A Texas winter
By Robin Scott
Hunting season is here, or fast approaching, for many species of birds and fur-bearing animals. Cold weather and snow are often the first signals that it’s time to pack up the portable stove, move the deer stand to the hunting lease or set up the blind. Another undeniable sign is the large flocks of geese dotting the skies in arrow formations. The bellowing squawks of the geese are a welcomed event every year for hunters and non-hunters alike.
Animals that may be hunted during December and early January include dove, duck, goose, Sandhill Crane, King and Clapper Rails, Sora and Virginia Rails, Moorhens and Purple Gallinules, Woodcock, Wilson’s Snipe, Whitetail Deer, Pheasant, Quail, and, of course, rabbits and hares.
On Saturday, December 5, hunters from the area gathered for their annual Hunters Breakfast at the Senior Center. The annual events grant the opportunity for fellowship, as well as the chance to tell a tale or two. Most Texas hunting tales include biting cold temperatures and that Saturday’s hunt proved no different as temps plummeted into the single digits.
Hunters not only want to fill the freezer for the winter with various birds and deer, they irrefutably enjoy time spent with their hunting buddies and family that enjoy the sport. During this year’s Quail Unlimited banquet, one hunter in his sixties noted, “I’ll never forget my first hunting trip with my dad when I was nine-years-old. Getting to spend time alone with him was what I looked forward to more than anything else. I was hooked.”
Whether for the tasty treasure that a hunting trip results in or the fellowship with friends and family with like interests, hunting is an important part of the Texas winter season. One owner of a prominent and popular hamburger spot in Dalhart stated, “I love hunting season and having all of the hunters come in to the restaurant in their camouflage. It’s a great time of year. The geese are flying overhead and everyone is in a wonderful mood, and then Christmas is just around the corner.” Cold weather, a Spaniel or two, and camouflage, truly a Texas winter.
A full list of all animals to hunt in Texas, dates of each season and type of season, and bag limits are available on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. Information on purchasing a hunting license, seasons and bag limits, as well as public hunting is also available. Visit www.tpwd.state.tx.us.