Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   


60 Years in the Outdoors

A vanguard for conservation even in its infancy, this magazine reflects a changing Texas, a developing agency and, most of all, the passions and pursuits of its readers.


December 1942:
First issue of Texas Game and Fish is published by the Texas Game, Fish and Oyster Commission. Executive Secretary William J. Tucker writes in that first issue: "After the harshness, brutalities and sacrifices of the present conflict the Texas man and womanhood that has succeeded in winning the war should return to a pleasanter place in which to live, with the invigorating influence of the out-of-doors doing its full share to cleanse their spirits and temper their character."
January 1943:
"For years Texans have dreamed of the Big Bend country of the Rio Grande becoming a national park. The dream is now approaching realization. Park-minded Texas, with its Legislature's appropriation of $1,500,000, has completed the purchase of the necessary lands."
June 1943:
"Women should be capable of far more enjoyment from fishing than men because of their sense of appreciation of beauty. A man will make his kill, guzzle a bottle of brew and blindly head homeward; a woman will be satisfied with one small perch and linger to revel in the infinitesimal loveliness of the bloom on Spanish moss or the haunting song of a rain crow at dusk."
August 1943:
"Today the Attwater's prairie chicken is on the verge of extinction."
April 1944:
"Texas will face soon the loss of four important game species and one entire fauna. Two of the game species are mammals: the black bear and the bighorn sheep. Two game birds are the Attwater's prairie chicken and the lesser prairie chicken. In extreme South Texas, an entire fauna is in jeopardy. Here such subtropical birds and mammals as the white-winged dove, chachalaca, red-billed pigeon, white-fronted dove, Derby fly-catcher and Eyra cat are threatened with eradication as a result of the continuing removal of brushy habitat."
May 1945:
"In the Big Bend National Park... is a spot known as Dog Canyon where the storm waters of several hundred square miles of mountain country rush through a deep slit in the high rock hills. Engineers estimate that a comparatively inexpensive dam could be built in this canyon that would back up water 32 miles to make a vast highland lake in the shadows of the great Chisos Mountains to increase the charm and attractiveness of this park a hundred fold."
June 1945:
"Browsing around in one of the sporting goods stores we observed that shelves are growing barer and barer of items classed as 'essential' by every good fisherman. Almost every tackle maker is engaged 100 percent in war work."
July 1945:
"In the past three has been widespread belief that pollution of a waterway is not objectionable because of the ability of the receiving stream to somehow purify itself as it flows along its course. Unfortunately, however, such is not the case. It is doubtful that a present day stream can ever purify itself regardless of its length of travel."
November 1945:
"If the game wardens know what they are talking about, and they undoubtedly do, the whitewinged dove is headed for extinction within another year or two."
December 1945:
Cover painting by Orville Rice features a gray-haired man escorting a young man in a soldier's uniform into a glade where ducks fly overhead, bobwhite quail are on the ground and a white-tailed deer peeks around a sign, upon which a turkey is perched, that says "Welcome Home and Merry Christmas."
January 1946:
"government released D.D.T. is available to home, farm, kennel and pet owners and may be purchased in any concentration from local dealers." The article goes on to say: "Under certain conditions it may be dangerous to beneficial insects or even to animals and man."
February 1946:
"One great danger to our wildlife is the possible influx of mongooses, brought into the United States by returning soldiers."
April 1946:
A full-page ad announces the appointment of advertising representatives in Chicago and New York.
December 1946:
"That the deer would go the way of the Dodo seemed entirely probable in certain sections of Texas not so long ago. Among the factors that stayed the hand of the destroyer were the sportsmen of the state who intervened to save that splendid animal from extirpation."
July 1947:
"The experts emphasized the fact that the day of long seasons and big bag limits is over throughout the country, as the continental duck population has gone down from its high of 125,000,000 in 1944 to not more than 54,000,000 in the entire continent in 1947."
September 1947:
"If you've turned down your boy friend's invitation to go fishing lately, better think twice before you do it again. Men look upon that sport as one of the essentials of living a wonderful life. And if you want to remain the strictly A-1 for him, you must 'put up' with this fad of his - or better than that - learn to enjoy his fishing trips, too."
January 1948:
It is impossible to visit any city and talk to the older hunters or fishermen without being told that in their youth, areas that are now built up solidly to residences or factory districts were fine hunting grounds and produced good hunting close to the much smaller city that existed at that time.
January 1948:
"The failure of the Texas legislature to enact the universal fishing license law is due to a state of mind which manifests itself in many other matters. There are too many legislators who are unable to divest themselves of the ideas of the horse-and-buggy era. Time was when the hunter and the fisherman hunted and fished where they pleased, when they pleased, with little thought of conservation or the rights of land-owners. Within the memory of some men, game and fish were abundant enough to make restrictions seem unnecessary."
May 1948:
"It is only natural for a person to tell of his fishing or hunting prowess, but at the same time does this speak so highly of that person's sportsmanship? Wouldn't it speak as well of that angler's prowess and also for his sportsmanship if he had released those fish alive, in order that they might live to thrill another angler on some future day?"
October 1948:
"No subject in the whole conservation field has received so much talk and so little action as water pollution."
December 1948:
"Having observed the decline of public fishing possibilities during the last decade, many serious minded individuals have become perturbed about the future of fishing in Texas. From their isolated thinking and somewhat abortive remedial attempts, there has developed a well defined path to better fishing for each individual - but he must pay for it."
June 1949:
An article entitled "Your Fishing, Boating and Camping Guide to the Major Texas Lakes" listed 17 lakes.
July 1949:
"Reports of heavy mortality of birds, fish, frogs, crabs and other marine and fresh water life, allegedly as a result of insecticide dusts and sprays, has led the national Audubon Society to investigate the situation."
August 1949:
"Deep down in the virgin heel of the Big Bend, a sportsman's paradise is slowly but surely taking place. It [Black Gap WMA] is a primitive, soul-stirring land, this newly created 60,000-acre game refuge purchased for the state with sportsmen's money."


March 1950:
"In the hills west of Austin lie the Highland Lakes of Texas, strung like glittering pendants on a thin strand of silver. Where twenty years ago there were only green canyons and an unpredictable Colorado River, today there is a whole vacationaland of varied wonder beckoning the fisherman, the hunter, the boating enthusiast and the mere relaxationist."
April 1950:
"Recent years have seen all of the best native brush nesting over in the lower Rio Grande Valley bull-dozed off and the land put in cotton, in truck crops or in citrus orchards. If the previous year's nesting area has been destroyed, the [white-winged doves] must seek another which is suitable or near suitable. Preferring dense chaparral type of native cover, they are now hard pressed to find a 150-acre native plot which remotely meets their former high standard."
July 1950:
"In an experimental project, the Game, Fish and Oyster Commission released thirty nutria in Lake Austin. The small, fur-bearing animals are known for their vegetarian diet which reportedly qualifies them as weed cutters deluxe."
September 1950:
"The fifth open season on pronghorned antelope since the West Texas herds were restored under modern game management techniques has been approved for the area west of the Pecos, October 2 to October 10."
May 1951:
"Is America headed for national decay and oblivion because of the abuse of its once fertile land? Is it true that our philosophy with respect to the land is 'rip it off the hills; gouge it out of the soil; get it into the bank in one generation, if possible'" Editorial by B.M. Collie, auditor, Sand, Shell & Gravel
June 1951:
"Conservation got a tremendous stimulant recently through organization of the Outdoor Writers of Texas, a group pledged to give the true story of wildlife in this state."
April 1952:
"Step aside, Dad, and make way for the kids. They show promise for rebuilding wildlife more effectively than any generation since the passing of the frontier."
August 1952:
"It's a far cry from the shoot-to-kill custom of great grandfather's day when the settlers couldn't afford to miss; a far cry to the present day when they shoot for fun - and trophies. The contrast was graphically shown at the 1952 annual meet of the Texas Muzzle Loading Rifle Association at the San Angelo Gun Club on Lake Nasworthy."
December 1952:
"The special subscription rate of 50 cents per year for Texas Game and Fish which in the past has been granted wildlife organizations and schools no longer is in effect. The nine-member panel of Game and Fish Commissioners voted to discontinue the rate at their last quarterly meeting. Beginning November 1 and henceforth the subscription price is $1 per year for everyone."
December 1952:
The 10th anniversary issue used color inside the magazine for the first time; not color pictures, but colors in the headline type.
June 1953:
"The art of camping - and the attending pleasures - have all but been lost in this day of the automobile and expanding highways, which have made the wilds so easily accessible."
September 1953:
"Only 21 of these birds - all the known whooping cranes now in existence - left the Texas coast for their northern breeding grounds last spring."
June 1954:
"The duck hawk, while not particularly large, is regarded as one of the most fearless creatures of flight. Bill Jennings, new assistant director of Wildlife Restoration, believes they might go so far as to attack an airplane - if they could catch it."
June 1954:
"The miracle of modern engineering has again triumphed, and the small, sluggish, silt-laden Rio Grande River has been transformed into a vast, clear and fertile lake just above the new Falcon Dam."
May 1955:
"For approximately 16 years, game technicians have recognized dangers in overpopulations of deer in portions of the Edwards Plateau."
August 1955:
"A total of 3,329 antlerless deer were killed during Texas second legal 'doe' season December 1-16, 1954."
September 1955:
"Ever hear of the Spanish red-legged partridge? With help from the federal government we have already entered the first year of a three-year trial period with the bird. Approximately 180 were released on an area 25 miles southwest of Childress during February and March."
January 1956:
"Texas will see a new port created on its southern Gulf coastline during 1956. Located in Willacy County at Port Mansfield, it will serve commercial and sport fishermen, ranching and farming, shrimping and various industries of South Texas. Most important to fishermen, the proposed jettied channel will slice through Padre Island, giving fish a much-needed passage between the Gulf and fish-rich Laguna Madre's long slender bay area."
July 1956:
"Conservationists must take the initiative in working out solutions to some of the complex social and economic problems that are involved in the restoration of the ivory-bill through management of its timber-producing habitats. Their success or failure will determine the fate of this bird."
February 1957:
"A press dispatch from Canada referring to growing overpopulation of snow geese gave emphasis to the contention by Howard Dodgen, executive secretary of the Texas Game, Fish and Oyster Commission, that bag limits on snow geese should be increased."
April 1957:
"Texas wildflowers can supply the fisherman with the needed enticement to get his family outdoors with him in the spring. While Dad and the boys fish, Mom and the girls can enjoy nature's exquisite blossoms."
August 1957:
Ad in the magazine announces that the Texas legislature has enacted a law requiring most saltwater or freshwater fishermen to have a license.
August 1957:
"The ever increasing demand for water to supply our expanding industry, agriculture and other uses will continue as long as our state's population grows and will become far greater as a result of our natural desires to improve our standard of living."
December 1957:
"It is particularly fitting to remember the good things that have been in the past year. The drought has been broken; the streams flow again and the ponds are full; our fields and woodlands are green with productive and food-bearing plants for our upland game." Editorial by executive secretary Howard Dodgen
October 1958:
"President Eisenhower has approved a bill increasing the price of the Federal migratory waterfowl stamp from $2 to $3, effective July 1, 1959.
April 1959:
"For the first time in the Game and Fish Commission history, live, wild turkeys from eastern United States have been imported and released in Texas for restocking purposes."


January 1960:
"One of the most important experiments now being conducted by the Texas Game and Fish Commission is its operation of the Big Hill Bayou Wildlife Management Area, an 8,400-acre tract of marsh land about eight miles west of Port Arthur.
"The big question they're trying to answer is this-Can a tract of land be managed to aid in feeding and wintering waterfowl, and at the same time be open to successful public hunting on a controlled basis?"
January 1960:
"Instead of seeking ever-more toxic, broad spectrum compounds, we should strive to develop materials which are selective or specifically toxic to particular insect pests that need control. We should strive to use less rather than more toxicants through better and specific cultural practices, and we should give far more consideration to effective biological control methods."
April 1960:
"Robin Redbreast is a drunkard in the winter. It's the chinaberry tree that proved his downfall."It seems that Mr. Robin (and Mrs. Robin, too), being only winter visitors to this state, don't realize the potency of chinaberries after they ferment in the warm Texas sunshine. Areas where the berry trees grow have become regular robin 'bars' where dozens of intoxicated robins can be seen staggering and flopping about."
June 1960:
"Lake Texoma, a huge inland sea on the Red River, straddling the boundary lines of Texas and Oklahoma, where millions of tourists visit each year and tons of fish are harvested, has become one of the finest outdoor recreation spots in the world."More people visit the lake, named for its location, than any other federal installation in the nation.... For attendance, Texoma has consistently outdrawn such established national tourist attractions as the Lincoln Memorial, Lake Mead, and the Yellowstone National Park."
August 1960:
"Texas hunters will buy a new license form for the 1960 hunting season. The price, however, will still be $3.15 for residents."
September 1960:
"For the first time there is grave doubt by some people whether, for all our pious words to the contrary, we can continue to provide sanctuary for large, wilderness-seeking species like the whooping crane."
March 1961:
An article on shotgun pellets pointed out uses for lead shot besides being fired at birds. Shot was sewn into the hems of evening gowns to make them hang better, rolled across drum heads to simulate the sound of cannons on radio and TV, washed with samples of cloth to simulate wear in laundering tests and loaded into blackjacks wielded by criminals.
April 1961:
"Remember the fellow who caught a 7-pound bass the other day? He wore its tail off dragging it around for his friends to see. Catching a 7-pound bass is something like making a hole in one."
July 1961:
The results of a survey of readers of Texas Game and Fish magazine showed that the average reader spent between one and two hours reading each issue. The magazine was more popular with readers than such national magazines as Field and Stream, Outdoor Life, Life, Saturday Evening Post, True, McCall's and Holiday. The most popular topics were fishing, hunting and conservation, in that order. Out of 450 respondents to the survey, only 29 were women.
