Regulations Committee

Wednesday, 9:00am, April 6, 2005

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Item
No.
Subject Public Hearing
Agenda Item No.
  Approval of Previous Committee Meeting minutes.  
1. Chairman's Charges (Oral Presentation) Committee Only
2. 2005-2006 Migratory Game Bird Proclamation
Staff: Vernon Bevill
Committee Only
3. Update - Giant Salvinia
Staff: Phil Durocher
Committee Only
4. Recommendations of the White-tailed Deer Advisory Committee - Permission to Publish
  • Deer Management Permit
  • Triple T Permit
  • Scientific Breeder Permit
Staff: Clayton Wolf
Committee Only
5. Public Lands Proclamation Amendments
Staff: Mike Berger
8
6. 2005-2006 Statewide Hunting/Fishing Proclamation
Staff: Ken Kurzawski/Robin Riechers/Mike Berger
4
7. Other Business  

Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Vernon Bevill

Regulations Committee
2005–2006 Migratory Game Bird Proclamation
April 2005

I. Executive Summary: This item apprises the Committee of anticipated and potential changes to migratory game bird regulations as a result of staff recommendations and the federal regulatory process.

II. Discussion: Responsibility for establishing seasons, bag limits, means, methods, and devices for harvesting migratory game birds within U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) frameworks is delegated to the Commission under Chapter 64, Subchapter C, Parks and Wildlife Code. Parks and Wildlife Code, §64.022 authorizes the Executive Director, after notification of the Chairman, to engage in rulemaking. At present, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has not issued the annual regulatory frameworks for migratory game birds. Typically, the Service issues the preliminary early-season (dove, teal, etc) frameworks in late June and the preliminary late-season (waterfowl) frameworks in early August. The Service typically issues the final early-season frameworks in early August and the final late-season frameworks in late September. Since the current regulations reflect the Commission's policy to provide the most liberal harvest provisions permissible under the federal frameworks, staff recommends retaining those provisions (adjusted for calendar shift) should the Service frameworks remain unchanged from last year. Should the Service issue frameworks that alter any existing options or offer new options for hunter opportunity, the department will adopt the most liberal provisions possible, while affording needed protection to the resource.

Attachments - 2

  1. Exhibit A - Potential Early Season Dates and Bag Limits
  2. Exhibit B - Potential Late Season Dates and Bag Limits

Commission Agenda Item No. 2
Exhibit A

Potential 2004–2005 Dove, Teal, Rail, Snipe, and Gallinule Open Seasons, Shooting Hours, Bag and
Possession Limits*

  1. Mourning doves and white-winged doves.
    1. North Zone:
      1. Dates: 60 consecutive days beginning Monday, September 1 (Sept.1–Oct.30, 2005).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits: 15 mourning, white-winged, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate including no more than 2 white-tipped doves per day; 30 in aggregate including no more than 4 white-tipped doves in possession.
    2. Central Zone:
      1. Dates: 60 consecutive days beginning Thursday, September 1 (Sept. 1-Oct. 30, 2005), and 10 consecutive days beginning Monday, December 26 (Dec. 26, 2005-Jan. 4, 2006).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits: 12 mourning, white-winged, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate including no more than 2 white-tipped doves per day; 24 in aggregate including no more than 4 white-tipped doves in possession.
    3. Southeast Zone:
      1. Dates: 49 consecutive days beginning Friday, September 23 (Sept. 23 - Nov. 10, 2005) and 21 consecutive days beginning Monday, December 26 (Dec.26, 2005–Sun.,Jan.15, 2006).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits: 12 mourning, white-winged, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate including no more than 2 white-tipped doves per day; 24 in aggregate including no more than 4 white-tipped doves in possession.
      4. Boundary Change: “That portion of the State south and east of a line beginning at Interstate Highway 10 at the Louisiana border and Orange, Texas, proceeding west on I-10 to State Loop 1604 east of San Antonio; thence south and west along Loop 1604 to Interstate Highway 37, then south and east along I-37 to U.S. 181 at Corpus Christi, then north and east along U.S. 181 to the Corpus Christi Bay causeway and the Gulf of Mexico, north and east along the Gulf of Mexico to Sabine Pass, then north through Sabine Lake and Sabine River to I-10 and the Louisiana border. ”
    4. South White-winged Dove Area:
      1. Dates: The first two complete weekends in September (Sept. 3, 4, 10, 11, 2005) and 49 consecutive days beginning Friday, September 23 (Sept.23 – Wed., Nov.10, 2005) and 17 consecutive days beginning Monday, December 26 (Dec.26, 2005 – Wed., Jan.11, 2006).
      2. Shooting hours: noon to sunset on first two complete weekends in Sept., thereafter one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits:
        1. The first two complete weekends in September: 12 white-winged, mourning and white-tipped doves in the aggregate including no more than 3 mourning doves and 2 white-tipped doves per day; 24 white-winged, mourning, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate including no more than 6 mourning doves and 4 white-tipped doves in possession.
        2. Thereafter: 12 mourning, white-winged, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate including no more than 2 white-tipped doves per day; 24 in aggregate including no more than 4 white-tipped doves in possession.
      4. Boundary Change: “That portion of the State within the circumscribed area beginning at the International Bridge south of Del Rio, proceeding east on U.S. 90 to State Loop 1604 west of San Antonio, then south and east along Loop 1604 to Interstate Highway 37, then south and east along I-37 to U.S. 181 at Corpus Christi, then north and east along U.S. 181 to the Corpus Christi Bay causeway and the Gulf of Mexico; east and south along the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico to the Rio Grande; west and north along the Rio Grande to the International Bridge south of Del Rio.”
  2. Teal (blue-winged, green-winged, and cinnamon).
    1. Statewide:
      1. Dates: 9 consecutive days beginning on the 3rd Saturday in September (Sept.17-25, 2005).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits: 4 and 8 in the aggregate, respectively.
  3. Rails.
    1. Statewide:
      1. Dates: 16 consecutive days (Sept.10-25, 2005) and 54 consecutive days beginning October 29 (Oct.29-Dec.21, 2005).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits:
        1. King and clapper rails: 15 and 30, respectively.
        2. Sora and Virginia rails: 25 and 25, respectively.
  4. Gallinules. All species (common moorhen and purple gallinule).
    1. Statewide:
      1. Dates: 16 consecutive days (Sept. 10 - 25, 2005) and 54 consecutive days beginning October 29 (Oct. 29 - Dec. 21, 2005).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits: 15 and 30, respectively.
  5. Woodcock
    1. Statewide
      1. Dates: 45 consecutive days beginning Saturday, December 18(Dec.18, 2005-Jan.31, 2006).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits: 3 and 6, respectively.
  6. Wilson’s snipe (Common snipe or jacksnipe)
    1. Statewide
      1. Dates: 107 consecutive days beginning Saturday, October 29(Oct.29, 2005–Feb.12, 2006).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits: 8 and 16, respectively.
  7. Red-billed pigeon, band-tailed pigeons, and shorebirds: No open season.
  8. Eurasian collared doves and rock doves (domestic pigeons) are not protected. There are no season length or bag limit restrictions.
  9. Dove, snipe, rail, gallinule and woodcock hunting regulations are similar to last year except for proposed boundary change for the White-winged Dove Area and mourning dove daily bag limit within this new described area. The Area’s eastern boundary is extended to Interstate Highway 37 and the mourning dove daily bag limit is reduced from 5 to 3. Mourning dove breeding population trend indices have been decreasing at 3 times the State rate since 1966 in South Texas. An assessment of the impacts of this change on mourning dove harvest has been completed. We expect a 50% increase in mourning dove harvest in the new Whitewing Hunt Area even with a reduction from 5 to 3 in daily bag limit. However, the impacts will be primarily on Texas breeders and their offspring. We will continue to monitor harvest within the new described area and if the conditions worsens, we will recommend commensurate changes in mourning dove regulations. Commission policy for the dove season opening dates for the North and Central Zones is September 1 regardless of the day of the week and the first Friday after September 20 in the South Zone. Hunting rules for all other migratory game birds including sandhill cranes will be enacted by the Commission in August 2005.

