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Commission Approves Public Hunting at 44 State Parks
AUSTIN, Texas — One-third of the sites in the Texas state parks system will offer public hunting opportunities for the 2004-05 hunting season. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its May 27 public meeting approved the 44 sites.
Most of the state parks approved for public hunting will be offered in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s exclusive special computer drawings for a variety of game and hunting options, including youth opportunities. Many parks will also provide hunting opportunity as part of the department’s Annual Public Hunting Permit program, which offers purchasers of the $48 permit hunting access to more than one million acres throughout the state.
To minimize conflicts between park user groups, practically all of the public hunts are offered during off-peak visitation periods, typically on weekdays in the winter months. A number of youth hunts are scheduled during school holidays. During these events signs are posted at parks alerting visitors that a hunt is in progress, but the public is urged to contact the park or check the hunting calendar posted online at TPWD’s Web site (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/) before heading out during hunting season.
Following is a list of the 44 state parks where public hunts will be conducted: Atlanta; Big Bend Ranch; Brazos Bend; Bryan Beach; Caddo Lake; Caprock Canyons; Choke Canyon Calliham and North Shore Units; Colorado Bend; Cooper Lake South Sulphur Unit; Davis Mountains; Devil’s River; Devil’s Sinkhole; Enchanted Rock; Fairfield Lake; Fort Boggy; Garner; Guadalupe River; Guadalupe River North Unit; Hill Country; Honey Creek; Huntsville; Inks Lake/Longhorn Caverns; Kickapoo Caverns; Lake Bob Sandlin; Lake Brownwood; Lake Houston; Lake Mineral Wells; Lake Somerville; Lake Whitney; Lost Maples; Martin Dies, Jr.; Matagorda Island; Mother Neff; Pedernales Falls; Pedernales Falls Annex; Possum Kingdom; Resaca de la Palma; San Angelo; Sea Rim; Seminole Canyon; South Llano River and Tony Houseman.
Applications for special drawing hunts to be conducted on state parks, wildlife management areas and other TPWD-managed properties during the 2004-05 seasons will be available in late July from TPWD headquarters and field offices, and posted on the TPWD Web site. The application fee for each hunt category ranges from $3 to $10 for adults and is free to youth, who must be accompanied by an adult hunter.
Deadlines to apply for these hunts are as follows:
- Alligator, Archery Alligator, Youth Only Alligator — Aug. 2
- Prong-horned Antelope — Aug. 13
- Archery Deer — Aug. 20
- Private Lands Management Either Sex, Private Lands Antlerless/Spike- Aug. 20
- Gun Deer (Either-Sex, Antlerless/Spike, Youth Only Either Sex, Youth Only Antlerless/Spike, Management Buck,) — Sept. 10
- Exotic Only, Javelina, Youth Only Javelina, Guided Gemsbok, and Guided Deer Hunt Packages — Oct. 7
- Feral Hog and Youth Feral Hog-Nov. 11
- Youth Spring Turkey, Spring Turkey, Guided Scimitar-Horned Oryx Hunt Package, and Guided Antelope Hunt Packages — Dec. 3
Among the hunting opportunities available to the public under the $48 Annual Public Hunting Permit includes more than 100 separate dove hunting units covering more than 160,000 acres. Many of these hunting sites are within close proximity to major urban areas. The permit also provides access to hunting for other species, including deer, waterfowl and small game. The permit is available wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold and from TPWD law enforcement offices. A map booklet detailing the public hunting sites accompanies the permit.
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