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Changes in Pheasant Seasons

In the Panhandle, hunters get two more weeks to chase the big birds, while the season closes in four coastal counties.

By Larry D. Hodge

Pheasant hunters will find it easier to schedule a hunt in the Panhandle this year thanks to a longer season. In April the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Commission approved a 30-day pheasant season — up from 16 days — and lowered the bag limit from three cocks a day to two. The additional days will extend the season into January.

At the opposite end of the state, the commission closed the pheasant season in the coastal counties of Brazoria, Fort Bend, Matagorda and Wharton. “We started stocking wild-trapped pheasants from the Sacramento Valley of California in the early 1970s, and they did well for a pretty good period of time,” explains TPWD district biologist Bob Carroll. “Then farming changed from rice to cotton and soybeans, and the pheasant population declined. By the mid-1990s we rarely saw or heard birds. You hate to shut down a season, but I decided it was time. We kept the season in Chambers, Jefferson and Liberty counties, which still have huntable populations of birds on a few big ranches.

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