*All migratory game bird regulations are subject to change under the federal frameworks.


Commission Agenda Item No. 2
Exhibit A

2005–2006 Waterfowl Hunting
Season Dates*

(Shooting Hours: ½ hour before sunrise to sunset)
Ducks
Zone Hunt type Dates Bag Limit
High Plains Mallard
Management Unit
Youth Oct. 22-23

Duck Daily Bag Limit: The daily bag limit for ducks is 6 and can include no more than 5 mallards or Mexican mallards (Mexican ducks), only 2 of which may be hens; 3 scaup (lesser scaup and greater scaup in the aggregate); 2 wood ducks; 2 redheads; 1 mottled duck; 1 pintail; and 1 canvasback

Pintail and Canvasback:

HPMMU: Dec. 17-Jan. 24

North Zone: Dec. 22-Jan. 29

South Zone: Dec. 15-Jan. 22

Possession Limit: Twice the daily bag limit.

Regular Gun Sept. 26-Oct. 3
Oct. 29-Jan. 24
North Youth Oct. 29-30
Regular Nov. 5-27
Dec. 10-Jan. 29
Falconry Jan. 30-Feb. 20
South Youth Oct. 30-31
Regular Gun Oct. 29-Nov. 27
Dec. 10-Jan. 22
Falconry Jan. 23-Feb. 1513
Geese
Zone Species Dates Bag Limits
West Light and Dark Geese Nov. 5-Feb. 7

Western Zone Daily Bag Limit: Light geese – 20 in the aggregate; Dark geese – 3 Canada and 1 white-fronted goose.

Eastern Zone Daily Bag Limit: Light geese – 20 in the aggregate; 3 Canada goose and 2 white-fronted geese.

POSSESSION LIMIT: Twice the daily bag limit for dark geese, no possession limit for light geese

Light Geese
(Conservation Order)
Feb. 8-Mar. 26
East Light Geese
Dark Geese
Oct. 29-Jan. 29
Nov. 19-Jan. 29
Light Geese
(Conservation Order)
Jan. 30-Mar. 26

* All migratory game bird regulations are subject to change under the federal frameworks.


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Phil Durocher

Regulations Committee
Update – Giant Salvina
April 2005

I. Executive Summary: Staff will update the Commission on status of Giant Salvinia in Texas, with emphasis on Toledo Bend and Sheldon Reservoirs. Staff will discuss planned and proposed control activities for the coming year including: herbicide applications; water level manipulations; introductions of Giant Salvinia Weevil; and expanded education/outreach/enforcement initiatives to prevent further spread of this potentially devastating exotic weed.


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Clayton Wolf

Regulations Committee
White-tailed Deer Advisory Committee Recommendations
Triple T Rules
Scientific Breeder's Rules
Deer Management Permit Rules
April 2005

I. Executive Summary: This item presents proposed changes to rules governing the Deer Management Permit, Permits to Trap, Transport, and Transplant Game Animals and Game Birds ("Triple T" permits), and the Scientific Breeder's Permit, based on recommendations received from staff and the department's White-tailed Deer Advisory Committee (WTDAC).

  1. Scientific Breeder’s Permits:
    1. Closure of Texas to all imports of indigenous deer species;
  2. Triple T Permits:
    1. Creation of “CWD preferred status” for trap sites;
    2. Repeal of “inconsequential release” provisions;
    3. Creation of a review process for permit denials;
    4. Definition of a “stocking plan” for trap sites
  3. Deer Management Permits:
    1. Allow deer to be placed in DMP pens via Triple T permit;
    2. Modify trapping and release deadlines;
    3. Creation of a review process for permit denials;
    4. Provide for three-year permit prohibition for release violations

II. Discussion: The White-tailed Deer Advisory Committee is comprised of landowners, resource managers, and hunters appointed by the Chairman of the Commission to assist the Department in planning and goal setting, as well as serving as a sounding board for the Commission and Department staff. The WTDAC is charged by the Chairman to identify issues, discuss alternatives, and recommend options regarding white-tailed deer and wildlife management programs in Texas. The WTDAC has met eight times since it was created in 2003, with the last meeting taking place in February of 2005. In addressing topics such as Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing, the Triple T permit program, and other issues, the Department utilized a CWD Task Force to develop recommendations to the committee concerning CWD testing and impacts. As a result, staff has developed a suite of regulatory proposals, based on those recommendations, affecting the Deer Management Permit, Permits to Trap, Transport, and Transplant Game Animals and Game Birds (“Triple T” permits), and the Scientific Breeder’s Permit. The proposed changes primarily are aimed at refining the department’s efforts in managing the threat of Chronic Wasting Disease.

Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter E, authorizes the Commission to establish permits and promulgate rules governing the trapping, transporting, and transplanting of game animals or game birds. Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter L, requires the Commission to establish permits and authorizes the promulgation of rules governing the possession of white-tailed deer and mule deer for scientific, management, and propagation purposes. Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter R, authorizes the Commission to create a Deer Management Permit subject to conditions established by the Commission.

Attachments - 3

  1. Exhibit A - Proposed Triple T Regulations
  2. Exhibit B - Proposed Scientific Breeder's Regulations
  3. Exhibit C - Proposed Deer Management Permit Regulations

Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit A

Triple T Permit Rules
CWD and Miscellaneous Provisions

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes amendments to 65.101-65.104, 65.107, and 65.115, concerning Permits to Trap, Transport, and Transplant Game Animals and Game Birds. The proposed amendments are intended, where applicable, to function as part of the overall strategy to detect and control Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) should it occur in Texas.

The emergence of CWD in both captive and free-ranging deer populations in other states and Canada is cause for concern due to the potential threat to wild deer and exotic livestock (i.e. elk) populations in Texas. CWD has been detected in free-ranging ungulates in Colorado, Illinois, Nebraska, New Mexico Wisconsin, and Wyoming, the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario, and is known to have occurred in captive herds in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska.

The epidemiological nature of CWD is not well understood and has not been extensively studied, but CWD is known to be communicable, incurable, and invariably fatal to the ungulates that contract it. At the current time, there is no live test for CWD; animals suspected of having CWD must be euthanized in order to obtain brain tissue for definitive diagnosis.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department regulates the trapping, transporting, and transplanting of deer under what are popularly referred to as the ‘Triple T’ regulations. Currently, the rules prohibit translocation activities unless a specified sample size of deer from the trap site has been tested and returned with results of ‘not detected.’

