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The Battalion

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June 16, 2024

Staying legal this hunting season

Following+hunting+regulations+is+an+important+part+of+hunting+season.+Texas+Parks+and+Wildlife+game+wardens+discuss+the+best+way+to+ensure+a+legal+hunt.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Graphic by Nic Tan

Following hunting regulations is an important part of hunting season. Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens discuss the best way to ensure a legal hunt. 

Hunters in the state of Texas are required to follow all rules and regulations, including the most commonly broken requirement — a hunter’s education course.
Many rules vary by county, including bag limit and season dates, but every hunter in the state is required to obtain a hunting license to ensure a legal hunt. A hunting license can be purchased at most sporting goods retailers, on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website, or at any Texas Parks and Wildlife Office. Lieutenant for Wildlife Enforcement Jason Jones said it is important to remember that every hunter born after Sept. 2, 1971 is required to complete a hunter education course that can be completed online.
“We push on the hunter education because that deals with safety,” Jones said. “That’s our number one push. We want the hunters to be educated, plus be safe out there, know what they’re shooting towards, know their background, know their bag limits.”
Jones said the most commonly broken hunting law is a violation of the hunter education requirement, which produced 16,472 citations within the past five years. However, depending on the charge, hunting crimes can range from misdemeanors to felonies.
“For that hunter ed requirement, it’s a class C misdemeanor — the fine ranges from 25 up to 500 dollars,” Jones said. “But then you’ve got some that are a little higher. You’ve got the Class Bs and the Class As, you’ve got those when you’re hunting without landowner consent.”
Nutrition sophomore Drew Estrada said a game warden near his hometown offered to teach a hunter education course, so he decided to take the class with a group, which has proven to be beneficial.
“It’s a really simple course; I did mine in a day,” Estrada said. “And it was about four to five hours, and it doesn’t expire ever, it lasts forever.”
Jones said the best way to ensure you are following hunting regulations is to consult Texas Parks and Wildlife’s website, read the Outdoor Annual book that comes with any purchase of a hunting license or download the Outdoor Annual app.
“The hunters need to really sit down and look at that county specific [to] where they’re going to be hunting for the rules and regulations,” Jones said.
Estrada said he has been hunting for the past six years and usually purchases a hunting license at Walmart or Academy.
“It’s important because whenever you kill an animal, you have to tag it with the tags that are given with your license.” Estrada said. “And if you don’t have a license on you and you get caught by a game warden, it’s a huge fine.”
Brazos County has a bag limit of four whitetail deer, with a limit of two bucks and two antlerless deer, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Outdoor Annual website.
Game wardens at Texas Parks and Wildlife hold public outreach as one of their core missions, Jones said.
“We go out and do a lot of public programs — whether it be at schools, Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs, any type of public event,” Jones said. “If we’re asked to speak or if we have a booth set up, that’s one chance that we get to interact with the public and share about rules and regulations and how we enforce them and what all we do as game wardens.”
More information on licenses, regulations and hunter education courses is available at https://tpwd.texas.gov/.

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