A monthly newsletter from Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

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Wild Times April 2024

In 2021, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) marked its 30th anniversary, a milestone worth reflecting on. Our 2021 annual report celebrates the steadfast conservation community in Texas, which has stood alongside TPWF for three decades, helping us support the stewardship of our lands, waters, and wildlife.

From the grassy plains of the Panhandle to the West Texas mountains, to the eastern pines and the coastal prairies, TPWF is unwavering in its mission to serve the wild things and wild places of Texas.

Read more in our 2021 Annual Report.

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  Story #2: Cooking up a Fundraiser for Gear Up for Game Wardens  

Stephanie and Jerel Wottrich love crawfish. In fact, at a recent special event held at their ranch in Driftwood, together with the Safari Club International (SCI) Austin cook team, they boiled up 1,000 pounds of the tasty crustaceans, accompanied by gallons of gumbo, 600 venison sausages, 18 smoked turkeys, and a whole roasted pig.

The event drew hundreds, all for a good cause. Proceeds from the annual event benefit Gear Up for Game Wardens, a TPWF program that raises private funds for specialty gear for Texas Game Wardens. 

Stephanie and Jerel love to hunt and fish, and they are active members in Safari Club International. Jerel serves as president for SCI’s Austin chapter, and Stephanie is vice-president. Stephanie also serves as the regional rep for four chapters in Texas.

They’ve been doing a crawfish boil for several years now, and, in 2018, decided to make the event an SCI-Austin chapter fundraiser for the Gear Up program.

"We’ve always wanted to give back to the game wardens who do so much to conserve the natural resources of Texas,” said Stephanie. “When we learned about Gear Up, we decided it was a perfect fit. We want to help Texas Game Wardens get the specialty equipment they need, and we also want to expose more people to all that game wardens do to protect the wildlife and the people of our state."

Last year’s event raised $20,000, which went toward purchasing a swift water rescue boat. This year, the event raised $24,000, which funded two search and rescue thermal drones.

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  Story #3: We Will Not Be Tamed: Meet Danielle Prewett  

Danielle Prewett and her husband live off the land, hunting and fishing for the protein that ends up on their dinner table. She is a passionate advocate for healthy, whole foods and believes there’s nothing more wholesome than fish and game you harvest yourself.

She took up hunting when she married an avid hunter and angler and began tagging along on his outdoor outings. Soon she was hunting on her own and began sharing her experiences online. At first, it was a side gig, but as she gained an audience, people took notice. Danielle now is a full-time Wild Foods Contributing Editor for Meateater.

Her outdoor experiences have opened up her eyes to the importance of taking care of the natural resources she depends on for sustenance.

"I came at this from a food angle and had no idea that it would turn me into such a conservationist. The more time I spent outside, the more I realized everything that is necessary in order for these habitats and animals to thrive."

Now, Danielle is thrilled to join the ranks of We Will Not Be Tamed ambassadors for TPWF. We Will Not Be Tamed calls us to appreciate the wildness of Texas, the vastness of our Texas spirit, and why we should be inspired to conserve it.

"I want to use this opportunity and my voice to make a difference and to share the things that I'm passionate about. This is what drives me, getting people to really care about the natural resources that sustain us all."

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  Story #4: Join TPWF and Win a Paloma Blanco Dove Hunt!  

Dove season is a beloved Texas tradition that marks the beginning of the hunting season. We Will Not Be Tamed ambassador John Dunaway marks the occasion with an annual event that has become a coveted invite: the Paloma Blanco Dove Hunt in Brownsville.

One lucky TPWF member and guest will be entered to win a golden ticket to the annual Paloma Blanco Dove Hunt in Brownsville on September 16-18, 2022, thanks to We Will Not Be Tamed Ambassador John Dunaway and the El Capitan Hunt Club.

By joining or renewing your TPWF membership* between January 1, 2022, and July 22, 2022, you are automatically entered to win the giveaway.

Join TPWF today and help support the wild things and wild places of Texas!

Join Now

 *The price of membership pays for TPWF membership only and not for the chance to win the Paloma Blanco Dove Hunt. Members who join or renew between January 1 and July 22, 2022 are automatically entered in the drawing. The dove hunt is scheduled on September 16-18 in Brownsville, Texas. Lodging and transportation are not included.
  Story #5: Honoring Lone Star Land Stewards  

Congratulations to the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center and Rosewood Ranches for being honored this year with the Aldo Leopold Award, the state’s highest honor for private land conservation! The award was bestowed at the Lone Star Steward Awards banquet in Austin last month.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the prestigious award recognizes farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners who inspire others with their dedication to the land, water, and wildlife habitat resources in their care. In Texas, the award is presented annually by Sand County Foundation and national sponsor, American Farmland Trust, in partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Lone Star Land Steward Awards program. 

John Bunker Sands Wetland Center and Rosewood Ranches were named a Lone Star Land Steward ecoregion award winner in 1996 and continued to be an exemplary land steward by employing outstanding habitat management to their almost 2,000-acre property.

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  Story #6: Deep in the Heart  

If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s still time to check out Deep in the Heart in theaters!

Deep in the Heart is a visually stunning celebration of Texas’ diverse landscapes and remarkable wildlife found nowhere else. Narrated by Matthew McConaughey, the film aims to encourage conservation of our remaining wild places, to show the connectivity of water and wildlife, and to recognize Texas’ conservation importance on a continental scale.

Find out more about where you can watch it.

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