The current rules, though helpful, do not adequately address a potentially difficult problem. Although CWD has not been detected in captive or free-ranging herds in Texas, the disease has not yet been exhaustively studied and the peculiarities of its transmission, infection rate, incubation period, and potential for transmission to other species are not definitively known. Therefore it is possible, if CWD exists in the state but has not been detected, that infected or exposed deer potentially could be translocated, creating a vector for dispersal of the disease into additional populations. The risk to the multi-billion dollar hunting and exotic livestock industries represented by even one infected animal among a wild population is considerable. The impact of the discovery of CWD in Texas could be significant. Texas has one of the most extensive white-tailed deer herds in the United States and the quality of animals that come from Texas is known throughout the world. Over one-third of the 4 million white-tailed deer in Texas are found in about 25 per cent of the geographical area of Texas. Over $600 million is spent by white-tailed deer hunters in rural communities each year, over half of which is spent in the Edwards Plateau, Pineywoods, and South Texas regions. Fully one quarter of this revenue is spent in the Edwards Plateau alone. Therefore, the department must remain vigilant in the face of potential disease threats to the resource.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has worked closely with the Texas Animal Health Commission to characterize the threat potential of CWD to native wildlife and exotic livestock, and to determine the appropriate level of response. The department strongly believes that vigilance and early detection are crucial to minimizing the severity of impacts in the event that CWD is discovered in Texas. The department’s efforts (in conjunction with the Texas Animal Health Commission and the regulated community) to establish, maintain, and follow protocols for CWD monitoring were analyzed by an ad hoc group of private-practice veterinarians known as the ‘CWD Task Force,’ whose recommendations concerning the future direction of the testing regime were presented to the WTDAC along with those of the TPWD staff. The proposed rules, where applicable, are a result of this interaction and are intended to minimize the potential for the translocation of diseased deer.

The amendment to 65.101, concerning Definitions, creates definitions for the terms ‘permit year’ and ‘stocking plan.’ A ‘permit year’ would be defined as the time period from September 1 – August 31 (i.e., the fiscal year). The change is necessary in order to create a constant term of reference for purposes of regulating Triple T trapping activities with respect to trapping activities under a Deer Management Permit. The definition of ‘stocking plan’ would prescribe the content of stocking plans at the trap site and at the release site. The change is necessary because Parks and Wildlife Code, 43.061, allows permits to be issued ‘only if recommended by separate wildlife stocking plans…for the origin and destination of the game animals or game birds.’ The current rules stipulate that a stocking plan for a release site is the content of the Wildlife Management Plan prepared for the release site. The department has always understood that because an application for a Triple T permit requires pertinent biological data from the trap site, the application form constituted a stocking plan for the trap site. To be perfectly clear, the department wishes to explicitly establish the application form as the stocking plan for the trap site.

The amendment to 65.102, concerning Limitation of Applicability, renames the section ‘Disease Detection Requirements’ to make the title more germane in light of the changes introduced by the amendment. The current rule was first promulgated in 2002 in response to the appearance of CWD in other states, specifically because CWD was being detected in areas that were a highly significant distance from other known infected herds, which indicated that agents other than natural dispersion were likely involved (e.g., trapping and transplanting operations). As testing has progressed, the department is confident that certain liberalizations can be effected without diminishing the department’s ability to detect CWD. The proposed amendment would allow a property that has had at least 60 ‘not detected’ results and no ‘detected’ results to be exempt from the requirement of testing a minimum of 10% of deer to be trapped, provided deer on the property continue to be tested at a rate of one deer or 3% of the total deer moved per year, whichever is higher. The amendment is necessary to create a distinction between properties that have no testing history or a statistically insignificant testing history from those with statistically valid, non-problematic testing histories. From an epidemiological standpoint, the probability of detecting disease on a property monitored at the level contemplated by the rule (60 deer, 1 deer or 3% annually thereafter) is high and therefore acceptable in terms of risk management scenarios. The amendment also would exempt properties from testing requirements if the proposed translocation activities consisted solely of the relocation of deer to or within a contiguous property owned by the same person. The amendment is necessary to acknowledge that testing is academic when it comes to pasture-to-pasture relocations, since natural disease-dispersion phenomena are just as likely as introduced disease phenomena to occur in such populations.

The proposed amendment to 65.103, concerning Trap, Transport, and Transplant Permit, consists of several actions. The proposed amendment would eliminate the contents of current subsection (a), which are relocated to 65.101, concerning Definitions. The proposed amendment also would eliminate the current provisions concerning the so-called ‘inconsequential release’ (releases of deer without a site inspection at a one-time or cumulative ratio of less than one deer to 200 acres). The ‘inconsequential release’ was originally implemented as a way to reduce workload on staff and to allow land managers with minor trapping and relocation needs to avoid having to wait for staff to perform a site inspection. However, the practice has been determined by the department to be capable of violating the department’s stocking policy. The stocking policy (31 TAC Chapter 52) requires that wildlife be translocated into suitable natural habitat capable of sustaining the animals. The presumption of the ‘inconsequential release’ was that one additional deer on 200 acres is superfluous. In analyzing the impacts of ‘inconsequential release,’ the department has determined that repeated releases at the same site or multiple releases in areas with fragmented habitat can result in deer finding their way to the only available natural habitat in numbers that the habitat cannot sustain. Therefore, the amendment is necessary to prevent a conflict with the department’s stocking policy. The WTDAC has concurred and recommends that the practice be terminated. The proposed amendment also would prohibit the trapping of deer on properties where deer have been released under a Deer Management Permit (DMP) within the same permit year. The current rules do not allow for the release of deer from DMP pens until April 1, after the TTT season has ended. The rationale for the prohibition was to prevent the sale of DMP deer under the guise of Triple T activities. The amendment, in concert with proposed amendment to the DMP rules (which appear elsewhere in this issue), would allow deer on a DMP property to be trapped and transplanted only if the operation occurred prior to any DMP liberations in the same year.

The proposed amendment to 65.104, concerning Trap, Transplant, and Process White-tailed Deer Permit, would change the title of the section in the interests of readability. The proposed amendment also would increase from 18 hours to 20 hours the time allowed between trapping and transporting activities. The change is necessary to respond to requests from municipalities using the permit. The current period of 18 hours is considered to be not enough time in some cases for trapping activities to be concluded before transport activities are required to begin.

The proposed amendment to 65.107, concerning Permit Applications and Processing, would modify the current provisions by replacing the word ‘appeal’ with the word ‘review’ and by slightly altering the process as it is currently described. The department believes that ‘review’ is a more accurate descriptor of the process contemplated by the rule; the term ‘appeal’ has judicial connotations and the department does not wish to give the impression that the process is a judicial process. The amendment also streamlines the process by removing the requirement that requestors for review begin the process by contacting the immediate in-line supervisor of the employee who denied the issuance of a permit. The department has determined that this is an unnecessary step because the in-line supervisor will as a matter of practice been consulted prior to permit denial. Therefore, the review process should be initiated at the senior manager level. The amendment also removes the provision that allows a denial by the panel of senior department managers to then be referred to the Private Lands Advisory Board or the Hunting Advisory Board for determination of the need for regulatory revision. The Hunting Advisory Board no longer exists, and the Private Lands Advisory Board is an entity that is not designed for advising on matters of permit issuance. Instead, the amendment will require that a summary of all reviews be presented annually to the WTDAC, which is a more appropriate advisory vehicle for such matters. The amendment is necessary to implement the recommendations of the WTDAC.

The proposed amendment to 65.115, concerning Notification, Recordkeeping, and Reporting Requirements, would reduce the minimum notification time for the commencement of trapping activities from 24 hours to 12 hours. Permittees have informed the department that in some cases the 24-hour requirement has led to the disruption of trapping activities because deer move out of the trapping area before the required 24 hours has passed.

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 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 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 availability of flexible management opportunities for landowners and land managers, which will biologically benefit the resources the department is charged with protecting and, ultimately, their enjoyment by the people of this state.

