Deer hunting do's and don'ts

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Updated: 11/07/2013 12:56 pm
"There is no whitetail deer hunting in Lubbock County," Lubbock County Game Warden Mallory Mitchell said. "I don't know how long there hasn't been and there's probably no future for it right now." 

On the South Plains whitetail deer hunting season started for some like hunters in Floyd, Crosby and Garza Counties. 

For others in Hale, Lubbock, Lynn, Lamb, Hockley and Terry Counties, they have no whitetail deer season. 

But Lubbock County Game Warden Mallory Mitchell told us that doesn't mean hunters in those counties cannot go hunt in another county. 

Now because of this fact trespassing on another person's property becomes a big problem at this time of year. 

"That happens every year, usually it's young kids too, which is unfortunate, that go on someone else's property that don't have permission," Mitchell said. "95 percent of Texas is privately owned so it is hard to find a piece of land to go hunt on. So you'll see a lot of kids going out trespassing for something to shoot. And again you have the dangers of that. You don't know who's already out there shooting or hunting." 

Trespassing is already dangerous but becomes even more so during deer season because of the type of weapon being used. 

Mitchell told us because of this it is very important to know what you are shooting at, because you never know what or who could be walking around in the woods. 

"In deer hunting your going to use a rifle," Mitchell said. "A high powered rifle and it's not going to stop like a shotgun at a certain point, it's going to keep traveling a lot farther. And the biggest concern is if your on a piece of property you need to be sure of your target and what's behind it." 

Here are a few other reminders from Mitchell as we get into deer season.  

First, it is legal to spotlight hogs during the season but you cannot spotlight deer. 

Also if you have shot a deer be very cautious when approaching it as the animal might not be dead yet and could cause harm to you. 

And if you have a child that is hunting they need to have their own hunting license. 

They cost seven dollars and if they harvest a deer it needs to be their tag on the deer. 

Finally, the biggest mistake you can make out in the field is shooting a deer and not retrieving it. 

"Waste of game is one of those that no game warden is going to put up with," Mitchell said. "There's no warning for waste of game. If you shoot a deer and you don't reasonably make an attempt to track and find it, then your going to be liable for wasting that game." 

As a hunter if you violate any fish and wildlife laws in addition to civil restitution you may be fined between $25 and $10,000, be put in jail, face automatic suspension or revocation of licenses for up to five years and forfeit hunting gear, including firearms, used to commit a violation.

If you have any questions about any fish and wildlife laws be sure to flip through your Outdoor Annual, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website or your local Texas Parks and Wildlife Office. 

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