Social distancers may want to buy hunting, fishing licenses online

Fisherman Ricardo Galvan of Brownsville cast his fishing net at Jaime J. Zapata Memorial Boat Ramp and Kayak Launch Area Saturday wearing his face mask.

HARLINGEN — Hunting and fishing licenses expire at the end of the month, and for those practicing social distancing, buying online for 2020-21 may be the ticket.

Texans purchase more than 2.4 million hunting and fishing licenses which help fund numerous conservation efforts and recreational opportunities, including fish stocking, wildlife management, habitat restoration, public hunting leases, river fishing access and Texas Game Wardens, among others.

In addition to the 1,700 retailers who offer licenses statewide, outdoors lovers can also purchase licenses from a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department enforcement office or at the Austin headquarters, although you have to make an appointment at all these sites first.

Online could be the way to go.

The website is and there is an additional $5 fee to sign up online.

The TPWD website accepts the usual plastic, VISA, MasterCard and Discover cards.

The license should arrive in the mail within a week to 10 days.

But if you’re worried about having it in time for the opening of dove season, or an early September fishing trip, TPWD officials say print a copy of your receipt and carry that with you into the field. This will prevent any extra attention from a Texas Game Warden.

If you’re taking fish or game which requires a permit, you’ll have to wait until the mailed license arrives.

TPWD’s website notes a single person can purchase multiple licenses for family members or friends during the same online session, although when mailed out, they will all arrive at a single destination.