Scope out the state public hunting program, where opportunities abound.
Hang around a group of hunters long enough and you’re likely to hear a common lament: Hunting in Texas is out of reach for the common man or woman. Opportunities are scarce, and those that exist are just too expensive. Bottom line: Hunting has become a sport for landowners, the wealthy and the well-connected.
While that assessment might not be totally off-target — especially considering that a hunt for a trophy white-tailed deer can cost $5,000 or $10,000 or more for a single weekend — many hunters overlook an affordable and readily available option:
the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s public hunting program, which offers a range of hunting opportunities as diverse as the state itself. Read More.
The first two fall hunting seasons opening this month are for the birds — doves and teal, specifically. Other game seasons will be previewed in the October issue. This may sound like a blinding glimpse of the obvious, but Texas needs rain. Badly. The entire state has been devastated by drought for almost a year, and that has affected wildlife.
Native dove populations have been hurt by drought, but other factors have had an effect, too. Severe cold and snow caused mortality by preventing the birds from feeding. High winds destroyed nests. Low forb production limited food supplies. Trees not leafing out provided no nesting cover. Wildfires burned nests and even smoked out a number of birds. Fire and ice were a bad combination.
“I’ve seen lots of eggs laying on the ground after the storms,” observed Danny Davis, wildlife technician in Ranger. That coupled with the other factors indicates a low hatch among native birds this year. But before you sell your shotgun and invest your birdshot budget in oil company stocks, read on to see what Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wildlife biologists say. There is a glimmer of hope amid the gloom. Read More.
Modern flint knappers chip away at a Stone Age art.
Have you ever picked up an ancient arrowhead, marveled at its workmanship, imagined the hands that shaped it centuries ago and wondered, “How did they make that?”Thousands of flint knappers across the United States — and hundreds in Texas — don’t just imagine, they make their own. They’ve mastered the lithic craft of flint knapping, the process of creating stone tools through chipping and pressure-flaking techniques.
From replicas of rare Clovis points to antler-handled obsidian knives, exquisite knapped pieces abound online and at rock shows, powwows and gatherings called “knap-ins.”
2011 Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine Photo Contest — Show your family a new way to discover nature. Grab your camera and see what you can capture. Take pictures of plants, scenery and animals that you see. Select your favorite photo and enter it today in the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine Photo Contest. The winning photo will be featured in one of our upcoming magazine issues. (Follow this link to the photo contest information page.)
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