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Getting Ready for the 2024 Hunting Season in North Texas: What You Need to Know

As the 2024 hunting season approaches in North Texas, it's time for hunting enthusiasts to gear up and prepare for an exciting and productive season. If you’re a relatively new hunter or considering hunting for the first time, here is an overview of when to purchase your hunting license, the game animals you can hunt, and the pros and cons of leasing land to hunters in North Texas.


Purchasing Your Hunting License

To legally hunt in North Texas, you must have a valid hunting license (wild hogs are an exception, but it’s still a good idea to get a license. The money goes to conservation). Licenses for the 2024-2025 hunting season will be available for purchase starting August 1, 2024, and you can buy your license online through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) website or at authorized retailers like Academy across the state. TPWD also has an app (no internet required for the app to function!) so that you can review and understand the specific regulations and requirements for the game animals you plan to hunt.



Game Animals in North Texas

North Texas offers a diverse range of game animals, making it a prime destination for hunters. Here are some of the key species you can look forward to:

Dove:

  • Season: Typically begins in early September.

  • Overview: Mourning dove and white-winged dove are the primary targets. Dove hunting is popular for its fast-paced action and social atmosphere.

White-tailed Deer:

  • Season: Bow season starts in early October, followed by the general season in early November.

  • Overview: White-tailed deer are the most sought-after game in Texas. The region's diverse terrain provides excellent opportunities for both rifle and bow hunters.

Wild Hogs:

  • Season: Year-round

  • Overview: Wild hogs are an invasive and damaging species. Texas has removed most of the standard rules (i.e., no hunting at night, no baiting, no aerial vehicles allowed to assist with the hunt) to fight wild hogs. 

Quail:

  • Season: Typically runs from late October through February.

  • Overview: Quail hunting is known for its challenging and rewarding nature. Bobwhite quail is the primary species, and hunting often involves the use of trained bird dogs.

Duck:

  • Season: Generally starts in November and runs through January.

  • Overview: North Texas is home to various duck species, including mallards, teal, and pintails. Hunting ducks often involves early mornings and the use of decoys and calls.

Geese:

  • Season: Begins in November and lasts through January.

  • Overview: North Texas attracts various goose species, including snow geese and Canada geese. Goose hunting requires strategic decoy setups and calling techniques.


Pros and Cons of Leasing Land to Hunters

Leasing land to hunters can be a beneficial arrangement for landowners and hunters alike. Here are some pros and cons to consider:

Pros:

  • Additional income: Leasing your land to hunters can provide a steady stream of additional income, which can be used for land improvements or other expenses. A hunting lease will than likely cover your taxes on the property and hunters will perform some maintenance of your property. 

  • Land management: Responsible hunters (this is key!!) often contribute to better land management, including population control of certain species and maintenance of habitats. Responsible hunters can also contribute to trail maintenance and the health of the animal population. 

  • Reduced overpopulation: Allowing hunting on your land can help manage wildlife populations, reducing the risk of overgrazing and habitat destruction.

Cons:

  • Liability: Leasing land to hunters can increase your liability risk. It's essential to have proper insurance and clear agreements in place. Unclear or “handshake” agreements create room for disagreements and misunderstandings.

  • Land wear and tear: Increased foot traffic and the use of vehicles can cause wear and tear on your land, requiring additional maintenance.

  • Conflict potential: There can be potential conflicts between hunters and other land uses or between different groups of hunters. If you are also leasing your land for cattle or agriculture, each party needs to understand how to interact with the other. Hunters are upset when a farmer/rancher comes through the property during hunting season while they are hunting, and it puts the farmer/ranch at risk to be there while people are hunting. 



Conclusion

The upcoming hunting season in North Texas promises a variety of opportunities for both seasoned and novice hunters. With the diversity of game animals available, hunters can look forward to a rewarding experience. By understanding the regulations and considering the pros and cons of leasing land to hunters, landowners and hunters can make the most of this exciting season. Whether you’re chasing dove, duck, hogs, deer, quail, or geese, North Texas offers an unparalleled hunting experience.

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