General whitetail season coming to an end Jan. 7
New Year’s Weekend marks the beginning of the end for white-tailed hunting in Gillespie County.
General season for hunting white-tailed, along with dove and turkey, ends Sunday, Jan. 7.
“We’re still checking some deer in camps and seeing some in there,” said Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Gillespie County Game Warden Sam Harris. “They all seem to be in pretty good condition coming in through the latter part of the season. They’re all getting pretty hungry and probably going to feeders more than they did at the start of the season.”
Big game season is coming to a close, but the area’s youth still have a chance to bag a buck.
A youth-only season starts Monday, Jan. 8, for hunters 8-16 years old, and season ends Jan. 21.
“The kids are still allowed to hunt antlered bucks, not just a spike or a doe like the adults are,” Harris said. “I think it helps provide an opportunity for some of the 16-or-under folks to be able to continue to hunt a larger buck if they didn’t have an opportunity to earlier in the year.”
Late anterless and spike season for all ages also runs Jan. 8-21.
The spring season for turkey runs March 17 through April 29.
The season is open in all counties where there is a general open season for white-tailed deer.
All legal hunting means and methods are allowed. Collin, Dallas, Grayson and Rockwall counties require an archery endorsement.
Hunters may take no more than five white-tailed deer and no more than two bucks (all seasons combined) in one license year.
The area still posts the state’s largest deer population in terms of volume.
The TPWD’s big game harvest survey report for the 2016-2017 hunting season estimated 172,599 hunters bagged 215,632 deer in the Edwards Plateau ecoregion, which includes Gillespie County.
According to Outdoor Life Magazine’s 2017 hunting preview, the ecoregion is one of the state’s potential hotspots for hunting and boasts and estimated white-tailed deer population of 2.6 million deer, which comes out to a ratio of 130 deer per 1,000 acres of land.
Statewide, 61.83 percent of estimated hunts were successful and led to 720,645 harvested deer in 2016-2017.
Chronic wasting disease
New regulations for the 2017-2018 hunting season include the establishment of chronic wasting disease management zones.
Gillespie County itself does not have CWD check stations, but such stations can be found in neighboring counties for local hunters who go outside county lines.
The Mason Mountain WMA, located at 6318 Old Mason Road outside of Mason, Kerr WMA at 2625 FM 1340 in Hunt and Miller’s Smokehouse & Market at 705 West Young Street in Llano have had voluntary check stations open during the season.
More information is available by checking the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department CWD section at www.tpwd.texas.gov/cwd.
for Gillespie County
• Late antlerless and spike season — Jan. 8-21.
• Youth only season — Jan. 8-21.
• Spring season (Turkey, Rio Grande-South) — March 17-April 29.
White-tailed deer: Five deer, no more than two bucks in all seasons combined.
No permit is required to hunt antlerless deer unless MLDP antlerless permits have been issued for the tract of land.
Turkey: The annual bag limit for turkey, in the aggregate for all counties, is four and no more than one of which may be an Eastern turkey. For the spring, gobblers or bearded hens have a bag limit of four, no more than one of which may be an Eastern turkey.
Dove: The daily bag limit for doves statewide is 15 and the possession limit is 45.
rules and regulations
A hunting license is required of any person, regardless of age, who hunts any animal, bird, frog or turtle in Texas (except furbearers, if the hunter possesses a trapper’s license).
No license is required for nuisance fur-bearing animals, depredating hogs or coyotes.
Non-residents under 17 years of age may purchase and hunt with the Youth Hunting License (Type 169).
A resident hunting license is $25. Various endorsement requirements apply.
All hunters born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, need to complete a Hunter Education Training Course.
An exception to that regulation is for those who are under the age of 17 years who are hunting with a person who is exempt from the rule because of age or who has completed the course.
A hunter education deferral is also available for those 17 years of age or older who want to hunt but cannot attend a hunter education course.
The deferral costs $10 and is only valid until the end of the current license year.
More information about hunting license regulations is available by visiting https://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/licenses/hunting-licen....