August 1961:
"For the first time in the history of the Redfish Bay Tournament held annually at Port Mansfield, a woman walked away with most of the honors including grand champion. San Antonio's Mrs. Joe Sarro captured first and second place in the ladies' largest redfish division. Her biggest red, 8-pounds, 1-ounce, was the heaviest taken by anyone."
January 1962:
"The whitetail deer is aiding scientists in solving some of the problems of this nuclear age. Thyroid glands from freshly killed whitetails are being used to measure the fallout of radioactive iodine from Russian testing."
Story on the eradication of fish in Balmorhea Lake with rotenone to prepare it for restocking....wonder where the native fish there now came from?
A man driving on U.S. 77 found a buck deer that had been hit by a car. Thinking it was still alive, he put it in his truck and took it to a farmhouse, where the farmer told him the deer was dead-was already stiff, in fact. However, the man went to another house where no one was home, broke down the door and carried the deer inside, where he put it in a bed before going to bed himself, where the local sheriff found him the next morning.
April 1962:
"A dot of land far out in the South Pacific called Guam is now home for two of Texas' most popular game species, the bobwhite quail and white-tailed deer. Seven deer and 30 quail were included in a shipment of livestock which arrived safely at the distant island under the name, "Operation Guam Friendship."
June 1962:
"Texas now has a population of approximately 10 million. Most of 'em are looking for a place to pitch camp."
June 1962:
From a story by J. Frank Dobie called "The Fire": "In harsh, cold, wet weather a wood fire in an ample fireplace is one of the purest comforts and most genial comrades known to man."
November 1962:
From a story by Connie Hagar, the "Mother of Texas Birding": "it was a great thrill to have Dr. Oberholder, who originally doubted the 'off beat' birds I listed, to avow later that 'If Connie Hagar' reported a Great Auk in her front yard, I would believe her.' But it is a greater thrill to have opened the door to bird wonders for eager and intelligent beginners-to have seen in their eyes the dawn of understanding when pieces fall into place, becoming a whole picture."
December 1962:
"Kids belong in church, school, barber shops, dime stores, ball parks, Saturday movies and bed. But there's one other place kids belong-in the outdoors. Not just outside playing, but outdoors hunting."
January 1963:
"The Eskimo curlew, regarded as extinct, was sighted last spring on Galveston Island for the fourth consecutive year. At one time, the bird bred in huge numbers on the tundra of Western Canada and in Alaska and migrated in fall to South America, by way of Labrador. In spring, they moved back north over Texas and the Midwest. The birds were slaughtered everywhere and the last recorded specimen was taken in 1932. Positive identification of the recent sightings is still uncertain."
March 1963:
"In our growing maturity we must realize that the people of the entire world must begin to practice conservation. Depletion at any one place weakens all of us. "Somehow we must find a way to make it a paying proposition for temporary owners to use good conservation practices."
September 1963:
"Texas has begun a new approach to its program for the conservation and development of our wildlife and recreational resources. The new Parks and Wildlife Commission, combining the Game and Fish Commission and the Parks Board, has been given the responsibility by the Legislature to fulfill this task for the people of Texas."
February 1964:
"Some naturalists have proposed that the raccoon join the eagle as an American emblem, thinking we should have a national mammal as well as a national bird. Among other qualifications, the raccoons are said to be more distinctly American than the eagle; tough, adaptable and successful; as common as dirt and as hardy as weeds."
March 1964:
"Six billion sterile male screwworm flies, from the plant at Mission, were dropped from planes in 1963, as compared to 1.6 billion in 1962. Screwworm damage decreased 90% in 1963 from that of the preceding year. So far, this year has been free altogether of screwworm confirmations."
April 1964:
Kerr County ranked number one in the state in the total number of exotics, with 3,877; and in number of species, 9, in a TPWD study.
May 1964:
"Fishermen probably take more big bass each year from Granite Shoals Lake in Central Texas than any other lake in the state."
June 1964:
"Hunters are eagerly awaiting the announcement of an open season on white-winged doves; they know that they no longer can take one for granted because of the recent scarcity of whitewings, resulting from destruction of nesting habitat."
July 1964:
"Here is a simple way to improvise an insulated container in which to keep beverages hot or cold. Set a half-gallon jar inside a large oatmeal carton, then pack crumpled paper between the sides of the jar and carton."
August 1964:
"A massive dam that will drastically alter fishing prospects for many Texans will soon span the historic Rio Grande River 12 miles north of Del Rio. "Since this great body of water will lie on our international boundary as a joint venture of the United States and Mexico, it has been appropriately named AMISTAD, which means 'friendship' in Spanish."
August 1964:
"Water is the number one problem in western and southwestern states and probably, only to a lesser degree, in every state in the Union. That there are so many problems associated with it would seem to indicate in itself that there is need for much research in this field."
August 1964:
"While vying for space along our coastline, we must recognize the habitat destruction caused by man in his real estate developments. It is quite possible that we are losing an important fisheries potential in our bays by blocking off fresh water, erecting bulkheads, dredging channels and slits, depositing spoil and fill and otherwise destroying natural nursery grounds which are so important to shrimp, trout, redfish and other marine forms."
November 1964:
"Researchers at Texas A&M University worked for weeks preparing an exhibit to be shown on 'sheep and goat field day.' It was to be called 'Managing Feeder Lambs on Small Pasture Grains.' The plans had to be changed-wolves ate the exhibit! The researchers instead scheduled an exhibitless event called 'Predator Control in Lamb Flocks.'"
November 1964:
"The spent bulbs from small flash cameras do nicely for bobbers. The manufacturers have grooved them perfectly for tying on to a fish line. Nice of them. If you want colored bobbers, your wife's nail polish will do that job neatly."
December 1964:
"A goal of $365,000 has been set in a drive to save the Attwater's Prairie Chicken. The fund-raising campaign by conservation groups is aimed at purchasing 3,400 acres of prairie in Colorado County, north of Eagle Lake, Texas, which, historically, is the best prairie chicken range on the entire Gulf coast. In 1963 when the last survey was made, there were less than 1,000 of these birds in Texas and their population decline is reported to be much greater than that of the whooping crane."
December 1964:
"Looking for something different and delicious, a sure conversation piece, for your holiday menu? In the place of honor, gracing the center of your Christmas Eve dinner table, display a splendid carp!"
February 1965:
"The only cure for the litter disease is conscientious people. Each person who displays his lack of concern by tossing even one can along some shore, is part of the infectious sickness fouling the natural beauty of the outdoors. Each individual must decide what he will be-a litter germ or a preventive antibody."
March 1965:
"In response to changing times, Texas A&M has a new School of Natural Bio-Sciences, believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S. It will begin operation next fall with three departments-Range Science, Recreation and Parks, and Wildlife Science."
March 1965:
"The redfish is a prolific spawner and during favorable conditions the stock easily can be replenished. It is equally apparent that at the present time it is one of the least abundant game fish on the lower Texas coast and that much of the stock is being harvested as soon as it reaches catchable size. This heavy harvest leaves little, if any, surplus."
April 1965:
"This April issue marks a basic change in the name of our magazine to Texas Parks and Wildlife. The new designation appropriately reflects the comprehensive function of the Parks and Wildlife Department."
April 1965:
"Rabbit hunting is a very convenient sport due to the availability of rabbits near most Texas population centers. Rabbits can be found in practically every field, brush pile, wood lot, garden or vacant lot. It's no wonder that the cottontail is the most sought-after game in the United States."
May 1965:
"Forty-two whooping cranes, including ten young of the year, have been wintering at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The adults represent the entire complement of whoopers which migrated to Canada last spring and returned, with their young, to the wintering grounds. There are seven other cranes at a New Orleans zoo, and an additional injured bird is being cared for at Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge in Colorado, making an overall total of 50."
July 1965:
"During January of 1965, about 4,100 visitors, some from as far as Australia and Iran, came to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas to see the whooping cranes."
July 1965:
"Palo Duro Canyon arouses emotion in its fascinated visitors. Just as years ago, man continues to marvel at the works of nature that have turned the prairie inside out. Gaping in the endless plains like an oasis in the desert, its gigantic proportions make man a mere speck-but he will return again and again to marvel at the stark, crude beauty."
August 1965:
"Two types of people pursue fish. On one hand are those who go with the sole purpose of catching fish; on the other hand are those who go for the enjoyment of it. The latter are fishermen, and they alone go fishing."
August 1965:
"Recognizing the need to bridge the gap between nature and the urban child, several Texas museums have developed natural science classes and activities, and they have achieved astonishing success."
August 1965:
"Gigantic in size, overwhelming in economic impact, and greatly befitting the Texas tradition to have the biggest and best, the new Sam Rayburn dam and reservoir near Jasper stands as an appropriate tribute to one of the State's greatest statesmen. When filled to operating level this will be the 14th largest man-made lake in the nation and the largest lake entirely within the boundaries of Texas."
September 1965:
"A giant armadillo was called in to do the groundbreaking for a new air stewardess college in Fort Worth. The animal did the job so well that emergency measures were necessary to retrieve him before he dug his way back to Brazil! His day of glory completed, the armadillo was returned to the Fort Worth Zoo."
September 1965:
"Hunter-landowner relations can make or break the sport of hunting in Texas as in most other places. Treat your host as you would want to be treated if you were the landowner and he were the hunter, and you'll be doing an important part to preserve hunting for future generations."
December 1965:
"The hobby of watching birds has survived decades of scoff and ridicule to emerge as one of the most popular facets of natural science. Some say it's the song, dash, color, and grace that attracts men to birds. Others argue that it's because birds are symbolic of freedom and escape from restraint."
January 1966:
"Most important of all for anglers to remember is that this is a sport. We should not judge the success of our trip by the weight of the stringer. The true indication of a successful fishing trip is found in the number of troubles that were forgotten."
February 1966:
"While we are making artificial everything from soup to nuts in this day and age, we will never be able to completely synthesize one important requirement of man's system-relaxation and recreation. It is as essential as adequate clean water, and the lack of it can make you as sick as a vitamin shortage."
February 1966:
"An unofficial poll was recently taken among game biologists of the Parks and Wildlife Department to ascertain, in their opinion, what five trees were most used by wildlife. Without exception the number one honors went to the oak family. For browse, mast, and shelter, it seems oaks produce more benefits than any other tree."
February 1966:
"In areas of Texas where quail numbers have dwindled, they have usually been evicted by clean farming, overgrazing, pesticides, and other 'modern' land practices."
March 1966:
"Parts of Texas still have abundant turkey populations, due to the concerted effort of the State and private individuals in many areas. Other areas are being stocked with turkeys, and although the future is uncertain, studies and surveys show the birds are prospering."
April 1966:
From an article about the Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area: "The tame deer bite study is based on the use of 'Radar,' an 18-month-old tame buck deer. He is kept in a large pen at the area headquarters, and has been trained to load and unload upon command into a specially equipped 4-wheel drive pickup. This facilitates transporting Radar to pre-selected range sites so observers can record his browsing preferences, bite by bite."
April 1966:
"A rabbit has almost twice as many taste buds as does a man."
May 1966:
"With the modern outdoorsmen turning to trailer travel, several of the parks in the State have been adjusted to meet this need. Hook-ups for electricity and water are available in many parks, and sewage disposal is conveniently located in four of the larger parks."
May 1966:
"If your bird dog seems to have lost his nose, perhaps he needs to have his tonsils checked. Many dogs have been cured of an apparently sudden loss of smell by tonsillectomy. Reports show 70 percent success in returning the 'lost sense.'"
May 1966:
"Not long ago the Créme Lure Company announced the release of their newest product-the Shimmy Gal. At the time, they said this lure would have about the same effect on bass that Gypsy Rose Lee had on men. The Shimmy Gal literally vamps those big boys into striking."
June 1966:
"Surfing, called a hobby by some and a menace by others, has been arousing national interest for some time, and has come to the Texas coast in recent years-its identity still in question."
July 1966:
"Deer movement studies during the last 20 years point out two very important facts: 1) Deer refuse to move from their home range even if the necessities of life itself disappear. 2) Deer range is limited, almost universally, to one and a half to two miles."
October 1966:
"DDT can travel from soil to plants to animals, a recent study shows. This has exploded a long held belief that plants cannot absorb insecticides from the soil, and explains why many dairymen have had to dump milk because of the presence of DDT or dieldrin in their dairy products."
October 1966:
"Estimates by manufacturers and others in the sporting firearms industry indicate that about half the rifles used in big game hunting in this nation are never sighted in by the hunter. Many take for granted that the rifle is properly sighted before it is sold, while others believe target shooting is only for those who do not enjoy game hunting."
November 1966:
"Since man has made alterations in Nature's plan, he must accept his land stewardship responsibilities. Wild game is a renewable resource that produces an annual crop. It requires a seeding of proper cover, fertilization of a food supply, irrigation to provide usable water, and an annual harvest of the surplus. Just as man feels obligated to keep a herd of livestock in balance with the productivity of a pasture, so must he remember that wildlife is also a product of the existing environment."
November 1966:
"In Nature's plan the coyote plays the important role of predator and scavenger, but by doing his job perhaps a little too enthusiastically, his public image remains slightly tainted."
December 1966:
"A pretty woman always comes first with a real outdoorsman. But a pretty gun runs a close second."
December 1966:
"In live bait casting circles, the Comal Tackle Company of Buda offers a new 'Snorck Korck.' Designed especially for bottom fishing, a heavy weight holds your offering to the bottom of the lake or stream while two leaders and hooks are attached to the cork riding just above the weight."
January 1967:
"Wolves, dogs, and coyotes are close kin, and interbreed; a coyote-wolf hybrid resembles a wolf; some wolves kill cattle and some people think all wolves kill cattle. For these reasons the Texas Red Wolf, Canis niger rufus, became almost extinct before man missed him."
