Tags: Gun Control | hunting | texas | nongame | protected | species

Hunting in Texas: 3 Animals Designated Nongame, Endangered, Threatened, and Protected Species

By    |   Wednesday, 20 Jan 2016 06:58 PM

Any person hunting who has an encounter with or catches sight of any nongame or rare species in Texas is encouraged to share the details with the designated department of Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Most of the predators indigenous to Texas are still recovering from aggressive extermination and extirpation efforts that took place in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Many of these species have yet to fully recover from habitat encroachment and destruction as a result of European settlement of North America. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is responsible for managing and monitoring these predator species.

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Here are three categories of protected animals in Texas:

1. Big cats

Jaguars, jaguarundi, and ocelots are all rare and federally listed species that either have established and monitored populations in Texas, or in adjacent states with close enough proximity that areas of Texas fall within viable hunting ranges. There exists a known population of both ocelot and jaguarundi throughout the Gulf coast counties of southern Texas. The U.S. Federal government’s Fish and Wildlife Service actively monitors these populations.

Mountain lions, listed as nongame, have a presence in every county throughout the state of Texas. These big cats have large hunting ranges and possess a generally elusive and skittish demeanor toward humans. Sport hunters may take them year-round on private lands provided they are properly licensed. Limitations or restrictions may exist for wildlife management areas or state-managed lands.

2. Black bears

Black bears and the Louisiana black bear subspecies are protected nongame within the state of Texas. Under no circumstances should a sport hunter directly or indirectly injure, maim, or kill a specimen. Bears are rarely aggressive unless a hunter comes between a sow and her cubs.

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3. Gray wolves

In 1998, the Federal Wildlife Service reintroduced Mexican gray wolves into Arizona and New Mexico. The status of the species remains listed as critically imperiled in these adjacent states, and its official status in Texas remains that of extirpated. It is crucial for hunters, especially those who hold interest in sport hunting of coyote, to be aware of the possibility of this species’ presence in the state.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Any person hunting who has an encounter with or catches sight of any nongame or rare species in Texas is encouraged to share the details with the designated department of Texas Parks and Wildlife.
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Wednesday, 20 Jan 2016 06:58 PM
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