Palo Pinto is a sleepy town of about 500 residents on north Texas's Edwards Plateau, the seat of a county of the same name with no more than 30,000 total residents. Its largely rural habitat makes for a late fall-early winter hunting season full of potential rewards. Know the hunting regs and you won't run afoul of the law while partaking.
To hunt with arrows, bullets or buckshot in Texas, you'll need to be at least 16 with a hunting permit, which must be renewed yearly. Texas has an online licensing system (see Resources), but you can also perform the process by phone or at one of several local offices of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The baseline hunting license for a resident of Texas was $25 in June 2011, $315 for non-residents. All licensing fees go toward conservation efforts.
Hunting Seasons and Limits
Hunting season for white-tailed deer and turkeys in Palo Pinto is November 5 to January 1 in 2011. Archers get the land from October 1 to November 4. The annual bag limit is five deer, with a two buck maximum. For turkeys, the bag limit is four for the year and a maximum of one of the Eastern turkey variety. No bag limits or seasonal restrictions exist for small game like squirrels or rabbits, but if you're hunting quail or migratory birds, you can only do so between October 29 and February 26 (as of 2011), with a daily bag limit of 15.
Where to Hunt
Find a safe and legal place to hunt. Many landowners throughout Palo Pinto County purchase hunting leases from the state to set aside hundreds of acres of property for hunters. The state also opens up many of its properties for hunters at regulated times during the year to further culling efforts. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department maintains a map (see Resources) that shows hunting destinations in and around Palo Pinto. Just click on the pins above the area on the map for more information.
In the spring, you can find turkey shoots being held on some state lands and private properties around Palo Pinto. In March and May, the state hosts special youth-only turkey shoot weekends to give young hunters and their adult supervisors an off-season diversion. Worry not, adult hunters: turkeys are still available for hunting on many properties during a two-month spring season.
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