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January 30, 2012 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Texas: silencing guns?

Allowing silencers on guns for feral hog hunting has been so sucessful  uh, excitedly received that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has proposed allowing shotguns and rifles to be modified with sound suppressors for hunting game animal and game birds.

Currently silencers may only be used hunting nuisance “non game” animals like feral hogs.

He looks game for anything. (image from WIKI)

Seriously, do ya’ think there’s a chance the wild hogs are tipped off just a little bit by the helicopter noises? I doubt that sneaking up on the piggy guys is the reason for those silencers. Although hunters with sound suppression equipped rifles have been able to reduce the nuisance hogs around settled subdivisions like the Woodlands without disturbing the suburbanites cranky about their hog ravaged lawns.

Many neighborhoods also consider native alligators quite a nuisance.

But right now gator hunters can’t use silencers. Obviously it’s important to give alligators a heads-up so they can wake up and get ready. Make it an even contest.

Dreaming of lunch? (image from WIKI)

Silencers, in reality, aren’t silent like in the movies.

The noise is “reduced”. A sound suppressor slows the speed and velocity of the bullet which also affects the range of the bullet.

Want a really silent weapon?

Try a bow and arrow.

So, why would the White-tailed Deer Advisory Committee, of all groups, present the silencer proposal for consideration as a new hunting regulation?

  • Hunters have realized all those loud gun noises badly damage hearing.
  • Yeah, hunters should wear ear protectors – but that’s such a bother (and you have to buy them for the kids and everyone with you, too.)
  • People in surrounding areas complain about the noise from all the shooting.
  • Yeah, all that banging does let land owners know when someone is shooting on their property, legally or illegally.
  • Silencers are just cool.
  • Yeah, everyone wants to be cool. (And Ma keeps telling us to go outside and stop playing those violent video games)
  • It’s a technological advancement
  • Yeah, technology brings a “freshness” and “new enthusiasm” (burp) to the sport.
  • Besides, the expense will limit who hunts with silencers: Must have a heavily regulated federal firearms license (about $200. and a 3-6 months wait for ATF approval), need a rifle ($1,000. for a cool one?), purchase a silencer/suppressor (about $400.), and, to make it really quiet, use sub-sonic ammunition (Over $50. a box in .308 or .223)
  • Yeah, people would rather spend money on big screen TVs, Superbowl tickets, new fancy wheels for their vehicle, extreme tailgating cookers and rigs, or maybe season tickets to the opera or ballet.
Texas already leads the nation in gun suppression sales. Governor Rick Perry probably smiles over that fact. (You know how he points out how Texas is always leading the way.) Fourteen other states already allow silencers when hunting game.

Thinking invisibility cloak. (image from WIKI)

Don’t want Texas being left behind, but there’s stuff to be considered.
  • Most of the game wardens are against this. They say it will make it harder to locate poachers.
  • In a rural areas, kids learn to be alert for gunfire – and the direction it is coming from – during certain times of the year.
  • Suburban sprawl is everywhere. Consider Harris County (Houston), and Galveston County (bedroom communities south of Houston). There are remaining populations of deer, and it is perfectly legal to shoot them. But does anyone really want hunters using silencers in the area? At least with noise of normal gunfire, people know when to duck – or run – or call the sheriff about dangerous situations.
  • It’s legal to have hunting near schools. Remember the kids who were shot while playing on school grounds?
  • Silencers might dampen celebrations. You know those people who, after a few drinks on a holiday, go out and start shooting guns in the air. They get all hooted up and want to make some noise. What fun would that be if there was a silencer on the rifle? (They could unscrew it and take it off, but might forget the first few shots). Without the loud gun fire, how would the neighbors know to call the police? So silences here are just lose-lose on this one: no satisfying bang-bang for the shooter, and no warning for the neighbors.
So Texas Parks and Wildlife is pondering.
Will this proposal silently slip through?
So seriously, watch out you deer, turkeys, quail, and squirrels! You little critters may still get a warning from your other predators: a snapping twig, a crashing of underbrush as the wolf, coyote, or cougar lunges forward. The loud gun blasts in the past might have alerted nearby animals to run. But not any more with silencers on hunting rifles.
Oh, that’s just silly.
One hunter assures me that the deer herd will flee before you can shoot all of them.
All of them?
What we talkin’ about here, Sport?

