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Candy Cain Abshier Wildlife Management Area
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Candy Cain Abshier Wildlife Management Area Information:
Located along Galveston and Trinity Bays near Smith Point, this 207 acre WMA is one of the few public access points on the Texas Coast. The land was purchased in 1990 as a nongame area. Habitat is mostly coastal plains with a 60 acre stand of live oak and several fresh water ponds. The WMA is located on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail and is one of the best sites in the nation for hawk viewing. An annual hawk watch begins each August 15th and continues to November 15th. October is the peak viewing month. Two hawk towers include the 20 foot tall Smith Point HawkWatch Tower, and the 30 foot tall WMA tower. The Smith Point HawkWatch tower is manned during the hawk watch season. During spring migration, many species of migrating birds literally fall out of the sky. Watch for Red-tails, Coopers, Sharp-shinned, Swainson’s, Kestrels, Merlins, Peregrine Falcons, and Swallow-tailed Kites. Also look for Wood Storks and Anhinga. April and October are hot, humid months. Bring your own water and mosquito repellant. In addition to the hawk towers, amenities include an ADA compliant viewing platform and restrooms located at the nearby James Robbins Memorial Park boat ramp. Mowed paths through the live oak stand and across the prairie provide access to the WMA interior. A visitors parking area is located near the HawkWatch Tower. Daily access is available to the peninsula where Smith Point and the WMA are located. A parking area is located by the Hawk Tower. WMA: (409) 736-2551. From Hankamer, go south on SH 61 for four miles to FM 562. Turn onto FM 562 and continue south then west for 22 miles to Smith Point; follow the signs to the WMA which is less than a mile once you reach town.
 
Candy Cain Abshier Wildlife Management Area Activities:
Bird watching is a popular activity on the WMA. A hawk watch tower and an observation platform overlook the bay. Red-tailed hawks and other birds of prey stop over on their annual migrations. A popular annual hawk watch occurs August 15 – November 15. The Texas Conservation Passport Program conducts tours for the public. Commercial uses include 5 petroleum leases, and one cattle grazing lease which is an important part of managing the habitat. Income from the property is deposited in the Nongame fund.
 
Birding Candy Cain Abshier Wildlife Management Area:
Located on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, this WMA is one of the best sites in the nation for hawk watching. Hawks sighted include Red-tails, Coopers, Sharp-shinned, Swainson’s, Kestrels, Merlins, Peregrine Falcons, and Swallow-tailed Kites. Also look for Wood Storks and Anhinga.
 
Birding - Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, Upper Texas Gulf Coastal Region:
Anahuac Loop:  east side of Trinity Bay, north side of Galveston Bay, East Bay, Monroe City, Lake Anahuac, Anahuac, Hankamer, Anahuac NWR, west side of Winnie
San Jacinto Loop:  Baytown, Deer, Morgan’s Point, La Porte, west side of Trinity Bay
Clear Lake Loop:  Morgan’s Point, La Porte, Shoreacres, Seabrook, Clear Lake Area, Kemah, Bacliff, Dickinson, Webster, Pasadena, League City, Algoa, Alvin
Texas Birds Checklist
Southeast Texas Bird Checklist
Baytown, Chamber County Area Bird Checklist
 
Mosquito Informationfor Texas:
The months of April through October are the worst months for mosquitoes. . Mosquitoes love standing water, and love you when you eat bananas. Mosquitoes are also attracted to some perfumes, including perfumed shampoos. Rub yourself with Bounce Fabric Softener sheets, or with Vicks Vapor Rub or pure Mexican Vanilla. Some swear taking a daily vitamin B-1 pill works to repel mosquitoes. Planting Marigolds in your yard repels mosquitoes. On a picnic table try covering the bottom of a white plate with “lemon fresh” dish wash soap, or use citronella candles. Home Depot sometimes sells the candles in small metal buckets. The ThermaCell Mosquito Repellant is also quite effective in ridding small outdoor areas of mosquitos. Dynatrap Company makes a large standing electric mosquito machine that works like electric bug zappers. It is very successful at making large areas mosquito free. When purchasing mosquito repellent buy those with the ingredient N, N-diethyl-M-toluamide. Some that work include Off! Deep Woods, Off! Family Care Unscented with Aloe Vera, Cutter Unscented, Maggie’s Farm Natural, EcoSmart, All terrain Herbal Armor, Off Clip On, and Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Oil with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E (expensive). The fine net clothing available from Cabela’s and other sporting goods stores is highly effective in preventing mosquito bites.
 
Candy Cain Abshier Wildlife Management Area Directions:
From Hankamer, go south on SH 61 for four miles to FM 562. Turn onto FM 562 and continue south then west for 22 miles to Smith Point; follow the signs to the WMA which is less than a mile once you reach town.