Is It Illegal to Eat Deer Meat at Camp?

Did you know you may not process a deer beyond quarters at your deer camp unless the camp qualifies as a final destination?

“While in camp you may remove and prepare a part of a wildlife resource if the removal and preparation occur immediately before the part is cooked or consumed; however, all tagging and proof of sex regulations apply to remaining parts and those parts may be transported to a final destination,” according to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

Final destination is defined as “the permanent residence of the person who takes the antelope, deer, or turkey; the permanent residence of the person who receives the antelope, deer, or turkey or part of the antelope, deer, or turkey; or a cold storage or processing facility”.

In other words, final destination is not hunting camp unless you live there. That means you cannot grind up your deer for sausage to save a few bucks before bringing to the processor.

That is not the only long-standing rule that many hunters do not realize exists.

It seems there are some hunters in parts of the state who have forgotten hunting deer with dogs is illegal.

A person is prohibited from using a dog to hunt or pursue deer in this state. A person who violates this law is subject to a fine of $500-$4,000 and/or a year in jail. Additionally, a person’s hunting and fishing licenses may be revoked or suspended. In addition, no person may possess a shotgun and buckshot or slugs while in the field with dogs on another person’s land during an open deer season in Angelina, Hardin, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, and Tyler counties.

As we noted in the October edition of Texas Fish & Game, it is unlawful to use dogs to trail a wounded deer in the counties listed above. Additionally, not more than two dogs may be used to trail a wounded deer in counties not listed above. A “wounded deer” is a deer leaving a blood trail.

Check out the digital or print edition of Texas Fish and Game for a full feature on deer regulations.

TF&G Staff

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