EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Last year, 43,000 hunters applied to be selected for what has come to be known as the "Big Texas Hunt." It is something a selected few get to do each year.
"It's not like you have to lease land and go through all that," said John Lippencott, a hunter. "They know where the animals are, and they're quality animals. You're talking about a supervised range."
Texas Parks and Wildlife offers adult and youth hunts by a special drawing, allowing 5,000 hunters on supervised hunts.
"There are a lot of people who don't have hunting leases and this is a great opportunity," said Dennis Smith, a Gregg County ag agent.
From white-tail to bighorn, from alligators to exotics, all are available on state run lands. What is enticing for all hunters is the opportunity to hunt something that maybe they have never seen before.
"The alligator, that would be neat," said Amy Lindsay. "You can shoot exotic animals and I like that."
Communities benefit from the program.
"It will bring significant numbers of hunters into these areas that will be spending dollars in those communities," said Smith.
Many see it as the ultimate in hunting.
"It's a once in a lifetime type thing," said Lippencott. "Anybody that's selected for this type of hunt is going to be really really excited, and it's going to be a memorable experience."
Money raised from the program goes to fund wildlife management, research and conservation efforts in Texas. Details on how the program works and application process are all found on the Texas Parks and Wildlife web site.