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The Thundering Herd-December 2019

Holiday season is upon us and we’re looking forward to Christmas, public hunts, and Rainbow trout stocking coming up this month!  Last month in November, we celebrated our National mammal, the American bison.  For National Bison Day, we highlighted the Folsom Bison Kill Site in the story of our history with bison here at Caprock along with a program over bison and their uses, followed by a slide-show presentation about the official bison herd of the State of Texas!  It was a great day and a great opportunity to discuss just how important and symbolic bison are to our American heritage!

Childress GT students came out to the park to learn about the history, geology, flora, and fauna of the park and the many different job opportunities offered with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.  The students enjoyed a hike to discover more of the park and then discussed their aspirations for the future with me.  It was so fulfilling to get to share my story with them and then help them look toward the future.  Perhaps we may have some future colleagues and stewards in the near future!

Texas State Parks including Caprock Canyons was able to offer free day entry on Veterans Day to show support for our veterans and active military.  We were privileged to be able to do this in honor of those who are serving or who have served!

New park host Winifred (Fred) Beames arrived at our park to volunteer her time to help us and in return, enjoy the park.  Fred comes to us all the way from Virginia so if you see her out and about in the park, be sure to give her a warm welcome.  Welcome aboard Fred!

We all had a great Thanksgiving, visitors had a great Thanksgiving here in the park, and we hope that you all had a blessed Thanksgiving as well!

Here’s a look at what’s in store for this month!

What to See & Do this Month:  Catch the Rainbow

Err umm..  Rainbow trout that is!  Trout stocking is scheduled for the middle of the month so don’t miss out!  Fishing limitations for trout include 5 trout per person per day, 2 fishing poles per person.  And remember, you aren’t required to have a fishing license to fish in Lake Theo!  That’s plenty of opportunity to put some color in your life on some of those cold, dreary winter days so come on out and enjoy!

Ranger Recommendation:  Winter Birding

Did you know that birding in the winter can be just as fun as it is in the spring?  Already we’ve seen some of our feathered winter waterfowl and other beautiful bird friends like the Dark-eyed junco to name just a few.  You might even be inspired to start up a bird check list!  How about a Caprock birding list?  (Hint, hint)  We even have a bird checklist complete with most of the birds you might see right here at the park.  Just ask a staff member for one in the Caprock Visitor’s Center.  Happy birding!

Programs & Events:

Due to lower visitation numbers, pre-scheduled/static events will be put on hold until after winter; however, we are always willing to do requested programs or tours.  Just call us at (806)455-1492 and ask!  Bat Tours and other pre-scheduled/static events for 2020 will be on our schedule beginning in January so if you’ve been itching to get in on a tour or other event where registration is required, keep a look out for our events posted on our website at https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/caprock-canyons/park_events or follow us on Facebook.

Sometime in mid December:

  • Rainbow trout stocking

December 10-13:

  • Park will be closed beginning at 5:00 p.m. on December 9th to conduct wildlife management activities and will re-open at 2:00 p.m. on December 13th.

December 17-20:

  • Park will be closed beginning at 5:00 p.m. on December 16th to conduct wildlife management activities and will re-open at 2:00 p.m. on December 20th.

*****Look forward to our “First Day Hike” on January 1st at 1:00 p.m.  Start your new year off on the right (or left foot) by treating yourself to a leisurely hike in the great outdoors!  It’s good for your mind, body, and soul!  Meet us at the Upper South Prong Trailhead!

Quote of the Month:

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”  ~John Muir

Interpreter’s Corner:

“I didn’t write the rules so why should I follow them?!”  If you’ve been anywhere in a public place, you’ve no doubt been aware that there are certain rules laid out whether they are spoken or unspoken.  You may decide to follow them or ignore them.  However, rules are put in place for a reason.  If you don’t understand the reason, you’re more likely to break them.  Caprock Canyons State Park and all other Texas State Parks have rules as well.  These rules are put in place to protect the resources for you to enjoy them in the future and to keep you safe.  Are you noticing a recurrence here?  Yep, it’s all for you.  Something seemingly as trivial as parking on the roadsides or grass might seem so insignificant that you might think it pointless to adhere to, yet it causes a tremendous degregradation of the environment.  We want you to be able to enjoy the park now and into the future and do it in a responsible and safe way!  Enjoy your time at the park and please remember that the rules at Caprock Canyons are not put in place for pure authoritarian rule, they are there for the protection of the resource, your safety, and your future.

Wishing you all a very merry and blessed Christmas!

Le’Ann