January 1967:
"The human tide has swept across the continent, until in modern times wilderness is at a premium, and much wildlife is in serious danger. The price of tremendous technological advances is being seen in the increasing pollution of air and water. The grave problem of insecticide poisoning is even yet not fully realized. It is becoming more and more apparent that a 'Pandora's box' has been opened by unregulated use of chemical pesticides, with far-reaching effects to all living creatures and a growing trail of dead ones, other than the originally planned victims."
January 1967:
"Texas is finally getting into the act-that is, establishing official State hunting and fishing records. It took the fortitude of Henry Stowers, Dallas Morning News, to get the ball rolling, and now the job has been assumed by the Sportsmen's Clubs of Texas (SCOT)."
February 1967:
"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department offers no miracle solution to Texas' park problems. But it does offer a professionally planned course of action based on present and future recreational needs. It is a program of land acquisition, development, and management with a goal of preserving the best of Texas' outdoors for the enjoyment of all persons."
March 1967:
"The tarpon's range extends from Brazil and the West Indies northward to Cape Cod, but its chief habitat is the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Off the Texas coast, the Aransas Pass and Brazosport areas are known to be the best places for tarpon fishing, although the fish are found all along the coastal area."
March 1967:
"The most obvious thing about the bluebird is, of course, its brilliant color, and it is an interesting fact that this really might be called an illusion ... the blue of the bluebird comes from the cell structure of its feathers ... which scatters the light until only blue is perceived by the eye."
March 1967:
"In mid-January Governor John Connally snipped a light blue ribbon to open the door of the Ranger Arms Company of Gainesville. This company is producing two new hunting rifles, the Texas Magnum and the Texas Mustang."
April 1967:
"Texas has a unique exotic game situation in that more species of animals have been released here, and in greater numbers than in any other place in North America."
April 1967:
"All of the responsibilities of piloting a boat rest with you, the captain. You are responsible for the safety of your passengers, for the damages your boat incurs, and for knowing the Texas Water Safety Act and the local rules and regulations of the water you are using."
April 1967:
"Enchantment can be found in many areas of Texas, but few regions compare to the appeal of Caddo Lake in deep East Texas. Sprawling like the trail of a drunk raccoon through pine-covered swamps, Caddo is steeped in history, studded with jug-stumped cypress trees, adorned with breathtaking beauty, haunted by a myriad of wild animals, and blessed with good fishing."
June 1967:
"Clearly, outdoors-loving Texans face a dilemma. Shall we let the State parks remain as they are and risk destruction through overuse? Shall we expand the system? Or shall we have no parks at all?"
July 1967:
"Until World War II, very little was done about chigger-control. The Armed Forces became concerned when thousands of man-hours were lost due to both the initial attacks of the pest and secondary effects from infected bites."
July 1967:
"The red-head is the only woodpecker that catches insects on the wing."
July 1967:
"The use of DDT in Dutch Elm disease control programs has been cited as the chief cause of songbird die-offs in Midwestern cities last year. The U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife warns that the continuing popularity of DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides and chemical weed killers may result in further losses."
August 1967:
From a letter to the editor: "I used to enjoy your magazine very much, but it has become steadily worse for sportsmen who are not biologists and do not care how many restrooms, etc. there are in every park in the State of Texas. I would like to hear more stories about what other sportsmen are doing, and not just what the State is doing for us."
September 1967:
Photo on page 14 illustrates the typical image of women now portrayed in the magazine-as ornaments and observers rather than as active participants in outdoor activities.
September 1967:
"Hunting regulations specify that a person may not have any type of firearm or crossbow with him while hunting with bow and arrow, the bow must be capable of shooting a hunting arrow 130 yards, broadheads must be 7/8-inches but not over 1 ½-inches wide, the archer's name must be affixed permanently in non-water-soluble media to each arrow, and the use of poison, drugs, or explosive arrows is prohibited."
October 1967:
"Regardless of the method of hunting you choose or the weapon you use, you will find that hunting squirrels will sharpen your awareness in the out-of-doors. Skills needed to take any type of game are implemented, and if you are a proficient squirrel hunter, chances are that you will have a profitable hunt no matter what your quarry may be."
October 1967:
From a story about Davis Mountains State Park: "Other information about the geology, plants, animals, and ecology of the 1,869-acre park and surrounding areas will be available in the park's new interpretive center. The center-the first of its kind in the Texas State parks system-will house a museum, a herbarium (collection of dried plants, mounted and identified), and a special publications counter, all of which will help visitors better understand and enjoy the park's natural history."
November 1967:
"Trophy heads over a mantel have long been indications of a man's abilities in the outdoors, and there is always friendly competition to determine whose trophy is the best. To complement this interest, all states but Texas have previously established state game records. Now Texas is getting into the picture. "Starting with this hunting season, the very important task of determining who killed the best white-tail, mule deer, and pronghorn will rest with a well qualified but secret committee of the Sportsmen's Clubs of Texas."
January 1968:
"Some farmers have resorted to rock-and-roll to outwit raccoons. A small radio, placed in a plastic bag and tuned to an all-night broadcast is said to keep these unwanted visitors from a cornfield."
February 1968:
"Captivated by the beauty and docility of one of the local fauna, the ill-fated Emperor Maximilian of Mexico is said to have carried the creature around in his pocket. By political destiny the Emperor's reign was short and tragic, but the end would have been more abrupt if his pocket companion had been in the mood. That charmer happened to be a coral snake."
February 1968:
"Growing boys need action sports, outlets for their energies, and stimulation for their eager curiosity. One of the true action sports, the kind where every player is part of the action, is fishing."
March 1968:
"Moods change with every cloud which passes between the sun and the land in the Texas Hill Country. On gray, dreary days, mist shrouded hills, seemingly as remote and lonely as the mountains of the moon, gloomily guard the labyrinth of canyons."
April 1968:
"The heart of Texas is hospitable to so many blooms that here, too, it seems someone has been smashing rainbows and impulsively strewing the fragments everywhere."
April 1968:
"Natural self preservation will cause wild game to hold their own in the battle with the gun, as they have for many years, but game animals have yet to find a way to combat overgrazing, excessive brush eradication, extremely clean farming, and the various 'cides' (pesticides, herbicides, etc.) which destroy their two great necessities-food and shelter."
April 1968:
"A 7,000-acre tract of land was recently given the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by Mr. and Mrs. J. Meredith Tatton of Corpus Christi. This generous gift becomes an addition to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, winter home of America's whooping cranes, and is also important habitat for another rare species, Attwater's prairie chicken."
June 1968:
"Never be surprised at the contents of a catfish's stomach. It may be stuffed with newly-born watersnakes, mulberries, pecans, or baby swallows fallen from their cliff nests above the water. One hefty catfish taken from Lake Travis tasted so rank when fried, its entrails were recovered for inspection. In the stomach reposed an entire skunk."
June 1968:
From a letter to the editor: "There is considerable interest here in Bellville, county seat of Austin County, in beavers. They have been seen at Clear Creek, Mill Creek, and at the Brazos River and their dams have been torn away to allow water flow. "... I would very much appreciate any snapshots that any one has been fortunate enough to get. I slipped and skidded down a long beaver slide from about 20 feet into water, which helped neither [me nor my] camera, and came home without my needed shot."
July 1968:
"The use of flathead catfish to control surplus or undersirable [sic] fish in a pond is something like controlling livestock on an overstocked pasture with mountain lions-it works but you will be out of business fast if you don't keep a close watch."
August 1968:
"It is possible, if you start now, to have yourself in better condition by the start of hunting season. You'll look better, you'll feel better, and you'll be able to tramp the woods and fields all day without being afraid that you are going to collapse in a trembling, exhausted heap."
August 1968:
"Can Texas remain the leading state in the Nation in deer production, with its rapid loss of favorable deer habitats? That is a question that must be asked in view of rapidly deteriorating (and disappearing) deer habitat."
September 1968:
"Although wildlife biologists feel there is a gradual shift toward greater interest in wildlife management among ranchers and soil conservationists, it is late in coming. Already millions of acres of prime wildlife habitat in South Texas have been cleared, and not always to the benefit of livestock production. Unfortunately, everybody is the loser-the rancher, the hunter, and especially, the wildlife."
September 1968:
"Furry, playful, and wide-eyed, the native ringtail has been chosen as the new conservation spokesman for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The Department ringtail has no name as does Smokey the Bear, Ranger Rick, and other animated spokesmen and a 'Name the Ringtail' contest is underway for Texas fifth-grade elementary school children to suggest an appropriate name."
November 1968:
"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has only recently begun developing a system of trails within park areas. Meridian State Park is the first full-scale endeavor, but more are planned for the near future."
December 1968:
"An argument can start very easily when you tell a bass fisherman that the five-pound largemouth he has just caught is a pretty good sunfish. However, most of the bass-named fish, including the largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, and rock bass, are really members of the sunfish family."
December 1968:
"From the completion of the early settlement of Texas until the late thirties, these vast areas of usable quail habitat remained relatively unchanged as did the overall bobwhite quail populations. But from the late thirties to the present day, continued changes in land use have progressively reduced the amount of usable bobwhite habitat and have greatly reduced the total population."
January 1969:
"The fact that there are more wild turkeys in Texas than in any other state in this country is not widely known. The latest statewide survey was conducted by personnel of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 1967. This survey indicated that there were an estimated 200,000 turkeys in the State at that time."
January 1969:
"Texas wildlife biologists are presently studying background data and exploring the possibilities of a spring gobbler season in areas of the state where turkey populations need an increased harvest."
February 1969:
"Emma Hypolite, a soft-spoken young lady from Pease Elementary School in Midland, won the Name-the-Ringtail Contest which was first announced in the September 1968 Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. She christened the critter Tutor-a most appropriate name for Texas' newest conservation educator and promoter.
"Since seven students submitted identical names, the Department's pet ringtail was called in to break the tie. In a game of "Ringtail Roulette," the animal was placed in a circle divided into seven wedges, each pie-section containing a sealed envelope with a winning entry's name. When Tutor was released he scurried out of the circle, exiting in the section containing Emma's entry."
March 1969:
"Smashing inland near Port Isabel in September 1967, Hurricane Beulah hit the Texas coast with winds of over 100 miles per hour and slashed her way northwestward through the state.
"Everyone and everything fell prey to the destructive forces of Beulah. Everything that is, except marine life in the Gulf and coastal bays.
"Fish were helped. Shrimp were helped. Oysters were helped."
March 1969:
"Round in shape and lacking a head, the sand dollar almost always travels with the same edge of its rim forward."
April 1969:
"The need for adequate flows of fresh water then is the primary problem facing the estuarine areas of Texas. As serious as this problem is during times of drouth and low runoff, it will be made more serious still by plans to develop the freshwater resources of the state.
"The Texas Water Plan, which is vitally needed to satisfy the needs of an expanding human population and economy, when fully implemented, will allow only about 2.4 million acre-feet of water to reach all of the Texas bay systems annually. This volume is considerably less than half the optimum flow needed for Galveston Bay alone."
June 1969:
"An interesting sidelight to history is that Mission Espiritu Santo owned what was certainly the first and probably the largest cattle ranch in Texas. The ranch extended, at one time, from the coast to what is now the towns of New Braunfels and Seguin. From east to west it took in all the land between the San Antonio and Guadalupe Rivers."
June 1969:
"The nine-banded armadillo, familiar throughout most of Texas, has a peculiar reproductive feature. The female always bears a litter of four and all four are of the same sex. Research has shown that these are identical quadruplets; that is, derived from the same egg."
July 1969:
"For over 60 years, a Texan has held the record as the world's greatest exhibition shooter. Adolph "Ad" Topperwein set his record in 1906 at the San Antonio Fair Grounds when in 10 days of shooting he hit 72,491 of 72,500 wooden blocks thrown into the air ... he shot for a total of 68-1/2 hours and finally had to stop because San Antonio was out of .22 bullets and the blocks were having to be thrown up for the second time since there were only 60,000 blocks."
October 1969:
"The increasing pressure of the population explosion allows only one solution to the problem of survival: Man must cooperate with nature to conserve the natural resources of this earth in a manner that can provide for the continuation of his civilization."
October 1969:
"Although slow and cumbersome, the porcupine is an excellent climber and spends a great deal of time in trees resting if not feeding.... He may spend as much as a week in a tree if all his needs are met there."
November 1969:
"Antlered doe deer turn up about once in every 3,000 bucks checked by biologists throughout the nation."
November 1969:
"Although its gill surface is extensive, this strange fish [the tarpon] breathes atmospheric oxygen. To do this, it has a specialized air bladder lined with vascular, lung-like tissue. Oxygen is taken during the tarpon's surface roll."
December 1969:
"There are no shrimp farms in Texas, but hopefully such an industry will someday help supply the increasing demand for this high quality protein food without seriously competing with commercial fishermen."
December 1969:
"Although not native to the State, [the red fox] was first introduced by early pioneers who pursued the fox for sport with well-trained packs of hounds.
"A biological survey of Texas in 1905, reported that between 1890 and 1895, 40 red foxes were released near Waco four miles north of where the Bosque River runs into the Brazos."


January 1970:
"Like most herbivores, jackrabbits must have minerals. As do deer and cattle, they often have a favorite spot or lick where they will eat soil and gravel. In some instances, research has shown the stomachs of jacks contain as much as 50 percent soil."
January 1970:
"It is anticipated that the crab industry in Texas will continue to prosper as more fishermen find a profitable future in the fishery and expanded markets for crab meat products are developed. The fishery in Texas is far from reaching its maximum potential and higher record years of Texas blue crab production are yet to come."
February 1970:
"Long-legged and lanky by lovable in the estimation of many Texans, the longhorn breed of cattle once headed for virtual extinction in the state which made it world-famed is now prospering in private herds and on six Texas State Parks."
