While winter in Texas is often synonymous with spending dawn and dusk in a deer blind, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) wants to remind hunters of the various upland and migratory bird hunting seasons that are still open throughout the colder months.
Hunters can take part in several seasons for a range of species including dove, quail, duck, turkey and Sandhill Cranes. The winter months are also a good time to take part in lesser-utilized seasons, hunting for species like woodcock, rails, gallinules and chachalacas.
A few of the winter bird hunting season dates are as follows:
- Second segment of the statewide dove season;
- North Zone – Dec. 18, 2020 – Jan. 3, 2021
- Central Zone – Dec. 18, 2020 – Jan. 14, 2021
- South Zone – Dec. 18, 2020 – Jan. 23, 2021
- Statewide through Feb. 28, 2021
- Regular duck season and “Dusky” duck;
- High Plains Mallard Unit and North Zone open through Jan. 31, 2021
- South Zone – Dec. 12, 2020 – Jan. 31, 2021
- Turkey (Fall Season);
- North Zone – Open through Jan. 3, 2021
- South Zone – Open through Jan. 17, 2021
- Brooks, Kenedy, Kleberg and Willacy Counties – Open through Feb. 28, 2021
- Sandhill Cranes;
- Zone A – Open through Jan. 31, 2021
- Zone B – Open through Jan. 31, 2021
- Zone C – Dec. 19, 2020 – Jan. 24, 2021
- Statewide Dec. 18, 2020 – Jan. 31, 2021
- Rails, Gallinules and Moorhens;
- Open statewide through Dec. 30, 2020
- Open through Feb. 28, 2021
Season dates for other species including pheasant, common snipe and geese, along with bag limits and specific license requirements for each season, can be found in the TPWD Outdoor Annual. Hunters can access the Outdoor Annual online or via the Outdoor Annual app.
Texas hunters, residents and non-residents, are required to have a valid Texas hunting license and an upland game bird and/or a migratory game bird endorsement depending upon what species they plan to hunt. A Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification is required for those hunting migratory birds. Various statewide conservation projects, as well as public land hunting opportunities, are funded in part by migratory and upland game bird endorsement funds.
Those who need a place to hunt in Texas can take advantage of over 1 million acres of publicly accessible hunting land. Texas public land hunters need to have an Annual Public Hunting (APH) Permit in addition to their hunting license. A map booklet of public hunting areas and information on how to purchase an APH permit can be found on the TPWD website.