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Major New Proposal For Airgun Hunting In Texas

In a major move, the state Parks and Wildlife Department has proposed rule changes for airgun hunting in Texas.

Currently, airgun hunting in Texas is legal for pests and squirrels. However the proposed changes would make it legal to hunt many types of non-migratory game in the Lone Star State.

Note, this change is NOT YET LAW. It’s a proposal by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).

As part of this proposed rule change, the TPWD is asking for feedback through their website. Simply go to this link to make your thoughts known and comment, if appropriate:
https://tpwd.texas.gov/business/feedback/public_comment/proposals/201803_statewide_whitetailed_deer.phtml

This needs to be done before 7:00AM on March 22, 2018, when the feedback period closes. Note that this proposal also includes reference to airbows, archery and some firearms-specific proposals, too.


Here’s a summary of the proposed rule changes for airgun hunting in Texas, abstracted from the TPWD website.

Proposal:

Allow Use of Air Guns and Air Bow for the take of game animals, non-migratory game birds, and furbearers

Staff propose to allow the take of alligators, game animals, non-migratory game birds and furbearers with air guns and air bows. The proposal also specifies…

Take of alligators, deer, pronghorn, big horn sheep, javelina, and turkey will be restricted to air guns .30 caliber or larger.
Alligators in non-core counties may be taken with air bows or air guns

In all counties alligators caught on a taking device may be dispatched with air guns

Air guns propelling a .177 caliber projectile or larger may be used to take squirrel, quail, pheasants, and chachalaca

Background:

Staff received a petition for rule making where the petitioner requested that air bows and air rifles be made legal for the take of native big game in Texas.

Current TPWD regulations prohibit the take of big game because air bows and air guns are not defined as legal firearms or archery equipment in TPWD regulations, the Texas penal code, or under federal firearms regulations.

Upon investigation of air guns and air bows for the take of big game animals TPWD staff found that 7 states allow the use of air bows to harvest big game and 8 states allow the use of air rifles to harvest big game.

All states restricted use of air guns and air bows to firearm seasons and some states had minimum standards for caliber and muzzle velocity and specifications requiring an external charging mechanism (air tank, pump, etc.).

Air guns have comparable ballistics to other legal firearm that may be used to take native big game in Texas. Air guns have been used successfully to harvest white-tailed deer in states where air rifles are allowed for the take of big game and are currently legal to harvest exotic big game animals in Texas.

Staff do not believe there is any biological reasons to not allow the use of air guns and air bows for the take of game animals, non-migratory game birds, and furbearers...

Thanks to Thurmond Moore of T3P Ranch Airgun Solutions for bringing this to our attention!