Special to the News-Times
AUSTIN — New opportunities and scenery are available to hunters this fall through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s drawn hunt permits program, now accepting applications for a shot at almost 10,000 permits in 62 hunt categories.
The permits allow drawn hunts on both public and private lands throughout Texas. Among the offerings available through the online system are hunts for white-tailed and mule deer, pronghorn, turkey, alligator, dove and guided packages for exotic species and bighorn sheep.
“This season, we will conduct drawings in 62 hunt categories,” said Kelly Edmiston, TPWD Public Hunting Program Coordinator. “These drawings include selections for U.S. Forest Service Antlerless Deer Permits, both adult and youth hunts, 18 e-Postcard Selections for hunters using the $48 Annual Public Hunting Permit, and hunts conducted on 10 National Wildlife Refuges in Texas.”
Applicants for e-Postcard hunts and U.S. Forest Service Antlerless Deer Permits must have a current APH permit to apply.
New areas included in this year’s drawn hunt catalog include the Muleshoe NWR and Powderhorn State Park. Devil’s Sinkhole SNA, Lost Maples SP, Village Creek SP, and Stephen F. Austin SP have re-entered the program this season. TPWD also created two new NWR hunt categories, for Antlerless Deer and Alligator.
An interactive map shows all drawn hunt opportunities by category or by area, and all applications, fee payments and permit issuance are handled electronically. To participate, applicants will need internet access, an email address and a credit or debit card. The customer ID number from the applicant’s hunting or fishing license is the most effective way to access the system.
Application fees are $3 or $10 depending on the hunt category. Adult hunters that are selected may also need to pay a Special Permit fee of $80 for regular hunts and $130 for extended hunts. Some categories, such as the Youth-Only hunts, require no application fees or permit fees. Permits are open to resident and non-resident hunters alike.
The first application deadlines are in August. Aug. 1 is the deadline for the alligator hunt categories, pronghorn, and private lands dove hunts, and Aug. 15 is the deadline for archery deer, general exotic and javelina.
Application deadlines are the 1st and 15th of the month from Aug. 1 to Nov. 1. A full list of category deadlines can be found online. Hunters can apply up to 11:59 p.m. Central Time on the application deadline, and after the application is submitted, they can check their drawing status online at any time.