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Hunting and fishing in Texas rank with the best in the nation. The variety of fish and game is great, and is often abundant.
Fishermen may try more than 5,275 square ;miles of inland freshwater - hundreds of creeks, rivers, and lakes, plus scores of tidal bays and 624 miles of shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico.
Native freshwater game fish include black bass (largemouth, smallmouth, Guadalupe, spotted bass) crappie, bluegill (bream), various other sunfish, white or sand bass, and catfish including channel, blue and flathead (yellow). In recent years, outstanding success has been achieved with non-native species stocked in Texas lakes and rivers. They include Florida bass (a bigger cousin of the native largemouth), wallyeye, rainbow trout, and original saltwater species such as redfish and striped bass. Several lakes are now producing striped bass weighing over 30 pounds!
Along the Gulf Coast some 250 different species await lure or bait. Among the most popular are redfish, speckled trout, king and Spanish mackerel, wahoo, bonito, tuna, sailfish, marlin, pompano, flounder, grouper, jewfish, red snapper, sheepshead and drum. Many taken from the beach, jetty or pier.
The feature Texas game animal is the white-tailed deer, found almost statewide, but most densely in the Hill Country of Central Texas where they live in greater numbers than anywhere else in the nation. Mule deer and pronghorns are found in West Texas. Other wild animals include javelinas, wild boars, feral hogs and squirrels.
Game birds include a great variety of migratory waterfowl that winter in Texas, plus wild turkey, bobwhite and blue quail, mourning, white-tipped and white-winged doves, pheasants, prairie chickens, sandhill cranes and chachalacas.
Of unusual interest are several ranches where exotic game animals are stocked for year-round hunting. Among the popular species are Indian black-buck antelope, wild Corsican rams, African aoudad sheep, axis and silka deer.
Hunting in Texas can be very rewarding, though requiring some special arrangements for the nonresident. Texas has four large areas of public lands (national forests) in the eastern part of the state freely accessible for hunting opportunities on over one million acres of land under its control in which people may participate either through purchase of an annual permit, daily permit, or selection in a drawing. Almost all other lands are privately owned, requiring permission from the landowner before entering hunting.
The situation has given rise to the hunting lease system: fees paid landowners for permission to hunt. Some leases may be had on a daily basis. A central list of leases and public hunting information is available from the Parks & Wildlife Department by calling toll free in Texas 1-800-792-1112 or 512-389-4505 for nonresidents.
The following is a brief summary of Texas hunting and fishing fees that were in effect at the time of this writing. Because changes do occur, all persons intending to hunt or fish should obtain a current copy of the free pamphlet, A Guide to Texas Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations, from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744. The guide provides seasonal dates, size, bag and possession limits, and special provisions of fishing and hunting laws. In addition, questions about Texas hunting and fishing may be answered by calling 512-389-4800 or toll-free in Texas, 1-800-792-1112.
Licenses are sold at most sporting goods and tackle stores, county courthouses, Parks & Wildlife Department offices, and by some, not all, local game wardens. All annual licenses are valid from September 1 through the following August 31, no matter when they were purchased.
Available for Texas residents only, a combination hunting and fishing license costs $25.00.
A fishing license is required for all nonresident fisherman. For residents, only those between 17 and 65 years of age are required to have a fishing license. Saltwater stamps and freshwater stamps are not required for those are exempt from fishing licenses.
RESIDENT: ANNUAL; $13.00
RESIDENT; TEMPORARY 14 DAY: $5.00
NONRESIDENT; TEMPORARY 5 DAY: $10.00
SALTWATER STAMP: $7.00
FRESHWATER TROUT STAMP: $7.00
RESIDENT: $13.00 Required of all Texas citizens. Texans under 17 or over 65 years of age do not need a regular hunting license, but must have a $6.00 Special Resident Hunting License.
NONRESIDENT GENERAL HUNTING -$200.00 Valid for all game species.
NONRESIDENT SMALL GAME - $75.00 Valid for nongame animals and all game birds except turkey; not valid for game species except squirrels.
NONRESIDENT 5 DAY; $25.00 (Not valid for deer or turkey)
NONRESIDENT SPRING TURKEY LICENSES: $75.00. Valid to hunt turkey only during open spring season.
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This file was last modified Thursday, 12-Oct-95 01:38:26