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Reminder: Active Duty National Guard Can Get Resident Hunting, Fishing Licenses
AUSTIN, Texas – In what’s shaping up to be the largest troop deployment since Vietnam, many from the National Guard are being deployed and if you have been called up and you’re not a resident of Texas, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wants you to know that you and your dependents qualify for a resident hunting and or fishing license. Hunting season just began and if you need a break before shipping off, TPWD wants to help give you one.
"So go buy a resident hunting license from Wal-Mart or wherever, familiarize yourself with Texas hunting regulations and know that Texas is glad to have you," said Col. James Stinebaugh, director of law enforcement at TPWD.
In the Outdoor Annual, the definition of a resident states in part, "A resident is a person who has lived continuously in Texas for more than six months immediately before applying for a license or any members of the United States Armed Forces (and their dependents) on active duty anywhere." It then goes on to explain ‘active duty.’
The Parks and Wildlife Code addresses this when it refers to "a member of the United States armed forces on active duty." The terms "armed forces" and "active duty" are not defined in the code, but these terms ARE defined in the federal laws. After analyzing this material, TPWD legal experts have come to the conclusion that it should be made clear that this includes the National Guard who are not Texas residents.
"We believe that a National Guard member who has received orders to report for full-time active duty and has had to leave his or her regular civilian job is at that point on "active duty" with the armed forces, and thus qualifies as a resident. We are not changing the law, just making an interpretation to answer a question that has come up," said Boyd Kennedy, Law Enforcement Attorney with TPWD.
"So if you live in, say, Kansas City, and are sent to Texas for training, you and your dependents can hunt with all the rights and privileges of residents," Stinebaugh said.
If any National Guard members LIVE in Texas but have not been called up to active duty, then they need to reside continuously in Texas for six months before qualifying as a resident.
The resident license is a general license for all game (except alligators) and is $23. The general non-resident license is $300 and allows the same privileges as the general resident. See the Outdoor Annual on page 51 for more specifics. Personnel need to show military identification at license vendors to qualify for the $23 resident license.
For more information, visit the Web (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/).
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