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Texas hunting licenses are required of residents and nonresidents alike to enjoy recreational hunting in state national parks. Hunting license applicants must be aware of the proper procedure for getting a license to hunt before proceeding with any plans to harvest game in the Lone Star State. Many different types of hunting licenses are available to choose from and are issued based upon many criteria, such as the applicant’s residential status, age and veteran status.  Some applicants may also be interested in discounts that apply to seniors and military members. Knowing where to get hunting licenses in Texas is just as important as determining what type of license you need to purchase. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPW) sells hunting licenses through three different avenues, including online, by telephone and in person. Some hunting license applicants will be able to order their license to hunt straight away, while others will have to complete additional requirements, including a hunter education course. Hunter education is mandatory for both resident and nonresident hunters who were born after a specific date established by the TPW. Applicants who have completed an approved hunter education course in any other U.S. state may utilize their credentials to get a license to hunt in Texas. To help you understand the basics of obtaining a hunting license, listed below are several topics on how to get hunting licenses in Texas:

  • The license to hunt in Texas requirement
  • Types of hunting licenses in Texas
  • How to buy hunting licenses in Texas
  • Replacing/renewing hunting licenses in Texas
  • Info on Texas hunting lease licenses
  • Info on hunting permits in Texas
  • Hunter education in Texas

Are hunting licenses mandatory in Texas?

While hunting licenses are mandatory in most cases, they are not required if you hunt certain kinds of animals in specific situations. For example, a license to hunt is not necessary to hunt furbearing animals that cause property destruction. Farmers and landowners can shoot coyotes without a license if they are a threat to livestock or waterfowl. Also, feral hogs can be hunted if they cause devastation to privately owned property.

Note:Even though a hunting permit is not needed in these instances, all regulations related to hunter education requirements must be met.

What are the types of Texas residential hunting licenses?

Texas residents are eligible for hunting licenses at lower rates than their nonresident counterparts. As well as residential status, license types are further issued based on the applicant’s age or veteran status. In addition to a regular TX hunting license, the types of licensure available to residents include:

  • Senior residential hunting licenses.
  • Youth hunting licenses.
  • Trapping licenses.
  • Combination hunting and fishing license packages (in senior and lifetime varieties).

Some Texas residents can access hunting licenses free of charge. Disabled veterans and active-duty military members can obtain combination hunting and fishing licenses at absolutely no cost to them.

What are the types of non-resident hunting licenses in Texas?

Nonresident hunting license applicants are eligible for hunting permits and licenses that are issued based upon the specific species of game hunted or the length of license validity. For example, spring turkey and banded bird permits are available for out-of-state visitors, as are youth and trapper hunting licenses. General non resident hunting licenses allow visitors to hunt all legal game, including deer. Alternatively, nonresident special hunting licenses are for hunting exotic animals, such as armadillos, coyotes and flying squirrels, among others.

How can I buy a Texas hunting license?

You can buy a hunting license in Texas in one of the following ways: online, by phone or in person with an authorized agent. To purchase a hunting license online, you will need to provide some identifying information and a valid form of payment, such as a credit or debit card number. The personal information applicants must enter into the online purchasing system includes: full name, date of birth and a valid form of identification (such as a driver’s license number, U.S. passport number or Social Security Number). Previous hunting license applicants may provide their customer number in lieu of the aforementioned forms of identity.

For online transactions, along with the license fee, you must also pay an administrative fee. After you purchase the license, you will receive an online order receipt that you can print out and use as a temporary license while you wait for the official hunting license to arrive by mail.

TX licenses to hunt can be purchased in person as well, from license agents in hunting and fishing stores, sporting goods stores and some supermarkets. If you would like to order your hunting license by phone, call the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and be ready with identifying information and payment.

How can I renew a Texas hunting license?

Each year, hunting licenses expire on August 31, and hunters are encouraged to renew their credentials before that date, ideally starting on August 15. New licenses can be purchased in person from authorized dealers, online or by phone.

How can I replace a Texas hunting license?

If your TX hunting license was lost, stolen or damaged, you can get a replacement by visiting any authorized license agent in the state. Duplicate license applicants will need to fill out an application for a replacement hunting license and pay the appropriate fee.

What is a hunting lease license?

A hunting license lease is given to any landowner who leases the right to hunt on his or her owned or controlled property to another individual. Three types of hunting lease licenses are available and vary according to the size of the property. A small hunting lease license is for land that encompasses one to 499 acres. Medium size parcels are considered to be between 500 and 999 acres. Finally, pieces of land larger than 1,000 acres will qualify for a large type hunting lease license.

Note that record books for hunting lease licenses are not required anymore.

What are some other hunting permits and certifications I can get?

Besides the regular hunting license, other types of permits and certifications are available to Texas residents, such as: federal sandhill crane hunting permits, archery endorsements and experimental pronghorn antelope permits, among others.

How can I get a hunter’s education in Texas?

Before obtaining a hunting permit, every individual hunter (both resident and nonresident) born after September 2, 1971 must enroll in and complete a hunter education training course. The certificate is valid for an entire lifetime, and hunters can use it in all other U.S. states and provinces to hunt legally. You can take the course online or in person if you are 17 years of age or older.

Many options for hunter education classes are available, such as basic hunter education, which includes six hours of classroom instruction by a certified instructor. The enhanced hunter education includes one online course, a four-hour class in one day with a certified instructor. Extended basic hunter education includes six or more hours of classes by a certified instructor.

Note: Online courses for complete certification are available to Texas residents only.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. All throughout the United States, hunters safety classes must be completed in order for applicants to obtain their desired hunting permits and stamps. Failure to take this specific course will result in the rejection of your hunting license request, thus requiring you to start over.
Depending on your state of residence, you may be able to buy hunting licenses in a variety of ways, including online (through your state department’s portal), by mail, by phone or in person. Choose the option that is most convenient for you. Make sure to also have any type of official documentation and payment for fees on hand.
No. Different states have different limits and regulations on hunting licensure. Certain animals may be considered “prohibited species,” whereas other animals may be legal to hunt, so long as you have the necessary hunting permit/stamp. Keep in mind that if you do hunt for any type of prohibited species, you will be subject to serious consequences.
Yes. States typically offer various short-term hunters license options, such as one-day and one-week passes, to those who do not meet residency requirements. In order to receive issuance of a short-term hunting license, make sure to get in touch with your state/hunting wildlife department to find out the available methods you have to apply.
In the event your hunting credentials are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, contact your state hunting/wildlife department to order a hunting license replacement. You may have to make an in-person visit to a local office to complete the process. At the time of your replacement request, you may be asked to present your state driving license or another type of identification.
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