Conditions Ripe for Dove Season
This year’s bumper crop of native sunflower, croton and other seed producing weedy plants has created ideal habitat conditions leading into September’s dove hunter opener. Better habitat is good for the birds. However, good quality range conditions could also cause doves to disperse as food sources become readily available and make managed fields less attractive early in the season, noted Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists in this recent story
. Check out some in-depth strategies and predictions for dove and teal in Texas Hunting 2012.
Are You Geared Up To Hunt?
Time for the ol’ August Hunt Bustle. No, it’s not a Texas dance step. It’s the basic preparation that kicks off a successful and safe hunting season. Here’s the 1-2-3 of it.
1. Get your license
. Licenses for the new season went on sale August 15 and current licenses expire August 31.
2. Review the updated regulations, season dates and bag limits – all found in the online Outdoor Annual
or pick up a copy wherever fishing and hunting licenses are sold.
3. Make sure you have proof of your hunter education course certification if you were born after Sept. 2, 1971. Don’t have it yet? Take the course online
or in a traditional classroom setting
. It’s for everyone’s safety, and it’s also the law. Keep your certificate with you. During dove season, the #1 citation written by TPWD Game Wardens is for hunting without proof of hunter education certification.
A one-time, hunter education deferral
allows a person 17 years of age or older who has not completed a hunter education program to hunt for the current license year if accompanied by a licensed and certified hunter. The one-time Hunter Education Deferral is available at license vendors for $10.
A message from a Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertiser:
Find a Place to Hunt on a Budget
Public hunting access – one of the best kept secrets of Texas hunting – lets hunters pursue their favorite quarry without breaking the bank.
The Annual Public Hunting (APH) Permit
($48) provides nearly year-round access almost 900,000 acres of land, including 120 special dove and small game hunting areas. About 75% of these small game public hunting units are located near major metro areas. The APH permit (valid September 1 through August 31 of the following year) allows an adult access to designated public hunting lands, including many designated national forests and grasslands, without having to pay daily permit fees and usually without having to be selected in a drawing. Permit holders may also take youth hunters on these lands free of charge, though a youth hunting license is required.
detail about Walk-in Hunts. Check out the map
of 2012-2013 public hunting lands; click on any locator point within the map to virtually scout aerial views.
Opportunities are also still available for some great hunts through the Public Hunt Drawing System
. Through an application process described on the web page, hunters can select from among 28 different hunt categories, including eight specifically for youth only, and choose a preferred hunt date and location from hunt areas stretching across the state.
We’ll Help You Take a Kid Hunting
Do you know a kid you’d like to introduce to hunting? We’d like to help.
Camo-clad kids tramping through marshes and fields under watchful adult guidance hold the future of Texas hunting and conservation in their hands. Watch a video
about the Texas Youth Hunting Program.
Introductory youth hunts for 9 to17-year-olds are available through a partnership between the Texas Wildlife Association (TWA) and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. These instructive hunts for deer, turkey, hogs, javelina, exotics, dove, small game, waterfowl, varmints and other species usually include mentors, lodging and meals. They are safe, educational and very affordable ($110 for youth and adult; additional guest $35). Young hunters must have a valid Texas hunting license with appropriate tags or stamps and be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Students and adults must have completed Hunter Education
TP&W Magazine’s Digital "Texas Hunting 2012"
Welcome to the free online Texas Parks & Wildlife
magazine’s special digital extra “Texas Hunting 2012.”
Talk about a season opener! In this 71-page collection of timely hunting information you’ll find the dove and teal forecast, public hunting opportunities, tips on how to process and cook wild game (including recipes), how to create a pleasurable first hunt for your kids, and much more. It’s your hunting season primer.
Are You Feeling Lucky?
Are you feeling lucky? Spice up your hunting season with two hunting opportunities. Enter by October 15 to win one of seven premium Big Time Texas Hunts
Through this popular program hunters may win one or more guided hunts with food and lodging provided, as well as taxidermy in some cases.
The program’s crown jewel, the Texas Grand Slam dream hunt package, includes four separate hunts for Texas’ most prized big game animals — desert bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, mule deer and pronghorn. Also available: quality whitetail hunt packages and opportunities to pursue alligator, waterfowl, upland game birds, and exotics such as sable and gemsbok.
Hunters can buy as many Big Time Texas Hunts entries as they like online
for just $9 each, or for $10 each at license retailers or by calling 1-800-895-4248. All proceeds benefit conservation, wildlife management and public hunting. The program is made possible with support from Toyota, Dallas Safari Club, Texas Trophy Hunters Association and the Texas Bighorn Society.
And while you’re buying your license, you can also enter the Lifetime License Drawing
. You could win — you guessed it — a lifetime supercombo license, allowing you to hunt and fish for free in Texas without ever having to buy another state license or stamp. (If you want to hunt waterfowl, you’ll just have to get the federal duck stamp.) Entries are just $5 each and you can enter as many times as you like. Winners also receive a 1-year subscription to Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. Enter by December 27 and have two chances to win. Drawings will be held December 30 and June 30.
Chronic Wasting Disease Confirmed in West Texas
Samples from two mule deer taken in far West Texas were confirmed positive
for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) earlier this summer. These are the first cases of CWD detected in Texas deer. Wildlife officials believe the event is currently isolated in a remote part of the state near the New Mexico border.
Although wildlife officials cannot say how long the disease has been present in Texas or if it occurs in other areas of the state, they have had an active CWD surveillance program
for more than a decade. Read the latest CWD information on the TPWD website
or the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance website
Keep Your Shotgun in the Zone of Safety
Remember your zone of safety. A carelessly swung shotgun can be one of the biggest threats to hunter safety. Period. Please watch this video
and enjoy safe hunting.
Hunters Play Critical Role in Conservation
You name it: wild lands, Texas’ great sport fishing industry, wildlife conservation, healthy rivers, economic boosts from hunter and angler activities, the decline in hunting accidents, tens of thousands of jobs, fish hatcheries, marina construction and more all come together through WSFR.
If you’ve ever purchased firearms or ammunition, bows, arrows, fishing lures, rods and reels, hunting or fishing licenses or fueled up your boat — you too are part of this greatest-ever conservation effort in America, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2012.
Matched with hunting and fishing license revenue, WSFR programs yield billions of dollars in economic benefits and tens of thousands of jobs each year in Texas, along with millions of acres of habitat saved and near-miraculous population increases in several species of game and sport fish. About 1 million hunters spend more than $2.2 billion on equipment, transportation, lodging and other expenses every year. And WFSR was instrumental in turning Texas’ reservoir system created in the 1960s into a freshwater fishing mecca and economic powerhouse.
Millionth Hunter Ed Student Will Win Big
Be the “millionth” and win. Over 946,300 students have completed a hunter education certification course. To celebrate having one million students complete the courses, TPWD and the Texas Hunter Education Instructors Association (THEIA) are going to award the “One Millionth Student” and the instructor who teaches that student a Henry Golden Boy .22 caliber rifle. The awards will be presented next April. More information about hunter education is available online
This e-newsletter is made possible by the generous support of Toyota.