Texas Trophy Hunters Association


Texas Trophy Hunters AssociationTexas Trophy Hunters AssociationBoyds Adds Bottom Metal for AI-style magazine Ruger American RiflesTexas Legislative RoundupAntlerless Deer Hunting Expanded for 2019-20 SeasonHow To Produce Trophy BassFeral Hog Bounties Offered in Caldwell, Guadalupe CountiesUltrasonic Predator CallingSweat Equity Yields A Big 10TPWD: Abundant Spring Turkey This SeasonTrophy Hunter Takes Rare Pakistani MarkhorNew Hunting Regulations Proposed For 2019-20

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Boyds Gunstocks has recently released a bottom metal that allows the Boyds stocks to accept the Ruger American rifles with the AI-Style magazines.

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June 10, 2019

MITCHELL, S.D. – Boyds has recently released a bottom metal that allows the Boyds stocks to accept the Ruger American rifles with the AI-Style magazines.

In Early 2017 Ruger released the AI-Style magazines for Ruger Precision Rifle® and Gunsite models. The precision style AI magazine quickly made its way into a few of the popular American Rifles, including the Predator and Go Wild® models chambered in .308, 6.5 Creedmoor, and other popular short action calibers.

The bottom metal was developed with quality and performance in mind. It comes with a black anodized, CNC machined, aluminum bottom metal and trigger guard. The magazine catch is polished, CNC machined aluminum to allow for a tight grasp on the magazine.

Ruger American AI Mag Kit

The bottom metal is designed to fit the Boyds stocks without any fitting or alterations. The bottom metal kit also allows other Ruger American rifles to be converted to allow the use of the Ruger AI-Style magazines when they are assembled to a Boyds stock. Additional details at www.boydsgunstocks.com/Ruger-American-AI-Magazine-Kit

“Rifle manufacturers keep pushing the boundaries of what is achievable with firearms,” said Dustin Knutson, general manager at Boyds. “We’re constantly working to offer high quality wood gunstocks, at reasonable prices, for firearms that come from a factory with limited choices for stocks.”

Boyds also offers many options for their constantly growing line-up of hardwood gunstock upgrades. These include choices of traditional hardwoods such as American black walnut and maple along with many different colored laminate combinations. Laser engraving, custom grips, custom length of pull, custom recoil pads and custom forearm tips are additional options that can be chosen for some models. The popular At-One adjustable stock comes standard with push-button length of pull and comb height adjustment to all the stocks to fit a variety of people and shooting situations.

Boyds is the leading manufacturer of high-quality hardwood gunstocks in the world. An American, family-owned business located in Mitchell, South Dakota, Boyds builds stocks for over 1200 different models of firearms. All of Boyds hardwood gunstocks can be found and ordered at www.boydsgunstocks.com

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Three noteworthy bills from the 86th legislative session Three bills submitted to this year’s state legislative session will affect hunters and the whitetail industry. Here’s a quick run-down: House Bill

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Three noteworthy bills from the 86th legislative session

Three bills submitted to this year’s state legislative session will affect hunters and the whitetail industry. Here’s a quick run-down:

House Bill 547 from state Rep. Terry Canales would allow Texans the ability to carry their hunting and fishing licenses digitally via smartphone or other “wireless communication device.” The bill would mandate Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to accomplish this, with the agency providing a downloadable image licensees could get from a TWPD website, or allowing for a photograph of their physical license to serve as verification of a valid license. The bill passed and awaits Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature. It will go into effect Sept. 1.

Senate Bill 317 from state Sen. Bryan Hughes would allow for resident and non-resident landowners, or their agents or lessees, to hunt feral hogs without a hunting license. According to KLTV in Austin, Hughes said in a February interview the current law could be interpreted to mean one would have to prove hogs are doing damage before you have the right to kill them. SB 317 clarifies feral hogs can be killed without a license whether or not damage is being caused. The bill passed and awaits the governor’s signature. It will go into effect Sept. 1.

