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Photos shot for the November issue

A once-in-a-lifetime archeological discovery happened last year at Caprock Canyons State Parks — evidence of a bison jump, where Native Americans hunted and killed bison by forcing them off a cliff. There are a handful of known sites in the Northern Great Plains, but they are exceedingly rare in the Southern Plains.

The Spencer family kept a hunting journal, where they recorded the comings and goings and happenings at their deer camp outside of Provident City, from 1988 to 1998 until it went missing. Tim Spencer found the old journal and the family decided to revive the old tradition. Family traditions, hunting heritage, deer camp and land stewardship; that's the kind of hunting story we like here at the magazine.

How can we get blind teenagers to safely enjoy the outdoors? Representatives from the National Federation of the Blin of Texas took us through a series of thought experiments: What were some ways blind kids could take a hike in a state park? Go kayaking or ride a bike? Organizers carried out their plan with a day of outdoor adventure and skills training at Palmetto State Park.

We hope to see you at Caprock Canyons, or a deer camp, or Palmetto. Have a great fall.

Tales of the Hunt

When the Spencer family revived their deer camp journal they found it held much more than hunting.

Hunting traditions that transcend generations are not uncommon, especially in Texas. This rich heritage is often colored with equally rich oral histories, peppered with glory stories, embellished over time.

But this is not what Don Spencer had in mind when he penned his first journal entry in 1998 at the family's modest deer camp near the Southeast Texas town of El Campo. The now-retired industrial engineer and college professor simply wanted his two sons, at some point in their lives, to look back on an unvarnished account of their own hunting journal would become a fixture at the family camp, featuring entries involving Spencer's father, Spencer's children and their children.

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Bison Death Plunge

'Amazing' archeological discovery at Caprock Canyons reveals a place where Native Americans drove bison off a cliff.

In 2021, Rick Day and his wife Susan Day, had a particularly rowdy group of students in their science classes as Lockney Junior High School. It wasn't that the students weren't interested in learning. It was more that they had an excess of energy — something the Days understood from their years of teaching. Rick, a Texas Archeological Steward in his spare time, had an idea.

"We wanted to take them on a geologic tour." he says.

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BOLD (Blindness Outdoor Learning and Development)

With kayaks, caterpillars and more, blind children get an intro to adventure.

On Palmetto State Park's 4-acre oxbow lake, kayaks glide across the still water like brightly colored swans. From the grassy bank, I watch the boats, most carrying one adult and one child, paddle between the pylons of the small highway bridge, make a wide circle on the other side, and then return.

On such a warm and sunny day in March, the bucolic scene would be nothing unusual, but the boats' passengers are here for the weekend's BOLD: Blindness Outdoor Learning and Development event, a program organized by the National Federation of the Blind of Texas and supported by a 2022 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department grant. Everyone on the water, including each adult who is steering, is legally blind.

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Celebrating 100 Years of our State Parks can be delivered straight to your mailbox with a new annual subscription to Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. Enjoy 10 issues PLUS this bonus as our gift to you. Subscribe today!

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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.

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