February 1970:
"Quiet, mist-covered waters in the early morning and roaring white water rushing through a narrow river channel are just two of the many scenes being discovered by the growing number of Texans who have found the exciting sport of river-running in canoes."
March 1970:
"Biologists in the Black Gap Wildlife Management Area will, within the next month, become as nervous as fathers waiting for new arrivals to their families. The men are watching over the department's herd of desert bighorn sheep, Ovis Canadensis nelsoni, to see how many new lambs will be added to the herd."
March 1970:
"One mockingbird actually joined a National Symphony outdoor production of 'Peter and the Wolf.' For this surprised and delighted Washington, D.C., audience, this mockingbird presented his own accompaniment for the flute's portrayal of bird calls in the concert."
April 1970:
"Becoming increasingly popular with nighttime bass fishermen is the plastic worm. This lure, which has practically revolutionized bass fishing during the last decade, can be effectively fished either near the surface or on the bottom with excellent results."
April 1970:
"With the growing concern with ecology, we are increasingly aware of endangered animal species and changing habitats. The cougar has suffered greatly at the hands of man. However, an increasing awareness of his place in keeping the natural balance suggests the possibility of his protection by law as a game species."
May 1970:
"Wadefishing a clear cold stream, a San Antonio angler landed a three-pound, eight-ounce rainbow trout on May 26, 1968. Just a month later, the same stream yielded a four-pound, twelve-ounce rainbow to another San Antonio fly fisherman. The size of the trout is not astounding; the significance is the fact that these trout were caught in a public stream, the Guadalupe River, less than 50 miles from San Antonio."
May 1970:
"Amid the cedar-covered hills and grassy prairies of Central Texas, the Fort Hood military post has become a haven for deer hunters. From a very small number in the 1940's, the white-tailed deer population has increased in the area to more than 14,000 last year."
May 1970:
"It has been widely predicted that Lakes Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend will be the two hottest fishing lakes in the United States in 1970."
June 1970:
"The fairer sex are ardent crabbers and made up 38 percent of those interviewed. Children under six years of age comprised 22 percent of the total. Also, sportsmen often combine crabbing with fishing ... it appears that adults while fishing permitted their children to crab in order to keep the nearby. Often, the children provide the only seafood to take home."
July 1970:
"One acre of growing trees provides four tons of oxygen a year, enough to support 12 people. In Texas, forests provide 46 million tons of oxygen a year, enough to support 138 million people."
August 1970:
"A delicacy unsuspected by most Texans is available right on their own doorstep. The abundance of mullet in the waters of the Gulf Coast is practically an untapped resource in this State. There is a way to transform their status from rough or bait fish to a gourmet item, and that is by smoking them."
August 1970:
"The average hunter would do well to settle for a choice between either of two rifles: the .243 and the potent .270. First of all, in proper hands and with proper sights, either of these two rifles will bring home the den trophy or the meat for the freezer."
September 1970:
"Biologists say chances for saving the bald eagle may already be beyond our powers since pesticides do not break down in the environment for several years. So, soon we may only have its image-on the tops of flagpoles and on dollar bills-as a reminder that once the bald eagle was America's great bird."
November 1970:
"Hunting rails and gallinules is hard, but enjoyable work. Heat of late summer and hordes of mosquitoes usually confront the hunter. The ideal time to try for a pot of marsh hens is during rice harvest. Rice combines drive the birds to the unharvested center of the field, and many rice farmers allow hunters to walk into the unharvested center and flush the rails. Fast and furious shooting erupts for several seconds."
November 1970:
"The Glass Container Manufacturers Institute announced recently that glass container manufacturers will buy glass bottles and containers for a penny a pound. This plan should do much to help in the litter problem once individuals and groups begin to earn extra money collecting their material from the sides of highways and public use areas."
February 1971:
"It all started in Brownsville in 1962 at a monthly meeting of the Valley Sportsmen Club. The program for the meeting was an 8 millimeter film made on a remote section of beach north of Tampico, Mexico, in June of 1947 by Andres Herrera, an engineer from Tampico.
"The subject was an 'arribada'-Spanish for 'an emergence for nesting.' Thousands of ridley sea turtles were emerging from the Gulf of Mexico onto the beach, digging holes in the sand, laying eggs and returning to the Gulf. The film may have saved the ridley turtle from extinction."
February 1971:
"The fondue pot has many interesting legends behind it... It is said to have originated during the Italian Renaissance as a sign of friendship. Since everyone was eating out of the same pot, there was full assurance that the host would not be poisoning anyone."
February 1971:
"In recent years the impact of Federal waterfowl refuges located in the Midwestern United States has become graphically evident...
"...the present management on these refuges deserves close scrutiny. Several of the Federal waterfowl refuges in Missouri and Iowa appear to be managed with emphasis on holding large numbers of waterfowl on very small acreages to create desirable hunting conditions in the vicinity of the refuges.
"The Texas and Louisiana conservation departments are shocked and concerned."
February 1971:
"A barn owl is able to see objects 6 feet away in the light given off by an ordinary candle 1,700 feet away."
April 1971:
"Some hunters may consider spring gobbler hunting a poor sport. They may think that a tom turkey, with the mating sap rising in him and hens all around, will not be normally cautious. But do not be fooled. One old-time turkey hunter once remarked that he was convinced of one thing-that unhatched tom turkeys must lie in their shells thinking of ways to outsmart spring hunters."
May 1971:
"Spring is here and now is the time. If wade fishing is not in your list of fishing skills, this is the time to learn. Borrow a tube or waders, or if the water is warm enough, get wet to learn the art. The skillful wade fisherman is one who takes advantage of springtime to enjoy many thrilling strikes and a heavy stringer."
May 1971:
"Between 1890 and 1910, settlers and ranchers began moving into prairie dog range with families, livestock and mortgages, and it was this influx of man that created an even better situation for the animal.
"Cattle in West Texas resulted in overgrazed rangeland. This was the result of poor land management, but the prairie dog, which does not like tall grass, saw some of his favorite foods such as blue grama grass, forbs and buffalo grass take over. The stripped, almost bare prairie was perfect habitat for the little animals, and their numbers increased in almost a population explosion."
May 1971:
"Most caddisfly larvae live in cases or nets. 'Case-makers' construct a camouflaged, protective case of sand grains, pebbles, sticks, leaves and other materials. The architecture of these cases is often distinctive at the genus level, so that one can identify a caddisfly merely by the characteristics of its case."
May 1971:
"The Parks and Wildlife Department has begun keeping records of the largest fish caught in the state. The present list was begun in 1968 by the Texas Outdoor Writer's Association.
May 1971:
From a letter to the editor: "The beast that decided the spot to put the mailing label on the cover should be shot. He always covers something important with an obvious zeal to obliterate."
June 1971:
"The exploding popularity of trail- and mini-motorbikes has created a dilemma for those in charge of planning and managing our state parks. On one hand, more than a million off-the-road bikes were sold during the 1960's and sales are still going strong. That's a lot of riders looking for a place to go. On the other hand, park superintendents must live with complaints about mini-bikes racing through campsites and destroying the tranquility of nature trails."
June 1971:
"Such a phenomenon had never been seen by Europeans until they discovered America. In the New World they were to encounter many marvels and surely one of the most amazing was a certain wee, flying jewel of a creature-not an insect, yet if it were a bird, different from any other in the world. These were the hummingbirds."
July 1971:
"Wise old farmers know two things about the distant ringing of cowbells on a sultry summer night-first, the ringing isn't cowbells at all, but the call of green tree frogs, and second, there's a good chance that rain is on the way."
July 1971:
"The explosive fruit of the dwarf mistletoe expels a single seed with an acceleration 5,000 times the force of gravity."
August 1971:
"Whitewing hunting is big business in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.... Day leases can be found in good hunting areas for $5 to $10 per hunter.
"Local chambers of commerce in the Valley estimate that hunters in the brief season spend between three and six million dollars on food and lodging. This is between $5 and $15 per bird, exclusive of license fees and travel to the Rio Grande Valley."
September 1971:
"When discussing pesticides and pollution, the amounts of various substances are given in parts per million (ppm). Just how much is one part per million? It is about one minute in two years, one inch in 16 miles, one ounce of salt in 62,500 pounds of sugar, one ounce of sand in 31 tons of concrete."
October 1971:
"It is a popular but incorrect opinion that the diamondback grows a new joint or ring of the rattle every year and that his age can be determined by counting the rattles. Actually the western diamondback normally acquires from two to three rings each year, but the rattle seldom attains a length of more than 10 to 12 segments because the rings wear off."
October 1971:
"Ocelots are still found in small numbers at scattered locations throughout the South Texas brush country north to Kerrville and Rocksprings."
December 1971:
"Today the squirrel is an easily accessible game species for a boy to learn to hunt and offers adults many a pleasant day in the woods.... Hunting them teaches a person to sit and be silent, to listen to the sounds of the woods and to interpret their meanings and origins. It teaches a love of nature and an understanding of man's heritage as a hunter."
December 1971:
"For a number of years the danger of lead poisoning in waterfowl has been recognized and the manufacturers of shotgun shells have been promising to develop a soft-iron shot that would not harm waterfowl that ate it. Now many conservation groups have gotten tired of promises of solutions and have demanded the end of lead shotgun pellets. One of the groups, the National Rifle Association, has asked that no lead shot be allowed during the 1973 season."
January 1972:
"All bumblebees except the queen bee die during the winter. She alone survives to produce another generation."
January 1972:
"In an effort to prevent firearms accidents at home and in the field, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has joined with the National Rifle Association in launching Texas' first state-wide voluntary training program designed to instruct youngsters in gun and hunting safety."
January 1972:
"Texas can boast of 13,000 miles of rivers. Yet, for the state's 11 million citizens there are only a few miles of riverways where a recreationist can get out onto the bank without violating private property laws. And in spite of the vastness of Texas, there are remarkably few public trails where a hiker or horseback rider can escape the sight of the city."
March 1972:
"Until 1932 Caddo Lake, on the Cypress Bayou, was the only place where white bass were known in Texas."
April 1972:
"The youthful five-line skinks, with their bright sky blue tails, may have inspired a graphic addition to our language. They are not built for running, but in their eagerness to scamper out of sight, they have become a byword for high speed: 'As fast as a blue streak.'"
May 1972:
"Relaxed attitudes, fresh catfish and happy people are what camping is all about. Leave the rushing, the bad tempers and the artificial comforts at home. Then, and only then, will camping be a pleasant and rejuvenating experience for you and your fellow campers."
June 1972:
"Freshwater diving is popular in Canyon Lake, Lake Travis and Possum Kingdom. Dive shops are also located in the vicinity.
"Diving in neighboring Lake Travis is a particularly painful experience for me. Over the years the water has grown less transparent, algae covers the rocks and the bottom grows more littered with barrels, cans and other debris. Fishermen who toss their beer cans overboard and land developers who create runoffs with bulldozers and construct shoddy septic tanks should take a quick dive. They might realize why they don't catch as many fish as they use to and it might cast a few doubts as to the future desirability of some subdivisions."
June 1972:
"In East Texas the pocket gopher has acquired the unlikely name 'salamander.' The name can be traced back to early English settlers who called the rodent 'sand mounder' because of the heap of dirt around its burrow. Sand mounder was run together to make 'sandymounder' which eventually became salamander."
June 1972:
"The 632 acres at McKinney Falls were donated to the state by Mr. and Mrs. J.E. (Pete) Smith and Annie M. Smith of Austin. This site, located on Onion Creek, south of Austin, contains untouched wooded hillsides along the waterfalls and rapids. The new headquarters building for the Parks and Wildlife Department is to be located in this park."
July 1972:
"Sail! That one word, shouted from the flying bridge of a sportfishing boat, can galvanize a group of drowsy fishermen into instant, explosive action....
"Sailfishing compare to battle-hours of waiting and watching, followed by explosive, frenzied excitement."
August 1972:
"Ever dream of catching a 20-pound bass?
"Parks and Wildlife biologists are working on it at the Jasper Fish Hatchery in East Texas, quietly laying the groundwork for a potential revolution in the bass fishing records.
"Texas anglers have long noted the difference between native largemouth bass and those caught by their neighbors in Georgia and Florida department biologists are making genetics work for them and the product will hopefully be the delight of every Texas fisherman: a 'superbass.'"
September 1972:
"The Rio Grande in the Big Bend area has, by its inaccessibility, isolation and lack of commercial value, been preserved essentially in its natural state. Future efforts to exploit the area commercially could serve only to destroy those attributes which draw the traveler to it. In the words of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, this area represents a 'vestige of primitive America' which should be protected and preserved for us and for posterity."
September 1972:
"There are those sportsmen along the Texas coast who prefer a bent rod and singing line to the hunting season's crash of firearms, and they are busy putting their fishing gear in apple-pie order for the redfish season."
December 1972:
30th anniversary issue consisted of reprints of articles from previous years. Included were articles on bobwhite quail management, the need for antlerless deer harvest, the ocelot, Davis Mountains State Park, and a 1948 tribute to such vanishing and extinct species as the passenger pigeon, bison and ivory-billed woodpecker.
January 1973:
"The sight of that boar was my introduction to the ugliest but sportiest animal on Texas soil. I say he is the ugliest simply because he is, but I say he is sportiest for a number of reasons. He is big, cunning and potentially dangerous; he makes an impressive trophy; he's good eating; and he's available to most Texans throughout the year on a no-bag-limit basis."
February 1973:
"To the unsuspecting spectator, a grown man standing on the shore holding a line that runs far out into the water with a small raft and sail attached looks somewhat ridiculous. But as the man retrieves the line and removes fish from the dangling hooks, the spectator becomes an engineer trying to figure a way to construct a similar fishing device of his own."
March 1973:
"On almost all Texas lakes there are professional fishing guides to take you fishing. Their services range from $20 to $40 for two people-depending upon how long you want to fish-and include the use of their boat as well as their expert advice on where and how to fish."
