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Texas finalizes 2010-11 hunting/fishing regulation changes

From the Texas Parks and wildlife Commission

-- Expansion of mule deer hunting opportunities tops a short list of regulatory changes adopted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission as part of the 2010-2011 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation.

The commission approved an open general hunting season for mule deer in Dawson and Wheeler counties, and added a day to the mule deer season across the Trans Pecos region. The change addresses a priority goal in Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Land and Water Resource Conservation and Recreation Plan to increase access to and participation in the outdoors.

The commission finalized a nine-day, buck-only season in Dawson County and a 16-day, buck-only firearm season in Wheeler County and a 35-day archery-only season to offer increased hunter opportunity without adversely impacting mule deer reproduction or distribution.

The extra day of hunting for mule deer in the Trans Pecos region is being tacked onto the front end where the season will now begin the Friday immediately following Thanksgiving and continue for 17 days.

According to TPWD wildlife biologists, mule deer populations in these counties are limited, but are present in some areas having suitable habitat and implementation of a buck-only season will not have any measurable impact on herd productivity or expansion.

The Commission also adopted changes strengthening commercial fishing reporting requirements and administrative reorganization to split the commercial and recreational hunting and fishing regulations apart, as well as a clarification of rules regarding catching and possessing fish within protected length limits or in excess of bag limits.

The Texas Outdoor Annual, a complete digest of all Texas hunting and fishing regulations, including seasons and bag limits, will be available Aug. 15 wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold and on the TPWD website http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/.

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