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 Post subject: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 7th, 2010, 8:55 pm 

Joined: September 2nd, 2010, 6:16 pm
Posts: 2
I'm going to be in Texas later this month and will try to go herping when i get some time. Do I need an out of state hunting or fishing license? I could only find info relating to turtles and frogs, and something about private land, commercial purposes, etc.

What are the laws on hunting for lizards, snakes, methods (tools, night driving, etc.), public/private land...???

Thanks,
Shane


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 8th, 2010, 5:33 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:43 am
Posts: 24
I've been pulled over by the game warden and ticketed. What he told me was that a hunting license is needed to look for snakes and that it is illegal to do so from a roadway or any public land. The game warden told me that the definition of hunting is looking for an animal even if you're only taking photographs and not actually catching anything. He said he could have charged me with hunting from a roadway but instead gave me a ticket for hunting without a license, which I took to court and got dismissed. On the other hand, a game warden saw me looking for rattlers in a state park, where hunting is prohibited, and only told me to be careful. I've been stopped by police and sheriff's deputies while snake hunting and have never had any problems with them.


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 8th, 2010, 7:42 am 
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Joined: August 28th, 2010, 4:55 am
Posts: 57
Location: Northeast Texas
Mr. Slithers wrote:
I've been pulled over by the game warden and ticketed. What he told me was that a hunting license is needed to look for snakes and that it is illegal to do so from a roadway or any public land. The game warden told me that the definition of hunting is looking for an animal even if you're only taking photographs and not actually catching anything. He said he could have charged me with hunting from a roadway but instead gave me a ticket for hunting without a license, which I took to court and got dismissed. On the other hand, a game warden saw me looking for rattlers in a state park, where hunting is prohibited, and only told me to be careful. I've been stopped by police and sheriff's deputies while snake hunting and have never had any problems with them.


This is a big problem here you just never know what to do. It will all depend on the officer you run into and his/her "take" on the written laws. Hopefully this will soon be changing!
A hunting license is a given, as it might save you allot of grief/expense on down the road.
Best way to be safe:
Get a licenses
try to stay on private property if you have access to it
IF you go on state land (road, parks, etc...)
be discrete and don't go around with hook or tongs (hiking in a park taking pics isn't against the law!)


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 8th, 2010, 6:34 pm 

Joined: June 16th, 2010, 4:50 pm
Posts: 88
I completely disagree with the above post. Definitely don't waste your money on a license. The Texas laws are extremely overblown and the reality is you won't have any issues if you obey normal traffic and state laws. The most avid herpers I know (including myself) have never been ticketed or really even hassled by any law enforcement. Herp how you want, where you want, just don't trespass and don't take collecting equipment into refuges.


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 9th, 2010, 6:57 am 
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Joined: August 28th, 2010, 4:55 am
Posts: 57
Location: Northeast Texas
John Williams wrote:
I completely disagree with the above post. Definitely don't waste your money on a license. The Texas laws are extremely overblown and the reality is you won't have any issues if you obey normal traffic and state laws. The most avid herpers I know (including myself) have never been ticketed or really even hassled by any law enforcement. Herp how you want, where you want, just don't trespass and don't take collecting equipment into refuges.


Yes the laws are overblown and very vague in some respects. I view a license as cheap insurance, not sure how cheap it will be for out of state though. I would disagree with " Herp how you want, where you want" part but "just don't trespass and don't take collecting equipment into refuges" is very correct. Other than that just use common sense.


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 9th, 2010, 1:46 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 1:32 pm
Posts: 579
Location: Houston, TX
John Williams wrote:
I completely disagree with the above post. Definitely don't waste your money on a license. The Texas laws are extremely overblown and the reality is you won't have any issues if you obey normal traffic and state laws. The most avid herpers I know (including myself) have never been ticketed or really even hassled by any law enforcement. Herp how you want, where you want, just don't trespass and don't take collecting equipment into refuges.


I second what Johnny says here. From what I hear, they're only anal in WTX. Also, unless you're caught in the middle of the road with a flashlight, there's nothing illegal about driving down a road looking for snakes...

