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Outdoors: Smith: Texas Parks and Wildlife taking drawn hunt applications

July 12, 2017 at 10:02 p.m.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's drawn hunt program is now taking applications.

A little research into this hunting opportunity was eye opening and impressive. Hunters go online, and apply for hunts on both public and private lands across the state. Perhaps the most impressive stat is the cost associated with the process. $80 to $130 for hunts in some game rich environments at over 100 different tracts in every corner of the state. There are even exotic hunts mixed in, including Scimitar Horned Oryx and Gemsbok.

The commitment to our heritage is intact with multiple youth only hunts scheduled to be awarded.

The TP&W is set to award 9,500 permits this year which an increase of 500 over last year. This includes 2500 antlerless deer permit hunts on US Forest Service tracts right here in East Texas. There is also 2200 deer hunt positions on 4 different US Fish and Wildlife Service National Refugees.

The popularity is evident by the fact over 139,000 applicants entered during the 2016-2017 hunting season. The process is outlined on the website. Set up an account and get started. There are tools and guidelines to help plan and schedule opportunities. There is a map section and PDF files to download maps and information. Multiple applications in the same category are allowed and groups are also encouraged. This will come in handy for some of the dove hunts. After you have applied the website has a section to check the status.

You will be able to see immediately if you have been drawn. If drawn the hunter needs to purchase the permit for the hunt. Another cool tool is the breakdown of previous hunts on the specific tract. There is a success percentage figure to give potential hunters an idea of what to expect from the tract. One of the tracts I looked at had a 52% success rate last year for deer. Over half the people that hunted harvested the game they were drawn for. That's an incredible success rate regardless of where you hunt!

This is just a small sample of what is available to apply for.

Check out the website and look around for yourself. The applications have deadlines so keep that in mind if you want to apply for an alligator or dove hunt. These both have an Aug. 1 deadline and archery hunters take note the deadline for these applications is August 15th.

The new hunting season will be here before you know it so get ready.




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