The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will be conducting special drawings for hunts and applications for these quality, affordable hunting experiences are available online now. Application booklets are also being mailed to last year’s primary hunt applicants and will be available at TPWD law enforcement offices.
During the upcoming hunting seasons, more than 5,700 hunters will be selected through random computer drawings allowing access to some of the state’s high-quality managed wildlife habitat. Wildlife management areas, state parks and leased private property will be available for these quality supervised hunts for white-tailed deer, mule deer, pronghorn, javelina, alligator, exotics, feral hog and spring turkey.
Through an application process, hunters can select from among 29 different hunt categories, including eight specifically for youth only, and choose a preferred hunt date and location from hunt areas stretching across the state. There’s even a provision for hunting buddies to apply as a group — in some cases up to four hunters can apply together on one application.
“Hunters interested in applying for drawn hunts this season should pay close attention to the application deadlines,” said Kelly Edmiston Program Specialist with TPWD’s public hunting program. “We have added two more hunt areas in the Private Lands Pronghorn category on two separate ranches in Presidio County. Overall, we are up over 200 hunt positions from last season. “
Schreiner Park in Kerr County has been added as an archery only hunt in the Private Lands Antlerless/Spike category this year. Bowhunter Education Certification will be required to hunt if selected.
Eight free youth-only hunt categories are available to hunters who are between the ages of 8-16 at the time of application. All hunt positions are randomly selected in a computer drawing from all correctly completed entries received by the specified deadline.
In addition to exceptional hunting opportunities for big game, such as white-tailed deer and mule deer, TPWD’s special drawing hunts will offer some unique opportunities. A guided bighorn sheep hunt at a West Texas wildlife management area will again be offered this year depending on the availability of a bighorn sheep permit.
There are also some unique guided hunt opportunities on Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area, including hunts for white-tailed deer, scimitar-horned oryx and gemsbok.
Hunters drawn in the special permit hunts are not required to use a tag off their hunting license on white-tailed or mule deer that are taken during the hunt. The hunters will be issued a free TPWD legal deer tag at the area when they bring their harvested animal to the check station. This will allow the public hunters additional opportunity to use their license tags.
The application fee for adult applicants in most of the public hunt drawings is $3 per adult person on the application. Successfully drawn hunters pay an additional Special Permit fee ($75-125 in most cases) for a one-to-four-day hunt.
Special Permit fees do not apply to drawn hunts for pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, guided hunts at Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area, and drawn hunts on private land. Guided hunts and private land hunts cost $10 per adult person on the application.
The application deadline for alligator hunts is Aug. 5. For pronghorn antelope hunts on private land or the Rita Blanca National Grasslands north of Dalhart, the deadline is Aug. 14. Bowhunters also have until Aug. 14 to apply for special drawn public archery hunts. Entries for the general (gun) season deer hunts must be received by Sept. 4. Deadline for the Guided Bighorn Sheep Hunt is November 4.
Last year TPWD received 44,928 applications for the 5,583 positions offered in special drawn hunt categories. Information and applications for Special Permit hunts are available on the Public Hunting website. Application booklets are currently being mailed to hunters who applied for special permit drawn hunts last year. The booklets are also available at TPWD law enforcement offices. Information about Special Permit drawn hunts can be found on-line or by calling toll free (800) 792-1112.