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2009 CONFERENCE

R E P O R T

by Ralph Winingham

MAR 2009

CALENDAR

March 5 ­ Annual banquet and auction of the Alamo Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation at the Alzafar Shrine Temple in San Antonio. Further information is available from Charlie Klein at (210) 344-7982 or at www.alamochapternwtf.org. March 5-8 ­ The 25th anniversary Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Elk Camp and Outdoor Exposition will be held at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Press credentials available from Steve Warner with Blue Heron Communications at [email protected] com or by calling (800) 654-3766. July 29-Aug. 1 -- The Professional Outdoor Media Association will conduct its fourth annual business conference at the Marriott St. Louis West in St. Louis, MO. Conference details are available at www.professionaloutdoormedia.org, or by calling (814) 539-6030.

TOWA 2009 Conference Provides Good Times & Fond Memories

The biggest news flash from the 51st annual TOWA Conference in Port Aransas appears to be that a "twitter" is no longer just a sound made by song birds. As part of sessions and seminars that highlighted the conference, our technologychallenged members were informed that one of the newest and best ways to reach a potentially new market is with "twitter" ­ a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users' updates, which are textbased posts of up to 140 characters in length. The trip along the high-tech path was an often-repeated part of the gathering that was held in the Port Royal Resort and Conference Center. The accommodations were superb and Port Royal officials went well above the call of duty to make sure the conference progressed without a hitch. Those TOWA members who could not attend the conference really missed out on some quality time on the coast.

Members of the losing TOWA Challenge team talk about the option of shooting lessons with Kevin Howard (wearing the vest) of Howard Communications, who sponsored the competition along with Browning. Photo by Catherine Cook Continued on page 2 Page 1

Send calendar information to Ralph Winingham at [email protected]

TOWA Officers, BOArd

President John Goodspeed (210) 250-3417 [email protected] President-Elect Bob Lusk (903) 564-5372 [email protected] Treasurer Bill E. Mills (281) 448-5811 [email protected] Executive Director Larry J. LeBlanc (936) 856-6788 904 W. Montgomery, Ste. 4, Willis, TX 77378 [email protected] cell (936) 524-0761 fax (936) 856-6788

2009 CONFERENCE

R EPORT

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BOArd MeMBers

Board Chairwoman Jonette Childs [email protected] T.J. Greaney (2010) [email protected] Mike Price (2011) [email protected] Kendal Hemphill (2010) [email protected] Peggy York (2012) [email protected] David Sikes (2010) [email protected] Steve LaMascus (2012) [email protected] (361) 729-0239 (512) 789-3838 (281) 431-0085 (325) 347-6440 (210) 647-7053 (361) 886-3616 (830) 563-2656

One of the highlights of the event was the shooting breakout at the Corpus Christi Rifle and Pistol Club, where the team of 4H youngsters crushed the TOWA shooters in a trap competition ­ as expected. However, the 4H parents put together a shrimp, fish and oyster lunch for attendees that was unexpectedly excellent and also featured some very delectable homemade desserts. The feed was probably one of the best meals ever served at a TOWA conference and our thanks go out to Toyota, represented by Clyde Hopkins, for sponsoring the breakout meal; and to Kevin Howard with Howard Communications for providing Browning and Winchester firearms, ammunition and shooting accessories to make the shooting events a success. We also wish to thank GM, represented by Craig Eppling, for sponsoring the Saturday night awards banquet ­ a pretty fine meal of marinated sirloin steak and stuffed flounder ­ and the EIC awards. A list of the other key sponsors and supporting members at the conference will be featured in the April newsletter due to deadline restrictions for this edition, and we would encourage our members to send a note of thanks to all of them. Finally, a tip of the hat goes out to the following special honorees who received TOWA's top awards during the Saturday night banquet that topped off our conference: Receiving the L.A. Wilkie Award for his outstanding promotion of the outdoors was former TOWA President Steve Lightfoot, who was presented a hand-made custom folding knife crafted by Red Wood, complete with a wooden presentation case. Our favorite TOWA curmudgeon and artist extraordinaire Sam Caldwell was named the Bass Pro Shop "Pass It On" award winner for his contributions to outdoor communications, receiving a crystal trophy and a $300 check. Picking up the 2009 TOWA Youth Scholarship award and a check for $1,500 to help him accomplish future contributions to our outdoor industry was Brandon Shuler; and at the recommendation of former TOWA President John Thompson, the membership voted to name Bob Hood as a Life Member. As noted above, more reports from the conference will be presented in the April TOWA newsletter.

