Trap, Transport, Transplant Permit
White-tailed Deer Applicant Information
This information page contains a summary of current Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) regulations concerning permits to Trap, Transport, and Transplant Game Animals and Game Birds as they pertain to white-tailed deer.
Purpose of the Permit: Permits to trap, transport, and transplant white-tailed deer may be issued to individuals for the purposes of wildlife management.
Trapping Methods: The majority of relocation operations will utilize one of the following trapping methods: (1) net gunning animals from a helicopter; (2) use of a helicopter to herd animals into a stationary drive net; or (3) use of a stationary drop net. Aircraft, if used, must be permitted through TPWD, and a Landowner Authorization must be on file with the Department. Other trapping methods must be approved by TPWD and specified in the TTT application.
Conditions for Permit Issuance All proposed release sites must have a current Wildlife Management Plan approved by a TPWD Wildlife Biologist. Applications will be denied if the proposed activities may detrimentally affect the population status on adjacent properties, if the proposed activities may detrimentally affect the resource, or if the proposed release site is outside of the suitable range of white-tailed deer. All proposed relocation operations must comply with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission's Stocking Policy, which stipulates that prospective release sites shall have suitable natural habitat capable of sustaining the animals stocked. In addition, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) surveillance is required of all prospective trap sites. CWD test results must be received by TPWD prior to permit issuance. DO NOT FREEZE SPECIMENS.
- White-tailed deer may only be relocated between October 1 and March 31.
- No deer may be trapped and relocated under the authority of a TTT permit from a trap site that has released breeder deer within the previous 5 years, or any site with a confirmed CWD positive or suspected positive deer, or any site with a TAHC hold order.
- Deer trapped from a breeder release site, where deer were released greater than 5 years ago, may only be released on a high-fenced property.
- Deer may be trapped from trap sites where deer held under a Deer Management Permit (DMP) have been released during the same trapping year.
- All persons named on a permit are permittees and are therefore responsible for all activities conducted under the authority of the permit. At least one permittee must be present during each phase of a relocation operation. The Supervisory Permittee (permit applicant) or a sub-permittee must contact the TPWD Law Enforcement Communications Center at (512) 389-4848 between 12 and 48 hours prior to each attempt to trap, transport, and release deer.
- Antlers must be removed from all antlered deer relocated.
- Each trailer or other vehicle used to transport deer must be marked on the rear surface with the inscription "TTT." The inscription must be at least 6 inches tall and 3 inches wide. Permittees must make reasonable efforts to ensure safe and humane handling of trapped animals and to reduce human health and safety hazards in every stage of a relocation operation. Trap sites within incorporated areas and those which may pose a human health and safety hazard must be marked as such.
- Relocated deer must be tattooed in one ear with an identification number supplied by TPWD and must also be ear tagged with an 840 RFID ear tag prior to release. A RFID Ear Tag Tracking Report listing the 840 RFID ear tag number for each deer relocated must be submitted via email (TWIMS@tpwd.texas.gov) to the Wildlife Permits Office by April 30. The permit holder is responsible for submitting this report.
- Trap Sites must obtain a Location Identification Number (LID) or Premise Identification Number (PIN) for their property from which trapping will occur. This identification number is necessary to purchase the 840 RFID tags. The LID is available from your regional Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) office. The PIN is available by calling the TAHC Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) department at 1-800-550-8242 Ext 733. Trap sites are encouraged to obtain the PIN or LID as soon as reasonably possible to ensure 840 RFID tags can be purchased and received prior to trapping activities.
- White-tailed deer may not be sold, bartered, or otherwise exchanged for anything of value. White-tailed deer may not be relocated into breeding facilities or any other site not specifically identified on the permit.
- Additional conditions may be specified on the permit. Relocation operations should only be attempted by those with the expertise to safely and efficiently conduct the operation.
Trap and Release Site Request Information Forms: For each ranch where animals are to be trapped or released, the applicant must submit a completed Trap Site Request Form or Release Site Request Form via the TWIMS online system by the first business day in January. If a trap or release site is a high-fenced pasture within a ranch, the information submitted must be specific to that pasture. The information submitted will be used by TPWD to assess the current status of habitat, wildlife resources, and potential competition on ranches proposed for removal/addition of white-tailed deer.