March 1973:
"What is this gray festoon that drapes itself majestically over the limbs of trees? Many names are used by the most common in the South is Spanish moss. However, this 'moss' is really not a moss at all; in fact, it is a relative of the pineapple."
April 1973:
"When spring rains fill roadside ditches and bring new life to dried mudholes, droves of children and adults invade the waters of the state to gather crawfish. Armed with nets, seines or pieces of bacon on strings, they catch these small, lobsterlike crustaceans for fun, food or fish bait."
May 1973:
"One of the most serious problems facing the golden-cheeked warbler is its loss of habitat. Drastic land clearing operations for agriculture and urbanization have been underway since the mid-1940's."
May 1973:
"Landowners, sportsmen and naturalists should recognize the value of alligators in the overall ecology of a marsh or other wetland site. Many productive duck blinds are located on ponds that resulted from alligator activities in years past or on open holes of active alligator holes. Fishing is usually good around alligator holes due to the deeper water associated with the entrance hole."
June 1973:
"While we hunters sit on our laurels, proud of the fact that we have contributed millions of dollars and many hours of work to wildlife management and conservation, others are working to take our sport away from us. Some groups, such as the Humane Society of the United States, have even gone so far as to request the courts to outlaw hunting."
September 1973:
"A Texas dove banded on February 28, 1964, in Brooks County was taken on May 5, 1964, in North Dakota, over 1,500 miles away from the banding site."
October 1973:
"During the past few years, Ducks Unlimited has enjoyed a spectacular growth in this state, but there are still many Texans who are either unaware of the organization or have questions concerning its purpose."
December 1973:
"For some reason, people who don't hunt or fish hesitate to buy hunting or fishing equipment for gifts, but this needn't be the case. Surely it couldn't be any more frustrating or embarrassing than it is for me to try and pick out a nightgown or other lingerie for my wife."
January 1974:
"Recognizing the need to teach our young people to appreciate the outdoors and its recreational potential, many farsighted schools throughout the nation are organizing accredited, elective courses in outdoor education for their students. Pioneering this type of education in Texas is the Sunset High School of Dallas..."
January 1974:
"Most hound men are born in the quiet countrysides where there are rolling hills, winding streams and an occasional thicket so matted with briars and thorny bushes that even in winter, furry coyotes can lie in snug retreat."
January 1974:
"A poor man can keep at least one hound, and it has been wryly observed that some are so poor that they can keep four or five."
February 1974:
"Some say they fight like a water-soaked log being rolled across the bottom by the tide, but for many anglers the bottom-hugging, tackle-straining black drum is 'the' saltwater fish in the late winter and early spring."
March 1974:
"Lease fees for hunting privileges are quite variable, but it is not uncommon to find hunters paying $1 to $2 per acre for deer hunting privileges."
April 1974:
"Bird watchers are especially blessed in this state because of the wide range of vegetative zones and varied climates which attract members of the bird world. Texas is one of the few states to retain some warblers during the winter."
April 1974:
"As energy problems grow and fuel shortages continue, uncertainties face Texas boat owners. Will there be enough gas this year and in the years to come? Certainly, answer boating industry officials. Probably not as much, nor as cheap, but enough. However, the Federal Energy Office is quick to point out there will never again be enough fuel to WASTE."
May 1974:
"Some quail hunters have had occasion to cuss the thorny blackberry because quail often retreat into its protective cover. But from the bird's viewpoint, and to many other types of wildlife, the blackberry is an important and necessary plant."
May 1974:
"On practically every weekend of the year, in all types of weather, a new breed of bass fisherman can be found participating in his favorite sport on Texas reservoirs. "This relatively new pastime, known as competitive bass fishing, has been growing rapidly in Texas the past five years."
July 1974:
"Hana N. Ginzbarg of Bellaire, Texas, received a 1974 American Motors Conservation Award last May. Mrs. Ginzbarg was recognized for her work in the creation of Armand Bayou Park and Nature Preserve in Harris County."
July 1974:
"A new world record tarpon was caught last fall near Port Isabel The new record fish for 130-pound-test line weighed 210 pounds and was caught by Thomas F. Gibson, Jr.
August 1974:
"Texas game birds provide hunters with hours of outdoor sport and they deserve better than a sloppy shot by an unskilled marksman. Wing shooting is an art and, like all arts, takes practice to perfect. Here is where trap and skeet shooting can prove their worth to the hunter planning to go afield this fall."
September 1974:
"Dr. Chris Durden of the Texas Memorial Museum in Austin has surveyed butterflies in Central Texas and found 135 species within a 100-mile radius of Austin. In one hour in the fall of 1971 along Barton Creek in Austin, he recorded 62 species.
December 1974:
"Every Texan who uses the state's lakes and rivers for fishing, boating or skiing has a stake in the fight against hydrilla."
December 1974:
"Unscientific digging or collecting, and the buying and selling of fossils and artifacts which often provide the impetus for such activity, probably destroys as much of our heritage as do large reservoirs, new highways, and the ubiquitous parking lot."
December 1974:
"Construction is scheduled to begin next month on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Austin headquarters building to enable all the various divisions of this diverse department to be located in one area."
December 1974:
"In Nature's plan, there is no such thing as a good or bad animal. There are only those animals which kill to eat (predators) and those which are killed and eaten (prey). It is unfair for us to judge their natural survival actions by our own ideas of what is good and bad, or to decide that all predators are villains."
January 1975,
page 14-first article by Robert L. Cook to appear in the magazine, on wild turkeys.
January 1975:
"Along the Gulf Coast in the open rice land of Matagorda and Jackson counties, the ring-necked pheasant is being stocked in an effort to establish it as a new game bird in Texas."
January 1975:
"Birds walk on their toes, and what most people believe to be the leg is actually a long foot. People think the ankle joint is the knee although it bends in the wrong direction. The real knee is hidden in the bird's feathers."
February 1975:
"Ants are among the cleanest of all insects. They lick themselves every few minutes with an oily saliva which cleans and oils their bodies."
March 1975:
"In 1778 San Fernando de Bejar, a small, sleepy civil settlement near the presidio of San Antonio, was suddenly rocked by a major scandal. Sixteen citizens, including several prominent men, were accused of stealing cattle belonging to the Mission Espiritu Santo, now a part of Goliad State Park."
July 1975:
"For the adventurous angler looking for a unique approach to catching fish, perhaps no other activity offers more than jugfishing along the Rio Grande."
September 1975:
"Today Texans are living in an age in which wildlife habitat is decreasing while both consumptive and nonconsumptive demands for wildlife resources are increasing. In order to meet these demands, wildlife managers must continually strive to produce sustainable yields of renewable wildlife resources. LANDSAT is a supplying a new and sophisticated approach to achieving this goal by giving us a new look at Texas-from 500 miles high."
September 1975:
"The status of bowhunting in Texas today, as determined by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, could best be described as a fast-growing infant about which we know very little."
October 1975:
"Exploration and settlement of the American frontier would have been extremely difficult without the white-tailed deer. Early colonists and explorers utilized the meat and skins of these animals extensively, and deer hides later served as a medium of exchange between trappers, frontier scouts, Indians and traders."
November 1975:
"The environmental 1970s have brought the cream of American youth into colleges and universities to pursue studies in natural resources. They come with a dedication that augurs well for our country's future. The sad fact of life, however, is that most public resource agencies, universities and private efforts are already well-staffed with resource specialists. What is needed is new money to take advantage of this dedication and academic excellence."
December 1975:
"When a period of mild Texas winter is interrupted by a freezing norther severe enough to drop the water temperatures in the bays to the near freezing mark, the fish move into deepwater basins such as housing development channels, the Rockport turning basin, Conn Brown Harbor, Sea Gun Motel's channel, Offatt's Bayou in Galveston and the Army Hole near Port O'Connor."
January 1976:
"The trick of nature photography-indeed of any photography-is to get in close. Fill your picture with interest. Sometimes this can be accomplished by proper lens choice. Often it means stalking your quarry."
January 1976:
:Good campers carry two trash bags with them: one to haul out their own litter and the other to collect that litter left behind by thoughtless others."
February 1976:
"On the edge of the continental shelf, 110 nautical miles SSE of Galveston, is the most exquisite flower garden imaginable-the Flower Gardens Coral Reefs, and it grows year around. The Flower Gardens, once believed a dead geological relic, is alive and thriving as the northernmost living coral reef in the Gulf."
February 1976:
"Since the 1940s men and machines have drastically changed the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Agriculture and urbanization are rapidly destroying the junglelike habitat of the jaguarundi. Today less than 10,000 acres of lush, subtropical chaparral remain in scattered patches throughout the area."
March 1976:
"The Parks and Wildlife Department has used digital computers since the early 1960s when they were installed to assist with accounting activities such as budget control and license sales.... "Future scientific data processing plants include among other things: (1) the use of remote input terminals at research stations to allow biologists the personal use of the computer
April 1976:
"It is fitting that during the bicentennial year biologists have some good news concerning our national emblem, the bald eagle. The southern subspecies of these birds had a good year in Texas and its small population is growing.
"Five known pairs produced seven young in 1975, by far the most successful nesting season the Texas birds have experienced since 1970, when records on production were started."
April 1976:
"When hovering, the hummingbird's output of energy is 10 times that of a man running at nine miles per hour, the highest rate known for a human, which he can only maintain for half an hour. A 170-pound man's average daily output is 3,500, whereas a hummingbird's is 155,000.... To keep up with a hummingbird, a man would have to eat 285 pounds of hamburger or 370 pounds of potatoes a day."
May 1976:
"The Raptor Preservation Fund is trying to organize rehabilitation centers for injured raptors throughout the state.
"Currently there are four individuals permitted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to rehabilitate injured birds of prey."
May 1976:
"Veteran anglers may recall that polar bear hair was once used on [fishing] lures, but this source of supply is now illegal."
May 1976:
"Microscopic studies have shown that an egg yolk is made up of six rings, each with a white and yellow layer. These layers are added to the cell in a strict rhythm determined by the position of the sun-the yellow layer during the day and up until midnight, and the white layer between midnight and sunup."
July 1976:
"Records indicate that when [hurricane] Beulah hit the Texas coast in 1967 with 100-mph winds and torrential rains, South Texas bays reaped the benefits.... By 1968 conditions were ideal for the juvenile shrimp, crabs and fish that had been under severe stress due to the high salt content of the bays.... A year after... the lower coast reaped the biggest redfish crop in at least eight years."
August 1976:
"Ten years ago many Texans wouldn't have known what a striped bass was; now we have anglers who fish only for the striper."
September 1976:
"By the end of 1976, some $41 million will have been spent in the preceding 19 months on construction projects at 30 state parks across Texas...Funds for such work come from a one-cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes."
October 1976:
"For some mysterious reason, one of the world's finest trophy fishes, the tarpon, has avoided Texas coastal waters since the early fifties."
December 1976:
"It has been noted that there are more bird watchers in this country than Super Bowl Watchers."
February 1977:
"The department also has recognized a growing need to serve the urban areas of the state, where more than three-fourths of our population reside. Current policy provides that where suitable resources exist, new recreational units will be acquired within 1-1/2 hours' driving time from the center of major metropolitan areas."
March 1977:
"To counter the decline in habitat and to improve its quality, the Parks and Wildlife Department instituted its Wildlife Extension Program in September 1973. Essentially, the program is designed to give direct assistance to landowners, land managers and sportsmen in preserving habitat and enhancing wildlife resources on their property, including recommendations for the proper harvest of game species."
April 1977:
"All five species of Texas bluebonnets now are considered to be the state flower and, as is appropriate for Texas, one of them is a giant. Lupinus havardii, the Chisos bluebonnet of the Trans-Pecos and adjacent Mexico, can grow to a height of three feet."
June 1977:
"At this time, the Blanco crabapple is known to exist in only three counties-Kerr, Blanco and Kendall. Most common along the Blanco River and its tributaries in southwest Blanco and northeast Kendall Counties, it also is known to occur in Boerne and along Cypress Creek and other tributaries of the Guadalupe River near Comfort and Waring."
June 1977:
"Failure to provide for assorted species and age classes on our forested lands of East Texas will ultimately result in reduction of many forest-dwelling species of wildlife, including squirrels. Variety is as important to our wildlife resources as it is to human welfare on this planet, and it is considered by game managers to be the key to game abundance."
August 1977:
"It was not until the late 1920 and 1930s that Labradors came to the shores of the United States. In those days the Chesapeake retriever was king. Only 40 Labradors were registered by the American Kennel Club in 1931, but by 1961 there were 73,054 registered."
November 1977:
"In essence, Texas wildlife went from a time of plenty (1825 to 1900) to a time of shortage (1900 to 1940) to a gradual renewal of plenty (1940 to 1976). The record shows that a major part of the success of game restoration can be directly attributed to the efforts of wildlife programs carried out by this department."
November 1977:
"Eugene Scheifflin, a New York drug manufacturer, was an ardent fan of Shakespeare. He also was a leading force in the American Acclimatization Society, one of many such groups dedicated to establishing Old World birdlife in the New World. Scheifflin carefully noted all the species in Shakespeare's works and tried to introduce them to America.
In 1890 he liberated 80 starlings in Central Park, followed a year later by 80 more. In 10 years a thriving starling population in the city indicated the bird had passed its naturalization exams. It was now ready to conquer America."
December 1977:
"The year 1977 will go on the books as a banner one for Texas fishermen. During the past 12 months 18 new state fish records have been set, including two records broken twice and a world's record."
January 1978:
"Many landowners and hunters consider supplemental feeding an important factor in deer management and a source of nutrition when native forage is in short supply. Under certain conditions a supplemental feeding program can help, but most deer feeding programs do not provide enough additional nutrients to be of any value."