(B) There will be no adverse economic effect on small businesses, microbusinesses, or persons required to comply with the rule as proposed. The proposed rules do not impose any fees in addition to those already required, and compliance with the rules as proposed would not require any additional investment in equipment, infrastructure, or recordkeeping materials or systems.

(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 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 the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter E, which requires the commission to adopt rules for the content of wildlife stocking plans, certification of wildlife trappers, and the trapping, transporting, and transplanting of game animals and game birds.

The proposed new rule and amendments affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter E.

§65.101. Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. All other words and terms shall have the meanings assigned by Parks and Wildlife Code.

(1) Amendment—A specific alteration or revision of currently permitted activities, the effect of which does not constitute, as determined by the department, a new trapping, transporting and transplanting operation.

(2) Certified Wildlife Trapper—An individual who receives a department-issued permit pursuant to this section.

(3) Natural Habitat—The type of site where a game animal or game bird normally occurs and existing game populations are not dependent on manufactured feed or feeding devices for sustenance.

(4) Nuisance Squirrel—A squirrel that is causing damage to personal property.

(5) Overpopulation—A condition where the habitat is being detrimentally affected by high animal densities, or where such condition is imminent.

(6) Permittee—Any person authorized by a permit to perform activities governed by this subchapter.

(7) Permit year—September 1 of any year to August 31 of the following year.

(8)[(7)] Processing facility—The specific destination of white-tailed deer trapped and transported pursuant to a permit to trap, transport, and process surplus white-tailed deer where deer will be processed for consumption.

(9)[(8)] Recruitment—The Fall survey estimate of the number of fawns (any deer less than one year of age) on a property.

(10)[(9] Release Site—The specific destination of game animals or game birds to be relocated pursuant to a permit issued under this subchapter.

(11)[(10)] Stocking Policy—The policy governing stocking activities made or authorized by the department as specified in 52.101-52.105, 52.201, 52.202, 52.301 and 52.401 of this title (relating to Stocking Policy).

(12)[(11)] Supervisory permittee—A person who supervises the activities of permittees authorized to conduct activities.

(13)[(12)] Trap Site—The specific source of game animals or game birds to be relocated pursuant to a permit issued under this subchapter.

(14) Wildlife Stocking Plans—The stocking plan for a:

(A) trap site consists of the biological information about the trap site required by the department on the application for a permit under this subchapter; and

(B) release site is the same as that required for a wildlife management plan under the provisions of 65.25 of this title (relating to Wildlife Management Plan).

§65.102. Disease Detection Requirements [Limitation of Applicability].

(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (e) of this section, [Until this section is repealed,] no permits to trap, transport, and transplant white-tailed deer or mule deer shall be issued by the department unless a sample of adult deer from the trap site equivalent to 10% of the number of deer to be transported has been tested for chronic wasting disease by the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratories.

(1) The department will not authorize trapping activities unless the test result for each deer in the minimum required sample is 'not detected.'

(2) The department will not issue a permit for any activity involving a trap site from which a 'detected' result for chronic wasting disease has been obtained.

(3) The sample size shall be no more than 40 or less than ten [10] animals.

(4) The test results required by this section shall be presented to the department prior to the transport of any deer.

(5) All deer released shall be marked in one ear with a department-assigned identification number.

(6) A test result is not valid if the sample was collected or tested prior to October 1 of the previous permit year.

(7) Except as provided in paragraph (8) of this section, a test result shall not be used more than once to satisfy the requirements of this section.

(8) If a permittee traps, transports, and transplants fewer deer than are authorized in a given permit year, that permittee may trap, transport, and transplant the remaining deer the following year from the same trap site without having to provide new samples for testing; however, the person must apply for a new Triple T permit and must re-submit the test results from the previous year. If the application for a new Triple T permit specifies a number of deer greater than the remainder from the previous year, the requirements of paragraphs (1)-(4) of this subsection apply to the additional deer.

(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section do not apply to a property if:

(1) there have been at least 60 CWD-IHC (immunohistochemistry) test results of ‘not detected’ received by the department for the property; and

(2) there have been no results of ‘detected’ received by the department for the property.

(c) A property meeting the conditions of subsection (b) of this section continues to qualify for exemption from the provisions of subsection (a) of this section if all samples from the property continue to test ‘not detected’ on an annual basis. The minimum requirement for satisfying the provisions of this subsection is one deer per year or at least 3% of the number of deer moved from the property each calendar year, whichever is higher.

(d) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section automatically apply to any property that receives deer from a trap site that does not meet the requirements of subsections (b) and (c) of this section.

(e) CWD testing is not required for deer trapped on any property if the deer are being moved to adjacent, contiguous tracts owned by the same person who owns the trap site property.

(f)[(b)] Nothing in this section authorizes the take of deer. The take of deer for the purposes of this section shall be in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

(g)[(c)] This section does not apply to deer possessed pursuant to a permit to trap, transport, and process white-tailed deer.

65.103. Trap, Transport, and Transplant Permit.

(a) [For the purposes of this subchapter, the content of a wildlife stocking plan for a release site shall be the same as that required for a wildlife management plan under the provisions of 65.25 of this title (relating to Wildlife Management Plan).] Applications may be approved without an inspection, provided[:]

[(1) the release will not exceed a ratio of one white-tailed deer per 200 acres at the release site; however, when the accumulated releases on a tract result in a ratio of one deer to 200 acres (counting released deer only), no further releases shall take place unless a site inspection has been performed by the department; or]

[(2)] the property has been issued Level II or Level III MLD Permits during the year of the release, the landowner furnishes a minimum of three years of population data and two years of harvest data, and is in compliance with all requirements of the wildlife management plan for the property; and

(A) the number of deer to be trapped (in addition to the number of deer harvested) does not exceed the population reduction specified in the wildlife management plan for the trap site; and

(B) the number of deer to be released does not cause the total population of deer on the release site to exceed the total population size specified in a management plan under the provisions of 65.25 of this title.

(b) Applications received by the department between September 1 and November 15 in a calendar year shall be approved or denied within 45 days of receipt.

(c) The department may deny a permit application if the department determines that:

(1) the removal of game animals or game birds from the trap site may be detrimental to existing populations or systems;

(2) the removal of game animals or game birds may detrimentally affect the population status on neighboring properties;

(3) the release of game animals or game birds at the release site may be detrimental to existing populations or systems;

(4) the release site is outside of the suitable range of the game animal or game bird;

(5) the applicant has misrepresented information on the application or associated wildlife stocking plan; or

(6) the activity identified in the permit application does not comply with the provisions of the department's stocking policy; or

(7) the trapping activity would involve deer held under a Deer Management Permit.

(d) A buck deer transported under the provisions of this subchapter shall have its antlers removed prior to transport.

(e) The department may establish trapping periods, based on biological criteria, when the trapping, transporting, and transplanting of game animals and game birds under this section by individuals will be permitted.

(f) The department may, at its discretion, require the applicant to supply additional information concerning the proposed trapping, transporting, and transplanting activity when deemed necessary to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

(g) Game animals and game birds killed in the process of conducting permitted activities shall count as part of the total number of game animals or game birds authorized by the permit to be trapped.

(h) No permit shall be issued for any trapping activity on a property or portion of a property if deer held under a Deer Management Permit have been released on the property or portion of the property in the same permit year.

