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TITLE 31NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
PART 2TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
CHAPTER 65WILDLIFE
SUBCHAPTER ASTATEWIDE HUNTING PROCLAMATION
DIVISION 1GENERAL PROVISIONS
RULE §65.11Lawful Means

It is unlawful to hunt any of the wildlife resources of this state except by the means authorized by this section and as provided in §65.19 of this title (relating to Hunting Deer with Dogs).

  (1) Firearms.

    (A) It is lawful to hunt alligators, game animals, and game birds with any legal firearm, including muzzleloading firearms, and including a firearm equipped with a silencer, except as specifically restricted in this section.

    (B) Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to relieve any person of compliance with any other federal, state, or local laws governing the possession or use of firearm silencers.

    (C) Special muzzleloader-only deer seasons are restricted to muzzleloading firearms only.

    (D) It is unlawful to use rimfire ammunition to hunt alligator, deer, antelope, or desert bighorn sheep.

    (E) It is unlawful to hunt alligators, game animals, or game birds with a fully automatic firearm.

     (F) In Angelina, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler and Victoria counties, alligators may not be hunted by means of firearms. In all other counties, alligators may by hunted by means of firearms on private property, including private waters, but may not be hunted by means of firearms from, on, in, across, or over public water.

     (G) Alligators lawfully caught on a taking device may be dispatched by means of firearms in all counties.

  (2) Archery.

    (A) Except as provided in paragraph (3) of this section, a person may hunt by means of lawful archery equipment or crossbow during any open season; however, no person shall hunt deer by lawful archery equipment or crossbow during a special muzzleloader-only deer season.

    (B) Arrows that are treated with poisons or drugs, or that contain explosives are not lawful devices for hunting any species of wildlife resource in this state.

    (C) While hunting turkey and all game animals other than squirrels by means of longbow, compound bow, or recurved bow the arrow must be equipped with a broadhead hunting point at least 7/8-inch in width upon impact, with a minimum of two cutting edges. A mechanical broadhead must begin to open upon impact and when open must be a minimum of 7/8-inch in width.

    (D) Lawful archery equipment and crossbows are the only lawful means that may be used during archery-only seasons, except as provided in paragraph (3) of this section.

  (3) Crossbow--Special Provisions.

    (A) In Collin, Dallas, Grayson, and Rockwall counties:

      (i) no person may use a crossbow to hunt deer during the archery-only season unless the person has an upper-limb disability and has in immediate possession a physician's statement that certifies the extent of the disability; and

      (ii) any person may hunt deer by means of crossbow during the general open season and the requirements of clause (i) of this subparagraph do not apply.

    (B) When hunting turkey and all game animals other than squirrels by means of crossbow:

      (i) the crossbow must have a minimum of 125 pounds of pull;

      (ii) the crossbow must have a mechanical safety;

      (iii) the crossbow stock must be not less than 25 inches in length; and

      (iv) the bolt must conform with paragraph (2)(B) and (C) of this section.

  (4) Air guns. It is lawful to hunt squirrels with an air gun, provided:

    (A) the gun is designed to be fired from the shoulder;

    (B) the gun operates by using the force of a spring, air, or non-ignited compressed gas to expel a projectile;

    (C) the muzzle velocity of the gun is at least 600 feet per second; and

    (D) the projectile is at least .177 caliber (4.5 mm) in diameter.

  (5) Falconry. It is lawful to hunt any game bird or game animal by means of falconry under the provisions of Subchapter K of this chapter (relating to Raptor Proclamation).

  (6) Alligator.

    (A) Legal devices for taking alligators in the wild are as follows:

      (i) hook and line (line set);

      (ii) alligator gig;

      (iii) lawful archery equipment and barbed arrow;

      (iv) hand-held snare with integral locking mechanism; and

      (v) lawful firearms, in counties where take by firearm is allowed.

