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New information for hunters and landowners as hunting season nears

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Dumas, TX - The Texas Panhandle provides ample hunting grounds for just about every kind of game -- and if you're planning on doing any hunting yourself this season, there are a few new rules you should know about.

Earlier this evening (Aug. 26), officials from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the National Park Service held a public forum in Dumas to give anyone interested the latest regulatory information.

"We hold them accountable to laws and regulations; I think a big part of our job is opening up the opportunity to participate and opening up the information so that they can hunt lawfully and enjoy the outdoors."

Hunting is always hugely popular at the Lake Meredith National Recreation Area -- and while the lake itself has all but disappeared, the hunting is as fertile as ever.

"You can hunt just about everything that's up here in the northern Panhandle area that has a season and a bag limit on it at Lake Meredith," says Paul Jones, Chief Park Ranger at Lake Meredith NRA. "We've got large game, good birds -- even though the lake's low, the duck season is always still really good."

And while most rules and regulations for public hunting have largely stayed the same, there are a few new changes. For instance, this year, TPWD is trying something new by issuing public hunting licenses for pronghorns - previously, only landowners could legally hold those licenses.  Also, the limit for some game birds has increased - in some cases, tripled.

"This year the possession limit changed slightly with ducks," says Jones.  "It's very complicated, and unless you're an avid hunter, especially when it comes to waterfowl, you've really got to keep up on that stuff, because things do change from season to season."

Hunting season for most game in Texas starts in October or November, but dove hunting begins Sunday (Sept. 1).

You can find more information on current state and federal regulations for both hunters and landowners at the links attached to this story.

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