65.104. Permit to Trap, Transplant, and Process Surplus White-tailed Deer [Permit].

(a) All deer trapped and transported pursuant to this section shall be delivered to a processing facility selected by the applicant and approved by the department. Acceptable processing facilities are:

(1) Texas Department of Criminal Justice penal facilities located in Palestine and Amarillo;

(2) other government-sanctioned penal facilities in the state of Texas;

(3) independent facilities in the state of Texas inspected for food safety by the Texas Department of Health; and

(4) any other processing facility approved by the department.

(b) All carcasses shall be utilized, either by a penal facility, or by donation to a department-approved charitable organization.

(c) Deer may be euthanized at either the trap site or the processing facility. If deer are euthanized at the trap site, carcasses must be maintained in edible condition.

(d) The permittee is responsible for establishing an acceptable schedule for delivery of deer with the processing facility. However, transport of live, trapped deer shall begin within 20 [18] hours of trapping.

(e) The applicant shall specify whether a trap site is the entire political subdivision or property owners' association, or one or more individual tracts within the boundaries of the political subdivision or property owners' association. If the trap site is an individual tract, it must be identified on the permit application.

(f) The department may, at its discretion, require the applicant to supply additional information concerning the proposed trapping, transporting, and processing activity when deemed necessary to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

§65.107. Permit Applications and Processing.

(a) Permit applications.

(1) Application for permits authorized under this subchapter shall be on a form prescribed by the department.

(2) A single application for a Trap, Transport, and Transplant Permit or an Urban White-tailed Removal Permit may specify multiple trap and/or release sites. A single application for a Trap, Transport, and Process Surplus White-tailed Deer Permit may specify multiple trap sites and/or processing facilities.

(3) A single application may not specify multiple species of game birds and/or game animals.

(4) The application must be signed by:

(A) the applicant;

(B) the landowner or agent of the trap site(s); and

(C) the landowner or agent of the release site(s) or the owner or agent of the processing facility or facilities.

(5) The applicant may designate certain persons and/or companies that will be involved in the permitted activities, including direct handling, transport and release of game animals or game birds. In the absence of the permittee, at least one of the named persons and/or companies shall be present during the permitted activities.

(b) Review. An applicant for a permit under this subchapter may request a review of a decision [appeal the decisions] of the department to deny issuance of the [concerning the stipulations of a] permit. [All appeals involving the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection shall be resolved within 10 working days of notification of the department by the person making the appeal.]

(1) An applicant seeking to review a decision [appeal the decisions] of the department with respect to permit issuance under this subchapter shall first contact the department within 10 working days of being notified by the department of permit denial [immediate in-line supervisor of the TPW employee responsible for authorizing the permitted activities].

(2) The department shall conduct [resolve] the review [appeal] and notify the applicant of the results within 10 working days of receiving a request for review [an appeal].

(3)[(2)] The request for review shall be presented to a review panel [If the determination of the immediate in-line supervisor is unsatisfactory to the applicant, the applicant is entitled to have the appeal presented to an appeals panel. The decision of the appeals panel is final]. The review [appeals] panel shall consist of the following:

(A) the Director of the Wildlife Division;

(B) the Regional Director and District Leader with jurisdiction; [and]

(C) [the White-tailed Deer Program Leader and] the Big Game Program Director; and

(D) the White-tailed Deer or Mule Deer program leader, as appropriate.

(4)[(3)] The decision of the review panel is final. [If the determination of the panel is unsatisfactory to the applicant, the applicant is entitled to have the appeal presented to the Private Lands Advisory Board and the Hunting Advisory Board for the purpose of determining if regulatory revision is appropriate.]

(5) The department shall report on an annual basis to the White-tailed Deer Advisory Committee the number and disposition of all reviews under this subsection.

(c) Permit fees.

(1) The nonrefundable processing fees for permits and amendments authorized pursuant to this subchapter are prescribed in Chapter 53, Subchapter A of this title (relating to Fees).

(2) The department will not process any permit application unless the appropriate fee has been received by the department.

(3) Applications to trap, transport, and transplant nuisance squirrels are exempt from application fees.

(4) Applications for urban white-tailed deer removal permits that specify trap sites consisting solely of property owned by a political subdivision or institution of higher education of this state are exempt from application fees.

(5) Applications to trap, transport, and process surplus white-tailed deer are exempt from application fees.

§65.115. Notification, Recordkeeping, and Reporting Requirements.

(a) No person shall trap, transport, or release a game animal or game bird under a permit authorized by this subchapter unless that person has notified the department not less than 12 [24] hours nor more than 48 hours prior to each instance of trapping, transportation, or release. Notification shall be by fax or telephone contact with the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin, and shall consist of:

(1) in the case of trapping or transport, the supervisory permittee's name, permit number, and the date(s) that the trapping or transport will occur; and

(2) in the case of release, the date, time, and specific location of the release.

(b) A supervisory permittee shall maintain, keep current, and furnish upon request by a department employee acting within the scope of official duties a daily log containing:

(1) the number of game animals or game birds trapped;

(2) the sex of game animals or game birds trapped;

(3) the locations where game animals or game birds were trapped and released or processed;

(4) the dates when trapping occurred;

(5) the trapping methods used;

(6) any mortality incurred during the permitted activity and the disposition of carcasses; and

(7) the completed financial disclosure forms required by subsection (d) of this section.

(c) The supervisory permittee shall file a report on a form provided by the department not later than 30 days following the expiration date of the permit. The report shall include, at a minimum:

(1) the number of game animals or game birds trapped;

(2) the sex of game animals or game birds trapped;

(3) the locations where game animals or game birds were trapped and released or processed;

(4) the dates when trapping occurred;

(5) the trapping methods used;

(6) any mortality incurred during the permitted activity and the disposition of carcasses; and

(7) the completed financial disclosure forms required by subsection (d) of this section.

(d) Upon the completion of trapping activities authorized by a permit under this subchapter, the supervisory permittee shall complete and sign a department-supplied financial disclosure form. The form shall also be signed by the landowner of the trap site (or a full-time employee of the landowner who is authorized to act on the landowner's behalf) prior to the transport of any game animal or game bird. Upon the release or delivery to a processing facility of the game animals or game birds, the form shall be signed by the owner of the release site or processing facility (or a full-time employee of the landowner who is authorized to act on the landowner's behalf or an authorized representative of the processing facility). In the instance that a permit authorizes multiple release sites or processing facilities, a separate department-supplied financial disclosure form shall be required for each trap site/release site or processing facility combination. The form shall be supplied by the department to the supervisory permittee and shall be retained as provided by subsection (b) of this section.

(e) All game animals or game birds that die as a result or in the course of activities conducted under a permit issued under authority of this subchapter shall be kept in an edible condition until disposed of by one of the following methods:

(1) documented donation to charitable organizations, public hospitals, orphanages, or indigent persons;

(2) documented transfer or donation to other persons authorized to receive such specimens under a license or permit issued by the department; or

(3) special disposition as prescribed in writing by the department.

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


Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit B

Scientific Breeder Proclamation
Import and Review Provisions
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes amendments to 65.602, 65.609, and 65.610, and 65.611, concerning Scientific Breeder’s Permits. The effect of the proposed amendments would be to prohibit the importation of white-tailed or mule deer into the state. The amendments are recommended by the department’s White-tailed Deer Advisory Committee (WTDAC) as a measure to protect native deer herds from the potential threat of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The emergence of CWD in both captive and free-ranging deer populations in other states and Canada is cause for concern due to the potential threat to wild deer and exotic livestock populations in Texas. CWD has been detected in free-ranging ungulates in Colorado, Illinois, Nebraska, New Mexico Wisconsin, and Wyoming, the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario, and is known to have occurred in captive herds in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska.

