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Contact: Andrew Bennett, 409-951-6723
Big Thicket National Preserve Superintendent Wayne Prokopetz announced today that the preserve will start issuing this season's free hunting permits on Friday, September 1, 2017. Available 2017/2018 permits will be issued until February 28, 2018.
Permits will be issued at the preserve visitor center from 9 am until 5 pm daily. The visitor center is located 8 miles north of Kountze at the intersection of US 69 and FM 420 at 6102 FM 420. Big Thicket hunting permits allow hunters to take white-tailed deer, squirrel, rabbit, feral hog, and waterfowl, except those for the new Lake Bayou Hunting Unit, which is a waterfowl-only area. The preserve observes the state of Texas hunting seasons from October 1, 2017, until January 7, 2018. Additional feral hogs may be taken during the extended hog-only season, which runs from January 8 until February 28, 2018. Waterfowl hunting at Lake Bayou will also remain open until February 28, 2018, in accordance with state seasons.
• Everyone who hunts in Big Thicket National Preserve must have a Big Thicket hunting permit.
• You must show your current Texas Hunting License to obtain a Big Thicket hunting permit.
• All hunters must apply in person and may hunt in only one unit. Starting in the 2016/2017 season, parents or guardians can no longer get permits for their children. All hunters must be present to get a permit.
Be advised that hunters who failed to return their harvest cards for the 2016/2017 season will not be eligible to hunt in Big Thicket National Preserve during the 2017/2018 hunting season. The deadline for returning hunter harvest cards after the 2017/2018 season will be April 1, 2018. 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 issued per unit has not changed from last season, except for the addition of the Lake Bayou Hunting Unit, near Beaumont, Texas. 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; Neches Bottom Unit–150; Lake Bayou Unit–50.
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 113,000 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.