State wildlife regulators last week introduced a rules change that would ban remote-controlled hunting for all game animals and game birds native to Texas. The proposed rule is part of a package of new regulations to govern hunting and fishing in the state.
David Sinclair, Parks and Wildlife Department's chief of wildlife enforcement, said his agency's main concern is the inability to uphold Texas hunting laws when a hunter may not be physically present in the state.
"We wanted to stop this before it happened because it's going to be hard to enforce a hunting license requirement for somebody that's in, say, New York City," said Sinclair, who is based in Austin.
"Even though they might be registered and they've got a hunting license number," he said, "there's no way to prove that it's that person that's operating the mouse."
But the Parks and Wildlife rule would not pertain to John Lockwood, a San Antonio body shop estimator and creator of Live-Shot, because Lockwood's idea for Web-based hunting on a ranch in Edwards County would focus on non-native species such as blackbuck antelope, Corsican sheep and fallow deer.
A bill filed in January by Rep. Todd Smith, R-Euless, would prohibit remote-controlled hunting for any animal.
Like Sinclair, Smith used the image of someone carrying out a big-game hunt from the Big Apple as rationale for his bill.
"I saw (Lockwood's idea) on the news and I said, 'That's ridiculous,' " he said from Austin. "The notion of businesspeople in New York skyscrapers killing Texas muledeer by clicking a computer mouse at their desk is difficult for me to take."