Texas Parks and Wildlife

Responsible hunting and ethics

Responsible and ethical conduct makes the hunting experience much more enjoyable and rewarding for all involved.

It also protects our precious hunting heritage by promoting with the public a positive image of the hunt.

About 4.4% of the population of Texas hunts. Most Texans support ethical and legal hunting. His behavior as a hunter can influence the opinion of most non-hunters in a positive or negative way. Hunting is a wonderful privilege that can be lost if hunters don’t act responsibly.

Wildlife exploitation

During the 19th century, many animals were hunted for the market, so much so that they almost reached extinction. Buffalo, wapitíes, deer, antelopes, and beavers, which before abounded, were reduced to a fraction of their original population. Some species like a migratory pigeon disappeared completely. Wildlife conservation laws were introduced to preserve it for future generations.

Hunting laws and regulations are important to ensure:

  • Public Security
  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Fair share
  • Equal opportunities
  • Just chase

Wildlife Conservation

To this day, the laws governing wildlife protect both hunting and non-hunting species, allowing them to flourish. This is achieved by imposing hunting seasons and limits that control the number of animals extracted. Hunting methods and equipment are also regulated to preserve the resource.

Hunting laws and regulations are important to ensure:

  • Public Security
  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Fair
  • Equitable opportunity
  • Fair hunting of Game

In Texas, laws about wildlife are approved by the Commission of Parks and Wildlife of Texas, an advisory board that is made up of 9 citizens selected by the governor and confirmed by the Texas Senate. The commission enforces policies and regulations to implement all the programs of the Department of Parks and Wildlife of Texas (TPWD for its acronym in English for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department). Each year the commission conducts a public hearing to receive input from our partners, stakeholders, and constituents on any issues related to the Department’s policies, goals, programs and responsibilities.

Meetings of the commission

Before any change to fish and wildlife laws, public hearings are held throughout the state. Your opinion counts and you are invited to speak at any of TPWD’s public hearings.

Be sure to read the hunting and fishing regulations [PDF] every year and be aware of any changes since the previous season.

Texas wildlife guards

Texas wildlife guards are state-certified law enforcement officers. Its priority is compliance with all hunting and fishing laws and regulations.  They also protect and serve the state public for enforcing all state laws, and have the authority to do so anywhere within Texas borders.

Guards of wildlife may enter into any land or body of water to inspect the licenses or equipment used by individuals involved in an activity, or suspected of having participated in an activity regulated by law. They can also inspect Wildlife Resources taken or possessed by individuals.

Program of prevention of the theft of parts of hunting and fishing is the program of prevention of crimes against wildlife in Texas, which offers rewards of up to 1,000.00 dollars for information leading to the arrest and conviction for a crime against the wildlife. This theft prevention program (OGT) is highly successful, having awarded over $200,000 in rewards. The program receives funds from private sources and depends on financial support from the public through the purchase of memberships, merchandise, donations, sponsorship, and gifts.

If you witness something you think is an infraction, don’t confront the person responsible for it yourself. Call immediately at no cost to the 1-800-792-GAME (4263), any time, night or day, and present the following information to the communications officer of the Texas Parks and Wildlife:

  • the nature of the infringement
  • the place of the infringement
  • the name and description of the offender
  • a description of any vehicle or boat involved in the breach
  • any other relevant information that will help apprehend the offender

You can also send a text message from a smartphone to report a violation.

You don’t have to give your name if you don’t want to. If you wish to remain anonymous, you will be assigned a code number. Delivering as much information as possible in the shortest possible time will increase the likelihood of arrest and conviction.