Hunt Texas – October 2020

View as a Webpage
Hunt Texas header

Another Good Deer Season on the Horizon

Buck eating vegetation, video link

It's time to break out the blaze orange – white-tailed deer general season opens 11/7 and the forecast looks good.

Our whitetail population exceeds 5.5 million, making it the largest in the country. In areas with high deer populations, like the Edwards Plateau and Cross Timbers Region, we recommend you use your doe tags.

Refer to the Outdoor Annual for deer hunting regulations including statewide bag limits, specific county limits and antler restrictions. Don't forget to carry proof of Hunter Ed in the field. If you've misplaced it, get a free copy

Hunters who harvest white-tailed deer within CWD Zones are required to bring the animals to a check station within 48 hours. The My Texas Hunt Harvest app is a handy tool for locating check stations and reporting your harvest. Download it today to be ready for your hunt. 

CWD Update

New for the 2020-21 deer season, CWD zones have been established in Kimble County and Val Verde County. 

Test results earlier this year revealed 15 CWD-positive deer among the free-ranging native populations, in addition to 24 CWD-positive deer associated with deer breeding facilities and their release sites. CWD was discovered for the first time in Val Verde and Kimble Counties. All other new positives were within existing containment zones.

Review CWD information on carcass movement restrictions and area testing requirements prior to your hunts, and continue to have your deer tested to help biologists with statewide sampling. Thank you for your efforts – early detection is critical to managing and containing CWD.

Game Bird Forecasts Varied

Hunter aiming during sunrise

While a lot of young ducks are expected in Texas this season, quail numbers are down from last year. The South Texas Plains and Rolling Plains are expected to have the highest populations of bobwhite quail. For more regional quail outlooks and public hunting suggestions, read the quail forecast.

Quail season opens 10/31, duck season opens 10/31, and fall wild turkey opens 11/7. The Outdoor Annual has all your quail, duck and wild turkey regulation information. Watch our video, Wing Shooting Safety Tips before you head out. 

Remembering Three Texas Wildlife Heroes

Dewey Stockbridge, Bob Dittmar, Brandon White

On August 8, Dewey Stockbridge, Robert Dittmar and Brandon White lost their lives in a helicopter crash. These Texas Parks and Wildlife Department professionals were conducting aerial surveys of desert bighorn sheep at the time.

“No words can begin to express the depth of sadness we feel for the loss of our colleagues in this tragic accident,” said Carter Smith, TPWD executive director. “These men were consummate professionals, deeply liked and highly regarded by their peers and partners alike for the immense passion, dedication and expertise they brought to their important work in wildlife management and veterinary medicine.”

Read more about these dedicated men in the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine story, Bighorn Heroes

3 Tips to Prevent Wildfires While Hunting

Wildfire observed by a fireman

Wildfires have made headlines recently, reminding of us of their appetite for destruction. As of October, dry conditions continue in Texas, so take your wildfire safety to the next level while hunting. Here are 3 tips:

1. Avoid shooting near tall, dry grass or rocks

2. Avoid using full metal jacket or tracer ammunition.   

3. Avoid parking or idling vehicles over dry vegetation. 

For more tips on how to prevent wildfires while hunting, read the magazine blog post, Protect Your Texas Lands from Wildfire. Be smart – don't let a wildfire start. 

Black Bear Activity Increases in Fall

black bear in a pecan tree

If you encounter a black bear in the field, stay away from it and keep any dogs secured. Black bears are a protected species in Texas and unlikely to pose a threat to humans. If you're hog hunting, be sure before you shoot – a black bear can look like a hog in some conditions.

For more tips on hunting in bear country, including how to avoid attracting bears to your camp, check out Bear Safety.

Driving Home Quail Conservation

Quail and quail license plate, link

Declining quail populations in the U.S. have spurred conservation efforts across the country. Here in Texas, our biologists are partnering with other experts across the state to hone in on the best strategies to bring back this beloved gamebird.

And you can help! Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF), our official nonprofit partner, launched a quail conservation license plate to raise critical funding to enhance quail conservation efforts, including habitat, conservation and education.

For just $30 you can put one of these conservation license plates on your vehicle, motorcycle or trailer. For every license plate purchased, $22 goes to TPWF to support quail conservation.

Order your quail plate today – what better way to drive home your support for quail conservation in Texas? 

Game Warden Field Notes with link

Contribute to Hunters for the Hungry

Venison sliced backstrap

If you're running out of room in your freezer, consider supporting Hunters for the Hungry. Donate your deer harvest to a participating meat processor, and the venison will help feed needy families. 

You can also make a monetary donation when you purchase your hunting license. These donations help cover the costs of processing the donated venison, and make it possible for more Texas families in need to enjoy a quality protein. 

Find out more in the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine story, Hunters for the Hungry.

Don’t Miss Out on 1 Million+ Acres of Hunting

hunting duo in camo and masks, video link

If you want to expand your hunting options, walk-in hunting is available on more than 1 million acres of land that we've leased from federal and state agencies, industry and private landowners. All you need to access it is a $48 Annual Public Hunting Permit. And anyone under 17 can access these areas for free with a permitted adult.

Paperless check-in is now an option for many public hunting sites. Look for "eOSR" at the area information station, then use the My Texas Hunt Harvest app to complete your on-site registration.

To help keep public hunting lands safe, anyone who uses them in daylight during any gun hunting season is required to wear blaze orange.

Do a search by area or type of game and find yourself a new, affordable spot for a hunt! 

Safety graphic for hunters with link

Toyota Tundra ad with link

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