Storms Lead to Cancellation of Public Hunts in Texas, Florida

Hunters on hold in Harvey aftermath, continuation of Irma

Monday, September 11, 2017

By Mark Carter

Some public hunts scheduled to begin this month in Texas have been postponed or cancelled in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and as Hurricane Irma continues to work its way up the Florida gulf coast, public hunts have been suspended there as well.

In Florida, Florida Fish and Wildife operations are closed until further notice. That includes wildlife management areas and public shooting ranges. A full list of all closures is available here.  

Public hunts along the gulf coast in southeastern Texas have been impacted by Harvey. Both annual public hunting (APH) permit and drawn hunts for alligator and early teal season are affected, according to Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Hurricane Harvey damage at Aransas NWR in Texas. (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

More information is available here.

A full list of closures and updates:

Guadalupe Delta WMA

  • Mission Lake Unit drawn alligator hunts and APH early teal hunts have been canceled.
  • Guadalupe River Unit APH early teal hunts have been canceled until the county road into the area re-opens.
  • Hynes Bay Unit will be open for the APH early teal hunts.

Justin Hurst WMA — closed until Sept. 16.

Mad Island WMA — closed for APH early teal hunts; drawn alligator hunts will be conducted as scheduled.

J.D. Murphree WMA — Big Hill and Salt Bayou units have canceled all drawn alligator hunts and APH early teal hunts.

Sea Rim State Park — APH early teal hunt has been canceled.

Lower Neches WMA — Nelda Stark and Old River units will be open for APH early teal hunts as long as the county road providing access is open.

James Daughtrey WMA — drawn alligator hunts will be conducted as scheduled.

Angelina Neches/Dam B WMA — drawn alligator hunts will be conducted as scheduled.

In addition, the drawn archery deer hunt scheduled for September 30 at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge has been cancelled by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

The following refuges are closed until further notice: 

  • Aransas National Wildlife Refuge (including Matagorda Island)
  • Big Boggy National Wildlife Refuge
  • San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge
  • Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge
  • Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge
  • Moody National Wildlife Refuge
  • McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge
  • Texas Point National Wildlife Refuge

The main office at Trinity River NWR is open but all refuge lands are closed due to flooding, according to FWS.

More information on Irma, and Jose on its heels, is available from the National Hurricane Center here.