TPWD Breeder Deer Identification Requirements Overview for Deer Ear Tagging
TPWD Overview for Whitetail Deer Ear Tagging and ID requirements
This document is intended to provide a summary of identification requirements that apply to all Texas breeder deer.
• New identification requirements apply to all breeder deer born after January 1, 2020.
• Refer to Parks and Wildlife Code (PWC) 43.3561 to read the statute on breeder deer identification
Identification Requirements for Deer Born Before January 1, 2020
All breeder deer born before January 1, 2020 must be identified with an ear tag that legibly displays a
department issued 4-character unique number by the March 31 following the deer’s birth (i.e., breeder deer
born in 2019 must be tagged appropriately no later than March 31, 2020).
• The 4-character unique number must be tattooed in the deer’s ear before it is transferred out of a
• Both the tag and tattoo must remain legible.
• If a tag bearing a 4-character unique number is replaced for any reason, the replacement tag must
be marked with the same 4-character unique number and continue to meet these standards.
• 5-character unique numbers described below MAY NOT be used on breeder deer born before
January 1, 2020.
Identification Requirements for Deer Born After January 1, 2020
All breeder deer born after January 1, 2020 must be identified with both an acceptable ear tag that displays
a department-issued 5-character unique number and an acceptable Electronic Identification Device (EID) by
March 31 following the deer’s birth.
• The 5-character unique number must be properly tattooed in the deer’s ear before it is transferred
out of a facility.
Acceptable ear tags must meet all of the following standards:
• The department issued 5-character unique number must be printed on the face of a commercially
manufactured tag with text that is at least 1/2-inch tall, 5/16-inch wide and spaced at least 1/16-
• The 5-character unique number must also be printed on the button back of the tag.
• Sufficient contrast must exist between the color of the text and the color of the tag in order for the
text to be clearly visible.
• Additional information (i.e., breeder ID) may be printed on the tag provided that a dividing line is
placed below the unique number to clearly separate it from the additional information. In other
words, the unique number must remain at the top of the face of the tag, with the breeder ID below
and separated by a printed line.
• The unique number may be handwritten for replacement tags and for fawns born during the 2020
and 2021 fawning seasons but must maintain the same text size and spacing requirements described
above. Beginning with the 2022 fawn season, all fawns must be marked with a commercially
manufactured tag bearing a printed unique number as specified above.
• Acceptable ear tags must be applied to the ear so that the face of the tag is clearly visible on the
anterior side of the ear (i.e., the face of the tag must be visible when the deer is looking at you).
EID Device Requirements for Deer Born After January 1, 2020
EID devices must be approved by USDA and have an associated 15-digit animal identification number that
begins with 840.
• Each facility must register for a Premise ID Number (PIN) with Texas Animal Health Commission
(TAHC) to order USDA-approved 840-series tags. To obtain a PIN, contact the TAHC Animal Disease
Traceability (ADT) department at 1-800-550-8242 ext. 733. Have the following information ready
prior to calling: facility owner name and contact information (mailing address and phone number),
facility’s physical address, species to be tagged.
• If the EID device is a button tag, it must be attached to either ear of the breeder deer.
• If the EID device is an implant (i.e., microchip/PIT tag), the implant may not be implanted in edible
• No person may remove the EID device at any time, including upon release of the deer.
• The EID number must be entered into TWIMS in association with the 5-character unique number
assigned to the deer.
Tattoo Requirements for Deer Born After January 1, 2020
The 5-character unique number assigned to the deer must be tattooed in the deer’s ear before the deer is
transferred out of a facility.
• Tattoos must be applied to the inner portion of either ear.
• Tattoos must be applied with commercially available #300 or 5/16-inch tattoo letters and numbers.
• Tattoos must be legible, permanent, and applied with green or black tattoo ink.
• Tattoos must bear the same 5-character unique identification number printed on the ear tag
Example Ear Tag for Deer Born After January 1, 2020
An example of an ear tag compliant with the new regulations is shown below. Many tag vendors will accept
custom orders for commercially manufactured tags, and several online vendors already offer a TPWD
compliant tag option. Ensure that ear tags you order meet the standards shown here. EID devices can also
be ordered from most ear tag vendors. Make sure to have your PIN available when ordering EID devices.
TPWD has contacted representatives of AllFlex, Datamars, and YTex tag manufacturing companies and
anticipates that we will be able to share a list of specific SKU numbers for tag options from each
manufacturer that are ensured to comply with the new identification requirements. Updated information on
manufacturer-specific SKUs will be provided as it becomes available.
Log in to your TWIMS account and follow the instructions below.
Instructions for Requesting Unique Numbers
1. Click on the “Facility” tab.
2. Under “Request More Unique Numbers for” select the appropriate TX# and name from the available dropdown list.
3. If prior to April 1, 2020, check the appropriate box to indicate whether you are requesting 4- or 5-character
Unique Numbers. If after April 1, 2020, skip this step and proceed to step 4.
4. Type in the number of new Unique Numbers you would like to request in the space provided next to “How
5. Click “Submit.” Deer Breeder Staff will be notified of the request. The requested Unique Numbers are not
automatically generated; Deer Breeder Staff must review the request first. Please note that TPWD will not
issue more unique numbers than double the total number of deer permitted to be held in the facility. An
email notification will be sent from TWIMS when the new unique numbers are issued.
View and Print Unused Unique Numbers
1. Click on the “Facility” tab.
2. If prior to April 1, 2020, note that you can request to view a list of either 4- or 5-character Unique Numbers. If
after April 1, 2020, you will only be able to view a list of 5-character Unique Numbers.
3. Under “View Unused Unique Numbers for” select the appropriate TX# and name from the available dropdown list.
4. Click “Submit.”
5. A page will load that lists all unused Unique Numbers that have been assigned to that Breeder Serial Number
and the date that they were issued. The listed Unique Numbers are available to assign to fawns born in any of
the breeder facilities permitted to that deer breeder.
6. The list of unused Unique Numbers can be exported to a PDF document for printing or to Excel format for tag
ordering purposes on some websites. Click on the appropriate option at the bottom of the list.