Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New Texas Law Prohibits All Hunting From Public Roads

New Law Prohibits All Hunting of Wildlife From Roads
AUSTIN, Texas — With the passage of House Bill 12 by the 80th Texas Legislature, it is now unlawful to hunt any wild bird or animal on a public road or the right-of-way of a public road.
Prior to this year, it was unlawful to hunt game animals or game birds on a public road — meaning that nongame species such as snakes, turtles, frogs and most mammals other than deer, bighorn sheep, javelina, and pronghorn antelope could be legally taken, provided that the take was not by firearm and did not occur from a vehicle.
For many years, the department has informed the public that a hunting license was not required to take or possess any animal other than terrestrial vertebrates, such as insects. Although the new law could be construed to apply to the collection of invertebrates, the department will not enforce the provision as it relates to invertebrates at this time.
“The department strongly encourages all persons to avoid engaging in the collection of any animal life on public roads or the right-of-way of public roads,” said Maj. David Sinclair, TPWD chief of wildlife enforcement.

The new law does not apply to licensed falconers trapping raptors (birds of prey) or persons engaged in activities under department permits for scientific, educational, or zoological collection if allowed under the conditions of the permit.

Texas Falconers all owe a great big thank you to the Texas Hawking Association for the above paragraph. If not for the charge led by Steve Oleson along with John Graham, Sheldon Nicolle and other members of the THA, falconry as we know it would have ceased to exist in Texas. Can you imagine trying to trap your first hawk as an apprentice and not being able to drive and trap along public roads? Just locating raptors would have become almost impossible and all capture would have to take place on private land. The next time your renewal comes up or you are asked to help or donate to the THA rise to the occasion and let them know you appreciate all they do for your falconry rights. Ed Thomas

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