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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
From its earliest days of human habitation, the Texas coast was home to seemingly endless clouds of ducks, geese, swans, and shorebirds.
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.