The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is now accepting applications to its drawn hunts program for the 2018-19 season. All told, TPWD is offering more than 9,000 permits in nearly 50 different hunting categories and more than 100 different geographic hunting areas within the Lone Star State this season.

In addition to native big-game species like whitetail and mule deer, alligator, javelina, pronghorn, and turkey, hunters may also apply for permits to hunt exotic species like feral hogs, axis deer, sambar deer, gemsbok, and scimitar-horned oryx. This hunting draw also offers one of the very few opportunities to obtain a highly coveted bighorn sheep tag on one of the WMAs in West Texas.

Additionally, hunters can apply for the opportunity to go on a guided dove hunt free of charge with a well-regarded dove outfitter by applying for one of the private land dove hunting permits.

The 2018-19 hunting season is also the first year TPWD will offer tags on the Powderhorn Wildlife Management Area. 60 lucky hunters will have the opportunity to hunt whitetail, sambar, or axis deer on the 17,351 acre WMA on the Gulf Coast in Calhoun County that the state purchased in 2014.

Application fees for the regular drawn hunts are either $3 or $10 depending on the hunting category. Some of the hunts require hunters to purchase an $80 or $130 permit if drawn, but others do not.

That being said, there are no application or permit fees for youth-only hunts. Additionally, while some of the permits merely grant permission to hunt a specific location for certain species, other hunts are fully guided and include food, lodging, and on-site transportation.

For more information on the hunts available this year, or to apply for a hunt, visit the drawn hunts webpage. TPWD only accepts applications online for drawn hunts. The first application deadline is on Aug. 1 for alligator, private lands dove, and pronghorn permits.

Other hunts have various deadlines all the way out to Oct. 15. For a detailed breakdown of each specific hunt application deadline, visit the drawn hunt deadline page. TPWD will accept applications up until 11:59 p.m. Central Time on the application deadline.

Separate from the drawn hunts, TPWD also has a raffle program called "Big Time Texas Hunts" that offers sportsmen and women the chance to win one of 10 premium hunting packages on wildlife management areas or private ranches all over Texas. These packages offer opportunities to hunt bighorn sheep, whitetail deer, pronghorn, mule deer, nilgai, gemsbok, scimitar-horned oryx, axis deer, alligator, waterfowl, dove, quail, turkey, or feral hogs.

Big Time Texas Hunts applications are $9 each, and there is no limit on the number you can purchase. Details vary for each hunt, but some are fully guided and a couple even include taxidermy. The Big Time Texas Hunts application deadline is Oct. 15.

For more information on any of these special hunts, visit their respective webpages or send questions to Good luck!