The epidemiological nature of CWD is not well understood and has not been extensively studied, but CWD is known to be communicable, incurable, and invariably fatal to the ungulates that contract it. At the current time, there is no live test for CWD; animals suspected of having CWD must be euthanized in order to obtain brain tissue for definitive diagnosis.

Texas Parks and Wildlife regulates the importation of white-tailed and mule deer under the provisions of Scientific Breeder Permit regulations. Currently, the rules require any deer released to the wild to either meet the entry requirements established by the Texas Animal Health Commission for imported cervidae or be released directly from a facility enrolled in a herd health certification plan. The current rules, though helpful, do not adequately address a potentially difficult problem. Since CWD has not yet been exhaustively studied, the peculiarities of its transmission, infection rate, incubation period, and potential for transmission to other species are not definitively known. Therefore, it is possible that infected or exposed deer could be unknowingly imported into Texas, where they could then possibly infect wild deer or exotic livestock. Since breeder deer are frequently liberated to the wild (1,878 since December of 2002), the risk to the multi-billion dollar hunting and exotic livestock industries represented by even one infected animal among a wild population is considerable. The impact of the discovery of CWD in Texas could be significant. Texas has one of the most extensive white-tailed deer herds in the United States and the quality of animals that come from Texas is known throughout the world. Over one-third of the 4 million white-tailed deer in Texas are found in about 25 per cent of the geographical area of Texas. Over $600 million is spent by white-tailed deer hunters in rural communities each year, over half of which is spent in the Edwards Plateau, Pineywoods, and South Texas regions. Fully one quarter of this revenue is spent in the Edwards Plateau alone. Therefore, the department must remain vigilant in the face of potential disease threats to the resource.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has worked closely with the Texas Animal Health Commission to characterize the threat potential of CWD to native wildlife and exotic livestock, and to determine the appropriate level of response. The department strongly believes that vigilance and early detection are crucial to minimizing the severity of impacts in the event that CWD is discovered in Texas, and that the suspension of importation of deer, pending resolution of the epidemiological uncertainty surrounding imported deer, is a wise and responsible course of action. The proposed rules are intended to prevent the importation of potentially diseased deer into Texas.

The amendment to 65.602, concerning Permit Requirement and Permit Privileges, removes the requirement that deer released to the wild meet the entry requirements established by the Texas Animal Health Commission. The language is being removed because entry requirements are unnecessary if importation is prohibited.

The amendment to 65.609, concerning Purchase of Deer and Purchase Permit, restricts the purchase of deer to in-state sources only and stipulates that transport privileges under a purchase permit do not apply to deer from out of state sources. The amendment is necessary to suspend the importation of deer until the epidemiological realities of deer diseases in other states are fully understood and deer in this state can be presumed to be safe from infection.

The amendment to 65.610, concerning Transport of Deer and Transport Permit, stipulates that a purchase permit will not be issued for deer being obtained from an out-of-state source and adds language to clarify that a transport permit is valid for the transport of deer in-state only. The amendment is necessary to suspend the importation of deer until the epidemiological realities of deer diseases in other states are fully understood and deer in this state can be presumed to be safe from infection.

The amendment to 65.611, concerning Prohibited Acts, would make it an offense for any person to possess a deer obtained from an out-of-state source, except for deer obtained prior to the effective date of the rulemaking. The amendment is considered necessary to serve the long-term goal of minimizing the risk of disease transmission to wild populations of deer from deer possessed under the provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter L.


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 and local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the rules.


3. Public Benefit - Cost Note.

Mr. Macdonald has also 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 the protection of wild, native deer from communicable diseases introduced by deer imported into this state, thus ensuring the public of continued enjoyment of the resource. Additionally, the protection of native deer herds will have the simultaneous collateral benefit of protecting captive herds, maintaining the economic viability of deer breeding operations.

(B) There will be no direct adverse economic effect on small businesses, microbusinesses, or persons required to comply with the rules as proposed. The preponderance of deer breeding operations in the state qualify as small businesses or microbusinesses. On the sale side, the economic effect of the proposed rules on such entities generally is expected to be positive, as the value of breeder deer currently in possession can be expected to increase by virtue of the fact that they would become the only lawful source of deer for deer breeding operations. On the purchase side, there is a conceivable adverse impact because out-of-state sources for deer will no longer be lawful sources. The department is unable to quantify those costs at this time, as the selling price of deer is generally not advertised or publicly disclosed, and is not mandated by reporting requirements of any department regulations. However, department records indicate transactions involving 18,413 deer in Texas since December of 2002, and only 46 of those deer were imported; thus, the adverse economic impact, direct or indirect, is believed to be minimal.

(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 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 rule 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 the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter L, which provides the Commission with authority to promulgate regulations governing the possession of white-tailed deer and mule deer for scientific, management, and propagation purposes.

The proposed new rule and amendments affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43.


§65.602. Permit Requirement and Permit Privileges.

(a) No person may possess a live deer in this state unless that person possesses a valid permit issued by the department under the provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapters C, E, L, or R.

(b) A person who possesses a valid scientific breeder's permit may:

(1) possess deer within the permitted facility for the purpose of propagation;

(2) engage in the business of breeding legally possessed deer within the facility for which the permit was issued;

(3) sell deer that are in the legal possession of the permittee;

(4) release deer from a permitted facility into the wild as provided in this subchapter;

(5) recapture lawfully possessed deer that have been marked in accordance 65.607 of this title (relating to Marking of Deer) that have escaped from a permitted facility;

(6) temporarily relocate and hold deer in accordance with the provisions of 65.610(a)(2) and (3) of this title (relating to Transport of Deer and Transport Permit) for breeding or nursing purposes; and

(7) temporarily relocate and recapture buck deer under the provisions of Subchapter D of this chapter (relating to Deer Management Permit).

(c) No person may release a deer obtained or possessed under this subchapter to the wild unless the person can prove that the deer[:]

[(1)] came directly from a facility enrolled in a current, valid herd health plan for cervidae approved by Texas Animal Health Commission[; or]

[(2) meets the entry requirements established by 4 TAC 51.10 (relating to Cervidae)].

§65.609. Purchase of Deer and Purchase Permit.

(a) Deer may be purchased or obtained for:

(1) holding for propagation purposes if the purchaser possesses a valid scientific breeder's permit; or

(2) liberation for stocking purposes.

(b) Deer may be purchased or obtained only from[:]

[(1)] the holder of a valid scientific breeder's permit issued under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter L[; or]

[(2) a lawful out-of-state source].

(c) An individual may possess or obtain deer only after a purchase permit has been issued by the department. A purchase permit is valid for a period of 30 days after it has been completed (to include the unique number of each deer being transferred), dated, signed, and faxed to the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin prior to the transport of any deer. The purchase permit shall also be signed and dated by the buyer or buyer's agent prior to or at the time that the transfer of possession of any deer occurs.

(d) A purchase permit is valid for only one transaction and expires after one instance of use.

(e) A one-time, 30-day extension of effectiveness for a purchase permit may be obtained by notifying the department prior to the original expiration date of the purchase permit.

(f) A person may amend a purchase permit at any time prior to the transport of deer; however:

(1) the amended permit shall reflect all changes to the required information submitted as part of the original permit;

(2) the amended permit information shall be reported by phone to the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin at the time of the amendment; and

(3) the amended permit information shall be faxed to the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin within 48 hours of transport.

(g) The department may issue a purchase permit for liberation for stocking purposes if the department determines that the release of deer will not detrimentally affect existing populations or systems.

