Proposition aims to guarantee rights for outdoorsmen

Dale Rollins/Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch

Student researchers release quail at the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch in Fisher County. John Lannom donated the offroad ranch buggy being used in this photo. Lannom s buggies are so popular he has a three-year waiting list. A buggy will be auctioned Tuesday at the Treasure Street Auction benefiting Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

Proposition 6, a Texas Constitutional Amendment on the Nov. 3 ballot, would “guarantee the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife, subject to laws or regulations to conserve and manage wildlife and preserve the future of hunting and fishing”.

Texas has 27 million residents. More than a million of them buy hunting licenses, and the state also sells more than a million fishing licenses each year. National surveys indicate that the majority of Americans (79 percent) support hunting, even if they don’t personally participate.

Seventeen states have passed similar amendments, but the right to hunt and fish issue was voted down in Arizona.

“We cannot be complacent on this issue,” said Ben Carter, executive director of the Dallas Safari Club. “Proposition 6 is an opportunity to protect the right to hunt and fish for future generations.”

Officials discuss needs of monarch butterflies

At the height of the monarch butterfly migration, state and national officials gathered at the George W. Bush Presidential Center Oct. 13 to unveil a plan that will aid migrating butterflies and other pollinators. Former First Lady Laura Bush, founder of Texan by Nature, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Director Carter Smith, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dan Ashe and Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, all emphasized the importance of preserving monarch habitat.

Texas is a funnel for butterflies, insects and birds migrating from as far north as Canada into Mexico, Central and South America. Monarch butterfly populations have declined by 90 percent in the last 20 years. That’s a loss of about 970 million individuals. Learn more online at tpwd.texas.gov/monarch about the amazing life cycle of monarch butterflies and what you can do to help them.

Site launched to help viewers of wildlife

The Great Texas Wildlife Trail System has launched an interactive website featuring new trail maps. There are nine wildlife trails with highway signs that mark over 900 viewing sites. The website, tpwd.texas.gov/wildlifetrails, includes GPS coordinates to help travelers find some of the best spots for viewing wildlife. Several of the Prairies and Piney Woods West trails are an easy drive from Dallas. Some sites require entry fees and have specific operating hours.

13-footers are always part of Texas harvest

Since modern Texas alligator hunting began in 1984, 13-foot gators have been part of the annual harvest, according to Amos Cooper, the alligator program leader for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

“At least two 13-foot alligators are harvested in Texas each year,” he said. “The largest alligator we’ve documented was 14 feet, four inches.”

Alligator hunting is by permit only and the harvest is closely monitored by state officials.

Local fishing duo wins La. Red River event

Heath Moody of Southlake teamed with Zach Parker of Denton on Oct. 10 to win the 2015 Bass Champs Team Championship Tournament. The competition was held on the Red River at Shreveport, Louisiana. Moody and Parker weighed a two-man limit of 10 bass that totaled 25.29 pounds. They won a fully-rigged Skeeter FX 20 with a Yamaha engine.

Calendar

Tuesday, Oct. 20: Dallas Fly Fishers fly-tying classes at Cabela’s in Allen. This is the first of four classes offered from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. The classes will feature six tying experts at separate tables to instruct on tying warm, cold and saltwater patterns. Materials are provided for a nominal fee. Details by calling Richard Johnson at 469-877-0695.

Wednesday, Oct. 21: First split of South Zone dove season ends.

Friday, Oct. 23: Texas Shootout sporting clays event benefiting the Rob Harper Memorial Fund with registration beginning noon at Elm Fork Shooting Range. Details from Melissa Reddick at mreddick@fcdallas.com or call 469-365-0147.

Saturday, Oct. 24: The Dallas Fly Fishers will teach the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Fly Fishing Instructor Course at Cabela’s in Allen. Participants will learn the requirements for teaching fly fishing classes and become certified to teach the TPWD course. The instructor course is free and lasts from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Register by calling Richard Johnson at 469-877-0695. Details are online at dallasflyfishers.org.

Saturday, Oct. 24-Sunday, October 25: Youth-only duck hunting weekend in High Plains Mallard Management Unit and South Zone.

Sunday, Oct. 25: First split of dove season ends in North and Central Zones.

Saturday, Oct. 31: Quail season begins statewide; South Zone duck season begins; West Zone goose season begins.

Saturday, Oct. 31-Sunday, Nov. 1: Youth-only deer hunting weekend, statewide; youth-only duck hunting weekend in the North Zone; first split of duck season in High Plains Mallard Management Unit.

Monday, Nov. 2: Dallas Fly Fishers monthly meeting at the Wyndham Hote, 7800 Alpha Road, Dallas. Casual dinner and social hour at 6 p.m. with the program at 7 p.m. on trout fishing in Colorado by Pat Dorsey. Details are online at dallasflyfishers.org or call Richard Johnson at 469-877-0695.

Friday, Nov. 6: East Zone goose season begins; second split of High Plains Mallard Management Unit duck season begins.

Saturday, Nov. 7: General white-tailed deer season begins statewide; North Zone duck season begins.

Saturday, Nov. 7: Fly Fishing Class conducted by the Dallas Fly Fishers at the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA), Jones and Kealy Street, Lewisville, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. This is a complete course on casting, fly tying, knots, entomology, regulations and ethics. The course is free but there is a $5 per car entry fee to the LLELA. Registration before the class is required. Register with Richard Johnson by calling 469-877-0695.

Thursday, Nov. 12: Dallas Ducks Unlimited Fundraising Banquet and Auction at the Centennial Hall at Fair Park. Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets and information at DallasDucks.org.

Friday, Dec. 18: Second split of dove season begins statewide.