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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2012-08-30                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than two years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Mike Cox, 512-389-8046, mike.cox@tpwd.texas.gov; Stephanie Salinas, stephanie.salinas@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Aug. 30, 2012
Game Warden Michelle Mount Named Texas Midwest Officer of the Year
AUSTIN -- State game warden Michelle Mount has been named Officer of the Year by the Association of Midwest Fish and Game Law Enforcement Officers.
The award was presented to Mount by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith at the Thursday meeting of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at TPWD Headquarters.
Each year, the TPWD Law Enforcement Division selects one officer from across the state who has shown a strong degree of professionalism, has excelled above average standards, and has shown continuous dedication to the agency's mission.
Mount, a nine-year game warden stationed in Tarrant County, was recognized for her commitment and service to TPWD's public outreach mission which includes presentations and events such as hunter education classes, school programs, inner city youth presentations, and women in the outdoors events. She is also the regional point of contact for the public for questions regarding nongame and invasive species in the Fort Worth and Dallas areas.
Along with being involved in public outreach, Mount also leads the region in contacts and cases filed on wholesalers and retailers in the Tarrant County area. Mount currently serves as the regional liaison for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport and has collaborated with several airlines to develop a system for confiscation and disposition of illegal aquatic products. She has also worked with the court system and prosecutors in her area on understanding the importance of conservation law violations.
Begun 67 years ago, the Association of Midwest Fish and Game Law Enforcement Officers is the oldest conservation law enforcement organization in the country. Twenty-nine member agencies from the United States and Canada make up the Midwest area and TPWD has been a member since 1995.
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[ Note: This item is more than two years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
Aug. 30, 2012
Wildlife Officials Investigating Dove Deaths in West Texas
AUSTIN - State and federal wildlife officials are investigating a series of active dove mortality events in and around the West Texas communities of Midland, Odessa and Big Spring. The cause has yet to be determined, but poisoning has not been ruled out. At this time, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department simply desires to provide hunters information on this localized event.
Dove samples have been submitted to the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, WI, where initial necropsy findings revealed no conclusive cause of death, according to Dr. LeAnn White, a wildlife disease specialist. Additional disease screening and toxicology test results are pending.
Although there are no known human or animal risks associated with the mortality events at this time, Dr. White recommends precautions should be taken. One Midland resident reported his dog died shortly after consuming several dead doves, but no autopsy was performed and cause of death was not determined. Conversely, several residents have reported dogs and cats consuming dead doves with no ill effects.
Reports of dead doves and sparrows first surfaced in late July and have been sporadic but ongoing, although the total number of birds impacted so far is believed to be less than 250, mostly Eurasian collared dove and white-winged dove.
"Our biggest concern right now is the timing of these events heading into the opening day of dove hunting season this Saturday," said Clayton Wolf, TPWD Wildlife Division Director. "We want hunters to be aware of this, but until we know the cause of death, there's not much we can tell those hunters other than to use the standard common sense precautions that should be applied to the harvest of all game animals."
Hunters should avoid shooting at birds exhibiting odd behavior or picking up birds not shot by them or someone in their hunting group. Hunters should never consume any game that appears infected or diseased. All dove killed still count toward a hunter's bag limit. However, dove that appear infected or diseased are not required to be retained or kept in edible condition.
Birds exhibiting a healthy disposition prior to harvest should not pose a concern. As with all wild game, hunters should properly clean and prepare dove.
Officials anticipate additional test results in the next few days. Updates on the investigation, including lab test results, will be posted online at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/game_management/dove_summary/.
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[ Note: This item is more than two years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
Aug. 30, 2012
TPWD Sets Waterfowl Seasons for 2012-13
AUSTIN -The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission finalized this year's waterfowl seasons at its Aug. 30 public hearing as Texas hunters make ready to welcome record numbers of ducks.
According to this year's U.S. Fish and Wildlife "Trends in Duck Breeding Populations," estimated waterfowl production in North America's "duck factory" are at a record high, eclipsing a record set last year. The total duck population is estimated at 48.6 million birds. This represents a 7 percent increase over last year and is 43 percent higher than the long-term average since 1955.
Add water and hunt. Much needed rainfall this year has helped rejuvenate drought stricken wetland plant communities across much of the Texas coast, setting the stage for better than usual hunting this fall.
Following is a summary of the Texas late season migratory framework for 2012-13. An early season for teal statewide, and for Canada geese in the eastern goose zone, runs Sept. 15-30 with a daily bag limit of four teal and three geese.
Ducks
High Plains Mallard Management Unit
All species other than "dusky ducks": Oct. 27-28, 2012 and Nov.2, 2012 - Jan. 27, 2013; "Dusky ducks": Nov. 5, 2012 - Jan. 27, 2013; Youth-only Season: Oct. 20 -- 21, 2012
North and South Zones
All species other than "dusky ducks": Nov. 3 - 25, 2012 and Dec. 8, 2012 -- Jan. 27, 2013; "Dusky ducks": Nov. 8 - 25, 2012 and Dec. 8, 2012 - Jan. 27, 2013; Youth-only Season: Oct. 27-28, 2012
The daily bag limit for ducks is six, to include no more than five mallards of which only 2 may be hens; three wood ducks; two redheads; two pintails; one canvasback; and one "dusky" duck. Dusky ducks include: mottled ducks, Mexican-like duck, black duck and their hybrids. For all other species not listed, the bag limit is six. The daily bag limit for coots is 15. The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, which may include no more than two hooded mergansers.
Shooting hours are one half hour before sunrise to sunset.
Geese
Western Zone
Light geese: Nov. 3, 2012 - Feb. 3, 2013, daily bag limit is 20 and no possession limit.
Dark geese: Nov. 3, 2012 - Feb. 3, 2013, daily bag limit is five in the aggregate to include no more than one white-fronted goose
Eastern Zone
Light geese: Nov. 3, 2012 - Jan. 27, 2013, the daily bag limit for light geese is 20 and no possession limit.White-fronted geese: Nov. 3, 2012 - Jan. 13, 2013, daily bag limit is two;
Canada geese: Sept. 15-30, 2012 and Nov. 3, 2012 - Jan. 27, 2013, daily bag limit is three.
Light Goose Conservation Order
Eastern Zone
Jan. 28 -- Mar. 24, 2013, no bag or possession limits.
Western Zone
Feb. 4 -- Mar. 24, 2013, no bag or possession limits.
Sandhill Crane
Zone A
Nov. 3, 2012 -- Feb. 3, 2013, daily bag limit is three and possession limit is six.
Zone B
Nov. 23, 2012 -- Feb. 3, 2013, daily bag limit is three and possession limit is six.
Zone C
Dec. 22, 2012 -- Jan. 27, 2013, daily bag limit is two and possession limit is four.
Extended Falconry Season
Dove:
Nov. 15 -- Dec. 21, 2012
Rail, gallinule, & woodcock:
Jan. 28 -- Feb. 11, 2013
Ducks, coots, and mergansers:
High Plains Mallard Management Unit: no extended season.
North and South Duck Zones
Jan. 28 -- Feb. 11, 2013
For all zones the daily bag limit is three and possession limit is six
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