With the arrival of May on the 2017 calendar, it’s time for bowhunters to begin dreaming about big Grayson County whitetail bucks this upcoming fall.


That’s especially true for those bowhunters who are 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 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 3,085 acres open for hunting on the Godwin, Goode and Meyers units.


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 now tailoring 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. 3 until Sunday evening, Nov. 5; Segment B: Friday morning, Nov. 17 until Sunday evening, Nov. 19; and Segment C: Friday morning, Dec. 1 until Sunday evening, Dec. 3.


After the application period closes at the end of May, a random computer lottery drawing will be held by refuge officials on June 9. Following the drawing, 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, 2017 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 or range officer) along with a $50 per person bowhunt permit fee. The deadline to do so is July 14.


To apply for the 2017 hunts, prospective bowhunters must have completed an IBEP bowhunter education course to be eligible to apply. They must also submit a $5 per person application fee by check or money order.


Next, an index card must be filled out that contains the following information: hunter’s name, address, e-mail address, IBEP Bowhunter Ed number 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 (normal business hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.) or sent in by mail to: 2017 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 Web site at www.fws.gov/refuge/Hagerman/visit/activities/hunting.html.