With the arrival of Memorial Day on the calendar, it’s last call time for bowhunters hoping to draw a tag for this year’s highly anticipated Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge archery deer hunts.

With the application period running from May 1-31 once again this year, archers will be putting their name into the hat for 150 permits to be issued for three different hunting segments. This year’s unit rotation will have a total of 3,475 acres open for hunting on the Goode, Meyers, and Harris units.

As noted in this space a year ago, if the number of available permits seems lower than in some past years, that’s correct.

Refuge officials indicate that they want to help insure both a safe hunt and a high quality one. Because of that, they are continuing to tailor the number of hunting permits available each year to the amount of land open in the annual unit rotation.

Hunt dates this fall are as follows: Segment A: Friday morning, Nov. 2 until Sunday evening, Nov. 4; Segment B: Friday morning, Nov. 16 until Sunday evening, Nov. 18; and Segment C: Friday morning, Nov. 30 until Sunday evening, Dec. 2.

After the current application period closes next week on May 31, a random computer lottery drawing will be held by refuge officials on June 8. Following the drawing, successful applicants will be notified of their permit selection while unsuccessful applicants will be awarded a preference point

Hunters who are selected for this year’s archery hunts must then submit a shooting proficiency test scorecard (dated May 1, 2018 or later) with a score of at least 80-percent. The test must be taken on an archery range that features a minimum of 14 targets, shot distances of no more than 30 yards, and standard 10-8-5-0 scoring.

Selected hunters must submit their shooting proficiency scorecard (signed by a tournament range officer) along with a $50 per person bowhunt permit fee. The deadline to submit the scorecard and hunt fee is July 13.

Something new for 2018 is that applicants are not required to have completed a bowhunter education (BHE) course before applying this year. Please note however that hunters MUST have completed a BHE course before they will be allowed to hunt this fall. Refuge officials note that the bowhunter’s BHE card must be shown at the selected hunter’s check-in.

To apply for the 2018 Hagerman NWR archery deer hunts, hunters must submit a $5 per person application fee (non-refundable and made payable to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) by check or money order. No cash is accepted.

Next, an index card must be filled out that contains the following information: hunter’s name, address, e-mail address, BHE number (if the course has already been taken), and a phone number. Index cards must be postmarked no later than May 31 and may contain the name of up to one hunting buddy per application.

The application index card must be dropped off at the refuge office (during normal business hours from 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.) or sent in by mail to: 2018 Archery Deer Hunt, Hagerman NWR, 6465 Refuge Road, Sherman, TX 75092.

For more information on this fall’s archery hunts, contact the refuge office at 903-786-2826 or visit the Hagerman website at www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/Hagerman%202018%20Archery%20Deer.pdf.