Hunt Texas – July 2020

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In This Issue:

Apply Now for Drawn Hunts

young girl in camo holding ducks

Enter online to win any of the Drawn Hunts in the 2020-2021 season. There are more than 9,500 selections including:

  • Hunts on National Wildlife Refuges (NWR)
  • Private Lands Dove Hunts
  • Hunts on Wildlife Management Areas (WMA)

NEW this season:

  • New hunt categories – NWR Feral Hog and NWR Spring Turkey
  • New hunt areas – Roger Fawcett WMA (first time open to the public), Hagerman NWR and Laguna Atascosa NWR – Bahia Grande Unit

It's easy to browse available hunts by category or location. You can apply multiple times for hunts in the same category, but each category has a deadline date – be sure to get your entries in by 11:59 p.m. on the date of the deadline! The first deadlines are Aug.1.

Each entry will cost anywhere from $0 to $10, and Youth Only category entries are always free. Don't delay, apply for your favorite Drawn Hunts today.   

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New Season Dates + Regulation Changes

man pointing shotgun at sky

Hunting season dates for 2020-2021 are now set, including these opening dates:

  • Dove 9/1, North & Central Zones
  • Archery-only 10/3
  • Quail 10/31
  • White-tailed deer 11/7

South Texas dove hunters will have Special White-Winged Dove days on 9/5 and 9/6, 9/12 and 9/13.

NEW this year:

  • Scaup: daily bag limit decreases to 1
  • Light goose: daily bag limit decreases to 10

Check the Outdoor Annual online or by using the free app for all regulation information. Due to economic impacts brought on by the pandemic, the Outdoor Annual will not be available in a printed version for the 2020-2021 season. The app allows you to easily access season dates and regulations, view your license and more. Regulations for the new season are automatically updated in mid-August each year (requires internet access). Once the app is updated, you can refer to it in the field – even without internet access!

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Big Time Tx Hunts - Powderhorn, with link

Anticipating Another Favorable Deer Season

Buck and Doe

The 2020-2021 white-tailed deer season is shaping up to be as excellent as last year. Hunter success rate in 2019 was estimated at 60%, and we expect the same this season. 

“With any luck we’ll receive another rain or two in July, solidifying the good conditions and setting the stage for another favorable hunting season,” says Alan Cain, White-Tailed Deer Program Leader. He adds, "From a statewide perspective, hunters might expect to see a higher proportion of bucks in the 6.5 to 8.5-year age classes as a result of above-average fawn crops in previous corresponding years."

We have more than 5 million deer across the state, with the Edward’s Plateau and Cross Timbers regions predicted to have the largest deer populations of any region. If you're looking for a spot to hunt, consider public lands. The purchase of a $48 Annual Public Hunting Permit (available for the upcoming season starting 8/15) will give you access to more than 1 million acres of public hunting lands for deer and other species through Walk-In and E-Postcard hunts. Deer season opens 11/7, but it's not too early to start planning!

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Become a Bowhunter by Fall

Archer in camo taking aim

Our Community Archery Team has started an exciting and free Beginner to Bowhunter email series, and it will set you on the path to becoming a bowhunter by fall. If you're interested in archery but aren't sure how to get started, let us help.

We'll send you monthly emails with links to videos and other resources, and with a little work by you, you'll be ready for your first archery season this fall.

You'll receive information on topics including finding a mentor, safety, where to hunt, hunting invasive and exotic species, bowhunting gear and much more!

Sign up now and we'll send you any emails you've missed, so you can get up to speed. Let's get started, Future Bowhunter – archery-only season opens Oct. 3!

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Be a responsible hunter, be safe.

Game Wardens Celebrate 125 Years Protecting Texas

3 Texas Game Wardens in air boat during Harvey rescues

Whether they're rescuing a family from a natural disaster, tracking down poachers or helping an injured bald eagle, the women and men of the Texas Game Wardens have been valiantly protecting the people and wildlife in our state for 125 years.  

The first school for game wardens started in 1946 at Texas A&M, and the first woman became a game warden in 1979. There are now about 550 active game wardens. Recent highlights include the creation of the K-9 unit (video) in 2013, the rescue of more than 12,000 people from Hurricane Harvey flood waters in 2017, and Lone Star Law, a reality show about Texas Game Wardens now in its 7th season. 

Most recently, the game wardens were part of "Operation Pony Express," which supported the mission to make COVID-19 testing available to all Texans. They transported samples from test sites across the state to staging areas, and then on to labs for analysis. Your game wardens continue to patrol water bodies, parks and beaches, educating the public about the importance of COVID-19 preventive practices. 

Read more about the illustrious history of your game wardens in the magazine blog post, Texas Game Wardens Celebrate 125th Anniversary. For more on their most recent experiences, read Game Warden Field Notes. And for breaking news, follow them on Facebook and Twitter

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CWD Update

Efforts to contain Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Texas are proving fruitful. Hunters and landowners provided close to 13,000 samples in the last testing year, which ended in Feb. This far exceeds the target of 7,039 samples, and we thank you for your dedicated effort to help us defeat this disease in Texas.

Test results revealed 26 CWD-infected deer, plus 6 “suspect positives” that are being confirmed. CWD was discovered for the first time in Val Verde County, and plans have been developed to manage the disease in that area. All other new free-ranging positives were within existing containment zones.

We encourage you to continue to get your deer tested to help our biologists with statewide sampling efforts. Early detection is critical to managing and containing CWD in order to protect Texas deer.

CWD was first recognized in 1967 and discovered in Texas in 2012. Since then it has been detected in 169 white-tailed deer, red deer and mule deer in Dallam, El Paso, Hartley, Hudspeth, Kimble, Lavaca, Medina, Uvalde and Val Verde counties, 129 of which are connected to deer breeding facilities and release sites. 

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Did You Know?

Three whistle blasts is an international distress call for "Help me." Carry a whistle in the field in case you ever need help. 

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The Hunt Texas e-newsletter is made possible in part
by the generous support of Toyota.