Texas Adopts 2011-12 Hunting Regulations With Few Changes

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The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted hunting and fishing regulations for 2011-12 with relatively few changes. All amendments take effect Sept. 1, 2011.

Topping the list are regulation changes impacting turkey hunting.

Effective for the 2012 season, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is closing spring turkey hunting in the following 15 East Texas counties in response to low populations and harvest numbers: Cherokee, Delta, Gregg, Hardin, Houston, Hunt, Liberty, Montgomery, Rains, Rusk, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Tyler and Walker.

Closing spring turkey seasons in these counties will enable biologists to reassess Eastern turkey restoration efforts in areas having suitable habitat, restock sites and provide brood stock protection. The agency's goal is to reopen hunting once the Eastern turkey populations in the affected counties are capable of sustaining harvest.

Also effective for the 2012 season, TPWD is delaying spring Eastern turkey hunting in the remaining counties having an open season by two weeks, to run from April 15-May 14 beginning in 2012. Biologists say the delay gives hens time to begin nesting prior to the season opening.

Beginning in 2012, hunters may harvest any bearded Rio Grande turkey during the spring season in all counties having a bag limit of four turkeys.