With last week’s approval by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, The Lone Star State will soon join 31 others as part of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact (IWVC), a cooperative agreement honoring hunting and fishing license suspensions enacted by all member states.

A measure approved in the most recent Texas legislative session authorized TPWD to enter the compact.

“If a person plans to hunt, fish or trap in Texas and they have a license suspension in another state, this compact allows us to deny them a license,” said Major David Sinclair, Texas Parks and Wildlife’s chief of fisheries and wildlife enforcement. “The same will hold true for a Texan with a suspended license looking to hunt or fish elsewhere.”

Prior to 1989, when lawmakers in Colorado, Nevada and Oregon passed legislation to create the nucleus of Compact, if someone was convicted of poaching and had his hunting and fishing privileges revoked as a result, there was nothing to prevent him from obtaining a license to hunt or fish in another state.

Today, every Western state is an active IWVC member, along with a growing number of Midwestern and Eastern states.

Simply, the IWVC puts wildlife lawbreakers on notice that their activities in one state can affect their privileges in all participating states.

And any way you look at it, that’s a good thing.

To date, it is estimated that the IWVC has identified more than 4,000 poachers and other game violators whose hunting and fishing privileges have been revoked in compact member states.

While some details of the agreement regarding deer breeding regulations specific to Texas remain to be clarified, a TPWC spokesman said its goal is to enter the compact by February 2010.