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PBS Show Hunting as a Refuge, Recreation Outreach & Night Skies, #2620

PBS Show Hunting as a Refuge, Recreation Outreach & Night Skies, #2620


– NARRATOR: The Texas Parks &
Wildlife television series
is funded in part by
a grant from the
Wildlife and Sport Fish
Restoration Program.
Through your purchases of
hunting and fishing equipment,
and motorboat fuels,
over 50 million dollars
in conservation efforts are
funded in Texas each year.
Additional funding provided
by Ram Trucks.
Guts.Glory.Ram.– NARRATOR: Coming up on
Texas Parks & Wildlife– I guess this is almost like
therapy for me, because it doesn’t exist
out here, it’s just gone. It goes away. – I think a lot of people just
are not aware of our state parks or the opportunities that they
can find within our parks. – We’re trying really hard to
protect the skies, keep the skies dark. [theme music] ♪ ♪– NARRATOR:Texas Parks
& Wildlife,a television series
for all outdoors.
– NARRATOR: Robin Bradberry
and her husband Steve
just arrived at Mason Mountain
Wildlife Management Area.
– ROBIN: This is a good
spot though! – STEVE: Yeah, I know.– NARRATOR: They are here for
a public deer hunt.
– So I’m going to put out
not a lot of corn, but I’m going to scatter
it quite a bit! – ROBIN: Make em work for it! – STEVE: Yeah exactly! Still too thick right here
but I’ll be able to see em! – Yeah! – STEVE: Our hunting
strategies go hand in hand! [footsteps] – ROBIN: And there’s quite
a few tracks right here! – STEVE: She’s extremely
good at seeing signs and finding a good area. I’m pretty good at reading
the land, you know, seeing which way the wind’s
going and things like that! Bye! – Bye, love you. – Love you too, bye bye! – I like it, I’ve never hunted
in any place quite this open before so I’m curious
to see what shows up and how they move! Steve calls it nesting! It’s good! [zipper]– NARRATOR: Steve sets up
about a mile away.
– Just getting settled in,
I think we’ve got it positioned where we can just
ease the gun out there. – Well there’s limb deer, and
bush deer, and leaf deer, rock deer, lots of rock deer. Well when you haven’t seen
anything in a while, the mind starts making
things into deer. [music]– NARRATOR: Robin has to keep
her mind at ease, relaxed.
– ROBIN: If I get into a
situation where I’m not comfortable with then
I shut down, go away. It really shows up!– NARRATOR: It is autism,
Robin has high functioning
autism, it’s sort of like
Asperger’s but with
a much higher incidence of
anxiety, stress, and depression.
– I didn’t go to prom,
any dances, I don’t dance. It’s way too close! But like I said I don’t miss
anything because I don’t know what it’s like to have it. I don’t want to talk
about that anymore.– NARRATOR: Robin is like many
others on the autism spectrum.
[rooster clucking]She does better away from
the high energy,
high stress world, where
most of us live our lives.
– ROBIN: Nevel, Bridgette,
Stormy! My chickens lay different
colored eggs, there’s brown eggs, and white eggs, and
occasionally I get a pink egg. [pig grunts] Come on pigs! You always know deep down, you
know you don’t quite fit in, but you really want to
but you never will. What this bucket? This bucket? Are you sure? Most high functioning’s have
learned coping mechanisms. – STEVE: Legend come here,
come on! – ROBIN: I think that’s why
animal therapy is so good for autism. These are all rocks that I
have picked up over the years and a few artifacts. Other kids you know they’re
home playing video games and stuff, and I’m
climbing in dirt piles looking for fossils.– NARRATOR: Even at an early
age she knew she was dealing
with something.– ROBIN: Thinking back I did
I just didn’t know it, cause it was normal to me. It was never pointed out,
well that’s different. I was always called odd
or strange or shy.– NARRATOR: It could be crowds
at the store, or on the way
to an amusement park.– ROBIN: This is it!– NARRATOR: Anxiety is there.– ROBIN: I don’t see too many
people this will be fine! [band plays] I don’t like it when
people are behind me, I can’t see them. It’s my personal space issue. And how far away someone is
really depends on the situation and who I’m with. So I don’t like people behind
me, I can put up with it, I just don’t care for it. [applause] There was a Red Fish, yeah! – STEVE: I don’t know how
to explain it, it doesn’t bother me at all. Try to distract her,
try to keep her close, keep her mind off of it. Why are you flexing? – ROBIN: What? I don’t think I’d be who I
am if it wasn’t for Steve. You are imagining things. – STEVE: Nooo. – ROBIN: He’s my support, he’s
really sensitive to when I’m getting uncomfortable,
and he’s always there. [wind]– NARRATOR: Robin conquers her
autism because of places
like Mason Mountain.Here her fears fade away.[birds] – ROBIN: I guess this is almost
like therapy for me, cause it doesn’t exist out here,
