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Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov [TH]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Feb. 4, 2008

Free Web Service Offered to Landowners with Hunting Leases

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is inviting Texas landowners to advertise their hunting leases at no cost through a new Internet service the agency is developing called "Hunt Texas Online Connection."

In the first half of 2008, the department wants landowners to register for the new free service. In May, TPWD plans to begin promoting it to the hunting public. Hunters are advised to check back in May after landowners have had a chance to register leases.

The service allows landowners to list hunting lease opportunities in Texas for free, including last minute openings. It provides complete anonymity for landowners until they are ready to contact potential customers. Hunters will eventually be able to search for hunting opportunities by lease type, county, game species and other parameters.

"We want to make it easy for people looking for a place to hunt to connect with landowners offering hunts on their property," said Mike Berger, TPWD wildlife division director. "This is one way we’re trying to better serve our license-buying public. It’s important to keep the Texas hunting tradition strong, since hunting supports wholesome family recreation, pumps more than a billion dollars per year into Texas local economies, and provides an economic incentive for private land stewards to protect wildlife habitat."

To register, landowners can visit the main Hunt Texas Online Connection Web page on the TPWD Internet site. Click "Get Started," select a username and password, log in, and begin typing in fall 2008 lease opportunities.

The department is reaching out to landowners this winter and spring, hoping to build up a substantial base of lease opportunities for the public. In mid-May, TPWD will begin promoting the new service to hunters via hunting publications, online and through print, radio and TV news coverage.

Anyone can send questions, comments and suggestions about the new service to hunt.texas@tpwd.texas.gov, with separate email addresses also available for support and general inquiries not related to Hunt Texas Online Connection. Interested parties may also phone (512) 389-4505 for more information.

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