Presenter: Clayton Wolf

Commission Agenda Item No. 9
Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation
Tagging Provisions for Deer and Antelope
May 28, 2009

I. Executive Summary: This item seeks adoption of proposed changes to rules governing tagging and documentation of harvested deer and antelope. The proposed changes would establish new standards for determining when tagging and documentation requirements cease.

II. Discussion: Tagging and documentation requirements for deer and antelope are prescribed by Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 42; however, §42.0188 authorizes the commission to modify or eliminate those requirements.

Under current rule, a deer or antelope carcass must remain tagged until it reaches a final destination (defined as the possessor's permanent residence, or a cold storage/processing facility) and is finally processed (defined as the processing of a carcass more than by quartering). "Quartering" is defined as the processing of an animal into not more than two hindquarters, each having the leg bone attached to the hock; and two forequarters, each having the leg portion (to the knee) attached to the shoulder blade. The term also includes removal of two back straps and trimmings from the neck and rib cage. The department has become aware that the practice of freezing an entire bone-in quarter for later consumption is technically illegal in some cases, because under the current law, tagging requirements remain in effect until the carcass has been processed "beyond quartering," which means, among other things, the removal of bones. Therefore, a quarter with the bone still in it must remain tagged. Also problematic is the requirement to maintain tagging or documentation after a deer has reached a cold storage or processing facility where the pertinent information is recorded in a cold-storage record book. The proposed amendment would prescribe a new standard for the point at which tagging and documentation requirements cease, one that will allow for the storage of "bone-in" quarters and for the transfer of carcasses at cold storage and processing facilities.

At the March 2009 meeting of the Regulations Committee, staff notified the Commission of the need to publish the proposed amendment in the Texas Register for public comment. The proposed rule appeared in the April 24, 2009 issue of the Texas Register (34 TexReg 2592). A summary of public comment on the proposed rule will be presented at the time of the hearing.

III. Recommendation: Staff recommends that the commission adopt the proposed motion:

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts an amendment to §65.10, concerning Possession of Wildlife Resources, with changes as necessary to the proposed text as published in the April 24, 2009 issue of the Texas Register (34 TexReg 2592)."

Attachment - 1

  1. Exhibit A - Tagging and Documentation Proposed Rule