4190 Co Rd 4809, Ladonia TX 75449

512-766-2567 info@txheia.org

Target Talk 01/11/2017

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Target Talk

In This Issue:

Coordinator’s Comments


2016 Hunting Fatalities Increased

The deer seasons are winding down and showed a typical pattern with respect to hunting mishaps; however, fatalities rose significantly in 2016 due mainly to incidents that occurred prior to the fall seasons.  Add to that a wave of recent drownings (2017) involving waterfowl hunters (4), and it seems we still have much work to do to get hunting-related fatalities to the magic number of “0”.

Unofficially, total firearm-related hunting incidents (“Type A” Incidents) are up by one incident from 2015 (currently at 16 non-fatal injuries and 5 fatalities); however, we have until the end of January to collect any remaining incident reports from Game Wardens.

The fatalities were all very unique; yet fell into the same categories (causes) — Hunter judgement mistakes (3) and careless handling (2). They break down as follows:

  1. Quail hunter in dense brush struck by a pellet that severed his artery.
  2. Hog hunter wearing black mistaken for game.
  3. Red stag hunter wearing camo mistaken for game.
  4. Horse rider shot at an armadillo with his handgun, which spooked his horse, causing him to fire a second round that killed his horse riding companion.
  5. Dove hunter fired at dove with his double-barrel shotgun, then turned to speak with his friend, carelessly discharging the second round into victim’s back/side.

Tragic?  Of course!  Preventable?  Absolutely!  Of the five shooters, only the quail hunter, who lost sight of the victim in thick cover, had completed a hunter education course. All shooters were older than 44 years of age, and one was in violation of the hunter education and licensing laws (dove hunter).

Let’s hope we don’t get in any more reports these next few weeks; and continue to urge EVERYONE to take hunter education regardless of age — and to even take it AGAIN!

THANKS for providing hunter education training to hundreds of thousands of Texans. Data show that your efforts help to significantly reduce hunting incidents in Texas!

Steve Hall, HE Coordinator

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SAVE THE DATE — HE Instructor Annual Conference!

Inst conf.

ABILENE – April 21-23rd

Be sure to book your calendar for the next Hunter Education Instructor Annual Conference sponsored by YOUR association — the TX Hunter Education Instructor’s Association (THEIA).  W TX Hunter Education Specialist, Randy Spradlin, and Area Chief/THEIA Board Member, Dr. Edgar Reed, Hardin-Simmons University, have made plans to host you this year. We hope YOU come this year to support your fellow instructors, association and TPWD!  Heck, just come for the kibitzing and FUN!


  • Welcome Reception (Friday)
  • CWD; Feral Hog Mgmt. & Issues
  • NEW Online Registration System
  • Treestand Safety Training (4 hrs.)
  • Hunting 101 Workshops
  • Mentored Hunts/R3 Initiatives
  • Keynote – Mr. Michael Sabbeth, Denver, CO (Ethics & Image)


  • HE Hall of Fame Recipients
  • Volunteer of the Year (TX)
  • Regional Volunteers of the Year
  • Game Warden of the Year
  • Professional Educator of the Year
  • THEIA’s “T.D. Carroll” Award
  • SPECIAL Awards and Prizes

PHOTO: Jimmy Caughron (L), Ballinger, accepted the “T.D. Carroll Award” from THEIA President, Lindsay Hodgdon, in April 2016 in Houston — THEIA’s Top Award.

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TYHP 14th “Superhunt” a Great Success!


For the 14th time, the Cave Creek Wildlife Management Association, Texas Wildlife Association (TYHP Program) and Texas Parks & Wildlife have sponsored the “Superhunt” — touted as the largest youth deer hunt in TX (world)!  Hosted by Austin Woods & Waters(Central Texas Huntmasters), the hunt typically involves 13-15 ranches where over 55 young hunters and their parents get to hunt white-tailed deer, with an occasional axis deer and/or feral hog taken at times, too.

Ronnie Ottmers, an Association landowner involved in every hunt, said “These kids help us with our management plans and take some of the excess ‘mouths’ so we can properly manage our habitats.”  Over 60 deer were harvested this year by about that many youth — another SAFE, great time had by all!  SPECIAL THANKS goes to Linda Campbell – CHIEF TYHP  Huntmaster (Coordinator); Huntmasters, Safari Club International – Austin and their cooking team, guides, parents and especially the YOUNG HUNTERS and LANDOWNERS, themselves!  THANKS also goes to other sponsors and donors such as TSRA, Oak Farms, HEB, Vapo Propane, JEKS C-Stores.

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Donations for Kathy’s Retirement Gift — SEND Today!

We have extended the time to receive donations towards Kathy Powell’s retirement gift accepted by “THEIA”, so we can COLLECTIVELY thank her for the time she served our Texas hunter education community.

Please send checks no later than January 27th to: THEIA; ATTN: Denise Harmel-Garza -Treasurer, 15033 Turnberry, College Station, TX  77845.

Our plans also are to invite her to the annual HE Instructor Annual Conference in April, so you will hopefully get to thank her personally for her service.


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Use of Drones – Aerial Definitions Clarified


From Ellis Powell, Assistant Commander of Wildlife Law Enforcement, TPWD Law Enforcement Division, in his response to a constituent, “By definition a drone is considered an aircraft for purposes of TPWD regulations. You would need an “Aerial (Management) Permit” and a “Land Owner Authorization” (LOA) to operate over property for purposes of photographing or hunting animals.  If your intention is to NOT photograph or hunt animals then you would need to contact the state park in question (or private landowner/government agency) and ask if simply flying the drone is allowed. I have attached the pertinent definition rule from the Texas Administrative Code. If I can help further please let me know.”

The following words and terms, when used in this sub-chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Aerial Management Permit (AMP) — A permit issued by the (Texas Parks & Wildlife) department to count, photograph, relocate, capture, hunt or take wildlife or exotic animals by the use of aircraft.

  (2) Aircraft — A mechanical or other device used for flight in the air.

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Game Warden Highlights

A Game Warden’s Work is Never Done — THANKS for Another Great Year!


December 2016 was a busy month for Willacy County Game Wardens Oscar Castaneda and Rocky Corona. While spending their time checking hunters during the day and sitting/waiting for road hunters late at night, Wardens Castaneda and Corona also made it a point to visit the local game processors and taxidermists. After tediously reviewing a large amount of documentation, several violations were discovered (e.g. taking white-tailed deer with a special five-day hunting license, hunting exotic animals without hunting licenses, harvesting white-tailed deer with rimfire ammunition – .17 HMR, improperly tagged white-tailed deer, un-tagged white-tailed deer, etc.). With the coordination of the Hidalgo and Cameron County Wardens, two white-tailed deer and multiple exotics were seized for evidence and several citations were issued. Cases and restitution are pending.

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TPWD & Texas Hunter Education Partner Resources

Hunter Education Overview | Instructor Resources | Student Resources

Operation Game Thief | Texas Game Warden Association

Texas Youth Hunting Program | Texas 4-H Shooting Sports

Other Hunter Ed Resources

International Hunter Education Association | NRA Programs & Services 
NSSF Hunting & Ranges | Texas Hunter Education Instructor Association