Texas hunting lease licenses required to make money off land, game

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Deer hunting and hunting in general are big business in Texas, but landowners are reminded that to lease out their tracts for those purposes they must have a hunting lease license, which must be renewed yearly.

The owner of a hunting lease or the landowner’s agent may not receive pay or anything of value from hunters unless the owner or agent has acquired a hunting lease license from the department. That law applies to all hunting leases. There are three types of lease licenses: hunting lease license; hunting cooperative; and wildlife management association. The license is required to be displayed on the hunting lease property. The first type of license, the hunting lease license is for the total amount of property in a county owned by an individual, partnership, firm, or corporation. Lease licenses can be purchased at any location where Texas hunting or fishing licenses are sold. Or, licenses can be bought online. Fees are:

  • Fewer than 500 acres – $79
  • Between 500 and 1,000 acres – $147
  • More than 1,000 acres – $252

The second type of license, the hunting cooperative lease license, is for a cooperative enterprise in which landowners pool their acreage and lease it for hunting purposes under the authority of a hunting lease license and in which the leasing profits are distributed to the landowners, according to the landowners’ participation. Cooperative lease licenses may not be issued to a corporation or entity. The fees for this license are:

  • Fewer than 10,000 acres – $60 plus $5 per participating landowner
  • Between 10,000 and 50,000 acres – $120 plus $5 per participating landowner
  • More than 50,000 acres – $240 plus $5 per participating landowner.

The third type of license is the wildlife management association area hunting lease license. The department may designate two or more contiguous or proximate (a tract of land within one-half mile of another member tract) tracts of land as a wildlife management association area if:

  • each owner of the land applies for the designation;
  •  the land is inhabited by wildlife;
  • the department determines that observing wildlife and collecting information about the wildlife will serve the purpose of wildlife management in the state;
  • and the landowners agree to provide the department with information regarding the wildlife under Section 81.302 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code.

The fees for licensing of this type of area are:

  • Fewer than 10,000 acres – $38 plus $6 per participating landowner
  • Between 10,000 and 50,000 acres – $76 plus $6 per participating landowner
  • More than 50,000 acres – $152 plus $6 per participating landowner

A person who violates any provision of the hunting lease license requirements or who fails to comply with any provision of the hunting lease license requirements commits an offense that is a Class C Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor, which carries a fine of between $25 to $500, according to TPWD officials.

Will Leschper is founder of The Texas Outdoor Digest. He has been recognized for Excellence in Craft by the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the Texas Outdoor Writers Association. He is Conservation Editor of Texas Fish & Game Magazine and is a regular contributor to the Journal of the Texas Trophy Hunters, in addition to writing for plenty of of now-defunct publications.