cOMMiTTee cHAirs

Conference Chairman Bob Lusk (903) 564-5372 [email protected] Conference Program Co-Chairs David Sikes (361) 886-3616 [email protected] and T.J. Greaney (512) 789-3838 [email protected] Scholarship Chester Moore, Jr. (409) 882-0945 [email protected] Membership David Sikes (361) 886-3616 [email protected] Site Selection Jonette Childs (361) 729-0239 [email protected] Auctions T.J. Greaney (512) 789-3838 [email protected] EIC Awards [email protected] TOWA Photographers Gerald Burleigh and David Redwine Historian John Thompson

TOWA News is published monthly for the Texas Outdoor Writers Association by Ralph Winingham. Layout by Graphic Design by Kim, [email protected] Contributors are urged to submit material by the 15th of each month. For advertising information, contact Ralph Winingham at (210) 764-2450 or [email protected] TOWA News is emailed to members and mailed first class from San Antonio. TOWA was formed in 1958 as a professional/social organization for those who communicate about hunting, fishing and other outdoor pursuits, as well as those in business and industry connected with the outdoors.

The TOWA Newsletter is proudly sponsored by Gulf States Toyota. For information, go to www.buyatoyota.com.

Board Member T.J. Greaney takes a spin around the Port Royal cement pond in a Hobie Outback Kayak during the fishing breakout. Photo by Ralph Winingham Page 2

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Excellence in Craft Awards Highlight Saturday Banquet

The best works produced by TOWA members during the past year were put on display and honored during the Excellence in Craft awards banquet on the last night of the Port Aransas conference. The following is a run down of the winners and judges' comments. We offer our congratulations to the award winners and encourage all members to consider entering the contest next year.

Texas OuTdOOr WriTers assOciaTiOn 2009 eic Winners

Category 1 outdoor PhotograPhy, PeoPle 1. Bill e. Mills, "I Can't Believe It," Saltwater texas, aug. 2008. 2. Bink grimes, "deep in the marsh," Victoria advocate, Nov. 29, 2007. 3. Chester Moore, "gator tamer," Project: Zoo Quest, Sept. 6, 2008. hM. gerald Burleigh, "truck," texas Fish & game, June 2008. Judges' Comments: The smile says it all in this very focused picture by Bill E. Mills. Ada's smile shows through brilliantly, even with a missing tooth, and the redfish is in focus and detailed. Capt. Bill is just as proud. Good job. Bink Grimes' "deep in the marsh" also reflects the human (and animal) element of hunting. The dog is just as serious as Bobby Stansel as he calls a group of gadwalls to his marshy hideout. Where were you when you took this shot, Bink? Chester Moore's "Gator Tamer" is a "Wow", also. Gerald Burleigh's "truck" shot is just superb, but it's a truck. Still, worthy of a mention because of how hard it is to take a shot like this. The skies were in his favor. Category 2 outdoor PhotograPhy, WIldlIFe 1. Chester Moore, "Jaws," texas Fish & game, July 2008 2. Bink grimes, "Blue-winged teal in lavaca County," texas Sporting Journal, oct./Nov. 2008. 3. Jim Steiert, "Peregrine Falcon," the hereford Brand, april 20, 2008. Judges' Comments: Underwater shots are challenging. Chester Moore got this close up of "jaws" with natural light. Well done, and you get first place cause this category is "wildlife." Grimes' panoramic view of blue-winged teal in flight in Lavaca County against a rainbow-like hue of colors is breath taking and just as challenging ­ a close second. Steiert's "falcon" is superb as well. Good job! Category 3 outdoor PhotograPhy, Nature 1. Bink grimes, "Mallard hen and chicks," ducks unlimited, Sept./oct. 2008. 2. Jim Steiert, "gathering Clouds," West texas rural telephone Co-op Connection, June 2008. 3. Mike Price, "Mangrove snappers," Saltwater texas, april 2008 Judges' Comments: A time-honored shot in outdoor photography ­ a mother duck and her chicks ­ is captured here in a priceless and poignant moment by Bink Grimes. Steiert's "Gathering Clouds" shows what a photographer can do when given an assignment to wait for clouds to gather during a drought ­ find some pretty flowers for the foreground. Price's "snappers" shot would have been brilliant in color. Still, it is strong enough in black and white to take third place. Good job! Category 4 outdoor PhotograPhy, SCeNIC 1. Bob lusk, "Sunset over Button Willow lake outside lonoke, arkansas," Pond Boss leader, July/august 2008. 2. Jim Steiert, "Palo duro Canyon," West texas rural telephone Co-op Connection, oct. 1, 2008. 3. Bill olson, "Pass It Back ad, Mountain Shot," texas outdoors Journal, Sept. 2008. Judge's Comments: Bob Lusk "Pond Boss" cover has artistic qualities. Excellent.

