Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission to Revisit Air Gun/Air Bow Rules at May Public Meeting

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AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has delayed until its public meeting in Lubbock on May 24 any final rulemaking on the use of air guns and air bows as legal means for taking certain game animals, game birds, alligators and furbearers.  At the meeting the Commission expects to hear further public input and to receive additional data from TPW staff.

“This is new and evolving technology, so we want to make certain any actions we take do not present undue risks of wounding of wildlife,” said Ralph Duggins, TPW Commission Chairman. “I’ve asked staff to provide the Commission with additional information as well as to invite testimony from industry experts.  I also want to give the public the opportunity for more input on this issue at our May public meeting. We appreciate everyone’s patience while we fully evaluate any action on the proposed rules.”

The initial rule changes to the 2018-19 Statewide Hunting Proclamation approved by the Commission in March regarding air guns and air bows as a legal means of take did not specify any requirements except for minimum caliber sizes. As currently presented, air guns .30 caliber or larger would be legal to take alligators, deer, pronghorn, big horn sheep, javelina, turkey, and furbearers. Air guns .177 caliber or larger would be legal to take squirrel, quail, pheasants, and chachalaca.

Rules adopted by the Commission are not considered final until they are submitted to the Texas Secretary of State’s office for publication in the Texas Register.  Consideration and action on air guns and air bows are the only  provisions in the 2018-19 Statewide Hunting Proclamation that have been postponed until its May 24 public meeting in Lubbock, Texas.

As with all Commission action items, public comment opportunities will be made available through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department online portal, and during the May 24 public meeting of the Commission.