Trap, Transport Transplant Permit
This information page contains a summary of current Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) regulations concerning permits to Trap, Transport, and Transplant Game Animals and Game Birds as they pertain to white-tailed deer.
Purpose of the Permit: Permits to trap, transport, and transplant white-tailed deer may be issued to individuals for the purposes of wildlife management.
Trapping Methods: The majority of relocation operations will utilize one of the following trapping methods: (1) net gunning animals from a helicopter; (2) use of a helicopter to herd animals into a stationary drive net; or (3) use of a stationary drop net. Aircraft, if used, must be permitted through Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and a Landowner Authorization must be on file with the Department.
Conditions for Permit Issuance: All proposed release sites must have a current Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Wildlife Management Plan approved by a TPWD Wildlife Biologist. Applications will be denied if the proposed activities may detrimentally affect the population status on adjacent properties, if the proposed activities may detrimentally affect the resource, or if the proposed release site is outside of the suitable range of white-tailed deer. Applications will also be denied if the trap site is on a property where deer have been confirmed positive for CWD, the property has been designated as a Class III release site, or if the department believes that the proposed activities would create an unacceptable risk for the spread of CWD. All proposed relocation operations must comply with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission's Stocking Policy, which stipulates that prospective release sites shall have suitable natural habitat capable of sustaining the animals stocked. In addition, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) surveillance is required of all prospective trap sites. CWD test results must be received by TPWD prior to permit issuance. DO NOT FREEZE SPECIMENS.
Permit Conditions: White-tailed deer may only be relocated between October 1 and March 31. All persons named on a permit are permittees, and are therefore responsible for all activities conducted under the authority of the permit. At least one permittee must be present during each phase of a relocation operation. The Supervisory Permittee (permit applicant) or a sub-permittee must contact the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Law Enforcement Communications Center at (512) 389-4848 between 12 and 48 hours prior to each attempt to trap, transport, and release deer. Antlers must be removed from all antlered deer relocated. Each trailer or other vehicle used to transport deer must be marked on the rear surface with the inscription "TTT." The inscription must be at least 6 inches tall and 3 inches wide. Permittees must make reasonable efforts to ensure safe and humane handling of trapped animals and to reduce human health and safety hazards in every stage of a relocation operation. Trap sites within incorporated areas and those which may pose a human health and safety hazard must be marked as such. Relocated white-tailed deer may be marked for later field recognition with appropriate ear tags. Relocated deer must be tattooed in one ear with an identification number supplied by TPWD. White-tailed deer may not be sold, bartered, or otherwise exchanged for anything of value. White-tailed deer may not be relocated into breeding facilities or any other release site not specifically identified on the permit. Additional conditions may be specified on the permit. Relocation operations should only be attempted by those with the expertise to safely and efficiently conduct the operation.
Trap Release Site Information Forms: For each ranch where animals are to be trapped or released, the applicant must submit completed Trap Site Information Form(s) and Release Site Information Form(s) to the TPWD Wildlife Biologist by the first business day in January. If a trap or release site is a high-fenced pasture within a ranch, the information submitted must be specific to that pasture. The information submitted will be used by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to assess the current status of habitat, wildlife resources, and potential competition on ranches proposed for removal/addition of white-tailed deer.
Trap Site Chronic Wasting Disease Testing: Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) samples, collected from wild adult white-tailed deer on or after the Saturday closest to September 30 of the year for which activities of the permit are authorized, must be submitted to and tested by the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratories (TVMDL). DO NOT FREEZE SPECIMENS. Ten percent of the number of animals requested to be relocated (minimum of 10, maximum of 40) must be sampled and tested. All submitted samples must be collected from deer of at least 16 months of age. Copies of test-result sheets, received from TVMDL, must be submitted to TPWD with your application. Result sheets must indicate that CWD was not detected in any sample submitted. TPWD suggests that prospective trap sites work with their local veterinarian to collect and submit appropriate samples to TVMDL. Translocation activities consisting solely of relocating deer within a contiguous property owned by the same person are exempt from testing requirements.
Release Site Wildlife Management Plan: An approved Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Wildlife Management Plan must be approved and on file for each proposed release site. Landowners can prepare their own plan, or seek professional assistance. To obtain your TPWD Wildlife Biologist's contact information please call the Wildlife Division District Leader for your county. After clicking on the link below to select the appropriate county, the District Leader contact information appears on that page. If you do not have access to the internet, please contact the Wildlife Permits Office at (512) 389-8212 for District Leader contact information.Find a Biologist by County
Release Site Inspection: Each release site will be inspected by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to determine if the native habitat is capable of sustaining additional deer. If the release site is operating under the provisions of Level 2 or Level 3 Managed Lands Deer Permits, trapping/release of deer may be approved without an on-site inspection. Cooperators receiving Level 2 MLDP must provide at least 3 years of population data and 2 years of harvest data, and meet all other criteria established for releases on Level 3 properties, to conduct releases without site inspections. Exemptions to site inspections are not guaranteed. Please contact the TPWD Wildlife Biologist who approved your Wildlife Management Plan for details.
Fees and Amendments: The application processing fee for a Trap, Transport, and Transplant permit is $750 per release site. The processing fee for amending an existing permit (e.g., adding trap sites) is $30; however, additional release sites require an additional fee of $750 per release site. Application processing fees are not refundable.
Reports and Financial Disclosure: A daily log of permitted activities must be maintained by the Supervisory Permittee. This log must be made available to Game Wardens upon request. A financial disclosure statement must be completed and signed by the owner (or full-time employee) of the trap site, the trapper, and the owner (or full-time employee) of the release site for each trap site/release site combination each time deer are transported. This statement must accompany each shipment of deer. An activity report which summarizes the relocation operation must be submitted, along with all financial disclosure statements, within 30 days following permit expiration.
The Application Process: An applicant for a Trap, Transport, and Transplant permit must follow these steps: (1) complete and submit Trap Site and Release Site form(s) to the TPWD Wildlife Biologist by the first business day in January; (2) complete and sign the application; (3) complete CWD testing at each location where deer will be trapped; (4) submit all forms, including copies of CWD test results, and the application processing fee to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Complete applications received by November 15 are guaranteed to be processed within 45 days.
Please note: Trap Site Form(s) must be completed for each specific location where deer will be trapped (each form must be signed by the landowner or landowner's agent). Release Site Form(s) must be completed for each specific location where deer will be released (each form must be signed by the landowner or landowner's agent). An approved Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Wildlife Management Plan must be on file for each release site. Trap Site and Release Site forms may be approved in the field; contact your TPWD Wildlife Biologist for details.
For More Information: If you have additional questions regarding permits to Trap, Transport, and Transplant Game Animals and Game Birds, 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]).