    (B) A line of at least 300-pound test shall be securely attached to all taking devices other than firearms used to hunt alligators. Except as provided in this subsection, hook-bearing lines must be attached to a stationary object capable of maintaining a portion of the line above water when an alligator is caught on the line. A line attached to an arrow, snare, or gig must have a float attached when used to take alligators. The float shall be no less than six inches by six inches by eight inches, or, if the float is spherical, no less than eight inches in diameter.

    (C) Line-set provisions.

      (i) Hook-bearing lines may not be set prior to the general open season and shall be removed no later than sunset of the last day of the open season.

      (ii) From sunset to one-half hour before sunrise:

        (I) no person shall use any taking device other than line sets to hunt alligators; and

        (II) no person shall set any baited line capable of taking an alligator and no person shall remove alligators from line sets.

      (iii) On a property for which the department has issued hide tags, no person shall set more than one line per unused hide tag in possession.

      (iv) On a property that is not in a county listed in paragraph (1)(E) of this section and for which the department has not issued hide tags, no person shall set more than one line.

      (v) Line sets shall be inspected daily, and alligators shall be killed, tagged or documented, and removed immediately upon discovery.

      (vi) All line sets on properties for which hide tags have been issued shall be secured at one end on the tract of land specified for the hide tags. All other line sets shall be secured at one end on private property.

      (vii) Each baited line shall be labeled with a plainly visible, permanent, and legibly marked gear tag that contains:

        (I) the full name and current address of the person who set the line;

        (II) the hunting license number of the person who set the line; and

        (III) a valid hide tag number, if the line is set on a property for which hide tags have been issued.

  (7) Use of laser sighting devices. All provisions concerning hunter education requirements apply to persons hunting with laser sighting devices under this paragraph.

    (A) Use of laser sighting devices by persons who are legally blind.

      (i) A person who is legally blind may use a laser sighting device to hunt game animals and game birds during lawful hunting hours in open seasons, provided the person is assisted by a person who:

        (I) is not legally blind;

        (II) has a hunting license; and

        (III) is at least 13 years of age.

      (ii) A person who uses a laser sighting device under the provisions of this subparagraph must have in possession a signed statement from a physician or optometrist to the effect that the person is legally blind by the standard of Government Code, §62.104, and must present the statement to any peace officer or department employee acting within the scope of official duties.

    (B) Use of laser sighting devices by persons who are physically disabled.

      (i) A person with a physical disability may use a laser sighting device during lawful hunting hours in open seasons when assisted by a person who:

        (I) is not legally blind or a person with a physical disability that renders the person incapable of using a traditional firearm sighting device;

        (II) has a hunting license; and

        (III) is at least 13 years of age.

      (ii) A person who uses a laser sighting device under the provisions of this subparagraph must have in possession a signed statement from a physician or optometrist certifying that the person is incapable of using a traditional firearm sighting device.

  (8) Special Provisions.

    (A) Desert bighorn sheep. Except as provided in this paragraph, no motorized conveyance of any type shall be used to herd or harass desert bighorn sheep.

    (B) Hunting by remote control. It is an offense for any person to hunt a wildlife resource by the means listed in this section if that person is not physically present and personally operating the means of take at the location where the hunting occurs during the time that the hunting occurs.


Source Note: The provisions of this §65.11 adopted to be effective July 14, 1997, 22 TexReg 6308; amended to be effective August 20, 1998, 23 TexReg 8450; amended to be effective June 29, 1999, 24 TexReg 4826; amended to be effective July 13, 2000, 25 TexReg 6545; amended to be effective July 26, 2001, 26 TexReg 5422; amended to be effective April 28, 2005, 30 TexReg 2399; amended to be effective September 1, 2006, 31 TexReg 5342; amended to be effective September 27, 2007, 32 TexReg 6560; amended to be effective August 31, 2008, 33 TexReg 6930; amended to be effective October 1, 2009, 34 TexReg 6657; amended to be effective September 1, 2012,37 TexReg 5478; amended to be effective July 15, 2014, 39 TexReg 5417

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