Texas BHA Public Walk-in Access Adoption program

The Texas chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (TX BHA) adopts 11 public hunting areas in the Lubbock, TX area

Since 1987, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has offered the Annual Public Hunting (APH) Permit, a low-cost permit providing Texas hunters with access to over 180 hunting areas to hunt whitetail deer, feral hogs, dove, quail, waterfowl, turkey and more. A popular component of the Public Hunting Program includes acreage leased by TPWD from cooperating private landowners known as the Public Dove and Small Game Hunting Areas, often simply referred to as Walk-in Hunt areas.

thumbnail.jpgTX BHA recently announced a new program, in collaboration with TPWD, to ‘adopt’ 11 public hunting areas in the Lubbock region. These 11 areas are designated small game sites and provide the public with opportunities to hunt for rabbits, coyotes, quail, doves, sandhill crane, and waterfowl. The new Public Walk-In Access Adoption program consists of BHA volunteers who will help maintain these areas by keeping them well-marked, signed, and free of trash left behind by other public users.

“Our Public Walk-In Access Adoption program will help address the number one complaint we hear from private landowners who participate in the APH program”, said Andrew Bingham, Lubbock Public Outreach Committee Chair. “That complaint is trash left behind. By keeping these areas clean, we are showing these landowners that we appreciate their participation and we desire for them stay with the APH program.”

Volunteers for the Public Walk-In Access Adoption program must have a valid Texas Hunting License as well as an Annual Public Hunting Permit. The 11 areas that are part of the adoption program consist of 3,922 acres. TX BHA’s goal is to expand this program state-wide in the future. To put the need for such a program in perspective, over 1 million APH Permits and Limited Public Use (LPU) permits have been sold to date.

“Lack of access has been cited as the number one reason why people stop hunting and fishing.”  states Michael Panasci, Texas BHA chapter chair.  “BHA is committed to helping provide access to our fellow outdoorsman as well as stewardship of these lands. The APH program is an important program to provide inexpensive access to hunting lands in our state and we hope our Public Walk-In Adoption program will encourage more private landowners to participate in the APH program and for existing participants to remain.”

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About Richard Rosenthal

TX BHA Policy Chair. Avid outdoorsman who grew up learning to hunt on public lands in PA. Now living in San Antonio Texas .

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