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Photos shot for the August | September issue

It's time to get busy, Texas locavores, if you want to be ready for the field or the stand. Here's that moment where we get stuck sometimes, whether we're first-time hunters or returning enthusiasts who feel rusty about the details.

For a half-century, hunter education has come to the rescue. Instructors (now online for much of the curriculum), take you through every step of the process to ensure your success. In this issue, we're taking a long look at preparing for the season, from early coursework to skills practice and recipes. Safety and ethics have always been crucial components.

Don't forget, there would be nothing to harvest if Texans didn't cherish and steward the land that hosts these incredible wild creatures. Sheldon Lake State Park's prairie and wetlands have been restored with historical accuracy, thanks to two decades of challenging and inspired work.

Thanks for participating in #GOSH2021. We love seeing your amazing selfies; keep them coming!

 

Hunter Education 101

50 years of hunter education in Texas.

Let's celebrate! With the passage of the Dingell-Hart Amendment in 1972 and the original Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937, funding from federal excise taxes on handguns and archery equipment was made available to states to fund hunter safety education and target range development projects. With the passage, Texas started it's voluntary hunter education program, mainly to satisfy the demand by Texas hunters traveling to Colorado to hunt mule deer and elk. Colorado passed a requirement in 1970 stating that hunters born after January 1, 1949, must be trained.

(read more)

Repairing Sheldon's Prairie

Using investigative techniques, one park rebuilds its grasslands and wetlands with historical accuracy.

From the top of the John Jacob Observation Tower at Sheldon Lake State Park, Andrew Sipocz points out downtown Houston in one direction, the San Jacinto Monument in another and the park's recovering grasslands below. The view from above has been a key component in Sipocz's groundbreaking work in restoring the prairie and wetlands in the park — the type of coastal prairie that used to stretch as far as the eye could see.

Less than 1 percent of Texas' coastal prairie remains, most of it gobbled up by rice farms and cattle pastures, Astrodomes and Gallerias. Sipocz, a natural resources coordinator for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, has been on a mission for 20 years to hold on to a piece of it — to rebuild it, really — here at Sheldon Lake.

(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.




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