Walking on the wild side is what this project is all about! Youth and adults alike will learn about the natural world around us and its wild inhabitants. This program is designed to be interactive for youth by getting them into wildlife habitats and exploring the everyday requirements of local and statewide wildlife species, and in some cases, species found in other parts of North America.
The Texas 4-H Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP) is an interactive program that teaches youth about wildlife, habitat, habitat management, and natural resources stewardship. In addition, life skills such as team work, critical thinking, public speaking, and observation are underlying objectives in this youth development effort. Creating educated and involved stewards of natural resources is the long term goal.
Various contests are associated with this program. Participation is not required in these to be involved in this wildlife study program but often a contest enhances the learning experience of the youth involved. All contests within the state are open to all ages within 4-H membership.
Adult leader and team member trainings are offered throughout the state during the calendar year. 4-H groups meet and study in their local areas.
*This program was formerly known as the Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program. Although evaluation of habitats remains a practice within the program, education in general is the goal. This subtle name change is reflected in the national program as well.
- 2012-2013 Texas 4-H Natural Resources Important Rules & Procedures, Event Synopsis, and Tentative Schedule of Events Document-visit our blog to view the most up to date version!
- Natural Resources Program Calendar | Instructions for Calendar Sharing
- State WHEP Contest
- Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Contest
- Resources and Curriculum
- Denton County 4-H WHEP Promo
Two day training will cover the basics of the WHEP program including curriculum, contests, contest rules, how contests are put together, and how to train for a contest. The second morning will be set up as a practice contest for training participants to experience an abbreviated version of a contest and begin to develop an understanding of the contest activities. The training will consist of classroom and outdoor sessions. The agenda will cover all day on Saturday and Sunday morning until noon. Saturday noon and supper meals will be provided and are included in the registration. Registration for this event is completed online via 4-H Connect. Any actively enrolled Adult Volunteer Leader, Extension employee, or senior 4-H youth is eligible for this training. Actively enrolled youth who have reached age 14 by September 1 of the current 4-H year may participate in a training as an Assistant Leader Candidate. Please see the Assistant Leader Training section below for more information on Assistant Leader eligibility and training.
The curriculum is posted below in the current 2012 revised format. Each pdf file beginning with the ‘Introduction’ is a part of the curriculum. Review this curriculum online or download and print a copy for more information on the program. A copy will be provided to training participants. The rules posted within the curriculum are for the National Invitational only. Rules and procedures for Texas contests are different than the National Invitational and will be posted with event details for each contest.
- WHEP Project Leader Trainings -TBD
Additional adult leader trainings will include WHEP within the agenda but not as a focused subject. These trainings will provide excellent supplemental information for a WHEP project.
Wildlife Adult Leader training: A variety of adult leader trainings are scheduled throughout the 4-H year that will provide excellent background and knowledge enhancement for anyone leading a wildlife project. Please see the Wildlife website for more information about the Wildlife project and related activities.
- Wildlife Project Leader Training-TBD
- Hunting & Wildlife Leader Training–2013 Detailed Information Document Coming Soon
February 2-3, 2013–College Station, TX
Hunting & Wildlife Shooting Sports Discipline, no other disciplines offered.
Registration on 4-H Connect
Registration Open December 1-30, 2012, $50/Coach, Leader or Assistant Coach Candidate. $0/Extension Employee
Late Registration December 31, 2012-January 6, 2013, $75
See the Wildlife website (link) for more information.
Don’t forget that fish and other aquatic creatures are wildlife as well. Please see the Sportfishing website for more information about the Sportfishing project and related activities.
- Sportfishing Project Leader Training – TBD
- Family Fishing Weekends – TBD
- Sportfishing Quizbowl – TBD
Assistant Leader Training
The 4-H Natural Resources Program offers Assistant Leader training in the Sportfishing Project, the Wildlife Project, and the Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP) Project. Assistant Leader training is for those youth who will assist an Adult Volunteer Leader or County Extension Employee with leadership of a Sportfishing, Wildlife, or WHEP project in their county. This is a great opportunity for enthusiastic senior 4-H’ers who are passionate about Natural Resources to develop leadership skills, expand their knowledge, and share that knowledge with others. To become an Assistant Leader, youth should register for and attend the appropriate project area leader training. An Assistant Leader candidate must be accompanied to training either by a previously trained adult or an adult participating in the same training. Youth must be 14 years of age or older by September 1 of current 4-H year to be eligible for training. An Assistant Leader can be upgraded to full Adult Sportfishing, Wildlife, or WHEP Leader with no additional training once a youth has aged out of the 4-H program and has been approved as a 4-H Adult Volunteer Leader (minimum 18 years of age, minimum 21 years of age to chaperone youth on overnight activities).
