Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

December 29, 2011

Deer hunting could open 2012 in four urbanized Texas counties

Filed under: Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 6:49 am

Deer hunting, with archery only, might be opened next year in three northeast Texas counties and one along the coast, if the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approves.

Hunting regulations similar to archery-only Grayson County would be extended to Collin, Dallas, and Rockwall counties, according to the proposal.

And in Galveston County, the deer hunting regulations would mirror those of neighboring Harris County.

All four counties currently have no open deer seasons.

Opening them to bowhunting would also provide “a tool to deal with urban deer issues,” said Alan Cain, white-tailed deer program leader at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

“Obviously,” Cain added, “those areas are urban for the most part, fragmented, but still with small but huntable pockets of deer.

“Bottom line is, there is no biological reason not to have a season in those counties.”

The archery-only Grayson County model for the three northeast counties does not allow hunting with firearms. During archery season, crossbows are allowed only for people with upper-limb disabilities, but they can be used by anyone during the general gun season.

Galveston County would be opened to archery season. There also would be a general and muzzleloader seasons like in Harris County.

Regulations would also be changed in each of these counties to allow the taking of two does without the Managed Lands Deer Permits that are required now in Grayson and Harris counties.

The commission was notified on Nov. 2 that a formal proposal would be made in January. Commission members would likely vote on the changes in March, Cain said.

Trevor Tanner, a TPWD biologist in northeast Texas, said healthy deer populations have grown up near the Collin County communities of Anna, Melissa, Blue Ridge and around Lake Lavon.

The best deer habitat in the region is along main creek drainages, Tanner said.

“I’ve seen some trail cam pictures from the Lake Lavon area of some decent size deer,” he said. “There also have been some hit on (U.S.) 380. One actually ended up in the cab of an 18-wheeler.”

Hunting in these counties, Tanner said, could help control populations as urban areas expand.

“We don’t want to be the next Westlake in the Austin area or San Antonio and even the Conroe area that have very large deer populations,” Tanner said. He added that those herds got out of control “because there is no hunting allowed in those urban areas.”

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