Who does it, the Seasons,
Licenses and High Fences
Although most hunting land in Texas is on private land, wildlife in the state theoretically belongs to the people of the state, and we are fortunate to have The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TP&WD) having overall control. They are an efficiently run organization and are very clear in recognizing the value of hunters from both a financial and game management perspective. In 1996, hunters spent $1,475,682,317 on hunting-related items (no the "Billion" is not an error..!)They have to constantly walk a tight-rope to ensure the interests of the landowner, the hunter and other conservation interests. Now that our Governor George W. Bush has moved up to the Presidency, Rick Perry is our current Governor, and I am confident that he will continue the pro wildlife / hunter policies fully established in the state. The TP&WD establishes seasons, license and special stamp fees for the state. In the 1997/1998 deer hunting season, an out of state big game license was $250. The south Texas brush country archery season is generally the month of October and the gun season is from mid November through mid January. The dates may be different from county to county therefore it is essential that the current TP&WD regulations be reviewed when planning trips.
In the past, wildlife management has not been well organized in Mexico; however following a comprehensive federal law passed in 1994 a new cooperative spirit exists between the cattlemen landowners and their organization, Asociacion Nacional deGanaderos Diversificados Criadores de Fauna (ANGADI), and the Mexican government. As in Texas, the Mexican rancher now recognizes the economic importance of the hunter, and therefore are generally becoming better stewards of their natural resources. One of the new regulations theoretically requires that each landowner obtain a game survey, performed by a registered game biologist, prior to the issue of permits for bucks to be taken on his property. I have found that the Mexican landowners are intensely proud when a quality buck is taken on one of their ranches, since it usually means that they can raise lease prices. License and gun permit costs usually range from $400 to $500. Although the season dates in Mexico seem to vary from year to year, the season for white-tailed deer is generally from the first week of December through the third week in January.
"GAME PROOF" FENCES
Many Texas ranchers have been and are in the forefront of intensive game management. Many years ago the intensive management of wildlife was concentrated on exotic imported species such as Blackbuck Antelope, Fallow and Axis Deer and other species. More recently the concentrated development of trophy White-tailed Deer has increased considerably. It has been estimated that less than 10% of the premium area in south Texas is under high fence and outside of this region of the state it is rare.
The ethical issues can be debated endlessly; however it is important for a hunter to consider the game-proof fence issue (which is involved in the majority of intensively managed properties) because the Boone & Crockett Club will not accept an animal in their record book that was taken inside game-proof fencing regardless of the size of the enclosure. The Buckmasters Trophy Records will accept trophies taken inside high fences with the restriction that the game-proofed area must exceed 500 acres.
High fences in Mexico are relatively rare at this time.
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