Welcome to Bat City Outdoors


News: Paddling Texas: A Guide to the State’s Best Paddling Routes available for order.

Waves of live music, heaps of barbecue, personalities like Kinky, tireless Texas fight football fans, electric get-downs on 6th Street, it’s all right here. And still people treat each other like neighbors – Austin is just right.

Even so, that urban just right can bake on like sun-dried mud. When it does, it can only be scraped off in the outdoors. Luckily, Austin has some of that too. It’s in the rivers and ravines and with the waterfolk and wildlife that are Bat City outdoors.

Here you’ll find stories about the outdoors in Austin and beyond. And, you’ll find information to help get you out there.

Thanks for reading,
Shane Townsend

Bat City Outdoors |
From Austin. For Outdoorsfolk Everywhere.


San Marcos: A paddling community like no other

On Labor Day, some sullen soul dragged this year’s last Lion’s Club’s tube out of the river. Bare toes have since been covered with shoes. Shirts have sprouted sleeves. And with the turning of the leaves, the idea of sitting in an ice-water-recliner has lost its appeal. Tubing season is officially over.

The good news:

In Texas – a state with more than 3,700 streams, 15 rivers and 3,300 miles of coastline –most every day is paddling season.

And, the river town of San Marcos is a paddling community like no other.


10 things that make San Marcos a paddling community like no other:

1. Wildlife to Wild Rice: The San Marcos River has something for birders, anglers, and paddlers of every stroke. Spring Lake is home to the Texas blind salamander and other endangered species. Texas Wild Rice is found nowhere in the world except for the first two miles of the river. Deer, turkeys, hogs, and countless bird and fish species are common companions along the river.

2. When the Tubes are Away, the Boats will Play: Drop a boat in the water in the fall and winter and you may have the river and wildlife all to yourself – especially on weekdays.

3. The Sacred Headwaters: The San Marcos River starts at Spring Lake at The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University. Archaeological evidence shows people have lived here for 13,000 years. Each year, Native peoples celebrate these headwaters; and still today, the San Marcos River is critical to people from San Marcos to the San Antonio Bay.

Read the full story here.

Venison Donations Feed 11 Million

For food banks nationwide, acquiring protein is a challenge because of the high cost of meat. Fortunately during hunting season, hunters help make up the shortfall with generous donations of protein-rich, low-fat venison that provide 11 million meals annually to the less fortunate.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, reports that, thanks to hunters, an estimated 2.8 million pounds of game meat makes its way each year to food pantries, church kitchens and shelters and onto the plates of those in need.

“Without venison, some of these organizations would not have protein, wouldn’t have meat, to give to those folks who are coming in,” said Peter Aldrich of Hunt To Feed in Connecticut.

With one deer able to feed up to 200 people, it’s easy to see how important donations of hunter-harvested venison are to charitable food providers. Last year in Missouri, for example, 4,500 hunters donated more than 227,000 pounds of venison through a state program.

The NSSF video called Share Your Harvest encourages hunters to contribute some portion of their harvest this hunting season. “If you have a successful hunting season, donating venison is a way to make it an even better and more meaningful one,” points out Glenn Sapir, the video’s host.

Many states have at least one organization that will accept donations of venison or other game meat and ensure it is properly processed and reaches individuals and families in need of a nutritious meal. The NSSF website Hunters Feed can assist hunters in finding a charitable food provider, and your state wildlife agency, local fish and game club or food pantry can help as well. Various donation guidelines may apply, so it’s best to check with the organization or processor before bringing in your game.

If you’re not a hunter and wish to be part of this caring effort, most organizations will accept donations to help pay for butchering and other services.

The tradition of hunters donating deer and other game for charitable purposes is longstanding, and the impact of that generosity is told in NSSF’s infographic, Hunters Feed Those in Need.

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 10,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.

Eating Orphans: An innovative solution

If you love it, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours. That’s a beautiful old sentiment.