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Category 5 outdoor radIo 1. Bill olson & harold gunn, texas outdoor News, oct. 4, 2008. 2. t.J. greaney, texas outdoor Zone radio Program, oct. 27, 2007. 3. Chester Moore, Chester Moore outdoors, Sept. 26, 2008 Judge's Comments: Outdoors radio has been a Texas staple since the ol' music box started banging out news in the early 20th century from the plains of West Texas, to the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo areas and the coast. Bill Olson and Harold Gunn may be among the best ever. Their show ­ Texas Outdoor News ­ has lots of friendly banter and plenty of useful (key term useful) news and information about enjoying the outdoors in this great state. Good job. T.J. Greaney's "bunkhouse" show also has excellent material. T.J. tends to be issue oriented and picks one subject to review for the show. He does it very well. Chester Moore, too, is excellent. Thank you gentlemen for keeping the spirit of the outdoors active and alive on Texas radio. Category 6 outdoor VIdeo 1. Karen loke, producer/writer/editor/camera, "Shooting for Success," tP&W Video News report, Sept. 19, 2008 (News 8 austin) 2. Keith Warren, producer, "Playing the game," hunting and outdoors adventures, Jan. 2008. 3. deborah dougherty Warren, executive producer, "Where Jeremiah roamed," hunting and outdoors adventures, May 2008. Judges' Comments: This category had a wonderful and eclectic mix of videos. All were quality and it was very difficult to pick the top three. In the end, the judges decided on three categories ­ news value, action and scenic. Karen Loke's "Shooting for Success" news video certainly told the story of how some people are trying to keep the story of enjoying shooting alive. One quote from the video stuck with us: "Shotgun shooting and kids who participate in shotgun sports are better kids ......and basically better kids make better adults." Also, Jeanie Allen's donation of the Elm Fork Ranch for the event shows how ordinary citizens can make a difference in sending the message of enjoying the outdoors and sports like shooting to all. Keith Warren's "Playing the Game" hunt with the predator rifle snow-covered fields in Eastern New Mexico is simply exciting action. Wow! Finally, searching for mule deer in scenic Three Forks Ranch in Northern Colorado is breath taking. Add an archery antelope hunt to the traditional rifle hunt for mule deer with the scenic background and you have an outdoors adventure made in heaven. Excellent. Category 7 IlluStratIoN 1. Sam Caldwell, "Blue Marlin Moment," Currents Newsletter, oct./Nov, 2008. 2. Bill e. Mills, "Valiant Fight," Saltwater texas, June 2008. 3. Ben e Kocian, "a tabletop Bargain," tIde May-June 2008 Judges' Comments: Beautiful artwork. Caldwell's magnificent watercolor of a blue marlin, sea birds in flight and an anxious fisherman in the background to Mills' gorgeous pen and ink of "fighting" speckled trout and Kocian's precarious and mischievous table top illustrations. Very nice. Category 8 outdoor PuBlICatIoN ­ uNder 25,000 1. "texas Wildlife" ­ submitted by david Baxter, Features editor. 2. "Pond Boss" ­ submitted by Bob lusk, owner, publisher and editor. 3. "Saltwater texas" ­ submitted by Jonette Childs, editor. Judges' Comments: Content, photography, opinion, design and meeting the needs of the public are the elements that must be judged while reviewing publications of any kind. Well, WOW! Texas Wildlife Association Magazine is in a class of its own this year. Pond Boss is just as impressive in many categories and certainly is excellent as well. A close, very close second. In an era of Internet, blogs, websites and MySpaces, it's nice to see an old standard tabloid newspaper still meeting the needs of its readers. Saltwater Angler just simply gets the job done about informing its public. Its lower budget is obvious but its content is solid and no one can question the effort or professionalism of this staff. Congratulations. Category 9 outdoor PuBlICatIoN ­ oVer 25,000 1. "texas Fish & game/Coastal edition," Feb. 2008 Issue - submitted by Chester Moore, executive editor. 2. "texas Sporting Journal," May/June 2008 edition submitted by Steven lightfoot, Senior editor 3. "texas outdoors Journal," Nov. 2008 ­ submitted by diane Parks, associate editor Judges' Comments: The February 2008 issue of Texas Fish & Game/Coastal Edition is full of interesting features and updates on game laws, fishing techniques and even some Internet jibber-jabber for the young at heart. Excellent publication. It is obvious that much thought and care goes into producing a publication with a wide variety (and that's