March 1978:
"The most bizarre exploitation of tortoises brought to our attention concerned their use to keep deer out of agricultural fields. In these instances tortoises were placed in large metal tubs where they created a scratching noise as they attempted to escape. Supposedly, deer would become wary upon hearing this unfamiliar noise from several places around the fields."
April 1978:
"One year ago, Texans for the first time in 36 years were able to hunt wild turkeys during the spring in East Texas."
April 1978:
"On almost any Friday afternoon you can see processions of pickups trailering boats, leaving town and traveling sometimes hundreds of miles for a weekend of fishing. That's fine if you have the time and money to make a long-distance fishing trip, but for many of the state's urban dwellers some of the best freshwater fishing can be no more than a half-hour's drive from home."
April 1978:
"River fishermen from the Brazos to the Red River are quick to tell of a special feature that only the catalpa tree can offer. From early spring until late fall catfishermen search the catalpa tree for larvae of the catalpa sphinx moth, Ceratomia catalpae."
April 1978:
"Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine now has been added to the list of free reading matter distributed to the blind by the Texas State Library. This service began with the November 1977 issue."
May 1978:
"Every year takes its toll of drowning victims, and last year was no exception. In Texas alone, 640 people drowned in water-related accidents. Many of these victims would be alive today if they had taken the time to learn to swim."
June 1978:
"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission in a public hearing has removed protection favoring spike buck deer in counties under the commission's regulatory authority."
August 1978:
"Top choice for campers in 1977 was Galveston Island State Park. Even though it officially opened only the previous year, the park also ranked in the top five for total visitation during its first complete year of operation."
August 1978:
"Spike bucks will continue to be protected in four Edwards Plateau counties this fall after county commissioners' courts vetoed Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recommendations that deferential protection be removed."
August 1978:
"Texas wild rice, one of the four species of wild rice in the world, has been listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Texas wild rice is found only in a 1 ½-mile stretch of the San Marcos River within the city limits of San Marcos."
October 1978:
"With the variety of game fish available in Texas reservoirs, little thought usually is given to the freshwater drum, a fish relegated to nongame status.
"Common to all of the river systems in Texas, the drum or gaspergou is the lone freshwater member of a predominantly saltwater family. It is related to the redfish, black drum and speckled trout and can be an excellent fighter on rod and reel."
October 1978:
"Since most animals respond to movement instead of form and color, modern photographers [using a blind] don't have to go to the extremes that bird photographers did in the early 20th century. They sometimes disguised themselves as tree trunks, cows or sheep in an effort to get photos undetected."
November 1978:
"Since the number of female anglers is increasing at an annual rate of 24 percent, compared to a 15 percent increase in male anglers, it should come as no surprise that an all-woman bass club, called Bass 'n Gals, has surfaced."
November 1978:
"It's odd how the modern hunter has regressed. In a day and age of high-velocity, flat-trajectory rifles, more and more hunters are looking to the past and the methods used by their forefathers for taking game. The muzzleloader is making a comeback."
December 1978:
"For the second year, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will attempt to reduce the number of feral hogs on the Engeling Wildlife Management Area near Palestine by allowing hunters the opportunity to try to bag some of the sporty animals."
December 1978:
"Waterfowl hunters planning to participate in public hunting on the J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area near Port Arthur or nearby Sea Rim State Park are reminded they will be required to use shells loaded with steel shot in any 12-gauge gun."
December 1978:
"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's hunter safety program has been selected as one of the top 10 in the national by the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies."
January 1979:
"The element of surprise is part of the fascination of fishing, and probably few have been as surprised lately as Catherine Pond of Austin. "She was fishing with a minnow from a boat in Long Lake, a small power plant reservoir within the Austin city limits, when she hooked and landed a nine-pound flounder."
January 1979:
"Deer numbers have increased in Texas not only because deer foods and cover have increased, but also because sound hunting regulations and enforcement have allowed deer to realize the potential of their new habitat. "The next time you hear a hunter say; 'I wish I had lived back in the good old days when there were lots of deer,' you can reply that those days were not as good as some would have us believe. The good old days are right now."
January 1979:
"Many parents consider hunting too dangerous and discourage their children from pursuing an interest in it, what with all those guns going off.... But according to the Traveler's Insurance Company, hunting isn't as dangerous as many people think.... What was the most dangerous pastime? Football. Hunting ranked 16th, behind baseball, swimming, picnicking and golfing."
February 1979:
"Attitudes toward our environment and the needs of our wildlife resources have changed drastically during the past decade. As conflicts between economic growth and the environment arise, insistent pressure for more careful planning is coming not only from ecologically oriented groups, but also from the concerned public in general. They realize that the depletion of wildlife habitat as a result of water, industrial, urban and agricultural developments will have a serious effect on the recreational opportunities of future generations."
March 1979:
"The human voice is produced in the larynx, commonly called the voice box.... Bird songs and calls, however, come from deep within the bird. They are produced in a tiny, two-pronged organ called the syrinx which, as a rule, lies in the chest at the lower end of the trachea and forks into the bronchial tubes that lead to the bird's lungs."
May 1979:
"The Florida largemouth bass is not considered a panacea for all fishery management problems.... But biologists feel that Florida bass will find favorable environmental conditions in enough Texas lakes to boost anglers' catches and eventually rewrite the state records for largemouth black bass."
June 1979:
Mary-Love Bigony's name appears on the masthead for the first time.
June 1979:
"Today the most serious wildlife-versus-human problem in Texas concerns alligators. Alligator herds across the state responded to protection much faster than many people expected, and by the early to middle 1970s, alligators had become so abundant that in some areas people were beginning to complain."
June 1979:
"The truth is the small [Spanish] mackerel of the Texas coast can provide light-tackle nearshore fishermen the same kind of thrills the big kings provide heavier-equipped offshore fishermen."
July 1979:
Mary-Love Bigony's first bylined article on freshwater clams claims that "...a number of curious Texas gourmets have experimented with cooking the large, meaty freshwater clams found in most of the state's lakes, ponds and streams."
July 1979:
"Skyrocketing gasoline prices May actually boost visitation t state parks this summer, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials. "Parks Division officials reason that many Texans who usually travel out of state may decide to save fuel by visiting nearby state parks."
July 1979:
"Officials at the National Marine Fisheries Service in a attempt at egalitarianism, have embroiled themselves in a battle of semantics. Last summer the agency started substituting the word 'fisher' for fisherman, a word with sexist connotations to some."
August 1979:
"Studies conducted by this department indicate that by 1990, bicycling may be the state's number one outdoor activity."
August 1979:
"The endangered whooping crane may be headed for the greatest production year in its 50-year comeback struggle, according to reports from its Canadian nesting grounds. "At least 14 young whoopers have been seen at Woods [sic] Buffalo National Park, products of a record 19 nests...."
September 1979:
"Texas provides a wintering habitat that plays a vital role in the migrations of North America's waterfowl. The sometimes noisy, always beautiful birds come to the state by the millions. Midwinter counts by the Parks and Wildlife Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicate that the Texas Gulf Coast winters 55 to 65 percent of the waterfowl in the Central Flyway."
September 1979:
"A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department study of white-tailed deer has concluded that spike bucks are genetically inferior animals."
September 1979, from a letter to the editor:
"Without a doubt I can tell you the reason for most of the decline in the whitetail harvest... the individual middle-class sport hunter is being phased out in Texas... "For the last several years large companies, many from Houston, have been buying up hunting leases around the state. Their budgets seem unlimited, and many times their aim of entertaining clients results in very little actual hunting being done."...I ...am faced with giving up, very sadly, a sport which has been very dear to me all my adult life."


March 1980:
"For Jim Kimbell of Pittsburg, it was a good thing the crappie weren't biting. When the crappie failed to respond to his minnow offerings on Lake Monticello February 2, Kimbell tied on a crankbait and broke the 37-year-old largemouth bass state record with a 14-pound, 1-1/2-ounce whopper."
March 1980:
"There is a state park within 100 miles or so of every major metropolitan area in Texas, so you should be able to get there and back on one tank of gas, usually for a cost of less than $20."
April 1980:
"Campgrounds in seven national parks may be reserved by computer during the 1980 camping season.
July 1980:
"The setting of hunting seasons apparently has sociological implications far beyond game management. Evidence of this came to light recently when a Houston woman called on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's toll-free telephone line and inquired when this year's dove season opens... 'I'm getting married in September,' she said, 'and I sure don't want to set the wedding date on the opening day of dove season.'"
August 1980:
"In 1979, the legislature took steps to assist the 104 existing [state] parks with increased operating and maintenance costs during the coming decade. As of September 1, 1979, one-fourth of the cigarette tax fund may be used for that purpose."
August 1980:
"For the 1980s, [Wildlife Division Director Ted] Clark sees emphasis shifting from the population dynamics of animals to habitat preservation."
September 1980:
"The most intensive fishery management program ever applied to a new reservoir in Texas is now on trial at Lake Fork, which opens for fishing in mid-September."
January 1981:
"The red wolf, which once roamed across most of the southeastern United States, including East Texas, has been declared extirpated in the wild..."
February 1981:
"The state record for largemouth bass was broken January 10 when John Alexander, Jr. of Richardson caught a 14-pound, 3-1/2 ounce fish at a private lake near Athens."
October 1981:
Texas' first waterfowl stamp will debut this hunting season, and the resulting revenue will underwrite management programs for the masses of ducks and geese that arrive in the state each fall."
November 1981:
"A group of prominent Texas sportsmen, alarmed about the proliferation of outlaw hunters and fishermen... approached the 67th Texas Legislature and secured passage of House Bill 1421, establishing 'Operation Game Thief' in the state."
February 1982:
"About the only aspects of steel shot that were objectionable to Jefferson County public area hunters on opening day of the 1981 duck season were the added cost of the steel loads, the nonavailability of reloading components for steel and the fact that steel is not required everywhere waterfowl are hunted in the entire country."
June 1982:
Ring-necked pheasants from Idaho have been restocked ... in two areas south of Fort Worth."
August 1982:
Letter to the editor: "I like your magazine, but I found something disgusting in the April issue: money and time being spent to learn that mesquite makes good firewood, that the beans are nutritious and that nitrogen produced by the trees is good for plants."
October 1982:
"A three-zone mourning dove hunting system, currently under consideration by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, would represent a substantial change from the two-zone system Texas hunters have been familiar with since 1946."
November 1982:
It would require metaphors and adjectives of extreme degree to describe the rough-cut beauty of Caprock Canyons State Park. This newly opened park covers more than 130,000 acres in the Texas Panhandle near the small community of Quitaque..."
December 1982:
The magazine's 40th anniversary issue featured a gatefold cover showing a selection of covers from past issues.
February 1983:
"A milestone was reached in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's hunter education program when the 100,000th hunter safety student was certified last fall."
February 1983:
"An agreement among state and federal agencies giving the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department management authority over some 43,000 acres of land and water at Matagorda Island highlighted an eventful 1982 for the department."
May 1983:
"The harvest of white-tailed deer during the past hunting season was the highest since 1975."
November 1983:
Letter to the Editor: "Enclosed is my check for $15 for two years of Texas Parks & Wildlife. I have every copy of your magazine since April 1943. I am 75 years old and I still hunt and fish.... It sure is hard to decide if I want to save a buck by subscribing for two years instead of one, but I'll gamble that I'll live two more years. I hate to lose a bet."
January 1984:
"For centuries, the wetlands of Texas have fulfilled their promise to wintering ducks and geese. But there is trouble in the promised land. Worrisome signs suggest some of the state's most important waterfowl habitats are reaching their capacity to provide sustenance, especially during late portions of dry winters." (From part one of a two-part series examining problems facing waterfowl in the 1980s.)
February 1984:
"Catching two bass in one cast on the same artificial lure is an occurrence not often experienced. When it happens several times in a morning's outing ... it says more about the abundance of fish than the skills of the people involved." (From "Lark Fork: Built for Fishing")
April 1984:
"Damage wrought by the December 1983 freeze to Texas' coastal fishery resources may be years in the accounting. Although estimates of its severity depend on the perspective, most fishery biologists and coastal fishermen agree the holiday-period freeze caused one of the worst, if not the worst, fish kills in the state's modern history."
April 1984:
"Although it was a gift to the nation, Texas was the recipient when Lady Bird Johnson decided to celebrate her 70th birthday by deeding a 60-acre tract of land on the Colorado River east of Austin to provide a home for the newly founded National Wildflower Research Center."
July 1985:
"A snow goose shot by a hunter on the Barrow Ranch near Anahuac ... has been confirmed by federal wildlife officials as having been banded in Russia 14 years earlier."
July 1985:
"[Ranchers] have realized that the boom and bust cycle of the cattle business now can be offset by nurturing the land to yield a profitable sideline - lease hunting."
July 1985:
"The average alligator taken during Texas' first controlled alligator hunt last September was about 7-1/2 feet long, weighed around 180 pounds and was male. The average 'gator hunter was a male Southeast Texas resident in his early to mid-30s, self-employed earner of $30,000-plus annually. How the pursuer and the quarry got together for this history-making hunt provides fodder for the sociologist as well as the wildlife biologist."
January 1986:
"Persons violating hunting, fishing or pollution laws may be faced with extra costs resulting from a new set of resource recovery guidelines adopted in November by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.... The amounts charged for lost resources range from 28 cents a pound for shad to $10,000 for a whooping crane."
January 1986:
"John Wayne probably would have shivered at the sight of more than a foot of snow covering his beloved Alamo; Houstonians did a double take when they saw a citizen snow skiing a local bayou.... Three individual storms brought snow to an area that rarely experiences a snow cover even once a year."
March/April 1986:
A special issue, "150 Years of Change: Land, Wildlife, Waters, People," marks the sesquicentennial of Texas independence.
July 1986:
Photos from Texas' sesquicentennial celebration at San Jacinto Battleground show that Prince Charles visited the park to take part in the ceremonies.
July 1986:
"Wildlife is paying its way on many ranches through outdoor recreation. Management plan can make it economically feasible for private landowners to preserve wildlife habitat."
