AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its Thursday public hearing approved closing spring eastern turkey hunting in 11 East Texas counties effective next year, while restructuring the season in two other counties.
Hunting season for eastern turkey will be closed in 2016 in Angelina, Brazoria, Camp, Fort Bend, Franklin, Harrison, Hopkins, Morris, Titus, Trinity, and Wood counties and on National Forest lands in Jasper County. While closed, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wildlife biologists will evaluate the prospects for future eastern turkey restoration compatibility and restocking efforts. The department’s goal is to reopen hunting should the eastern turkey populations in the affected counties become capable of sustaining harvest.
TPWD is also restructuring the existing spring turkey hunting season in Wharton and Matagorda counties. The new regulations, which take effect for the 2016 season, will continue to allow for a 30-day spring only, one gobbler season and eliminate mandatory harvest reporting.
In an effort to expand hunting opportunity for youth and reduce regulatory complexity, the Commission also adopted a 14-day extension of the late youth-only season in counties having an open Rio Grande fall turkey season, to run concurrent with the late youth-only season for white-tailed deer.