Media & Publications


“Hunting Matters” Talks About Women and the Outdoors with Heidi Rao of The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Communications Division Retreat

(Houston, TX- February 22, 2024) This week “Hunting Matters” welcomes Heidi Rao!

Heidi Lyn Rao was hired by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) in 1998 and has recruited, trained, and retained volunteers, as the Hunter Education Specialist for Southeast Texas. In 2010 she also assumed the role as statewide Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) Coordinator.

During her TPWD career, she developed many partnerships and organized many education & outreach events. She started “Take Me Outdoors Houston” in 2009, when the Texas Wildlife Expo ended, and brings this annual family-friendly, free, hands-on outdoor event to Discovery Green, Downtown Houston. She hosts wildlife workshops ranging from alligators to big game. She promotes hunting and outdoor safety to groups ranging from elementary school aged to flying offshore via helicopter to speak to oil and gas employees in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico on a platform. From teaching firearm safety to Rodeo Clowns during the Houston Rodeo, to hosting Hunter Education classes at the Sam Houston (horse) Raceway, conducting National Archery in the Schools Program and Student Air Rifle certifications, and partnering with many hunting, shooting and conservation organizations across Texas.

She has coordinated twenty-seven statewide BOW workshops across Texas, including the first-ever VIRTUAL BOW in 2020. She has reached over 7,000 Ladies who have attended BOW and continued their outdoors skills ultimately becoming hunters, anglers, and archers, especially through mentored BOW hunts. To date, ten Texas Outdoor Women Network (TOWN) groups have launched across the state because of the statewide BOW.

She received IHEA’s Professional of the Year; IHEA’s Executive Director’s Award; TPWD’s Terry Erwin Hunter Education LEGACY award, Houston Safari Club Educator of the Year and she is also in the Texas Hunter Education Halls of Fame.

About Hunting Matters
“Hunting Matters” co-hosts HSCF Executive Director Joe Betar and Ramon Robles engage in conversations with guests from the worlds of hunting, fishing, shooting, conservation and the great outdoors. “Hunting Matters” airs Saturday, 6am-7am CDT on iHeart Media affiliate KPRC AM 950 and is available via podcast on Apple/iTunes, iHeartMedia, Google, Overcast, PodBean and Spreaker. Hunting Matters is an award-winning podcast and has been recognized by AVA Digital, NYX/Marcom, MarCom, Davey, and the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts. Subscribe, listen, rate and review.

About Houston Safari Club Foundation
Houston Safari Club Foundation (HSCF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve the sport of hunting through education, conservation, and the promotion of our hunting heritage. HSCF has awarded 668 scholarships totaling $3.05 million dollars. HSCF conducts youth outdoor education programs, career training, hunter education and field experiences throughout the year. HSCF has provided over $4 million in grants worldwide. Visit our website at or call 713.623.8844 for more information. HSCF. We Hunt. We Give.



Houston Safari Club Foundation (HSCF) is a non-profit organization, exempt from federal income tax, under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. The charitable deduction for contributions to HSCF is the cash amount of the contribution, less the value of goods and services received, to the extent permitted by law. HSCF EIN 74-2177975. Please contact your tax advisor concerning deductibility of any payments as business deductions. HSCF is an independent organization, is not affiliated with Safari Club International (SCI) or its affiliates and is not a chapter or affiliate of any other organization.