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Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge using lottery for hunt

February 25, 2018 GMT

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 April 14 and 15.

The refuge said it will issue 40 permits for each hunt at $60 each, and each hunter will 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. 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.