AUSTIN - Effective with this summer's applications, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's popular Public Hunt Drawing System will be online-only.
The new online-only system began accepting electronic applications in July for 2014-15 Drawn Hunts, including Special Permit hunts, E-Postcard hunts, and US Forest Service Antlerless Deer Permits.
The Public Hunt Drawing System offers affordable hunting experiences in more than two dozen different hunt categories, including eight specifically for youth only.
Applications will only be accepted online -- no "Applications for Drawings on Public Hunting Lands" booklets or application forms will be printed and mailed out.
With the new paperless system, hunters will be able to browse the drawn hunt catalog by hunt category and location using interactive maps, as well as complete the application and pay online. Selected applicants will be notified by email and can accept permits and pay any fees online. Permits will be issued by email and can be printed at home or stored on a mobile device. Those applicants who are not selected may still be eligible through a secondary drawing if any permits are unclaimed by the payment deadline. There may still be opportunities for traditional standby hunts at some locations.
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 hunters more time to apply. Application deadlines start in August and wrap up in January. Applicants will have until midnight on the day of the deadline to apply.
Non-refundable application fees for drawn Special Permit hunts range between $3-10 for each adult applicant 17 years of age or older. Selected adult hunters pay an additional permit fee of $80 for regular hunts and $130 for extended hunts. There are no application fees or drawn hunt permit fees for youth age 8 to 16. There are no application fees for the e-postcard hunt or the U.S. Forest Service Antlerless Deer permits.
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.
For more information about the new online system, visit http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/drawnhunts.