Permit To Kill Protected Wild Birds or Animals - "Depredation Permit"


Permits to kill protected wildlife may be issued to individuals who have evidence clearly showing such wildlife is causing serious damage to commercial agricultural, horticultural, or aquacultural interests, or is a threat to public safety (e.g., airports).

This permit is not required to kill depredating nongame animals, including nuisance fur-bearing animals. Be aware there are restrictions on the possession of nongame animals. This permit does not authorize the take of migratory birds. Rather, a permit from the United States Department of the Interior or the United States Department of Agriculture is required to kill migratory birds.

A hunting license is required for anyone who kills protected wildlife under this permit.


One permit may be issued for multiple tracts if: (1) the tracts are contiguous and under common ownership; or (2) the tracts are contiguous and leased by a common lessee (even if the tracts of land are not under common ownership). The presence of public roads does not affect the contiguity of tracts. If the tracts are not contiguous, a separate application and fee must be submitted for each tract.


Permit applications must be submitted to the TPWD Wildlife Permits Office. Wildlife Permits Office staff will notify the local TPWD wildlife biologist(s) and game warden(s). Depending on the situation, a TPWD biologist or technician may need to conduct a site inspection to verify that serious damage has occurred or such damage is imminent, and that reasonable alternative control measures have been executed and were unsuccessful. When the species of concern is mule deer, pronghorn antelope, or bighorn sheep, a site inspection by a TPWD biologist or technician prior to application approval is mandatory. In this case, TPWD personnel must make recommendations to the applicant regarding ways to minimize the damage or threat. If heeding the Department's recommendations proves ineffective, then the Department may issue a permit to kill the protected wildlife. To obtain contact information for your local wildlife biologist or technician, please visit:

Find a Wildlife Biologist This link takes you away from the TWIMS Private Lands application.

If the application is approved, a permit will be issued within 10 days of TPWD receiving the complete permit application and application processing fee. Applicants who include an email address in the permit application will have the permit issued electronically (via email). Applicants are strongly advised to contact all adjoining landowners to notify their neighbors of their intentions to kill wildlife under the authority of a depredation permit. Applicants are expected to have tried other reasonable control measures prior to seeking a depredation permit. For example, allowing a group of hunters to utilize their antlerless deer tags or apply for and utilize antlerless deer permits to reduce or eliminate damage caused by the protected wildlife is expected where feasible. This permit does not authorize the killing of wildlife on authorized tracts where the crop(s) listed on the permit have not yet been planted.


Permits for commercial agricultural, horticultural, or aquacultural interests will be valid for a 12- month period from the date of issuance and will only be valid for permitted tract(s) of land where a crop listed on this permit has been planted. Permits issued in the interest of public safety (i.e., for airports) may be valid for up to 5 years from the date of issuance.


Any game animal or game bird killed under the authority of this permit must be immediately field dressed, maintained in edible condition, and donated to a charitable institution, a hospital, a needy person, or any other appropriate recipient. The permit holder and other harvesters may not keep any part of the animal, including antlers or horns. Antlers or horns of a buck deer, antelope or bighorn sheep must be immediately removed at a point within 2 inches of the skull, destroyed by cutting at the midpoint between the base and tip of each main beam or horn, and discarded as waste.


A nonrefundable application-processing fee of $250 must be submitted with the application. Temporary checks are not accepted.


The permittee must accurately maintain an Activity Log each day that authorized activities occur. This log, which will accompany the permit, must be presented to a game warden upon request. The permittee must file the completed Activity Log with the TPWD Wildlife Permits Office within 10 days following the expiration date of the permit. Failure to complete and submit the enclosed Activity Log on or before the deadline is a Parks and Wildlife Code Class C misdemeanor. Any other violation of law or a regulation pertaining to this permit is a Parks and Wildlife Code Class B misdemeanor.


A permit may be cancelled by TPWD if the permit does not accomplish its intended purposes, the permit holder fails to submit required reports, or the permit holder intentionally makes false claims on the permit application.


To apply for a depredation permit or obtain additional information regarding permits to kill protected birds or wildlife, please contact Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at 1-800-792-1112. An electronic menu system will answer the 800 phone line. Within the menu system, select Menu 5 (Wildlife), Choice 1 (Wildlife Information).