Presenters: Mike Berger
Clayton Wolf

Commission Agenda Item No. 17
Action
Surplus Deer
August 2003

I. Discussion: Numerous suburban areas, primarily on the eastern edge of the Edwards Plateau, have overpopulations of white-tailed deer. Their situations typically are exacerbated by landscaping efforts, deer feeding by residents and the lack of predation and hunting to control the populations. In addition, some municipalities and ranches have identified that current regulatory programs authorized by TPWD do not meet their needs, or are too inefficient in their current form.

The Executive Director authorized staff to publish in the Texas Register for public comment two proposed rules addressing surplus deer issues. The first deals with antlerless and spike-duck deer permits, the second implements the provisions of Senate Bill 1582, enacted by the 78th Texas Legislature, which allows the commission to authorize political subdivisions and property owners’ associations to trap, transport, and process surplus white-tailed deer when an overpopulation of white-tailed deer is shown to exist. The proposals were published in the July 25, 2003, issue of the Texas Register (28 TexReg 5818). Staff will provide a summary of public comment at the time of the meeting.

II. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts an amendment to §65.27, concerning antlerless and Spike-buck Deer Control Permits (control permits); and amendments to §§65.101, 65.102, 65.107, 65.109, 65.111, 65.115, 65.117, and new 65.104, concerning the Trap, Transport, and Process permit, with changes to the proposed text as published in the July 25, 2003, issue of the Texas Register (28 TexReg 5818).”

Attachment – 1

  1. Exhibit A – Proposed Rules

Commission Agenda Item No. 17
Exhibit A

Anterless and Spike-Buck Control Permits
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment to §65.27, concerning antlerless and Spike-buck Deer Control Permits (control permits). The amendment would increase the period of validity for control permits by making them valid from September 1 to the last day in February, move the current reporting deadline to accommodate the lengthened period of validity, and allow persons less than 17 years of age to participate in permitted activities without being named as a designated harvester. The amendment is necessary because deer overpopulation problems on many properties are not soluble by ordinary hunting activities, resulting in habitat degradation that adversely affects wildlife diversity; and to discharge commission policy of increasing youth participation wherever possible.

2. Fiscal Note.

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

3. Public Benefit – Cost Note.

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

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the rule as proposed will be the protection of plant and wildlife species from habitat degradation caused by overpopulation of deer.

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

(C) The department has not drafted a local employment impact statement under the Administrative Procedures Act, §2001.022, as the agency has determined that the rule as proposed will not impact 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 rule.

4. Request for Public Comment.

Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted to Bryan Richards, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas, 78744; (512) 389-4777 (e-mail: bryan.richards@tpwd.state.tx.us).

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendment is proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, §61.052, which requires the commission to regulate the means, methods, and places in which it is lawful to hunt, take, or possess game animals, game birds, or aquatic animal life in or from the places covered by the chapter.

The amendment affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 61.

§65.27. Antlerless and Spike-buck Deer Control Permits (control permits). Control permits shall be issued only to control overpopulation of white-tailed deer and may be issued only to a landowner who has a current WMP issued in accordance with §65.25 of this title (relating to Wildlife Management Plan) that specifies a harvest quota of more than 20 antlerless deer. The WMP for permits issued under this section must be signed by a Wildlife Division employee assigned to write wildlife management plans.

(1) Control permits shall be issued only after the landowner has provided the names, addresses and hunting license numbers of all designated harvesters [persons] who will be hunting under the authority of the permits. The maximum number of designated hunters allowed on one application for control permits shall not exceed one-tenth the number of deer recommended for harvest by the WMP. Additional designated hunters may not be added after permits have been issued.

(2) Control permits shall not be issued solely as a means to manipulate the sex ratio of a deer herd.

(3) No WMP shall authorize the take of more than 300 deer per designated hunter.

(4) Control permits shall be valid from September 1 [the Saturday closest to September 30] through the last day of February [any open white-tailed deer season in the county for which the permits were issued].

(5) Deer harvested under the authority of control permits shall not be part of a hunter's annual bag limit.

(6) Applications must be received prior to December 10 in order to result in permit issuance for the current year.

(7) A report form provided by the department shall be submitted to the department by the landowner not later than March [February] 14 following the use of the permits. The report must specify the sex and date of kill for each deer harvested under a control permit.

(8) The period of validity for control permits does not apply to any other permit.

(9) Deer may be harvested under the authority of control permits only by designated harvesters or licensed hunters 16 years of age and younger.

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

Issued in Austin, Texas, on


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