AUSTIN – Hunters applying for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s drawn public hunts can now take advantage of the new online-only Public Hunt Drawing System.
The new online-only system is currently accepting applications for 2014-15 Drawn Hunts, including Special Permit hunts, E-Postcard hunts, and US Forest Service Antlerless Deer Permits. For the first time, the entire process is being handled electronically — from applications, to fee payments and permit issuance. “Applications for Drawings on Public Hunting Lands” booklets, application forms and permits will no longer be printed and mailed out. Hunt options can be browsed online by category or by area using an interactive map. A downloadable PDF of the 2014-15 Drawn Hunt Catalog is also available online.
In addition to now being able to apply for multiple hunt areas within the same hunt category (i.e. apply for a Gun Deer — Either Sex hunt on more than one hunt area), the online system will give applicants more time to apply. With no paper applications to mail in, applicants will have until midnight CST on the day of the deadline to apply. Applicants will also retain and continue to accrue Preference Points, now called Loyalty Points, as in the past. Points will stay with the category and be applied to each application equally. And for the first time, applicants will be able to check the status of their applications and Loyalty Points online at any time.
The new system will only allow applicants to submit complete and accurate applications. This will eliminate disqualifications. Once the submission and billing process is completed, orders cannot be canceled and fees cannot be refunded.
All applicants (adults and youth) must have a Customer Account. Applicants that have previously applied for a drawn hunt or purchased a hunting or fishing license should already have an account. Those who do not have an account will need to create one before applying for a drawn hunt. A unique ID number is required to create an account. Unique ID numbers can be any of the following: State Driver’s License Number, Social Security Number or Passport Number.
The Drawn Hunts Program offers affordable hunting experiences at more than 80 areas around the state in more than two dozen different hunt categories, including eight specifically for youth only. Adult application fees for Special Permit hunts are either $3 or $10 depending on the category. Adult hunters that are selected will also need to pay an additional permit fee of $80 for regular hunts and $130 for extended hunts. Some categories require no permit fee. There are no application fees or permit fees for youth age 8 to 16 and non-hunting supervising adults on youth only hunts. There are no application or permit fees for the E-Postcard hunts or the U.S. Forest Service Antlerless Deer permits.
To participate applicants will need internet access, an email address, and a credit or debit card. Application deadlines start in August and wrap up in January.
For more information about the new online system and to get started in the application process, visit http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/drawnhunts. For questions contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512.389.4505 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST Monday through Friday.