AUSTIN — For the first time in its 20-year history, a lucky winner has a chance to claim not one, but two one-of-a-kind experiences through the same package as part of the Big Time Texas Hunts drawing. One fortunate outdoorsman or woman and a guest can claim a guided saltwater fishing trip in tandem with a new big game hunting package at Powderhorn Wildlife Management Area, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s newest WMA on Matagorda Bay.
The Powderhorn property, formerly known as Powderhorn Ranch, provides habitat for hundreds of species of birds and mammals, including the endangered whooping crane. It is also the home to thousands of acres of native coastal prairies, freshwater wetlands and salt marshes that offer vital fish and wildlife habitat. Public access to Powderhorn WMA, which was donated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 2018, is limited, but part of the property will be developed into a state park in the future.
“The fabled Powderhorn Ranch, a stunning 17,351-acre coastal gem adjoining the sportsman’s paradise of Port O’Connor, is as picturesque and evocative as its name suggests,” said Carter Smith, Executive Director of TPWD. “Powderhorn is one of those historic coastal Texas ranches, steeped in beauty, diversity, nature and heritage.”
The package, known as the “Powderhorn Cast and Blast,” offers the opportunity of an all-inclusive hunting and fishing adventure on the Powderhorn Wildlife Management Area. The winner will be able to hunt for white-tailed, axis sambar deer, along with waterfowl through the WMA. Then, they will experience a guided fishing trip for redfish and speckled trout on Matagorda Bay.
“The Powderhorn Cast and Blast is a whole new level of hunt package for us,” said Justin Dreibelbis, TPWD Private Lands and Public Hunting Program Director. “Over two and a half days, the winner and a guest will hunt deer species not accessible to most Texas hunters, go duck hunting, take a guided saltwater fishing trip at the best time of year, stay in a historic lodge overlooking the bay — all on an epic property few have ever set foot on! It will be a special experience for anyone who loves the outdoors.”
In addition to the new “Powderhorn Cast and Blast” package, nine other premium guided hunt packages are offered in this year’s Big Time Texas Hunts drawing.
Over $16 million has been raised since 1996 from the Big Time Texas Hunt drawings to fund wildlife research, habitat conservation and public hunting programs. Conservation efforts funded by Big Time Texas Hunts include desert bighorn sheep restoration work in West Texas, thousands of acres of brush control work across the state for the benefit of species like mule deer, pronghorn and quail, along with multiple grassland restoration projects. Public hunting efforts include the funding of numerous public hunting leases and the purchase of hunting equipment like ADA accessible blinds for a number of WMAs.
Big Time Texas Hunts entries are available online for $9 each or for $10 each at license retailers, or by calling 800-895-4248. The deadline to purchase entries is October 15 and winners will be announced within two weeks.