Expectations High for Archery-Only Hunting Season Opening Sept 28
New Mandatory Harvest Reporting Required for Antlerless Deer Harvest
AUSTIN – The hot and dry conditions that have been gripping most of Texas could make Saturday’s archery season opener a challenge. It is the season opener only for white-tailed deer for bowhunters. Those who know how to work the conditions can still find good hunting. For the first time this fall, hunters are required to report all antlerless deer harvested in 21 south-central Texas counties—see details below.
“Although dry conditions should encourage deer to frequent feeders more consistently and more often, the hot temperatures may curtail movement during much of the day. There is an exception for the periods around dawn and dusk,” said Alan Cain, TPWD white-tailed deer program leader. “Until cooler temperatures arrive and deer movement picks up, hunters may consider using game cameras to narrow down peak deer movement near their favorite hunting location and increase chances of success.”
Texas boasts a robust white-tailed deer population of about 5.3 million deer which should contribute to hunter success this season. There is a deterioration in range conditions over the last several months with the 100-degree weather and wind. Cain notes, “Hunters should expect an excellent deer season with above average antler quality and fawn recruitment.” Cain explained that good rains early in the fall of 2018 that set the stage for an excellent crop of winter weeds lasting well into the spring. The superb habitat conditions continued into early July and were critical in providing the nutrition bucks needed to maximize antler growth.
While the archery-only season kicks off this weekend and runs through Friday (Nov 1), the general gun season opener is still more than a month away on Saturday (Nov 2). A particular youth-only weekend season is Saturday through Sunday (Oct 26-27). The general season runs through Sunday (Jan 5) in North Texas and Sunday (Jan 19) in South Texas. Also, a late youth-only season is Monday through Sunday (Jan 6-19). For additional new season deer hunting opportunities and county specific regulations, consult the 2019-2020 Outdoor Annual of hunting and fishing regulations.
New this fall, hunters in parts of south-central Texas will be required to report all antlerless deer harvest in Austin, Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Dewitt, Fayette, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Karnes, Lavaca, Lee, Waller, Washington, and Wilson. Counties also included in that change are Goliad, Jackson, Victoria, and Wharton counties north of U.S. Highway 59 and Comal, Hays, and Travis east of IH-35.
Any antlerless deer harvested during the archery, youth-only, muzzleloader, and the four-doe days during the general season is required reporting to the department. You need to do so within 24 hours of harvest. You can use either the “My Texas Hunt Harvest” mobile app (for iOS and Android) or on TPWD’s My Texas Hunt Harvest web page.
Anyone can get the “My Texas Hunt Harvest” app at tpwd.texas.gov/myhunt. The app works without a data signal as long as you have downloaded it to the device. The app is also bilingual and available in Spanish to customers who use Spanish as the primary language setting on their phone or other mobile devices.
Hunters are also reminded to review the TPWD chronic wasting disease regulations for information about CWD testing requirements and carcass movement restrictions for the 2019-2020 season. Also, Texas hunters harvesting deer, elk, moose, or other susceptible species in other CWD-positive states must comply with carcass movement restrictions. That is when you’re bringing those harvested animals back into Texas. Additionally, the Texas Animal Health Commission has mandatory testing requirements that apply to elk, red deer, sika, moose, and reindeer.
Gov. Abbott Proclaims Sep 28 National Hunting and Fishing Day in Texas
47th Anniversary Event Shines Light on Link Between Outdoor Recreation and Conservation
AUSTIN – This Saturday (Sep 28), is National Hunting and Fishing Day, and supporters of the special day are calling on Texas hunters and anglers to invite someone to go hunting or fishing, whether a first-timer, child or grandchild, friend, co-worker or neighbor.
Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation supporting the special day saying in part, “Our sportsmen and women have generated millions to support the conservation efforts of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and Texas’ hunters and anglers have boosted the state’s economy by purchasing and equipping themselves with the necessary tools to engage in their pursuits. Participation in activities, like hunting and fishing, are richly rewarding experiences. Not only do they create thousands of jobs and revenue for our great state, but they are also great opportunities to deepen human relationships and reconnect with the environment.”
For more than 100 years, hunters and anglers have been among the earliest and most active supporters of wildlife conservation in North America. Led by President Theodore Roosevelt, it was hunters and anglers who called for the first game laws restricting the commercial slaughter of wildlife. They urged sustainable use of fish and game, created hunting and fishing licenses, and lobbied for taxes on sporting equipment to pay for wildlife conservation.
Across the nation, including here in Texas, populations of white-tailed deer, redfish and other game species were almost wiped out by the early to mid-20th century from decades of unregulated exploitation. But today most fish and game have come back to plentiful abundance.
In modern Texas, hunting and fishing remain a cultural and economic force. The traditions are gaining traction among some urban audiences as a logical extension of the local food movement.
“We are definitely starting to see a shift in younger urban people becoming more interested in fishing and hunting,” said Chef Jesse Griffiths, who owns Dai Due butcher shop and restaurant in East Austin and wrote a 2012 book about preparing wild fish and game.
“It’s a pretty natural extrapolation from your farmer’s market, your local food conscientiousness. Maybe they’ve got a few chickens in their backyard, and maybe they’ve planted a small garden plot. Once they’ve grown their tomatoes, it’s a pretty easy mental leap to, ‘Oh, this tomato is pretty amazing. I bet a redfish or a catfish or a feral hog or a dove that I went out and got myself would be this good too.’”
Economically, a study by Southwick Associates showed more than one million people hunt each year in Texas. Hunting creates more than 36,000 jobs in the state, and it generates more than $2 billion in retail sales. The study showed more than two million people fish in Texas, generating more than $2 billion in retail sales and close to 30,000 jobs.
CWD Sample Collector Trainings in the Panhandle and Trans-Pecos
AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service have partnered to coordinate Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) post-mortem sample collection training in the Panhandle and Trans-Pecos. It is a part of the state’s increased CWD surveillance. Landowners/managers, taxidermists, and veterinarians are trained and certified by TAHC to be official CWD sample collectors.
It will be a classroom format as well as hands-on training for sample collection. Trained individuals will then be able to sample harvested CWD susceptible species such as white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, red deer, sika, etc. on their properties. Or, other hunters can provide those samples to TPWD for CWD testing to meet mandatory testing requirements in the Panhandle and Trans-Pecos CWD Zones. Individuals who participated last year must also attend this year’s training to receive necessary tissue sampling supplies. Space is limited to the first 50 participants for each exercise, and registration is mandatory. Please sign up as soon as possible.
Details for the training are below:
AgriLife Extension Building, 6500 W Amarillo Blvd
9:00 am – 12:00 pm Wednesday (Oct 9)
Please contact James Hoskins with TPWD at (806) 420-0439 or firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for the Amarillo training.
Texas AgriLife Research Center, 1380 A&M Circle
9:00 am – 3:00 pm MST on Saturday (Nov 16)
Please contact Jose Etchart with TPWD at (432) 207-2110 or email@example.com to sign up for the El Paso training.
Please visit www.tpwd.texas.gov/cwd and http://www.tahc.state.tx.us/animal_health/elk-deer/ for more information about CWD, CWD management, and CWD regulations.
4200 Smith School Road Austin, Texas 78744 tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia