TPW Commission Approves Public Hunting in 42 State Parks

Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453,

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AUSTIN, Texas — One-third of Texas state parks will allow public hunts for the 2006-07 hunting season, as approved by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its May 24-25 public meeting.

Most of the state parks approved for public hunting will be offered through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s computer drawings for a variety of game and hunting options, including new youth opportunities. New categories include youth-only deer management and youth-only exotic hunts.

To minimize conflicts between park user groups, 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.

The public is urged to contact the park or check the hunting calendar posted online before heading out during hunting season.

The 42 state parks where public hunts will take place are: Abilene, Atlanta; Big Bend Ranch; Brazos Bend; Caprock Canyons; Choke Canyon - North Shore Unit; Colorado Bend; Cooper Lake - South Sulphur Unit; Copper Breaks; 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 Mineral Wells; Lake Somerville Birch Creek and Nails Creek; Lake Whitney; Lost Maples; Mother Neff prairie area; Pedernales Falls; Pedernales Falls Annex; Possum Kingdom; Purtis Creek; Resaca de la Palma; San Angelo; Sea Rim; Seminole Canyon; South Llano; Tony Houseman and Tyler.

Applications for special drawing hunts to be conducted on state parks, wildlife management areas and other TPWD-managed properties during the 2006-07 season will be available in early July from TPWD headquarters and field offices, and posted on the TPWD Web site. Each hunt’s application fee ranges from $3 to $10 for adults and is free to youth, who must be accompanied by an adult hunter.

Deadlines to apply for TPWD public hunts are as follows:

Alligator, Archery Alligator, Youth Only Alligator - August 2, 2006

Prong-horned Antelope - August 17, 2006

Archery Deer, Archery Exotic - August 17, 2006

Guided Bighorn Sheep Hunt - August 31, 2006

Private Lands Management Either Sex, Private Lands Antlerless/Spike- September 7, 2006

Gun Deer (Either-Sex, Antlerless/Spike, Youth Only Either Sex, Youth Only Antlerless/Spike, Management Buck, and Youth Only Management) - September 7, 2006

Javelina, Youth Only Javelina, Guided Waterbuck, and Guided Deer Hunt Packages - October 5, 2006

Exotic Only, Feral Hog, Youth Only Exotic and Youth Only Feral Hog - November 1, 2006

Youth Only Spring Turkey, Spring Turkey, Guided Scimitar-Horned Oryx Hunt Package, Guided Gemsbok, and Guided Antelope Hunt Packages - December 5, 2006

Many parks will also provide hunting opportunities 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.

Among the hunting opportunities available to permit holders are more than 100 separate dove-hunting units covering more than 60,000 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 for the 2006-2007 season on Aug. 15, 2006. Permits can be purchased wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold and from TPWD law enforcement offices.

A map booklet detailing the public hunting sites is mailed to permit holders within two weeks of purchase or can be obtained directly if the permit is obtained from a TPWD law enforcement office. Map booklets can also be viewed on the department’s Web sites.

Public hunt applications booklets will be available at TPWD law enforcement offices, state parks and wildlife management areas in July. Information about the drawings for hunts by special permits can be obtained by calling (800) 792-1112 or online.

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