huntingSeptember 1st marks the opening of dove season across most of the state and most of the 300,000 wingshooters are already busy gathering their gear and locating a place to hunt.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Division has been busy helping Texas hunters with finding a place to hunt over the past eleven months which is always at the top of the list.  Since most of the state of Texas is privately owned land and hunting on those lands can be very expensive, the public hunting program of the Parks and Wildlife Department offers the best opportunities and low-cost access for the million-plus recreational hunters in Texas.

Public hunting opportunities cover a wide range of game found in the state: rabbit, bighorn sheep, squirrel, pronghorn, waterfowl, white-tailed and mule deer, dove, javelin, quail, alligators, turkey, and feral hogs.

Forty-thousand or more hunters from Texas participate each year in the agency’s public hunting program either through a drawing for one of the 5,000 or more permits or through purchasing a $48 Annual Public Hunting permit.  These provide limited-duration hunts on tracts of private lands, state parks or wildlife management areas.

Focusing largely on big game such as white-tailed deer (which is the state’s most popular game animal), the special-drawing permit hunts are a long-standing part of the state’s public hunting program.

Used as part of the department’s management programs for that specific tract, most of the hunts are held on state parks or the agency’s wildlife management areas.

The agency has expanded the special-drawing permit hunts during the past three decades to include more properties, hunting methods and game species.  Special-drawing hunts for hunters using standard archery equipment and crossbows as well as firearms will be offered by the agency this year and some of the hunts will only allow young hunters that are accompanied by adults.

You can find more information about the special-drawing hunts through the wildlife agency book at no charge which includes mail-in applications for each hunt.

An Annual Public Hunting Permit for the 2012-13 season was purchased by almost 33,000 Texas hunters.

Those permits along with hunting licenses go on sale August 15, 2013 and are valid for the 2013-14 hunting seasons.


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