Wildlife refuge goes to lottery for in-demand hunt permits

HARLINGEN — Hunters seeking permits for emergency hunts targeting exotic species at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge have swamped the refuge’s plans and a lottery will be held.

“Due to the overwhelming interest in the April Emergency Exotic Hunts, we have changed the permit selection process,” refuge officials announced. “To prevent dangerous overcrowding, potential conflict and traffic hazards, the Laguna Atascosa NWR is NOT allocating hunt permits on a ‘first-come-first-serve basis.’”

The statement on Facebook said hunt permits will be allocated via a lottery.

Previously the refuge said the dates for the hunts will be April 7 and 8, and then again on April 14 and 15.

The refuge says it will issue 40 permits for each hunt at $60 each, and each hunter will only be allowed to buy one permit.

To apply for a permit and qualify for the drawing, hunters or a representative must drop off applications in person at the refuge between 8 and 11 a.m. on March 5.

Refuge officials said no applications will be accepted via mail, fax or email.

Applicants can choose to wait for the drawing which will take place at 11:30 a.m. March 5 at the refuge headquarters, but applicants are not required to be present to win a permit.

Those awarded a permit will be required to pay for it with cash by 3 p.m. March 7.

For more information, call the refuge at 956-748-3607 ext. 105.


WHAT: Emergency exotics hunt

WHERE: Laguna Atascosa NWR

WHEN: April 7-8, 14-15

COST: $60 per hunt

REGISTER: In-person for lottery drawing at refuge between 8 and 11 a.m. on March 5