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Texas Supreme Court reaffirms public own state’s white-tailed deer

Brownwood Bulletin
Scott Anderson

The Texas Supreme Court rejected an appeal by deer breeders challenging Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) rules and seeking to have breeder deer in the state deemed private property.

In 2017, the 98th District Court issued a summary judgement ruling in favor of TPWD.

Now, the Texas Supreme Court upheld the initial trial court and the appeals court’s prior decision.

The court affirmed the stance that in the state of Texas, the entire white-tailed deer herd, including captive-bred animals held by private breeders, are owned by the public.

The Texas Supreme Court simply reaffirmed the law as it has always been as stated in the Texas Constitution and in the parks and wildlife code: Native wildlife are the property of the state and the people. It’s a public trust, it’s consistent with the North American wildlife conservation model that’s been the model of wildlife conservation in North America for over 100 years, and it’s nothing new.

Developed during the 1800s, the seven tenets of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation have shaped the legal framework regarding wildlife conservation and hunting in the U.S. for more than a century.

The first principle, which states wildlife is a public resource, is not only a way of ensuring sustainability of wildlife populations, Fitzsimons said, but makes sure the public interest is protected in case of disease or other threat.

Test your deer IQ

With deer season fast approaching, consider what you really know about deer. See how you fare with the following quiz. Answers are at the end (but don’t peek!)

1. How many permanent teeth should an adult deer have?

a.  24        b. 32    c. 36    d. 38

2. Where would you look on a buck to find its vomeronasal organ?

a.  Base of eye     b. between its hooves c. scrotum       d. roof if its mouth

3. White-tailed and mule deer will interbreed, and the resulting cross is fertile.

 True or False

4. How many teats does a doe have?

a. None   b. two  c. four  d. six

5. How many parts are there to a deer’s stomach?

a.  Just one   b. two   c. three     d. four  

6. Which of the following structures is responsible for the “eyeshine” of a deer when a spotlight illuminates a deer at night?

a.  Fovea centrails            b. pineal gland             c. tapetum       d. glandus reflectorus

e. Q-beamus detectus

7. What is the gestation period in white-tailed deer?

a. 205 days      b. 240 days     c. 280 days      d. 310 days

8. The metatarsal gland in deer is located about midway between the hoof and the hock on the outside of the leg. What is its function?

a. alarm notification    b. signals deer’s status in the heard    c. produces pheromones   involved with the “rut”     d. the function is unknown

9. About how many deer are estimated to live in Texas/

a. 200,000 head           b. 800,000 head           c. 1.8 million head       d. 4 million head

10. Which of the following woody plant species provides the most desirable browse for white-tailed deer in Texas?

 a. hackberry    b. shinoak        c. liveoak         d. blueberry cedar