Change in hunting regulations in Texas, including squirrel season

AUSTIN — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved hunting regulations for the 2021-22 season at its public meeting held online March 25.

Hunters will see some changes this fall, including the elimination of the experimental pronghorn season in the northern Panhandle and the extension of the general pronghorn season from 9 to 16 days statewide, and the addition of two days of opportunity to hunting in the special white wing pigeon Days within the South Zone of the Pigeon.

The TPW Commission has adopted the following amendments and clarifications to the 2021-22 State Hunting Proclamation:

  • Add crossbow to definition of legal archery equipment
  • Eliminate the ban on tracking injured deer with dogs in Angelina, Hardin, Nacogdoches, Orange, Shelby, and Tyler counties; Also, allow no more than two leashed dogs to track injured deer in Jasper, Newton, Sabine, and San Augustine counties.
  • Eliminate Experimental Pronghorn Season in Northern Panhandle
  • Extend the general pronghorn season by 9 to 16 days statewide
  • Close Panola County to the eastern turkey hunting season during the spring of 2022
  • Implement mandatory reporting for spring turkey hunts (April 1-30) in “Western 1 Gobbler” counties in south-central Texas in 2022
  • Add two days of hunting opportunity at the White-winged Pigeon Special Days within the Southern Pigeon Zone
  • Set season dates and daily bag limits for all migratory bird hunting seasons
  • Modify the definition of muzzleloader to clarify that only the bullet or shell and powder should be loaded through the muzzle.
  • Chachalacas opening day modified to coincide with quail season
  • Align spring and fall wild turkey hunting seasons with uniform boundaries of north and south zones along Highway 90 beginning in fall 2021
  • Allow squirrel hunting statewide by opening the remaining closed counties to a year-round hunting season. Traditional East Texas squirrel season, May 1-31 and October 1-last Sunday in February remains unchanged

Hunters heading out into the field in the upcoming season should take note of these changes and follow all established rules for species, marking, bag limits, counties, season dates, and means and methods.

Hunters can refer to the online version of the Outdoor Annual for complete and up-to-date regulations. Information currently in the online version of the Outdoor Annual reflects information from last season. Information for the 2021-22 season will not be online until mid-August as per usual practice.