Texas Hunters: Exciting News from TPWD
I just got an excited phone call from Willie Sims who had just got off the phone with Alan Cain (Texas Parks and Wildlife Whitetail Deer Team Leader)
Texas is taking public comments on proposed rule changes here: https://tpwd.texas.gov/business/feedback/public_comment/proposals/201803_statewide_whitetailed_deer.phtml
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 that the
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
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.
Go make your comments now and in as great a number as possible.
Guys we are talking all non-migratory game animals and birds. Quail hunting with an airgun. Deer, Fur bearers. I am stoked.
Lets make this happen.
Thanks to Willie who followed up on this with Alan and Special thanks to Eric Henderson of Adventures Afield who accompanied Alan on the special research harvest plus loaning him a 308 Texan to use for the research.
Good news and abt time!
As a native Texan it burns my britches that I can't legally squirrel hunt with an airgun. Would they rather I fire a rimfire into the trees?
Nobody likes their squirrel meat seasoned with birdshot, either...
Heading over there rt now👍
I believe squirrel taking with pellet gun is legal already in Texas or did I read this wrong ? 3rd bulleted point!
Here is the story in Hard Air Magazine:
Well gentlemen we have had a serious setback resulting in the HOLDing of the legislation till the 24th of May.
According to the TPWD this issue came up due to a totally irresponsible hog hunt on a private ranch in west Texas.
The land owner directed the hunters to take head shots "only" but they opted for body shots which of course are not necessarily effective even with firearms due to the armoring of a pigs musculature. The land owner knew the Game Commissioner personally so one ill timed call and all is on hold for reevaluation. To add insult to injury there was a film crew present as well.
Below please find links to the current announcement and a new link for comments. There will also be a meeting in Lubbock, TX on 24 May at 9am in the Lubbock Civic Center at which time they will accept additional comments.
Please either attend the meeting in Lubbock if you can or go to the new comment link and make your voices heard.
I don't necessarily consider this a set-back. Rather, an opportunity for the Powers That Be to step back, take three deep breaths, and gather more information on the subject. I don't always agree with TP&W; but that they have decided to take a second look at this I consider commendable. That they're doing so based on real-life feedback from a hog hunt that probably captured on video the suffering of chest-shot hogs tells me that, despite the fact nobody likes hogs, someone has conscience enough to be adverse to inflicting needless pain and suffering on any animal (with anything less than BRAIN shots), and sense enough to realize that doing so (anything less than brain shots) will ultimately be bad for hunting!
I know individuals that have successfully taken full-grown elk and bison with airguns... if you consider chest-shot animals taking 15-20 minutes to succumb to be "success". I DON'T!
And though I've had other individuals whose opinions I respect tell me that using the right slugs (some say hollow-points and others say flat-nosed) will put chest-shot deer down for the count, my own experiences with big-bore magnum (firearm) revolvers doesn't let me believe it/them.
I've taken some hogs with airguns as small as .22 caliber (and 9mm), ALL with brain shots; not to be confused with head shots, because they are not synonymous. That said, I don't believe TP&W would include brain-shot requirements in any regulation(s) allowing airguns for hunting game animals, simply because they would surely know such a requirement would be rife for violation since many average buckos don't have the skills, ethics or inclination to pull it off. And lacking such a specific, 'brain shots only' regulation, there WOULD be a lot of unrecovered chest-shot deer hobbling around and littering the game fields of Texas. Probably would be either way; which may well be the very quandary TP&W finds itself considering, and the reason for the second look.
Until now, I've refrained from comment on this subject of Texas allowing airguns for hunting game species. But given the pause for a closer examination of the proposed new regulation, it seems now is the proper time to comment. Whether I decide to do so through TP&W channels may depend on what kind of feedback this post gets. That feedback will allow better insight into the conscience and ethics of opposing viewpoints... or lack thereof.
"No brag; just fact."- Will Sonnett
I don't have a bog-bore air rifle so this is new to me.
I used to hunt squirrels with an air rifle and dropped 'em dead as a hammer with heart-lung shots as well as head shots. Will a heart-lung shot not work on a hog? Or does the animal's profile perhaps make it hard to land a shot there? However, the question may have been answered in the post that says their body armor is extra-thick.
