Late general and youth seasons offer deer hunters another chance

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A whitetail doe makes her way to a wheat field in south Clay County.

A whitetail doe makes her way to a wheat field in south Clay County. Hunters have the opportunity to fill remaining antlerless whitetail tags during a special late general season, held in conjunction with the late youth season Jan. 6-19.

While the general whitetail deer season came to a close 30 minutes after sunset Sunday, Clay County hunters will get another chance to fill doe and spike tags, while youth hunters can still harvest a trophy buck.

The special late general season, for antlerless and spike bucks, runs in conjunction with the special late youth season Jan. 6-19, and is designed by Texas Parks and Wildlife to help control population, TPWD Game Warden Eddie Hood said Monday. The special late general season is open to hunters of all ages.

The special youth season is for hunters under the age of 17. Youth hunters can fill any tag during the special season, including both antlered buck tags.

Whitetail populations have boomed in Clay County since the 1990s, with bag limits growing as a means of control. In the 1970s and 80s, hunters were limited to one buck harvested in Clay County. Now, hunters can take five deer — one buck with an inside antler spread of 13 inches or more, a buck with at least one unbranched antler, and three antlerless deer.

Hood noted that the definition of a “spike” buck changes during the special late season, and refers only to males with no branched antlers. During the regular general season, “spike” includes bucks that have a single point on one side and a fork on the other.

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Pioneer Sentinel

The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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