Outdoors Notebook — Upcoming Hunter Extravaganza, DU Dinners dates

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

After COVID-19 forced the cancellation of last year's 2020 Hunters Extravaganza Shows across Texas, the Lone Star State’s original hunting show is back this year as the Texas Trophy Hunter's Association gets ready to open up the expo doors across the state for the 45th time.

With three different Expos planned next month in Houston, Fort Worth, and San Antonio, many of the event’s marquee attractions return including Joe Martin’s Snakes of Texas rattlesnake exhibit, hunting seminars by the likes of Dr. James C. Kroll and Jim Miller, and of course, a chance for hunters to get all of the gear that they’ll need for upcoming fall hunting seasons.

The show will be a good place to try and track down things that are in limited supply, along with securing camo clothing, hunting blinds, feeders, ATVs, hunting optics, game calls, and more. There will also be contests for whitetails taken in Texas, giveaways and promotions, and a chance to visit with — and book hunts with — some of the region’s top guides and outfitters.

Dubbed the “Granddaddy of all Hunting Shows!”, the TTHA Hunters Extravaganza will be held in Houston at the NRG Center from Aug. 6-8; in Fort Worth at the Fort Worth Convention Center from Aug. 13-15; and in San Antonio at the Freeman Coliseum Expo Hall from Aug. 20-22. Ticket prices are $5 for a one-day kid pass (ages 5-12), $12 for a one-day adult pass, and $15 for a weekend pass. Also note that parking costs vary per venue.

For more information on the TTHA events, including the local Hunters Extravaganza Show in Cowtown, visit www.ttha.com.

Game Wardens Busy on 4th — It was a busy Fourth of July holiday weekend recently for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens as the state’s outdoor law enforcement officers were out in force.

“Texas game wardens conducted safety checks on more than 12,220 vessels statewide between Friday and Sunday over the Fourth of July weekend,” said Cody Jones, TPWD assistant commander for Marine Enforcement, in a news release. “Our game wardens were present across Texas waterways doing their absolute best to help holiday waterway visitors have a responsible weekend, enabling many safe returns home and enjoyable holiday memories.”

The Austin-based agency notes that in addition to issuing 1,474 citations and 1,797 warnings for various boating safety law violations over the Independence Day holiday timeframe, wardens also arrested 42 individuals for Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) and filed eight other charges for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).

Game wardens also arrested 33 others for various charges, conducted multiple search and rescue efforts, and assisted with 18 boating accidents that took place on lakes including Ray Roberts, Lewisville, Ray Hubbard, and others across the state.

Hagerman Bowhunting Applications — As noted last week, TPWD’s drawn hunts system is now active and applications for upcoming fall and winter hunts are now being accepted.

For anyone interested in getting a 2021 Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge bowhunting permit this year, the deadline to apply is Sept. 1. It costs $3 to enter the drawing, $80 to hunt if you actually get drawn, and the application process is completely online at https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/public/public_hunt_drawing .

With the Big Mineral, Sandy, and Godwin units open for this fall’s archery deer hunts, hunt segment dates are as follows: Segment A is Nov. 5-7, Segment B is Nov. 19-21, and Segment C is Dec. 3-5.

The TPWD website indicates that there will be 202 bowhunting permits available this year; that drawn hunters must provide proof of successful IBEP course completion, and that anyone drawing a permit will have to provide an archery proficiency test score of 80% or higher.

For information on the 2021 Hagerman NWR whitetail bowhunts, contact the refuge office during business hours at (903) 786-2826 or visit the TPWD drawn hunts web page.

Local DU Dinner Dates — The annual run of Ducks Unlimited fall fundraising banquets starts off late next month and several local chapters are already busy getting ready.

First up is the Whitesboro DU chapter, which will hold its 2021 dinner on Thursday, Aug. 26, at Ranch 82 near the western Grayson County community.

A couple of days later, the Celina DU chapter gets into the act with its 2021 dinner scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 28 at Rock Creek Ranch in McKinney. Do note that tickets are going fast for the DU dinner in Bobcat Country and a sell-out is expected, so act fast if you want to attend that event.

While no local DU events are on the September calendar as of now, things heat up again in October with the Bryan County DU dinner slated for Thursday, Oct. 14 at the Choctaw Casino Complex in Durant.

And a few days later, it's time for the area’s marquee DU dinner each fall as the Texoma Chapter of Ducks Unlimited hosts the local quacker backer group’s 46th annual fall fundraising dinner in Denison at Loy Lake Park’s Mayor Arena.

For information on these and other DU events across Texomaland, stay tuned to this space or visit www.ducks.org.