it’s just gone. It goes away. It’s on the other side of
that gate up front, it’s not out here. – STEVE: It’s more serene out
here, you don’t have all of the movement of people,
the distractions. You come out here and you
can focus on your surroundings more. You don’t have to worry
about avoiding people. – And listen. – And you can listen,
exactly. – ROBIN: Listen, there’s
nothing, there’s wind, there’s crickets. [wind and crickets] [upbeat music] If you don’t have access to a
lease or any way to go out on your own you can get into
these Texas hunts and get after some of these
animals that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. – [whispering] Winds picking
up a little bit, not too bad though! I grew up in the city so being
able to come out here in the quiet solitude and just be
able to watch all the critters, watch nature, that’s what
I get out of it. Look there’s movement
see the turkey! [turkey gobbles]– NARRATOR: And as the day ends,
Robin sees much more
than a couple gobblers.– Don’t move, don’t move,
there’s a deer, there’s a deer, she’s
looking right at us. O.K. I’m gonna try and
get my gun up. She’s got us pinned,
don’t move, they see us… [gunshot] I got her yes, she’s down yes,
I got a deer. I got a deer! Let’s go see her! [footsteps] Oh man, I could barely
keep the gun still, the scope kept jumping
around for some reason. – CAMERAMAN: It’s your heart! – Oh yeah that, boy it
was thumping, I couldn’t hear anything except that! Bump, bump, bump, bump! [upbeat music] I feel great, I just harvested
my first hill country doe. This is wonderful, this some
good meat in here too. This is going to be
some good eating. Take it through the woods. My autism, I can function
with it, some people lost arms and legs they are dealing
with cancer, I got off easy.– NARRATOR: There will
always be obstacles
to overcome in life,How you choose to overcome them
is a personal choice.
For Robin, she chooses
how she lives her life. – ROBIN: If this is the worst
thing that happens to me, my life is great. I mean, look at this. My life is great! [soothing music] [bison grunts] [prairie dogs call] – We are in the middle of our
prairie dog town right now. It’s part of our big process of
restoring the park back to what it would have looked like
prior to European settlement. [prairie dogs barking] Historically, prairie dogs were
just totally abundant in Texas and the entire southwest, but they have been reduced
to about two percent of their original habitat. So we are giving them
a sanctuary. We are restoring them
into the park; giving them a sanctuary where
they can be prairie dogs. [prairie dogs barking] – Are all these burrows
that they make? Are they all interconnected? – You know many people
think that all of the prairie dog burrows are all
connected to each other within the town, but they are
actually just connected within the coteries, and coteries are
the family of prairie dogs. They are usually made up of one male and maybe
four or five females. [prairie dog calls] – DONALD: You know the
bison wander through here. And then the people can
walk right around here and watch this all
happening at the same time. – Look, there’s two babies! – Oh look, see the two babies
coming out of the hole. – DONALD: Now the pups are
born three months ago or so. We’ve got a few of them
already popping up. Now we got a bunch of little
babies running around, and it’s really neat to see! – DONALD: Our goal here at the
park is to restore it to what it would have looked like 300 years
ago, thereby giving the people that come, the visitors, the
opportunity to see wildlife in a natural setting. [uplifting music] We are restoring an indigenous
wildlife to its native habitat. This is its historic home. [energetic music] – We’re going to roll
the whole thing. Keep rolling, keep rolling. Yeah, it’s hot out here in
the summer so we want to get some air going through. That moment when someone
gets something new or learns something new,
catches that first fish, figures out how to
set up their tent, I think that’s what keeps
me in the environment of teaching new people is that
newness always excites me. Kids that play outside are
healthier, they’re happier and they’re smarter. You’ve already taken steps to
improve your children’s lives by simply bringing
them out today. I was just tired of
being behind a desk. So, I wrote down that I wanted
to be an outdoor educator and guide and within a year,
I left the corporate world and started doing this. Working for Texas
Outdoor Family, I spend every weekend in a park. It’s been incredible to think of
the adventures I’ve been on and the areas I’ve been able to
personally experience in the outdoors in the 10 years
that I’ve been doing outdoor education
has been great. – Kim is just such an
excellent outdoor leader, that she is so skilled at
connecting audiences to the natural resources and the