Oh, and as to the difference between a brain shot and a head shot that is referenced in the post regarding hogs, with a squirrel I think they amount to the same thing, because the head is small and the brain pretty-much fills the entire head cavity.
P.S. I live in Texas in the SW Houston area so I've been following this topic with interest.
Safe and Happy Shooting!
Ed, the Airgun TuneMeister
The rule was rescinded this morning. The Commissioners directed that a new rule be drafted to be voted on at the August meeting.
The numbers of comments the first time around were:
2267 total comments
This time around the numbers were:
139 total comments
We as Airgun Hunters made a VERY poor showing of support for this rule in the second time around (since 22 March) and now it is gone but hopefully will be reborn in a new form this fall. Nothing concerning this change will effect the current squirrel hunting with airguns. Unfortunately much was said about hog hunting and the out of state hunters that precipitated this incident. Problem here is that Texas has NO regulations currently over hog hunting with airguns so all the entire affair did was spook the commission into a reversal and a revisit to the rule making. I am sure there will be a new comment period once the rule is written and finalized for publication.
My take is there will probably be a change “requiring” PCP only for big game as they realize a .30 springer is NOT up to the job. There may be a ft/lb requirement and a minimum bullet weight. We will have to wait and see. The Department will be working with industry to develop the new rule.
There were only about 9 or 10 present who spoke. About half were industry people. It was a treat to meet a few of the airgunners I know from afar and a real treat to meet John McCaslin and talk to him for a while.
Forum Janitorial Services Specialist
The other part of the comments links. https://tpwd.texas.gov/business/feedback/public_comment/proposals/201808_pneumatic_weapons_game.phtml
he Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has passed new rules at their August 23rd meeting that will become effective in late September for the 2018 hunting season. This means that big bore, PCP air guns will be a legal means of harvesting big game, turkey, alligator, and furbearers with the following stipulations.
For Big Game, Turkey, and Alligator the restrictions areas follows:
– Minimum caliber .30.
– Shooting either a minimum of 150 grain bullet at 800 fps at the muzzle.
– Alternatively, any combination of projectile weight and speed that produces at least 215 Ft/Lbs of energy at the muzzle.
– For Furbearers, a minimum of .30 caliber is required.
Forum Janitorial Services Specialist
Means and methods
Forum Janitorial Services Specialist
This morning the National Rifle Association sent an email concerning hunting in Texas.
Stay safe and free..
I’m stoked! Although my only big bore is a Shin Sung 9mm shooting 77g at 900fps (short of the 215lbs and idk how a 30 would ever come close ) it’s killed hogs and is legit but I’ll spring for arrows and/or a 215lbs ag ! This is a huge step forward for us aurgunners and I love it!
Air Guns and Arrow Guns
- Arrow gun: a device that fires an arrow or bolt solely by the use of unignited compressed gas as the propellant.
- Air gun: a device that fires a bullet solely by the use of unignited compressed gas as the propellant.
- Pre-charged pneumatic: an air gun or arrow gun for which the propellant is supplied or introduced by means of a source that is physically separate from the air gun or arrow gun.
Alligator, game animals, furbearers, squirrels, and non-migratory game birds (except Eastern Turkey) may be hunted with air guns and arrow guns provided:
- Alligators, big horn sheep, javelina, mule deer, white-tailed deer, and turkey may be taken only with pre-charged pneumatic arrow guns, or pre-charged pneumatic air guns.
- Pre-charged pneumatic air guns must fire a projectile of at least 30 caliber in diameter and at least 150 grains in weight with a minimum muzzle velocity of 800 feet per second or any combination of bullet weight and muzzle velocity that produces muzzle energy of at least 215 foot pounds of energy.
- Squirrels, pheasant, quail, and chachalaca may be hunted with air guns that fire a projectile of at least .177 caliber (4.5mm) in diameter producing a muzzle velocity of at least 600 feet per second.
- Arrows or bolts used with an arrow gun must conform to the same standards for projectiles for archery.
- Arrow guns may not be used to hunt deer or turkey during archery season. .............. copy/pasted from : https://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/hunting/general-regulations/means-and-methods