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      Nature Report: Hunting Season Opens

      Texas hunting season opens September 1 with the official start of dove season, and hunting is big business in the lone star state. Upwards of a quarter of a million wing shooters will take to the field with the opening of dove season, and that is just the beginning of an annual multi-billion dollar industry encompassing deer hunting, waterfowl season and more. Texas is the number one state in the nation when it comes to hunting and fishing.

      According to a recent survey by the congressional sportsman foundation, 2.6 million hunters and fishermen spent 6.6 billion dollars in the state pursuing game and fish.

      This outdoors passion also supported 106,000 jobs and generated 1.3 billion in tax revenues. Current hunting and fishing licenses don't expire until August 31, so there is still plenty of time to get out and buy yours before the upcoming opening weekend. While the fall focus is on hunting it is also important to remember how valuable ecotourism is to south Texas. A recent study by Texas A&M University revealed that nature tourism, bird watching in particular, is worth an astonishing 463 million dollars annually to the economy of the Rio Grande Valley.

      The economic value of wildlife to the Rio Grande Valley is phenomenal, but perhaps of even more importance is the intrinsic value of time well spent in the outdoors. Spend some time in the south Texas outdoors this late summer and fall and take time to appreciate nature's bounty|you will be glad you did. With your Nature Report I'm Richard Moore.