Powderhorn wildlife management area texas

Powderhorn wildlife management area texas DEFAULT
Approximately 94% of land in Texas is privately owned. With the state’s population continuing to grow, there’s a critical need for more natural recreational spaces close to the state’s most populous urban areas. One of the largest remaining tracts of pristine coastal prairie in Texas, the 17,acre Powderhorn Ranch in Calhoun County is a landscape that includes unspoiled coastal forests of live oak and intact wetlands.
The ranch includes more than eleven miles of tidal bay front on Matagorda Bay and provides habitat for hundreds of species of birds and animals, including the federally-endangered whooping crane. The ranch also includes thousands of acres of freshwater wetlands and salt marshes that offer vital fish and wildlife habitat and provide natural filtering to improve water quality. The undeveloped land shields people and property from storm surges and sea level rise.

Powderhorn RanchIn August , The Conservation Fund along with The Nature Conservancy, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced the history-making acquisition of Powderhorn Ranch using $ million in donated funds—the largest dollar amount ever raised for a conservation land purchase in Texas.

A History-making Partnership

The Conservation Fund initiated the effort three years prior when we began negotiations with the previous owner, Cumberland & Western Resources, LLC.  Committed to preserving the exceptional natural quality of the Powderhorn Ranch, the seller sold the property below market value to ensure its permanent safekeeping.

A significant portion of the funding for the project was provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, which was created with dollars paid by BP and Transocean in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. NFWF has committed $ million over the next three years, making this the biggest land acquisition in the nation so far using BP spill restoration dollars. 

The Conservation Fund and The Nature Conservancy of Texas have provided $10 million in interim funding.  The Nature Conservancy will hold a permanent conservation easement on the property and will provide habitat management for the first two years through a contract with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation(TPW). TPW will hold title on the property by the end of , and will ultimately turn it over to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In years to come, Powderhorn Ranch will become a state park and wildlife management area.

Why This Project Matters

In an era of rapidly rising land prices and diminishing government resources, this project exemplifies a new model of funding for landscape scale conservation projects in Texas and is a demonstration of public and private entities working together for the long-term benefit of Texas and its citizens.   

"A unique and innovative collaboration among public and private organizations has preserved a critical coastal landscape of epic size and scale for generations to come."

—Larry Selzer, CEO, The Conservation Fund


Learn More

Sours: https://www.conservationfund.org/projects/powderhorn-ranch

Powderhorn WMA

Port O'Connor, TX

Contact: Dan Walker

Dates Open:

Open only on specific days for hunts and bird tours.


The Powderhorn Wildlife Management Area is located in southern Calhoun County in the Texas Coastal Bend. The WMA consists of 15, acres of freshwater and brackish wetlands, coastal tallgrass prairie, and live oak mottes. Several miles of bayfront on both Powderhorn Lake and Matagorda Bay make up the north and east boundaries.

The Powderhorn property was purchased with funding and support from the BP Horizon oil spill mitigation, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, The Conservation Fund, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and many private donations helped secure this project. In October the property was donated to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, forming the Powderhorn Wildlife Management Area.

The habitat in this area was historically considered to be coastal prairie with vast grasslands and scattered motts of large coastal live oaks. But land management practices of overgrazing and suppression of wildfires has resulted in a monoculture of running oak. Starting in , we began to restore the prairie using herbicide treatment and prescribed fire. The result of these treatments currently is that about 4, acres has been converted back to native coastal prairie on Powderhorn. We will continue treatments in the future to further restore the habitat.

Powderhorn is an important resting spot for migrating birds. During spring migration, over species can be tallied. So far species have been documented for the WMA. The diversity of habitats on Powderhorn hosts a variety of birds year-round. A Christmas bird count centered on the WMA occurs each year in December.

Powderhorn WMA currently offers limited public access through bird watching tours and public hunts. Birding tours occur mostly in the spring and are allowed by appointment for larger groups, as well as a schedule for open birding days. Public hunts occur in the fall and winter and are available through the TPWD online drawing system. Standby positions may be available for drawn hunts. Youth and adult hunt categories are provided for white-tailed deer, sambar deer, axis, feral hogs, and turkey.

Read more about Powderhorn Wildlife Management Area: Powderhorn Ranch Becomes Texas' Newest Wildlife Management Area .

Sours: https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/wma/find_a_wma/list/?id=
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Standbys may be available. Please call area to confirm.

Application Deadline: November 01, 1 – 4 people per application

Feb 08, – Feb 10,

Mar 29, – Mar 31,

One Sambar Deer; Either Sex

Unlimited Feral Hogs
One Axis Deer; Either Sex

Available: 36

Fee per adult: $

Fee per youth: $

Youth ages: 8- 16

Adult minimum age: 17

Supervising adult minimum age: 18


Permits/Groups: 12

Success Rate: 74%


Standbys may be available. Please call area to confirm.

Application Deadline Expired: September 15, 1 – 4 people per application

Nov 02, – Nov 04,

Two White-tailed Deer; Either Sex; Limit One Buck; Buck must have an inside spread equal to or greater than ear tips; or buck must have at least one unbranched antler.

