South Zone Dove Hunters to See Earliest Opener in Seven Decades
Hunters will see several hunting regulation changes this fall, including an early opener for dove season in the South Zone, a mule deer season in Lynn County, experimental mule deer antler restrictions, an increase to the northern pintail bag limit, and a one week reduction to the spring Eastern turkey season for 2019 in 13 counties.
The following modifications and clarifications to the 2018-19 Statewide Hunting Proclamation, details of which will be incorporated into this year’s Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Outdoor Annual, have been approved by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission:
- Open the general dove season in the South Zone on Sept. 14; earliest starting date for the region since 1950.
- Shorten the Eastern spring turkey hunting season in Bowie, Cass, Fannin, Grayson, Jasper, Lamar, Marion, Nacogdoches, Newton, Panola, Polk, Red River, and Sabine by one week while retaining the current closing date of May 14. The Commission also approved closing the Eastern turkey season in Upshur and San Augustine counties.
- Open in Lynn County a 9-day buck-only mule deer season with no special archery season.
- Set a 20-inch minimum outside antler spread of the main beams restriction on mule deer bucks in Briscoe, Childress, Cottle, Floyd, Motley, and Hall counties.
- Clarify that deer antler restriction regulations that state in each county where antler restrictions are imposed, a person who takes a buck in violation of antler restrictions is prohibited from subsequently harvesting any buck deer with branched antlers on both main beams in that county during that current deer season.
- Lastly, The Commission adopted changes that simplified archery regulations by remove requirements for broadhead hunting points to have two cutting edges and a cutting width of 7/8 of an inch. Also removed were the minimum pull requirement of 125 pounds and the minimum crossbow stock length of 25 inches.
After re-evaluating a proposal that would permit the use of air guns and arrow guns to take certain game animals, game birds, alligators, and furbearers, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has rescinded the previous rule they adopted in March and has requested staff to modify their recommendations and propose new rules to be considered by the Commission at their next scheduled meeting in August.
Hunting season dates for the 2018-19 seasons can be viewed on the TPWD website.