Balcones Canyonlands refuge taking public comments on hunt plan

Dove hunting

The Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuges is taking public comments on its hunting plan. Since 1997, the refuge has allowed public hunting, under specific guidelines, for a number of species. In 2001, the refuge added dove hunting. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

With so much of Texas land in private hands, many hunters have a hard time finding a place to hunt. Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, located in western Burnet, eastern Travis, and southeastern Williamson counties, offers some public hunting options.

The refuge is planning for the 2020-21 hunting seasons and taking comments on its draft “Hunt Plan, Environmental Assessment, and Compatibility” report.

These comments will be considered in the refuge’s final hunt plan.

The public can provide comments by writing:

Deputy Refuge Manager Chris Harper

24518 RR 1431

Marble Falls, TX 78654

Or, emailing Chris_Harper@fws.gov.

Officials ask that people put “Public Input-Hunting” in the email subject line.

Comments will be accepted through May 30.

Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge began offering public hunts for white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and feral hogs in 1997. It added dove hunting in 2001.

The updated plan also includes “other non-native ungulates” in the list of game animals.

The refuge covers 27,317 total acres with 21,842 acres owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the remaining 5,475 acres comprised of conservation easements.

Balcones Canyonlands NWR is considering hunting opportunities on the federally owned property.

To review the hunt plan or for more information, visit the refuge’s website.

editor@thepicayune.com

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