Hunt Texas December 2012

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Hunt TX: hunter in camo with dog, hunter sillouette in mountains

In This Issue: 


Public Hunting Lands – 900,000 Acres Await

youth looking out over marsh with decoys, cloudy day

Got your APH permit? The full menu of game species - doves, waterfowl, rabbits, squirrels, deer and feral hogs - may be hunted on public lands by those who hold the $48 Annual Public Hunting (APH) permit. This includes 900,000 acres of public lands available statewide. Find more details about public hunting lands near you, including maps of lands available for walk-in hunting and the game that can be hunted on those lands. A number of areas provide dove hunting, with the second split beginning Dec. 22. And waterfowl hunters are finding great opportunities along the coast this year.

Learn more about how you and your family can enjoy an inexpensive day in the field in this brief video.

This hunting season, the TPWD Public Hunting Program recognizes 25 years of public hunting opportunities offered by the APH permit. Read more about the program in Steve Lightfoot’s story, “A Place to Hunt” in Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.

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Women Who Hunt Geese

Women in white taking aim, marshy field

If you get a group of gals together with some guns and geese... it's going to be a blast. One busy working mom happily swaps her office duds for white camo to go on her first waterfowl hunt. Watch how it goes in “A Tale of Two Laurens” .

Nancy Herron, TPWD Outreach and Education Director, describes her introduction to hunting, firearms, decoys, and the hunting way of life with a group of other first-time female hunters in “First Harvest,” in Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. They had a great time. She says, “On my back porch that evening, cleaning the geese was like cutting up chicken, but knowing where it came from, and earning its presence on our table, was priceless … Learning how to hunt turned out to be as natural as learning how to bake, garden or fish. It’s learning about life, survival and our connection to the natural world.”

Want to get started hunting? Read “More Than Pink Camo,” for tips on how to get started.

Game Warden Albert Flores offers some video tips for waterfowl hunters of all levels to encourage a safe and successful experience.

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Go Turkey Hunting Texas-Style

3 turkeys against brush, close up

If you love to hunt turkey, you can thank your lucky stars you’re in Texas, where the Rio Grande turkey population is known as one of the healthiest and largest populations on the planet.

There’s plenty of turkey hunting opportunity in Texas from the end of October into May. Seasons for Rio Grande and Eastern turkey vary across zones and include special youth hunt dates. To be sure you're in the right place at the right time, check out the details of zones and dates.

For some ideas for hunting success, watch some patient turkey hunters in south Texas use patterning to track the big birds in this spring season video.

In addition to a hunting license, an upland game bird stamp endorsement ($7) is required to hunt turkey. A non-resident turkey license is available for out-of-state hunters who only want to spring turkey hunt.

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When You Cook Your Goose

man, woman at dinner table

Broil it. Bake it. Fry it. Roast it. It’s easy to cook your goose. Here are a few time-tested secrets for the perfect bird from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. For other game, try these recipe inspirations.

Watch a video about other game preparation resources compiled by urban foodies who have taken to the field.

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Three Tips If You’re Hunting from a Boat

2 duck hunters in air boat

Tip 1: All motorized boats (including trolling motors), regardless of length, operating in Texas public water are required by law to have current registration.

Tip 2: Anyone born on or after September 1, 1993 must be certified in boater education to operate a boat.  Find out more about boater education and operator requirements.

Tip 3: Don't be a carrier of invasive species. Clean, drain and dry your boat and your leaky decoys. It's the law.

Leaky duck decoys and your boat could be causing you to unknowingly spread destructive invasive species. If you hunt waterfowl on Lake Ray Roberts and Lake Texoma, there's a chance you could spread zebra mussels to other lakes that are currently free of the invasive species, according to TPWD's Regional Inland Fisheries Director Brian Van Zee.

Any hunters moving from either of those lakes to another location should be sure to clean, drain and dry their boats and dry out their decoys between uses. A safer bet would be to not deploy leaky decoys at all.

Decoys are not in the water long enough for an adult zebra mussel to latch on to the exterior. But zebra mussel larvae (veligers) could be carried in the wet and humid interior. The good news: thoroughly draining and drying decoys destroys the larvae. Read more about this destructive invasive species’ presence in Texas and the laws to help control it. Thanks for helping protect Texas lakes.

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Guy Finds Dead Dove. Then Eats It.

man who ate dove gazing skyward

See this one on the news? A recent man/dove kerfuffle involving a window-killed dove and a grill created a light-hearted opportunity to remind folks of good reasons not to eat found game and inspired one man to get his hunting license. Tips: Eating found game meat can pose health risks. And it is illegal to remove a deer carcass from the side of the road. This food blogger may become a hunter soon. With some target practice, he’ll likely get more dove that way.

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And the Texas Grand Slam Winner Is …

big horn sheep in the wild, pretty close

Roger Theisen of Yoakum, TX won this year’s Texas Grand Slam in the Big Time Texas Hunts Drawing. Read about Roger and the fourteen other winners.

This year, the Big Time Texas Hunts drawing received 64,340 entries and raised $612,161. All proceeds will benefit wildlife conservation, research and public hunting in Texas. For more information on this program and what the winners will receive, visit this page. You can enter next year's drawing starting May 15, 2013.

This year you could still be a winner in the Lifetime License Drawing. Enter to win a Lifetime Super Combo License, giving you the privilege to hunt and fish in Texas without ever having to buy another license. You can purchase as many $5 entries as you like wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold. Enter by December 27 for two chances to win - you'll be eligible for both the December 30 and June 30 drawings!

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Irma Sanchez – Making Crime Pay

Irma taking a phone call

Hunting season is upon us and outdoorsmen and women are heading out to the fields to enjoy a favorite pastime. But Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens want to remind hunters to take their hunting license with them. While most folks follow the game and fish laws, there’s a soft-voiced lady in Austin who might just hunt you down if you don’t. Meet Irma who helps hunters stay within the law.

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A message from a Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertiser.

May Ranch advertisement