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Photos in the October 2017 issue

CelEBRATING 75 YEARS

Hold on to your hats as we kick off a year of celebration, culminating in December with the 75th anniversary of everyone's favorite magazine about the Texas outdoors (and the longest-running magazine in Texas).

 

This Month's Features

Texas Brigades

Teenagers become conservation leaders at Texas Brigades summer camps.

By Aubry Buzek

“They say the only way to predict the future is to create it,”  Dale Rollins declares as he watches the covey of teenage campers affectionately nicknamed the “California Girls” taking turns shooting bright orange clay targets out of the sky.

Inside the renovated schoolhouse nearby, another covey of campers is learning to taxidermy delicate bobwhite quail, carefully recreating their natural flight position and securing the birds to varnished Texas-shaped wooden boards. Yet another group surrounds a pair of computers, painstakingly arranging and scanning the quail-favored native plants they collected from nearby fields.

After the last pop of the shotgun subsides, Rollins finishes his thought: “I like to think that we are helping to create the future here.”

(read more)

The Right Track

The ancient art of tracking helps you follow your wildlife dreams.

By Jonah Evans

From badgers and bobcats to flying squirrels and ringtails, Texas is home to a fascinating diversity of native fauna. Growing up on a ranch, I read about these creatures and wondered why I never saw them. Every ranch walk yielded only a few deer and jackrabbits. Perhaps, I thought, the books were wrong and these animals lived elsewhere in Texas.

As I grew older, I learned that most mammals are nocturnal, well camouflaged and wary of humans. It began to dawn on me that perhaps these elusive animals were giving me the slip.

This new reality that so many animals could be living undetected in my own backyard didn’t fully set in until I picked up my first field guide to animal tracks. I began to look more carefully at the ground for clues. There, I discovered a passageway into a hidden world.

(read more)

Rain Deer

Good rainfall over several years grows trophy antlers.

By Larry D. Hodge

Every decade or so the stars, the clouds and that pool of warm water in the Pacific Ocean that produces El Niño align, and it rains antlers. 2016 was one of those years.

It was also the year that I took my best buck ever, an East Texas 14-pointer. Without the rains of 2015 and 2016, he would not have grown that rack, nor would I have been able to hunt him successfully. More on that later.

Lots of rain alone doesn’t guarantee that the deer where you hunt will be trophies. Besides nutrition, antler quality depends on genetics and age. Biologists surmise that while the natural deer population contains all the genetics necessary to grow trophy bucks, it is helpful to cull the herd to remove bucks that don’t achieve the desired growth, leaving those with better genetics to do the breeding. As selective harvest continues, removing older does can also help, since the younger does are more likely to carry the better genes — and they contribute half the genetic makeup of offspring.

(read more)



Paint by Numbers
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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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