Feral hogs are so loathed by landowners in Texas for their habitat-destroying behavior that beginning Sept. 1, you won’t even need a hunting license to pursue them on private property, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced Thursday, Aug. 29.

A new law, SB 317 by Sen. Bryan Hughes of Mineola, passed during the 86th Texas Legislature and goes into effect on Sunday. It exempts any person who is hunting with landowner consent from a hunting license requirement to hunt feral hogs. A person does not need to be a resident to be exempt from the license requirement, but it is still a violation to hunt without a license if hunting without consent, according to the TPWD.

The new law removes any reference to depredation and the exemption applies for the take of all feral hogs.

The new law only applies to private property and whether the hunt is a paid hunt does not matter, according to a TPWD press release, though allowing hunting access in return for financial or other consideration still requires a hunting lease license from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

A hunting license is still required on public land. Hunter education requirements also still apply.

Also effective Sept. 1, in most cases hunters will not be required to carry their original paper hunting and fishing licenses with them to the field. HB 547 by State Rep. Terry Canales of Edinburg allows licensees to use a photograph of their physical license to serve as verification of a valid license while hunting any game that doesn’t need a tag, like dove.

Hunters must carry their physical license with them for deer and turkey hunts if they want to retain an oversized red drum, since they require tags.

One’s hunting license can now be viewed digitally on the Outdoor Annual mobile app or the My Texas Hunt Harvest app.

Also accepted will be a legible digital photo, an emailed receipt or an online purchase record.

Those who downloaded the Outdoor Annual app before Aug. 15 will need to update it to version 6 in order to access their license and view the 2019-2020 regulations.

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