For hunting enthusiasts, Texas is a great place to be, with several “no closed season” options for hunters. But does it include hunting and killing nuisance animals?
When owning land in Texas, it’s natural that you’ll come across nuisance animals. These are pesky critters and creatures that can wreak havoc on your land or are simply an irritation. So what can you legally do about the problem? Is killing or removing a nuisance animal a wildlife crime? Let’s find out what Texas law says in this helpful guide.
Simply put, nuisance animals depredate or pose a threat to human health or safety. They may create a hazard for motorists or put housepets at risk. They may also trespass on property, make messes by tipping over garbage cans or destroy a lawn or garden.
There are many types of nuisance animals, including:
According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, landowners or their agents may take nuisance fur-bearing animals in any number by any means and at any time on that person’s land. There’s no need for a hunting or trapping license.
If you’d prefer to capture and relocate the animal instead of killing it, you can do so. To capture and relocate, you need to get authorization from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the owner of the property where the release will occur.
You’ll also need to submit a monthly report on the number and kind of nuisance animals that you captured. Include the number, the location of the release site, and your name and address.
It’s important to know that no one except licensed trappers can take these animals or their pelts during their lawful open season and possession periods. It’s a crime (a Class C misdemeanor) to transport or sell live foxes, coyotes, or raccoons in Texas. It’s also a crime to take fur-bearing animals on land owned by someone else without that person’s consent.
As a landowner, getting rid of nuisance animals is important. It will help keep your land pristine and help you avoid certain risks that these animals present. Knowing Texas wildlife law will help you do it safely and in the best interest of everyone. It will also protect you from potential legal issues.
If you kill and hunt nuisance animals incorrectly, you could run afoul of Texas hunting, fishing or wildlife laws. The consequences of a violation can be costly, including fines, loss of hunting licenses and even jail time.
Texas has an abundance of nuisance animals, and it can be difficult to know all the intricacies of wildlife law. The Fort Worth lawyers at Lee and Wood, LP. have extensive experience defending people against wildlife crimes, including those involving nuisance animals. If you have been accused of a wildlife crime or want to learn more, call us today at 817-678-6771 or send us a message for a confidential consultation.