fun to be had outside. – And do not leave
any food out. I had a family camp on this
corner one time and they lost their entire breakfast because
the raccoon opened the cooler and ate everything inside. In 2013, we shifted our model
for Texas Outdoor Family to include community
partnerships, and we partner with non-profits,
government agencies, school groups,
community rec centers, and our goal is to reach a
broader audience by utilizing the members in the community
to help us gather families and youth to come out
and camp with us. We have 25 partner groups that
camp with us in Houston. Out of those 25 partner
groups they’re coming back season after season. – Kim is amazing. From the very beginning she’s
always been very outgoing and said, “Hey, let us teach
you everything we know “and you can go out and
claim it and teach it to as many people as you can.” I’ve always loved
that about Kim. – I think a lot of people
are just not aware of our state parks or the
opportunities that they can find within our parks. And so when we are able to
find a community leader that can encourage people
to get outdoors, their voice really
becomes our voice, and allows us to connect
to more people. – JENNIFER: There are so many
benefits to partnering with Texas Outdoor Family. They help you host the event,
they train you in everything you need to know, and they help out
with the camping gear that we need to provide to
these first-time camping families as well. – If you’ve never built a fire,
I’ve got a whole crew of leaders over here
that can help you and you can work with them
to build a fire. We also have some Dutch oven
cooking happening tonight. If they come out once and have a
great time, that really doesn’t make a life lasting impact. But when they come out and they
spend three or four weekends in different parks and different
environments, then I think we are truly able to sort
of connect them to our natural resources and give
them opportunity to see that there is even more adventure. – TARA POLOSKEY: There’s
something magical about this place. It’s like nothing else. – BILL WREN: We’re trying really
hard to protect the skies – keep the skies dark. – LARRY FRANCELL: Without the
dark skies here, we- we’d be in a world of hurt. It’s beginning to
encroach on us. [soft wind blows] – BILL: The dark skies,
the remote locations, the high elevation, the dry
climate, and the southerly location all combine to
make this an ideal spot for an observatory. McDonald historically and
certainly ongoing today has had a very active public
outreach/education program. Astronomy is an excellent
vehicle for science education in the country. I don’t have the technical
inclination to be an astrophysicist, the math and
the physics stuff escapes me. The biggest part of my job
responsibilities are maintaining the dark skies, keeping the
skies dark for the observatory. [cars passing] “Dark sky” just means the lack
of any artificial light sources, anthropogenic light, man-made,
human-origin light sources. It’s a relatively
recent phenomenon, I mean “light pollution” wasn’t
a term anybody would have understood a hundred years ago. And astronomers are kind of like
the canaries in the coal mine, we’re the first ones to say,
“Hey, wait a second. The skies aren’t as dark
here as they used to be.” Tens of billions of dollars a
year worldwide is just wasted up into the night sky,
light that’s doing nobody any good whatsoever and is
blocking our view of the stars. [ominous music] One of my earliest memories
is watching the moon rise through a pair of binoculars
leaned up against a window. Ever since then I’ve been
fascinated by the night sky and looking through telescopes. It’s going to look like
a garage sale in here. The new upgraded parts are still
being attached to the telescope. There we go. Yeah, I mean it doesn’t even
look like a, I mean, I’ve had people come in here and
say, “So where’s the telescope?” You know? The amount of data collected
by the telescope is about to dramatically increase, gathering
light from galaxies that are 10, 12 billion light years
distant, very faint objects. We’re talking about maybe a
dozen or so photons per hour will be collected by the
telescope, so if the background sky gets brighter than the
faint objects that we’re trying to observe,
then we lose them, they’re lost for observation. So it’s critical that we
maintain the dark skies here at McDonald Observatory
and West Texas. It’s an amazing project. It’s really remarkable. Can’t wait to get on a star. – When you say pollution,
you don’t think of light as being in that category
of pollution. So it’s not something you
think you’re doing wrong. And when I talk about the
dark skies, I try to help people understand how easy
it is to preserve them. All it is is a choice you
make at Home Depot… to buy the light that points
