Big Thicket National Preserve hunting permit registration opens

Hunters and National Park Service arrowhead logo

Big Thicket National Preserve Superintendent Wayne Prokopetz announced Aug. 20 that the preserve will issue free hunting permits beginning Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. Available 2015/2016 permits will be issued until Feb. 29, 2016.

Permits will be issued at the preserve visitor center located 8 miles north of Kountze at the intersection of US 69 and FM 420 at 6102 FM 420 from 9 am until 5 p.m. daily. Big Thicket hunting permits allow hunters to take white-tailed deer, squirrel, rabbit, feral hog, and waterfowl during the Big Thicket Hunting Season of Oct. 3, 2015, until Jan. 3, 2016. Additional feral hogs may also be taken during the extended hog-only season which runs from Jan. 4, 2016, until Feb. 29, 2016, after the general hunt.

• Everyone who hunts in Big Thicket National Preserve must have a Big Thicket hunting permit.

• All hunters must apply in person and may hunt in only one unit. Parents or guardians please be advised that children must be present to obtain their own hunting permit.

• You must show your current Texas Hunting License to obtain a Big Thicket hunting permit. This is a new requirement for the 2015-16 season.

Be advised that hunters who failed to return their harvest cards for the 2014-15 season will not be eligible to hunt in Big Thicket National Preserve during the 2015-16 hunting season. The deadline for returning hunter harvest cards after the 2015-16 season will be April 1, 2016. There will be no grace period.

The number of permits issued for each hunting unit varies based on the size of the unit and wildlife management goals for that unit. The number of permits issue per unit has not changed from last season. The following numbers of permits, by hunting unit, are available: Beaumont Unit–200; Beech Creek Unit–150; Big Sandy Creek Unit–400; Jack Gore Baygall Unit–400; Lance Rosier Unit–900; and Neches Bottom Unit–150.

For additional information, contact Big Thicket National Preserve at (409) 951-6700.

Big Thicket National Preserve is located in Southeast Texas, near the city Beaumont and 75 miles northeast of Houston. The preserve consists of nine land units and six water corridors encompassing more than 112,000 acres. The Big Thicket, often referred to as a “biological crossroads,” is a transition zone between four distinct vegetation types – the moist eastern hardwood forest, the southwestern desert, the southeastern swamp, and the central prairies. Species from all of these different vegetation types come together in the thicket, exhibiting a variety of vegetation and wildlife that has received national interest.

For general information about Big Thicket National Preserve, visit www.nps.gov/bith or call the preserve visitor center at (409) 951-6700. Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/BigThicketNPS, Twitter www.twitter.com/BigThicketNPS, and Instagram www.instagram.com/BigThicketNPS.

— NPS press release

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