Presenters: Herb Kothmann

Commission Agenda Item No. 5
Action
Amendments to the Public Lands Proclamation
Establishment of an Open Season on Public Lands 2001-2002
Proposed Hunting Activities on State Parks
April 2001

I. Discussion: Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 12, Subchapter A, provides that a tract of land purchased primarily for a purpose authorized by the code may be used for any authorized function of the Parks and Wildlife Department if the commission determines that multiple use is the best utilization of the land's resources. Additionally, Chapter 81, Subchapter E, of the code provides the commission with the authority to establish open seasons, and authorizes the Executive Director to determine bag limits, means and methods, and conditions for the taking of wildlife resources on wildlife management and public hunting areas. Chapter 62, Subchapter D, provides authority to the Commission to prescribe seasons, number, size, kind, sex and the means and methods for the taking of any wildlife on state parks. Chapter 42, §42.0177, authorizes the Commission to modify or eliminate the tagging requirements of Chapter 42.

The Executive Director may establish by executive order the Department policy with respect to hunting, fishing, and non-consumptive use on public hunting lands.

The Regulations Committee at its January 2001 meeting authorized staff to publish the proposed amendments to the 2001-2002 Public Lands Proclamation in the Texas Register for public comment. The proposed amendment appeared in the February 23, 2001, issue of the Texas Register (25 TexReg 1680). A summary of public comment on the proposed proclamation will be available to the Commission at the time of the hearing.

The proposed amendments to the Public Lands Proclamation are located at Exhibit A. Exhibit B, Proposed 2001-2002 State Park Hunts, identifies proposed public hunting activities on units of the state park system for the 2001-2002 season. Exhibit C establishes an open season on public hunting lands to run from September 1, 2001 to August 31, 2002.

II. Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motions:

  1. "The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts amendments to 31 TAC §§65.190, 65.193, 65.197, 65.198, and 65.202, concerning the Public Lands Proclamation, with changes to the proposed text as published in the February 23, 2001, issue of the Texas Register (25 TexReg 1680).”
  2. "The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes the hunting activities designated in Exhibit B to be conducted on the listed units of the state park system."
  3. “The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes an open hunting season on public hunting lands to run from September 1, 2001 to August 31, 2002.”

Attachments - 3

1. Exhibit A - Proposed Amendments to the Public Lands Proclamation
2. Exhibit B - Hunting Activities on Units of the State Park System
3. Exhibit C - Fiscal Note (Available upon request)


Commission Agenda Item No. 5
Exhibit A

Public Lands Proclamation
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes amendments to §§65.190, 65,193, 65.197, 65.198, and 65.202, concerning Public Lands Proclamation. The amendment to §65.190, concerning Application, updates the listing of the units of public hunting lands. The amendment is necessary to clearly identify the properties on which the regulations apply. The amendment to §65.193, concerning Access Permit Required and Fees, would allow the Department to conduct hunts totally or in part by Regular Permit, makes uniform the permit requirements of supervising adults during youth-only hunts, and stipulates that the department will retain application fees submitted with an invalid application for a Special Permit. The amendment is necessary to provide a mechanism for allowing persons in possession of an Annual Public Hunting Permit to participate in designated hunts without having to be issued a Regular Permit; for persons in selected instances to purchase a Regular Permit for participation in hunts that are other wise restricted to holders of an Annual Public Hunting Permit; to enable the department to more accurately discern revenues generated by the various levels of permits; to remove confusion concerning permit requirements of non-hunting adults who are supervising minors during youth-only hunts; and to allow the department to retain application fees to defray costs of processing invalid applications for a Special Permit. The amendment to §65.197, concerning Reinstatement of Preference Points, clarifies procedures for reinstating preference points in drawings for Special Permits. The amendment is necessary to avoid the reinstatement of preference points if, due to an error in processing, a person is drawn for a hunt for which they did not apply and agrees to accept the hunt. The amendment to §65.198, concerning Entry, Registration, and Checkout, would conform the requirements of the section to accommodate the changes to §65.193. The amendment is necessary to allow the department to supervise access and activity on public lands by persons hunting under an Annual Public Hunting Permit (check-in and check-out not currently required) during a Regular Permit hunt (check-in and check-out required) that is also open to persons possessing an Annual Public Hunting Permit. The amendment to §65.202, concerning Minors Hunting on Public Lands, establishes a minimum age for participants in Special-Permit hunts. The amendment is necessary to promote public safety by restricting participation in drawn hunts to persons who have achieved the minimum age needed to acquire the physical skills and mental development required to participate in drawn hunts in a competent and responsible manner.