Later, Matt


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 11th, 2010, 9:20 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:14 pm
Posts: 2619
Location: San Antonio, TX
I disagree with John somewhat.

I say buy a hunting license as a demonstration that you are trying to be within the law. I think it is important that we as herpers demonstrate a willingness to comply with reasonable laws so that we have credibility when we oppose ridiculous ones.

Although a few places in West Texas are the primary regions you will be asked for a license, I have been asked in southern Texas on several occasions, east TX once, and far west Texas (outside of the normal herper hotspots where I was probably the ONLY herper stopped by that game warden all year). I was never hassled, just asked for my hunting license.


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 11th, 2010, 4:45 pm 

Joined: June 16th, 2010, 4:50 pm
Posts: 88
I just don't get the point of getting a license if you are not collecting anything. Do I need a hunting license to hike somewhere to take a picture of a dove or a deer? Why would it be any different for a snake?

John


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 11th, 2010, 5:09 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 1:32 pm
Posts: 579
Location: Houston, TX
I've wondered about this too. Under this reasoning, you should have a hunting license in order to slap mosquitoes, unless there are different rules for that.


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 11th, 2010, 7:27 pm 
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Joined: August 28th, 2010, 4:55 am
Posts: 57
Location: Northeast Texas
MHollanders wrote:
I've wondered about this too. Under this reasoning, you should have a hunting license in order to slap mosquitoes, unless there are different rules for that.


Different rules for mosquitoes....unless you use a shotgun!! :mrgreen:
What I posted about the licenses was general, and the original poster didn't define hunting as he was using it in the quoted sentence below. :thumb:
"What are the laws on hunting for lizards, snakes, methods (tools, night driving, etc.), public/private land...???"


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 14th, 2010, 6:02 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:01 pm
Posts: 733
being out of state.....guys like me are often selected by tpw for a stop.......it is illegal to "hunt" for vertebrates on the ROW(right of way) ......the roadway itself ...up tp the private property line......hunt could be defined as "looking for"......so i use the phrase "looking for photographic opportunities"......if you are on the ROW and have vertebrates in your vehicle and consent to a search the LEO can confiscate them under suspected illegal collection along with a citation......yes, the illegal collection has to witnessed by the LEO.....go to court and the charges will probably be dismissed.....but if you live 2000 miles away....would you return for court.....LE knows this and realizes that this results in a "win-win" situation .......and the law seemed to enforced mostly in west texas......and seems to be ill-enforced in other texas areas......i do believe this regulation is up for modification.......it was passed as a rider on some other bill.....other comments????


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 14th, 2010, 6:44 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:14 pm
Posts: 2619
Location: San Antonio, TX
I think the idea of "hunting" without any intention of collecting is problematic. I pick up roadkills every now and then so I have a hunting license to cover that, even though it really doesn't.

If you never intend to handle the animal and only shoot in situ, you probably can get by without a license. If you intend to pick up animals and pose them, you probably should have one even if you intend to immediately release them.

It's a crock, but I just think we as herpers need to try and follow the law as best we can so when they pull this cr@p in the future, we can demonstrate we aren't a bunch of criminals and scofflaws.


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 15th, 2010, 4:37 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:01 pm
Posts: 733
correct.....even you release the animal immediately......you still caught it......so, you need that paper.......also it can't be on the ROW.......even for positioning for a photo......ain't allowed....by interpetation of your locale LEO.......some are more realistic and understanding, but others as we know , are too quick with that pencil.......specifically with outta staters.....


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 16th, 2010, 12:16 am 

Joined: September 2nd, 2010, 6:16 pm
Posts: 2
Thanks for the info. I'm going to play it safe as I wouldn't be able to make the trek back to TX from CA if ticketed. Usually CA is the overregulated state. I thought that TX would be open to just about any form of "varmint" hunting, but I guess it's backwards with herping. In CA, all you need is a fishing license (and follow the basic regs) and you're good. That's a bummer that you can't herp legally on any public property in TX.


