Deer Seasons Expanded, a Welcome Change for Hunters

At least one state is expanding deer hunting opportunities for the upcoming season, a welcome change for hunters who seem more often these days to hear about limits, cutbacks, restrictions or laws affecting them.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its March 27 public hearing approved expanded mule deer seasons in several counties.

An archery-only open season and 16-day general season for mule deer in Knox County, and a nine-day general season for mule deer in Castro, Hale and Lubbock counties will be in effect for the 2014-15 hunting seasons.

The mule deer season had previously been closed in these counties. The Commission also clarified that use of antlerless mule deer permits would not count against a hunter’s county bag limit, nor require an antlerless mule deer tag from a hunting license. In addition, the use of the permit was extended to be used in archery season with archery equipment only.

In addition, a provision prohibiting possession of firearms while hunting deer or turkey during an open archery season has been removed. Lawful archery equipment remains the only means authorized to take deer or turkey during archery season.

The Commission clarified that holders of a valid Texas Lifetime Hunting License must still acquire and use tags annually where tagging of harvested game is required.

All regulation changes take effect Sept. 1, 2014.

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