Austin, Texas—Today the American Cervid Alliance (ACA) and the Texas Deer Association (TDA) criticized the Texas Big Game Awards for changing its rules to exclude some deer from its scored entries. On Monday, TGBA announced it would no longer accept entries from release sites for 5 years following the last release date, which will affect all pen-raised and Trap, Transport, Transplant (TTT) deer.  The TTT program allows deer and other animals to be moved from areas with excess animals to areas with lower numbers, and requires a Wildlife Management Plan approved by the state. The release of pen-raised deer onto private hunting ranches is also overseen by the state.

The move will have a detrimental effect on hunting, particularly youth hunting, by stigmatizing legitimate hunting experiences.

Patrick Tarlton, TDA executive director, stated:

“It is unfortunate that these awards would make such a decision based on political bias. We need to be encouraging more people to hunt not creating division within our hunting community. Young and first-time hunters will be disproportionately affected by such a decision, as game ranches are a primary sponsor of youth hunting experiences in Texas. Why did the big game awards feel like they can say those childrens’ trophies don’t matter? This is yet another example of the bias and discrimination placed on property owners across the State of Texas.”

Charly Seale, media committee chairman of the ACA, issued the following statement:

“Many Texas youth have their first hunting experiences with deer the TBGA is now blacklisting. The TBGA is creating needless division within the hunting community. A deer is a deer, whether it is harvested on public land or private property. This move will only serve to discourage hunting, not promote our heritage.”

To schedule an interview, please contact Charly Seale at or call 830-928-3158.