|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2005-07-18                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than 12 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [TH]
July 18, 2005
Hunters Reminded About Mandatory Education, Deferals
AUSTIN, Texas -- Hunter education is more than a legal requirement in Texas-statistics show it saves lives. People getting ready for fall hunting are reminded of two things: those who purchased hunter education deferrals last year will need hunter education this year, and there are hundreds of courses scheduled across Texas where they can fulfill that requirement.
More than 10,000 people purchased $10 Texas hunter education deferrals in the 2004-05 license period -- the first year the deferral was offered. The deferral allows a person 17 years old or older to defer hunter education completion for as long as one year. During this time they can hunt if they are accompanied by a person licensed to hunt in Texas who is at least age 17 and has passed hunter education or is exempt by age. "Accompanied" is defined as "within normal voice control."
The intent of the deferral is to encourage people to try hunting and recruit new hunters by pairing them with hunting mentors. A deferral may only be obtained once and is only valid until the end of the current license year. A person who has been convicted or has received deferred adjudication for violation of the mandatory hunter education requirement is prohibited from applying for a deferral. Deferral participants who take a hunter education course by Aug. 31 each year receive a $5 discount.
Every hunter (including out-of-state hunters) born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, must successfully complete a Hunter Education Training Course to hunt in Texas. Minimum certification age is 12 years old and cost is $10.
There are some exceptions for youngsters. Youth younger than 12 can hunt but must be accompanied by a person licensed to hunt in Texas who has completed a hunter ed course, or is exempt by age. Youth ages 12-16 can hunt on their own if they have completed hunter education, but adult supervision is recommended.
There are three ways to take hunter education, traditional classroom instruction, home study and skills trail testing and an online course with skills trail testing. Home study and online course participants must come to a testing site to complete their training.
"There are 240 classroom courses scheduled across the state between now and next January, but it's good to complete the course early," said Terry Erwin, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department hunter education coordinator. "Experience shows some people wait until the last minute, and these courses are subject to change as they fill up daily. There are also 106 home study courses currently offered."
A complete listing of hunter education courses is on the TPWD Web site.
Since 1972, more than 685,000 Texans have completed the hunter education course, which is mandatory in 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. Hunter education became a legal requirement in 1988. Partly as a result of hunter education, Texas hunting accident rates have steadily decreased from a high of more than 12 accidents per 100,000 hunters in 1966 to below five accidents per 100,000 hunters in recent years.
"Texas is always looking for responsible individuals who would like to give something back by becoming a hunter education instructor," Erwin said.
Volunteer instructors must be at least 21 years old, have taken the hunter education course, filled out an application, and been through a game warden interview and an instructor course. Anyone interested can contact TPWD at (800) 792-1112, Ext. 4999 or see the TPWD Web site.
On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than 12 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [KE]
July 18, 2005
How To Avoid Pitfalls When Buying Used Boats
Extra! Read All Aboat It!
AUSTIN, Texas -- The transfer of boats and motors appears to be getting sloppier, with more and more people not getting titles, some sellers altering sale prices on transfer documents to avoid higher taxes and others who are inadvertently purchasing stolen crafts. So game wardens want to advise people to treat the buying or selling of a boat like they would that of an automobile.
"We see people buying boats at garage sales and receiving no paperwork and wanting to transfer it to their name," said TPWD game warden Tony Norton of Henderson County. "You wouldn't buy a car without getting the title."
If the seller doesn't have a title but has proof of boat ownership, they can request a duplicate title and then transfer it over to the buyer. The penalty for not transferring a title is a fine of as much as $500. And without a title, the boat can't be registered.
It could be worse.
"What if somebody steals it? They have to come up with proof they own the boat and a lot of them can't," said a member of TPWD's Marine Theft Unit.
Another common mistake is getting a title but not completing the boat transfer and motor transfer forms correctly. The forms can be obtained at any TPWD office or at (http://tpwd.texas.gov/boat/forms.phtml). A separate transfer form must be filled out for the outboard motor title. There is a civil tax penalty and a fine for not registering and paying the sales tax on the boat and outboard motor within 20 days of purchase.
Since boat registrations are good for two years, some people may have boats for as long as 18 months before they try to register the boat in their name and by then, it may be impossible to track down the previous owner and get a bill of sale to prove it was a legitimate transaction.
Most people don't worry about it until the registration expires. Then they realize what a mess it is.
Another common violation is people selling boats without endorsing the title in the first place. They thereby skip paying taxes on the boat -another violation punishable by a fine of as much as $500.
Norton says he also sees changes made in the tax affidavit sections on transfer forms, (title applications). "They change the price of the boat so they don't have to pay as much tax," he said.
Title applications are government documents and falsifying information or altering them for financial gain is a felony, according to TPWD.
"Because people see boats as toys, they don't put as much importance on the titling process as they do with cars," said a TPWD marine official. "People don't realize that when they alter documents to save a couple hundred bucks, and those documents are presented to us and processed a felony has been committed," he said. And that violation is punishable by as much as 2-20 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

[ Note: This item is more than 12 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [KE]
July 18, 2005
Stay Tuned
Information from Texas Parks and Wildlife is available on radio and television, as well as the newsstand.
Passport to Texas, TPWD's radio series of weekday, 90-second stories, is broadcast on more than 100 Texas stations. Airing July 18-22, how much do you think you know about alligators? TPWD biologist, Gary Calkins takes a "bite" out of the misconceptions. Plus, if you live in a metro area, you don't have to fill up the gas tank and pack the suitcases in order to visit a state park near you. State Park Division Director Walt Dabney tells about state parks located within one hour from the big city.
For more information, visit the Web.
Video News
TPWD provides video news reports that run in newscasts on numerous Texas stations, as well as on cable and satellite outlets around the nation.
For more information, go to the Web.
"Texas Parks & Wildlife" is a weekly half-hour television series seen on PBS affiliates around the state. Airing July 16-23, analyzing the archeology of the San Jacinto Battleground will help to tell the story of how Texas came to be. According to a State Parks Regional Director, new studies will help interpret the 1836 battle, and allow the park to be restored to what it may have looked like at the time of Texas' struggle for independence. At Brazos Bend State Park near Houston, alligators rule. David Heinicke and Sharon Hanzik take us on a tour of this unique park. Get some tips from Hunter Education Specialist Ty Harris on how to prepare and care for game in the field. Not only are sporting clays are growing in popularity, but it's a great way to introduce newcomers to the shooting sports. Charlie Wilson takes the TPWD mobile sporting clays range to a group of high schoolers for some lessons in shooting safety. This week's 'postcard' is underwater in the cool, clear waters at Pedernales Falls State Park.
For more information about this week's programs and where they can be viewed, visit the Web.
Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine is always available on newsstands throughout the state and by subscription for $19.95 a year. To subscribe, call (800) 937-9393 or order online.
On the Net:
Passport to Texas: http://www.passporttotexas.org/
TPWD Video News: http://tpwd.texas.gov/news/tv/vnr/thismonth/
TPWD on PBS: http://tpwd.texas.gov/tv
TPW Magazine: http://www.tpwmagazine.com/