Deer season is fast approaching with Archery Open-Season beginning October 1, 2011, Special Youth Season October 29th and 30th, and General Season on November 5th, 2011, and many hunters are scrambling throughout the county searching for a place to hunt. Not every hunter has expendable resources to afford them the ability to have options to hunt vast terrains on managed ranches or family land. Some of us love the sport, but just have nowhere to go, or at least that’s what many think. Many hunters are unaware of the over 756,464 acres of land just waiting to be hunted across the state of Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife operates wildlife management areas (WMA) across the state that were established to perform research on wildlife populations and habitat, conduct education on sound resource management and to provide public hunting, hiking, camping, bird watching and a slew of other outdoor recreational activities. These areas are open for the seasons as listed above, to the general public with only 2 qualifications, you must possess a valid Texas Hunting License ($25) with necessary stamps or endorsements and purchase a Annual Public Hunting (APH) Permit for $48. Now that beats those ridiculous lease prices!
Lamar County’s WMA consists of 8,925 acres located along Pat Mayse Lake in northern Lamar County. This land is comprised of approximately 1,500 surface acres of water, 2,500 acres of abandoned fields and 4,925 acres of hardwood timber. This management area offers a wide variety of terrain with plentiful water sources and managed habitats that would please any seasoned hunter. The Texas Parks and Wildlife website (www.tpw.state.tx.us) contains detailed information on the WMA, including maps of public hunting areas. There are eight information/registration stations located around the Pat Mayse Management area to keep everyone informed on the rules and regulations. If you are planning on venturing into this hunting paradise then you better be stocked up on hunter orange because hunters must have 400 square inches of hunter orange material with orange headwear, with at least 144 square inches appearing on both the chest and back during daylight hours when hunting with firearms is permitted. There are some exceptions and the website outlines them all in detail to keep everyone safe. In order to benefit from these public lands every hunter must abide by strictly enforced laws. Here are a few of the highlights to get you started.
- Hunt methods is by compartment, the hunter in allowed to move around and hunt within an assigned area having easily recognizable boundaries defined by roads, streams or boundary markers.
- Hunters may bring their own PORTABLE stands for use in their area. Stands may not remain in place for more than 72 hours and can not use metal nails, spikes screws or bolts to attach to the surface of timber.
- Pat Mayse does not provide blinds!
- Hunters may hunt only legal game, sex and species as defined in the Pat Mayse WMA map booklet.
- Baiting is not allowed!
- Hunters may not use firearms that utilize rimfire ammunition or a muzzleloader smaller than .45 caliber, in taking deer.
- ATV’s are not allowed
Keep in mind that WMA’s have rules and regulations for hunting that are not required on private property. Check out the website and print out the booklet or contact the information areas or the local game wardens concerning any questions you may have. It is better to be an informed hunter than get fined for something you did not know. Annual Public Hunting (APH) Permits are available at Texas Parks and Wildlife law enforcement offices and all licensed vendors. So if you thought you were left out because you had no place to hunt, think again! You better act fast, because there is only one week left before it all begins, so go get your permit, license, information and get to scouting, QUICK!!!