2. Fiscal Note.

Robert Macdonald, regulations coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the rules as proposed are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the rules.

3. Public Benefit - Cost Note.

Mr. Macdonald also has determined that for each of the first five years the rules as proposed are in effect:

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the rules as proposed will be increased assurance of public safety during hunts on public lands, increased public hunting opportunity, and more accurate financial data on public hunting activities.

(B) There will be no effects on small businesses, microbusinesses, or persons required to comply with the rules as proposed.

(C) The department has not filed a local impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission as required by the Administrative Procedures Act, §2001.022, as the agency has determined that the rules as proposed will have no impact on local economies.

(D) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed rules.

4. Request for Public Comments.

Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted to Herb Kothmann, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389-4770 or 1-800-792-1112 extension 4770 (e-mail: herb.kothmann@tpwd.state.tx.us)

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendments are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 81, Subchapter E, which provides the Parks and Wildlife Commission with authority to establish an open season on wildlife management areas and public hunting lands and authorizes the executive director to regulate numbers, means, methods, and conditions for taking wildlife resources on wildlife management areas and public hunting lands; Chapter 12, Subchapter A, which provides that a tract of land purchased primarily for a purpose authorized by the code may be used for any authorized function of the department if the commission determines that multiple use is the best utilization of the land's resources; Chapter 62, Subchapter D, which provides authority, as sound biological management practices warrant, to prescribe seasons, number, size, kind, and sex and the means and method of taking any wildlife; and §42.0177, which authorizes the commission to modify or eliminate the tagging requirements of Chapter 42.

The amendments affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 12, Subchapter A; Chapter 62, Subchapter D, and Chapter 81, Subchapter E.

§65.190. Application.

(a) This subchapter applies to all activities subject to department regulation on lands designated by the department as public hunting lands, regardless of the presence or absence of boundary markers. Public hunting lands are acquired by lease or license, management agreements, trade, gift, and purchase. Records of such acquisition are on file at the Department's central repository.

(b) On U.S. Forest Service Lands designated as public hunting lands (Alabama Creek, Bannister, Caddo, Lake McClellan Recreation Area, Moore Plantation, and Sam Houston National Forest WMAs) or any portion of Units 902 and 903, persons other than hunters are exempt from the provisions of this subchapter.

(c) On U.S. Army Corps of Engineer Lands designated as public hunting lands (Aquilla, Cooper, Dam B, Granger, Pat Mayse, Ray Roberts, Somerville, and White Oak Creek WMAs), persons other than hunters and equestrian users are exempt from requirements for an access permit.

(d) On state park lands designated as public hunting lands, access for fishing and non-consumptive use is governed by state park regulations.

(e) Public hunting lands include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Alabama Creek WMA (Unit 904);

(2) Alazan Bayou WMA (Unit 747);

(3) Aquilla WMA (Unit 748);

(4) Atkinson Island WMA;

(5) Bannister WMA (Unit 903);

(6) Big Lake Bottom WMA (Unit 733);

(7) Black Gap WMA (Unit 701);

(8) Caddo Lake State Park and WMA (Unit 730);

(9) Caddo National Grasslands WMA (Unit 901);

(10) Candy Abshier WMA;

(11) Cedar Creek Islands WMA (includes Big Island, Bird Island, and Telfair Island Units);

(12) Chaparral WMA (Unit 700);

(13) Cooper WMA (Unit 731);

