Presenter: Mike Berger

Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Action
Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation
November 2003

I. Executive Summary: This item amends the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation to adjust the 2003-2004 pheasant season in the Panhandle and to correct an error in the Texas Administrative Code concerning the archery-only open season.

II. Discussion: Responsibility for establishing seasons, bag limits, and means and methods for taking wildlife resources is delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 61.

The Commission at the April 2003 meeting adopted a pheasant season in the Panhandle to run from December 6, 2003 to January 4, 2004. However, the 2003-2004 Outdoor Annual indicates a season to run from December 13, 2003 to January 11, 2004. Additionally, an error in the Texas Administrative Code has inadvertently created an archery-only open season with no closing date. Staff was authorized at the August 2003 Commission meeting to initiate rulemaking to make the legally defined pheasant season consistent with the season dates reflected in the Outdoor Annual. The Executive Director authorized the inclusion of language to establish a closing date for the archery-only open season. The proposal appeared in the September 26, 2003 issue of the Texas Register (28 TexReg 8301). Staff will provide a summary of public comment at the time of the hearing.

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

“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts amendments to 31 TAC §65.42, concerning Deer, and §65.60, concerning Pheasant: Open Seasons, Bag, and Possession Limits, as published in the September 26, 2003 issue of the Texas Register (28 TexReg 8301).”

Attachments - 2
1. Exhibit A - Proposed Rules
2. Exhibit B - Fiscal Note


Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Exhibit A

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation Pheasant Season, Archery Season Corrections Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment to §65.42, concerning Deer, and §65.60, concerning Pheasant: Open Seasons, Bag, and Possession Limits. The amendment to §65.42 would correct an error in subsection (b)(8) by restoring three subparagraphs that were not published as part of a previous rulemaking. The amendment to §65.60 would replace the current open season for pheasant in several Panhandle counties (December 6—January 4) with a season of the same length, but opening one week later (December 13—January 11). The amendment is necessary to prevent possible hunter and landowner confusion stemming from a publication error in widely distributed literature pertaining to the 2003-2004 hunting season. That error gives the opening day as December 13. The easiest solution is for the department to engage in rulemaking to make the season dates in the rule consistent with the season dates that have been distributed to the public. The proposed rule will not result in either depletion or waste of wildlife resources.

2. Fiscal Note.
Robert Macdonald, regulations coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years the rules as proposed are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state and 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 accurate regulations and the elimination of possibly confusing conflicts between regulations and informational materials distributed to the hunting public.

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

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

4. Request for Public Comment.
Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Robert Macdonald, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas, 78744; (512) 389-4775 (e-mail: robert.macdonald@tpwd.state.tx.us).

5. Statutory Authority.
The amendments are 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 amendments affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 61.

§65.42. Deer.

(a) (No change.)

(b) White-tailed deer.

(1)-(7) (No change.)

(8) Archery-only open seasons. In all counties where there is a general open season for white-tailed deer, there is an archery-only open season during which either sex of white-tailed deer may be taken as provided for in §65.11(2) and (3) of this title (relating to Means and Methods).

(A) Open season: the Saturday closest to September 30 for 30 consecutive days.

(B) Bag limit: the bag limit in any given county is as provided for that county during the general open season.

(C) No permit is required to hunt antlerless deer unless MLD permits have been issued for the property.

(9)-(10) (No change.)

(c) (No change.)

§65.60. Pheasant: Open Seasons, Possession and Bag Limits.

(a) In Armstrong, Bailey, Briscoe, Carson, Castro, Childress, Cochran, Collingsworth, Cottle, Crosby, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Donley, Floyd, Gray, Hale, Hall, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hockley, Hutchinson, Lamb, Lipscomb, Lubbock, Moore, Motley, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Sherman, Swisher, Wheeler, and Wilbarger counties, there is an open season for pheasants.

(1) Open season: Second [First] Saturday of December for 30 consecutive days.

(2) Daily Bag limit: Two cock pheasants.

(3) Possession limit: Four cock pheasants.

(b) In Chambers, Jefferson, and Liberty, counties, there is an open season for pheasants.

(1) Open season: Saturday nearest November 1 through the last Sunday in February.

(2) Daily bag limit: Three cock pheasants.

(3) Possession limit: Six cock pheasants.

(c) In all other counties, there is no open season on pheasants.

(d) It is unlawful to hunt pheasant with the aid of a cable, chain, rope, or other device connected to or between a moving object or objects.

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


Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Exhibit B

Item Sponsor: Mike Berger
Note Prepared By: Robert Macdonald

Fiscal Note
Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation
November 2003

Brief Description: Item amends Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation to modify pheasant season in Panhandle and specify the closed season for archery-only hunting. No fiscal impacts are anticipated.


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