Thousands of people go hunting each year in Texas. There are many different types of wildlife and game and a vast amount of land to cover, which makes this state an ideal location for hunting.
But hunting isn’t a free-for-all activity. There are many rules and regulations that people must adhere to in order to hunt legally. Here are a few of the wildlife crimes people need to avoid when hunting.
Hunting Without an ID
Hunting is a sport that many families enjoy together. The trips are a great way to encourage generational bonding, so hunting has been a longstanding tradition for many people in Texas. No matter what age you are, hunting can be a great experience. Just don’t forget to bring your ID.
Anyone over 17 must have a driver’s license or state identification certificate on them when they’re hunting. This law extends to non-Texans as well.
Waste of Game
Few hunters would do this, but it’s worth mentioning that killing an animal and simply leaving it behind is illegal. You must make a legitimate effort to retrieve your kill and include it in your bag limit; otherwise, you could face a Class C misdemeanor.
In addition, hunting white-tailed or mule deer, pronghorn, or desert bighorn sheep without retrieving them can be a Class A misdemeanor if you hunted without landowner permission or you hunted at night, from a public road, or from another prohibited location.
Hunters cannot go onto a landowner’s property for any reason without consent. Whether it’s to hunt, pursue an animal you shot that got away or you’re trying to retrieve your dog that wandered onto the land, you need permission from the landowner first.
Hunting Endangered or Threatened Species
If you kill a federally-recognized endangered species, you’ll face a $3,500 fine for a first offense. Even wounding or injuring one of these animals will result in a $2,000 fine. Some of the endangered or threatened species that inhabit or travel through Texas include:
- Gray wolf
- Red wolf
- Louisiana black bear
- Golden-cheeked warbler
- Black-capped vireo
- Attwater’s prairie chicken
- Whooping crane
- Eastern brown pelican
- Bald eagle
- Peregrine falcon
- Northern aplomado falcon
- Mexican spotted owl
Punishments for Breaking Wildlife Laws
When hunters violate wildlife laws, they can face thousands of dollars in fines depending on the severity of the crime. But that’s not all. Those found guilty of wildlife crimes could also face years in prison and have to forfeit their gear and firearms.
Helping You Fight Criminal Charges of Wildlife Crimes in Texas
Are you facing possible jail time or hunting license revocation due to wildlife crime charges? The experienced attorneys of Lee & Wood, LP will fight on your behalf and help you through this hard time. Call 817-678-6771 or send us a message online to request a free consultation.