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lighthouse springs canoeing cycling pollinator roseate spoonbill redfish tubing camp fire dog tired

Photos shot for the June 2018 issue






The Year of Epic Texas Challenges

Texas' vast and diverse landscapes and array of outdoor pursuits offer thrills for participants and spectators alike. Each issue of 2018 will feature an event to challenge even the most extreme athletes and sportsmen. We hope you'll enjoy reading it from the comfort of your armchair or perhaps be inspired to try a new pursuit.

Survival of the Fittest

Days and nights of struggle face the paddlers of the Texas Water Safari.

Tired of fighting the choppy waves along the seawall in Seadrift, the paddlers of team Double the Dose pull their canoe ashore and start dragging it toward the Texas Water Safari finish line. They’re so desperate to complete the 260-mile Texas Water Safari, they don’t care whether they finish on land or water.

Once across the finish line, one team member flops onto the ground face-first, utterly exhausted from their two-day expedition down the San Marcos and Guadalupe rivers.

He lies there motionless, his eyes closed, his arms helplessly by his side, his standard-issue orange life jacket bunched up around his neck. This is what “the world’s toughest canoe race” will do to you.

(read more)

On the Wings of Pollinators

TPWD guidelines help youfill your yard with butterflies, birds and bees.

Jim Wittliff steers a well-traveled four-by-four utility vehicle down a slope and stops to point out piles of brush surrounding small trees. The brush, he explains, protects the seedlings from browsing deer, trampling livestock, wind and rain. Wittliff and his wife, Mitzie, have spent the past few years making these and other improvements on their 300-acre Blanco County ranch, Agarita Hills, which has been in the family for 150 years.

The Wittliffs based many of their improvements on land management guidelines developed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to support native pollinators. Their efforts created an oasis of native plants that attract pollinators (as well as a wildlife tax valuation). But, as the couple zigzags across the property’s gently rolling hills, naming dozens of species of trees, grasses and wildflowers, it becomes clear the tax break was merely a bonus.

TPWD’s pollinator guidelines join a flurry of pollinator programs from other organizations and agencies.

(read more)

Bronze Beauty

Texans hunt for redfish in a wide variety of ways and places.

Red drum, more commonly known as redfish, have always been a popular target species among anglers along the Texas coast. In fact, at one time, their popularity almost did them in — and at the same time led to their resurgence.

Gillnetters and commercial fishermen sought redfish to feed the blackened redfish food craze that started in the 1970s. Scarcity gave rise to the creation of the largest saltwater fishery conservation group in the country, the Coastal Conservation Association, which famously started as the Gulf Coast Conservation Association in a Houston tackle shop.

After decades of conservation, wise management and aggressive stocking programs by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, redfish are plentiful in every bay in Texas.

(read more)


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Keep Texas Wild

It's not just for kids. If you like nature-related topics in an easy-to-read format, you can find three years of our popular Keep Texas Wild issues and the teacher resources to go along with them.

    Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine