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Chuck Naiser & Flatsworthy

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Chuck Naiser’s passion for fishing, and for the coastal resources he loves, has evolved into a fierce determination to make a difference for the next generation that will enjoy these waters long after he is gone. In recent years, Chuck has formed Flatsworthy, an organization which encourages mutual respect among the many recreational users of the coastal flats of Texas. Flatsworthy recently completed a service project at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.

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A Storied Tale of Bison in Texas

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We Will Not Be Tamed ambassador Jessie Story has a story to tell. The Amarillo-based wildlife photographer and videographer is wrapping up an ambitious documentary project about the bison herd at Caprock Canyon State Park. Story has been visiting the park for years, pursuing her passion for chasing wildlife with a camera. Because of her many visits to the park, she and Caprock Canyons Superintendent Donald Beard have forged a friendship, and now a partnership, to get a documentary produced about the official state bison herd.

“It’s a story that needs to be told,” said Beard. “Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has told part of the story, but there’s so much more to share. With the support of our friends group, the Caprock Partners Foundation, we got the funding we needed to get the documentary rolling this year.”

There is perhaps no greater symbol of the American West than bison. The largest land animal in North America, it has endured as an icon of our heritage, spirit and culture. Once roaming North America in vast herds, bison became nearly extinct by a combination of commercial hunting and slaughter in the late 19th century. With a population in excess of 60 million in the late 18th century, the species was down to a few hundred animals by 1889.

About a decade before that, legendary Texas rancher Charles Goodnight had the foresight to gather some of the animals on his JA Ranch in the Texas Panhandle. Somehow, against the odds, that herd managed to survive the decades since, and now, we all benefit from the Goodnights’ vision. When the bison were initially donated to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and moved to Caprock Canyons State Park in 1997, it was discovered that their DNA was different, and feature genetics that are not shared by any other bison in North America. In fact, the Official Texas State Bison Herd at Caprock represents the last remaining examples of the Southern Plains variety.

“It’s a fascinating story, and I am telling the story of the bison through the people who have dedicated large chunks of their lives to make sure they are there for future generations. People who cherish the bison for all they represent.”

Jessie Story has spent countless hours in the field at Caprock filming the bison in all seasons.

“She is not afraid to get out there and be a part of it and put herself in place to get those great shots,” said Beard. “She knows what she wants and goes after it. She has a very good eye. I am constantly amazed at what she comes back with.”

Jessie wrapped up principal photography earlier this year and is now spending hours in the editing room getting the film polished and ready for release. The film, with a working title of “Yellowstone of Texas” will be premiered at Bison Fest 2019 in Quitaque, Texas.

Follow along with We Will Not Be Tamed ambassador Jessie Story as she takes us behind the scenes of a workup of the Texas state bison herd that she filmed for the documentary.

Great Outdoors Gift Guide for Dads

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Father’s Day is right around the corner, but there’s still plenty of time to give a gift that inspires adventure for the dads who love wild things and wild places. Whether fishing, hunting or hiking your dad will be ready for his next big adventure with gifts from these trailblazing Texas companies who share our passion for the great outdoors.

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Training with Debbie Richardson

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As if soul-sucking mud, log jams as big as your house, alligator gar known to jump out of the water and crack ribs, and actual alligators (just 4-footers, so far) weren’t enough, last weekend’s paddle training session with Debbie Richardson featured something new – a collapsing riverbank.

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Experiencing a Culinary Ranch Retreat with Jesse Griffiths & Explore Ranches

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Llano Springs Ranch, 140 miles west of Austin and about 24 miles south of Junction, has been in the Vandivier family for 25 years. The Vandiviers have made every single one of those years count. When they acquired the ranch in 1994, the grasslands were crowded out by a monoculture of ashe juniper. Having learned from the successful efforts of landowners like David Bamberger and with a chainsaw, bulldozer, fire and a tremendous work ethic, the family turned back the ecological clock. Native grasses have returned to the rolling hillsides and springs flow stronger than ever into the South Llano River.

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Rare Opportunity to Enjoy Texas Ranches

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Looking for a unique outdoor adventure? Something off of the beaten path with access to views and opportunities like never before? TPWF partner, Explore Ranches may have just what you’re looking for.

Explore Ranches, an Austin-based company, launched a new vacation rental site offering exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime stays at private ranches in Texas and Colorado.

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Christmas Came Early for Juan Martinez

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Juan Martinez felt like a kid on Christmas morning when he picked up the keys to a brand-new Toyota Tundra at a Toyota dealership in San Antonio. Martinez was selected as the grand prize winner for the We Will Not Be Tamed sweepstakes, part of a Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) campaign that encourages all Texans to get involved in conserving the wild things and wild places of our state.

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