On The Hunt
Dates for Hunting Seasons
By Will Johnson
EAST TEXAS – As the last rays of summer’s golden sunshine begin to fade away, and the leaves begin their annual color change, country boys and gals everywhere are trading in their swimwear for camouflage and venturing into the forests of East Texas. The succulent aromas of roasted venison, wild hog, duck meat, and other breeds of wild game will soon fill the air. Taxidermists, like the Sportsman’s Memory, will see their workloads skyrocket as they help proud hunters preserve their prized kills.
According to the official website of the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, dove season got underway Monday, Sept. 1 and will continue through Sunday, Nov.3. The second half of the season begins on Sunday, Dec. 20 and runs through Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020.
Youth-only duck season will occur from Saturday, Nov. 2 through Sunday, Nov. 3. The regular season will kick off Saturday, Nov. 9 and continue through Sunday, Dec. 1. Other dates for the season are Saturday, Dec. 7 through Sunday, Jan. 26.
Early Canada Geese Season started on Sept. 14 and runs until Sunday, Sept. 29. Light and Dark Geese season begins on Saturday, Nov. 2 and continues until Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. Light Geese season (Conservation Order) begins on Monday, Jan. 27 and lasts until Sunday, March 15, 2020
Quail season opens Saturday, Oct. 26 and runs until Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020.
Youth-only squirrel season will be observed from Saturday, Sept. 28 through Sunday, Sept. 29. In East Texas, the general season starts Tuesday, Oct. 1 and goes through Sunday, Feb. 23. After a break, the season picks back up on Friday, May 1 and runs through Sunday, May 31.
Archery-only deer season will begin Saturday, Sept. 28 and will run through Friday, Nov. 1. The general season will begin Saturday, Nov. 2 and runs until Sunday, Jan. 5.
Early youth-only deer season is set for Saturday, Oct. 26 through Sunday, Oct. 27. The second youth-only deer season is held next year between Monday, Jan. 6 and Sunday, Jan. 19.
Also contained on the TPWD website is information on how hunters can keep themselves and others safe while in pursuit of wild game.
The TPWD also lists what they refer to as the “Ten Commandments of Shooting Safety,” which are:
• Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
• Treat every firearm or bow with the same respect you would show a loaded gun or nocked arrow.
• Be sure of your target and what is in front of and beyond your target.
• Unload firearms and unstring conventional bows when not in use.
• Handle the firearms, arrows and ammunition carefully.
• Know your safe zone-of-fire and stick to it.
• Control your emotions when it comes to safety.
• Wear hearing and eye protection.
• Don’t drink alcohol or take drugs before or while handling firearms or bow and arrows.
• Be aware of additional circumstances which require added caution or safety awareness.
The TPWD also warns hunters to refrain from shooting at game from the crest of a hill, as it is impossible to be sure what is beyond the target. No shots should be fired at sounds or movements, as the sound or movement may be that of another hunter.
Hunters who are preparing to take a shot in the low light of dawn should wait for better light to be certain of what they are shooting at. If it is dusk, the shot should be forfeited, and the hunter should return in the morning. Binoculars should always be used to identify all targets before any shots are fired.