Beginning this fall, some new hunting regulations will be in effect for hunters in Texas. Most notably, hunters will now be allowed to use sound suppressors for their firearms. Suppressors, more commonly called silencers, are now allowed on hunts for alligators, game animals, and game birds. After passage and approval by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission in late March, Texas joined more than 20 other states with similar laws for sound suppressors. For those considering the use of a suppressor, it is important to keep in mind that hunters must still comply with all local, state, and federal laws regarding suppressors. Hunters must also complete the application process for a suppressor through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), pass a standard background check, and pay any applicable fees before being allowed to use a suppressor.
Hunting zones for deer have also been expanded this year for Texans. Archery and general deer seasons will now be open for Collin, Dallas, and Rockwell Counties. Regulations for the 3 Counties will mirror those of Grayson County. Grayson, Collin, Dallas, and Rockwall counties will allow a full-season harvest of either sex, but only with legal archery equipment. The bag limit will be four deer, with no more of those being two antlerless, and no more of those being two bucks. Hunters will also now be allowed to hunt in Galveston County, something not seen for several decades. The regulations surrounding bag limits, seasons, etc. will mirror those of neighboring Harris County. While Galveston County is highly populated, there are still plenty of isolated herds to hunt.
Texas officials are also considering changes to dove hunting regulations. In the proposal, Texas wildlife officials are requesting that the Federal Government allow a near doubling of the size of the Special White-Winged Dove Area in South Texas to increase access and opportunity. Officials proposed to strip a week from the hunt in October to add a week to the “winter” hunt. The hunt currently runs from September 1st through late October for 60 days, as well as a hunt around Christmas and New Years that runs for 10 days. The proposal would make the new hunt begin on September 1st and run for 53 days, while the winter hunt would begin around Christmas and run for 17 days. Public comments are now being accepted. A decision on both items will be made by late Summer.
Texas Parks and Wildlife “Recreational Hunting and Fishing Regulations” 2012