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Young Hunters Get First Shot During Special Weekend
AUSTIN, Texas — "Trick or Treat" won’t be the only activity on the minds of Texas youth on Oct. 31. While some will dress up as fairy princesses and ghosts for Halloween, many will be wearing bright orange and camouflage for the special youth-only hunting weekends. Passing the hunting heritage on to the next generation of hunters is what the special youth-only seasons are all about, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
TPWD has set aside Oct. 31-Nov. 1 as special youth-only seasons for white-tailed deer and Rio Grande turkey. Additional youth-only seasons have also been set aside in January. 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.
The department has coordinated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to offer a youth-only waterfowl season in the North and South Duck Zones on Oct. 24-25 for licensed youth 15 years of age or younger.
A Special Youth Hunting License ($7) 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, but some additional restrictions may apply in certain areas so be sure to check the Outdoor Annual before heading afield.
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 public hunting units, mostly in East Texas. Youth waterfowl hunts are available on many public hunting units.
The Annual Public Hunting (APH) Permit is a $48 permit, valid from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31 of the following year. The APH permit allows an adult access to designated public hunting lands in the TPWD public hunting lands program. With the APH permit, 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.
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