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Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov [SL]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — April 10, 2006

TPWD Adds 40 Counties to Special Buck Harvest Rules

AUSTIN, Texas — Deer hunters in 40 counties in East and Central Texas will be under new special buck harvest regulations this fall as part of changes to this year’s hunting and fishing regulations adopted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.

In addition, the commission legalized bowfishing for catfish on an experimental basis for one year, directed staff to create a habitat-based voluntary management incentive program for upland game birds and eliminated the trophy tarpon tagging requirements. All hunting and fishing related regulatory changes will take effect Sept. 1.

Antler restriction regulations currently in effect in 21 counties in the Oak Prairie ecoregion have been effective in improving the age structure of the buck herd, increasing hunter opportunity, and encouraging landowners and hunters to become more actively involved in better habitat management, according to state wildlife biologists.

Under the regulation, a lawful buck is defined as any buck having at least one unbranched antler or an inside antler spread of at least 13 inches. The bag limit in the affected counties would be two lawful bucks, no more than one of which may have an inside spread of greater than 13 inches.

Counties affected by this regulation include:** Bell, Bosque, Bowie, Burleson*, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Comal (east of IH 35), Comanche, Coryell, Delta, Eastland, Erath, Fannin, Franklin, Gregg, Hamilton, Harrison, Hays (east of IH 35), Hopkins, Houston, Lamar, Lampasas, Leon, Marion, Morris, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rains, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Somervell, Titus, Travis (east of IH 35), Upshur, Williamson and Wood counties.

Additional alterations and new regulations include:

Hunters and anglers are urged to check the specific rules for these changes in the upcoming 2006-2007 Outdoor Annual, available in August.

* Correction, April 10, 2006: The original version of this news release failed to list Burleson County. The correct number of added counties is 40, not 39. (Return to corrected item.)

** Correction, April 11, 2006: The original version of this paragraph began “Additional counties being considered under this regulation ...þ”. That portion has been edited for clarity. The regulation has been adopted. (Return to corrected item.)

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