All Texas cattle brands, marks expire after Aug. 30

Brownwood Bulletin
Scott Anderson

All Texas cattle brands, marks and tattoos are set to expire after Aug. 30 and must be renewed by Feb. 28, 2022.

“Brand owners have a six-month grace period in order to re-register their brands, and that’s beginning Aug. 31 through Feb. 28, 2022,” said Michelle Carlile, assistant director of Law Enforcement, Brand and Inspection Services for the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA). “If they fail to re-register their brand during those six months, then their brand is open for anyone to take.”

All brands are registered through the county clerk’s office.

“They will need to go directly to the county clerk in the county where their livestock reside,” Carlile said. “So, if they have multiple ranches in different counties, then they would need to go to each county clerk’s office.”

Some offices are participating in an online re-registration program. Carlile recommends contacting the county clerk to see if the county is participating.

Brand applications and renewals require a drawing of the brand that notes the location on the animal.

“The location of the brand is just as important as the brand itself,” she said. “You and I can have the same brand in the same county as long as the location is different. So, I can brand on the left hip. You can brand on the right hip. So, the location is part of the brand itself.”

Carlile said the fee varies by county, but the average fee is $26 per brand. Some counties charge an additional $5 if the brand is on multiple locations.

Although Texas does not have a statewide brand registry database, TSCRA keeps a centralized database for the association’s law enforcement purposes.

“A brand is like a return address for the cattle. So, when the cattle are missing, we can find it quickly in our database and find out who that brand or who that cow belongs to,” Carlile said. “It also prevents theft. Our Special Rangers have spoke about when they’ve interviewed suspects and the suspects have actually told us that they will avoid cattle that have brands on them and go for the unbranded livestock. It’s a good deterrent for thieves not to take branded cattle.”

The registration is good for 10 years and will expire Aug. 30, 2031.

Any previously recorded brand, marks and tattoos that have not been re-registered by the Feb. 28 deadline will be considered unclaimed and eligible for registration by another.

In Texas, it’s not mandatory to brand livestock.

“However, if you do brand your livestock, it is mandatory that you register the brand with the county clerk,” Carlile said. “Failure to do so is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500.”

For more information, visit tscrabrands.com or call 1-800-242-7820 to speak with the TSCRA Brand and Inspection Department.

Good dove season expected across Texas

Despite some changes in regional populations due to increased rainfall and February’s winter storm, hunters across the Lone Star State should see an average to good dove season this year.

Overall, bird numbers are average and should offer good prospects for hunters, according to Owen Fitzsimmons, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)’s Webless Migratory Game Bird program leader.

“We had that big freeze back in February and numbers are down in the northern parts of the state, but numbers are way up in the south zone,” Fitzsimmons said in an interview with the Texas Farm Bureau Radio Network. “So, I think the south zone is looking to have a really good regular season this year. Statewide, we’re looking at bird numbers at just about the average long-term average.”

Although wetter weather was a welcome change from drought conditions, Fitzsimmons said drier years are a mixed blessing to Texas dove hunters. When it’s dry, birds tend to concentrate in larger numbers near food and water sources in the fall. But this year will be different as birds have multiple food and water sources to choose from, lessening the odds that they will be concentrated in any particular place.

There will be plenty of dove throughout the season, too.

“We’ve had really good hatches later in the year because we had such big storms in April and May. Birds are nesting in these good conditions later into the summer. So, I think we’re going to be looking pretty good in early September, if you can find those concentrations of birds,” Fitzsimmons said. “But once the birds start moving from the states north of us down into Texas later in September and October, because we have so much food and water on the landscape, we’re going to really hold those birds. So, I think it’s going to be a pretty good steady season all the way through.”

In terms of dove species, he expects to see populations trending closely to overall numbers. There might be slightly fewer mourning doves in the northern portion of the state, but the south zone will have plenty of both mourning and white-winged dove.

And that plentiful supply will give South Texas hunters a little more time to hunt white-winged dove. Fitzsimmons said the south zone’s special white-winged days were extended by two days this year to provide hunters more opportunity and time to enjoy the sport.

“Instead of the usual four days, we’re going to have six,” he said. “That’ll be the first two weekends of September–Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the usual noon-to-sunset shooting hours.”

Bag limits remain the same in 2021. Hunters are limited to 15 birds a day, with no more than two white-tipped dove. During the special white-winged dove days in the south zone, hunters may take no more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves per day. Possession limits for all zones are three times the daily bag limit.

The 2021 season information is below:

North Zone

Sept. 1 – Nov. 12, 2021, Dec. 17, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022

Central Zone Sept. 1 – Oct. 31, 2021, Dec. 17, 2021 – Jan. 14, 2022

South Zone

Sept. 14 – Oct. 31, 2021, Dec. 17, 2021 – Jan 21, 2022

Special White-winged Dove Days in South Zone:

Sept.3-5, 2021 and Sept. 10-12, 2021

To view dove hunting regulations for your county and other details, visit TPWD’s website.