down instead of points up. [soft music] [soft music] And doing it here, I think, is
important because people can see the dark sky and once people
kind of get an idea of what they could have in their backyard,
they’re more motivated to go and make those right decisions. – You can come into this
community at night and you’ll think,
“Where’d the power go?” Because we, as a group,
keep our night lights either directed downward
or don’t use them. But it’s encroaching from
other areas, particularly the oil patch in the Permian Basin. The only way to keep
McDonald Observatory working and safe and viable
is for dark skies. – BILL: We’ve seen the glow
along the horizon to our northeast steadily increase. We are not against outdoor
lighting at night, this is not an
anti-light campaign. We’re trying to promote
good lighting. First off there are
ordinances in place- outdoor lighting ordinances in
place in the seven counties that surround the McDonald
Observatory that ask, basically, that light be kept on
the ground and out of the sky. Within the seven counties the
Texas Railroad Commission has let right at 5,000 permits
in five years to drill for oil and gas, and that’s
just the drilling, that doesn’t take into account
all the facilities that go along with oil and gas
production, so there are literally thousands of
installations within the region that’s protected by law
to keep the skies dark. I don’t think a single oil and
gas operator even knew that there was a lighting
ordinance in place. – LARRY: Our ability to enforce
a dark skies-type ordinance thing sort of ends at
the county line for us. There’s just so many
things we can’t do. We’re not talking about
enforcement, we’re talking about education. You can force people to do
a lot of things, but the better thing
is to educate people how important this is. – I’ve been to probably a
dozen major conventions over the past year and a half. – LARRY: Bill’s a great guy. I mean, he can sell this. And he does sell this. And he goes around, and
that’s what we have to do is to educate. – BILL: It’s not a technical
problem, it’s an educational problem. I don’t think there’s
anybody that’s insensitive or doesn’t care, it’s just not
a blip on their radar screen. A lot of them will say, “Well
I’ve never really thought about it before,” but once they
do it’s like, “Well sure, this is a problem that we
don’t need to have.” If we can just keep the light on
their work and out of the sky, problem solved. – CHRIS HOLMES: Going to a
state park in a place away from the city, it’s a
really majestic feeling. We’re really using state
parks as demonstration sites. We’ll just do a tour of the
constellations and people can learn a little bit, and then
we’ll start talking to people about light pollution and how
they themselves can help reduce some of the light pollution,
because we you do go and see the Milky Way,
it’s a really inspiring sight. – Today, Enchanted Rock
joins an elite group of park preserves and other
conservation areas worldwide as an IDA – International
Dark Sky Park. We look forward to a long and
enduring relationship with Enchanted Rock and Texas Parks
and Wildlife that will help us keep the stars at
night truly “big and bright.” Please accept this award
with our compliments. Congratulations Doug. – DOUG: Thank you! – Yeah! You’ve done so much. You’ve done so much. [applause] Do people living in urban
areas notice that they’re missing anything? Some don’t. But if they’ve never really
seen it, then it’s hard to convey the meaning or the
value that it might have. There’s nothing quite light
getting out under a starry sky and actually seeing
it for yourself. [soothing music] – ZEPHYR: This shorter
length one, yeah. That short, yeah. Yeah I don’t want to deck. It’s painful. If is slip, then it will lock. And then to let me down just
hold that one right there, and pull up on that. But if you let me fall,
then I’ll die. Cheez-Its, and I have CLIF bars. And some protein shakes. And water of course. [bag rattles] – ROPE ASSIST: And go! [panting] [panting] Awesome. – WILL: This climb is called
‘solo’ it’s a 5.8. – ZEPHYR: There you go, Will. Solid. [wind] [wind] You got it. Keep your breathing. You can do it, Will. Where are those power noises at? [wind]– NARRATOR: This series is
funded in part by a grant
from the Wildlife and Sport Fish
Restoration Program.
Through your purchases of
hunting and fishing equipment,
and motorboat fuels,
over 50 million dollars
in conservation efforts are
funded in Texas each year.
Additional funding provided
by Ram Trucks.
Guts.Glory.Ram.

2 thoughts on “PBS Show Hunting as a Refuge, Recreation Outreach & Night Skies, #2620”

  1. Fantastic work TPW!!! I love these episodes and the dark skies segment was absolutely a work of art. Thanks so much! I cannot wait to share this with the Beaumont Texas astronomy club!

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