Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   
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2015 Hunting Forecast

This year's rains have brought bright prospects for fall hunting. TPWD experts tell us just how good it might be for deer, dove and more in this digital-only magazine extra.

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Photos in the October 2015 issue

This Month's Features

Fields of Dove

Opening weekend revives Texas hunters’ passion for doves.

By Carter P. Smith

Thirty minutes later, as our procession of trucks pulled through the front gate of the Hedtke place over near the Karnes County line, thunderheads started to billow up overhead. Little pocket showers could be seen blanketing the surrounding Brush Country. Sporadic raindrops found their way onto our dust-covered trucks. And, judging by the flapping of the grass and the flailing of the mesquite leaves in the pasture, a pretty fair breeze had blown in from the southeast.

One of the more pessimistic members of our party wondered aloud whether we might get rained out. A second said with unwavering confidence that the weather forecast called for only a 30 percent chance of scattered storms, so any rains likely wouldn’t last long. And, still another wit, clearly the most altruistic one of the bunch, posited that if we did get rained out, then so be it. The country needed it worse than we needed an afternoon in the field.

Outdoorsmen spend a lot of time speculating about the weather. And, like most such conversations I have been party to over the years, none of us really had a clue.

(read more)

Bighorn by Bow

Round Rock's mayor scores the first ram by bow and arrow on Texas public land.

By John Jefferson

Elephant Mountain was iced over, with fog so dense that visibility was measured in feet. As the hunters drove closer to the top of the mountain, the atmosphere cleared. Scanning for bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) was still challenging but improving with elevation.

The four hunters reached the summit when the spotter reported that he had seen 12 sheep at lower elevation. Two were “shooters” — big enough to harvest.

While going down sounds easier than climbing up, sometimes that’s not the case. The way down involved trekking through a nearly impassible gorge littered with boulders and thorny plants. Despite the daunting landscape, the hunters decided to make a stalk from the top.

(read more)

Lunar Legacy

Astronaut passes hunting heritage on to his family.

By John Goodspeed

Charlie Duke puts the crosshairs on a young buck and anticipates the result — a 168-grain, .308 Winchester bullet blasting out of the muzzle at 2,700 feet per second.

As he squeezes the trigger, a thought flashes through his mind. He has traveled more than 14 times faster than that bullet —38,800 feet per second, to be exact — when his Apollo 16 spacecraft accelerated into Earth’s gravity just before re-entering the atmosphere.

One of only 12 men to walk on the moon, Charlie spent 71 hours on its surface after landing in a lunar module named for Orion, the constellation of a great hunter in Greek mythology.

The experience was a defining moment in his life, but not his crowning achievement. That continues to evolve, as on this day, when he shares his passion for the outdoors with his son and grandson.

It keeps him down to earth.

(read more)

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Fishing Forecast 2015

How's the fishing? Our experts give the outlook for freshwater and saltwater angling in this exclusive, digital-only magazine extra.

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Keep Texas Wild

It's not just for kids. If you like nature-related topics in an easy-to-read format, you can find three years of our popular Keep Texas Wild issues and the teacher resources to go along with them.