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Young Hunters Get First Shot During Special Weekend
AUSTIN, Texas — Passing the hunting heritage, as well as a rifle or shotgun, on to the next generation of hunters are what the upcoming special youth-only seasons are all about, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
TPWD has set aside this weekend, Oct. 27-28, as special youth-only seasons for white-tailed deer, Rio Grande turkey and waterfowl in the North and South Duck Zones, to encourage adults to share the hunting experience with the next generation of hunters.
“This special weekend is an opportunity for families to devote some time afield with the kids and pass on Texas’ hunting heritage to the next generation,” said TPWD wildlife division director Mike Berger. “We’re seeing an abundance of wildlife across the state this year and there’s never been a better time to get a youngster involved in hunting.”
During the statewide special youth-only hunting weekend, licensed youth 16 years of age or younger will be allowed to harvest white-tailed deer and Rio Grande turkey.
A Special Youth Hunting License ($6) is required and may be purchased wherever hunting licenses are sold, as well as online and by phone at 1-800-TX-LIC-4U for an additional convenience fee. General season bag limits for the county hunted apply during the youth-only weekend.
Hunting for ducks, mergansers and coots during the youth-only season will be limited to youngsters 15 years of age or younger. Bag limits under the Hunter’s Choice experimental program apply.
“With the cooler weather, we’re anticipating near record numbers of ducks migrating through Texas this fall and habitat conditions are prime,” said Berger.
Berger noted that TPWD has made an extra effort to open as much public hunting land as possible to youth hunting on department-managed lands. Youth who are hunting on TPWD lands must be accompanied by a supervising adult 18 years of age or older who possesses the required Annual Public Hunting permit, a valid hunting license and any required stamps and permits.
Youth hunts for either sex white-tailed deer are scheduled during the special weekend season on 21 public hunting units covering about 325,000 acres, mostly in East Texas. Youth waterfowl hunts are available on many public hunting units.
The Annual Public Hunting Permit is a $48 permit, valid from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31 of the following year. The permit allows an adult access to designated public hunting lands in the TPWD public hunting lands program. Hunting is allowed for small game, turkey, white-tailed deer, exotics, predators, furbearers, and fishing without having to pay daily permit fees and in most instances, without having to be selected in a drawing.
Along with the appropriate Texas hunting licenses and stamps, permit holders may take youth under age 17 hunting free of charge on these public hunting lands.
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