(14) D.R. Wintermann WMA;

(15) Dam B WMA—includes Angelina-Neches Scientific Area (Unit 707);

(16) Designated Units of the Las Palomas WMA;

(17) Designated Units of Pubic Hunting Lands Under Short-Term Lease;

(18) Designated Units of the Playa Lakes WMA;

(19) Designated Units of the State Park System;

(20) Elephant Mountain WMA (Unit 725);

(21) Gene Howe WMA (Unit 755)—includes Pat Murphy Unit (Unit 706);

(22) Granger WMA (Unit 709);

(23) Guadalupe Delta WMA (Unit 729)—includes Mission Lake Unit (720), Guadalupe River Unit (723), Hynes Bay Unit (724), and San Antonio River Unit (760);

(24) Gus Engeling WMA (Unit 754);

(25) James Daughtrey WMA (Unit 713);

(26) J.D. Murphree WMA (Unit 783);

(27) Keechi Creek WMA (Unit 726);

(28) Kerr WMA (Unit 756);

(29) Lake McClellan Recreation Area;

(30) Lower Neches WMA (Unit 728)—includes Old River Unit and Nelda Stark Unit;

(31) [(30)]Mad Island WMA (Unit 729);

(32) [(31)]Mason Mountain WMA;

(33) [(32)]Matador WMA (Unit 702);

(34) [(33)]Matagorda Island State Park and WMA (Unit 1134 [8134]);

(35) [(34)]M.O. Neasloney WMA;

(36) [(35)]Moore Plantation WMA (Unit 902);

(37) Nannie Stringfellow WMA;

(38) [(36)]North Toledo Bend WMA (Unit 615);

(39) [(37)]Old Sabine Bottom WMA (Unit 732);

(40) [(38)]Old Tunnel WMA;

(41) [(39)]Pat Mayse WMA (Unit 705);

(42) [(40)]Peach Point WMA (Unit 721)—includes Bryan Beach Unit (Unit 1075 [8075]);

(43) [(41)]Ray Roberts WMA (Unit 501);

(44) [(42)]Redhead Pond WMA;

(45) [(43)]Richland Creek WMA (Unit 703);

(46) [(44)]Sam Houston National Forest WMA (Unit 905);

(47) [(45)]Sierra Diablo WMA (Unit 767);

(48) [(46)]Somerville WMA (Unit 711);

(49) [(47)]Tawakoni WMA (Unit 708);

(50) [(48)]Walter Buck WMA (Unit 757);

(51) [(49)]Welder Flats WMA;

(52) [(50)White Oak Creek WMA (Unit 727); and

(53) [(51)]Other numbered units of public hunting lands.

§65.193. Access Permit Required and Fees.

(a) It is an offense for a person without a valid access permit to enter public hunting lands, except:

(1) on areas or for activities where no permit is required;

(2) persons who are authorized by, and acting in an official capacity for the department or the landowners of public hunting lands;

(3) persons participating in educational programs, management demonstrations, or other scheduled activities sponsored or sanctioned by the department with written approval;

(4) persons owning or leasing land within the boundaries of public hunting lands, while traveling directly to or from their property;

(5) for a non-hunting or non-fishing adult who is assisting a permitted disabled person; or

(6) [for a non-hunting adult who is supervising a permitted minor in a youth-only hunt; or]

[(7)] for minors under the supervision of an authorized supervising adult possessing an APH permit or a LPU permit.

(b) A Texas Conservation Passport (Gold or Silver) provides group access to designated public hunting lands at times when non-consumptive use is authorized under the Texas Conservation Passport Program. The Texas Conservation Passport is not required to hunt or fish, nor does it authorize the taking of wildlife resources or provide access to public hunting lands at times when an APH permit, LPU permit, regular permit, or special permit is required.

(c) Annual Public Hunting (APH) Permit and Limited Public Use (LPU) Permit.

