Herping laws in TX

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

Moderator: Scott Waters

User avatar
chrish
Posts: 3298
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:14 pm
Location: San Antonio, TX
Contact:

Re: Herping laws in TX

Post by chrish » March 30th, 2015, 5:09 am

Biker Dave wrote:Just so I have it straight.
I buy the license and herp stamp online.
When roadcruising... Pull all the way off the road. Wear the vest. Do not remove animals from any portion of the pavement.
In the field.... No hooks or tongs in state parks.

Am I missing anything?

I actually do want to stay legal.

Dave
This would be legal, except it is not legal to roadcruise in Texas in the traditional sense.

Assuming you are herping in the 1% of the state where this is possible/productive (small parts of the trans-pecos), you should:

1. Have your vest, license and stamp.
2. Drive to a roadcut, pull off the road.
3. Walk that cut looking for herps.
4. Drive to the next cut.

The gray area comes when you are driving between cuts and you come across a critter. You technically can't "look" for (i.e. hunt) herps on the road from your car (i.e. roadcruise). So what you do when you come across one on the road is up to you. Technically, if you waited until it crawled off the road without forcing it to move off the road you could photograph it on the right of way (wearing your vest and pulling completely off the road (i.e. not on the shoulder). I've always wondered how you or the game warden would establish whether you were "hunting" for herps when you noticed it.

This is the world we Texas herpers live in. Because the law is so poorly designed, most herpers simply work in the "cracks" of the law avoiding violation by technicality. And if they think they are in an area where the roadcruising rules aren't going to be enforced (i.e. 99% of the state), they roadcruise with impunity (guilty as charged). I don't think any of us like it.

Chris

User avatar
Biker Dave
Posts: 2854
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:56 pm
Location: Wittmann,AZ

Re: Herping laws in TX

Post by Biker Dave » March 30th, 2015, 5:55 pm

I guess I will do the best I can with what your state gives me to work with. Am I allowed to slow for a snake crossing the road? Or am I required to run it over so as not to impede traffic?

User avatar
chrish
Posts: 3298
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:14 pm
Location: San Antonio, TX
Contact:

Re: Herping laws in TX

Post by chrish » March 30th, 2015, 8:02 pm

Biker Dave wrote:I guess I will do the best I can with what your state gives me to work with. Am I allowed to slow for a snake crossing the road? Or am I required to run it over so as not to impede traffic?
You are actually required to swerve out of your lane to make sure you run it down.....ok maybe not, but it seems there are those who would like it that way.

I think the take home is dot your i's and cross your t's. Be familiar with the laws, have the proper equipment and licenses and you will be fine. Just keep in mind that road hunting is illegal, even if it isn't enforced.
You also can't point a light (flashlight, spot) out of a car window even if it is just to look at a roadkill. I don't worry about this, but I have heard of extreme cases where someone got cited for that. If you want to look at something, pull over and get out.....or be aware that you are on the outskirts of the law. Would anyone care? Don't know.

Chris

User avatar
Biker Dave
Posts: 2854
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:56 pm
Location: Wittmann,AZ

Re: Herping laws in TX

Post by Biker Dave » March 31st, 2015, 8:38 am

I'm used to the flashlight rule. We have the same thing in AZ.

User avatar
Biker Dave
Posts: 2854
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:56 pm
Location: Wittmann,AZ

Re: Herping laws in TX

Post by Biker Dave » April 5th, 2015, 8:48 am

I hope I did this right.

I got the 157 Non-Resident Five-Day Special Hunting License (for 4/8 - 4/12 and another for 4/13 - 4/17) and a Reptile & Amphibian Stamp valid from 4/5 - 8/31.

I'm "legal" now right?

Will the printed out receipt suffice as my license? It has the validity dates and license types listed on it. I will likely already be on the road before it gets mailed to me.

Dave

User avatar
Tom Lott
Posts: 43
Joined: July 12th, 2010, 2:29 pm
Location: south-central Texas
Contact:

Re: Herping laws in TX

Post by Tom Lott » April 5th, 2015, 12:19 pm

Dave,

It sounds as though you're good to go. The actual license and "stamp" are little more than printed out receipts anyway (the "stamp" is just an endorsement printed on the license). At least it shows that your intentions are pure!

Sorry for the hassle and I hope you have the best of luck while here.

User avatar
Biker Dave
Posts: 2854
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:56 pm
Location: Wittmann,AZ

Re: Herping laws in TX

Post by Biker Dave » April 5th, 2015, 12:21 pm

Its all good....tax deductible!

User avatar
Biker Dave
Posts: 2854
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:56 pm
Location: Wittmann,AZ

Re: Herping laws in TX

Post by Biker Dave » April 5th, 2015, 1:32 pm

Because I had to get 2 temp licenses (to cover more than 5 days) do I need 2 herp stamps or will the one be sufficient?

User avatar
Tom Lott
Posts: 43
Joined: July 12th, 2010, 2:29 pm
Location: south-central Texas
Contact:

Re: Herping laws in TX

Post by Tom Lott » April 5th, 2015, 2:42 pm

Dave,

The one herp stamp should be good through the end of the state's fiscal year (i.e., Aug 31, 2015).

User avatar
Biker Dave
Posts: 2854
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:56 pm
Location: Wittmann,AZ

Re: Herping laws in TX

Post by Biker Dave » April 5th, 2015, 2:43 pm

Glad to hear..... Thats what I got.

User avatar
chris_mcmartin
Posts: 2433
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:13 pm
Location: Greater Houston TX Area
Contact:

Re: Herping laws in TX

Post by chris_mcmartin » April 6th, 2015, 2:11 pm

See y'all this weekend! :thumb:

Post Reply