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Texas Hunters Brace for Hot Teal Season Opener

Texas Hunters Brace for Hot Teal Season Opener

Texas Parks and Wildlife | Austin Texas

This year’s early teal hunting season is expected to be a hot one, both in terms of temperature and prospects. Extended forecasts for Saturday’s opener indicate waves of blue-winged teal headed for Texas, along with daytime highs in the mid to upper 90s.

The 16-day statewide early teal and Eastern Zone Canada goose season in Texas will run Saturday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Sept. 29. The daily bag on teal is six, with a possession limit of 18. Bag limit for Canada geese will be five and a possession limit of 15 in the Eastern Zone only.

“Literally millions of teal are heading our way and growing numbers are already being reported across the state,” said Kevin Kraai, waterfowl program leader with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “It is looking like the timing of this year’s teal season may be another encouraging point considering the full harvest moon will be on Friday, the day before the season opener. That will trigger mass migration of teal out of the Dakotas.”

While the stars may be aligning for what could be a bountiful teal season, the extended dry weather across much of the state could be a concern. Kraai indicated a lack of water now following the wet spring and early summer that hit much of the eastern half of Texas isn’t necessarily a detriment to hunting.

“Seems we are always in a pattern of too much or too little rainfall here in Texas,” he said. “We have definitely entered a dry spell over the last couple of months, which is not necessarily a terrible thing for many parts of Texas. Typically, when there is less water spread out across the landscape it concentrates birds in areas where hunters tend to be waiting.”

The extremely wet spring and summer in eastern Texas had rivers in flood and lakes way above conservation pool. This unfortunately will impact the amount of terrestrial seed producing vegetation that generates the high energy foods that teal will be seeking. The upper ends of these reservoirs will still be a great place to check for migrating teal despite high waters earlier in the year. Submerged aquatic vegetation should be growing rapidly this time of year and aquatic bugs, essential to migrating and molting teal, will be flourishing in those locations.

As for conditions and prospects for teal season around the state, TPWD waterfowl biologists report:

•             The Gulf Coast is drying out quick but freshwater flows into the bay systems have sparked an above average amount of submerged aquatic vegetation currently growing in places that are typically much more saline.  Marsh complexes up and down the coast should see an increase in teal use this fall.

•             Further inland in the agricultural areas of the Gulf Coast there are a lot of people prepping for the wave of teal coming our way. Pumps are running night and day and canals are open and flowing. These folks will most certainly see incredible teal concentrations enjoying the tables that they set for them.

•             Much like the rest of the state the High Plains playas received substantial rainfall this spring and summer. Very high temperatures and strong dry winds have really wreaked havoc on the standing water across much of the Panhandle the last couple of months. There are still some locations with clusters of wet playas, but they are receding fast. Definitely going to need some replenishing rains soon to carry this important waterfowl area into the winter.

Hunters are reminded to purchase their 2019-20 hunting license before heading afield, available online at www.tpwd.texas.gov/buy, at license retailers or by phone at (800) 895-4248. The online transaction system is available 24/7. Call center hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a required $5 administrative fee for each phone or online transaction, but unlimited items can be purchased during a single transaction for this $5 fee.

New this year are enhancements to make the licensing process simpler and faster. “Expedited checkout” speeds the process of re-purchasing the same license items bought during the previous three years. TPWD has also made it easier to show proof-of-license. Now hunters and anglers can use an electronic image of their license as proof-of-license and show/display it in any of these ways: (1) an electronic photo of your license, (2) an emailed receipt, (3) via your account within the license point-of-sale system, the Outdoor Annual App or the My Texas Hunt Harvest App (for hunters). You still must have your physical license for any activities requiring tags and the physical federal duck stamp for waterfowl hunting.

Hands for Hope to Celebrate National Recovery Month

Hands for Hope to Celebrate National Recovery Month
Hands for Hope

Texoma Medical Center Behavioral Health Center is participating in National Recovery Month by hosting Hands for Hope on its campus. This event will be held on Tuesday, September 17 from 11:30am- 1:00 pm and is a celebration and recognition of those recovering from mental health and substance use. The event will include education on mental health and substance use services and resources available in the community. There will be a short program and participants will then hold Hands for Hope to show support of those battling mental illness and substance use, and to celebrate those who have recovered. Boxed lunches will be served.

Texoma Medical Center Behavioral Health Center is located at 2201 Cornerstone Drive in Sherman, TX 75090. To learn more visit www.tmcbehavioralhealth.com or call 903.416.3000

Austin College to Begin 171st Year

Austin College to Begin 171st Year

SHERMAN, TEXAS—Nearly 400 first-year students and their parents will arrive at Austin College Friday in preparation for the opening of the 171st year of the College next week. New student and transfer orientation will continue over the next several days, and returning students will make their way to campus next Tuesday and Wednesday. Classes begin Thursday, August 29.

President Steven P. O’Day and his wife, Cece, will be among the campus community leaders awaiting new students and families as they arrive for residence hall move-in and a weekend of orientation activities. Several students, faculty, and staff, plus a number of area alumni, will also lend a welcoming hand as families unload packed vehicles and try to determine how all the belongings can fit into the assigned residence hall rooms.

Friday’s agenda also will include necessary paperwork and signatures, ID cards, and the gathering of information—still leaving time to put rooms in order and perhaps visit area retailers to stock up on snacks, toiletries, and other last-minute items. 

The new students join athletes who have been on campus nearly a week for fall camps in football, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s water polo, volleyball, and cross country. A number of student organization leaders and student residence life staff arrived early to prepare for the year ahead. 

The New Student Conference schedule will begin in earnest Saturday morning, with an official Welcome session, including greetings and guidance from President O’Day, student body president Hunter Williams, and other campus administrators. Residence hall meetings, freshman seminar gatherings with classmates and faculty, various Student Life orientation sessions, and a time for student socializing round out the day.  

Parents end their activities on campus just after noon on Sunday and leave the new students to settle in on their own. Freshmen and transfer students will continue their preparation for the beginning of classes, with sessions on Academic Integrity, guidance on successful academic progress, and residence hall adjustments from returning students.

A faculty group will provide a number of additional offerings to help students become more acclimated to the campus and the programs available to them. A growing number of first-generation college students sometimes find the transition to college life more challenging and the additional sessions allow them in particular, as well as their classmates, a closer look at college life before classes get underway. 

The “First We Serve” volunteer project has become a tradition for Austin College new students over the past several years. The students have come together to assemble thousands of nutritious food packets for shipment to those in need through the nonprofit Kids Against Hunger.

Returning students will move into campus housing Tuesday and Wednesday.

The academic year officially will get underway with the traditional Opening of School Convocation in Sid Richardson Center of the Robert T. Mason Athletic/Recreation Complex on Wednesday, August 28, at 7 p.m. The event begins with the entrance of the new students, then the procession of rising seniors in caps and gowns for the first time, and the College faculty in full academic regalia. Dr. David Baker, professor of physics, serves as College marshal and leads the procession carrying the official College mace.

Dr. Elizabeth Gill, vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the faculty, will present the opening address, “Building a Better World: One Choice at a Time.” The convocation also will include performances by the A Cappella Choir, led by choral director Dr. Wayne Crannell; the official Investiture of the Class of 2023 and presentation of the class banner to new students; students’ presentation of the class Academic Integrity book to President O’Day; and prayers for the new academic year.

Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with 46 percent of students identifying as persons of color. The residential student body of approximately 1,300 students and more than 100 expert faculty members allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. This year, the campus recognizes 100 years of co-education and has had several opportunities to recognize the history of women and accomplishments of current alumnae. Austin College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter. -30-