Hunt Texas – October 2021

View as a Webpage
Hunt Texas header

Great Expectations for Deer Season

big buck snorting

Deer season opens Nov. 6, and this is not a year you want to sit out. We expect a fantastic season with better than average antler quality – we’ve already received reports of several exceptional bucks taken during archery season. See the white-tailed deer forecast for details.

Refer to the Outdoor Annual for all deer hunting regulations, including statewide bag limits, specific county regulations and special antler restrictions. 

Mandatory Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) sampling and carcass movement restrictions apply to counties in CWD zones. If you harvest a deer in these zones, bring it to a check station within 48 hours to have a sample collected that we will then test for CWD.

If you need an affordable place to hunt, purchase an Annual Public Hunting Permit for $48. It will give you access to over 1 million acres of public hunting land. 

Every year hunters spend billions of dollars on deer hunting, much of it in small towns. Witness the impact hunting has in our video, Goldthwaite Goldrush.

Quail Forecast by Region

Hunter holding harvested quail in his hand

Quail season opens statewide Oct. 30, with a forecast of modest prospects.

Bobwhite quail: Although survey numbers were low, local reports tell us to expect good to very good hunting in South Texas, and below average to fair elsewhere. Numbers could have been impacted by the February freeze; or birds may have been hidden in the lush vegetation during the surveys. But with quail populations still struggling after years of drought, it’s more likely there were just too few hens available to reproduce and give us any real gains in population. See the bobwhite forecast for details.

Scaled quail: We expect hunting will also be below average to fair. Surveys showed a modest bump in their numbers in the Panhandle, Edwards Plateau and Rolling Plains, but most regions experienced small losses, with the most significant year-to-year drop in the Trans-Pecos. See the scaled quail forecast for details.

You can hunt bobwhite, scaled and Gambel's quail. The bag limit is 15 per day for all 3 species combined, total possession limit is 45 birds. You'll need an Upland Game Bird endorsement to hunt quail, along with a hunting license

A big “Thank you!” to all our biologists who travel over 3,300 miles each August to survey the quail and provide us with their valuable insight. Contact your local TPWD biologist to learn more about quail populations in a particular area.

Try This Recipe: Grilled Quail Salad

quail on a grill, link to recipe

Elevate your next main dish salad with quail. This simple Grilled Quail Salad recipe uses a bright marinade to bring out the flavor of your quail harvest before grilling. 

Delicious and healthy, this recipe is an easy way to share your harvest with friends and family – try it!

When to Wear Blaze Orange

man and boy in blaze orange waiting to take a shot

If you use public lands during daylight in any gun-hunting season, you're required to wear blaze orange (hunter orange) for your own safety.

Your blaze orange attire must include headgear and it must cover your chest and back. Even when hunting on private land, wear it to stay safe. If you hunt with a dog, get it some blaze orange. 

This rule applies to non-hunters as well as hunters, with some exceptions. Bow hunters, be aware that gun hunts may overlap archery-only hunts on public lands; so do your research before heading out, and don the blaze orange if needed. 

Correct use of blaze orange is one of the many skills taught in Hunter Education. Anyone born after Sept. 1, 1971, must carry proof of Hunter Ed in the field. If you've misplaced your certification card, get a free copy online. You can also find proof of your certification using the Outdoor Annual app – watch our short how-to video, Hunter Education Certification on Your Outdoor Annual App.

CWD Update

New for the 2021-22 season, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been found in a free-ranging mule deer in Lubbock County and within 7 captive-deer breeding facilities in Hunt, Uvalde, Matagorda, Mason and Duval counties. We are concerned that CWD could have been introduced into free-ranging deer herds on properties that received deer from these specific facilities. See our press release for details. 

Mandatory CWD sampling and carcass movement restrictions apply to counties in CWD zones. If you harvest a deer in these zones, bring it to a check station within 48 hours to have a sample collected that we will then test for CWD. Anyone who harvests deer this season is encouraged to voluntarily provide samples for testing by taking it to the nearest check station.

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

Game Warden Field Notes

Bee drama, tortoise collecting and goose harassment – all in the latest Field Notes.

Game Warden Field Notes with link

Become a Friend of Texas Game Wardens Today!

Friend of Texas Game Wardens patches, hats, cup with link

In 2017, TPWD’s nonprofit funding partner Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) launched Gear Up for Game Wardens. This program provides specialty equipment Texas game wardens need to maintain safety and ensure the highest level of service for the people of Texas. Hundreds of generous donors have contributed more than $2 million so far.

Sustaining the Gear Up for Game Wardens program ensures TPWF can manage the program and purchase the equipment Texas Game Wardens need. 

Becoming a Friend of Texas Game Wardens helps TPWF continue their work to enhance the capabilities of the best-trained corps of conservation officers in the nation. Become a friend today and see the exclusive items you will receive so you can show your support of our Texas Game Wardens. 

Messages from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertisers

Houston Safari Club with link

Skin-M-right ad with link

Bear Creek Arsenal ad with link

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