TPWD Seeking Public Input on Possible Pheasant Season Changes

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TPWD Seeking Public Input on Possible Pheasant Season ChangesAUSTIN, Texas — Any doubts that the Panhandle pheasant hunting season opener is a big deal need only spend some time at the Amarillo airport — it’s their busiest weekend of the year.

As multitudes of hunters descend upon the Panhandle for the Dec. 6 opener, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is asking folks to consider possible changes to the traditional first weekend in December opening date.

“The purpose of this discussion is to gain feedback from hunters and landowners regarding the possibility of opening future pheasant seasons the Friday after Thanksgiving to afford hunters a three-day holiday weekend to enjoy pheasant hunting,” said Vernon Bevill, TPWD game bird program director.

The current pheasant season framework calls for opening the first Saturday in December for 30 consecutive days.

No immediate changes to the pheasant season framework are being considered in order to ensure the public has ample opportunity to weigh in on the discussion. TPWD will continue to gather public input through December and will conduct informal scoping meetings in the Panhandle during January before considering initiating a formal proposal.

TPWD will present all rule change proposals to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission for consideration in January. The Commission will determine which rule change proposals will be published in the Texas Register for public comment and only after additional public comment is received next spring will the Commission decide whether or not to take final action.

Any change to pheasant season could take effect Nov. 27, 2009 or be delayed until Nov. 26, 2010 to give hunters and outfitters ample time to make travel plans.

The public is encouraged to participate in an informal online scoping survey available on the TPWD home page by clicking on the Public Comments link. Public input can also be made in writing to Vernon Bevill, TPWD Game Bird Program Director, 4200 Smith School Rd., Austin, TX 78744 or at one of the upcoming scoping meetings; locations and dates to be determined.