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Duck Hunting Texas - Public Lands FAQ #1

Updated on December 30, 2016

Online searches can be time consuming and frustrating. Many times, search results only lead to more questions than answers.

One example of this, as it relates to hunters in Texas is finding information about duck hunting public lands in the State.

This article is the first in a series of HubPages intended to provide readers helpful information about duck hunting public lands in Texas.

For this article, we seek to answer the frequently asked question, "What licenses and permits do I need to hunt ducks in Texas"?

Note: As a general rule, always refer to the current Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Annual: Hunting and Fishing Regulations before heading out to the field. Beware of changes and/or refresh your understanding of the hunting regulations.

FAQ #1: What licenses and permits do I need to hunt ducks in Texas?

1. A Texas Hunting License is required and can be purchased at most sporting goods stores. The cost of a hunting license varies depending on age, resident status, military service, and physical limitation. Be prepared to provide a drivers license or other government issued identification and your Social Security Number.

2. Harvest Information Program (HIP) Certification is required for hunters who are 16 years of age or older. Certification consists of a survey conducted by the purchasing agent when buying a hunting license. The purchasing agent will ask a series of questions related to migratory game birds taken the season prior. If you did not hunt the year before or did not hunt migratory game birds, then answer accordingly. There is no charge for HIP Certification.

3. Hunter Education Certification is required for hunters born on or after September 2, 1971. Proof of certification is required to be on your person while hunting. If born on or after September 2, 1971 the following applies:

  • "Under 9 years of age", must be accompanied by a person who is at least 17 years old, who is licensed in Texas, who has passed hunter education or is exempt (born before September 2, 1971), and is within normal voice control.
  • "Age 9 - 16", successfully completed a hunter education course or be accompanied as noted above for "Under 9 years of age".
  • "Age 17 and over", successfully completed a hunter education course; or purchased a "Hunter Education Deferral" and be accompanied as noted above for "Under 9 years of age". Deferral is for up to one year and may only be obtained once and is only valid until the end of the current season.
  • Note: Minimum age of certification is 9 years of age.

4. Texas Migratory Game Bird Stamp Endorsement is required to hunt migratory game birds with exception of hunters under 17 years of age, holders of Lifetime Resident Combination, or holders of Lifetime Resident Hunting licenses. Note: Stamp endorsement Is included with the purchase of the "Resident Super Combo License Package".

5. Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stampis required for all waterfowl hunters 16 years of age or older. Commonly referred to as a "Duck Stamp", which can be purchased at most Post Offices and sporting goods stores that sell Hunting Licenses.

  • When purchased from a Post Office, the "Duck Stamp" is provided at the time of sale.
  • When purchased from a sporting goods store, proof of purchase will be provided. It will be valid for 45 days from the purchase date and can be used for the interim while the "Duck Stamp" is mailed to the address on your Hunting License.
  • Note: Be sure to sign the face of the "Duck Stamp" else it will not be valid for hunting purposes and could result in a costly fine.

6. Annual Public Hunting (APH) Permit may be required to hunt public lands managed by Texas Parks and Wildlife, Federal Forestry Services, and the Corps of Engineers. Permits are purchased at the same locations selling Hunting Licenses.

7. Lake Specific Permits may be required to hunt lakes managed by the Corps of Engineers and/or controlling Water Authority. In some cases, an Annual Public Hunting Permit and a Lake Specific Permit may be required. As a general rule, go to the lake's official website to obtain lake specific regulations/requirements and to find a contact person who can clarify any questions that you may have. Examples are noted below for reference:

  • Lake Lavon (2009 Season relaxation of Lake Specific Permit). -
  • Grapevine Lake (Partial info, navigate to the contacts page to find a contact person). -
  • Lake Ray Roberts (Refers to TPWD link for details). -

Caution: Be prepared to produce your Driver's License (or State Identification) and all required hunting licenses, stamp endorsements, and permits when directed by the Game Warden. And, make sure you sign all documents, else a fine may result.

FAQ #2: Next Article

For our next article, we plan to answer the frequently asked question, "What basic equipment do I need when duck hunting public lands in Texas"?

Emphasis will be on basic equipment needed to hunt ducks. Till then, good luck and good hunting!

PS: Don't Forget To Scout Areas!


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    • hbng84 profile image

      hbng84 6 years ago

      Each COE Lake has its own regulations. Every year the COE publishes a guide. Here is a link from last season. Hope it helps. Link:

    • profile image

      Douglas Bisballe 7 years ago

      Can I get the names of just the lakes that need a AHP or Corp of Engineers permit to water fowl hunt on? Otherwise I have to call every lake to waterfowl hunt on. Or will one Corp of Engineers lakes permit included all the Corp lakes if get only one Corp permit?