November 2012 - Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine
Tradition weds new technology when a hunter takes his bow into the field. It’s a new world for novice women hunters, looking to bag their first goose. An east Texas ranch (Cook’s Branch Conservancy) returns to its roots through active conservation. Then get the update on west Texas chronic wasting disease (mule deer), Waco mammoths, woodcocks, east Texas’ Lake Livingston State Park and more.
Heritage, training and technology come together for a memorable first bow hunt.
By Reid Wittliff
I grew up in Central Texas in the 1970s and ’80s. Most of my childhood friends spent at least a couple of weekends each fall with their dads in a deer camp. I didn’t. For whatever reason, my dad was not into deer hunting.
Not that I didn’t get my fair share (and maybe more) of time outdoors with my dad. He loved to fly fish, and I learned early. Even so, I always had the itch to hunt. Maybe it’s in my genes. My grandmother and her father both regularly hunted deer. He was a Texas German named Emil Sachtleben. Born poor in Blanco County in 1881, he lived a tough, hardscrabble life. Read more.
Women’s waterfowl hunt opens a new world for beginning hunters.
By Nancy Herron
Kaahk kaahk kaahk kaahk!
Nick Stillwell’s call breaks through the silence of the early dawn. I’m in the middle of nine women, all novice hunters, lying flat on our backs in a field of white decoys. We look like geese ourselves in our white hoods and coats. We lie still and quiet, eyes searching the sky, ears primed for the sounds of a return call.
Off in the distance, we hear something. Our heart rates rise. Stillwell can’t let excitement alter the cadence of his call. It takes all I have not to turn my head toward the sound. This is what we have been waiting for. Read more.
Cook’s Branch Conservancy receives Texas’ highest award for private land conservation.
By Mike Cox
Four generations of a remarkable family, two beloved birds and 5,650 acres of preserved land tell the story of Cook’s Branch Conservancy, the winner of the 2012 Leopold Conservation Award, the state’s highest honor recognizing habitat management and wildlife conservation on private land.
Cook’s Branch is the tiny creek that dribbles onto the property. That little stream is fed by determined springs that, even in drought, sustain it as it traverses north to south, bisecting the property and forming three lakes: Upper, Middle and Lower Kurth. Read more.