World War II troop transport, New York City luxury liner and a sea cadet training ship.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the sinking of the USTS Texas Clipper, the Artificial Reef Program is holding a contest for participating divers to win bronze and silver coins for logging between two and four dives on the Clipper during the upcoming year. There will also be a lottery drawing among bronze and silver coin holders for a gold commemorative coin at the end of the contest.
"After 10 years as an artificial reef the USTS Texas Clipper has become a premiere diving location supporting the local fishery and economy in South Texas. To celebrate this milestone, we want to offer these special commemorative coins to the public," said TPWD Artificial Reef Program Leader J. Dale Shively.
The contest will run from Nov. 17, 2017 to Nov. 18, 2018. Participants must complete two logged dives on the Clipper during this time period to earn a bronze coin. To earn a silver coin, divers need to complete an additional two dives for a total of four dives. For each coin earned, the participant's name will be entered into a lottery drawing for a grand prize gold coin. A maximum of two submissions are allowed per participant. Supplies are limited so coins will be awarded in order of submissions received.
All dives must be logged on the TPWD submission form and sent to the Artificial Reef Program. All submissions must be received by email or postmarked by November 30, 2018. Participants may email submission forms to Allison Baldwin at Allison.baldwin@tpwd.texas.gov; or mail them to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Dickinson Marine Lab, 1502 FM 517 East Dickinson, TX 77539. You may also call 281-534-0147 for more information.
For video of the sinking, visit the TPWD YouTube page.
Images of the sinking can be found on the news image page.