|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2018-09-21                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than seven months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Sept. 21, 2018
Gov. Greg Abbot Proclaims Sept. 22 National Hunting and Fishing Day
Special Day Highlights Texas Cultural Phenomenon
With National Hunting and Fishing Day coming this Saturday, dove season in full swing, and the cool days of deer season around the corner, it's worth noting the economic and cultural powerhouse these pursuits still represent in modern Texas.
In fact, Governor Greg Abbot took note of this, and today issued an official proclamation recognizing National Hunting and Fishing Day, saying "Our sportsmen and women were among the first conservationists to support the establishment of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to conserve fish, wildlife and their habitats, and through their license fees helped fund state efforts to provide for healthy and sustainable natural resources."
Supporters of the special day are calling on Texas hunters and anglers to invite someone to go hunting or fishing, whether a first-timer, child or grandchild, friend, co-worker or neighbor.
The day recognizing hunter/angler conservationists was created by Congress in 1971, but the tradition goes way back. Led by President Theodore Roosevelt, in the 1900s hunters and anglers urged sustainable use of fish and game, created hunting and fishing licenses, and lobbied for taxes on sporting equipment to pay for wildlife conservation. This created the North American wildlife conservation model, a science-based, user-pay system that has yielded dramatic conservation successes in Texas and across the nation.
These days, a new generation of urbanites interested in natural, locally sourced food is bringing fresh interest to hunting and fishing as ways to put healthy, free range fare on the dinner table.
The age-old tradition is still alive and well in small towns across the state. This fall, the Texas Parks and Wildlife public TV series rolls out a special half-hour episode documenting the opening day of deer season in Goldthwaite, a town of about 1,800 souls between Lampasas and Brownwood, with a companion feature story in Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.
"Come deer season, it's like Easter Sunday in the Baptist Church here," says visitor Stan Laukhuf, who drove from Dallas to hunt in Goldthwaite last year. "The motels and hotels have been booked up since last year. It's also the lease money that helps a lot of these ranches that would otherwise be scraping by to try to make a living. They can make as much or more from just the deer leasing as they can from the ranching."
More than 1.1 million people hunt each year in Texas, generating $2.12 billion in retail sales and supporting more than 36,000 jobs, according to a study by Southwick Associates. Likewise for Texas fishing, 2.2 million anglers generate more than $2 billion in sales and close to 30,000 jobs.
See the TPWD website for more on hunting in Texas and fishing in Texas.

[ Note: This item is more than eight months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Sept. 21, 2018
TPWD Inland Fisheries Seeking Partners for Habitat Restoration in Texas Reservoirs
Interested Organizations Invited to Habitat Workshop Oct. 6-7 in Athens
AUSTIN - Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Inland Fisheries staff conduct dozens of habitat restoration projects each year to enhance fish habitat in Texas' aging reservoirs. But fisheries biologists can't do these large-scale projects alone, they rely on Friends of Reservoirs partners to help make Texas fishing the best it can be.
Although many Texas reservoirs benefit from established Friends of Reservoirs chapters, TPWD is looking to expand the number of partners around the state who are interested in participating in habitat projects at their local reservoirs.
"We are targeting conservation-minded groups like fishing clubs, master naturalist groups, lakeside homeowner's associations, high school fishing teams, conservation organizations and virtually any public group that is interested in working with us to improve fishing or habitat for fish in public lakes," said Dave Terre, TPWD Chief of Inland Fisheries Management and Research.
Habitat restoration projects conducted by TPWD fisheries biologists and local Friends of Reservoirs chapters range from placing GPS-marked natural and artificial fish attractors in reservoirs to increase angler catch rates to planting native vegetation along the shoreline to provide fish and wildlife habitat, improve water quality, and prevent shoreline erosion. Friends of Reservoirs chapters are essential to making these projects happen by fundraising and recruiting volunteers to help assemble, haul and drop fish attractors in the lake and plant native vegetation along the shoreline.
Organizations interested in becoming partners on habitat restoration projects in their local lakes can send a representative for free to the Friends of Reservoirs 9th Annual Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership Meeting the weekend of Oct. 6-7 at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. The event will feature presentations on ongoing state and regional habitat projects along with information on permitting, structure, nuisance aquatic vegetation, establishing native vegetation and grant funding.
Pre-registration is required to attend the workshop. For more information or to pre-register contact Dave Terre at dave.terre@tpwd.texas.gov or (512) 389-4855.
There are currently 24 Friends of Reservoirs chapters partnered with TPWD to enhance their local lakes, a list that includes recent award winners like the Lake Fork Sportsman's Association, which was inducted into the Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2018, and Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs, which was designated as a Conservation Wrangler by Texan By Nature in 2017. To learn more about these organizations, visit www.friendsofreservoirs.com.

[ Note: This item is more than eight months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Sept. 21, 2018
Deadline Approaching to Enter Big Time Texas Hunts Drawing
AUSTIN-- Looking for an opportunity to fill a hole in this year's hunting calendar without breaking the bank? Hunters hoping for a chance at winning premium guided hunt packages through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Big Time Texas Hunts program have just three weeks left to enter, as Monday, Oct. 15 at 11:59 p.m. is the deadline.
Hunters can enter to win any of 10 exciting premium guided hunt packages in this year's Big Time Texas Hunts drawing. All lodging and food is included and most of the packages allow winners to bring friends along to hunt. There are packages to hunt bighorn sheep, mule deer, white-tailed deer, pronghorn, alligator, waterfowl, upland game birds, wild hog and exotics.
New this year is an opportunity to hunt nilgai antelope in South Texas. The nilgai antelope - also called the "blue bull" - is a massive big game animal from southeast Asia that was introduced onto the famed King Ranch during the late 1920s. These impressive animals now thrive on the grasslands of South Texas where mature males can tip the scales at 700 pounds. Not only are nilgai huge, they are also a challenge to hunt. Their keen eyesight, hearing and sense of smell make them sensitive to predators and they spook easily.
"Big Time Texas Hunts allows everyone a chance to win unique hunting packages that are out of reach for most Texans. Beyond this, hunters can feel good about purchasing entries because all of the money raised is earmarked for wildlife conservation and public hunting projects," said Justin Dreibelbis, TPWD Private Lands and Public Hunting Program Director.
Big Time Texas Hunts raises over $600,000 each year for wildlife research, habitat conservation efforts, and public hunting programs in Texas. Over $8 million has been raised since the program began in 1998.
Big Time Texas Hunts entries are available online, under the "Hunting" category, for $9 each or for $10 each at license retailers, or by phone at (800) 895-4248. Call center hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a required $5 administrative fee for each phone or online transaction, but unlimited items can be purchased (such as 2018-19 hunting and fishing licenses) during a single transaction for this $5 fee. You are not required to purchase or have a hunting or fishing license to buy Big Time Texas Hunts entries.
Big Time Texas Hunts is made possible with support from Toyota and the Texas Bighorn Society.