The Texas public draw hunts for the 2017-18 hunting seasons have been posted. Hunters can browse the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) offerings and apply online for all TPWD draw hunts for the 2017-18 hunting until midnight the day of the deadline, which varies by hunt category. The first hunt category deadline is less than a month away, so chop-chop.
This year about 9,500 permits in 50 hunt categories are up for grabs for drawn hunts on private and public lands, up more than 500 over last year. 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.
Other Draw Hunts Administered by TPWD
In addition to drawn hunts managed by TPWD, the system includes applications for hunts administered by other entities, including almost 2,200 deer hunt positions on four U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuges in Texas and 2,500 antlerless deer permits for U.S. Forest Service properties in East Texas.
TPWD Draw Dove Hunts
The program’s highly-popular private lands dove hunt permit category will feature 140 hunt slots in prime locations around Uvalde, south of San Antonio near Pleasanton, north of Dallas/Ft. Worth in Young County and newly acquired opportunities in Wharton near Houston. These permits are for dedicated hunt positions with quality dove hunting outfitters. Application fee is $10 with no additional hunt permit fees.
Applying for Draw Hunts
Drawn hunt opportunities can be viewed online by category or by area via an interactive map and all applications, fee payments and permit issuance is 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 one of the easy ways to access the system.
Last year, the department received 139,398 applications for drawn hunts.
TPWD Draw Hunt Deadlines
The first application deadlines are in August. August 1 is the deadline for the alligator hunt categories and the new private lands dove hunts, and August 15 is the deadline for archery deer, exotic, and javelina. Application deadlines are on the 1st and 15th of each month. 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.
Public Draw Hunts: Hunting on the Cheap
The TPWD draw hunts program offers affordable hunting experiences throughout the state, including several Youth-Only hunt categories. The application fees are $3 or $10 depending on the hunt category. These hunts are economical and from my experience they offer a very good hunting experience. My family and I been participating in these hunts for over two decades and we always enjoy the challenge of hunting, seeing new ground.
If drawn for a TPWD hunt, adult hunters will have 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 Texas residents and non-resident hunters alike.
This is the fourth year that the TPWD draw hunts have been offered online.