House Bill 661 from state Rep. Ken King would allow deer breeding facilities “with the highest status transfer category as determined by commission rule” the ability to release breeder deer to a low-fenced site that “includes at least 5,000 acres of contiguous land, and is within 200 miles of the deer breeding facility.” The bill has been left in committee.

We’ll keep you up to date on these bills and any other pertinent information coming out of Austin. Stay tuned!

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White-tailed deer hunters in 41 counties in the Blackland Prairies and Post Oak Savannah ecoregions will have expanded opportunities to take antlerless deer during the 2019-20 season.

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Texas
Parks and Wildlife Department reports white-tailed deer hunters in 41 counties
in the Blackland Prairies and Post Oak Savannah ecoregions will have expanded
opportunities to take antlerless deer during the 2019-20 season. The Texas
Parks and Wildlife Commission approved the changes in late March.

According
to TPWD, the decision to liberalize harvest restrictions on antlerless deer
comes after several years of whitetail population growth within these
ecoregions, combined with a relatively conservative doe harvest. TPWD wildlife
biologists recommended the expanded opportunity to reduce the deer herd impacts
to the habitat, help balance buck-to-doe sex ratios, and relieve buck harvest
pressure.

In
21 counties in South Central Texas, hunters may harvest antlerless deer from
Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, through Sunday, Dec. 1. Counties include:
Austin, Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Dewitt, Fayette, Gonzales, Guadalupe,
Karnes, Lavaca, Lee, Waller, Washington, and Wilson.

In addition to these counties, Goliad, Jackson, Victoria, and Wharton counties north of U.S. Highway 59 and Comal, Hays, and Travis east of IH-35. The bag limit on antlerless deer in these counties is two, and all doe harvests during archery, muzzleloader, youth-only seasons, and the 4-day doe season must be reported within 24 hours through the TPWD website or the My Hunt Harvest mobile app. The four doe days are not for properties enrolled in the Managed Lands Deer Permit (MLDP) program.

TPWD is also expanding doe days in 20 other counties from four to 16 days beginning with the start of the general hunting season on Nov. 2. Those counties include: Bell (east of IH-35), Burleson, Delta, Ellis, Falls, Fannin, Franklin, Freestone, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Limestone, Milam, Navarro, Rains, Smith, Titus, Van Zandt, Williamson (east of IH-35), and Wood.

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In past years, feeding fish was a past-time. Folks were entertained by the novelty of finny critters chasing floating food pellets on the surface. Feeding fish not only accelerates fish growth and family fun, it greatly improves fish health. Growing bigger bluegill and trophy bass requires an effective feeding strategy.

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By Bob Lusk

In past years, feeding fish was a past-time. Folks were entertained by the novelty of finny critters chasing floating food pellets on the surface. They had not been informed about the benefits. What a difference a few years and fisheries science has made for today’s off-the-chart results for feeding fish.

High protein formulas fed regularly in automatic fish feeders grow bluegill so big you can’t grip them with your hand. You must lip them like a bass. Before fish food, bass, bluegill and other sport fish relied on natural forage. Small ponds just couldn’t produce necessary volumes of baitfish to meet nutritional requirements for normal growth. Bass would stunt. Not anymore.

Feeding fish not only accelerates fish growth and family fun, it greatly improves fish health. Bigger, healthier bluegill produce more eggs. Greater reproduction builds the food chain for sport fish like bass. Remember, a largemouth bass MUST consume approximately 10-pounds of baitfish to grow one, single pound. If your goal is growing trophy bass, it takes hundreds of pounds of bluegill.

Knowing When To Feed

Fish will tell you
how much to feed. The amount of food you dispense is contingent on the fish
population. Only offer as much as they can consume in 10 to 15 minutes. If your
goal is growing saucer-size bluegill feed at 8 a.m., 1 p.m., and 6 p.m. Cut
back to morning and evening times during hot, summer months. About October 1,
resume three offerings until early December. At spring start-up, set the fish
feeder timer at three seconds. Gradually increase feed times to five-seconds as
water warms and fish become more active. The primary rule, ensure there are no
leftover food pellets on the surface after fish get full and stop eating. If
you see uneaten pellets, reduce the time slightly until you find the perfect
balance.

