Big Thicket

flood levels marked by red line and discoloration of foliage in Day-Use Area

Harvey caused flooding throughout Texas that locals had never seen before, not only for neighborhoods and homes but also for the diverse wildlife that lives in the Big Thicket.

Deer drowned, snakes were displaced, and alligators came up in unexpected places, according to park staff.

But despite Harvey’s “unprecedented” flooding in late August, about 22 of the Big Thicket National Preserve’s 40 miles of trails were accessible by Sept. 18, National Park Service spokesperson Jason Ginder said in a release, only a few weeks after the hurricane.

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This southern stingray is one you definitely don’t want to step on.

Wade fishermen along the Texas coast know full well that stingrays are abundant just about anywhere you can find a salty tide. It’s not unusual to see them while wading the bays during the warm water months from about May through November. And that’s why stingray-proof wading boots and shin guards are so popular. If you get hit by the poison barb of a ray’s tail, you are toast for a least a few days, and done fishing for at least a couple of weeks.

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Photo courtesy of the National Park Service
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In an effort to expand recreational opportunities in the national preserve and provide unique experiences for all, effective October 2017, Big Thicket National Preserve will open a new waterfowl hunting area and permit the use of air rifles for squirrel hunting.

Squirrel hunting has been a popular activity in the preserve for many years. In accordance with Texas regulations, only squirrel (fox squirrel, cat/grey squirrel) may be taken with air rifles.

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The staff of Big Thicket National Preserve invites everyone to explore the thicket by taking advantage of the ranger-led programs being offered in the months of May-August.

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The staff of Big Thicket National Preserve invites everyone to explore the thicket by taking advantage the many ranger-led programs being offered in April and May.

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North Turkey Creek Trail

Big Thicket National Preserve and the Big Thicket Association have announced the continuation of the 2016 Centennial hiking series. Sunday, March 6 and continuing the first Sunday of each month through the end of 2016, staff from both organizations will guide fellow explorers along the unique trail network found in the Big Thicket.

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Big Thicket National Preserve and the Big Thicket Association have announced a 2016 hiking series. Starting Sunday, Feb. 7, and continuing the first Sunday of each month through the end of 2016, staff from both organizations will guide explorers along a different portion of the over 40 miles of improved trails within the preserve.

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Michale Hoke

Educator and environmental champion Michael Hoke of Orange died Wednesday, Jan. 13.

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Whitetail deer

We finally got a decent cool front through Texas this past weekend, and hopefully that will jumpstart fishing and hunting prospects in East and Southeast Texas. The summer-like weather we’ve had up until this past Sunday has definitely put a damper on bow hunting for deer. And it’s also made building deer blinds for the Nov. 7 gun season opener on deer a hot and sweaty job.

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Hunters and National Park Service arrowhead logo

Big Thicket National Preserve Superintendent Wayne Prokopetz announced Aug. 20 that the preserve will issue free hunting permits beginning Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. Available 2015/2016 permits will be issued until Feb. 29, 2016.

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