Challenges of buying a license

licensesssIt’s no DMV, but buying a hunting license can be quite the ordeal for hunters.

Lone Star Outdoor News Managing Editor Conor Harrison has had his fair share of painful experiences when buying each year’s new license.

This year, he set out to buy his Super Combo license in Port Aransas at the Family Center IGA on Aug. 31.

“The store management was training a new girl behind the desk the afternoon before opening morning of dove season — not exactly the time to be doing your first licenses,” he said.

The employee was unable to pull Harrison’s driver’s license number or TPWD ID number up on the computer. A Texas resident for seven years, Harrison was told by the employee that he had never purchased a Texas hunting license before.

“She would not accept that I had bought a license before until I produced last year’s license,” he said. “She still could not find me in the computer, so she issued me a new license with a new TPWD ID number. I have no idea how many ID numbers I now have in the TPWD computers.”

This after a frustrating experience in a Dallas-area Walmart several months earlier when two out-of-town friends spent more than an hour attempting to purchase two licenses for a day of fishing.

“The poor older woman behind the outdoors desk had never rung up a license and couldn’t read the computer screen,” he said. “My friends finally turned the computer around and filled in their own information to speed things along. Luckily, we weren’t meeting anyone at the lake.”

Before my first dove hunt of the year, I had to go purchase an out of state license, since I have not lived in Texas for the required six months to be considered a resident.

It took three employees studying the TPWD Outdoor Annual booklet to agree on which license I needed to dove hunt, though their first suggestion was to buy the license that allows the harvesting of exotics.

Once we agreed on which license I needed, confusion ensued as my billing address (Texas) and address from my driver’s license (Arkansas) were different. When the license was finally printed, I quickly informed the cashier that AK was the postal abbreviation for Alaska, and probably would not work.

Despite the often humorous, yet aggravating process of buying a license, the good part is that it’s only a once-a-year adventure.