The time of year for hunting and fishing will begin on the fourth Saturday in September.  Sept. 28 is National Hunting and Fishing Day, a day meant to recognize most hunters and fishermen are responsible and enthusiastic naturalists.

In 1972, Congress requested the president declare a day to enjoy the sport of hunting and fishing. Hunting and fishing are pastimes enjoyed by over 82 million Americans, as recorded by the U.S. Forest Service.

The Sportsmen’s Center here on Fort Hood is the Great Place’s hunting and fishing headquarters. They offer one-stop shopping convenience for patrons.  Available items include state licenses, Fort Hood permits and other necessities for hunting and fishing, while choosing from a home-style breakfast or lunch from the grill.

With a great variety of affordable hunting and fishing opportunities right in the neighborhood, you don’t have to search beyond the Great Place to find something fun and exciting to do. There are numerous stocked ponds and natural creeks where fishermen can angle for catfish, bass and crappie. Enjoy the camaraderie with other hunters during your search for that trophy buck. Fort Hood’s hunting program is designed to embrace a diversity of methods and hunting styles. After meeting a few requirements, you can join in the fun for a challenging experience playing in the great outdoors at the Great Place.

The Texas Super Combo License (hunting and fishing) is available to qualified Soldiers at no cost; Fort Hood permit fees still apply. Texas hunting and fishing licenses and Fort Hood hunting and fishing permits are available at the Sportsmen’s Center. All hunters, regardless of age, must show proof of Hunter Education Certification to qualify for a Fort Hood hunting permit. The Sportsmen’s Center recognizes all states’ Hunter Education Certifications. The Hunter Education Certification is a one-time requirement. The state deferral program for Hunter Education Certification does not apply on Fort Hood.

There is a convenient option for persons 17 and older to take the complete Hunter Education Course online. The link is available on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. Users will be required to pay online with a credit card. A temporary certificate will be available to print once the course is completed and the permanent card will be mailed. The temporary card will be enough to obtain a Fort Hood hunting permit.

The Sportsmen’s Center also sponsors classes coordinated through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The Sportsmen’s Center classes are the second part to the free online course on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. Students must first complete the free online course and print the quizzes from the course as proof of completion. Students should be cautious and select the “free” online course and not the one that requests a payment. The second step is to attend one of the classes scheduled at the Sportsmen’s Center. Students must remember to bring their printed quizzes from the online course. Classes are approximately five hours long. Students will have to complete an exam and obtain a passing score to become certified. $15 cash will be due to the instructor on the selected course date. Pre-registration for Sportsmen’s Center classes is required through the Texas Park’s & Wildlife website.

The free version of the Texas Parks and Wildlife online Hunter Education Course can be found at http://www.tpwd.texas.gov/education/hunter-education/online-course/hunter-education-online-course.  

Students are encouraged to complete courses as soon as possible in order to not miss any hunting opportunities. Wild pigs can be hunted year-round with no harvest limit.

For more information on any of the programs, please contact the Sportsmen’s Center at 254-532-4552 or visit Bldg. 1937, Rod & Gun Club Loop, off Murphy Road.