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Big Game Awards Program Celebrates 25 Years of Texas Hunting Heritage PDF Print E-mail
Written by Texas Outdoors   
Sunday, 03 January 2016 15:23

Big Game Awards Program Celebrates 25 Years of Texas Hunting Heritage

SAN ANTONIO – Hunters can show their Texas pride by entering their big game harvest in this year’s Texas Big Game Awards program. The program is accepting entries now through March 1, 2016.

Celebrating its 25th year, the Texas Big Game Awards is a partnership of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Wildlife Association recognizing the contributions landowners, land managers and responsible hunters make to managing and conserving wildlife and wildlife habitat on Texas’ private lands.

Texas Big Game Awards promote awareness about wildlife management and the role that hunting plays in habitat conservation, and to foster cooperation among stakeholders who ensure that our state’s wildlife habitat is conserved forever.

Hunters who harvest a white-tailed deer, mule deer, javelina, or pronghorn antelope this season meeting the minimum net score requirements set for their respective region may be eligible to receive recognition in the “Scored Entry” category. Scoring is done by local certified TBGA scorers using the Boone & Crockett Club Scoring System and entry is free. The landowner where the entry was taken is also eligible to be recognized. Also, hunters that harvest a bighorn sheep during the current season are eligible for recognition through the program.

Hunters of any age who harvest their first big game animal in Texas are eligible for the “First Big Game Harvest” category. Hunters who harvest a white-tailed deer, mule deer, javelina, pronghorn antelope, or bighorn sheep are eligible, regardless of sex or score of the animal in this category.

All youth hunters (hunting under a valid youth hunting license) who harvest a white-tailed deer, mule deer, javelina, pronghorn antelope, or bighorn sheep are eligible for the “Youth Division,” regardless of sex or score or the animal.

For more information on the Texas Big Game Awards, entry information, or for a local certified TBGA scorer, visit www.TexasBigGameAwards.org or call 210-236-9761.

All awards for each category will be presented only at the Regional Celebration for the region of harvest. Participants are invited to attend their regional banquet, but may attend any of the celebrations. A Statewide Celebration will be coordinated by TWA in conjunction with the TWA Annual Convention held July 15 in San Antonio. The top three animals statewide in each category will be recognized and receive a special award at the statewide ceremony.

Texas Big Game Awards 2016 Regional Banquet Schedule

  • Region 5, 6, 7 — May 14, Lufkin
  • Region1, 2, 3 — June 4, San Angelo
  • Region 4, 8 — June 11, Uvalde
Win the Hunt of a Lifetime! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Texas Outdoors   
Sunday, 27 September 2015 13:32

Win the Hunt of a Lifetime!

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Big Time Texas Hunts

The hunting season is just days away, and entries for Big Time Texas Hunts are now on sale! Enter for your chance to win 9 premium hunt packages on some of the best lands across Texas.

Buy Online Now
Winner and bighorn sheep

The most exclusive package is the Texas Grand Slam. One lucky winner will pursue 4 Texas big game animals: desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, pronghorn and white-tailed deer on 4 all-inclusive guided hunting trips.

New this year is the Ultimate Mule Deer Hunt, where one winner will be the first to hunt a buck on the recently-acquired Yoakum Dunes Wildlife Management Area. Other prime packages available for the winning include hunts for wild boar, white-tailed deer, gators, birds and exotics.

Don’t miss your shot - buy entries online for $9 each. You can also purchase entries for $10 each at license retailers or by calling (800) 895-4248. Increase your chances by entering as many times as you like. Proceeds from your purchase will directly support wildlife conservation, habitat management, and public hunting opportunities in Texas.


*A $5 administrative fee is charged per online or phone transaction. You may purchase multiple entries and other licenses in a single transaction.


Texas Parks and Wildlife gratefully acknowledges the support of:

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Texas Trophy Hunters Association
Deer Breeder Movement Standards Plan Finalized PDF Print E-mail
Written by Texas Outdoors   
Sunday, 16 August 2015 13:56

Deer Breeder Movement Standards Plan Finalized

Framework Addresses Chronic Wasting Disease Management, Industry Needs

AUSTIN – Texas deer breeders will be able to resume animal movements under a plan finalized today by staff of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC).

The Breeder Deer Movement Qualification Standards Plan will take effect upon the filing of Emergency Rules by TPWD and will be in place through the 2015-16 Texas hunting season. Details of the plan are available online at www.tpwd.texas.gov/cwd.

Key elements of the plan include:

  • A framework giving breeders who met previous movement qualified standards an option to move and liberate deer. Movement qualification is also dependent on administrative compliance with deer breeder permit regulations and statutes.
  • Enhanced options for closely-monitored herds with a status of “fifth year” or “certified” in the TAHC Monitored Herd Program. There are no additional release site requirements for ranches that receive deer only from these herds.
  • Additional Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing in deer breeding facilities. Under the plan, the vast majority of the 1,300 permitted deer breeders in Texas can gain movement qualified status by testing two or fewer animals.
  • There will be CWD testing requirements for a proportion of deer that are harvested on some release sites.

The goal of the Movement Qualification Plan is to provide deer breeders with options prior to the September 22 deadline for movement and liberation of bucks and before the 2015-16 hunting season. This is just one of many steps Texas is taking to mitigate the spread of CWD after it was detected in deer from a Medina County deer breeding facility earlier this summer.

“We have received and tried to be responsive to the extensive feedback from the state’s many and varied deer management interests in developing this revised plan,” said Carter Smith, TPWD Executive Director. "In the development of this framework, both agencies are balancing the need to minimize the risk of unwittingly allowing the movement or liberation of Chronic Wasting Disease-positive deer on the Texas landscape while adopting reasonable movement qualification standards that allow qualified deer breeders to begin moving and liberating captive deer. The complexity associated with the development of this framework is immense.”

