Hunt Texas – December 2023

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3 Tips for Successful Walk-in Hunts

Hunter in field

If you need a break from the holiday action, December is a wonderful time of the year to hunt. Many seasons are open, including deer, quail, hog and waterfowl.

For affordable access to a wide variety of game, get an Annual Public Hunting Permit for $48. It allows you to hunt on more than 1 million acres of Texas land. 

Whatever quarry you choose to pursue, try these tips for walk-in hunts:

  1. Check out the public hunting map to pinpoint good locations.
  2. Scout the area to find your preferred spots. With your permit, you can start scouting anytime the area is open.
  3. Avoid crowds by avoiding opening week, getting there early, and hunting midweek rather than on weekends.

Find out more about the public hunting program in the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine story, Hunting for a Place to Hunt? 

From Field to Feast

Turkey stew with video link

Make the holidays special by including your wild harvest in the festivities. We've got 2 new recipes and 2 favorites to whet your appetite. 

Try this video recipe for Moroccan Style Duck Hand Pies made with duck meat and giblets combined with dried fruit and warm spices. Hand pies are what we Texans would call empanadas. The Wampanoag Native Americans inspired the recipe for Wild Turkey Sobaheg Stew (video). You'll find full recipes in the descriptions of these videos.

If you've got venison in the freezer, this Venison Jerky recipe can be made using an oven or a dehydrator, and it takes less than a day to dry. Venison in Beer Marinade takes a little longer, but it's worth it. Happy Holidays!

Duck Calls You Can Conquer

Duck calling,.video link

Do you find waterfowl calls hard to master? You're not alone. With 46 species of ducks, geese and swans documented in Texas, it's hard to even know what to learn. Start with 4 common duck calls: mallard, teal, American wigeon and northern pintail.

To hear what they should sound like, and tips for achieving successful calls, watch our short video Duck Calling 101.

For more on Texas-wintering waterfowl and their calls, see our Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine story Sprechen Sie Duck?.

CWD Update

white-tailed buck looking at camera

A case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was confirmed in a captive white-tailed deer at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area (WMA) research facility, which is managed by Texas Parks and Wildlife. 

Out of an abundance of caution, our staff euthanized all deer in the facility and collected samples, which resulted in no additional detections. We will continue monitoring for CWD in the facility and WMA. Find out more in our press release

CWD was detected in a free-ranging deer in Coleman County in Central Texas. This is the first case of CWD in Coleman County. It was found in a white-tailed buck harvested by a hunter who voluntarily submitted it for sampling. You'll find more information in our recent press release.

Anyone who harvests deer this season is encouraged to voluntarily provide samples for testing by taking it to the nearest check station. If you harvest deer within a CWD Zone, sampling is required. Bring your harvest to a check station within 48 hours to have a sample collected. 

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

Be Bear Aware

Bear and cub with video link

If you encounter a black bear in the field, stay away from it and keep any dogs secured. If it sees you, never run, back away.

Black bears are protected in Texas, so if you're hog hunting, be sure before you shoot – a black bear can be mistaken for a hog. 

For more tips on hunting in bear country, read our bear safety tips. Anytime you're in the field keep the 6 Outdoor BearWise Basics in mind. 

Bears in Texas are unlikely to pose a threat to humans. Most human-bear conflicts result from bears getting access to human-provided food. Watch our video Solutions for Bear Country for more about coexisting with bears in Texas.

A message from our non-profit partner, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation:

Central TX Family Receives Early Holiday Gift Courtesy of Toyota and TPWF

The Palacious family in the bed of their new Toyota truck

Ricardo Palacios was selected as the winner for the sweepstakes honoring the centennial anniversary of Texas State Parks. Toyota and Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) teamed up to offer a sweepstakes that raised more than $225,000 for Texas’ wild things and wild places.

Along with a brand-new Toyota vehicle, Ricardo took home a prize package that includes everything needed for a Texas outdoor adventure, including extras from YETI, Solo Stove, PAKMULE, Tecovas, SWAROVSKI OPTIK, Turtlebox, PECOS Outdoor and more.

“Christmas came early for us this year, and we can’t wait to enjoy these wonderful prizes in a Texas state park,” said Palacios. “We’re very grateful to Toyota and Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation for making this year one we will never forget.”

A message from our non-profit partner, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation:

Texas Wild Album Now Available!

Texas Wild Album cover of a mockingbird singing at night under a full moon

An album as untamed as Texas is now available online, and in select record stores and Texas state park stores across the Lone Star State.

As part of the 100 Years of Texas State Parks celebration, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF), in partnership with Rambler Sparkling Water and Tecovas, presents Texas Wild – an album featuring Texas musicians as they pay tribute to beloved Texas tunes.

"Artists from across the state have come together to put their unique stamp on Texas classics, resulting in an exciting playlist that music fans will want to play on repeat," said TPWF Executive Director Anne Brown. "We're thankful for the many talented artists who made this extraordinary album possible.”

Sales from the album will benefit TPWF.

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

Toyota 4Runner ad, with link

Messages from a Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertisers:

Stone Creek Ranch ad, with link

Houston Safari Club, with link

Joshua Creek Ranch, linked

Buckmasters magazine gift collection, with link

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


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