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Hunting and hiking are two of the most popular Texas pastimes. Inside the Texas Almanac 2018-2019, Luke Clayton shares his perspective on the popularity of hunting in Texas. Further your study of Texas hunting and recreation with the three additional books included in this bundle. Read Rick Bass’s growth as a hunter from boyhood to manhood in A Thousand Deer, learn more about the days of market hunting along the Texas coast in Texas Market Hunting, and discover the tradition of waterfowl hunting in A Hundred Years of Texas Waterfowl Hunting. The bundle also features the new Texas Almanac Multi-tool - perfect for your next adventure in the great outdoors!
Please note that the Almanac pre-order code does not apply to bundles. Bundles will ship in multiple packages and the new Almanac will not ship until November.
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The days are gone when seemingly limitless numbers of canvasbacks, mallards, and Canada geese filled the skies above the Texas coast. Gone too are the days when, in a single morning, hunters often harvested ducks, shorebirds, and other waterfowl by the hundreds. The hundred-year period from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries brought momentous changes in attitudes and game laws: changes initially prompted by sportsmen who witnessed the disappearance of both the birds and their spectacular habitat. These changes forever affected the state’s storied hunting culture. Yet, as R. K. Sawyer discovered, the rich lore and reminiscences of the era’s hunters and guides who plied the marshy haunts from Beaumont to Brownsville, though fading, remain a colorful and essential part of the Texas outdoor heritage.
Gleaned from interviews with sportsmen and guides of decades past as well as meticulous research in news archives, Sawyer’s vivid documentation of Texas’ deep-rooted waterfowl hunting tradition is accompanied by a superb collection of historical and modern photographs. He showcases the hunting clubs, the decoys, the duck and goose calls, the equipment, and the unique hunting practices of the period. By preserving this account of a way of life and a coastal environment that have both mostly vanished, A Hundred Years of Texas Waterfowl Hunting also pays tribute to the efforts of all those who fought to ensure that Texas’ waterfowl legacy would endure. This book will aid their efforts, along with those of coastal residents, birders, wildlife biologists, conservationists, and all who are interested in the state’s natural history and in championing the preservation of waterfowl and wetland resources for the benefit of future generations.
For more information, visit the author's website at www.robertksawyer.com
By the 1880s Texas huntsmen, or market hunters, as they came to be called, began providing meat and plumage for the restaurant tables and millinery salons of a rapidly growing nation. A network of suppliers, packers, distribution centers, and shipping hubs efficiently handled their immense harvest.
At the peak of Texas market hunting in the late 1890s, Rockport merchants shipped an average of 600 ducks a day in a five-month shooting season, and in the last year of legal market hunting, an estimated 60,000 ducks and geese were shipped from Corpus Christi alone.
Market men employed efficient methods to harvest nature’s bounty. They commonly hunted at night, often using bait to concentrate large numbers of waterfowl. The effectiveness of the hunt was improved when side-by-side double barrel shotguns and large-gauge swivel guns gave way to repeating firearms, with some capable of discharging as many as eleven shells in a single volley.
Their methods were so efficient that, by the late 1800s, Texas sportsmen and others blamed the alarming decline of coastal waterfowl populations on the market hunter’s occupation. In 1903, after a long fight and many failures, the first migratory bird game law passed the Texas legislature. Though the fight would continue, it was the beginning of the end of the year-round slaughter. Most market hunters quit, and those who didn’t became outlaws.
In this book, R. K. Sawyer chronicles the days of market hunting along the Texas coast and the showdown between the early game wardens and those who persisted in commercial waterfowl hunting. Containing an abundance of rare historical photographs and oral history, Texas Market Hunting: Stories of Waterfowl, Game Laws, and Outlaws provides a comprehensive and colorful account of this bygone period.
In November, countless families across Texas head out for the annual deer hunt, a ritual that spans generations, ethnicities, socioeconomics, and gender as perhaps no other cultural experience in the state. Rick Bass's family has returned to the same hardscrabble piece of land in the Hill Country—"the Deer Pasture"—for more than seventy-five years. In A Thousand Deer, Bass walks the Deer Pasture again in memory and stories, tallying up what hunting there has taught him about our need for wildness and wilderness, about cycles in nature and in the life of a family, and particularly about how important it is for children to live in the natural world.