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 22nd, 2010, 11:18 am 
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Joined: June 11th, 2010, 7:43 am
Posts: 1200
Location: kaukauna, wi
i've never read the laws, mostly because i am nowhere near texas, but reading the posts helps me understand that it seems like a pretty crappy situation all around. good luck with changing the laws. don't give up.

don't mess with texas i guess.

sounds retarded that citizens can't enjoy herps on public lands. they are paying for the management of them.

gotta love politics. focusing on what shouldn't matter, and ignoring what should.

-ben


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 26th, 2010, 10:13 am 

Joined: October 25th, 2010, 6:56 am
Posts: 1
Location: Katy, Texas ( just west of Houston)
the laws down here applying to herping are rediculous. my research has been mostly aimed at the removal of problem snakes, but has gotten branched into some pointless areas. i still have not been able to figure them out completely, but am getting a better understanding. you DO need a hunting license to collect snakes, by what the state says in it's manuel. to be legal on the hunting license though, you have to attend hunters education first. you can get a 1-time waiver for a year, but you have to be with a licensed hunter to be hunting. then the private property and lists come into play. some snakes, depending on where they are located and species, it seems you can do anything with. also, depending on quantity and species, there are bag limits to how many you can be in possesion of with out collectors, breeders or business permit. and know that you may not be legal to be in possesion of a venomous snake in certain townships. they really have to simplify things. my best suggestions, get a liscense, they are pretty cheap, cover the bases you can, and pay attention to where you are and what you have.


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: December 1st, 2010, 7:02 am 

Joined: June 21st, 2010, 9:46 am
Posts: 185
Location: Houston
Here is my thoughts on the herping laws.

If you know where you are going, look on the TPWD website under game warden, and contact one of the local wardens in the area you are heading. Be straight up with him/her. Tell them you are coming to Texas to look for and photograph reptiles and amphibians and that you want to make sure you do it legally. As them if you need a license and to help with the clarification of the laws.

In my opinion, if you make the effort to do the right thing, they will probably be all for helping you to understand the laws.

Contact me if you want more info on how to find your local game warden.

Cheers
Matt


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: December 1st, 2010, 7:30 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 6:57 am
Posts: 279
Location: Texas
Re. katysnake's comments: I checked with our LE about the hunter's education provision and they said that is not necessary to take the course just to collect snakes. The hunter's ed. is necessary only if you are going to use a firearm to collect them (please don't).

Re. Matt's suggestion: That sounds like a good idea. Contacting the local game warden is required of scientific permit holders and it just makes sense that you'd want to minimize the likelihood of "unpleasant" surprises for yourself and for LE. That seems to be much of what is behind the issue of road cruising in the first place.
Herp on!
Andy


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: April 25th, 2012, 10:58 pm 
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Joined: April 13th, 2012, 6:02 am
Posts: 2
Location: San Diego, CA
This might be a stupid question, but curiosity has the better of me. Say i'm driving done a road (public land) and I see a snake or something just chillin there, am I not even allowed to remove it from the road for the safety of the reptile?


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: April 26th, 2012, 4:37 am 
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Joined: March 18th, 2012, 6:34 pm
Posts: 801
Location: Huffman (NE Houston), Texas
ShangXiang wrote:
This might be a stupid question, but curiosity has the better of me. Say i'm driving done a road (public land) and I see a snake or something just chillin there, am I not even allowed to remove it from the road for the safety of the reptile?


Not without a Texas hunting license with a herp stamp.


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: April 26th, 2012, 5:34 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 6:57 am
Posts: 279
Location: Texas
Here's a brief rundown of the regs for herping in TX. [edited for tone]

Here ya go:

-In-State or Out-of-state hunting license required to collect or handle herps (or pose them for photos, etc). Think of it like catch-and-release when you are fly fishing for trout. Even though you are not keeping them, you still need a lic. to handle them.

-If you plan to search/collect on public ROWs, you'll need a reptile and amphibian stamp ($10) and a reflective vest. No commercial collection on ROWs.

-Pay attention to bag limits (25 for white list, 6 for black list species, T&E species are off-limits).

-Commercial collection requires a NG Collector's permit ($30) or NG dealer's permit ($60 +application). There is no commercial bag limit on white list species but no commercial collection of black list species allowed.