Here’s one from this year: If there’s only three, let someone shoot one for four million Namibian dollars; and if the money can’t save the species at least the last two can live out their days as royalty.

Fair enough. There’s logic in that – a sacrifice-the-one-to-save-the-many battlefield triage kind of logic I hadn’t applied to conservation. But 97,523 self-proclaimed LinkedInnovators say this is the innovation generation. It’s true. We’re reformers. We’ve made our poor people fat and rich ones skinny. We’ve segregated kids from elders and now they both plump up, dope up, and rot away in and on HD. We’ve ignored our farm-fur-fin-and-feather-to-fork-food-chain so long that its future rests infirmly in the pasty, soft, slender hands of hunt-and-gather-hipsters. Now, we’re contract killing for conservation. Beneficiary: Endangered black rhinos. Awesome.

Read the full story here at GAFF Magazine.

Gold Medal in 2014 International Davey Awards

The Meadows Center & Eye Byte Solutions Win Gold Medal in 2014 International Davey Awards

New York, NY (October 21, 2014) –The winners of The 2014 Davey Awards have been announced by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts today. The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and partner design firm Eye Byte Solutions have been named gold medal winners for their collaboration on a promotional piece entitled, “No natural resource is more important to our future. Water is what we do.”

With nearly 4,000 entries from across the US and around the world, the Davey Awards honors the finest creative work from the best small firms, agencies and companies worldwide. Please visit http://www.daveyawards.com to view the full winners list.

The Davey Awards is judged and overseen by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA), a 600+ member organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media. Current IAVA membership represents a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms including: Code and Theory, Condé Nast, Disney, GE, Keller Crescent, Microsoft, Monster.com, MTV, Push., Publicis, Sesame Workshops, The Marketing Store, Worktank and Yahoo!, and many others. See http://www.aiva.org for more information.

“This year’s Davey Award winners truly embody the idea of small firms with big ideas. The work entered into this year’s competition reflects a smart approach to creativity that highlights the capabilities and talents of small agencies worldwide” noted Linda Day, Executive Director of the Davey Awards. She added, “On behalf of the Davey Awards and the Academy, we applaud this year’s entrants and winners for their dedication and commitment to perfecting their craft. Congratulations once again for a job well done.”

For more information about The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, please visit http://www.meadowscenter.txstate.edu/

For more information about Eye Byte Solutions, please visit http://eyebytesolutions.com/.

For more information about the Davey Awards, please visit http://www.daveyawards.com, email the Davey Awards at info@daveyawards.com or call us at (212) 675-3555.

About The Davey Awards:

The Davey Awards exclusively honor the “Davids” of creativity, the finest small firms, agencies and companies in the world. David defeated the giant Goliath with a big idea and a little rock – the sort of thing small firms do each year. The annual International Davey Awards honors the achievements of the “Creative Davids” who derive their strength from big ideas, rather than big budgets. The Davey Awards is the leading awards competition specifically for smaller firms, where firms compete with their peers to win the recognition they deserve. Please visit http://www.daveyawards.com for more information.

The Davey Awards is sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms. Please visit http://www.aiva.org for a full member list and more information.

Spread the word: Youth outdoor writing contest

Can you help publicize the 3rd Annual Junior Outdoor Journalist Adventure Story Writing Competition to middle and high school students in your area? The contest is divided into two divisions: middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12).

  • First Place winners in each division will receive a new laptop or tablet computer.
  • Second Place winners will receive $100.
  • Third Place winners will receive $25.
  • Winners may also receive an invitation to the 2015 TOWA Conference in Corpus Christi Feb. 26 – March 1.

See Rules & Registration Form for complete rules.  Deadline for entries is Midnight Saturday January 31, 2015.

For more information, see http://towa.org/junior-outdoor-journalist-writing-competition/

Register here  http://towa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/2015-Junior-Outdoor-Journalist-Writing-Competition.pdf

Thank you for your help.