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why it won) of fishing articles. Photos are excellent. Layout is very good in features with outstanding photography and big easy-to-read headlines. Sections are very well categorized. We could go on, but very good job. Much the same can be said about Texas Sporting Journal's May/June 2008. It starts with a wonderful introductory column by Dave Heltzel and his statement of "We see Texas Sporting Journal as more than a source of entertainment, but a portal to educating and promoting, to all, the joys and benefits of the outdoors experience," speaks for all who are in the Outdoors journalism business. Well said. Nice work on the "Out in Africa" and "Fit for Kings" features. Texas Outdoors Journal November 2008 is striking from cover to back page. Excellent photos and good compartments. This category had many outstanding publications. All were excellent ­ these were the best three. Category 10 outdoor FICtIoN 1. ralph Winingham, "death in the dust," the Journal of texas trophy hunters, Nov./dec. 2007 2. Chester Moore, "devil's Bottoms," Fishgame.com, Sept. 21, 2008 3. Will leschper, "losing a deer hunting lease," lubbock avalanche-Journal, aug. 24, 2008. hM. Capt. Mike holmes, "the last Storm," Saltwater texas, Sept./oct. 2008. Judges' Comments: Overall, wonderful writing in this category. Ralph Winingham's "Death in the Dust" piece recreates many a memory for dedicated South Texas deer hunters who roam the brush country in search of game and often find the gruesome side of the wild. That, evidently, is what happened to his bucks, whom he called "the four-footed knight's of the brush." Alas, they are no more. In their quest for dominance, they both succumbed, and Winingham told the story eloquently. Chester Moore, Will Leschper and Mike Holmes are equally as eloquent. Category 11 outdoor ColuMN 1. Kendal hemphill, "elitism is Killing us," texas Fish & game Magazine, March 2008 2. ralph Winingham, "getting in Shape for hunting Season," texas Wildlife association Magazine, July 2008. 3. don haley, "Confessions . . .," the lazyBoy letter, oct. 2008. hM. Chester Moore, "Chester's Notes - dissing texas," texas Fish & game, Sept. 2008. Judges' Comments: Hemphill's column on elitism should be a wake up call for many outdoors people. Luckily, he has a big enough forum in his magazine to get the word out. Winingham's "Getting in Shape" column is also very important and it is one all who love the outdoors should read and take, literally, to heart. Don Haley's commentary is a moving and poignant testimony of how we have many things to be thankful for if we have our family, our health and our faculties. His kidney transplant helped him re-evaluate his life and his feelings and his thoughts of "going home" certainly are true. It's too bad this column wasn't featured elsewhere. Moore gets an HM `cause he stood up for Texas. Hey, we can't let those outsiders diss our state. Bravo, Chester! Category 12 NeWSPaPer Feature ­ uNder 25,000 1. Jim Steiert, "a passion for the Plains and grassland birds," hereford Brand, Feb. 24, 2008. 2. t.J. greaney, "lady anglers Make Big Waves," Maximum outdoors, May/June 2008. 3. art Morris, "the path to becoming a trophy: one trout's story," Saltwater texas, May 2008. Judges' Comments: Writing about ladies and their love for the outdoors proved to be the winning touch in this category, this year. The top two places were excellent features on women who love the outdoors. Morris "path to a trophy" is also interesting. Good job. Category 13 NeWSPaPer Feature ­ oVer 25,000 1. John goodspeed, "theirs is the dirtiest of jobs," San antonio express-News, Feb. 13, 2008. 2. david Sikes "Catch of a lifetime," Corpus Christi Caller-times, Feb. 10, 2008 3. Will leschper, "Veteran musher pushes toward Nome," amarillo globe-News, March 9, 2008. Judges' Comments: An interesting and easy-to-read feature on what you must do with "a nose-blasting 12,500 cubic yards of poop and urine-tinged pine shavings and straws" left over from 12,000 horses, bulls, steers, goats, sheep and swine from the San Antonio Livestock Show takes the prize. Sikes "Catch of a Lifetime" is also an interesting and easy read. Good job! Category 14 MagaZINe Feature ­ uNder 25,000 1. ralph Winingham, "Charlie Brown talks Catfish," texas Sportsman Magazine, May 2008. 2. Judy Bishop Jurek, "gene riser and the riser ranch," tracks, March/april 2008. 3. david Baxter, "llano Springs ranch," texas Wildlife association Magazine, September 2008.