A joint agency CWD Working Group will now focus efforts on developing individual herd plans for affected deer breeders and develop a plan for strategic sampling of hunter harvested deer from free-ranging populations this fall.

“Our goal was to protect the health of free-ranging and captive breeder deer, while maintaining business continuity for the breeder industry,” said Dr. Dee Ellis, TAHC Executive Director. “We believe this plan accomplishes those goals.”

Factors such as level of connectedness to the index facility, level of testing in the TAHC Monitored Herd Program, relative percentage of the overall herd that has been tested, and variable liberation criteria are all being considered in development of the herd plans.

The TAHC and TPWD are continuing the investigation of the index facility in Medina County, where 42 deer have been euthanized and tested for CWD.

“The results from the partial testing of the animals in the Index Facility, as well as samples from the CWD-exposed herds, are important to making reasonable, prudent, and responsible decisions for the remaining captive herds, neighboring landowners, and wild deer,” said Clayton Wolf, TPWD Wildlife Division director.

8 Dream Hunt Packages for the Winning! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Texas Outdoors   
Sunday, 05 October 2014 14:38

Big Time Texas Hunts


The Hunting Season is under way! Whether you’ve already flocked afield or you’re anxiously waiting for your preferred season, start planning for this year’s harvest with Big Time Texas Hunts.

Enter for your chance at 8 premium hunt packages on some of the finest private ranches and wildlife management areas in the state.

White-tailed DeerFor some of the best deer hunting in the South Texas brush country, the Premium Buck Hunt gives one lucky winner professional guided hunts for mature trophy bucks.

If birds are your preferred quarry, enter the Big Time Bird Hunt for 3 unique trips in pursuit of Bobwhite quail, Rio Grande turkey and dove.

And for a true pinnacle to your many hunting seasons, the Texas Grand Slam offers 4 big game hunts for the highly prized desert bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, pronghorn and mule deer. Previous winner, Kenneth Garcia, harvested a desert bighorn sheep scoring a staggering 171 3/8th Boone and Crockett that has been recognized in the Texas Big Game Awards.

$9 an entry onlinePurchase entries online for only $9 each*. You can also purchase them for $10 each at any license retailer or by calling (800) 895-4248. You can enter as many times as you like, and proceeds will directly support wildlife conservation, habitat management and public hunting opportunities in Texas.

If you’ve already purchased Big Time Texas Hunt entries, thank you and best of luck!

*A $5 administrative fee is charged per online or phone transaction. You may purchase multiple items in one transaction.


Texas Parks and Wildlife gratefully acknowledges the support of:

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Archery-Only Deer and Turkey Seasons Open September 27 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Texas Outdoors   
Sunday, 05 October 2014 14:13

Archery Only Seasons Open September 27

The Archery Only Seasons for white-tailed deer, mule deer, and Rio Grande turkey open September 27 and run through October 31.


What’s New for Archery Only Season

bowhunter in camo taking aimGet the archery season off to a great start by knowing the latest regulation updates:

  • Firearms - It is now lawful for any person (other than a convicted felon) to possess a firearm while hunting deer or turkey during an archery-only season; however, the use of a firearm to take turkey or deer during an archery season remains unlawful.
  • Mule Deer - Knox County now has an archery season.
  • Turkey - Hunters can now voluntarily report harvested Rio Grande turkeys and other resident game species with an open season online or via the new TPWD Wildlife Harvest Survey mobile app for iOS or Android devices.


Archery Season Pointers

Outdoor Annual Goes MobileThe 2014-2015 Outdoor Annual provides a summary of hunting and fishing regulations. Read it online at www.txoutdoorannual.com or download the new mobile app for your iOs (Apple) or Android device at www.txoutdoorannual.com/app.

Brush up on regulations that apply during archery only seasons.

  • Every hunter needs a valid hunting license and an Archery Stamp Endorsement. Turkey hunters also need an Upland Game Bird Stamp Endorsement. Licenses and endorsements may be purchased at a license retailer near you. They may also be purchased online or by phone (800-895-4248) with a $5 convenience fee required for each transaction.
  • For online and phone orders, a physical license will be mailed within three business days. During that time period, a transaction receipt will be provided via email. However, you will need your license in hand for the take of wildlife that require a tag.
  • Every hunter (including out-of-state hunters) born on or after Sept. 2, 1971 must carry proof of hunter education certification or deferral on their person while hunting. Bowhunters may also choose to take a voluntary bowhunter education class. Find more hunter education resources for Archery.
  • Review the legal uses of crossbows, projectiles and artificial light during this season.

Did you know? There are opportunities during Archery Only Season to hunt white-tailed deer  on Public Hunting Lands with a $48 Annual Public Hunting permit.


Skill Builders for Deer and Turkey

trophy buck looking at cameraAlong with acquiring the right hunting gear, it pays to keep your hunting skills sharp for a successful season:


Youth and Adults Are Learning to Love the Bow


row of targets filled with arrows, inside a gymModern bows are things of beauty filled with technology. In a word, they're cool, and young and old are learning why.

  • One guy outfitted himself with a new bow and then began the process of learning to shoot it. Read how it went in “The Draw of the Bow” from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.
  • The Texas-National Archery in the Schools Program is very active. It promotes student education and participation in the shooting sports, providing international-style target archery training in 4th-12th grade physical education classes. Watch a video about the Texas Archery in Schools program. Contact the TPWD Archery Coordinator to get the latest training information.
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