Unlimited Feral Hogs
One Sambar Deer; Either Sex
One Axis Deer; Either Sex

Available: 18

Fee per adult: $

Fee per youth: $

Youth ages: 8- 16

Adult minimum age: 17

Supervising adult minimum age: 18


Permits/Groups: 36

Success Rate: 84%


Standbys may be available. Please call area to confirm.

Application Deadline: November 01, 1 – 4 people per application

Apr 05, – Apr 07,

One Turkey; Gobbler Only

Unlimited Feral Hogs

Available: 5

Fee per adult: $

Fee per youth: $

Youth ages: 8- 16

Adult minimum age: 17

Supervising adult minimum age: 18


Permits/Groups: 5

Success Rate: 60%


Adult Supervisor (at least 18 years old) required.
Standbys may be available. Please call area to confirm.

Application Deadline Expired: September 01, 1 – 4 people per application

Nov 20, – Nov 22,

Dec 04, – Dec 05,

Jan 08, – Jan 09,

Jan 22, – Jan 23,

Two White-tailed Deer; Either Sex; Limit One Buck

Unlimited Feral Hogs
One Sambar Deer; Either Sex
One Axis Deer; Either Sex

Available: 72

Fee per adult: $

Fee per youth: $

Youth ages: 8- 16

Adult minimum age: 18

Supervising adult minimum age: 18



Success Rate:

Sours: https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/public/public_hunt_drawing/hunt-area-details.phtml?OArea=PE
Powderhorn Youth Hunt

Powderhorn Ranch

Just off a quiet stretch of highway in Calhoun County, beyond a nondescript metal gate, lies a 17,acre mosaic of dense live oak forests, coastal prairies, salt marshes and wetlands. This tract, known as Powderhorn Ranch, is one of the largest remaining undisturbed tracts of native coastal prairie habitat left in Texas—and likely the largest conservation deal in the history of Texas.

Crucial Habitat Protection

Secured by a partnership between The Nature Conservancy, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and The Conservation Fund, it offers sweeping, unobstructed views of tallgrass prairies and marshland and 11 miles of tidal bay front that protect vitally important seagrass beds and mollusk reefs. Its environmental significance cannot be overstated. Federally endangered whooping cranes currently winter just miles south of Powderhorn. With the number of wild whoopers expanding, the ranch will undoubtedly become a critical habitat for whooping cranes in the coming years.

Powderhorn’s saltwater wetlands also offer important, year-round habitat for shorebirds, wading birds and waterfowl. Elsewhere, extensive woodlands and freshwater wetlands provide critically important “fall-out areas” for migrating songbirds, particularly during spring migration when, exhausted from their flights across or around the Gulf of Mexico, birds use these areas to rest and refuel. The Conservancy plans to conduct extensive wildlife and plant surveys on the ranch, which will undoubtedly become a haven for bird watchers, as well as people interested in fishing, kayaking and canoeing.

Distinctive by Design

The ranch also includes a unique geologic formation called the Ingleside Barrier, which supports unique plant life such as the seacoast bluestem and Texas coastal bend live oak. And it enjoys several miles of Matagorda Bay frontage; the bays and flats along that shoreline are important nurseries for a variety of fish and shellfish, including brown shrimp, redfish, spotted sea trout and blue crab.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation funded a significant portion of this at-scale conservation project using fine money resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation has played a lead role in securing that funding, and will continue to raise money to support habitat restoration and management and create a long-term endowment. As the easement-holder, the Conservancy will play a key role in restoring areas that have been overgrazed or over-run with invasive species. The Conservancy turned full ownership of Powderhorn over to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation in

Sours: https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/places-we-protect/powderhorn-ranch/

Management texas area wildlife powderhorn

Gorgeous Powderhorn Ranch is the Newest State Wildlife Area in Texas

By the spring of , it&#;s anticipated that an exciting new wildlife management area in Texas will be open to the public. Powderhorn Ranch is 15K acres of &#;prime unspoiled coastal prairie&#; according to a press release by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Located near Port O&#;Connor (northeast of Corpus Christi,) its immediate planned usage will be low-impact activities (i.e. birding tours), and future plans indicate that paddling, fishing, and hunting may also be in the works. The remaining acres of the property are hoped to become a new state park.

Announced on Thursday, October 25, three decades have gone into the planning for preservation of Powderhorn Ranch. Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation began the process of acquiring the property – a 17,acre parcel – to the tune of $ million four years ago. This was then recognized as the largest conservation investment in the state’s history. In a recent news release, Wildlife Division Director Clayton Wolf said, “The department is privileged to be the steward of this unique and ecologically significant piece of the Texas Coast that the conservation community has worked so hard to protect. We look forward to managing these valuable natural resources for current and future generations of Texans to enjoy.”

Sours: https://texashillcountry.com/powderhorn-ranch-state-wildlife-area/
Powderhorn Ranch Aerial Footage - Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]

Powderhorn WMA to host the Cast and Blast of a lifetime

“All of the Big Time Texas Hunts are very good, all very special in their own way. But we kind of dreamed this one up to be the coolest experience we could possibly come up with, and I think we’ve done it,” said Justin Dreibelbis, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s private lands and public hunting program director.