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Judges' Comments: Ralph Winingham seems to have captured the personality of Charlie Brown and bottled it as he penned this very interesting feature of a devoted outdoorsman. Like Charlie Brown, Ralph is also "a good man." Judy Bishop Jurek is beautifully poetic in her descriptions of the Riser Ranch and family. Her words and descriptions make it feel as if you're there, with her, observing conversations and reminiscing about long-ago hunts. Baxter's story on the transformation of Llano Spring Ranch is very interesting, well researched and well developed. Great work Category 15 MagaZINe Feature ­ oVer 25,000 1. david Sikes, "rising Photo Star," texas Parks and Wildlife: the outdoor Magazine of texas, Sept. 2008. 2. ted Venker, "the legend of loomis," tide, Sept./oct. 2008. 3. John Jefferson, "texotics," texas Sporting Journal, Jan./Feb. 2008. Judges' Comments: This category was filled with wonderful features and was very competitive. Sikes article on Rolf Nussbaumer photo techniques is both inspiring and informative. For one, it shows that there are other hunts possible besides those with gun and bow. Venker's story on Loomis just tires a person out, but someone has to do it. Loomis is the man for the job. Jefferson's Texotics story is very informative. Category 16 outdoor NeWS rePortINg ­ uNder 25,000 1. Chester Moore, "Ike's fish kills far-reaching, complex," the orange leader, Sept. 17, 2008. 2. Jonette Childs, "tarpon tomorrow," Saltwater texas, Jan. 2008. Judges' Comments: Chester Moore's news story on Hurricane Ike's impact was well-crafted and very newsy. Category 17 outdoor NeWS rePortINg ­ oVer 25,000 1. Chester Moore, "alligator kills puts conservation in spotlight," texas Fish & game fishgame.com, Sept. 24, 2008. 2. ralph Winingham, "young Shooters flock to 4h games," lone Star outdoor News, aug. 8, 2008. 3. Bink grimes "lackluster season for many waterfowlers," Victoria advocate, Jan. 31, 2008. Judges' Comments: Informative and breaking news articles are important to the outdoors enthusiast. These three writers hit the mark. Category 18 outdoor oPINIoN WrItINg 1. Jim Steiert, "Playas deserving of Wetland Management districts." hereford Brand, oct. 12, 2008. 2. greg Berlocher, "Should Kayaking be regulated," texas Fish & game, oct. 2007 3. david Sikes, "a Question of ethics," texas Sporting Journal, March/april 2008. Judge's Comments: It remains amazingly clear that Texas' outdoors writers are truly the voice of our state when it comes to hunting, fishing, gun legislation as well as conservation, ethics and continuing our culture of enjoying the fruits of nature. The array of columns, editorials, analyses and opinion pieces are simply inspiring and, in many cases, eye-opening. From the citizens of Texas ­ Thank you! The three selections as winners are only a sampling of the quality of writing in this category. Jim Steiert's piece on playas is certainly an eye-opener. We're glad he is paying attention and keeping up with the issue. Berlocher's kayaking article is timely and to the point. State agencies are always looking for a way to make an extra buck. Regulating kayaking could bring more money to the Texas Parks & Wildlife coffers, right? Wrong. Read Berlocher's column, and see if you understand. Sikes column on ethics has to make one think about the message we are sending when we "cheat" on our limit or "double up" with our partner to get our limits. That message is being sent to our children as well, perpetuating a culture of cheating and breaking the law. Wow! Category 19 outdoor huMor 1. Mike holmes, "...gotta fish for something (crabby)," Saltwater angler, april 2008 2. aaron reed, "up a creek," Kayak angler, Summer 2008. 3. Judy Bishop Jurek, "Kids Say the darndest things at deer Camp," Whitetail News, July 2008. Judges' Comments: Capt. Mike Holmes is in a "crabby" mood, Aaron Reed is "up a creek with a paddle" and Judy Bishop Jurek has been to one too many deer hunts and can't wait to tell what she heard out of the mouths of babes. Lucky for us, they all wrote down their stories and tall tales. Category 20 outdoorS BooK 1. robert l. Warren, "the Black Mouse." 2. robert Zaiglin and dr. david Samuel, "Whitetail advantage: understand deer Behavior for hunting Season." 3. Bob lusk with Mike otto & Mark Mcdonald, "Perfect Pond...Want one?"

