Hunting - Standby Policy
In order to allow more complete utilization of available public hunting opportunity, a program utilizing "standby" hunters will be implemented during hunts conducted by special permit on public hunting lands. Under this program, prospective hunters will be allowed to appear in person at the START of hunt periods to claim available public hunting opportunity.
The standby-hunter program will be implemented as follows:
- The hunt official will determine in advance the number of hunters scheduled (desired) for each hunt period.
- Hunt positions will be reserved throughout the hunt period for possible late arrival by persons selected in the computer drawing and having paid permit fees within specified deadlines.
- Hunt positions not claimed (paid for) by drawn applicants before specified deadlines may be made available to standby hunters on the beginning day of the respective hunt period provided that the capacity of the hunt period is not exceeded.
- The number of standby positions is calculated as the difference between the desired number of hunters and the number of paid hunters selected in the computer drawing, or may be more or fewer positions as designated by the hunt official as appropriate in view of hunt conditions. * NOTE: Since some allowances for over-booking is often made in computer selection, the desired number of hunters may be less than the number of hunt positions offered in the computer drawing.
- In the event that more standby hunter applicants are on hand than hunt positions are available, the vacant hunt positions will be filled by public drawing.
- Standby hunt application cards (party applications are permitted) are drawn until the last card drawn either equals or exceeds the desired number of hunters. The hunt official has authority to restrict the number of individuals permitted on a party application.
- Standby hunt applicants age 17 or older who are selected for a hunt must make payment of permit fees at the area before being issued a special permit and allowed to participate in the hunt. No permit fee is charged selected applicants under 17 years of age.
- To discourage standby hunter applicants from appearing too early (camping in line), it is important that such hunt opportunity is not referred to as "first come, first serve."
- An application card (party applications are permitted) must be completed by all prospective standby hunters for the respective hunt period. No application fee is assessed standby hunter applicants.
- A person must physically be present at the time of application to qualify as a standby applicant. When collecting completed applications, be sure that all persons listed on the card are physically present.
- The drawing to select applicants for standby hunter positions should be performed at 12:00 noon on the first day of the hunt period. This is uniform for all hunts by special permit and on all areas. The Application Booklet recommends that prospective hunters arrive at the hunt area by 11:00 A.M. to be able to complete the application procedure for the standby hunter drawing.
- Under the standby hunter program, a person may apply for and participate in multiple hunts as long as he/she has not reached the legal bag limit for the hunt category and public hunting lands unit and still has the appropriate hunting license tag(s).
- Persons provided with multiple hunt opportunities under the standby hunter program must make payment of required permit fees for each hunt period.
- When hunt periods are conducted back-to-back, a person who participated in the previous hunt period may apply as a standby hunter to participate in the following hunt period provided that there are not sufficient standby hunters on hand to claim the available hunt vacancies.
- Participation in the standby hunter program will not affect the preference point ratings of applicants in future computer selection.
- It is important to keep in mind that the primary purpose of the standby hunting program is to make full use of available public hunting opportunity. While it is our intent to distribute opportunity among the hunting public in as fair a manner as possible, it is desirable to allow some individuals repeated opportunity rather than let available opportunity go unutilized.
- The hunt official is the sole and final authority in the determination of the number of scheduled (desired) hunt positions for a hunt period and the determination of the number, if any, of standby hunter positions available. Under no circumstances should standby hunters be selected if such selection would exceed the capacity of the hunt period as determined by the hunt supervisor.
- The Department is obligated to provide hunting opportunity to a person who was selected in the computer drawing and submitted the required fees by specified deadlines, even if that person arrives after the start of the hunt.
- The Austin Office will not release any advance information concerning the number of standby hunter positions available for specific hunt periods or areas. The information can only be determined by the hunt official in charge of the concerned hunt period.