Aggregate Acreage: Multiple landowners may combine properties to create an aggregate acreage for consideration as an individual trap or release site. The aggregate acreage must be contiguous tracts of land to, from, and between which deer have complete and unrestricted access. All landowners in the aggregate acreage will be required to create an online account in the Land Management Assistance (LMA) online application and provide a map of their property boundary, and acknowledge consent for their properties to be part of the aggregate acreage. The aggregate acreage will designate one landowner or landowner’s agent as a single point of contact for the entire aggregate acreage. Any landowner that is part of aggregate acreage agrees to the number of deer to trapped or released on that aggregate acreage.
Trap Site Chronic Wasting Disease Testing: Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) samples are required from the trap site. CWD samples must be collected from wild adult white-tailed deer (at least 16 months of age) taken on or after the Saturday closest to September 30 of the year for which activities of the permit are authorized and must be submitted to and tested by the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratories (TVMDL). A total of 15 valid post-mortem CWD samples must be submitted. For TTT permits issued for the removal of urban deer CWD, samples may be collected between April 1 and time of application. In urban areas where discharge of firearms or hunting is not allowed CWD samples from adult roadkill deer may be collected to meet CWD testing requirements. Deer may not be hunted outside of legal hunting season. Copies of test-result sheets, received from TVMDL, must be submitted to TPWD with your application. Result sheets must indicate that CWD was not detected in any sample submitted. TPWD suggests that prospective trap sites work with their local veterinarian to collect and submit appropriate samples to TVMDL. Translocation activities consisting solely of relocating deer within a contiguous property owned by the same person are exempt from testing requirements.
Wildlife Management Plan
Release Site Wildlife Management Plan: A current Wildlife Management Plan must be approved by TPWD and on file for each proposed release site. The wildlife management plan must include deer population data for the current trapping year. Landowners can prepare their own plan or seek professional assistance. To obtain your TPWD Wildlife Biologist's contact information please click on the link and look for the Wildlife Biologist assigned to your county — Find a Biologist by County.
Release Site Inspection: Each release site will be inspected by TPWD staff to determine if the native habitat is capable of sustaining additional deer. If the release site is operating under the provisions of the Conservation Option of the Managed Lands Deer Program (MLDP) , trapping/release of deer may be approved without an on-site inspection. Cooperators participating in the Conservation Option of MLDP must provide at least 3 years of population data and 2 years of harvest data, and meet all other criteria established for releases on Conservation Option properties, to conduct releases without site inspections. Exemptions to site inspections are not guaranteed. Please contact the TPWD Wildlife Biologist who approved your Wildlife Management Plan for details.
Fees and Amendments: The application processing fee for a Trap, Transport, and Transplant permit is $750 per release site on each application. The processing fee to amend an existing permit to add one or more trap sites is $30; however, additional release sites require an additional fee of $750 per release site on each application. The $750 processing fee for each release site may be waived under a “urban white-tailed deer” TTT permit if the trap site is a property owned by a political subdivision or institution of higher education. Application processing fees are not refundable.
Reports and Financial Disclosure: The Supervisory Permittee must maintain and furnish upon request to Game Wardens or other department employees acting within the scope of official duties the following information:
- A current daily activity log containing the number and sex of deer trapped, the locations where deer were trapped and released, dates trapping occurred, trapping methods used, any mortalities incurred during permitted activities, and disposition of those mortalities.
- Any completed financial disclosure forms.
An activity report which summarizes the relocation operation must be submitted on a form approved by the department, along with all financial disclosure statements, within 30 days following permit expiration.
The Application Process: Applications must be completed online in Texas Wildlife Information Management Service (TWIMS). Prior to completing the TTT application in TWIMS each landowner must register their property in the Land Management Assistance (LMA) online system. An applicant for a Trap, Transport, and Transplant permit must follow these steps: (1) complete and submit the respective Trap Site and Release Site request forms in by the first business day in January; (2) complete an application in TWIMS using biologist-approved trap and release sites; (3) complete CWD testing at each location where deer will be trapped; (4) print the completed application from TWIMS and submit all forms, including copies of CWD test results, and the application processing fee to TPWD. Complete applications received by November 15 are guaranteed to be processed within 45 days.
Please note: Trap Site Request Form(s) must be completed for each specific location where deer will be trapped (each form must be signed by the landowner or landowner's agent or point of contact for aggregate acreage). Release Site Request Form(s) must be completed for each specific location where deer will be released (each form must be signed by the landowner or landowner's agent or point of contact for an aggregate acreage). A TPWD-approved Wildlife Management Plan must be on file for each release site. Trap Site and Release Site Request Forms may be approved in the field; contact your TPWD Wildlife Biologist for details.
If you have additional questions regarding permits to Trap, Transport, and Transplant Game Animals and Game Birds, please contact Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at (512) 389-4585.