TPWD News Release — Oct. 27, 2004
AUSTIN, Texas — Passing the hunting tradition through the generations and providing opportunities for young hunters this fall are the goals of special youth-only seasons. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department sets aside the special seasons for white-tailed deer, Rio Grande turkey and waterfowl on October 30-31, before the general hunting seasons, to encourage adults to share the hunting experience with the next generation of hunters.
“These youth hunting seasons are becoming as much a part of our state’s hunting tradition as opening day of dove or deer season,” said Mike Berger, TPWD Wildlife Division director. “We hope these opportunities will motivate folks to devote some time afield with kids and pass on Texas’ hunting heritage to the next generation.”
During the statewide special youth-only hunting weekend of Oct. 30-31, licensed youth 16 years of age or younger will be allowed to harvest white-tailed deer and Rio Grande turkey. General season bag limits for the county hunted apply during the youth-only weekend.
Hunting for ducks, mergansers and coots during the youth-only waterfowl hunts in the North and South Duck Zones are limited to youngsters 15 years of age or younger. Normal bag limits and hunting restrictions apply, except that one pintail and one canvasback daily may be taken during the youth-only waterfowl hunts. Certification under the Harvest Information Program is required of anyone, regardless of age, who hunts waterfowl or any other type of migratory game bird. No federal or state duck stamp is required for qualifying youth to hunt during the special youth-only waterfowl hunt days. However, during the regular waterfowl seasons, the $15 federal duck stamp is mandatory for hunters 16 years of age or older and the $7 state duck stamp is mandatory for hunters 17 or older.
TPWD has made an effort to open as much public hunting land as possible to youth hunts through the $48 annual public hunting permit program. The public hunting program has numerous youth hunts for deer, waterfowl, squirrel and feral hog. Adult permit holders receive a map booklet detailing available hunt areas and youth seasons. Youth hunting on departmental public hunting lands must be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter and must have any required stamps and public hunting permits.
More information about youth hunting opportunities is available online at the TPWD Web site (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/) or by calling toll free (800) 792-1112.