Hunting has been a longstanding tradition in the state of Texas. Many people each year hunt to stock the fridge and freezer with delicious game meat. To plenty of hunters, it’s also a sport that goes back generations in their family and is often considered a right of passage.
There’s so much land and multitudes of different animals in Texas, which makes it an ideal place for hunters to respectfully participate in this classic pastime. Unfortunately, there are times when hunters are wasteful and disrespectful of the sport and nature.
Believe it or not, there are those out there who kill animals only to leave them where they drop to rot away. There are also people who take one piece of their kill only to leave behind perfectly edible portions of the meat.
These types of acts are against the law and are referred to as “Waste of Game” crimes.
Ways Hunters Can Commit Waste of Game Crimes
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, it’s illegal for a hunter to kill a game animal, bird or fish and:
- Leave it behind without making an adequate effort to recover it and count it as part of their bag limit (daily and seasonal). Anyone who knowingly leaves a carcass behind is committing a Class C misdemeanor crime.
- Leave behind edible portions of the carcass. One example of this could be killing a deer, taking the antlers and leaving behind the rest of the body.
It’s also against poaching laws to leave behind edible portions of whitetail or mule deer, pronghorn antelope or desert bighorn sheep without landowner permission. This type of crime would be considered a Class A misdemeanor.
In addition, if a hunter wounds an animal and the animal wanders onto a landowner’s property, the hunter isn’t allowed to pursue the animal without the landowner’s permission. Failing to follow this law would be considered trespassing and the hunter could be arrested.
Penalties for Wasted Game
Punishments for wildlife laws vary, but if a person commits a Class C misdemeanor, the penalty would be a fine of $25-$500. For a Class A misdemeanor they’ll be subject to a $500-$4,000 fine and/or 1 year in jail.
These are only a few examples, but if you happen to be accused of committing waste of game or other wildlife crimes, you could be facing much worse penalties. Your best choice is to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to learn your options.
Facing Charges of Wildlife Crimes? Contact Lee & Wood, LP Today
If you’ve been accused of wildlife crimes in Texas, the trusted experts at Lee & Wood, LP are here to help you. Our attorneys can help you fight for your rights and potentially reduce your consequences. To schedule your initial consultation, call us at 817-678-6771 or send us a message.