By Gaige Davila
About 10,000 Texans will get the chance to hunt on Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) refuge lands this year, after the state agency opened their annual hunter permit lottery this month.
Hunters can now purchase tickets for a statewide drawing for hunts at state wildlife refuges and private lands, including at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge’s Bahia Grande, between Los Fresnos, Laguna Vista and Brownsville.
Laguna Atascosa’s main property, several miles north of the Port Isabel-Cameron County Airport, is also part of the draw. Other Rio Grande Valley state lands offering chances to hunt include the Las Palomas WMA’s Arroyo Colorado lands, near Rio Hondo, and their Longoria unit, north of Santa Rosa; and the entirety of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, outside of Raymondville.
Some of the hunts available include white-tailed and mule deer, pronghorn, turkey, alligator, dove and guided packages for exotic species and bighorn sheep, according to a TPWD press release. Exotics, like the elusive nilgai antelope, are also available in these Rio Grande Valley hunts.
Either bows or firearms can be used for these available hunts.
Application fees range from $3 to $10, depending on the hunt. Selected adult hunters may also need to pay a Special Permit fee of $80 for regular hunts and $130 for extended hunts. Youth-only hunts require no application fees or permit fees. Permits are open to resident and non-resident hunters alike.
The first application deadlines are in August.
Aug. 1 is the deadline for the alligator hunt categories, pronghorn, and private lands dove hunts, and Aug. 15 is the deadline for archery deer, general exotic and javelina. Application deadlines are the 1st and 15th of the month from Aug. 1st to Nov. 1st. A full list of category deadlines can be found online at tpwd.texas.gov. Hunters can apply up to 11:59 p.m. Central Time on the application deadline, and after the application is submitted, they can check their drawing status online at any time.
Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.