Hunting & Wildlife FAQ - Public Hunting

Q1: What is the Annual Public Hunting Permit (APH) and where can it be purchased?
A1: The Annual Public Hunting Permit (APH) allows access to over a million acres of public hunting land that TPWD either owns or leases from another agency or private landowner. The APH can be purchased at any license vendor that sells hunting and fishing licenses. If you purchase the permit from a license vendor (e.g. Wal-Mart, Academy, etc.), you will have the map booklet mailed to the address on your driver's license. If you purchase the permit at a TPWD office, the book will be provided upon purchase. Further information on the APH can also be found on our website.

Q2: I am unable to locate the public hunting areas on the website, where are they located?
A2: They are linked on the Hunting & Wildlife - "Walk-in Hunts: Annual Public Hunting Permit". The map booklet which contains all the areas/units for a diversity of species is located at the very bottom of the page under Table of Contents. Areas are listed by public hunting region (i.e. Panhandle, Central). You can click on any area and it will pull up the map. The map book includes information pertaining to prohibited acts and allowed means for all lands listed.

Q3: Can all species be hunted on every unit area?
A3: Each map contains a Legal Game Box and legend for each individual unit. Only species listed in the legal game box can be hunted on that unit. If a species is not listed, it can not be hunted on that unit.

Q4: Why are season dates different within the map book even though the seasons statewide are longer?
A4: Some of those units are leased from private landowners or other agencies and TPWD works with these lessees to allow certain dates or partial seasons on their property as long as the dates fall within the statewide approved dates.

Q5: I used to be able to hunt with a rifle in a Public Hunting Area, but this year it's all archery hunting. Why?
A5: As development increases, hunting with firearms has to be controlled for the safety of the people living around the hunting areas. Decisions regarding means are driven by resource considerations and safety.

Q6: I have an Annual Public Hunting Permit. Where do you recommend I go to hunt feral hogs?
A6: First locate all units allowing feral hogs to be taken, and then look at the legal means and season. Then, locate any of the creeks, drainages, hardwood forests, bottomlands since feral hogs will travel, feed, rest, wallow and usually stay close to water. Scouting those areas to locate recent feral hog activity (rooted areas, wallows, rubbings on trees, etc.) will help locate spots to hunt feral hogs.

Q7: Are there any other public hunting opportunities for large game animals, turkey, javelina, alligator, feral hogs and/or other exotics species for both adults and youth?
A7: Yes, by application through our Special Permit Drawn Hunts program. The drawing book becomes available usually the last week in June or by the first week of July. There are specific hunt categories available and several hunt areas within each category. Only 1 application per person per hunt category will be accepted. All or just a few categories that interest the applicant can be applied for; but only one area may be submitted in each category. There are specific application deadline dates for each category and those submitted applications must arrive in Austin at our headquarters no later than 5pm on the deadline date. Late applications will be disqualified. Once you apply for a hunt for that year, you will automatically receive the drawing book the following year. Other pertinent information on the Special Permit Drawn Hunts and applications may be found on the website under: Hunting & Wildlife - Drawn Hunts.

Q8: Do you require purchasing the Annual Public Hunting Permit (APH) in order to apply for the Special Permit Drawn Hunts?
A8: No, those are two completely different public hunting opportunities within our Public Hunting Program.

Q9: How do I apply for a drawn hunt?
A9: You can apply for a drawn hunt by obtaining an Applications for Drawings on Public Hunting Lands book from TPWD at any of our law enforcement offices, parks that hold hunts, or by calling (512) 389-4505. Fill out the enclosed applications at the back of the book and mail them to TPWD Austin Headquarters.

Q10: What are standby positions for drawn hunts and how can I get one?
A10: Standby positions are openings for the drawn hunts where drawn hunters either declined the hunt or did not show. Their open positions are then drawn for at the area on the first day of the hunt. Standby hunters have to be present to enter and win the standby hunt drawing. Drawn hunters are required to pay the permit fee to hunt. Hunters are advised to call the specific area of interest to find out how many potential standby positions will be available. To obtain phone numbers for these areas refer to your Applications for Drawings on Public Hunting Lands book - Area Descriptions, call (512) 389-4505 or go to our website.