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Judges' Comments: It's hard to pick a winner in a category that includes three excellent examples of outdoors writing in book form. Each book is significant in its own way. Warren's "The Black Mouse," however is full of outdoors adventure the whole family can enjoy. He tells his story almost like a grandpa or old uncle handing it down to another generation. There are 25 "true" outdoor adventure stories from the eyes and minds of family members who cover five generations. Zaiglin's book on whitetail deer book is part research, part legend and very informative. You can test it against your own myths and legends, but chances are Zaiglin and Dr. David have done their research. And for those landowners who want a pond, the Bob Lusk book is perfect. Category 21 WeBPage 1. CCa Web Page, www.joincca.org, submitted by Pat Murray 2. texas Weekend angler website, www.texasweekendangler.com, submitted by danno Wise. 3. larry Bozka Web Page, www.coastalanglers.com, submitted by larry Bozka hM. texas outdoor Zone website, www.texasoutdoorzone.com, submitted by t.J. greaney Judges' Comments: Each website has its highlights and each is catered to its specific audience. All are winners. The CCA website is inviting and meets its purpose of attracting new members. It wants people to join and it is friendly, easy to navigate and entice the viewers (readers?) to do what it asks ­ JOIN! The Texas Weekend Angler site is busy, but attractive and has great links. It is well organized and categorized and has some very helpful information as well as link to many guides. Nice! Larry Bozka's site is a wonderful blog with wonderful stories penned by Larry. Enjoy. We also wanted to mention T.J. Greaney's outdoor zone. It's always good. Design not as fancy, but great links to every outdoors site imaginable and wonderful information. Category 22 SuPPortINg MeMBer aWard 1. "Browning Bucks" by Browning submitted by Kevin howard, howard Communications. Category 23 SPeCIal ProJeCtS/CoNSerVatIoN 1. Valero energy Corp., submitted Pat Murray, the rising tide Summer 2008 special conservation issue 2. Brad Martin, land Fragmentation documentary for the outdoors Channel, July 3-6, 2008. 3. Chester Moore. "don't Shoot" flier for endangered black bears, 2008.

