New Law Prohibits All Hunting of Wildlife From Roads

Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701,

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AUSTIN, Texas — With the passage of House Bill 12 by the 80th Texas Legislature, it is now unlawful to hunt any wild bird or animal on a public road or the right-of-way of a public road.

Prior to this year, it was unlawful to hunt game animals or game birds on a public road — meaning that nongame species such as snakes, turtles, frogs and most mammals other than deer, bighorn sheep, javelina, and pronghorn antelope could be legally taken, provided that the take was not by firearm and did not occur from a vehicle.

For many years, the department has informed the public that a hunting license was not required to take or possess any animal other than terrestrial vertebrates, such as insects. Although the new law could be construed to apply to the collection of invertebrates, the department will not enforce the provision as it relates to invertebrates at this time.

“The department strongly encourages all persons to avoid engaging in the collection of any animal life on public roads or the right-of-way of public roads,” said Maj. David Sinclair, TPWD chief of wildlife enforcement.

The new law does not apply to licensed falconers trapping raptors (birds of prey) or persons engaged in activities under department permits for scientific, educational, or zoological collection if allowed under the conditions of the permit.