(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2)-(4) of this subsection, it is an offense for a person 17 years of age or older to enter public hunting lands or take or attempt to take wildlife resources on public hunting lands at times when an APH permit is required without possessing an APH permit or to fail to display the APH permit, upon request, to a department employee or other official authorized to enforce regulations on public hunting lands. The fee for the APH permit is $40.

(2) A person possessing a LPU permit may enter public hunting lands at times that access is allowed under the APH permit, but is not authorized to hunt or fish, except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection. The fee for the LPU permit is $10.

(3) Persons possessing an APH permit, a LPU permit, or Texas Conservation Passport (Gold or Silver) may use public hunting lands to access adjacent public waters, and may fish in adjacent public waters from riverbanks on public hunting lands. The APH permit is required of each person 17 years of age or older who enters the Alabama Creek, Bannister, Caddo, Moore Plantation, or Sam Houston National Forest WMAs and possesses a centerfire or muzzleloading rifle or handgun, a shotgun with shot larger than #4 lead, or lawful archery equipment or crossbow with broadhead hunting point; however, a person 17 years of age or older may enter these units with other legal devices for hunting as defined in this subchapter and take specified legal wildlife resources provided the person possesses a LPU permit.

(4) The permits required under paragraphs (1) - (3) of this subsection are not required for:

(A) persons who enter on United States Forest Service lands designated as a public hunting area (Alabama Creek, Bannister, Caddo, Moore Plantation, and Sam Houston National Forest WMAs) or any portion of Units 902 and 903 for any purpose other than hunting;

(B) persons who enter on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lands (Aquilla, Cooper, Dam B, Granger, Pat Mayse, Ray Roberts, Somerville, and White Oak Creek WMAs) designated as public hunting lands for purposes other than hunting or equestrian use;

(C) persons who enter Caddo Lake State Park and Wildlife Management Area and do not hunt or enter upon the land;

(D) persons who enter and hunt waterfowl within the Bayside Marsh Unit of Matagorda Island State Park and Wildlife Management Area;

(E) persons who enter the Bryan Beach Unit of Peach Point Wildlife Management Area and do not hunt; or

(F) persons who enter Zone C of the Guadalupe River Unit of the Guadalupe Delta Wildlife Management Area and do not hunt or fish..

(5) The permit required by paragraphs (1)-(3) of this subsection is not valid unless the signature of the holder appears on the permit.

(6) A person, by signature of the permit and by payment of a permit fee required by paragraphs (1)-(3) of this subsection waives all liability towards the landowner (licensor) and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (licensee).

(d) Regular Permit—A regular permit is issued on a first come-first served basis at the hunt area on the day of the scheduled hunt with the department reserving the right to limit the number of regular permits to be issued.

(e) Special Permit—A special permit is issued to an applicant selected in a drawing.

(f) Permits for hunting wildlife resources on public hunting lands shall be issued by the department to applicants by means of a fair method of distribution subject to limitations on the maximum number of permits to be issued.

(g) The department may implement a system of issuing special permits that gives preference to those applicants who have applied previously but were not selected to receive a permit.

(h) Application fees.

(1) The department may charge a non-refundable fee, which may be required to accompany and validate an individual's application in a drawing for a special hunting permit.

(2) The application fee for each person 17 years of age or older listed on an application for a special hunting permit may not exceed $25 per legal species and, unless otherwise established by the commission, shall be in the amount of:

(A) $2.00 in the general drawings; and

(B) $10 for special package hunts.

(3) The application fee for a special hunting permit is waived for a person under 17 years of age; however, the minor must apply in conjunction with an authorized supervising adult to whom an application fee is assessed, except as provided in paragraphs (4) and (5) of this subsection.

(4) The application fee for a special permit is waived for an adult who is making application to serve as a non-hunting authorized supervising adult for a minor in a youth-only drawn hunt category.

(5) Persons under 17 years of age may be disqualified from applying for special package hunts or may be assessed the application fee.

(6) The application fee for a special permit is waived for on-site applications made under standby procedures at the time of a hunt.

