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Toledo Bend Lake

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Don't Forget Hunter Safety Certification


Tom Behrens has over 50 years experience in fishing and hunting across the United States. Much of this time was spent in Oklahoma and Texas where he became very familiar with the outdoor opportunities in these states. You may contact him by email at:

Now is the time to complete the Texas Hunter Safety Course and receive your Hunter Education Card. Most hunters today require a hunter education certificate before they can buy a hunting license. The Hunter Education Card is proof that you have successfully completed an approved hunting safety course.

Who needs to take Hunter Education?

Every hunter (including out-of-state hunters) born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, must have successfully completed hunter education. Minimum age for certification is 9 years. If you were born on or after September 2, 1971 and you are under 9 years of age, you must be accompanied. Age 9 through 16, you must successfully complete hunter education, or you must be accompanied. Age 17 and over, you must successfully complete hunter education; or purchase a “Hunter Education Deferral,” and you must be accompanied.

“Accompanied” refers a person (resident or non-resident) who is at least 17, who is licensed to hunt in Texas, who has passed hunter education or is exempt (born before Sept. 2, 1971), and you must be within normal voice control.

“Deferrals” may only be obtained only once and are valid until the end of the license year purchased. Hunters who have been convicted of or received deferred adjudication for violating the mandatory hunter education requirement may not apply for a deferral. Deferrals can be purchased from any vendor where hunting licenses are sold.

Military & Law Enforcement Hunter Education Exemptions

The following persons are exempt from requirements to complete a hunter education course to hunt in Texas:
- Active duty members and honorably discharged veterans of the United States armed forces;
- Active duty members or those who have previously served as members of the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, or the Texas State Guard; or
- Persons who are serving or have previously served as a peace officer as described by Subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4), Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure.


- Instructor-Led Courses for hunters under age 17 (plus parents and/or others seeking instructor-led courses)
- Classroom Course … 6 hours of basic instruction. Some courses may extend to cover added topics.
- Online + Field Course … After completing the online homework of Part 1, print out the TPWD Final Quiz or NRA Field Course Voucher and present it to your hunter education instructor at the Field Course.
- The Field Course includes a presentation of ethical and responsible hunting, participation in a hunting skills trail, a live firing exercise, review of regulations and a final exam (score at least 75% to pass). The Field Course is completed in one day. You must pre-register for this course with the instructor to reserve a seat and find out class details, such as location and hours.
- Online-Only Course … Must be 17 years of age or older to register. Register for any online vendor option approved in Texas.

Schedule of Field Courses

If you are unable to find a Field Course near you or in the time frame you need, place your information on the TPWD Hunter Education Course waiting list. TPWD will contact instructors in your area and attempt to schedule a course.


Cost of hunter education certification is $15. Hunter Education Deferral is $10. A deferral may only be obtained once and is only valid until the end of the current license year. A person who has been convicted or has received deferred adjudication for violation of the mandatory hunter education requirement is prohibited from applying for a deferral. Online course is $28.95.

Is a hunter safety course good for all states?

All states that have mandatory hunter education requirements will accept your state's Hunter Education Card. Likewise your state will accept hunting education cards that are issued by states that meet IHEA-USA standards. (This is known as "reciprocity.")

Bowhunter Education

Bowhunter education certification is required on the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, Pottsboro. Bowhunter education does not substitute for Hunter Education certification.

Additional information can be obtained by checking TPWD Hunter Education or call toll-free (800) 792-1112 (menu 6) or call (512) 389-4999.





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Toledo Bend Lake Weather Forecast


Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 88

Wednesday Night

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 73


Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 88

Thursday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 71


Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 92

Friday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 71


Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 92

Saturday Night

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 72

Toledo Bend Lake Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 6/3: 171.64 (-0.36)

Toledo Bend Lake Fishing Report from TPWD (May 27)

FAIR. Water slightly stained; 74 degrees; 0.01’ high. Boat traffic has increased with pent up demand, so please use caution in boat lanes. Largemouth bass are good in the spring pattern with Carolina rigs, topwater, and jigs. There are hot spots just off of texas island drops. Striped bass remain fair in deep water. White bass are fair on deep points fishing Alabama rigs when you can and spoons when you can’t. Crappie are good on minnows. Channel and blue catfish are fair on stinkbait.