Updates for the 2019-20 hunting season in Texas
Tuesday, September 03, 2019
Though it still feels like summer in most of Texas, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and hunting season is getting closer. Hunting and fishing licenses for the 2019-20 season went on sale on Aug. 15, and the new license year started on Sept. 1.
Texas Parks and Wildlife also recently released its Outdoor Annual Hunting, Fishing, and Boating Regulations, which contain a number of interesting updates.
We already discussed the change to state law that went into effect Sept. 1 whereby hunters are no longer required to possess a valid hunting license to take feral hogs on private land with landowner authorization. Aside from that change, there are still a few other noteworthy updates to the hunting regulations.
First, the state has established an antlerless whitetail deer season in 21 south-central Texas counties: Austin, Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Comal (east of I-35), De Witt, Fayette, Goliad (north of US 59), Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hays (east of I-35), Jackson (north of US 59), Karnes, Lavaca, Lee, Travis (east of I-35), Victoria (north of US 59), Waller, Washington, Wharton (north of US 59), and Wilson.
This is the first time in many years that hunters in those counties could harvest does during the general rifle season unless hunting with a Managed Land Deer Permit.
The state has established a four-day period within the general deer season starting on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28-Dec. 1 this year) where antlerless deer may be taken with a general hunting license in those 21 counties.
Each hunter may harvest up to two antlerless deer in those counties during that time period, but all antlerless whitetail deer harvested during any season (archery, youth, muzzleloader, or general) in those counties are now required to report their harvest to TPWD within 24 hours online at tpwd.texas.gov/myhunt or through the My Texas hunt Harvest App on (available on iOS and Android).
Additionally, the state has opened a javelina season in six South Plains counties: Borden, Dawson, Gaines, Hardeman, Scurry, and Terry. The new season will run Oct. 1 to Feb. 23 in those counties and with a bag limit of two javelina per hunter.
Next, mule deer hunters in Lynn County will now only be permitted to harvest bucks with an outside antler spread greater than 20 inches starting this year. Mule deer season opened in Lynn County in 2018, but hunters there were not initially subject to antler restrictions.
However, that’s changing this year, and Lynn County now joins Briscoe, Childress, Cottle, Floyd, Hall, and Motley counties with a 20-inch antler spread minimum of mule deer.
Finally, waterfowl hunters got a little bit of bad news with a statewide decrease on the pintail daily bag limit from two to one for the duration of the 2019-20 hunting season.
These are not the only updates to regulations this year. As always, make sure you’re familiar with the hunting regulations before you go afield. Check the Texas Parks and Wildlife website or pick up a hard copy of the of the Outdoor Annual Hunting, Fishing, and Boating Regulations at your local sporting goods store for all the details.
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