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TITLE 31NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
PART 2TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
CHAPTER 65WILDLIFE
SUBCHAPTER ASTATEWIDE HUNTING PROCLAMATION
DIVISION 1GENERAL PROVISIONS
RULE §65.29Managed Lands Deer (MLD) Programs

(a) Definitions. The following words and terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. All other words and terms in this section shall have the meanings assigned in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code.

  (1) Aggregate acreage--Contiguous tracts of land, to, from, and between which deer have complete and unrestricted access, combined by multiple landowners to create an area of land for the purpose of enrollment in the MLDP.

  (2) Deer management unit (DMU)--An area of the state designated by the department on the basis of shared characteristics such as soil types, vegetation types, precipitation, land use practices, and deer densities.

  (3) Landowner--Any person who has an ownership interest in a tract of land.

  (4) Management unit--A tract of land or a specific portion of a tract of land enrolled in the MLDP for which the department shall specify a harvest quota and tag issuance.

  (5) MLDP--The Managed Lands Deer Program established by this subchapter, which consists of:

    (A) the Harvest Option (HO) set forth in subsection (c)(1) of this section; and

    (B) the Conservation Option (CO) set forth in subsections (c)(2) and (d) of this section.

  (6) MLDP tag--A tag issued by the department to a participant in any option under this section.

  (7) Program participant--A landowner or a landowner's authorized agent who is enrolled in the MLDP.

  (8) Unbranched antlered deer--A buck deer having at least one antler with no more than one antler point.

  (9) Wildlife Management Associations and Cooperatives--A group of landowners who have mutually agreed in writing to act collectively to improve wildlife habitat and populations on their tracts of land.

  (10) Wildlife Management Plan (WMP)--A written document on a form furnished or approved by the department that addresses habitat and population and management recommendations, associated data, and data collection methodologies.

(b) General Provisions.

  (1) A landowner and the landowner's tract(s) of land are enrolled:

    (A) in the Harvest Option (HO) set forth in subsection (c)(1) of this section, when an application has been approved by the department; or

    (B) in the Conservation Option (CO) set forth in subsection (c)(2) or (d) of this section, when the department has approved:

      (i) an application; and

      (ii) the WMP required by subsection (c)(2) of this section.

    (C) An enrollment is not valid unless the applicant has remitted the fees prescribed by §53.5 of this title (relating to Recreational Hunting Licenses, Stamps, and Tags) to the department on or before the Friday immediately preceding the Saturday closest to September 30 of the year for which program participation is sought.

  (2) A landowner may appoint a person to act as the landowner's authorized agent for purposes of program participation. The authorization must be on a form approved by the department.

  (3) MLDP tags are issued to a program participant.

  (4) If MLDP tags are issued under the provisions of subsection (c)(1)(B) or (2)(H)(ii) of this section, the tags are valid on any tract of land within the aggregate acreage enrolled in the MLDP; otherwise, tags are valid only on the specific enrolled tract of land for which they are issued.

  (5) On an enrolled tract of land there is no personal or annual bag limit for the type of deer (buck, unbranched antlered, or antlerless) for which MLDP tags have been issued and the provisions of §65.42(b)(6) of this title (relating to Deer), §65.42(b)(7) of this title, and the stamp requirement of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter I (relating to Archery Stamps), do not apply.

  (6) A person who kills a deer on an enrolled tract of land must immediately tag the deer with a MLDP tag valid for the species (white-tailed deer or mule deer) and type of deer (buck, unbranched antlered, antlerless) harvested. A person who kills a deer and immediately takes the carcass to a location on the enrolled tract of land where a valid MLDP tag provided by the program participant is immediately attached shall be considered to have complied with the immediate tagging requirement. The MLDP tag shall remain attached to the carcass until the carcass reaches a final destination. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, it is unlawful for any person to:

    (A) attach a mule deer tag to a white-tailed deer or vice versa;

    (B) attach an unbranched antlered MLDP tag or antlerless MLDP tag to a buck deer having more than one point on both antlers;

    (C) tag an unbranched antlered deer with an antlerless MLDP tag;

    (D) tag an antlerless deer with any tag other than an antlerless MLDP tag;

    (E) use an MLDP tag or tag number more than once; or

    (F) use an MLDP tag on a tract of land other than the tract for which the tag was issued.

  (7) A program participant shall maintain a legible daily harvest log.

    (A) For tracts of land enrolled under the provisions of subsection (c)(1)(B) or (2)(H)(ii) of this section, the daily log must be maintained on the aggregate acreage enrolled in the MLDP; otherwise, the daily harvest log must be maintained on the specific enrolled tract for which tags are issued.

    (B) The daily harvest log shall be on a form provided or approved by the department and shall be maintained by the program participant until the last day of tag validity.

    (C) A person who kills a deer that is required to be tagged under the provisions of this section must, on the same day that the deer is killed, legibly enter the required information in the daily harvest log.

    (D) The daily harvest log shall contain the following information for each deer killed on the enrolled tract of land:

      (i) the name and hunting license or driver's license number of the person who killed the deer;

      (ii) the date the deer was killed;

      (iii) the species (white-tailed or mule deer) and type of deer killed (buck, unbranched antlered, or antlerless); and

      (iv) the tag number of the MLDP tag affixed to the deer.

