AUSTIN – Fourteen lucky sportsmen are making special plans for hunting season as winners of this year's Big Time Texas Hunts. The hunters were selected by random computer drawing from applicants in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department program.
All told, 13,478 hunters bought Big Time Texas Hunt entries during this year's sales period. The addition of the new Ultimate Mule Deer Hunt increased interest in this year's program, which generated $681,407.30 in gross revenue-a seven percent increase from last year's sales-to support wildlife research, habitat management and public hunting.
The winner of the new Ultimate Mule Deer Hunt package is Stephen Knowles from Austin, Texas. The package includes a three- to five-day trip to hunt mule deer on the newly acquired Yoakum Dunes Wildlife Management Area, which covers more than 14,000 acres of Panhandle prairie grasslands.
Knowles said he's excited to finally win a Big Time Texas Hunt after entering for fifteen years.
"I always hoped I would win," Knowles said. "When I got the phone call telling me I won, it just made my day, my week, even my month! I've never hunted mule deer before, so I'm just anticipating the trip now."
Following are the winners of this year's Big Time Texas Hunts.
Texas Grand Slam – Virgil Wilson, Euless, TX
Ultimate Mule Deer Hunt – Stephen Knowles, Austin, TX
Premium Buck Hunt – Cheryl Schmidt, Hallettsville, TX
Exotic Safari – Mark Ballard, Cibolo, TX
Whitetail Bonanza – Christopher Howard, Aledo, TX; Ralph Villagomez Jr., Denton, TX; Brent Sorrells, Fort Worth, TX; Mario Lopez, Frisco, TX; Bryan Kaminski, Plano, TX; Axel Bigham, Cedar Park, TX
Big Time Bird Hunt – Manse Draper, Lufkin, TX
Gator Hunt – Paul Avery, Kerrville, TX
Texas Waterfowl Hunt – James Wasilchen, Round Rock, TX
Wild Hog Adventure – Preston Mott, Terrell, TX