Presenter: Gary Graham

Commission Agenda Item No. 2
FY 1999-2000 Eastern Turkey Season
June 1999

I. DISCUSSION: Responsibility for establishing seasons, bag limits, and means and methods for taking turkey is delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 61. At the April 1999 Commission meeting, staff informed the Commission of public comment with respect to proposed Eastern turkey seasons published as part of the 1999-2000 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation. The Commission authorized staff to withdraw the original proposal, propose a new set of regulations, and solicit additional public comment. The revised proposal (located at Exhibit A) appeared in the April 30, 1999, issue of the Texas Register (24 TexReg 3298). Two public meetings were held (in Conroe and Woodville), public comment has been collected, and a summary will be available at the time of the meeting. The proposed changes are supported by scientific investigation and are required findings of fact. The proposed changes increase recreational opportunity, promote enforcement, and provide for the sound biological management of the wildlife resources of the state.

II. RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion.

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts an amendment to 31 TAC §65.64, concerning Eastern turkey regulations, with changes to the proposed text as published in the April 30, 1999, issue of the Texas Register (24 TexReg 3298)."

Attachments - 2

  1. Exhibit A - Proposed 1999-2000 Eastern Turkey Regulations
  2. Exhibit B - Fiscal Note (Available Upon Request)

Commission Agenda Item No. 2
Exhibit A

Open Seasons – Eastern Turkey
Proposed Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment to §65.64, concerning Turkey. The amendment is necessary to advance the commission’s policy to providing the greatest hunter opportunity possible within the tenets of sound biological management. The department’s stocking operations in the eastern third of the state have made it biologically feasible to allow the hunting of Eastern wild turkey in certain counties. The amendment will function by: opening a season for the hunting of Eastern wild turkey in seven East Texas counties; and allowing turkeys to be taken by any lawful means except firearms other than shotgun.

2. Fiscal Note.

Robert Macdonald, Wildlife Division regulations coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the amendment is in effect, there will be no negative fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed amendment.

3. Public Benefit - Cost Note.

Mr. Macdonald also has determined that for each of the first five years the proposed amendment is in effect:

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the rule as proposed will be increased recreational hunting opportunity in this state.

(B) There will be no effect on small businesses. There are no economic costs to persons required to comply with the rule as proposed.

(C) The department has not filed a local impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission as required by Government Code, §2001.022, as this agency has determined that the rule as proposed will not impact local economies.

(D) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed rule.

4. Request for Public Comments.

Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted to Jerry Cooke, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389-4774 or 1-800-792-1112.

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendment is proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 61, Uniform Wildlife Regulatory Act (Wildlife Conservation Act of 1983), which provides the Commission with authority to establish wildlife resource regulations for this state.

The amendment affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 61.

§65.64. Turkey.

(a)-(b) (No change.)

(c) Eastern turkey. The open seasons and bag limits for Eastern turkey shall be as follows. In Angelina, Bowie, Cass, Cherokee, Delta, Fannin, Grayson, Fannin, Grayson, Gregg, Harrison, Hopkins, Jasper, Lamar, Marion, Montgomery (north of State Hwy. 105), Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Polk, Red River, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, [and] Trinity, San Jacinto, [and] Trinity, Tyler (north of U.S. Hwy. 190), and Walker Tyler, and Walker counties, there is a spring season during which both Rio Grande and Eastern turkey may be lawfully hunted.

(1)-(3) (No change.)

(d) (No change.)

(1) Open season: the Monday nearest April 14 for 14 consecutive days.

(2) Bag limit (both species combined): one turkey, gobbler only.

(3) In the counties listed in this subsection:

(A) it is unlawful to hunt turkey by any means other than a shotgun, lawful archery equipment, or crossbows;

(B) it is unlawful for any person to take or attempt to take turkeys by the aid of baiting, or on or over a baited area; and

(C) all turkeys harvested during the open season must be registered at designated check stations within 24 hours of the time of kill. Harvested turkeys may be field dressed but must otherwise remain intact.

(d) In all counties not listed in subsections (b) or (c) of this section, the season is closed for hunting turkey.

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency’s authority to adopt.

Issued in Austin, Texas on

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