State WHEP Contest
A full WHEP contest based on information found in the National WHEP Manual only. This Manual should be used for a general study guide to prepare for this contest. The wildlife identification activity is based on only the species listed in the manual. Species photos and characteristics should be studied using various identification resources available on the internet or in hard copy form. The contest rules and procedures listed in the Texas Contest information supersede those found in the National WHEP Manual which is designed for the National Contest. Registration for this event is completed online via 4-H Connect. Junior (Ages 8-10), Intermediate (Ages 11-13), and Senior (Ages 14-18) teams (of 3 or 4 members) and individuals are eligible to participate (with county/club approval).
- State WHEP Contest-Brazos County, TX—2013 Detailed Information Document Coming Soon
June 15-16, 2013
Registration Open April 15-May 19, 2013—$15/Participant
Late Registration May 20-26, 2013—$30/Participant
Contest ecoregion will be Urban/Southeast Mixed
- 2013 WHEP State Contest Rules & Procedures – PDF
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Contest
A modified, one day, WHEP contest. Junior (8-13 years old) and Senior (14-19 years old) teams of 3 or 4 members and individuals are eligible to participate (with county/club approval). Registration is completed via your local County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office on the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo registration. Rules and procedures of the contest should be reviewed, understood, and followed as posted on the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Contest Rules and Procedures web page. These supersede the contest rules posted in the National Manual and Texas Contest information. Registrants will receive further information concerning the contest day prior to the contest.
- Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo WHEP Contest-T&M Ranch, Richmond, TX
March 9, 2013
Registration via HLSR Registration through your County Extension Office
Registration dates and cost TBA with HLSR Event Information
Contest ecoregion will be Prairie Brushland
- 2013 HLSR Contest Rules and Procedures – PDF
WHEP National Invitational
Youth from the top team at each state WHEP contest are invited to participate in the annual National WHEP Invitational contest each summer. The contest is held in a different state each year, and includes professional networking and educational opportunities in addition to the contest itself. The first place team from the Texas WHEP Contest is the only group of individuals eligible to represent Texas at the National Invitational.
- 2013 Wildlife Habitat Education Program National Invitational Contest—Indiana
Dates and details TBA
Texas uses the National WHEP Manual for training and contest set up. The curriculum is posted in the current 2012 revised format. Each pdf file beginning with the ‘Introduction’ is a part of the curriculum. Review the curriculum online or download and print a copy for more information on the program. The rules posted within the curriculum are for the National Invitational only. Rules and procedures for Texas contests are different than the National Invitational and will be posted with event details for each contest.
National WHEP Manual – 2012 Edition
- 2012 Edition Changes – PDF
- Introduction – PDF
- Wildlife Management Concepts – PDF
- Ecological Regions – PDF1, PDF2
- Wildlife Species – PDF
- Wildlife Management Practices & Aerial Photographs – PDF
- Contest Activities – PDF
- Appendices:Wildlife Management Practices Charts, Food Groups, Glossary – PDF
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Wildlife Identification Guide – PDF
Related Activities & Events
- Roundup Wildlife Challenge-Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
June 13, 2013
Registration on 4-H Connect via general Roundup Registration
Registration Open April 10-May 10, 2013—$TBA/Participant
Late Registration May 11-24, 2013—$TBA/Participant
See the Wildlife website and the Roundup website for more information
- Outdoor Challenge Camp-Texas 4-H Conference Center, Brownwood, TX
June 23-27, 2013
Registration Open April 29-May 26, 2013—$TBD/Participant
Late Registration May 27-June 2, 2013—$TBD/Participant
See the Outdoor Challenge website for more information
- Outdoor Challenge-Texas 4-H Conference Center, Brownwood, TX
June 29-30, 2013
Registration Open May 6-June 2, 2013—$TBD/Participant
Late Registration June 3-9, 2013—$TBD/Participant
See the Outdoor Challenge website for more information
- Burdett & Son Outdoor Adventure Shop Summer Hunter Education Camp, 2013 dates TBD, youth ages 14-17, For information visit: http://www.burdettandson.com/ or 979-695-2807
- Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society Wildlife Conservation Camp—July 14-20, 2013 at Welder Wildlife Refuge, Sinton, TX
National WHEP Website – link