Those who partake of public hunting opportunities around a portion of Lake Texoma might want to be sure that they aren’t hunting in an area that is now off limits.

Those who partake of public hunting opportunities around a portion of Lake Texoma might want to be sure that they aren’t hunting in an area that is now off limits.


And despite recent headlines, that new off-limits area has nothing to do with the recent government shutdown.


Instead it has to do with lake property that has simply changed hands and is no longer available for public hunting activities.


So says Grayson County game warden Dale Moses.


"Grayson County game wardens have received several calls in the last few weeks about bowhunters hunting on property on the Little Mineral Arm of Lake Texoma that used to be Corps of Engineers public hunting land," said Moses. "The problem is the property has been sold to Schuler Development and is now private."


Moses said that the land on the Little Mineral Arm of Texoma that still belongs to the Corps has also been removed from the public hunting property that is currently available to hunters.


He says that particular move actually happened last year, not this fall.


"The Tulsa District of the Corps of Engineers changed the Public Hunting Lands map on their website last year to reflect this change," said Moses.


"That area is no longer green (open to hunting) on the Lake Texoma public hunting map."


Moses said that from his conversations with the developer, it is understood that a number of hunters have legally accessed the property for years.


But that option is no longer available according to the TPWD warden.


Moses said — based on conversations he has had with company officials — that the developer doesn’t want to come across ugly to public hunters who have utilized the property in the past.


But the new ownership and potential liability issues that could arise necessitate Schuler making this move.


"Schuller Development is willing to allow hunters who have equipment such as deer stands and feeders to remove their property as soon as possible but (they will) not allow public hunting on their property," said Moses. "People riding ATV’s on the property is also an issue."


Moses indicated that Schuller Development’s goal at this point — after several people have attempted to hunt the property this year — is to inform the public of these changes and stop (future) unauthorized activities on the property.


"Since the property is now in the city limits of Denison, the property could (also) be subject to any city ordinances governing hunting or discharging a firearm."


Moses stressed that regardless of past hunting activities on the property, the recent change of ownership leaves future considerations pretty cut and dried.


"If game wardens are called by a landowner about someone trespassing or hunting without consent, their hands are tied if the landowner chooses to prosecute."