Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is updating drawn hunts by implementing and requiring online, website-based registration for public hunting opportunities in 2014. TPWD did a mail-out earlier this week to inform past public hunters of the change in the way the program is administered. The letter thank past hunters for participating in Texas’s Public Hunting Program and announced the new online Public Hunt Drawing System.
The benefits to Texas’s hunters include an easier application process, real-time status checks on applications, the ability to pay application and permit fees by credit card, and the ability to either print or store hunt permits on a mobile device. Also, selected hunters will no longer receive letters in the mail, but rather drawn winners will be notified by email.
“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.”
The downside is that TPWD will no longer print and mail the “Applications for Drawings on Public Hunting Lands” booklet. I can understand that it’s a cost-savings measure in a highly web world, but I enjoyed being able to thumb through the book and compare different public hunting lands at my convenience. The cost to enter most drawn hunts is still $3, but there are also some hunts, such as e-postcard hunts and US Forest Service antlerless deer hunts that have no application fee.
The online drawn hunt system should be available for hunters to begin their application process in early July, according to the letter. More information about the new drawn hunt system can be found on their website, by contacting email@example.com or by calling 512-389-4505.
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