Splash dancers (image from WIKI)

For more information:
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: Proposed changes for hunting regulations.
Blog posts about hunting wild hogs / alligators click Texas Laws in the sidebar tag cloud
Bang-bang. They shot you down.
Bang-bang. You hit the ground.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge


  1. Snoring Dog Studio / Jan 30 2012 10:46 pm

    Of course we’re not talking about sport. That would be far too out of the reach of their lack of testosterone. Ugh. I hate hunting. Nothing that comes out of Texas surprises me.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 30 2012 11:08 pm

      To each his own. But loud warning sounds seem to be a good idea…for people and animals. Thanks for stopping by.


  2. Honie Briggs / Jan 30 2012 10:58 pm

    Hey there Phil, I almost missed this one. I was busy loading hollow points in the clips for my lil’ sig. (just kidding) Nice take on this topic. Also nice to see you liked my post today too. We have a conflict of interest in my house when it comes to guns, but we work around it.


  3. RAB / Jan 30 2012 11:55 pm

    Good post. I hope you’re sending copies to the Texas legislature!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 31 2012 12:02 am

      Hey aren’t they monitoring everyone?
      Seriously, others probably more credible than I am on this one.
      Send comments on the proposed rules by phone or e-mail to Robert Macdonald (512) 389-4775; e-mail:, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744.
      Thanks for visiting.


  4. jwms1 / Jan 30 2012 11:59 pm

    I agree with you, noise and danger should go together. Nice post.


  5. Elyse / Jan 31 2012 1:39 am

    Crazy. Just crazy. And naturally it’s Texas. I would be perfectly happy to let Texas succeed. Take the handful of normal folks out, and let the rest take their crazy selves, and their crazy governors and form another country.

    OK, I’ll shut up now.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 31 2012 2:25 am

      We elect them for public office to get them out of the way? HA HA! Texas is a big place – with all sorts of people. (Perry is not typical, really. Many cringed every time he opened his mouth,..could not believe he lasted as long as he did.)
      This silencer thing has just been proposed; 14 other states already allow the silencers – which surprised me. Best these things get pointed out before they become law. Thanks for joining in!


  6. PiedType / Jan 31 2012 3:39 am

    Yep, those rough, tough Texas hunters need those suppressors to hunt all the game on those fenced-in hunting ranches.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 31 2012 3:46 am

      Actually those ranches usually feature exotics (future post) and don’t think they use the silencers. Seriously, if deer hunters would stay on designated “ranches” it would be safer for the rest of us. (Ma, hide the cows and dress the kids in day-glo orange!) Thanks for hiking by.


  7. mLr / Jan 31 2012 4:26 am

    Oh dear……. Pardon pun! This has so many thoughts going through my head now I can’t begin to articulate them….. So in essence next time you hear PST, PST it is not your friend trying to get your attention, it is actually more likely to be the queue to cut and run??? Scary stuff indeed…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 31 2012 2:43 pm

      I so wanted to use that pun – glad you brought it up. And PST, you don’t have to duck yet. This a proposal to the parks and wildlife commission, they haven’t decided yet. Right now it’s a felony to have an unlicensed silencer in TX.


