Do Some Texas Schools Close for Opening Day of Hunting Season?

Texas students don't technically get a day off of school to hunt but, shoot, hunting is an early-morning pursuit and what's a missed homeroom period anyway?
Do Some Texas Schools Close for Opening Day of Hunting Season?

During a recent Facebook Live interview, Texas gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez claimed some Texas public schools shut down for opening days of hunting seasons.

The claim came as Lupe was attempting to make a larger point concerning local gun culture and the use of firearms for hunting, not violence. The truth is, regardless of whether or not Texas kids get time off for hunting season, it's not as uncommon as some may think. This is particularly true in rural communities and especially in rural school districts with short hunting seasons and regulations that do not allow Sunday hunting.

Nonetheless, is this true? Do students in Texas get a day off to hunt? Soon after the claim was made, Politifact investigated.

Gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez made the claim that some Texas public schools shut down for opening days of hunting seasons. A former sheriff, Lupe is the daughter of migrant farmworkers and the youngest child in a family of ten. Photo: lupevaldez.com

The Texas Education Agency said school districts set their own calendars and the agency doesn’t approve them. Meanwhile, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department was unaware of school closings for hunting.

“(The Parks & Wildlife Commission) supports providing opportunities to get youth involved in Texas’s rich hunting traditions, and sets aside youth-only weekends for that reason,” the wildlife agency’s Steve Lightfoot told Politifact. “I checked with staff who would know and they are unaware of schools or districts that close in recognition of hunting season.”

Meanwhile enter Duane Limbaugh, superintendent of Brady Independent School District. He probably best describes what really happens in communities where hunting is centerpiece to, well, everything. And besides, anyone who’s grown up balancing school and hunting already knows how it’s done.

Limbaugh told Politifact that the district doesn’t take a day off for the sake of hunting, “though he’s heard of districts declaring a staff work day for the start of a hunting season. In his experience, he said, most student hunters get their hunting done in time to be in school by mid-morning.”

That’s right.

Most can get it done by mid-morning. And, hey, mid-morning ought to be plenty good enough. What is that, maybe a missed homeroom period and the first class of the day? Child please.


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