Statutory Release Date Extension granted

CEDAR PARK, TEXAS (September 13, 2017) — Hurricane Harvey left an indelible impact on the lives of thousands of Texans across south and southeast Texas. For countless ranches and farms across the state, flooding jeopardized people and property, as well as livestock and other animals. This includes the white-tailed deer in the care of the permitted Texas deer breeders.

Knowing that more than half of Texas breeders are located in one of the more than 50 counties Governor Abbott included in his disaster declaration, the Texas Deer Association appealed directly to the Governor’s office to seek an urgent decision to extend the 10-day statutory release period for white-tailed deer breeders. This decision had the potential to ease the burden of hundreds of rural Texans across the state and provide critical relief to the $700 million Texas deer industry.

The governor’s office holds the sole authority to require Texas Parks & Wildlife to allow breeders to release deer to their pasture beyond the stated September 19th deadline.  The extension was of crucial importance as Harvey’s utter devastation rendered the usual release deadline untenable, with many facilities finding themselves unable to procure the equipment, vehicles and other supplies necessary to transport their deer by the deadline.

“This storm has caused an immeasurable impact to our industry, said TDA Executive Director Patrick Tarlton. “We’ve faced devastation to our facilities, equipment, vehicles, and have lost countless animals. For this reason, this deadline extension was absolutely critical. The September 19th deadline was unrealistic given the catastrophic circumstances in which so many breeders now find themselves.”

TDA sought an immediate decision to extend the release deadline in order to ease the breeders’ burden in the rebuilding process. The reprieve sought was one that could be granted easily with no price tag nor burden to the taxpayers of this state.

Yesterday, TPWD announced that the governor had approved their request to suspend enforcement of the September 19th deadline until September 29 for any permitted deer breeder who provides the agency with appropriate documentation.  According to their press release:

“If Harvey had such an impact on your deer breeding facility or your recipient release sites preventing you from being able to comply with §43.363(a), please contact by September 15, 2017 to find out if you qualify for a 10-day extension to transfer bucks with antlers intact.”

TDA would like to thank Governor Abbott’s office, key legislators, and the efforts of TPWD leadership and staff in ensuring the saturator release deadline would be extended in light of these extraordinary circumstances.