From the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
-- Current year Texas hunting and fishing licenses, except year-to-date fishing licenses, expire Aug. 31; 2010-2011 licenses go on sale Aug. 15.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department issues about 2.1 million hunting and fishing licenses annually through the agency's 28 field offices, more than 65 state parks and at over 1,500 retailers across Texas. For a $5 administrative transaction fee, licenses may also be purchased online through the TPWD website at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/annual/general/information/ or by phone at (800)895-4248.
Call center hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. A license confirmation number is issued at the time of purchase for online and phone orders, and the physical license is mailed separately. Confirmation numbers verify that a license has been purchased, which is sufficient for dove hunting, but will not allow hunters to take fish or wildlife that require a tag.
Hunters and anglers can also take care of their licensing requirements for life with the purchase of an $1,800 Lifetime Super Combo, or they can enter for a chance at winning a lifetime license through a special drawing. Entries for the Lifetime License Drawing cost $5 each and may be purchased wherever licenses are sold. There is no limit on the number of entries that may be purchased. Winners will be drawn on Dec. 30, 2010 and June 30, 2011. Hunters who enter by Dec. 27, 2010, will be eligible for both drawings.
Hunter Education Certification is also required of any hunter born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, and who is at least 17 years old. For hunters who are unable to work in a hunter education course before hunting season for whatever reason, TPWD offers a deferral option that allows those 17 or older a one-time only extension to complete the state's hunter education requirements. The individual must first purchase a hunting license and then may purchase the deferral option #166.
Hunters using the deferral must be accompanied by someone 17 years old or older also licensed to hunt in Texas. The accompanying individual must have completed hunter education or be exempt from the requirements (born before Sept. 2, 1971). The extension is good for one license year, by which time the person with the deferred option needs to complete a hunter education course.
The option is not available to those who have ever received a conviction or deferred adjudication for lack of hunter education certification. They still must take the course before going afield.
Also available through license agents and online are chances for TPWD's Big Time Texas Hunts that offer a chance to win one or more premium guided hunts with food and lodging provided, as well as taxidermy in some cases. The crown jewel of the program is the Texas Grand Slam hunt package which includes four separate hunts for Texas' most prized big game animals - the desert bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, mule deer and pronghorn antelope. There are several quality whitetail hunt packages available, as well as opportunities to pursue alligator, exotic big game, waterfowl and upland game birds.
Entries for the Big Time Texas Hunt drawings are $10 each and are available wherever hunting licenses are sold. They may also be purchased online at a discounted price of $9 each. There is no limit to the number of entries an individual may purchase. All proceeds from Big Time Texas Hunts benefit conservation, wildlife management and public hunting.