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2014 - 2015
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Migratory Game Bird General Rules

NOTE: Hunters are responsible for knowing whether an area is baited or not.

  • Baiting (the following baiting rules have been established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service):
    • A hunter MAY hunt any migratory game bird:
      • over standing crops, standing flooded crops and flooded harvested crops
      • at any time over natural vegetation that has been manipulated
      • where seeds or grains have been scattered as a result of normal agricultural planting, harvesting or post-harvest manipulation
      • over crops or natural vegetation where grain has been inadvertently scattered as a result of entering or leaving the field, placing decoys or retrieving downed birds
      • using natural vegetation or crops to conceal a blind, provided that if crops are used, no grain or other feed is exposed, deposited, distributed or scattered in the process
      • except water fowl and cranes where grain or other feed has been distributed or scattered as the result of the manipulation of a crop or livestock feeding
    • A hunter MAY NOT:
      • hunt migratory birds with the aid of bait, or on or over any baited area
      • hunt over any baited area until 10 days after all baiting materials have been removed
      • hunt waterfowl or cranes over manipulated planted millet, unless the millet was planted more than one year prior to hunting
      • hunt waterfowl or cranes over crops that have been manipulated, unless the manipulation is a normal agricultural planting, harvesting or post-harvest manipulation
  • Documentation: All harvested migratory game birds not in the immediate possession of the person who killed them must be tagged with a wildlife resource document until the birds reach the possessor's personal residence and are finally processed. If a hunter's personal birds have been finally processed at a cold storage or processing facility and the hunter transports someone else's birds, then a WRD must accompany those birds until they reach the possessor's permanent residence.
  • Emergency Rule Changes: These rules may be modified to make them consistent with federal regulations or to protect the wildlife resource through emergency action by the TPWD executive director.
  • Lawful Hunting Means and Methods: Shotguns, archery equipment, falconry, dogs, artificial decoys and manual or mouth-operated bird calls are lawful. Hunting is permitted in the open or from a blind or other type of concealment or from floating craft or boat provided that all motion resulting from sail or motor has ceased. Sails must be furled and motor turned off before shooting starts. A "sinkbox" (see definition) is unlawful.
  • Nontoxic Shot: While waterfowl hunting, only nontoxic shot approved by the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may be possessed. Lead shot is unlawful!
  • Species Identification: Except for migratory game birds processed at a cold storage or processing facility, or doves, one fully-feathered wing or the head must remain attached to migratory game birds while the birds are being transported between the place where taken and the permanent residence of the possessor. Note: Migratory game birds may be dressed for immediate cooking at a place other than a permanent residence (e.g., hunting camp). This does not include placing dressed birds in a cooler/refrigerator for later consumption while at a place other than a permanent residence. Hunters are encouraged to leave plumage on all doves other than mourning dove, white-winged dove and white-tipped dove (e.g., exotic collared-dove) for species identification.
  • Transfer: A person may not transfer or give migratory game birds to another person while in the field. After leaving the field, a person must have a wildlife resource document for any migratory game bird not in the immediate possession of the person who killed them (see Daily Bag and Possession). Migratory game birds may be shipped, provided a wildlife resource document accompanies the package. See above for more information on documentation. A sample can be seen at wildlife resource document.
  • Vehicles: It is unlawful to hunt from or by means of motor-driven vehicles and land conveyances or aircraft of any kind, except paraplegics and single or double amputees of legs may hunt from stationary motor-driven vehicles or land conveyances. It is unlawful to use motor-driven land, water or air conveyances or sailboats to concentrate, drive, rally or stir up any migratory game bird.
  • There is no open season for migratory game birds on public roads or the right-of-way of public roads.
  • Federal Regulations: For more information on federal regulations, contact: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 329, Albuquerque, NM 87103. Phone (505) 248-7889 or visit

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