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Before turkey hunting in Texas, familiarize yourself with state and local laws. Hunting season dates and bag limits vary by county, and failure to comply with regulations can cost you money and trouble. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department regulates all hunting in the state.
You need a license to hunt turkey in Texas. The state sells different licenses depending on your age, residency and what and when you plan to hunt. You can buy hunting licenses online, over the phone or at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department offices throughout the state. Sporting goods, gun, department, discount, bait and tackle and grocery stores also often sell hunting licenses.
In general, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department imposes an annual bag limit of four turkeys per hunter, only one of which may be an Eastern turkey. As of 2010, Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Fayette, Jackson, Lavaca, Lee and Milam counties limit Rio Grande turkey to one per hunter. The Eastern turkey bag limit is always one.
Spring Hunting Season
As of 2010, spring season for Rio Grande turkeys opens in north Texas on April 3 and closes on May 16. In south Texas, the Rio Grande turkey spring season opens on March 20 and closes on May 2. Special two-day youth seasons open shortly before and after the regular seasons. Exceptions include Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Fayette, Jackson, Lavaca, Lee and Milam counties, which only allow Rio Grande turkey hunting during the month of April and do not have youth seasons. The month of April is hunting season for Eastern turkeys in east Texas.
Fall Hunting Season
As of 2010, fall season for Rio Grande turkeys opens on Nov. 6 for both north and south Texas. The season closes on Jan. 2 in north Texas and Jan. 16 in south Texas. Again, special two-day youth hunting seasons open just before and just after the regular hunting season. Exceptions include Brooks, Kenedy, Kleberg and Willacy counties, where regular hunting season opens on Nov. 6 and closes on Feb. 27 with no youth hunting season.
Additional Eastern Turkey Regulations
Hunters must register Eastern turkeys at mandatory check stations within 24 hours of the kill. The turkeys may be field dressed but must be otherwise intact. In addition, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department restricts Eastern turkey hunting to shotguns, legal archery equipment and crossbows and prohibits all baiting.
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: Where to Get Information and Licenses
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: Hunting Licenses and Permits
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: Upcoming Texas Hunting Season Dates by Animal
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: Spring Eastern Turkey Mandatory Check Stations
San Diego-based Jude Chao began publishing fiction and nonfiction in 2006. Her fiction has appeared in Midnight Times and Aoife's Kiss. Her nonfiction has appeared on sites such as Celebitchy and eHow. Chao is pursuing a doctorate in literature and currently studies at San Diego City College, where she also works as an English tutor, mentoring basic skills and ESOL students.