Hunters Prohibited From Using Dogs To Track Deer, But Could Get the Opportunity

Hunters could use dogs to trail a wounded deer in 12 counties in East Texas, a practice that has been prohibited in this area of the state since 1990, under a proposal being considered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

A series of public meetings will be held to provide details of the proposal and give the public an opportunity to comment. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission is expected to take action on the proposed change at its Aug. 22 meeting.

In 1990 TPWD adopted rules prohibiting the use of dogs to trail wounded deer in 34 East Texas counties. The rulemaking was necessary because the department determined that dogs were being used unlawfully to hunt deer, which was causing depletion of the resource.

By 2000, TPWD determined the practice of using dogs to hunt deer had declined to the point of being nonexistent in some of those counties and removed the prohibition in 10 of those counties. TPWD now believes the prohibition could be lifted in an additional 12 counties, including: Harris, Harrison, Houston, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, Panola, Polk, Rusk, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Walker.

Details about the proposal, along with an opportunity to provide public comment, can be found online at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/feedback/public_comment/proposals/201308_deer_dog.phtml .

Comment also may be made in writing to Robert Macdonald, TPWD Regulations Coordinator, 4200 Smith School Rd., Austin, TX 78744, in person at any of the following public hearings or at the TPWD annual public hearing on Aug. 21 at 2 p.m. at the above address.

All meetings are set to begin at 6 p.m.

  • Tuesday, July 30, in Woodville at the Woodville Elementary School Community Room, 306 Kirby Drive.
  • Wednesday, July 31, in Lufkin at the Angelina County Courthouse District Courtroom, 215 East Lufkin Ave.
  • Thursday, Aug. 1, in Hemphill at the Sabine County Courthouse District Courtroom, 201 Main St.

At the conclusion of each public hearing, wildlife officials will conduct a brief presentation on deer management and regulations in the Pineywoods. TPWD staff will present information related to regulations and data collection and take questions regarding deer management, deer hunting and regulations.

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