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October offers many opportunities for hunting in West Texas
Publish Date: October 7, 2004 | Permanent Link

photograph by Dennie Miller

Hunting Pronghorn Antelope takes place in selected areas of the Trans-Pecos from Oct. 2 to Oct 10 with permits issued by the landowners.

By Dennie Miller
Outdoors writer

No doubt about it – there’s a touch of autumn in the air. The days are getting shorter and the nights cooler. Soon, cold weather will be throwing its first punch .
For the hunter, October presents a number of opportunities to put meat on the table or to pursue a trophy. Pronghorn Antelope are in season for eight days at the beginning of the month, while archery dominates the remainder of the month with an emphasis on White-tailed and Mule Deer. The end of the month marks the beginning of quail season.
In selected areas of the Trans-Pecos region, hunting for Pronghorn Antelope is allowed, by permit only, from Oct. 2 to Oct. 10, with permits issued by the landowners or the landowner’s agent. The bag limit is one animal per hunter, and a permit must be properly filled out and attached to the antelope following a kill. With above average rainfall through most of the area, antelope populations are increasing, making the prospect for success good to excellent.
Archery season for both White-tailed and Mule Deer runs from Oct. 2 to Oct. 31. Longbows, compound bows and recurved bows must have a 40-pound minimum draw. Those equipped with a device allowing the bow to be locked at a full or partial draw are legal during any season archery equipment may be used. The use of a crossbow is restricted to game birds, unless provisions for a person with an upper limb disability apply. Arrows are subject to certain restrictions as outlined in Outdoor Annual, Texas Parks and Wildlife’s hunting and fishing regulations.
A special Youth Only season for White-tailed Deer will take place on the weekend of Oct. 30 to Oct 31. Only licensed hunters, 16 years of age or younger, may hunt deer on this weekend. A Special Hunting License (Type 102) is required.
Quail season opens statewide on Oct. 30 and runs through Feb. 27. The daily bag limit is 15 with a possession limit of 45 quail.
If access to a good place to hunt is the only thing keeping you from hunting quail, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) offers some excellent opportunities for hunters.
“Some of the best quail hunting in Texas this season will be on public land,” said Dennis Gissell, TPWD wildlife management area facilities coordinator.
With the purchase of a $48 Annual Public Hunting Permit from TPWD, hunters gain access to tens of thousands of acres of quality quail habitat in Texas. The detailed booklet that comes with the purchase of the permit details all rules that apply to hunting on public land and itemizes dates that each site is open to hunting. All hunters must wear hunter orange headgear and vests when on public land.
In the Trans-Pecos region, Black Gap Wildlife Management Area is offering hunting access for quail from Oct. 30 to Nov. 26; Dec. 13 to 25; Dec. 30 to Jan. 8; and Jan. 13 to Feb. 27. Black Gap WMA covers 119,000 acres in southern Brewster County.
At Elephant Mountain Wildlife Management Area, quail hunting will be allowed from Oct. 30 to Nov. 25 and again from Dec. 13 to Feb. 27. Elephant Mountain WMA is located 30 miles south of Alpine and encompasses 23,000 acres.
Both areas will have an early youth /adult weekend for quail on the weekend of Oct. 16 to 17. The youth/adult concept began in 1995 as a way to introduce young hunters to quail hunting. Details can be obtained by calling TPWD at 432.837.3251.
“If ever someone wanted to give scaled quail hunting a go, this is the year to get out and do it,” said Mike Pittman, area manager for Black Gap and Elephant Mountain WMAs. “We have an excellent crop of birds this year."

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