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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: 92
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: 2729
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: 92
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: 2729
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: 1219
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: 186
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: 284
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: 822
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: 284
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: 634
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: 284
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: 822
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: 304
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: 284
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: 2065
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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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 7th, 2014, 5:26 pm 

Joined: August 19th, 2014, 8:31 pm
Posts: 10
Location: North Providence, RI
Hi, can someone please explain what a public
right of way in TX is exactly? From what I gather, it is land between a public road and private property? If so, how do you know where the private property starts, and is it common in rural areas in TX to not go right up to the road? Also, can the license /permit allow you to herp around a rest stop? Finally if we are just 1 adult and 1 child, does the child need a license?


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 8th, 2014, 3:33 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:13 pm
Posts: 1916
Location: A Sovereign TX Enclave in the Greater Kansas City Area
ebit123 wrote:
Hi, can someone please explain what a public
right of way in TX is exactly? From what I gather, it is land between a public road and private property?


Yes.


Quote:
If so, how do you know where the private property starts,


99% of the time, there will be a fence!

Quote:
and is it common in rural areas in TX to not go right up to the road?


Yes. There is usually a strip of land of varying width along the road. There are probably Dept of Transportation (or other) regulations saying it has to be at least X feet (I think my property ended 18 feet from the road when I owned it). Typically you're looking at at least 20 feet (usually more). It's often around 40-50 feet wide in some areas. This may not sound like much, but when you take into account features like road cuts it provides quite a bit of herping opportunity.

Quote:
Also, can the license /permit allow you to herp around a rest stop?


It should...it's not the roadway, and it's not private land or a state/national park...

Quote:
Finally if we are just 1 adult and 1 child, does the child need a license?


If the child is under 16, you don't need any license for him, but he will need the Reptile and Amphibian Stamp ($10). Given the length of your trip, you're going to want the annual nonresident license for yourself (as well as the Reptile and Amphibian Stamp).


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 8th, 2014, 4:33 am 

Joined: August 19th, 2014, 8:31 pm
Posts: 10
Location: North Providence, RI
Thanks for your reply - you have actually helped so much with my other post too.

Can I just ask you something...something I've been wondering about - it's such a common childhood experience for kids to go down to a pond or town park/field and grab frogs, turtles or garter snakes...are kids in Texas penalized when they do that? I'm thinking kids in the suburbs who might not have a lot of property around their home to herp, but notice (harmless) animals on the roadside or in a field and want to grab them. Just curious.


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 8th, 2014, 12:51 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:13 pm
Posts: 1916
Location: A Sovereign TX Enclave in the Greater Kansas City Area
ebit123 wrote:
Thanks for your reply - you have actually helped so much with my other post too.

Can I just ask you something...something I've been wondering about - it's such a common childhood experience for kids to go down to a pond or town park/field and grab frogs, turtles or garter snakes...are kids in Texas penalized when they do that? I'm thinking kids in the suburbs who might not have a lot of property around their home to herp, but notice (harmless) animals on the roadside or in a field and want to grab them. Just curious.


Technically, they could be, if they moved a turtle off a road. In practice, the Legislature has assured us that of course they wouldn't do that, but by the letter of the law it is forbidden. I have heard of no citations for a child doing this. I have heard of tickets for adults touching animals on the road, though.

You don't need a license (if you're under 16 to herp)...unless you're doing it on the right-of-way. In that case, you need the stamp. Private property (with landowner permission) is OK. Adults need a license on private property (and landowner permission), and a stamp if hunting the rights-of-way.


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 9th, 2014, 6:56 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:14 pm
Posts: 2729
Location: San Antonio, TX
DracoRJC wrote:
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?


Yeah, Texas really has high out of state fees, but so do most states.

Texas Non-Resident Special Hunting (107) = $135
Virginia Non-Resident Hunting = $111

My honest feeling is that if you don't want to herp within the law, don't herp.
You can observe herps without a license, but if you are doing the things that most herpers like to do, you need a license.

It is disrespect for the law that gives herpers a bad name. (Not picking on you Draco, just making a point).


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 Post subject: Re: Herping laws in TX
PostPosted: October 9th, 2014, 7:13 pm 

Joined: August 19th, 2014, 8:31 pm
Posts: 10
Location: North Providence, RI
Will the special hunting license with reptile stamp only allow herping on roadside, right of way and private land (with permission)? Will it allow herping in WMAs, national forests, or other public lands that are away from the road? Also, if anyone knows of people who own lodges /campgrounds /ranches that allow herping , please PM .


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