Growing bigger
bluegill and trophy bass requires an effective feeding strategy. Utilizing a
reliable fish feeder to accurately dispense fish feed is the foundation of a
successful feeding program. Texas Hunter fish feeders
are available in a variety of sizes and will feed your fish automatically 1 to
9 times per day. Learn more at Texas
Hunter.com
.

Don’t miss another
day of valuable benefits from a fish feeding program. What’s your preference,
big bluegill, bass, or hybrid striper?

About The Author

Fisheries biologist Bob Lusk is in his fourth decade helping people design, build, stock and manage private fishing ponds and lakes as a consultant. Bob is also editor of the nation’s leading pond management publication, Pond Boss Magazine celebrating 25 years.  You can subscribe to Pond Boss at www.PondBoss.com and reach Bob through that website, or his business website at www.BobLuskOutdoors.com. Bob’s staff is available to assist pond owners, too. Office number is (903) 564-5372.

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Both bounty programs will pay $5 per hog Caldwell County will pay hunters $5 for each feral hog taken from now until August 7. Hunters may claim the county’s 2019

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Both bounty programs will pay $5 per hog

Caldwell County will pay hunters $5 for each feral hog taken from now until August 7. Hunters may claim the county’s 2019 feral hog bounties only on the first Wednesday of each month until the deadline.

During that period, hog hunters can bring in feral hog tails and/or certified buying station receipts to Smith Supply Co., 1830 Colorado Street, Lockhart, between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tails and/or receipts must be from feral hogs killed in Caldwell County.

Participants must complete a W-9 form and a participation form. These can be obtained at Smith Supply, or from the Central Texas Feral Hog Task Force website. The property owner’s name and contact information where the hogs were killed are required on the form.

Guadalupe County’s bounty program will also pay $5, and runs through September 30, 2019.

Brandon Ray photo

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The greatest sounds for predator calling are those you can’t hear By Gary Roberson When I first started calling critters, I didn’t know there was anything you could use other

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The greatest sounds for predator calling are those you can’t hear

By Gary Roberson

When I first started calling critters, I didn’t know there was anything you could use other than hand calls. It wasn’t until 1967 when my cousin introduced me to recordings on cassette tapes as an alternative to blowing through a call. My first thought when I heard about using recordings of rabbits or birds in distress was that I would never have to experience another dry stand. Unfortunately, while I have had success with animal recordings, I have found they, too, are not always effective.

Without a doubt, the most common question I have heard over the last 30 years is, “I can call coyotes with my hand calls, but can’t get anything to respond to an electronic caller. So what am I doing wrong?” Most of you are thinking, “Now how can that be? Most sounds on electronic callers are recordings of live animals, what can be more realistic than that?”

The answer to this question is simple. You can produce a wider frequency range with a mouth call than you can with the electronic callers and speakers currently on the market. The higher frequency range generated by hand calls or diaphragms is much more realistic to the predator’s ear, therefore the response to these calls will be greater.

Sound terminology

Before we go any further into sounds and why one might be more appealing to a critter than another, let’s look at the very basic terms used when describing a sound, volume and tone. Volume is simple. We see the adjustment on the radio in your truck or on the TV remote. Volume is measured in decibels, the unit in which sound is measured. As an example, a whisper is about 15 decibels (dB) while a jet engine may reach 150 dB.

Volume is obviously very important when trying to lure a critter with sound. If he cannot hear the sound, he is not coming to it. It is for this reason that most of the electronic callers on the market today will generate 120-125 dB.

While volume is extremely important to calling success, so is sound quality. Sound quality or tone is measured in Hertz (Hz). Hertz is defined as a unit of frequency equal to one cycle per second or a unit used for measuring the frequency of sound waves. For example, the human can hear sounds from 64-23,000 Hz. Anything above that sound level cannot be heard, and the term for sound we cannot hear is called ultrasonic.