  8. Sunshine / Jan 31 2012 5:14 am

    I’m not a fan of hunting or guns. My dog was standing innocently in our yard and someone shot him (not sure if it was hunters or stupid person(s)) in the leg. It was wooded in our back yard so the sheriff came out to investigate but nothing. He said it was lucky the bullet went right through the dog’s leg. Being a Great Pyrenees, the sheriff said it was either a stray bullet or someone was trying to hit a polar bear. Oh, right. So, I dis’ hunting with guns.
    Thanks Philo.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 31 2012 2:35 pm

      So sorry about your pup (great dogs!) I’ve had animal shot in the leg also , by a kid “playing” with a gun”.
      What worries me is all the kids with guns who take them out with/without parent’s permission to go “hunting”. Most have had no gun safety training – and do not understand how far bullets travel. Some think they know from video games. Silencers add another mystic to guns for kids – and without the noise, there’s no warning for anyone around.
      We grew up with guns and hunting. But these phrases were repeated endlessly by every adults around: 1.NEVER touch a gun without permission, 2.ALWAYS act as if the gun is loaded, and 3. NEVER point a gun at another person. With so many kids home alone since both parents are working, guns in houses need to be secured and locked – just to be sure. Thanks for stopping to chat.


  9. jannatwrites / Jan 31 2012 6:58 am

    Out of curiosity, I checked and was disappointed to find out that Arizona is considering the same type of legislation. Not good….not good at all.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 31 2012 2:14 pm

      Yeah, it’s surprising what is sneaking under the radar – it’s not just Texas. Thanks for bringing that up.


  10. The Lime / Jan 31 2012 10:09 am

    WHAT… ridiculous. I mean, I’ve always wanted to shoot an entire herd of deer. Why limit myself?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 31 2012 2:04 pm

      Seriously! The only problem is getting them all draped across the car to haul them all out of there. Thanks for that shot.


  11. sportsattitudes / Jan 31 2012 2:03 pm

    Texas certainly seems to be “living large” enough to become their own country. That’s a thought…


  12. katecrimmins / Jan 31 2012 3:25 pm

    My thoughts on hunting are that the playing field should be level. When the game can carry weapons, then the humans can to. Before that, they should relay on their wits just like animals do. I recently went through an open house and the entire basement was a hunting “lodge.” There were so many stuffed heads (many exotic) that I got sick.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 31 2012 4:16 pm

      There was a house for sale like that around here. The realtor did everything: open houses, pictures on the web. Excellent location, but it didn’t sell. People were just creeped out by all the stuffed animals all over the entire house. The owners finally moved out and the mysteriously caught fire. Thanks for adding to the dialogue.


  13. The Hook / Jan 31 2012 10:54 pm

    Cool post, but i could never shoot another living thing. Well, maybe some of the people I deal with at work…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 31 2012 11:25 pm

      I’m very good at shooting tin cans. It used to worry some of my co-workers….Thanks for stopping by, pardner. Happy trails.


  14. Red / Feb 1 2012 5:17 am

    I propose if you want to hunt silently, catch them…with your hands. If you are slick enough to sneak up and get them, they are all yours…even the whole herd.

    Great take on this. And there is a trophy at my space for you, taxidermy free.



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 1 2012 2:29 pm

      Guess those hunters will need to talk with some of those football receivers to see what kind of gloves to get?
      Wow, appreciate the honor. Will be by to pick it it shortly. Thanks


  15. Kourtney Heintz / Feb 2 2012 5:04 am

    Brilliant. Can’t wait for the fallout from this one. Silent bows and arrows–that’s work.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 2 2012 2:56 pm

      IF the metro areas even hear about this proposal, it will be interesting. Dallas/Ft Worth area will be having counties opened to hunting. Hunting isn’t really the problem, it’s that silencers / sound suppressors do increase the danger to others in the area. (There’s the issue of hunting close to populated areas that aren’t expecting it.) Some hunters are thrilled they can hunt close to work downtown – so they can do both in one day. Does it get any better? Oh, and hunters will have a new exciting “toy” play with silencers…and not have to remember to wear those ear protectors. Hunters in multiple states are excited about the silencer thing.


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