August 1986:
"What could be more appropriate during Texas' Sesquicentennial year than discovering a way to help wildlife in a new and satisfying manner? The Texas Legislature has authorized the Parks and Wildlife Department to issue Lifetime Hunting, Fishing or Combination Licenses..."
July 1987:
"Courtesy of the 70th Texas legislature, the lightning whelk has joined the mockingbird, bluebonnet and pecan tree as a natural symbol of the Lone Star State."
June 1988:
"This month, the Texas Hunter Education program begins a mandatory program that will affect the thousands of Texas hunters born on or after Sept. 2, 1971."
September 1988:
A special section entitled "Milestones in Conservation" marks the 25th anniversary of the merger of the Texas Game and Fish Commission and the Texas State Parks Board.
July 1989:
"Two dramatically different wildlife species, beavers and wood ducks, were almost extirpated from East Texas due to habitat destruction and unregulated harvest.... Although beavers have no more in common with waterfowl than webbed feet and a need for water, they give wood ducks a boost by creating thousands of acres of wetlands...."
August 1989:
"It may seem bizarre to some Texans that their state legislature, burdened by months of debate on grave and weighty matters, would take the time to name a fish few people have ever heard of [the Guadalupe bass] as Texas' official 'state fish.'"
October 1989:
"Acquisition of 215,000-acre Big Bend Ranch doubles the side of the state parks system."


January 1990:
"All across Canada and the northern tier of the United States, bald eagles take wing in the fall, not in the numbers they did a century ago, but nevertheless in numbers that are increasingly encouraging - so encouraging, in fact, that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering removal of the northern subspecies of the bald eagle from the endangered species list."
April 1990:
"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has shipped 40 river otters to West Virginia in a wildlife exchange that will bring 40 wild-trapped eastern turkeys to Texas."
April 1990:
"Sometime this year a 210-foot-tall section of an offshore oil rig will be sunk into the Gulf of Mexico, forming the first offshore artificial reef in the state's new 'Rigs to Reefs' program."
July 1990:
"State fishery officials, somewhat giddy over this year's hatchery production of largemouth bass, pronounced that if this spring's fingerlings were laid nose-to-nose they would reach from downtown Dallas almost to Waco."
August 1990:
"Cypress Creek provides a sense of constancy to the Hill Country town of Wimberley. Ever since the pioneer days of the 1850s, the creek has been essential to the town's development. But the early days of plentiful resources are past, and like many Texas creeks and rivers, Cypress Creek has suffered from reduced flow and may cease flowing altogether in the 21st century."
November 1990:
"One day in early August two trucks left the A.E. Wood Fish Hatchery in San Marcos carrying channel catfish fingerlings to stock in Purtis Creek State Park near Athens. ... One of those little 2-inch fingerlings was the one billionth fish stocked by hatcheries in Texas."
January 1991:
"Some call them low-probability events, yet they happen every day. ... On June 8, 1990, four crewmen were killed and 3.9 million gallons of light crude poured into the tropical currents of the Gulf of Mexico, 57 miles off Galveston Island, as the Mega Borg exploded. Seven weeks later, 700,000 gallons of medium, partially processed crude belched from two Apex Towing Co. barges into shallow, ecologically sensitive Galveston Bay."
March 1991:
Inside front cover featured bouffant-haired Miss Snake Charmer, holding a snake, from the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup.
June 1991:
"For any who doubt the ability of Nature to heal from man's environmental poundings, take heart in the example of the Lower Colorado River. As if doggedly turning the other cheek to the pollution onslaughts that spilled from Austin's booming 1980s, the Colorado is proving that impaired river systems and the immense families of life they nourish and sustain can recover with encouraging speed and vitality."
August 1991:
"Controversy is not new to Austin. The city is, after all, the center of state government, the home of a huge university and the traditional residence of enough liberal thinkers to cut against the grain of statewide politics. ... But the capital city's latest brouhaha may top them all. For political fodder, it features a head-on collision between environmental morality and property rights. ... And it all has been fomented by two tiny songbirds and seven invertebrates, or bugs, that live in caves and are rarely seen." (Article was about the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan.)
August 1991:
"Now, as predicted, these infamous [Africanized honey bees] have arrived in Texas. In October 1990, a small swarm was discovered near the South Texas town of Hidalgo, the first in what promises to be an extensive and costly invasion."
September 1991:
Letter to the editor: "I much regret being unable to renew my subscription to Texas Parks & Wildlife, owing to Federal Bank restrictions on remittances abroad. But I shall try to find a way. I have so much enjoyed TP&W over the last few years. The presentation and quality of the magazine are superb. John McK. Spence, Harare, Zimbabwe."
October 1991:
"Catch-and-release or 'no-kill' fishing is catching on, to an extent that has surprised even officials promoting the concept."
December 1992:
50th anniversary issue features an essay by John Graves, "State of Nature."
December 1992:
"The outdoors has a lot of stubborn strength, even after being abused, and in these accessible lands much of the old Texas richness survives or has been nurtured into new existence, giving us at least a glimpse of what the land was like when new." John Graves in "State of Nature."
February 1993:
"The Pineywoods deer boom of the 1980s has now entered the archives as a remarkable, if temporary, phenomenon."
February 1993:
"Hueco Tanks State Historical park near El Paso has been reopened to the public, but under a strict set of guidelines aimed at preventing spray paint vandalism that has damaged much of the ancient rock art at the park."
May 1993:
"Yes, the redfish are back. To paraphrase a well-known Mark Twain quote, the death of the red drum on the Texas Gulf Coast was, fortunately, somewhat exaggerated."
August 1993:
Larry D. Hodge's first article appears: "Desert Doves."
September 1993:
"Dinosaur Valley State Park... has seen a big jump in visitation since the blockbuster movie 'Jurassic Park' hit theaters in early summer..."
September 1993:
"Some hunters in north-central Texas were surprised last year to find white-winged doves showing up for the first time in areas where they hunt for mourning doves."
April 1994:
"In 1993 the environmental organization American Rivers named the Rio Grande the most endangered river in North America. ... Does the Rio Grande deserve the appellation 'Most endangered river in North America?' The answer is not a simple yes or no."
June 1994:
"Caddo Lake State Park will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a two-day celebration July 3 and 4."
August 1994:
"Toward the end of his fine book of nature essays, 'A Natural State,' Texas writer Steve Harrigan ... confesses some disappointment with the Texas landscape. ... But ... what one of Texas' best nature writers was talking about was his disappointment at being held at arm's length from so much of the Texas landscape. ... But this is the 1990, and things are changing. ... In June 1993, it became possible for Steve and me and the rest of nature loving Texas to see up close this part of the Panhandle I'm hiking [on the Caprock Trail].
August 1994:
"It is an industry with the potential to feed the world, help alleviate the nation's trade deficit and provide a badly needed and lucrative diversity for Texas agriculture. But it's also and industry that's viewed with skepticism by environmentalists and competitors because of pollution concerns and the potential release of harmful nonnative species into the Texas environment. Aquaculture - fish farming if you will - has been at a crossroads in Texas for years."
August 1994:
"Are fire ants exterminating other forms of wildlife? Listening to the anecdotes, it's easy to get the idea that fire ants are an insect juggernaut killing everything young, slow or defenseless in its path."
September 1994:
"Beyond the romance of the Texas pioneer sprit, however, lies a very modern reality: Texas springs have changed rapidly since 1716 and many has had significant impact on these valuable resources."
April 1995:
"In recent decades it has become customary - and right, I guess, and easy enough with hindsight - to damn the ancestral frame of mind that ravaged that world so fully and so soon. What I myself seem to damn mainly, though, is just not having seen it." "John Graves on Birds"
June 1995:
"A study conducted by Dr. Gary Garrett at the department's Heart of the Hills Research Station at Ingram showed northern bass are more vulnerable to fishing pressure than Floridas and further, that catchability is an inherited trait that can be manipulated in largemouth bass by selective breeding."
July 1995:
"At least 20 percent of Texas' solid waste comes from grass clippings, leaves and other landscape wastes."
September 1995:
"A wildlife renaissance has occurred across the nation's midsection. Increasing numbers of ducks, quail, pheasants and big game animals are being seen from the Texas Panhandle to the Canadian border. Even nongame species, from songbirds to predators and furbearers, seem to be more numerous than even many old-timers can remember. Is this just one of nature's mysterious cycles, or is something else out there?"
September 1995:
"If you're a dove hunter living in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Waco, Austin or San Antonio areas, you may be closer than you think to some excellent dove hunting."
February 1996:
"During the decade of the 1980s Austin's human population grew by 46 percent. Is it coincidence that during the same decade two Texas songbirds were added to the federal endangered species list? ... Texas has a population growth rivaling some Third World countries. This is a complicated topic, tangled with terms such as 'crude birth rate' and 'demographic transition.'"
February 1996:
"There is so much to see and do at Cattail Marsh, the casual visitor might never recognize it for what it is: a tertiary water purification facility, transforming Beaumont's treated sewage into clean water that seeps into Hildebrandt Bayou."
April 1996:
"The largest land donation ever made to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will result in the creation of a 40,000-acre state park in the Chinati Mountains just west of Big Bend Ranch State Park."
May 1996:
The Texas Rare Bird Alert hotline in Houston crackled on February 6 with the news that a kelp gull was seen and positively identified on Galveston's east beach. Once the word got out, more than 1,000 birders and photographers from 33 states and Canada came to Galveston Island to see and photograph this bird."
June 1996:
"We're not talking about the Chicago Bears or the Bastrop Bears, but the real thing. Black bears once roamed throughout most of Texas before the arrival of Anglo settlers; now the bruins appear poised to reclaim some of their lost territory."
February 1997:
"As part of a new approach to rare species conservation, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is offering to pay landowners to help conserve threatened or endangered species on their property."
February 1997:
"The problem is clear for those who care about the Texas outdoors and have seen the demographic projections on where our society is heading. Demographic trends show that African Americans, Hispanics and other current minorities will comprise a population majority in Texas by the year 2030. Yet it is estimated that more than 25 percent of Texas Hispanics and more than 50 percent of African Americans never have been to a state park."
March 1997:
"From its modest beginning in 1851, the Texas State Cemetery has become what its founders must have envisioned: a 'state burying ground' of a magnitude that even they may not have dreamed possible, and a reverent link to a rich and colorful history."
April 1997:
"Excepting the introduction of Florida-strain largemouth bass to Texas waters back in the 1970s, there has been no event with as much significance to freshwater fishing as the opening of the Edwin L. Cox, Jr. Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens in November 1996."
September 1997:
"All across the state and nation, we're seeing a push to hook up schools to the Internet. Will the lure of new technologies make our children even more out of touch with the natural world, or can we use technology to bring us all a little closer to our roots?"
October 1997:
"Billed as 'the biggest, longest and wildest birding competition ever held in the United States,' the Great Texas Birding Classic lived up to its name."
November 1997:
"An exploding population of snow geese threatens to cook Arctic marshlands' environmental goose unless wildlife managers can find a palatable solution."
January 1998:
"Poaching in Texas has come a long way from the lone ridge-runner skulking about at night with a spotlight and a .22 rifle. He's still out there, the real menace to our wildlife is a close-knit web of criminals packing plenty of firepower whose sole function is to profit from the theft of game."
March 1998:
"As Texans gather this year at the State Capitol and in state parks from Amarillo to Athens and El Paso to Galveston to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Texas State Parks System, hallowed cultural shrine and natural gems alike face a host of challenges no less daunting than the political hurdles confronting Governor Neff and his colleagues during the first quarter of this century."
April 1998:
"Across America, suburban development consumes vast expanses of land every year. Here in Texas, the Brownwood Marsh Restoration project is transforming what once was a suburban neighborhood into a wetlands and wildlife sanctuary known as the Baytown Nature Center, directly across the San Jacinto River from the San Jacinto Monument."
May 1998:
"In what has been described as the most successful example ever of the 'user pay, user benefit' philosophy, Texas anglers and hunters were responsible for bringing in nearly $21 million to fund Texas Parks and Wildlife Department projects through this year's Federal Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program."
August 1998:
"The grand opening of lake Mineral Wells State Trailway, made possible by a joint effort among Texas Parks and Wildlife, the city of Mineral Wells and the City of Weatherford, rook place Saturday, June 6. It is the newest addition in a national movement led by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy...."
August 1998:
"The Hill Country Rancher is one of 11 landowners who have received LIP [Landowner Incentive Program] funding since the program began early last year. The object of the program is to save rare plants and animals on private property."
November 1998:
Susan Ebert's first article appears, "Tally Ho, Y'all."
December 1998:
Texas first lady Laura Bush and Texas Parks and Wildlife Commissioner Nolan Ryan, co-chairs of the 75th anniversary celebration, write about their memories in Texas state parks as the anniversary year comes to a close.
January 1999:
"They call me Dr. Doom. It all started with water. My stock and trade at the Texas Outdoor Writers Association annual meetings is an update of how a growing population and associated water development is, or will be, affecting fish and wildlife. My message always seems to be gloom and doom. Dr. Doom. It's am accolade I don't much enjoy, but may deserve." Larry McKinney, TPWD senior division director and director of resource protection.
March 1999:
"Except in periods of spate, it tends to be a wide bed of sand and gravel with a thread of current down its middle, usually muddy from the 'red bed' strata over which it flows in places - early visitors' journals complain about emerging from a bath there dirtier than when they went in." John Graves on the Canadian.
May 1999:
"In February, the black-tailed gull, formerly called the Japanese gull, was seen for the first time in Texas at a landfill in Brownsville."
June 1999:
"Honeybees are in trouble. Ninety percent of the wild honeybees have died, and the number of managed hives has declined by 50 percent."
