TPWD News Release — Aug. 6, 2007
AUSTIN, Texas — New hunting and fishing licenses for 2007-08 will be available beginning Wednesday, Aug. 15, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is encouraging hunters to buy early and avoid the rush heading into the Sept. 1 dove season opener.
TPWD officials are reminding sportsmen that all current annual hunting and fishing licenses expire Aug. 31.
Texas issues 3.2 million hunting and fishing licenses annually through 28 TPWD field offices, more than 100 state parks and at over 1,400 retailers across Texas.
License vendors are bracing for an anticipated last-minute license buying surge that typically occurs during the Labor Day holiday weekend, particularly along the I-35 corridor where many dove hunters descend.
“If you wait until the Friday before the dove season opener, you’re probably going to be standing in line to buy a license,” said Tom Newton with TPWD’s licensing section. “Last year, we sold nearly 350,000 licenses during the four-day period around the opening weekend of dove season. It takes an average of five minutes to process a license sale transaction, so it’s likely there will be delays if you wait til the last minute.”
Newton said a little planning could save hunters a lot of time in the checkout line. “It’s like planning your morning commute; you can sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic or you can leave early and breeze through. We average less than 20,000 license transactions a day during the two weeks prior to the dove season opener and five or six times that number on the days around opening weekend.”
“Hunters who need to purchase a license at the last minute or those who don’t want to stand in line have a couple of options,” said Newton. “They can also purchase licenses online through the TPWD web site (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/) or by calling (800) 895-4248. There is a $5 convenience fee for either option and a major credit card is required.”
License sales call center hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday — Friday. The online transaction system is available 24/7.
“We sold about 13,000 licenses online and by phone during the peak sales weekend last year,” Newton said. “We’d like to steer more of the traffic to the call center and Internet during the peak volume periods.”