AUSTIN – Feral hogs are so loathed by landowners in Texas for their habitat destroying behavior that beginning Sept. 1, you won’t even need a hunting license to pursue them on private property. That’s when a new law takes effect removing even more obstacles from controlling hog numbers.
The new law, SB 317 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (Mineola), passed during the 86th Texas Legislature and exempts any person (resident or nonresident), with landowner consent, from a hunting license requirement to hunt feral hogs. It is still a violation to hunt without a license if hunting without consent. The new law removes any reference to depredation and the exemption applies for the take of all feral hogs.
The new law only applies to private property, and is irrelevant of whether or not it is a paid hunt, although allowing hunting access in return for financial or other consideration still requires a hunting lease license from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. A hunting license is still required on public land. Hunter education requirements also still apply.
Hunters Can Use Digital Image of Licenses Afield
Also effective Sept. 1, in most cases hunters will not be required to carry their original paper hunting and fishing licenses with them to the field. HB 547 by State Rep. Terry Canales (Edinburg) allows licensees to use a photograph of their physical license to serve as verification of a valid license while hunting any game that doesn’t need a tag, like dove. You must carry your physical license with you for deer and turkey hunts, and if you want to retain an oversized red drum, since they require tags. Your license can now be viewed digitally on the Outdoor Annual mobile app or the My Texas Hunt Harvest app. Also accepted will be a legible digital photo, your emailed receipt, or your online purchase record. If your Outdoor Annual app was downloaded before Aug. 15, you’ll need to update it to version 6 in order to access your license and view the 2019-2020 regulations.