    (E) The daily harvest log shall be made available to any department employee acting in the performance of official duties upon request.

  (8) By not later than April 1 in each year of participation, a program participant shall report to the department, on a form provided or prescribed by the department:

    (A) the number of buck deer and/or antlerless deer harvested on each tract of land enrolled in the MLDP;

    (B) the habitat management practices implemented on each tract of land enrolled in the CO; and

    (C) additional information as requested by the department.

  (9) If an applicant does not wish to engage in program participation, the applicant must affirmatively decline program participation by the Friday immediately preceding the Saturday closest to September 30 via the department's online web application. On an enrolled tract of land for which a program participant has failed to timely decline participation as provided in this paragraph, the provisions of this section continue to apply to the harvest of deer until the last day of tag validity in the year following application.

  (10) The provisions of this section cease effect and the provisions of §65.42 of this title (relating to Deer) apply on any tract of land for which:

    (A) an applicant has timely declined participation under the provisions of paragraph (9) of this subsection; or

    (B) the fees required by §53.5 of this title have not been remitted in accordance with subsection (b)(1)(C) of this section.

  (11) A program participant who complies with the requirements of paragraph (7)(A) - (E) of this paragraph also satisfies the requirements of Parks and Wildlife Code, §62.029, (relating to Records of Game in Cold Storage or Procession Facility), with respect to deer, provided the daily harvest log maintained on the tract of land:

    (A) contains the address and hunting license number of each person who harvested a deer; and

    (B) is retained at the cold storage/processing facility for a period of at least one year following the date of the last entry.

(c) MLDP--White-tailed Deer. The provisions of this subsection shall govern the authorization and conduct of MLDP participation with respect to white-tailed deer.

  (1) Harvest Option (HO).

    (A) Any landowner or authorized agent may apply to enroll a tract of land in the HO by submitting an application to the department by no later than September 1 of each year on a form provided by the department.

    (B) An aggregate acreage may be enrolled in the HO, provided:

      (i) the application contains the name, address, and express consent of the landowner of each tract of land comprising the aggregate acreage for which enrollment is sought; and

      (ii) a single program participant is designated to receive MLDP tags for the aggregate acreage.

    (C) The department shall specify a harvest quota establishing the maximum number of buck, unbranched antlered, or antlerless deer to be harvested on each management unit within a tract of land or aggregate acreage enrolled in the HO. The harvest quota shall be based on:

      (i) department-derived survey data for the DMU in which the tract of land is located;

      (ii) the size of the tract of land enrolled in MLDP;

      (iii) the types of habitat and the amounts of each type of habitat on the tract of land enrolled in the MLDP; and

      (iv) any other information deemed relevant by the department.

    (D) On a tract of land enrolled under this subsection:

      (i) MLDP tags for antlerless deer and unbranched antlered deer are valid from the Saturday closest to September 30 until the last day of February, during which time antlerless deer and unbranched antlered deer may be taken by any lawful means; and

      (ii) MLDP tags for buck deer are valid:

        (I) from the Saturday closest to September 30 for 35 consecutive days during which time buck deer may be taken only by means of lawful archery equipment; and

        (II) from the first Saturday in November until the last day of February, during which time buck deer may be taken by any lawful means.

    (E) If a program participant under this paragraph elects to receive a tag issuance for only one type of deer (buck or antlerless), the provisions of §65.42 of this title apply to the harvest of the other type of deer on the enrolled tract of land.

  (2) Conservation Option (CO).

    (A) Any landowner or authorized agent may apply to enroll a tract of land in the CO by applying for acceptance by no later than June 15 on a form provided or prescribed by the department.

    (B) A department-approved WMP is required for program participation under this paragraph. The WMP must contain, at a minimum:

      (i) acreage and habitat information requested by the department;

      (ii) deer population and harvest data for each of the two years immediately preceding the year in which initial program participation is sought;

      (iii) evidence satisfactory to the department that at least two department-approved habitat management practices have been implemented on the tract of land during each of the two years immediately preceding application; and

      (iv) acknowledgement that site visits by the department to assess habitat management practices on the tract of land may be conducted at the request of any department employee.

    (C) A WMP is not valid unless it has been signed by a Wildlife Division employee assigned to evaluate wildlife management plans.

    (D) To be eligible for continued program participation, a program participant must implement three habitat management practices specified in a department-approved WMP during each year of program participation.

    (E) On each management unit within a tract of land enrolled under this subsection:

      (i) the department will specify a harvest quota of buck and/or antlerless deer, based on the unique characteristics of the tract of land and the deer population; and

      (ii) MLDP tags are valid from the Saturday closest to September 30 until the last day of February, during which time deer may be taken by any lawful means.

    (F) The department may authorize additional harvest on any tract of land enrolled in the CO, provided the program participant furnishes survey or population data that in the opinion of the department justifies the additional harvest.

    (G) In the event that unforeseeable developments such as floods, droughts, or other natural disasters make the attainment of recommended habitat management practices impractical or impossible, the department may, on a case-by-case basis, waive or defer the habitat management requirements of this section.

    (H) Special Provisions

      (i) Wildlife Management Associations and Cooperatives.

Cont'd...

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