Lubbock District Game Wardens Announce Mule Deer Saturation Patrol
South Plains Counties Welcome Additional Wardens for the 9 Day Mule Deer Season
Lubbock and surrounding area counties- Lubbock district Game Wardens will be dedicating extra patrol hours and manpower to the Mule Deer season which occurs in certain southwestern panhandle counties and runs this year from November 18th -26th.
The west Texas mule deer attract hunters from across the state and around the country in hopes of harvesting a buck. The 9 day general season is open to hunters with a valid Texas hunting license and permission to hunt on property. Legal harvesting methods include the use of permitted firearms, or archery equipment. The bag limit is one buck per legal hunter, and does not allow the take of a mule deer doe unless a special MLD permit is obtained.
Lubbock district public information officer Aaron Sims says this is one of the busiest times of the season, and as such they are calling in reinforcements. “We receive numerous reports of illegal poaching activity leading up to and throughout the nine day hunting season. Due to the sharp increase in activity, we are bringing in additional wardens from across the state to assist in patrol efforts. They will patrol during legal daytime hunting hours as well as late into the night to insure compliance.” Sims also acknowledges that even with the additional assistance, illegal hunting may occur outside the presence of the wardens.
Sims is asking the general public to be extra vigilant in the coming weeks. “A good sportsman knows the importance of protecting the resource, and we get numerous tips from hunters who are in the field and see suspicious activity. We also rely on assistance from area Sherriff’s offices and we work as a team throughout the season to protect wildlife resources and private property rights.”
Similar to last year, the wardens will have the Texas Parks and Wildlife airplane to spot potential suspects from the air. He explains that having the eyes in the sky is important for the wide open rural topography. The pilot and spotter will be able to fly over the vast area and call out specific coordinates of suspected poachers to the wardens patrolling on the ground. The airplane, which will fly both during the day and night, will allow the wardens to see for miles in an effort to deter illegal hunting activities. The increased enforcement marks the fourth year in a row that game wardens from other parts of Texas are being called in to assist. The potential violations range from improperly tagged deer, to more serious violations such as hunting deer at night, and hunting on private property without landowner consent. Hunting deer without consent carries a punishment of a state jail felony and potential loss of hunting and fishing privileges in Texas and other US states. Area wide landowners and citizens are encouraged to report any and all game violations that occur.
The public can access their local game warden’s contact information online, or they can anonymously report to Operation Game Thief hotline by calling 1-800-792-4263 (GAME).