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TPWD News Release — April 12, 2004

New Options, Incentives Available for Deer Management

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has adopted new options and incentives for private landowners who actively practice white-tailed deer management, including the elimination of "double tagging" and an extension of hunting seasons.

According to the new rules, which go into effect this fall, hunters who take deer on properties holding deer permits that require permit tagging, such as Managed Lands Deer Permits, Landowner Assisted Management Permits or on Texas Parks and Wildlife Department-drawn public hunts, would not have to use a deer tag from their hunting license. What this means for affected hunters and landowners is less redundant paperwork and a simpler tagging system.

"This will eliminate personal bag limits and the requirement to complete the harvest log on the back of the hunting license for deer taken under authority of the specified permits," said Clayton Wolf, TPWD Big Game Program Director.

Providing private landowners and wildlife managers with the freedom and flexibility to effectively manage wildlife on their property is one of the benchmark priorities in TPWD’s Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan, designed to guide the agency’s long-range efforts.

TPWD recognizes the need to adjust and amend the guidelines to allow land managers to be more efficient and effective stewards. The new rules are based upon recommendations from the TPW Commission’s White-tailed Deer Advisory Committee.

Among the changes, properties operating under the department’s Level II and III MLDPs (Managed Lands Deer Permit) will have hunting opportunities that extend through the last day in February.

Those same operations can also qualify for an exemption from any site inspection prior to issuance of a Trap, Transport and Transplant (Triple T) permit, which is required in order to introduce new deer onto the property, providing they meet certain data collection and stocking criteria.

The commission also removed the limit on the number of deer that can be removed from those properties before importing additional deer. This change allows landowners more flexibility in the number of deer they can import to their property without negative implications on plant communities.

In addition, authority was granted to allow buck deer to be included in Triple T activities that are authorized for inconsequential purposes or for sites that do not require a site inspection.

Provisions were also adopted that affect how properties conduct certain management practices under MLD permits, including penalties for abuses.

For example, a one-year suspension for properties that exceed the harvest quota in a Wildlife Management Plan was created.

New rules also require that all buck deer moved by Triple T permit have antlers removed prior to transport, which provides additional safety for trappers and for the animals.