The greatest difficulty for the lucky Powderhorn visitors will be picking which aspect has them most excited, the Cast or the Blast. The trip is all-inclusive. Meals will be provided, and guests will stay at the recently renovated ranch house that overlooks Matagorda Bay.

“The Cast and Blast is going to provide a singularly unique opportunity, an unparalleled outdoor experience for the lucky sportsman or sportswoman who gets drawn,” said Carter Smith, TPWD’s executive director.

A full exposure to the wonders and wildlife of Powderhorn WMA is planned over two and a half days this fall. WMA staff will guide hunts for the whitetail deer, sambar and axis deer that roam the 17,acre property. The guests will get to hunt for waterfowl, too.

The fishing portion of the package will be provided by the 11 miles of Matagorda Bay shoreline and Powderhorn Lake. Anglers can wadefish and take a guided boat trip. Bait, tackle and fish cleaning are included.

Essentially, most everything an outdoor enthusiast would want can be found on the diverse landscape of the Powderhorn.

“Whoever gets this hunt is going to stay very busy for a few days,” said Dreibelbis.

Finding success should not be an overwhelming endeavor. The WMA, located in Calhoun County near Port O’Connor, is known for its abundance of wildlife.

“It’s definitely one of the gamiest wildlife management areas that we have,” Smith said.

The WMA is home to strong numbers of whitetail and exotic deer, Rio Grande wild turkeys, bobwhite quail, a variety of waterfowl and has potential for dove.

Public deer hunting has occurred on the WMA the past two seasons through drawings. The public hunts have been successful and met with positive reviews so far, Dreibelbis said.

As a WMA, access is limited to the Powderhorn. The drawing provides a rare opportunity to explore a mythical piece of Texas, one that only recently came under the state’s control.

In , efforts to preserve the historic Powderhorn Ranch culminated with the purchase of the property and donation to TPWD by a cooperation between the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, the Nature Conservancy and the Conservation Fund.

The success was decades in the making and the silver lining of a tragedy. Most of the money used to acquire the Powderhorn came from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, created in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

“It’s just one of the great jewels of the coast. We are very blessed to have been in a position to be able to protect that special place for generations to come,” Smith said.

Today, the Powderhorn is managed as one of the last remaining tracts of intact coastal prairie.

The Powderhorn is a habitat hodgepodge. Freshwater and brackish wetlands are interspersed with expanses of native coastal prairie, littered with mature oak mottes and mima mounds.

However, if you had visited the Powderhorn when it was acquired, you might not recognize it now.

Running live oak had taken over much of the property by the time habitat work began in earnest in

Powderhorn WMA area manager Daniel Walker referred to the short shrub oak as an “invasive native.” It grows densely, choking out other native species when left unchecked by overgrazing or lack of fire.

TPWD has improved about 4, acres of habitat by removing the running live oak. Habitat managers used an herbicide called Spike 20P to remove the brush and have followed up by rotating prescribed burns. TPWD did not have to re-seed with native grasses, the seeds were already in the soil bank. Grasses and forbs re-emerged once the thick canopy was removed.

“With all the forbs coming up, bigger critters like deer are foraging, getting better nutrition, heavier bodyweight, better antlers. Across the board, our wildlife have benefited from this habitat work,” Walker said.

Numbers of grassland birds such as meadowlarks, sparrows and northern bobwhite quail are increasing in the treatment area.

Bobwhites are not the only beleaguered birds to take refuge and benefit from the work happening on the Powderhorn.

The endangered whooping crane takes sanctuary on the property. As many as six whooping cranes wintered along the WMA last year.

The Powderhorn is also home to mottled ducks, a species in decline.

“They like to have freshwater wetlands surrounded by open grasslands. So, they’ll be benefiting from our habitat work as well,” Walker said.

Walker said the long-term goal is to treat and burn as much of 15, acres as possible. The remaining 2, acres will eventually become a state park.

In the meantime, the winners of the Big Time Texas Hunt package will get to witness and reap the results of the incredible habitat work so far.

That work will continue in part because of the drawing. Big Time Texas Hunts revenue goes back to WMAs.

“Since , this program has produced more than $16 million in gross revenue that we’ve been able to significantly affect the habitat of our WMAs, public hunting access, deer blinds, research projects,” said Dreibelbis.

“This is just a really good example of hunters paying for conservation.”

Entries are $9 online or $10 at license retailers.

Other popular Big Time Texas Hunts include the Texas Grand Slam, which packages four separate hunting trips for desert bighorn sheep, pronghorn, white-tailed deer and desert mule deer. Five winners of Whitetail Bonanza will enjoy guided hunts, one occurring on the Gus Engeling WMA for the first time. The full list of Big Time Texas Hunts can be found here.

The deadline to enter is Oct. 15 and winners will be announced within the following two weeks.

Sours: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/texas-sports-nation/general/article/Powderhorn-WMA-to-host-the-Cast-and-Blast-of-aphp

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