(h) Deer lawfully purchased or obtained for stocking purposes may be temporarily held in captivity:

(1) to acclimate the deer to habitat conditions at the release site;

(2) when specifically authorized by the department;

(3) for a period to be specified on the purchase permit, not to exceed six months;

(4) if they are not hunted prior to liberation; and

(5) if the temporary holding facility is physically separate from any scientific breeder facility and the deer being temporarily held are not commingled with deer being held in a scientific breeder facility. Deer removed from a scientific breeder facility to a temporary holding facility shall not be returned to any scientific breeder facility.

(i) No person may sell deer to another person unless either the purchaser or the seller possesses a purchase permit valid for that specific transaction.

§65.610. Transport of Deer and Transport Permit.

(a) The holder of a valid scientific breeder's permit may, without any additional permit, transport legally possessed deer:

(1) to another scientific breeder when a valid purchase permit has been issued for that transaction;

(2) to another scientific breeder on a temporary basis for breeding purposes. The scientific breeder providing the deer shall complete and sign a free, department-supplied invoice prior to transporting any deer, which invoice shall accompany all deer to the receiving facility. The scientific breeder receiving the deer shall sign and date the invoice upon receiving the deer, and shall maintain a copy of the invoice during the time the deer are held in the receiving facility. At such time as the deer are to return to the originating facility, the invoice shall be dated and signed by both the scientific breeder relinquishing the deer and the scientific breeder returning the deer to the originating facility, and the invoice shall accompany the deer to the original facility. A photocopy of the original of the invoice shall be submitted to the department with the annual report required by 65.608 of this title (relating to Annual Reports and Records). In the event that a deer has not been returned to a facility at the time the annual report is due, a scientific breeder shall submit a photocopy of the incomplete original invoice with the annual report. A photocopy of the completed original invoice shall then be submitted as part of the permittee's annual report for the following year.

(3) to another person on a temporary basis for nursing purposes, provided the deer do not leave this state. The scientific breeder shall complete and sign a free, department-supplied invoice prior to transporting deer to a nursery, which invoice shall accompany all deer to the receiving facility. The person receiving the deer shall sign and date the invoice upon receiving the deer, and shall maintain a copy of the invoice during the time the deer are held by that person. At such time as the deer are to return to the originating facility, the invoice shall be dated and signed by both the person holding the deer and the scientific breeder returning the deer to the originating facility, and the invoice shall accompany the deer to the original facility. A photocopy of the original of the invoice shall be submitted to the department with the annual report required by 65.608 of this title.

(4) to an individual who does not possess a scientific breeder's permit if a valid purchase permit for release into the wild for stocking purposes has been issued for that transaction;

(5) to and from an accredited veterinarian for the purpose of obtaining medical attention, provided the deer do not leave this state; and

(6) to a facility authorized under Subchapter D of this chapter (relating to Deer Management Permit) to receive buck deer on a temporary basis. The scientific breeder shall complete and sign a free, department-supplied invoice prior to transporting deer to a DMP facility, which invoice shall accompany all deer to the receiving facility. The DMP permittee or authorized agent receiving the deer shall sign and date the invoice upon receiving the deer, and shall maintain a copy of the invoice during the time the deer are held by that person. At such time as the deer are to return to the facility of origin, the invoice shall be dated and signed by both the person holding the deer under a DMP permit and the scientific breeder, and the invoice shall accompany the deer to the facility of origin. A photocopy of the original of the invoice shall be submitted to the department with the annual report required by 65.608 of this title.

(b) The department may issue a transport permit to an individual who does not possess a scientific breeder's permit if the individual is transporting deer within the state and the deer were legally purchased or obtained from a scientific breeder [or lawful out-of-state source]. A transport permit does not authorize and is not valid for the transport of deer into this state from any other state or country.

(c) Except as provided in this subchapter, no person may transport deer during any open season for deer or during the period beginning 10 days immediately prior to an open season for deer unless the person notifies the department by contacting the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin no less than 24 hours before actual transport occurs.

(d) During an open season for deer or during the period beginning 10 days immediately prior to an open season for deer, deer may be transported for the purposes of this subchapter without prior notification of the department; however, deer transported under this subsection shall be transported only from one scientific breeder facility to another scientific breeder facility. Deer transported under this subsection shall not be liberated unless the scientific breeder holding the deer notifies the Law Enforcement Communications Center no less than 24 hours prior to liberation.

(e) Transport permits shall be effective for 30 days from the date that the scientific breeder has completed (to include the unique number of each deer being transported), dated, signed, and faxed the permit to the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin prior to the transport of any deer. The transport permit shall also be signed and dated by the other party to a transaction (or their authorized agent) upon the transfer of possession of any deer.

(f) A transport permit is valid for only one transaction, and expires after one instance of use.

(g) A person may amend a transport permit at any time prior to the transport of deer; however:

(1) the amended permit shall reflect all changes to the required information submitted as part of the original permit;

(2) the amended permit information shall be reported by phone to the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin at the time of the amendment; and

(3) the amended permit information shall be faxed to the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin within 48 hours of transport.

(h) A one-time, 30-day extension of effectiveness for a transport permit may be obtained by notifying the department prior to the original expiration date of the transport permit.

(i) No person may possess, transport, or cause the transportation of deer in a trailer or vehicle under the provisions of this subchapter unless the trailer or vehicle exhibits an applicable inscription, as specified in this subsection, on the rear surface of the trailer or vehicle. The inscription shall read from left to right and shall be plainly visible at all times while possessing or transporting deer upon a public roadway. The inscription shall be attached to or painted on the trailer or vehicle in block, capital letters, each of which shall be of no less than six inches in height and three inches in width, in a color that contrasts with the color of the trailer or vehicle. If the person is not a scientific breeder, the inscription shall be "TXD". If the person is a scientific breeder, the inscription shall be the scientific breeder serial number issued to the person.

§65.611. Prohibited Acts.

(a) Deer obtained from the wild under the authority of a permit or letter of authority issued pursuant to Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter C, E, or R shall not be commingled with deer held in a permitted scientific breeder facility.

(b) A person commits an offense if that person places or holds deer in captivity at any place or on any property other than property for which a scientific breeder's permit, or a permit authorized under other provisions of this title or Parks and Wildlife Code, is issued, except that a permittee may transport and temporarily hold deer at another location for breeding, nursing, or veterinary purposes as provided in this subchapter.

(c) No live deer taken from the wild may be possessed under a scientific breeder's permit or held in a scientific breeder's facility.

(d) No deer shall be held in a trailer or other vehicle of any type except for the purpose of immediate transportation from one location to another.

(e) Possession of a scientific breeder's permit is not a defense to prosecution under any statute prohibiting abuse of animals.

(f) No scientific breeder shall hunt or kill, or allow the hunting or killing of deer held pursuant to this subchapter.

(g) No scientific breeder shall exceed the number of deer allowable for the permitted facility, as specified by the department on the scientific breeder's permit.

(h) No person may sell deer to another person unless either the purchaser or the seller possesses a purchase permit valid for that specific transaction.

(i) Except as provided in this subsection, no person may possess a deer acquired from an out-of-state source. This subsection does not apply to deer lawfully obtained prior to the effective date of this subsection.

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


Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit C

Deer Management Permit Rules
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes amendments to 65.131, 65.133, 65.135, 65.136, and 65.138, concerning Deer Management Permits. The amendments are recommended by the department’s White-tailed Deer Advisory Committee (WTDAC).

