Hunt Texas - 2013 Season Opener

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In This Issue: 


Dove Forecast, Larger Possession Limit and More

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Dove season is straight ahead. Here are the highlights for dove, teal and possession limits:

  • The 2013 Texas dove season looks bright.  Increased precipitation helped improve dove production and generate ample food supplies.
  • The Special White-wing Dove Area (SWWDA) is doubled in size for its four-day season with an aggregate bag limit of 15 doves to include no more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves. The season will run Sunday, Sept. 1 through Monday, Sept. 2, and reopen to run Saturday, Sept. 7 through Sunday, Sept. 8. Hunting is permitted only from noon to sunset.
  • Under new rules, the possession limit for all migratory game birds is three times the daily bag limit.
  • A six bird daily bag limit is set for the statewide September teal-only season, set to run September. 14-29.

Read more detail on these news items and find a summary of hunting regulations in the 2013-2014 Outdoor Annual.

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Public Lands Permit Brings Game within Range

Texas map showing public hunting lands

Public Hunting Access – one of the best untapped resources available to Texas Hunters – lets outdoor enthusiasts pursue their favorite quarry without breaking the bank. 

Here are the exciting facts:

  • The Annual Public Hunting (APH) Permit ($48) provides walk-in access to almost 900,000 acres of land throughout the state, including 118 dove and small game hunting leases, many of which are conveniently located near major metro areas. The program also includes access to many U.S. Forest Service units without having to pay additional fees. The APH permit is valid September 1 through August 31 and allows an adult access to all these public hunting lands.  Adult permit holders may also take youth hunters (under age 17) on these lands free of charge; however, a valid Texas hunting license is required for all hunters. The APH permit is available for purchase at all license vendors, by phone, or online.
  • Virtually scout before you go. Use the online maps of 2013-2014 public hunting lands to virtually scout each site. Zoom in and out on the map to view hunt area details, including ingress and egress, and change the base map layers to display aerial imagery, topography, street maps, and more.  Click on any locator point within the map for additional information and links to the online Map Booklet for Public Hunting Lands, which lists the most current information on changes to the public hunt schedule, public hunt areas, public lands access and availability.

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Texas Hunting: Find Season, Animal, County - NEW

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New this year!  Interactive and mobile-friendly Hunt web pages provide all you need to know to plan a hunt. Find places to hunt and search seasons by your target animal or by county. The Outdoor Annual web area also includes the most current hunting and fishing regulations. (Read about corrections to the printed Outdoor Annual here.)

Have a great hunting season!

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Four Ways to Help a Kid Learn to Hunt

smiling adult, youth in blaze orange

Know a kid who wants to hunt? Besides being fun, hunting teaches valuable lessons about wildlife resources, conservation, safety, and ethics. Here are four ways to get started:

  • Statewide youth only open seasons These special seasons for licensed hunters under 17 target deer, turkey, squirrel, and waterfowl and are scheduled for when youth are out of school.
  • Youth only and youth/adult hunting on public lands Holders of an APH Permit, a valid Texas hunting license and any required stamps may take youth under age 17 hunting free of charge on Public Hunting Lands.
  • Drawn youth hunts Drawings place a limited number of youth in high quality supervised Youth Only hunts for deer, feral hogs, javelina, turkey, exotics and alligators supervised by a non-hunting adult (18 years of age or older) also listed on the application card. There are no application fees for these youth hunts.  The deadlines for many of these hunts are coming up soon, September 11 and October 10.
  • Texas Youth Hunting Program Safe, educational and very affordable youth hunts (including introductory hunts) target deer, turkey, hogs, javelina, exotics, dove, small game, waterfowl, varmints and other species. Mentors, lodging and meals are usually provided. Watch a video about youth on their first duck hunt through this partnership between the Texas Wildlife Association (TWA) and TPWD. These hunts are for youth age 9-17 who have taken Hunter Education. Cost: $110 for youth and adult.

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New Hunter Education Certification Options

young hunters with instructor in field

“Hunting is safe and getting safer!” Hunting accidents have decreased since hunter education began, and people can take this valuable course through several new options.

Starting in late September, there will be four ways to take hunter education, which is mandatory for Texas hunters born after September 1, 1971. 