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Category 24 orIgINal INterNet Story 1. aaron reed, "the Wilderness Beach," roadtripamerica. com. http://www.roadtripamerica.com/gettingoutthere/ texas-National 2. John goodspeed, "With the economy in a tailspin," http://blogs.mysanantonio.com/weblogs/huntingandfishing/2008/10. oct. 15, 2008 3. Chester Moore, "the eyes of a Jaguar," http://projectzooquest.org//2008/09/17/jaguars/print.aspx.com, Sept. 18, 2008. Judges' Comments: The future is now and Internet stories are a must now. Aaron Reed's trip to the Wilderness Beach is the perfect example about what readers are looking for on the Internet.

NRA Adds New Information Features to Hunters' Web Site

FAIRFAX, VA ­ If you have ever searched in vain for a hunting law in a state you want to hunt, or if anti-hunter propaganda has you confused about what's fact and what's fiction when it comes to lead ammunition, the National Rifle Association has the answers. The NRA has added to new features on its web site www.NRAhuntersrights.org concerning these two subjects that are attracting increased interest with the current political climate. The first new feature is an interactive map of the United States providing direct links to the hunting laws in all 50 states. Just click on the tab "State Hunting Laws" at the top of the Hunters' Rights homepage and then click on the state you want to hunt to find current rules and regulations. Also new to the site is a list of answers to the most frequently asked questions about the health concerns associated with consuming game harvested with traditional lead ammunition. This section, located in the top right corner of the homepage, will set the record straight on the lead issue and help to dispel any myths about lead ammunition being espoused by anti-hunting groups. This section will be updated often as new research and information on lead ammunition becomes available. Developed by NRA in response to escalating threats to hunting, the site is a one-stop source for the most up-to-date information about hunters' rights and what the NRA is doing to protect them. Whether it's a proposed ban on hunting ammunition, the closure of public hunting lands or regulations that are actually driving people out of the sport, the site provides information on a timely basis. The media contact for more information is Justin McDaniel at (703) 267-1557 or at [email protected]

Texas Outdoor Writer's Association 15195 Starboard Drive Willis, TX 77318

MeMBer

SHOOTING, COOkING, MuSIC & OuTDOOR FuN EvENTS TO BE HElD IN COluMBuS

The Brune Land & Cattle Co. near Columbus will host a variety of shooting, cooking, music and outdoor fun events March 7-8 and 19-22, with Herman Brune issuing a "come-on-down" invitation to his fellow TOWA members. The first weekend is called "ATF Days," and is sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation as part of the group's First Shots Program. Other sponsors include the Texas Historical Shootist Society, The Yaupon Creek Blackpowder Cartridge Silhouette Association, the Austin Young Republicans and the Colorado, Waller, Fayette, and Austin Countys' GOP Clubs. "This event promotes new shooters by introducing people to gun safety, handling, and proficiency," Brune said. "By so doing, it often awakens otherwise moderates or liberals to the significance of the Second Amendment and how tampering with civil liberties hurts our country socially, economically and in all conceptual forms." There will be a black gun shooting position, as well as, as a black powder cartridge shooting position on the high-power silhouette range. Additional shooting instruction and opportunities will be offered in the western town of Gunsmoke. Saturday night (March 7), the schedule will feature a bonfire, some real Texas chili, music and even a little bull riding tossed in for good measure.

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The second event will kick off on March 19 and features a "Trailhead," annual Cowboy Action Society shooting event also sponsored by the Texas Historical Shootist Society. About 200-250 cowboy action shooters, including about 50 mounted shooters, and more than two dozen vendors are expected to attend the event. Chili and a bonfire, with music and bull riding, will be on tap March 20. An awards banquet is scheduled for March 21, with Texas General Land Office Commissioner Jerry Patterson officiating as the master of ceremonies. In addition to the two events, the Colorado County Commissioners Court has proclaimed March as "First Shots Month." TOWA members interested in more information about the events may contact Brune at (979) 732-5241, or email him at [email protected]

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