Attention deer: hunting laws have changed

By Lakecia Shockley - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - It is a game that's big in Texas. Deer hunting, but this hunting season could be a little different.

"We're growing bigger deer," said Chris Green with Texas Parks and Wildlife "[This] deer season our bag limits are increasing so we have more deer. Our doe days are increasing because we have more doe so it just gives hunters more of an opportunity."

Two of the biggest proposed hunting changes would provide East Texas counties with more "doe days" and expand antler restriction to 13 inches.

In East Texas the 13 inch proposal would affect Anderson, Hunt, Kaufman, Henderson, Smith, and Van Zandt counties. Some hunters say it would be a difficult rule to follow.

"It's real hard to measure a deer 200 yards away," said Jonathan Clark, a deer hunter. "So, if you did hit him and he's under 13" you just got hope you don't get caught," he laughed.

"What they tell you is to look at the tips of the ears and the antler's got to pass the tips of the ears and that's what you use to judge to make sure it's a legal 13 inches," said Timothy Behrle, a Harleton hunter.

Another proposal would implement "doe days" in counties that currently aren't allowed to hunt deer. Those are Anderson, Henderson, Hunt, Rains, Smith, and Van Zandt counties. Then, there are counties that would add more "doe days" like Cherokee and Rusk county to balance out the doe and buck population.

"It's important that we do, and they know that and that's why their changing the rules to make it easier to harvest doe deer," John Lippencott, manager Gun Doctor & More.

And whether you're a hunter or not some say this year's hunting changes will benefit everyone.

"There's so many does and the population is growing so much and we're pushing the animals out and it crashes up their car and then their going to say man I wish somebody would have shot that doe this year, and saved them thousands on their vehicle," said Behrle.

Texas Parks and Wildlife has a public comment section on their web site about these proposed changes. Just go to the Big Red Box, and find the story "Hunting and fishing survey."