1)   The Basic Hunter Education certification course will focus on core skills for firearm and hunting safety, hunting laws and regulations, hunter responsibility and ethics, and the basics of wildlife conservation. This basic, one-day course is a new option replacing the more advanced, ten-hour, two-day in-person course.

2)   An enhanced Home Study plus Skills Trail Hunter Education course begins with online home study covering basic and advanced topics, with a six-hour course with a skills trail and often a live fire exercise. This course satisfies mandatory requirements with the advantage of instruction in additional hunting skills. 

3)   Advanced courses often offered through school courses and special workshops will include basic skills for certification plus additional hunting topics and techniques, wildlife identification and outdoor survival skills.

4)   A new option is the online-only certification, available for those over ages 17 and older. This course includes both basic and advanced content and offers experienced hunters a convenient, 24/7 course availability. 

TPWD and a cadre of 2,700 dedicated volunteer instructors are committed to hunting safety and quality hunter education. Find more detail and sign up for a course.

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Got Your Hunting License?

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Licenses for the 2013-2014 license year are now on sale. Buy yours now and keep it with you in the field. Find a license retailer near you or buy online.   

Keep your hunting season "happy, happy, happy." A hunting license is required of any person, regardless of age who hunts any animal, bird, frog or turtle in the state. Failure to obtain the appropriate license and stamps can result is serious penalties, including civil restitution, fines and even jail time. Check the Outdoor Annual website area for a summary of hunting and fishing regulations.  

Fish stocking, wildlife management, habitat restoration, land conservation, and Texas Game Wardens are just some of the initiatives funded in part by your license fees. Learn more from this Passport To Texas radio story.

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A message from a Texas Parks & Wildlife sponsor

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Operation Game Thief – Call 1-800-792-GAME

game warden cuffing suspectWatch this video message from Operation Game Thief to learn how you can safely help Texas Game Wardens stop illegal hunting and fishing in Texas. Operation Game Thief is Texas' wildlife crime-stoppers program, offering rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to a conviction for a wildlife crime.

Call 1-800-792-GAME (4263) any time, day or night when you suspect poaching or any game law violation, and provide the following information to the Texas Parks and Wildlife police communications dispatcher:

  • the nature of the violation
  • the location of the violation
  • the name and/or description of the violator
  • a description of any vehicle or boat involved in the violation
  • any other important information which will assist in apprehending the violator

You can also send a confidential tip by sending a text message to 847411 and beginning your message with the letters TPWD. You do not have to provide your name if you don't want to.

Providing the most information you can at the earliest opportunity will increase the probability of arrest and conviction.

Learn more about Texas Game Wardens.

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Mule Deer, Pronghorn Seasons Change

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Pronghorn and mule deer enthusiasts have a better shot at their target with these regulation changes:

  • Parts of six Panhandle counties enable buck pronghorn antelope permits to be issued directly to hunters during a three-year experimental season; landowner permission to hunt is still required.
  • The mule deer season is extended through the last Sunday in January on MLDP properties.

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A message from a Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertiser

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Big Time Texas Hunts – The Best of the Best

adult and youth looking out from hunt blindName your dream hunt: bighorn, trophy whitetail, exotics, alligator. Big Time Texas Hunts offers hunters eight great hunt packages that could make dreams come true, including the Texas Grand Slam: a hunt series for Texas’ most prized big game animals — desert bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, mule deer and pronghorn. See them in this video. New this year is the Wild Hog Adventure, a chance to hunt feral hog in the wild woods of east Texas. Food and lodging are provided as well as taxidermy in some cases. 

Hunters can buy as many Big Time Texas Hunts entries as they like.

  • Deadline to enter: October 15
  • Entries are just $9 each online, or $10 each at license retailers or by phone (1-800-895-4248).

The program is made possible with support from Toyota, Dallas Safari Club, and the Texas Bighorn Society. All proceeds from Big Time Texas Hunts benefit wildlife conservation, research and public hunting in Texas.

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Hunting Digital Extra: Forecast, Rifle Sighting, Camo

Magazine cover man in camo with rifle in woodsEnjoy more hunting news in this free digital extra from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. You’ll find more detailed hunting forecasts and tips for improving your hunting success including:
  • Dove, whitetail and more: the outlook for wildlife and hunting is much brighter than in the past couple of years. 
  • Sighting-in your rifle - something to do well ahead of your hunt date.
  • Dress for success: tailor your camo to your hunt environment.

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