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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2014-07-07                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than three months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
July 7, 2014
TPWD Online Public Hunt Drawing System Now Live
AUSTIN - Hunters applying for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's drawn public hunts can now take advantage of the new online-only Public Hunt Drawing System.
The new online-only system is currently accepting applications for 2014-15 Drawn Hunts, including Special Permit hunts, E-Postcard hunts, and US Forest Service Antlerless Deer Permits. For the first time, the entire process is being handled electronically -- from applications, to fee payments and permit issuance. "Applications for Drawings on Public Hunting Lands" booklets, application forms and permits will no longer be printed and mailed out. Hunt options can be browsed online by category or by area using an interactive map. A downloadable PDF of the 2014-15 Drawn Hunt Catalog is also available online.
In addition to now being able to apply for multiple hunt areas within the same hunt category (i.e. apply for a Gun Deer -- Either Sex hunt on more than one hunt area), the online system will give applicants more time to apply. With no paper applications to mail in, applicants will have until midnight CST on the day of the deadline to apply. Applicants will also retain and continue to accrue Preference Points, now called Loyalty Points, as in the past. Points will stay with the category and be applied to each application equally. And for the first time, applicants will be able to check the status of their applications and Loyalty Points online at any time.
The new system will only allow applicants to submit complete and accurate applications. This will eliminate disqualifications. Once the submission and billing process is completed, orders cannot be canceled and fees cannot be refunded.
All applicants (adults and youth) must have a Customer Account. Applicants that have previously applied for a drawn hunt or purchased a hunting or fishing license should already have an account. Those who do not have an account will need to create one before applying for a drawn hunt. A unique ID number is required to create an account. Unique ID numbers can be any of the following: State Driver's License Number, Social Security Number or Passport Number.
The Drawn Hunts Program offers affordable hunting experiences at more than 80 areas around the state in more than two dozen different hunt categories, including eight specifically for youth only. Adult application fees for Special Permit hunts are either $3 or $10 depending on the category. Adult hunters that are selected will also need to pay an additional permit fee of $80 for regular hunts and $130 for extended hunts. Some categories require no permit fee. There are no application fees or permit fees for youth age 8 to 16 and non-hunting supervising adults on youth only hunts. There are no application or permit fees for the E-Postcard hunts or the U.S. Forest Service Antlerless Deer permits.
To participate applicants will need internet access, an email address, and a credit or debit card. Application deadlines start in August and wrap up in January.
For more information about the new online system and to get started in the application process, visit http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/drawnhunts. For questions contact hunt@tpwd.texas.gov or call 512.389.4505 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST Monday through Friday.
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[ Note: This item is more than three months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Rob McCorkle, 830-866-3533 or Robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov, Shelly Plante, 512-389-4500 or Shelly.plante@tpwd.texas.gov, Stephanie Salinas, 512-389-8756 or Stephanie.salinas@tpwd.texas.gov
]
July 7, 2014
Beat July Heat with a Canoe, Kayak Outing
AUSTIN - On the water it's easier than ever to experience a closer view of wildlife and scenery. Beat the heat and kayak or canoe easily accessible and scenic waterways in a state park or along a designated Texas Paddling Trail.
More than 60 designated Texas Paddling Trails provide well-mapped, accessible day trips in a variety of settings and for all levels of paddling experience.
Austin: Twelve Texas Paddling Trails within about an hour of Austin. They include: Lady Bird Lake Paddling Trail, El Camino Real Paddling Trail and Wilbarger Paddling Trail.
Dallas/Ft. Worth: Eight Texas Paddling Trails within an hour of DFW. They include: Dallas Trinity Paddling Trail, Joe Pool Lake and Walnut Creek Paddling Trail (Grand Prairie), Lake Arlington Paddling Trail and River Legacy Parks Paddling Trail on the Trinity River (Arlington).
Houston: Nine Texas Paddling Trails within an hour of Houston. They include: Buffalo Bayou Paddling Trail, Stephen F. Austin Paddling Trail, Galveston Island State Park Paddling Trail and Christmas Bay Paddling Trail.
San Antonio: Seven Texas Paddling Trails within an hour of San Antonio. They include: Upper Guadalupe -- Nichol's Landing Paddling Trail (above Canyon Lake) and Saspamco Paddling Trail (near San Antonio)
Rio Grande Valley: One Texas Paddling Trail within an hour of RGV: South Bay Paddling Trail
"Texas communities love this program, which has experienced great growth over the last year," says Shelly Plante, nature tourism manager for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
This past May, Plante says, three new trails were added near Victoria to the Texas Paddling Trails roster.
Many parts of Texas are experiencing drought conditions, so it's always a good idea to go online to consult specific river flow information (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/water/habitats/rivers/flow/) in advance and to contact the Texas State Park you're planning to visit for current lake levels and other water conditions. Keep in mind that water levels at some state parks, such as Inks Lake and South Llano River, remain fairly constant despite ongoing drought.
Paddling novices looking for helpful tips before heading out, can watch a how to paddle a canoe video or read a Canoeing and Kayaking 101 brochure.
Paddlers should keep in mind that open bodies of water (lakes, rivers, bays, bayous, ponds, oceans) are vastly different from neighborhood swimming pools and definitely warrant extra precautions. The key differences are that there are no lifeguards, water conditions can change rapidly and underwater currents sometimes exist. Bottom line: all paddlers should wear a life-jacket. In Texas, children under 13 in or on vessels under 26 feet must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable life jacket.
For trail maps and photos, where to rent canoes and kayaks, directions to access sites and fishing and wildlife information, visit: www.tpwd.texas.gov/paddlingtrails.
For downloadable Texas paddling images, visit: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/news_images/?g=oam_paddling
To view a YouTube paddling video, visit: http://youtu.be/H8SnpEG9MRI
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