September 1999:
"They had flown to Texas to see, not Troy Aikman or Emmitt Smith or Michael Irwin, but another star, one whose name is but a chain of meaningless vowels in Texas: Takahiro Omori. They also had come to visit a place that's well known in Japan, if only to anglers: Lake Fork. Every year now, a hundred Japanese fly to DFW with the same idea in mind."
November 1999:
Although the residents of tiny, battered Port Mansfield disagree, most accounts held that Hurricane Bret was a bust as a natural disaster."
December 1999:
"A zoo research project probing what might motivate or deter mating behavior in endangered ocelots ... caught the media's fancy when Calvin Klein's cologne for men proved a popular scent for four female ocelots."


January 2000:
"Along 235,000 acres of seagrass beds that extend from Port O'Connor to South Padre Island, Texas anglers are able to fish clean, clear flats, where they can see bottom structure as well as the gamefish they hunt. But prop scarring and other factors pose a threat to this unique style of angling found on the flats of the middle and lower Texas coast."
February 2000:
"Texas is home to more species of bats than any other state. This number recently increased by one as students and faculty from Texas Wesleyan University and The University of Texas at Arlington discovered that the western yellow bat (Lasiurus xanthinus) has moved into West Texas."
March 2000:
"The annual white bass run, though much less celebrated than the salmon runs, is more accessible to the average angler and in some ways no less spectacular. In recent years, white bass - also known as 'sand bass' or 'sandies' - have provided Texans with more fish per angling-hour than any other freshwater sport fish."
March 2000:
"Mark Mills, a Fort Worth investment broker, just told me the one thing I didn't want to hear. It had nothing to do with poor stock performance. No, it was much worse. He just informed me that while competing in adventure races he had lost toenails. That's toenails, which means more than one. And in two weeks, I was set to compete."
April 2000:
"On my first birding trip, I remarked to a veteran birder that there were so many different birds to learn. She replied that when the birds molted as the seasons changed, their plumage altered so I could learn them all over again!"
April 2000:
"I miss the man who passed his love for hunting on to me. Sometimes when I'm hunting alone and witness a surreal-colored sunset after a good day in the field or when a monster buck evades my best stalk, I just tilt my head skyward and shake my head. 'I wish you were here to share this with me Dad. This was a fine day,' I think out loud."
April 2000:
"Males? Who needs them? Six Texas species of all-female lizards make a strong case for that argument. These species are called parthenogens, which literally means 'virgin-bearing.'"
May 2000:
"Some people think cooking over a campfire is one of those privations you have to endure in order to go camping. Lately, I've been thinking of camping as an excuse to go cooking. While others prepare for excursions in the great outdoors by tying flies or counting pitons, I grease up my dutch ovens."
June 2000:
"Judy Lehmberg's skillfully crafted salmon flies are more likely to end up framed under glass than in the jaw of a fish. Billy Munn's deer-hair bugs are equally prized by collectors and bucketmouth bass. Rosario Martinez can take flies that others have designed, tie those flies better than they can, and then tie them over and over again. "These Texas fly tyers bring different styles and different skills to the tying table. But all three are recognized by their peers for being the best at what they do."
June 2000:
"For many years Varner-Hogg State Historical Park focused on the plantation era as seen from the elegant plantation house. But in recent years the park has begun to tell another story: the story of the African slaves who kept the Patton place running smoothly."
July 2000:
"In the coming years, the population of Texas will double, placing unprecedented stress on our most precious natural resource.
As the struggle intensifies to secure water for new industries, residential growth and agriculture, all outdoor resources and recreation that depend on water are at risk. Much of the water currently flowing in our rivers is already overcommitted and the fight is yet to begin."
August 2000:
"The East Texas woodlands, part of the Great Southern Forest, contain a greater number and variety of species than even New England."
September 2000:
"Texas tradition requires that hunters be humbled in September before the beginning of deer season in November. Many hunters believe doves were placed on earth for this purpose. Obviously, they've never been teal hunting."
September 2000:
"Texas is well-known for its brags, and Franklin Mountains State Park is responsible for a few of them. With an area covering some 24,000 acres entirely within El Paso, this is the largest urban park in Texas and one of the largest parks in the world lying within city limits."
October 2000:
"'Urban wildlife' may seem a contradiction in terms, but nature in all its forms - insects, weather, geological processes, mammals, reptiles, birds - is a facet of city life, too. The question, then, is not 'Will we live with wildlife?' but 'How?'"
November 2000:
"Catches of adult Gulf shrimp have declined by more than 25 percent over the past 30 years, and harvest of small shrimp has increased 150 percent in that same period. . . . In response to the disturbing statistics, this September TPWD issued new regulations to help protect the future of the state's $500 million industry."
December 2000:
"For decades, porcupines have been confined to the arid regions of the Trans-Pecos. But today they are showing up across the state, from Zapata County in the south to Austin to Paris in the northeast. One porcupine was recently found dead on a highway 60 miles east of Dallas."
December 2000:
"An oxygen-starved, sealife-killing zone the size of New Jersey appears each summer in the gulf off the coast of Louisiana. If this blight continues to grow, it could soon threaten the entire Texas coast."
December 2000:
"Long a symbol of carefree summer days growing up in Texas, the horned lizard has now largely disappeared from much of the state's landscape."


February 2001:
"Tom Vong left the horrors of war and political oppression behind him in Vietnam 25 years ago. His modest Anahuac homestead is a testament to his enthusiasm about hard work, capitalism and the promise of the American dream."
February 2001:
"Perhaps no other animals in Texas arouse such passionate and opposing emotions as feral hogs, with the possible exception of coyotes."
March 2001:
"The preliminary findings, to the chagrin of some, show that the prairie dog's effect on the quality of the soil and forage ... is positive."
April 2001:
"...two new species have been added to the list of birds found in Texas, bringing the total to 620."
April 2001:
"Like the nine-banded armadillo, many Texas birds of tropical and subtropical origin have made a push northward during the 20th century."
May 2001:
"Pronghorn numbers in the Trans-Pecos have plummeted from a 20-year high of more than 17,000 to less than 6,000 today." t's 10 o'Clock: Do You Know Where Your Kitty Is? May 2001: "...in the United States alone, there easily could be as many as 4 million to 5 million birds killed by house cats every day."
June 2001:
"University of Florida entomologist and firefly expert James Lloyd is one of many scientists concerned about the possibility of declining firefly populations."
June 2001:
"These prime patches of woods and waters are known as Austin's Woods, named after Stephen F. Austin's pioneer settlement in the region. They are noteworthy, not only for their international significance but also for the way they came to be protected. In 1999, Texas Parks and Wildlife acquired 6,745 acres of land for the Austin's Woods project in two parcels - coastal marsh and forested wetlands."
July 2001:
"They can't find the tree where they stood together as children and had their picture taken more than 60 years ago. But Sue and Wayne Terrell of Odessa know it's still there, somewhere in the woods of Abilene State Park."
September 2001:
"Shock and concern have developed into resolve and a newfound appreciation of Padre Island National Seashore in the wake of the U.S. Navy's decision to abandon plans for a bombing range that could have resulted in mock assaults on the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world."
October 2001:
"In a matter of months, El Chupacabras became a national phenomenon, bigger than La Macarena. As with Elvis Presley, there were sightings everywhere. My mother and grandmother would sit in our living room flipping between Univision and Telemundo watching for Chupacabras updates."
November 2001:
"In 1997, the landmark water reform law Senate Bill 1 began an exhaustive overhaul of the way water is stored and allocated across Texas, with a focus on surface water in rivers and reservoirs. This year, with the passage of the aptly named Senate Bill 2, the Texas Legislature turned its focus to groundwater...."
December 2001:
"The 13,960-acre Caprock Canyons State Park contains some of the roughest country in Texas, and a sense of the domain of buffalo soldiers and buffalo-seeking nomads is part of what I'm after. Another motive is the breakout of a frustrated naturalist; so much of my life is indoors and urban now. The last incentive is even more personal. It's been five years since I rode a horse or mule. I wonder if I can still do it." - Jan Reid in Through the Valley of Tears.
December 2001:
"Among the rivers and river-branches that traverse the Rolling Plains, it would be hard to find one more typical than the Clear Fork of the Brazos. This is a usually placid stream that burbles from one long tree-lined pool to another.... Because so much of the river is bordered by undeveloped, sparsely peopled land and there are no high dams along its course, you can easily imagine, while paddling down it between dirt bluffs in the shade of willows, cottonwoods, pecans, and elms, that you are seeing the Clear Fork as it has always been, as it was in virgin times." - John Graves in Vein of History.
December 2001:
"Duck hunters are often judged to be crazy. Insanity seems the only plausible reason for rising at 4 a.m. and enduring cold, wind and damp to go on a hunt that will, if all goes well, end before sunrise. But coastal duck hunting offers the chance, once the hunt is over, to exchange shotgun for fishing rod and target redfish and speckled trout instead of redheads and widgeons."


January 2002:
"Citing the enormous annual expenditure that fishing brings to the state economy, researchers have launched a number of studies to determine the specific contribution of bass tournaments. ...These studies, undertaken by TPWD and university researchers, have been conducted in response to questions about tournaments from anglers, tournament sponsors, rural community leaders and members of the Texas Legislature."
February 2002:
"For such a small creature, the shrimp has been at the center of a heap of trouble in Texas....Yet, out of the turmoil have come improved partnerships between industry and government regulators that may serve as a model for resolving conflict in other areas. ... In the past, shrimp farms filtered millions of gallons of bay water, used it, then filtered it again before returning it to the bay, Research proved that this process was not only wasteful but actually detrimental to encouraging maximum yield. In 1992 it took 9,000 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of shrimp. Today it takes only 1,000 gallons to do the same job."
April 2002:
"In the 1960s, this now-common species nearly became extinct... The population hit rock bottom in May 1968, when a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department census along the entire Texas coastline recorded a mere 13 brown pelicans - down from several thousand only a few years earlier.
That same year, Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine staff editor Suzanne Winckler wrote a stirring epitaph to the brown pelican. She argued that their 'zestful presence' was worth preserving... The primary culprit was DDT, which was hitching a ride in the silty runoff that washed down the once-pristine rivers and streams from the farmlands of Texas.
Today, brown pelicans are back in force along the coastal waters where they belong. ... some 7,000 brown pelicans now reside and breed along Texas' Gulf Coast."
April 2002:
"More than 7,200 eastern turkeys were released in East Texas through Target 2000... in the spring of 2000, turkey hunting was reinstated in Morris County for the first time in more than 50 years."
May 2002:
"More than 500 volunteers flocked to Texas coastal bays earlier this year to gather and dispose of abandoned or lost crab traps, in a successful first annual Crab Trap Cleanup. ... volunteers gathered at 27 collection sites coastwide, collecting an astounding 8,063 traps."
May 2002:
"Once believed to be extinct, trumpeter swan populations have responded to restoration programs in the Midwest. Photographer Paul W. Bozzo of Kingwood photographed this wintering trumpeter on Feb. 3, 2002, at Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge on the upper Texas Coast. This was only the fourth modern sighting of a trumpeter swan in Texas."
June 2002:
"Authorized in 1981 as a result of laws passed by the 67th Texas Legislature to help curtail poaching, OGT, a function of the law enforcement division of TPWD, has proved highly successful. During the past two decades, OGT has received more than 24,000 phone calls, paid out more than $150,000 in anonymous rewards and helped to make cases to levy more than $1 million in fines."
June 2002:
"Some of the biggest bucks will grow more than 170 inches of antlers between March and the end of August. That's like cutting off both of your legs and growing them back in three months."
July 2002:
Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine publishes the most ambitious and largest issue in its history, 'Texas: The State of Water,' at 116 pages plus covers. The issue follows Texas' water from its source to the sea and features such luminary writers as Elmer Kelton on the Ogallala Aquifer, Jan Reid writing about Comal Springs, Joe Nick Patoski on the Devils River, Carol Flake Chapman on Caddo Lake; Michael Furtman on the Trinity bottomlands and Jim Anderson on Matagorda Bay. Rod Davis contributes a special report on the state of the Rio Grande. In his opening essay, "Water for the Future," TPWD senior division director for aquatic resources Larry McKinney states: "With Texas' population doubling to almost 40 million in the next 50 years, existing water supply cannot sustain that growth unless action is taken... of the 281 major and historical springs that once flowed in Texas, some 63 had dried up by 1973 - a number that by one estimate has doubled since then. ...The current water plan does not identify environmental water needs as a separate demand. While it defines municipal, industrial and agricultural demands for the future, the coastal estuaries are largely ignored. As we look to the future, it is clear that this approach will not be sufficient to conserve the natural heritage of Texas."
August 2002:
"The average age of the American hunter is climbing, placing more of us in the age bracket where heart attack is a concern.... the pulse of one bowhunter spiked from 78 to 168 in less than a minute when a 10-point buck appeared underneath his tree stand. Even if you are not in a high-risk group, an exercise regimen that stresses the three tenets of physical fitness - aerobics, stretching and strength training - will make you a better hunter."
August 2002:
"According to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, 7.2 million RVs - motor homes, travel trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, truck campers and folding campers - are on the road these days. Industry experts predict that the number of RV owners will likely rise as more and more people choose to travel by vehicle instead of by air, especially in the aftermath of Sept. 11."
September 2002:
"Although their populations had once been in decline in Texas, the crested caracara now is thriving and may indeed be expanding its range."
October 2002:
"Most storytellers describe it as a man who turns into a wolf at night and stalks the unsuspecting victims who dare to enter the dark swamps and woodlands of southern Louisiana and Southeast Texas."
November 2002:
"Asked how many bucks he killed as a poacher, Eddy says he has to think about that for a minute... 'A thousand, conservative 750, something like that.' And as a 'guide,' who for $4,000 to $5,000 slipped wealthy clients on moonless nights onto big South Texas ranches to take trophy bucks, he says he was present when hundreds of other bucks were killed illegally."

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