The arc of A Thousand Deer spans from Bass's boyhood in the suburbs of Houston, where he searched for anything rank or fecund in the little oxbow swamps and pockets of woods along Buffalo Bayou, to his commitment to providing his children in Montana the same opportunity—a life afield—that his parents gave him in Texas. Inevitably this brings him back to the Deer Pasture and the passing of seasons and generations he has experienced there. Bass lyrically describes his own passage from young manhood, when the urge to hunt was something primal, to mature adulthood and the waning of the urge to take an animal, his commitment to the hunt evolving into a commitment to family and to the last wild places.
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The Texas Almanac 2018–2019 includes these new feature articles:
- WATER — An in-depth overview of the state of water in Texas, written by conservationist Dr. Andrew Sansom. Author of the acclaimed book Water in Texas, Dr. Sansom provides compelling new information in this Almanac article. A former executive director of both the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Nature Conservancy, he has won many awards for managing and protecting natural resources and currently is Research Professor of Geography and Executive Director of The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University. “No natural resource has greater significance for the future of Texas than water. In Texas, the population is expected to essentially double in the next generation and yet we have already given permission for more water to be drawn from many of our rivers than is actually in them.”
- HUNTING — A look at the popularity of hunting in Texas by Luke Clayton, a longtime outdoors writer, radio host, and book author. Clayton, who grew up hunting and fishing in rural northeast Texas, also discusses the overpopulation problem of wild hogs and provides his favorite recipes for all types of wild game. A prolific voice for hunters, Clayton hosts three weekly outdoors radio shows, writes a weekly hunting and fishing column that appears in more than 30 newspapers, and writes for magazines, such as Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine and Texas Wildlife. “After spending about 55 years in the pursuit of fish and game all over this country and several others, I have come to the conclusion that some people are born to hunt and some are not, but that spark of DNA passed down through the eons from our hunting forefathers is alive in all of us.”
- SPORTSWOMEN — Cookbook author and food editor Dotty Griffith writes about women who love both hunting and fishing, and she offers up a few of her favorite recipes. “I grew up in a hunting and fishing family. Not every woman is that lucky but that's no reason not to learn how. More women are getting into outdoor sports on their own, not as tag-alongs. From equipment to fashion, women are becoming a force in what used to be almost exclusively a man's world.”
- FISHING — Fishing guide and expert Kevin “K.T.” Townsend writes about angling in Texas. Townsend is the author of the online blog K.T. Diaries and gives an overview of both saltwater and freshwater fishing from the Gulf Coast to the state’s many rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. “I can still remember fishing with my grandfather, who became a guide after taking early retirement. He would put me in the front of his john boat with a cane pole… It seemed like we filled up the fish basket on every trip.”
MAJOR SECTIONS UPDATED FOR EACH EDITION An illustrated History of the Lone Star State. The Environment, including geology, plant life, wildlife, rivers, lakes. Weather highlights of the previous two years, plus a list of destructive weather dating from 1766. Two-year Astronomical Calendar showing moon phases, sunrise and sunset, moonrise and moonset, eclipses, and meteor showers. Recreation, with details on state and national parks, landmarks, and wildlife refuges. Sports, including lists of high school football and basketball champions, professional sports teams, Texas Olympians, and Texas Sports Hall of Fame inductees. Counties, an expansive section featuring detailed county maps, locator maps, and profiles of Texas’ 254 counties. Population figures and the latest estimates from the State Data Center. Comprehensive list of Texas cities and towns. Politics, Elections, and information on Federal, State, and Local governments. Culture and the Arts, including a list of civic and religious Holidays. Health and Science, with charts of vital statistics. Education, including a complete list of colleges and universities, and UIL results. Business and Transportation, with an expanded section on Oil and Gas. Agriculture, including data on production of crops, fruits, vegetables, livestock, and dairy. Obituaries of notable Texans. A Pronunciation Guide to Texas town and county names.
An essential item for you to carry at home or on the go. The 3-in-1 Texas Almanac Multi-tool comfortably fits in your pants pocket and includes a pocket knife, LED flashlight, and bottle opener. Engraved with the Texas Almanac and TSHA logos. Proceeds from your purchase support TSHA and the Texas Almanac.
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