Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Public Hunt System
Hunters applying for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s drawn public hunts are now taking advantage of the new online-only Public Hunt Drawing System. Gordon-Darby successfully launched this new system for TPWD on July 7, 2014.
The Drawn Hunts Program offers affordable hunting experiences around the state of Texas in more than two dozen different hunt categories, including eight specifically for youth only. Hunters can apply for permits for low-cost, high-quality, multi-day hunting opportunities for deer, turkey, feral hogs, pronghorn, alligator, bighorn sheep and other big-game animals at state parks, wildlife management areas, and some private tracts where landowners have agreed to allow limited, closely managed public hunting. The online system implemented by Gordon-Darby accepts applications for TPWD’s Drawn Hunts, including Special Permit hunts, E-Postcard hunts, and US Forest Service Antlerless Deer Permits.
During the 2014-15 season, the online public hunting draw-permit program saw almost 100,000 applications submitted for the 7,400 available permits. That was almost double the 52,000 applications submitted during the previous season, when the draw-permit program operated through the traditional paper-based/mail-in process TPWD had used for decades. The 2015-16 season was even more popular, with hunters solidly embracing the new digital system through which they vie for a variety of hunting opportunities on nearly 100 properties across the state.
The switch to the new system is saving the public hunting program, funded through licenses and other hunter-related fees, about $100,000 a year. A TPWD survey of 21,000 applicants also found that Texas hunters really like the online system. Eighty-one percent of those who responded to the survey said they were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the new program. Ten percent didn’t have an opinion one way or the other, and only 9 percent said they were dissatisfied. The biggest reason for dissatisfaction was that they didn’t get drawn for a permit. Eighty-three percent of survey respondents cited “usability, ease and convenience” as the top benefits of the online system.
We are proud of our achievement in launching the online Public Hunt Drawing System, in place of the previous paper-based system, with very few technical issues and customer complaints. We’re even prouder to be saving our customer money while also aiding Texas hunters in enjoying their hunting experiences.