Wildlife Commission Considering Whitetail Deer Bowhunting

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission is talking about a proposal to allow whitetail deer bow hunting in three North Texas counties.

The idea is gaining both praise and criticism.

David Sierra is with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and said there’s a reason why the proposal is being considered.

“The people there in Collin and those counties wanted a bow hunt season. They did not want a rifle season. They wanted a bow season,” explained Sierra. “And there’s no biologically justifiable reason not to let them hunt deer in those areas, because there are huntable populations in that fragments habitat.”

Proponents say the move would help control the deer population in suburban areas — that seem to be getting less and less rural.

“Might as well hunt them now,” said Sierra, “because as the metroplex keeps on moving whatever habitat is left will eventually be swallowed up by urban development.”

But Dustin Rhodes, with Friends of Animals, feels bow-hunting supporters are using deer populations as an excuse and that many suburban residents really just don’t like wild animals on roadways and in landscaping.

“That’s really what we’re talking about here –- that deer or other animals have become an inconvenience to humans,” said Rhodes. “There are measures that can be taken to discourage deer and other wildlife from eating shrubs and destroying peoples lawn…because that’s really what we’re talking about here.”

Rhodes said shooting and killing animals isn’t the only way to deal with wildlife growth and human ‘urban sprawl.’

“There are all kinds of ways to educate the public about how to coexist with deer, rather than choosing the option to annihilate them,” he said.

After public hearings are held, the Wildlife Commission will vote on the issue in March.

If the proposal is approved, hunting regulations similar to archery-only Grayson County would be extended to Collin, Dallas, Rockwall and Galveston Counties.

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  • Bethany

    I am a big animal lover. I have given money to the wildlife commission because I believe they really care about these animals and how their quality of life is. I am not fond of bow hunting by those that arent expert bow users. I would hate to think this would send every blood thirsty maniac out hunting just wanting a live target to shoot an arrow at.

  • FedUpTxn

    I too am an animal lover and enjoy spotting a deer on the side of the road, but their populations can and do get out of hand and the meat is good quality. It takes a lot more skill to hunt with a bow, than put corn in a feeder, hide and shoot the animal when it comes to eat. That’s equal to shooting an animal in the zoo. I doubt any “blood thirsty maniac” is going to pay the price for a quality bow that would be required to take down such a large animal. This sounds like a good option in an urban area where guns put the human population at risk.

    • Bethany

      Good point.

    • Katherine McGill

      Baloney. Bow hunters are just bored rifle hunters. And add to this that CANNED HUNTING is legal in TX. And high-powered arrows don’t belong in urban areas either.

      Being in one of the richest, most popular hunting states in the US – doesn’t ANYONE ever question why only such states have issues with “over-population”? What will it take to inject enough intelligence into our society to make people say “Gee, maybe hunting isn’t as successful as they tell us, huh?”

      My goodness people, stop drinking the Kool-aid. It’s 2012. Hunting may go on but DEMAND they do it as they claim to be – controlling populations! (vs reaping the $$$)

      Those surplus deer you say are out of hand were deliberately manipulated to be there. Follow a money trail back to P-R gun tax dollars. Very eye opening.

  • susan

    hunting with a bow and arrow has proven in the past in other states to not be such a good idea..it causes pain,harm and trauma to an animal that winds up being shot anyway because most hunters are not proficient in the use of the bow and arrow.. this would just open up the field for a bunch of crazy “macho men” hunters to say “look what i did”!!

  • Nate

    Hunting with a bow requires more time, skill and practice than most people are willing to put in. Most of the bow hunters I’ve met don’t even want to hunt with a rifle anymore because they love the closeness of bow hunting (the average distance is less than 60 feet). Plus, as FedUp mentioned, there is more equipment required, not only with the bow itself, but also the clothing, targets, maintenance and other equipment a bow hunter requires to hunt. Also, with the new trail cameras available on the market now that are virtually undetectable because they now use infrared flashes (undetectable by human eye), more poachers are getting reported to the TPWD. Plus all of these sales and such help support the TPWD even more, since a portion of their funding is derived from these sales, allowing them to better protect all native Texas animal populations across the state. Susan, more deer are severly wounded with poor rifle shots than bow shots. Since an arrow does not cause mass trauma like a bullet does, if the shot is not fatal, the deer has a much better chance of survival and full recovery.

    • susan

      thank you for an intelligent and well thought out response nate..i appreciate your input on the topic..i have relatives who work with tpwd and this subject has not come up in conversation..did you read the other comments..your response is a good one for them as well..

    • Katherine McGill

      Nate – it’s safe to assume you are a bow-hunter. More deer are wounded from rifles than arrows? Where did that stat come from!?

      You are correct that a bow requires more skill. The problem is it requires a more skilled hunter as well and this WE DO NOT HAVE. Especially in youth hunters being pushed to target practice on animals, especially “no bag limit” species such as you imply the state is protecting. All these untruths are making “conservation” a joke with stakeholders anymore. Hunting needs to clean up its act.

  • susan

    mr myssogynist is obviously and intelligent, well bred and knowledgeable hunter who knows everything there is to know about wildlife and hunting..oh yes, and he has such excellent blogging manners for a “good ole boy”..not..!!

  • http://www.fishgame.com/newsblog.php/?p=5602 Outdoor News from around Texas and the World - Texas Fish & Game

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  • Katherine McGill

    Depending on which of their own stats you choose, bow-hunters have confirmed that 26-52% of arrow hit animals are never recovered. An arrow is highly likely to cause infection and a slow death. Add to this, also per hunters themselves, ONLY a heart shot will kill quickly. Others “must be left for at least 30 minutes to bleed out”.

    A few decades ago we banned the .23 bullet because it violated “Quick kill” ethics established by wildlife management. Then they began allowing the archaic bow & arrow? HUH? That weapon went away with the native americans, for crying out loud! Why is it back?

    Because hunters are bored – and because our state wildlife agencies will DO ANYTHING to keep hunters buying tags. The more tags sold the more P-R (gun tax) dollars TX gets next year (over $2 million – half of which don’t even originate from sporting weapons today).

    Our wildlife management system today has evolved into a business representing a customer base less than 6% of our nation. Non-sporting stakeholders are not engaged nor encouraged to have a voice – “leave us alone, we know best”. You DO have a say, nd it’s time to speak up and take our wildlife back.

  • Katherine McGill

    Isn’t it time we ask: “WHY are there excess deer in states with the most hunting? Is hunting not working?”.

    It’s working to keep a hunting dependent budget on track! (not really, actually, it’s declining steadily and a real problem for the industry)

    Deer and other big game seasons are managed to one end – make sure there are plenty to sell more tags for “harvesting” next year. To ensure this, they use the same science they deny exists – CRE, or Compensatory Rebound Effect. By killing the right sex at the right times of year they can bank on HIGHER reproduction rates.

    Deadly auto collisions? Excess deer conflicts in suburbia? All just costs of doing business, folks! THINK!! The more you complain about those problems the more you’re going to support deer hunting, aren’t you now? We are fools and need to wake up.


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