The proposed amendment to 65.131, concerning Deer Management Permit (DMP), would create a review process for department decisions concerning the issuance of Deer Management Permits. The intent of the proposed amendment is to create a process to allow persons who have been denied issuance of permits to have the decision reviewed by a panel of senior TPWD managers. The process as proposed would allow the department to reverse such decisions upon further review, and would require the department to report annually to the WTDAC on the number and disposition of reviews. The amendment is necessary to implement the recommendations of the WTDAC.

The proposed amendment to 65.133, concerning General Provisions, would allow deer possessed under a “Triple T” permit (Trap, Transport, and Transplant permit) to be released into a DMP pen, provided the property on which the DMP pen is located meets the all requirements for release privileges stipulated in Chapter 65, Subchapter C. The current rules allow DMP holders to temporarily trap and detain wild white-tailed deer on the property for which the permit was issued; the proposed amendment would expand the rule’s application to include deer trapped at locations other than that for which the DMP was issued. The amendment is necessary to implement the recommendations of the WTDAC.

The proposed amendment to 65.135, concerning Detention and Marking of Deer, eliminates the requirement that DMP deer be released no later than 10 months following capture. The amendment is necessary because the department seeks to simplify the rules; other portions of this rulemaking simply would require deer to be released by August 31 of each year. The amendment also would eliminate the provision requiring DMP deer to be marked with yellow paint and replaces it with an ear-tag requirement. The change is necessary because the use of paint to mark deer proved to be ineffectual, and the WTDAC recommended a return to a more traditional method of marking deer.

The proposed amendment to 65.136, concerning Release, would eliminate the prohibition on the release of deer between September 1 and April 1 and replace it with a requirement that deer be released before to August 31 each year. The original requirement was intended to prevent the release of deer immediately prior to deer season. The amendment preserves that intent, but simplifies it. The amendment also would require permittees to remove all externally provided food and water from a DMP pen at the time deer are released, ensuring that when the fencing of a pen is removed there is no inducement for the deer within the pen to remain. The amendment is necessary to implement a recommendation of the WTDAC .

The proposed amendment to 65.138, concerning Violations and Penalties, would allow the department to refuse permit issuance to an applicant finally convicted of a violation of the Parks and Wildlife Code within three years of application for a permit, and would automatically prohibit the issuance of a DMP permit for a period of three years to any person finally convicted of a violation of 65.136, which governs the release of DMP deer. The amendment is necessary to introduce a credible deterrent to unscrupulous persons.


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 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 the availability of flexible management opportunities for landowners and land managers, which will biologically benefit the resources the department is charged with protecting and, ultimately, their enjoyment by the people of this state.

(B) There will be no adverse economic effect on small businesses, microbusinesses, or persons required to comply with the rules as proposed. The proposed rules do not impose any fees in addition to those already required, and compliance would not require any additional investment in equipment, infrastructure, or recordkeeping materials or systems other than the cost of ear tags, which the department has determined to be a negligible expense.

(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 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 rule 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 the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter R, which provides the Commission with authority to establish conditions for permits issued under the subchapter.

The proposed amendments affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43.


§65.131. Deer Management Permit (DMP).

(a) The department may issue a Deer Management Permit to a person who has met the requirements of 65.132 of this title (relating to Permit Application and Fees).

(b) A person who possesses a valid Deer Management Permit may trap and detain wild deer according to the provisions of this subchapter and Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter R. A permittee shall abide by the terms of an approved deer management plan.

(c) The provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapters C, E, and L do not apply to deer lawfully being held in possession under authority of a valid DMP.

(d) Changes to an approved Deer Management Plan shall be considered as a new application.

(e) An applicant for a permit under this subchapter may request that a decision by the department to deny issuance of the permit be reviewed.

(1) An applicant seeking review of a decision of the department under this subsection shall contact the department within 10 working days of being notified by the department of permit denial.

(2) The department shall conduct the review and notify the applicant of the results within 10 working days of receiving a request for a review.

(3) The request for review shall be presented to a review panel. The review panel shall consist of the following:

(A) the Director of the Wildlife Division;

(B) the Regional Director with jurisdiction;

(C) the Big Game Program Director; and

(D) the White-tailed Deer Program Leader.

(3) The decision of the review panel is final.

(4) The department shall report on an annual basis to the White-tailed Deer Advisory Committee the number and disposition of all reviews under this subsection.

§65.133. General Provisions.

(a) Deer detained under a DMP shall not be commingled with deer held under any other license or permit, except as provided under this subchapter.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, any deer introduced into a pen containing deer detained under a DMP become wild deer and must be released according to the provisions of 65.136 of this title (relating to Release).

(c) If approved under the deer management plan, buck deer held under the provisions of Subchapter T of this chapter (relating to Scientific Breeder's Permit) may be introduced into a pen containing deer detained under a DMP. Such deer remain private property and may be recaptured; however, any such deer within the pen when wild deer are released under the provisions of 65.136 of this title (relating to Release) become wild deer.

(d) If approved under the deer management plan, deer held under the provisions of Subchapter C of this chapter (relating to Permits for Trapping, Transporting, and Transplanting Game Animals and Game Birds) may be released into a pen containing deer detained under a DMP; however, at the time of release from the DMP pen the property for which the DMP has been issued must meet the release-site requirements established in Subchapter C of this chapter.

(d) The holder of a DMP is entitled to the issuance of Managed Lands Deer Permits subject to the provisions of 65.26 of this title (relating to Managed Lands Deer (MLD) Permits).

(e) A DMP authorizes the permittee to detain deer for natural breeding only.

(f) No deer, parts of deer, or by-products of any deer held under a DMP may be sold, bartered, or traded for any consideration.

§65.135. Detention and Marking of Deer.

(a) No trapping of deer under a DMP may take place between March 2 and August 31 of any year.

[(b) All deer detained under a DMP shall be released by no later than ten months following capture, unless the detention is approved by the department in the applicant's management plan.]

(b)[(c)] Each [All] deer detained under a DMP shall be marked by securely attaching a tag constructed of durable material to one ear. The tag must be of a size and color that is clearly visible from a distance of 50 feet. For the purposes of this subsection, ‘durable material’ means material that is not likely to disintegrate, decompose, or be easily dislodged or removed[, at a minimum, by a continuous stripe of yellow, acrylic, water-based paint no less than three inches wide along the spine from the shoulders to the tail, or as approved by the department in the applicant's deer management plan].

65.136. Release.

(a) Release of deer shall be effected by removing, for a continuous distance of no less than 100 yards, those components of a pen that serve to maintain deer in a state of detention within the pen. Such components shall be removed for no fewer than 60 consecutive days. The provisions of this subsection may be altered, provided the specific details of the release technique are included in the applicant's deer management plan and are approved by the department.

(b) All externally provided food and water (i.e., food or water that does not naturally occur at the site) shall be removed or made inaccessible to deer for no fewer than 60 days.

(c)[(b)] All deer within a DMP pen shall be released on or before August 31 of each year [No deer held under a DMP shall be released between September 1 and April 1, unless such release is approved by the department in the applicant's management plan].

§65.138. Violations and Penalties.

(a) A person who violates any provision of this subchapter commits an offense and is subject to the penalties prescribed by Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter R.

(b) The department reserves the right to refuse permit issuance to any person finally convicted of a violation of the Parks and Wildlife Code within the three years immediately preceding an application for a DMP.

(c) A person who is finally convicted of a violation involving 65.136 of this title (relating to Release) is prohibited from obtaining a DMP for as period of three years from the date the conviction is obtained.

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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