Because we use sounds to attract predators, it is more important to find that dogs or canines can hear 67-45,000 Hz and cats or felines, 45-64,000 Hz. On the extreme range are mice that can hear 1,000 to 91,000 Hz; bats, 2,000-110,000 Hz; and Beluga whales, 1,000-123,000 Hz. I was surprised to find most birds can hear from only 250-8,000 Hz, with the owl having the keenest hearing from 200-12,000 Hz.

Recording ultrasonic sound

Now that you have an idea how sophisticated a critter’s hearing is compared to ours, it is just as important to know what the frequencies of some of the common distress sounds used for calling predators are. Until now, I did not have the ability to record and produce sounds ultrasonically, so testing was almost impossible.

Recently, I purchased an ultrasonic recorder that will record up to 96,000 Hz, and recorded several popular distress sounds. In order to accurately test the frequency of these recordings, we used an oscilloscope, a device that measures the frequency of sound waves. The results we got from these tests were shocking, and gave greater proof why electronic calls are rarely successful in areas where there is predator calling pressure.

The first sound we recorded was a simple lip squeak, a sound I make by sucking on the palm of my hand. To my surprise, the oscilloscope waves peaked over 65,000 Hz, and it was then I knew we were on to something that would change predator calling with electronics forever.

A few days later, we recorded a baby cottontail and found the frequency of its distress cries exceeded the 96,000 Hz that I was capable of recording. Since we have been testing sounds with this new ultrasonic equipment, every distress sound we have recorded and tested has exceeded 50,000 Hz.

Finding the right speaker

After testing most of the electronic callers currently on the market, we have found most speakers are good at the low end, but can replicate and produce only 15,000 to 18,000 Hz on the high end. Since the human ear can hear up to 23,000 Hz, we can hear all the sound generated by the call, and it may sound pretty good to us, but what about the coyote that can hear to 45,000 Hz or the bobcat who can hear 64,000 Hz? This makes it much easier to understand why so many critters would not respond to the electronic calls, especially in areas where calling pressure exists.

Our next challenge was to find a speaker or speakers that would produce tones or frequencies from the low end of less than 1,000 Hz to near 50,000 Hz. After testing everything we could get our hands on, we found we would need two speakers: one to handle to low frequencies and another to handle the higher frequencies. Perhaps the real magic is the blending of the two speakers, as one phases out and the other takes over.

Testing predator calling recordings

Like many of you, I have difficulty understanding things I cannot see, feel, smell or hear. While the oscilloscope proved to me there were sounds generated that I could not hear, I wanted to see how animals would react to these ultrasonic recordings. I was familiar with silent dog whistles and had seen dogs respond to them, though I never heard anything other than wind passing through the call.

For the last 25 years, my wife Deb and I have had Dachshund females as pets. They have always been indoor dogs and go to the office with us every day.

These dogs have heard most every predator call and animal recording in our sound library, and are totally immune to them. I can blow a series on the Mini Blaster or play a recording of a coyote howling without getting “Dash” to so much as lift her head from the bed. But, I could not wait to see how she would react to ultrasonic recordings.

The sound I chose for the test was one of the baby cottontail distress recordings that reached frequencies above the 96,000 Hz I was able to record. While the speaker I used was limited to reproducing 40,000 Hz, this was a much higher frequency than she was accustomed to hearing in the office.

When I turned the recorder/player on at low volume, Dash slept in her bed. As soon as she heard the distress cries, it was if a spring had launched her from her bed and she jumped at the desk, whining at the recorder. It was then I knew the predator calling game would be forever changed, and could not wait to try it in a hunting situation.

Gary’s complete story can be found in the March/April issue of The Journal of the Texas Trophy Hunters.
Pick up a copy at your local newsstand or SUBSCRIBE today.

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Hard work gets rewarded By David Camilleri On the first Sunday morning in December 2017, I leaned over to let Erin know we would wait 10 more minutes before we

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Hard work gets rewarded

By David Camilleri

On the first Sunday morning in December 2017, I leaned over to let Erin know we would wait 10 more minutes before we wrapped up her first ever deer hunt weekend. Seconds later she leaned back to me and said, “Check this guy out.” But this story really started in the summer when Erin Casey, and my best friend’s youngest son, Austin Wood, came to our deer lease in Mason, Texas, to “help out with the chores.” Austin brought his fiancée Erin along so she could experience the Texas Hill Country and deer lease life.

