Hunt Texas - October 2016

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In This Issue:

The Year of Big Bucks

Buck forecast

The general season for deer opens 11/5 and all indicators point to excellent prospects. Because this is such a large state, we rarely see good habitat conditions that stretch from Amarillo to Brownsville and El Paso to Houston, but we have them now. Parts of East Texas that have experienced flooding may be the only exception. “These favorable range conditions will put deer in top body condition this year and antler quality should be above average,” says Alan Cain, White-Tailed Deer Program Leader.

Check the Outdoor Annual (ES) for deer hunting regulations, including statewide bag limits, special antler restrictions and CWD check station locations. And get tips and species information from the new Hunting Guide, free with Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine’s mobile app. It allows easy access to species information when you’re in the field.

Well-fed bucks with nice racks are out there, so don’t miss this opportunity. Go hunting and make 2016 your Year of Big Bucks!

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Win Your Dream Year Outdoors

New CWD Regulations

Hunters who harvest mule deer, white-tailed deer, or elk within the Trans-Pecos and Panhandle CWD Zones are now REQUIRED to bring their animals to a check station within 24 hours of harvest. You can refer to the new booklet on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) for details. It contains all you should know about CWD regulations such as sampling requirements, movement restrictions of certain carcass parts, and check station operating times and locations. 

The My Texas Hunt Harvest app is a handy tool for finding CWD check stations and test results, as well as reporting your harvest. It’s free, so download it today! 

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Waterfowl Spreading Out Along the Coast

Bird hunting forecast video

Thanks to a lot of rain and a mild summer, duck populations are at near record highs for the fifth year in a row and the forecast is above average. But these mild conditions have increased habitat, which means the waterfowl will spread out along the coast and not be as concentrated as they are during drier conditions. “What’s better for the ducks is not necessarily better for duck hunters,” says Wildlife Biologist Dave Morrison. 

Regulation changes this season include a later opener for general duck hunting, with a shorter break between splits for the North Duck Zone and a later overall season in the South Duck Zone. Check your Outdoor Annual for all season dates, bag limits and regulations, and don’t forget to get your Migratory Game Bird Endorsement and HIP certification, both necessary to hunt these birds in Texas.

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Outdoor Annual

1 Million Acres of Public Hunting

Walk-in hunting

Are you craving a new hunting adventure? Then check out the 1 million acres of walk-in hunting lands available to you. With an Annual Public Hunting Permit, year-round hunting, fishing, camping and hiking are available for a mere $48. 

The Walk-In Hunts webpage (ES) makes it easy to find your dream hunting location, with interactive searches that allow you to look for public hunting lands in a certain area, or search by type of game.

And this is land you’ll love to hunt - TPWD property, as well as acreage we leased for your use. “Practically everything that is huntable in Texas, you can hunt under our program,” says Kelly Edmiston, program specialist. Check out this magazine story for more information.

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Feeding a Hunting Party

Venison meal

About 95% of Texas hunters eat what they hunt. And it’s a unique experience to be able to enjoy your fresh harvest while still in the field with your friends. You’ll find terrific recipes for a “hunt and eat-what-you-harvest dinner” in the magazine story, Hunting With a Chef, where Chef Marcus Paslay talks about hunting and cooking wild game.

If you decide to cook for your hunting party, plan ahead by bringing along other ingredients and cooking utensils. If you serve venison, you'll want to debone it first. Here’s a short video demonstrating how to butcher a rear leg quarter. Then you’ll be ready to try out more recipes with your friends and family, at home or in the field. 

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Deer License Plate

Life’s Better Hunting…When You Join TPWF

Yeti cooler

What could be better for your next hunting trip than a new YETI cooler? If you join Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) by Nov. 15, you’ll be automatically entered in a TPWF drawing to win this special-edition YETI cooler!* 

As a member, you’ll receive exclusive benefits like invitations to special events, timely information from TPWD experts, and other members-only perks. And, you’ll be supporting TPWF’s work to conserve our state’s wild things and wild places.

From supporting the acquisition of new wildlife management areas, like Powderhorn Ranch on the coast and the new Roger Fawcett WMA in North Texas, to supporting youth and public hunting opportunities, TPWF works to make sure the hunting heritage in Texas will always be here for future generations. You can support TPWF’s efforts by becoming a member today

*The price of membership pays for TPWF membership only and not for the chance to win the YETI cooler drawing. Members who join between Oct. 15 and Nov. 15 are automatically entered in the drawing.

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Protect Your Eyes and Ears While Shooting

Eye and ear protection video

When participating in hunting and shooting sports, ear protection is a necessity. There is no cure for hearing loss, and the muzzle blast is right by your ear. So use earplugs or muffs for protection. Don’t jeopardize your sight, either. Use clear safety glasses, regular eyeglasses, or special shooting glasses for eye protection. This short video will tell you more. 

You’ll learn tips like these when you take a Hunter Education (ES) course. This class is required by law for those born after Sept. 2, 1971, so carry your certification when in the field. If you’ve misplaced your certification card, print a new one at no cost online. Stay safe out there!

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