(7) In the event an application for a special permit is determined to be invalid, then:

(A) the application card may [and related application fees will] be returned to the applicant for correction and resubmission, provided the error is detected prior to the time that the application information is processed; or

(B) the error will result in disqualification of the applicant(s)[, and the application fees will be retained by the department].

(i) Legal animals to be taken by special or regular permit shall be stipulated on the permit.

(j) The fees for special and regular permits for hunting deer, exotic mammal, pronghorn antelope, javelina, turkey, coyote, and alligator are:

(1) standard period—$50;

(2) extended period—$100;

(3) squirrel, game birds (other than turkey), rabbits and hares—$10;

(4) special package hunts, desert bighorn sheep—no charge.

(k) Only one special or regular permit fee will be assessed in the event of concurrent hunts for multiple species, and the fee for the legal species having the most expensive permit will prevail.

(l) Any applicable special or regular permit fees will be waived for minors under the supervision of a duly permitted authorized supervising adult.

(m) Any applicable regular permit fees for hunting or fishing activities will be waived for persons possessing an APH permit.

(n) Certain hunts may be conducted totally or in part by regular permit. It is an offense to fail to comply with established permit requirements specifying whether a regular permit is required of all participants or required only of adult participants who do not possess an APH permit.

(o) Any applicable regular permit fees for authorized activities other than hunting or fishing will be waived for persons possessing an APH permit, a LPU permit, or Texas Conservation Passport (Gold or Silver).

(p)[(o)] Except for the Texas Conservation Passport, all access permits apply only to the individual to whom the permit is issued, and neither the permit nor the rights granted thereunder are transferrable to another person.

(q)[(p)] It is an offense if a person fails to obey the conditions of a permit issued under this subchapter.

§65.197. Reinstatement of Preference Points. Accrued preference points will be reinstated in the concerned hunt category for a selected applicant only if:

(1) payment of hunt permit fees has been made, but the scheduled hunt is unable to be conducted in its entirety or is canceled at the discretion of the department;

(2) the selected applicant was assigned a hunt category, hunt area, or hunt period other than was indicated on the application and does not participate in the hunt.

§65.198. Entry, Registration, and Checkout.

(a) It is an offense if a person:

(1) who does not possess a valid permit enters public hunting lands at a time when access is restricted only to persons possessing a valid permit;

(2) enters an area identified by boundary signs as a limited use zone, sanctuary, or restricted area and fails to obey the restrictions on public use posted at the area or as set forth in this subchapter; or

(3) on areas where on-site registration is required, fails to check in at a registration station and properly complete registration procedures before initiation of hunting, fishing, or non-consumptive use activities or fails to properly check out at the registration station before departing the area.

(b) Unless otherwise authorized in writing by the department or as provided in subsection (c) of this section, it is an offense if a person participating in a hunt conducted by special permit or totally or in part by [hunting under special or] regular permit fails to:

(1) check in at a designated check station prior to initiation of hunting activities; and

(2) check out at a designated check station or otherwise fails to allow inspection of the bag before leaving the area.

(c) The requirements of subsection (b) of this section may be waived for specific hunts as designated by order of the executive director or by direction of the hunt supervisor. Participation in regular permit hunts for which the check station requirement has been waived will be solely by APH permit.

(d) Access for non-consumptive use and fishing may be temporarily restricted while hunts are being conducted by special or regular permit or at times when ongoing research or management activities may be impacted.

§65.202. Minors Hunting on Public Lands.

(a) Youth participating in public hunts by special permit must be eight years of age or older at the time of application.

(b) It is an offense for a minor to fail to be under the immediate supervision of a duly permitted and authorized supervising adult when hunting on public hunting lands. For a minor who has received hunter education certification, the requirement for immediate supervision is relaxed to the extent that the authorized supervising adult is required only to be present on the public hunting area. The authorized supervising adult is responsible for the actions and liability of the minor.

This agency hereby certifies that the rule as proposed has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency’s authority to adopt.

Issued in Austin, Texas, on


Commission Agenda Item No. 5
Exhibit B

State Park Hunt Proposals media download(PDF 92.7 KB)


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