I can honestly and proudly say Erin was 100 percent all in all weekend, which included a late night hog hunt. After a long weekend of fence repairs, feeder filling, rifle sighting, card playing and barbecuing, I pulled Austin and Erin aside to invite them back for Erin’s first deer hunt. After all the sweat equity she put in that weekend, it was the least I could do, and Erin was excited beyond belief to get the chance. Plus, after seeing how great a shot she was at the range, I had all the confidence in the world she was ready.

Reviewing the trail cams

Recalling that weekend in December, my hunting lease partner, Barney Barnett, and I arrived that Friday to do some hunting and scouting. A quick review of the trail cams showed a nice 10-point in a 50-acre section strolling between two blinds named, “The Cowboy Church” and “The Ponderosa.” Barney had seen this same deer earlier in the season, but passed, hoping the buck would make it through the rut and pass on his nice genetics.

We were hunting in the post rut, so Barney and I decided that any of us, given the chance, should take the big 10 if the opportunity presented itself. That afternoon Barney hunted from The Ponderosa, but the big 10 was a no-show. I went to another section to scout some other deer we saw on the trail cams, hoping to find other good bucks—just in case—for Austin and Erin when the time came. They finally arrived late Friday night after a long drive from the DFW metroplex.

At the ranch

With the excitement of the pending hunt, we stayed up way too late visiting, but we still managed to get out of our bunks at 5 a.m. for their first hunt of the weekend on Saturday morning. We decided the night before that Austin would go to The Ponderosa blind and watch for the big 10, and Erin would hunt with me at “Big Tex,” a box blind that had been visited by several deer all week, leading up to this hunt. While the morning deer traffic was plentiful, Erin sat just “taking it all in,” asking tons of questions, learning and processing, which impressed me very much. My truest passion in hunting is introducing the sport to people who have never hunted, and Erin has been, by far, my best student.

Before our hunt ended that morning, I pointed out two does that would be OK to take. She replied, “OK? Nope. I will pass and wait for better than OK.” She truly understood that hunting isn’t just shooting deer. It’s properly managing the herd to its fullest potential.

Afternoon hunt

While no deer were taken that morning, we returned to the cabin with some great stories and memories. Due to the late night we had on Friday, everyone agreed to take a nap before going out for the afternoon hunt. We moved to new blinds that afternoon, and Barney even had a glimpse of the big 10. But shooting light had faded and the timing for a shot would have been considered borderline in the eyes of a game warden, so he did the right thing and passed.

After dinner we decided to put a 10 p.m. timer on our visit to ensure a good night’s rest before the Sunday morning hunt. Austin and Erin would finally hunt together on Sunday morning. I was confident she was now familiar with the ranch rules and the end goal. But when Sunday morning came, only Austin arrived for coffee.

A bit more sleep

I asked where Erin was. He said she decided to sleep in, so we quickly adjusted our plan, and reset for who would hunt from which blinds. Just as we finished doing that and prepared to head out, guess who showed up and decided to hunt after all? Since we had reset the blind selection, and Austin would go to a one-man blind where he really wanted to hunt, we decided Erin would tag along with me one last time.

So there we were, at the blind, with 10 minutes left before we needed to wrap up Erin’s first ever weekend of deer hunting when she told me to “check this guy out.” It took me half a glance to know it was the big 10. While I had her get the gun in position and slow down her breathing, I glassed the buck one last time, and then gave her the green light. Just then, he turned and headed back across the sendero to our left.

I told her to be quiet and move the gun into the left window. Thankfully, she forgot the part about gently taking the gun off safety. If it wasn’t for that faint click, the big 10 may not have stopped exactly broadside at 40 yards. I whispered something to her, but the gun went off and then the big 10 ran straight down the sendero.

After the shot

Before I could say anything else, I heard a loud “CRUD!” come from Erin. I asked her what was wrong. She looked at me on the verge of bursting into tears and said, “I missed!”