-Last I heard, these regs apply statewide. Our LE move around from year to year so I would definitely follow the regs, regardless of where in the state I plan to herp. Some folks have been giving out very bad advice on this point. Advice that could get folks in trouble. It is as if they WANT folks to get cited. I honestly can't see any advantage in that.

When in doubt, check the regs online!

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/faq/huntwil ... tamp.phtml
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/faq/huntwil ... mits.phtml


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: April 26th, 2012, 9:36 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 11:17 am
Posts: 628
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Thanks for providing the breakdown Andy. I had thought that the herp stamp was required for any herping activity and that the reflective vest was the only thing specific to herping the ROW, so I appreciate the clarification.

Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: April 26th, 2012, 9:59 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 6:57 am
Posts: 279
Location: Texas
Yeah, Chris.
The herp stamp language is pretty vague so it is well worth your time to make sure you know what is allowed/required and what isn't.

Don't hesitate to ask if you have any Qs.

Andy


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: April 26th, 2012, 12:24 pm 
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Joined: March 18th, 2012, 6:34 pm
Posts: 801
Location: Huffman (NE Houston), Texas
Gluesenkamp wrote:
Yeah, Chris.
The herp stamp language is pretty vague so it is well worth your time to make sure you know what is allowed/required and what isn't.

Don't hesitate to ask if you have any Qs.

Andy


Andy,
Is the hunting license anything special or just the general (101) Resident Hunting License? I see you linked to a 548 license and now I'm wondering if I got the wrong thing.

I picked up a Resident Hunting License and a Herp stamp within this past week, but I want to make sure I'm okay and don't need a different type of hunting license.

Kyle


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: April 26th, 2012, 5:41 pm 
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Joined: May 5th, 2011, 2:15 pm
Posts: 299
Location: Virginia
What if I am from out of state and don't want to pay the huge fee for a non-resident license and I accompany someone who already has one?


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: April 27th, 2012, 4:46 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 6:57 am
Posts: 279
Location: Texas
Here's a link to all TPWD hunting and fishing licenses and associated fees:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/li ... reational/

For the out-of-state herper, I recommend either a Type 107 (good for nongame and birds, $132) or a Type 159 (non-resident 5-day, $48). Option #1 would be good all year, Option #2 would be good for a visit and would only set you back $58 for five days of road cruising. Of course, the stamp is good for a year if you decide to purchase another 159 or a 107 later on.

Non-resident Special Hunting (Type 107): $132
Valid to hunt: Exotic animals, all legal game birds (NOT VALID FOR TURKEY), all nongame animals, squirrel, javelina and alligator (not valid for other game animals, NOT VALID FOR DEER). Stamp endorsement requirements apply.

Non-resident 5-Day Special Hunting (Type 157): $48
Legal for any period of 5 consecutive days (valid hunting dates will be printed on the license when issued). Valid to hunt: exotic animals, all legal game birds (except turkeys), all nongame animals, squirrel, javelina and alligator (not valid for other game animals, NOT VALID FOR DEER). Stamp endorsement requirements apply.

I strongly recommend that you ignore anyone saying that "XX" is not enforced in "YY" County (especially after only a year of snake hunting!). The laws apply statewide. I'd hate to see someone get popped over a $10 stamp. That would look bad for all of us.

On another note, we have sold 463 Reptile and Amphibian Stamps so far. That is a revenue of $4475 so don't think I'm pushing herp stamps as a money-making racket for the agency. It's definitely not.

In any case, thanks to all of you who purchased a stamp!
Andy


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: May 27th, 2012, 9:02 am 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 3:28 pm
Posts: 1959
I just wanted to follow Andy's post up with this excerpt from TPWD's website:

Quote:
Did you know that 100% of your hunting and fishing license fees go to conservation?

It's true,100% of your hunting and fishing license fees go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for on-the-ground conservation efforts that help make Texas one of the best places in the country to hunt and fish. Fish stocking, wildlife management, habitat restoration, land conservation, and Texas Game Wardens are just some of the initiatives funded in part by your license fees. Thank you for your investment in Texas' natural resources. For more information on the types of licenses available, where you can purchase a license, hunting and fishing rules and regulations, and much more, explore the links on the left.

:thumb:

Gerry


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