Hispanic Heritage Month — By Popular Demand, The Frio

I can vividly remember summers spent on the Frio. My family lived in Uvalde the summer I turned 10. Every day when my dad got off work he'd take us to the river to plunge into water so cold it burned. And obviously, I'm not the only Texan that has such vivid memories.

We had quite a few comments about our first post, the majority asking how could we forget the Frio? How indeed!

The Frio, a recreational hotspot renowned for its crisp, cool water, takes its name from the Spanish word for cold. There's no real indication of when the moniker took root. The De León expedition called it Rio Sarco, which may refer to the beautiful blue of the water. The three forks of the Frio wind for 200 miles through the Hill Country. Archeological evidence dates human habitation along its banks to at least 8,500 years ago. 

Today visitors can take advantage of everything from local tubing outfitters to helicopter tours to enjoy the beauty of the river and the landscape it helped to create. 


National Hunting & Fishing Day

Thanks for sharing your passion with friends and family ... and us!

It’s an incredible feeling best shared with a friend: reeling in a trout for your dinner or harvesting your first dove or buck. National Hunting and Fishing Day — this Saturday, September 26 — celebrates all who hunt, fish and shoot, but particularly those who invite along someone new to the sport.


Many Texas hunters and anglers belong to conservation organizations and actively contribute time, money and effort to help wildlife populations and their habitats. Hunting and fishing license fees fund state efforts to provide healthy and sustainable natural resources.


To say THANK YOU to all who participate and share that experience, enter our contest on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Click and tell us what/who sparked your love of hunting or fishing. Three commenters who offer great photos and stories will win a $50 Cabela's gift card. Don't delay: Deadline is Monday, September 28, 2020.


Who knows? Your story could end up here on our magazine blog!


Launched in 1971 by Congress, NHF Day has consistently recognized hunters and anglers for their leadership in wildlife and conservation. NHF Day is observed and celebrated the fourth Saturday in September every year.

Social media superstars "Dude Perfect," five college roommates from Texas A&M University with 50 million subscribers and nine billion views of their videos, are honorary chairs this year. 

“Participation in activities like hunting and fishing are richly rewarding experiences,” says Gov. Greg Abbott.  “Not only do they create thousands of jobs and revenue for our great state but they are also great opportunities to deepen human relationships and reconnect with the environment.”


Across the nation, including here in Texas, populations of white-tailed deer, redfish and other game species were almost wiped out by the early to mid-20th century from decades of unregulated exploitation. But today most fish and game have come back to plentiful abundance.


In modern Texas, hunting and fishing remain a cultural and economic force. In fact, the traditions are gaining traction among some urban audiences as a logical extension of the local food movement.


Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine has a new “locavore” web page with wild game tips and recipes from chefs as well as hunting and fishing adventure features to get you inspired. We take you from classic dove poppers to elegant main dishes.


Of course, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has all the information you need to get educated, licensed and outdoors for fun and recreation. Check out their hunting and fishing education pages. Sign up for a mentored hunting workshop next summer and grow your knowledge and confidence before you hunt. (This YouTube video lets you experience a mentored workshop before you sign up.)


Next time you head out to the lake or hunting lease, think about taking along a first-timer, child or grandchild, friend, co-worker or neighbor. It will not only enrich their lives, but your life, too. 




Mammal Monday — Actin' Nutty

You see them chasing each other up and down the tree and along the branches. You hear them scurrying across your roof. You catch them carrying nuts on the way to their secret stash.

© Suzanne Gabriel | #inthewildhood

Squirrels are everywhere. And once you learn more about them, you may see these critters as neighbors rather than pests. There are three main types of squirrels in Texas (tree, ground and flying squirrels) and eight different squirrel species.

The most common type of squirrels are tree squirrels, which include the Eastern fox squirrel and the Eastern gray squirrel. While fox and gray squirrels appear similar, they differ in distribution, size and behavior. Fox squirrels are commonly found throughout Texas, while gray squirrels reside only in East Texas. Gray squirrels are more social, smaller, faster and tend to be more skittish. Fox squirrels usually hide when threatened instead of fleeing. Tree squirrels are what people typically picture when imagining a squirrel.

Texas has one species of flying squirrel: the Eastern flying squirrel. Despite the name, flying squirrels don’t actually fly but rather glide from tree to tree and can glide up to 100 yards. Flying squirrels are nocturnal, are smaller than other squirrels and tend to be more timid.

© Gerald Colca | #inthewildhood

Ground squirrels have the greatest number of species (five) of Texas squirrels. One species, the rock squirrel, resembles a tree squirrel and lives in rocky outcrops in the Hill Country and West Texas. Despite the name, this ground squirrel can climb trees fairly well. The other types of ground squirrel in Texas look more like prairie dogs: the Texas antelope squirrel, thirteen-lined ground squirrel, Mexican ground squirrel and spotted ground squirrel. The thirteen-lined ground squirrel resides in North Texas, while the Mexican, spotted and Texas antelope squirrels are found in West Texas.

Squirrels are known for burying seeds and nuts for future meals, and they sometimes forget their stash’s location, resulting in many of the trees we see today. Squirrels can bury several thousand nuts over the course of a year. When storing their food, they are methodical as they bury them in various locations and organize them based on shapes, sizes and types to help remember their location. It’s their own unique memory device! Squirrels also practice “deceptive caching,” in which they pretend to bury food if other squirrels are watching, only to sneak away to their actual stash.

© Mike Thomte | #inthewildhood

To learn more about the about the animals that call Texas home subscribe to Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. Whether in print or through our mobile app, choose the version that works best for you.