“No you didn’t, kiddo. You made a great shot. And because he was so close, the bullet pretty much just passed through on a double lung shot.”

After calming her down, discussing the importance of respecting the deer’s time to expire without being pushed, filling out her tag, properly securing the rifle, and getting down from the blind, we went to the next level of her education—tracking the deer. Five short minutes later, we got down from the blind, and with Erin on point the whole way, she turned and had the biggest smile I’ve ever seen.

The buck lay a mere 60 yards away. Austin shot a nice eight-point buck that same morning, but will forever have to live down the fact that on her first deer hunting weekend ever, his bride-to-be got a big 10.

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South Zone youth-only weekend for Rio Grande turkey starts March 9 With lots of mature toms across the Rio Grande turkey range, persistent Texas hunters should have a good shot

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South Zone youth-only weekend for Rio Grande turkey starts March 9

With lots of mature toms across the Rio Grande turkey range, persistent Texas hunters should have a good shot at a long beard this spring. Wildlife biologists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department say conditions are shaping up for a productive nesting season, which could also make for challenging hunting.

The spring season for Rio Grande turkey gets under way March 9-10 with a youth-only weekend in the South Zone, followed by a general season that runs March 16-April 28 and then culminates with a youth-only weekend May 4-5. In the North Zone, the youth-only weekend seasons run March 23-24 and May 18-19. The North Zone general season opens March 30 and runs through May 12. A special one-gobbler limit season runs April 1-30 in Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Fayette, Jackson, Lavaca, Lee, Matagorda, Milam, and Wharton counties.

“Much of Texas is looking really green due to winter rains and a mild winter,” said Jason Hardin, TPWD turkey program leader. “Toms are already strutting and calling, and although hens are nowhere near ready yet, you can expect to see some early nesting behavior in the next few weeks.”

Good chance at turkey later in the day

Early in the season, Hardin predicts toms will be “henned up” first thing in the morning, and hunters will have better luck later in the day. “Don’t be surprised when the gobblers hang up,” he said. “They are going to be spoiled to hens coming to them like nature intended. The best hunting will be during the middle to latter part of the season.”

Hardin recommends hunters rely on their decoys to do most of the work and minimize calling, as late season gobblers will be wary of calls, especially in areas that receive moderate to high hunting pressure. He stressed hunters willing to put in the time and patience this spring should have an opportunity to harvest a boss tom.

“Texas has a much lower harvest rate compared to many southeastern states and our toms live to a ripe old age,” said Hardin. “There are not many jakes out there this year due to low recruitment associated with dry conditions these past two years so the odds are in your favor that what comes in should be a mature bird.”

Air guns legal for taking turkey

New this season, hunters have the option of using pre-charged pneumatics (air guns) as legal means for harvesting Rio Grande turkeys in Texas. TPWD online lists the details on required specifications.

Eastern spring turkey hunting in the counties having an open season starts a week later this year on April 22 and runs through May 14. Hunters must report harvest of eastern turkeys electronically to TPWD within 24 hours of harvest.

Make reports through the TPWD My Texas Hunt Harvest App or online from the TPWD turkey page . Get the free app from Google Play or the App Store. Hunters will be issued a confirmation number upon completion of the reporting process. Hunters still have to tag harvested birds.

The harvest reporting app can also be used as a tool for voluntarily reporting and tracking harvests of other resident game species, including Rio Grande turkey. With My Texas Hunt Harvest, hunters can log harvested game animals and view harvest history, including dates and locations of every hunt.

Will Leschper photo

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Texan banker pays $110,000 for markhor hunting permit A Texas hunter traveled all the way to Pakistan in order to take a rare mountain goat, called a markhor. The animal,

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Texan banker pays $110,000 for markhor hunting permit

A Texas hunter traveled all the way to Pakistan in order to take a rare mountain goat, called a markhor. The animal, also known as the screw-horned goat, is the national animal of Pakistan.

The Dallas Morning News reported Bryan Kinsel Harlan as the hunter who killed the animal. Harlan bought a $110,000 hunting permit to do so. The paper reports 80 percent of the permit fee goes to the local community, while the rest goes to Pakistani wildlife agencies.

