Hunt Texas – Summer 2019

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Illustration of lure, deer horn, knife and license

In This Issue:

Drawn Hunts Have Begun!

woman with harvested turkey at Matador WMA

Enter online for your chance to win Drawn Hunts in the 2019-2020 season. More than 9,000 hunts are available, including premium Private Lands Dove Hunts. This year we've added a new hunt area – the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge. 

You can apply for multiple hunts in the same category, but be aware of the deadline dates, the 1st and 15th of Aug., Sept. and Oct.

Tips for a winning strategy:

  • Look at the listing of drawn hunts online in midsummer, and check the odds for success and selection. Choose hunts with the best odds.
  • Standby hunting offers the best odds of getting selected. Any unfilled slots are awarded to those who show up the day of the hunt. Before you make the drive, contact the area up to a week in advance and ask if there are standby positions available.

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New Season Dates and Regulation Changes

Northern pintail duck

Mark your calendar, hunting season dates for 2019-2020 are now set, including these season openers:

  • Dove: 9/1 all zones, special regulations apply in South Zone
  • Archery: 9/28
  • White-tailed deer: 11/2

What's new:

  • Air guns and arrow guns are legal for hunting
  • Pintail: daily bag limit decreases from 2 to 1
  • Javelina: hunting seasons added in 6 more counties
  • Mule deer: 20" minimum antler spread of the main beams in Lynn County
  • Antlerless deer: hunting seasons expanded and harvest reporting is required in select counties using My Texas Hunt Harvest.

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Conservation license plate Bighorn Sheep with link

CWD Update

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer and elk in parts of Texas. Hunters who harvest these animals within designated CWD zones are required to bring them to a check station within 48 hours. This allows us to take a sample of the animal and test it for CWD.

Last season we collected 10,421 CWD samples, which exceeded our statewide goal of 6,735 samples, and 12 of which tested positive for CWD. An additional 62 white-tailed deer from permitted breeder facilities tested positive as well.  

There have been no reports of the disease outside existing CWD zones. A free-ranging whitetail near the perimeter of the CWD zone in south-central Texas tested positive last hunting season, which led to a recent expansion of that zone.

We remain vigilant and continue monitoring and testing for CWD. Continue to provide your harvest for sampling when required, and we can work together to keep this disease at bay.

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Skillbuilder: Muzzle Management

two men holding rifles, video link

The first commandment of hunter safety is to keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction. You have to be hyper-aware of this if you walk while hunting, because the safe direction can change with every step you take.

Watch our short video, Firearm Muzzle Control, for tips on keeping your muzzle pointed in a safe direction in the field.

For safe firearm control, always know where the muzzle is pointed, keep your safety on and your finger off the trigger – even when you're hunting alone.

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Under the Texas Sky podcast link

The Training of a Hunter’s Best Friend

black retriever with duck, video link

The perfect hunting dog will sit quietly beside your chair until it catches the scent of gun oil. Then it becomes a focused retriever with a single purpose: joining you in a hunt.

Watch our video, Ruby the Retriever, to see how one award-winning dog owner leads labs from romping pups to retrieving champs (that still sleep on the bed!). 

Read about Labrador retriever Ruby, and the trials and tests she conquered to become a champion, in our magazine story, Retrieving the Title.

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Game Warden Field Notes

smiling Game Warden

Did You Know?

We are interested in leasing private land for for public hunting of dove, waterfowl, pheasant, quail, feral hog, deer, squirrel and rabbit. Contact Kyle Thigpen:, (979) 255-2761.

Big Time Texas Hunt Entries Now on Sale

Your chance at the Texas Grand Slam and more! Enter by Oct. 15.

Man next to bighorn sheep, link to Big Time Texas Hunts

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