Hunt Texas October 2013

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father son in camo in brush

In This Issue:


Hunting Forecast: Deer Are Lookin' Good

hunter in camo tags harvested deerHunters should have plenty of opportunity to harvest a deer this season. While not clear of the drought, things are looking up in many parts of the state this year and the outlook for deer and deer hunting is much brighter, reports Alan Cain, TPWD white-tailed deer program leader, in this forecast.

Archery-only deer season opened Saturday, Sept. 28 and runs through Nov. 1. The general firearms season begins Nov. 2.  For full information on season dates, visit the website.

Antler quality should be above average for those areas receiving good spring rains and average for those that were a little drier this spring and summer, Cain predicts. The good news is that drought or no drought, Texas still produces some whopper bucks each year.

Make sure you enjoy smooth hunting by avoiding the most common deer hunting violations, described by Game Warden Andrew Alexander in this video.

Tags, permits and processing! Before you hunt, be sure you know “What to Do After Killing a Deer.” Following the signs to recover downed game is an important part of any hunt. Read up on tips in “Where Did it Go?" from the October issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. 

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Waterfowl Bag Limits Increase

hunter at water's edge, boat  approachingFor the first time in a half century, Texas waterfowlers can take two canvasbacks daily under migratory game bird seasons approved for 2013-14 by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. Also, the possession limits for all migratory game birds is now three times the daily limit. For ducks, the possession limit is 18. Read the full story and check local zones, seasons and bag limit details in the Outdoor Annual and Waterfowl Digest

The increase comes with news of healthy waterfowl populations, with all species except pintail and scaup numbering above the long-term goals identified in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.

Make the season an even brighter experience by avoiding common waterfowl hunting violations described by Game Warden Albert Flores in this video.

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Top Ticket Written by Game Wardens?

warden writing ticket

The #1 hunting regulation violation is failure to show proof of hunter education certification. The good news: This season hunter education just got more convenient, flexible and accessible.

Four options for hunter education certification now include a streamlined, one-day basic course and an option for anyone 17 years of age or older to take the hunting safety training completely online. The combination online home study and 4 to 5 hour skills field day course will still be offered, as well as advanced hunter education and in high school and college courses across the state. 

Anyone born after Sept. 1, 1971 must successfully complete a hunter education training course or purchase a one-time deferral good for one license year in order to hunt legally in Texas. The certification is valid for life and is honored in all other states and provinces.

Sign up and help save lives in the field. Since mandatory hunter education first started in 1988, the number of hunting accidents and hunting fatalities has steadily declined to less than 3 per 100,000 hunters.

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New App Eliminates Head Scratching in the Field

iPad image of Outdoor AnnualEver need regulation answers while you’re in the field? If you're an iPad user, you can now download the iPad Edition of the Outdoor Annual for an easy way to take Texas hunting and fishing regulations with you. It’s free, and no internet connection is required to view it after initial download.

Find it on iTunes and the Apple App Store.  A link to the download can also be found on the Outdoor Annual web page.

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Game Wardens A-Twitter about Doves’ Opening Day

two watchful dove hunters in field

On the opening day of dove season, September 1, the agency’s technology warden, Lt. Mike Mitchell, joined a warden in Travis County and tweeted continuously about what happened that day, giving the public a first-hand look at what happens on a typical opening dove season shift. What did they see and who did they meet? See the hour-by-hour story. “Hunters enjoyed an A-minus mourning dove season opener,” Mitchell said “and by far most of the hunters we contacted were in compliance and enjoying a great outdoor experience.”

Check out the latest Game Warden Field Notes for more stories of Texas Game Wardens' encounters across the state while protecting Texas’ wildlife and natural resources.

Be a part of the ongoing conversation.  Follow the Texas Game Wardens on Facebook and on Twitter.

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Talking Turkey, Alligators, Woodcocks and More

hunter holding turkey callerFirst, let's talk turkey. This fall's season is a good time to warm up your turkey calling skills. Watch this skill builder video to learn how to lure the big birds within range.

Along with turkey, if you’re in the right place at the right time, opportunities abound across Texas to hunt more than deer, dove and ducks. Target a species you may not have tried before, such as these during fall seasons: 

  • Turkey – September 28 archery only season underway in 145 counties; fall season starts November 2
  • Javelina – October 1 fall season underway in 43 counties
  • Quail – October 26 season begins soon

From alligator to woodcock, check these pages to find the details of upcoming seasons, counties and bag limits for all of Texas game species.

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Why Hunting is Good for Kids and Families

young hunter with mentor takes aimThis is the story of six young hunters (four boys, two girls) and their dads who spent an unforgettable weekend hunting and learned lessons of a lifetime, courtesy of the Texas Youth Hunting Program (TYHP) and the Carter P. Smith family which hosted the event at their Hill Country ranch. Sit back and enjoy their story, “Deer Hunt on the Dobbs,” by Carter Smith for Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.

Now in its 17th year, TYHP pairs the hunters with willing landowners and teams of trained volunteer “huntmasters” who lead the youth hunts and serve as the instructors, mentors, safety officers, guides and camp cooks. To date, thousands of kids, more than half of whom had never hunted before, have participated in the program. Hear from some program kids and mentors in this short video.

Everyone gets something from the experience. Landowners enjoy the immense satisfaction of hosting a group of boys and girls eager to experience the thrill of a hunt out in the country. For the youth and their parents, it’s priceless time afield together on a private ranch sharing a time-honored outdoor activity. Volunteer huntmasters describe perhaps the best gift of all, the reward of simply “giving back.”

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