The Houston Chronicle reports Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff are proposing changes for the 2012-13 hunting seasons. TPWD staff met with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Nov. 2 to propose restructuring quail seasons and bag limits, allowing hunting for white-tailed deer in four counties currently with no open deer season, and closing pheasant hunting in three coastal counties.
The agency proposes to divide the state into regions based on its quail population and habitat status and set season length and bag limit accordingly. This is due in part to declining bird populations across the state. Pheasant hunting would be closed in Jefferson, Chambers, and Liberty counties under the proposal.
TPWD also proposes to have a hunting season in Galveston, Rockwall, Dallas, and Collin counties. It also proposes having an archery-only deer season in Dallas, Collin, and Rockwall counties and a standard deer season in Galveston County starting in the 2012-13 season.
Galveston County's deer season would mirror the one currently allowed in Harris County. That season would include an archery-only season during October and a general (firearms and archery) season from the first Saturday in November through the first Sunday in January. Annual bag limit would be four deer, no more than two bucks and two does, with antler restrictions applying to bucks.
TPWD plans to hold public meetings across the state over the next two months to discuss the proposed changes and solicit public input before developing a final set of proposals. They will be presented at a Jan. 25 meeting of the TPW Commission and considered for adoption at the group's March 29 public meeting.
Any adopted regulations will take effect Sept. 1, 2012.