The hunt took place in the Gilgit-Baltistan region in northern Pakistan. Harlan is a founding partner of Plano-based Benchmark Mortgage. He’s traveled to Pakistan three times to hunt.

Pakistani officials credit permitted markhor hunts for helping save the species from extinction.

Shafqat Hussain, an anthropology professor at Trinity College who used to work for the trophy hunting program in the 1990s, explained to National Public Radio why he believes this enterprise benefits both the species and the local population.

“Before the program, government officials and influential people and local politicians would go to a village and just start hunting,” he said. “And the villagers did not have incentives to stop them. Now the villagers say, this markhor is worth $110,000. You just can’t take it if you want to. Show us the permit and then you can hunt here.”

Tabarak Ullah photo

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Proposed changes include implementation and expansion of white-tailed deer “doe days;” experimental mule deer antler restriction in Lynn County; clarification on turkey harvest requirements; and season dates and bag limits

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Proposed changes include implementation and expansion of white-tailed deer “doe days;” experimental mule deer antler restriction in Lynn County; clarification on turkey harvest requirements; and season dates and bag limits for migratory game birds.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department personnel recommend the following changes to hunting regulations for 2019-20:

  • Refusal of program participation in Managed Lands Deer Programs (MLDP) for non-compliant properties in areas where chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing is required for all harvested deer.
  • A four-day antlerless deer season in 21 counties in South Central Texas. Counties being considered include: Austin, Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Dewitt, Fayette, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Karnes, Lavaca, Lee, Waller, Washington, and Wilson. In addition to these counties, Goliad, Jackson, Victoria, and Wharton counties north of U.S. Highway 59 and Comal, Hays, and Travis east of IH-35 would also be included.
  • Expansion of “doe days” in 20 counties from four to 16 days. Counties being considered include: Bell (east of IH 35), Burleson, Delta, Ellis, Falls, Fannin, Franklin, Freestone, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Limestone, Milam, Navarro, Rains, Smith, Titus, Van Zandt, Williamson (east of IH 35), and Wood.
  • An experimental 20-inch minimum antler spread restriction regulation in Lynn County.
  • A new season for javelina in six counties in the South Plains, to include: Borden, Dawson, Gaines, Hardeman, Scurry, and Terry counties.
  • Clarification that proof of sex is required for turkeys taken during seasons when the bag limit is gobblers only or gobblers and bearded hens (i.e., not either sex), and that it can remain attached to the harvested bird or accompany the harvested bird.
  • Establish seasons and bag limits for migratory game birds for 2019-2020.                            

Public Comment Opportunities

TPWD encourages public comment on the proposed regulation changes. Opportunities to comment include:

  • Facebook Live Webinar: TPWD Inland and Coastal Fisheries staff will present proposed fishing regulation changes and answer questions in a Facebook Live webinar at noon Feb. 27 on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Facebook page.
  • Public hearings: TPWD staff will host several public hearings to receive input from stakeholders and constituents concerning the proposed regulation changes.
    • Conroe: Monday, March 4 at 7 p.m. at the San Jacinto River Authority Board Room, 1577 Dam Site Rd. Conroe Texas 77304.
    • Athens: Tuesday, March 5 at 7 p.m. at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center Hart-Morris Conservation Center, 5601 Peninsula Point Rd., Athens 75752.
    • San Antonio: Tuesday, March 5 at 7 p.m.at the Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, 2809 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209.
    • Livingston: Wednesday, March 6 at 7 p.m. at the Polk County Judicial Center, 101 W Mill St Livingston, TX 77351.
  • Online: Comments on the changes can be provided on the TPWD public comment page until March 19.
  • Phone or Email: Ken Kurzawski (512) 389-4591, email ken.kurzawski@tpwd.texas.gov.
  • In person: The TPW Commission will take public comment on the proposed changes at their meeting on Wednesday, March 20 in Austin. Public testimony will normally be limited to three minutes per person.

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This article originally appears at Texas Trophy Hunters

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