New Texas Drawn Hunt Opportunities Available
AUSTIN – Hunters can start making plans for the upcoming seasons now by applying for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Drawn Hunts. The online system is currently accepting applications and the first hunt category deadline is less than a month away.
This year there are more opportunities available than ever before as additional drawn hunts on public and private lands are being consolidated into TPWD’s online application system, including a new dove hunting category featuring slots on prime private dove fields. Among the other offerings available through the online system are hunts for white-tailed and mule deer, pronghorn, exotic gemsbok and scimitar-horned oryx, turkey and alligator, as well as a guided hunt for desert bighorn sheep.
In addition to drawn hunts managed by TPWD, the system now includes applications for hunts administered by other entities, including about 1,500 big game hunt positions on several U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuges in Texas and antlerless deer permits for U.S. Forest Service properties in East Texas.
“Since moving our drawn hunt application process entirely online two years ago, we’ve seen a huge increase in interest from hunters as well as other entities who offer public hunting opportunities on their lands,” said Justin Dreibelbis, public hunting program director at TPWD. “We had over 31,000 hunters apply last year from every state except Rhode Island and in many foreign countries. Most hunters applied, on average, 6-7 times each to take advantage of the wide range of opportunities available through our system.”
All hunt opportunities can be viewed by category or by area using an interactive map. The entire process is handled online — from browsing opportunities, to applications, fee payments and permit issuance. 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 one of the easy ways to access the system.
The first application deadlines are in August. August 3 is the deadline for the alligator hunt categories, and August 11 is the deadline for archery deer, exotic, javelina and the new private lands dove hunts. Other hunt category deadlines occur from August 23 through January 26. 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.
The Drawn Hunts program offers affordable hunting experiences throughout the state, including several Youth-Only hunt categories. 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.
For more information or to get started in the application process visit the TPWD drawn hunts web page. For questions, contact hunt [at] tpwd [dot] texas [dot] gov or call 512-389-4505 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.