Fall Hunting Roundup

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Hunt Texas E-Newsletter

In This Issue: Hunting Forecast - Take Heart; Hunters, Landowners Urged To Help Quail This Season; Antler Assessment: Taking An Accurate Measure; Deer Harvest Helps Population Recovery; Which Duck is Which?; Hunter Ed Roundup; A Bowl of Texas Red - With Wild Game; Wildfire Prevention While Hunting

Hunting Forecast - Take Heart

buck in profile  
Sure, hunting prospects have taken a bit of a hit this year as the historic drought has impacted food production and reproduction for many game species. But there are bright spots depending on where and what you hunt. View this video on the Texas hunting forecast. Take heart. What Texans call an average hunting season is often the envy of hunters living in the other 49 states.

And read John Jefferson’s "Hunting Forecast 2011-2012" from the October issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine to find even more detail species-by-species. If you want game birds in your sights, check out the latest weekly Migratory Bird Hunting Report. You can sign up for these free, in-season updates - just update your subscriber preferences by clicking on the link at the bottom of this e-newsletter.

Hunters, Landowners Urged To Help Quail This Season

Bobwhite quail video  
Many a Texas youngster – including those now not so young – took for granted the sweet springtime call of the northern bobwhite quail. But the Texas bobwhite harvest has declined by 80 percent over the last thirty years – primarily due to loss of the native prairies and savannahs that quail call home.
Hunters and landowners are a key to quail restoration. “Burned areas will likely provide good habitat after future rainfall events but for now they offer very little cover for quail and other wildlife,” said Robert Perez, TPWD’s upland game bird program leader. “We’re advising landowners if you are seeing low quail numbers on your ranch, you should consider reducing quail harvest. It’s okay to hunt, work your dogs, but take a conservative approach. Flush a covey only once and don’t chase the singles or pairs, or limit how long you hunt.” Perez also encourages hunting early in the season, which runs Oct. 29-Feb. 26. Read the full story about bobwhite quail conservation, one of the biggest challenges conservationists face today.

Watch this video about ranchers’ efforts to restore the habitat critical to this well-loved game bird. Find more detail in “Plight of the Bobwhite” from the September Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. Bobwhites are considered an “indicator species” of the overall health of the prairie and savanna ecosystems they inhabit.

Antler Assessment: Taking an Accurate Measure

Brush up on how to reliably gauge a white-tailed buck rack before taking a shot in this skill builder video. Deer antler restrictions established in 2005 are helping to develop a healthy and desirable population of white-tailed deer and bring more mature bucks into the herd as years pass.

Deer Harvest Helps Population Recovery

The worst drought on record and the unbearable summer heat have been tough on humans, wildlife and their shared native habitat. Resources are scarce. This year, you and the state’s nearly 700,000 other deer hunters have a key role to play in managing the white-tailed deer population in Texas.

Deer herd management is a very important aspect of habitat restoration and drought recovery for all species. "It doesn’t take a biologist to understand that drought has serious impacts on the state’s nearly 4 million white-tailed deer," says Alan Cain, deer program leader with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. "Everything from antler quality, to fawn production and overall survival will be affected by the tough range conditions this year."

Hunters should make every effort to fill their license tags and meet harvest recommendations prescribed by TPWD’s wildlife biologist for each region of the state. And the earlier in the season the better.

In the long-term, white-tailed deer, other game and non-game wildlife and their native habitats will benefit from a reduction in deer numbers. Read more.

Which Duck Is Which?

Name that duck – quick! A duck hunter has to decide on the fly if that bird on the wing is within his bag limit. It takes practice and some study to know, without a doubt before you squeeze the trigger, what variety of duck is in your sights. Here are some duck identification skill-building tips from the October 2010 issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. Review the duck limits here or in the 2011-2012 Outdoor Annual.

Hunter Ed Roundup

Hunter Ed  
It’s not only about hitting your target. Making split-second decisions in the field brings some essential hunting skills together in one critical moment. The thoughts that flash through a seasoned hunter’s mind answer three important questions: "Is my shot safe, legal, and ethical?" Check out Terry Erwin’s hunting scenarios in "Is It Safe, Legal and Ethical?" from the October issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. Consider using it to start a discussion with a hunting buddy you’re mentoring.

We can’t say it often enough: Hunting is one of the safest, family-friendly activities you can enjoy thanks primarily to hunter education courses required in 49 states including Texas. Every hunter in Texas (including out-of-state hunters) born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, must successfully complete a Hunter Education Training Course.

Watch a preview of the course in this video.
The course is available in a group setting, online and as a home course. The online course and home course must be followed by the required One-Day Field Course that includes a skills trail, live firing exercise, ethics presentation, review and final exam. Military personnel are exempt from live fire training.

Find all your hunter education options online.


The Hunter Ed program is always looking for volunteer instructors. If you’d like to share your knowledge and love of hunting skills and safety, check out this hunter education instruction information.

A Bowl of Texas Red - With Wild Game

As the weather cools off (finally), many a Texan’s fantasies turn to a bowl of steaming chili on a cool night. And the game – wild game that is, is afoot. Take this opportunity to drag out the stock pot and try this recipe for the official state food with some venison, boar and/or exotic game. No ground meat please!

Wildfire Prevention While Hunting

Wildfire - All it takes is one spark from an unattended campfire, lit cigarette or even the muzzle of a gun. Most hunters and outdoor enthusiasts consider a blazing campfire the soul of camping, but with burn bans posted in all but four Texas counties this fall, Texans are going to have to do without unless the state gets a lot of rain. Review these in-the-field wildfire prevention tips from the Texas Forest Service and share them with your hunting friends.


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