Are you a hunter looking forward to the upcoming deer season in Texas? If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this post, we’ll discuss the details of the Texas deer hunting season, including the dates, bag limits, and other regulations. So read on to find out everything you need about deer hunting in Texas!
Types of Deer Hunting in Texas & Seasons
Every year, Texans look forward to the annual deer season. This season is especially popular with hunters from all over the state participating in the hunt. Below here is a complete Deer hunting schedule for your perusal.
|Hunting Zones||Deer Season (White Tailed)||Hunting Dates|
|North||General Deer||Nov 4 , 2023- Jan 7, 2024|
|South||General Deer||Nov 4, 2023 - Jan 21, 2024|
|North||Special Late Deer||Jan 8, 2024 - Jan 21, 2024|
|South||Special Late Deer||Jan 22, 2024 - Feb 4, 2024|
|North||Youth-Only Deer||Oct 28, 2023 - Oct 29, 2023|
|North||Youth-Only Deer||Jan 8, 2024 - Jan 21, 2024|
|South||Youth-Only Deer||Oct 28, 2023 - Oct 29, 2023|
|South||Youth-Only Deer||Jan 8, 2024 - Jan 21, 2024|
|252 of 254 counties||Archery Deer||Sep 30, 2023 - Nov 3, 2023|
|90 of 254 counties||Muzzleloader Deer||Jan 8, 2024 - Jan 21, 2024|
Mule Deer Season
|Zones||Mule Deers||Hunting Dates|
|Panhandle||General Deer||Nov 18, 2023 - Dec 3, 2023|
|Trans-Pecos||General Deer||Nov 24, 2023 - Dec 10, 2023|
|59 of 254 counties||Archery Deer||Sep 30, 2023 - Nov 3, 2023|
|Hunting Zones||Pronghorn||Hunting Dates|
|41 of 254 counties||General Season||Sep 30 to Oct 15, 2023|
|TX Elk Season||Hunting Start Date||Hunting End Date||Note|
|Elk Season||August||September-February||A velvet-antlered elk may be found in August, and a hard-antlered one can be seen in September through February, but there are no seasonal limits on Elk.|
TX Deer License
After completing a hunter education course and submitting identification, you may apply for a hunting license (if applicable). Purchase a physical or digital license; non-resident and resident badges are available (some licenses may only be available in Austin or at a regional location). Find below the cost involved in obtaining the licenses.
|License Types||Item No.||Cost||Criteria||Note|
|Resident Hunting License||101||25||Texas resident||Hunt any permitted bird or animal (terrestrial vertebrates).
Conditions for endorsement apply.
|Senior Resident Hunting License||102||7||Texas resident 65 years & older||Only residents 65 and older may get senior resident hunting licenses.|
|Youth Hunting License||169||7||Texas resident or non-resident who was under 17 at the time of purchase.||Anyone under 17 at the time of purchase is eligible. State hunting endorsements are excluded, save for reptile and amphibian. State endorsement exemptions are available throughout the licensing year. When applicable, provide HIP certification.|
|Hunting Lease License (Small-1 through 499 acres)||132||79||Both Texas resident and non-resident||A requirement for any landowner or landowner's representative that leases hunting rights for money or other consideration. The license must be shown.|
|Hunting Lease License (Medium-500 through 999 acres)||133||147||Both Texas resident and non-resident||A requirement for any landowner or landowner's representative that leases hunting rights for money or other consideration. The license must be shown.|
|Hunting Lease License (Large-1,000 acres or more)||134||252||Both Texas resident and non-resident||A requirement for any landowner or landowner's representative that leases hunting rights for money or other consideration. The license must be shown.|
|Resident Trapper's License||106||19||Texas resident||Required for anybody, regardless of age, who wants to hunt, kill, or take fur-bearing animals' pelts or carcasses for sale.|
|Non-resident Trapper's License||115||315||Non-resident||Required for anybody, regardless of age, who wants to hunt, kill, or take fur-bearing animals' pelts or carcasses for sale.|
|Non-resident General Hunting License||105||315||Non-resident||Permitted bird or mammal hunting (including deer). Acceptance requirements exist. Non-residents need this license to hunt pronghorn, bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, or mule deer using MLDP tags.|
|Non-resident Spring Turkey License||118||126||Non-resident||Starting on February 1st. Only spring turkey hunting is allowed. Non-residents need a $7 Upland Endorsement. This license cannot be held with a Non-Resident General Hunting License.|
|Nonresident Special Small Game/Exotic Hunting||107||132||Non-resident||Valid for hunting any game, non-game, fur-bearing, alligators, javelinas, and exotic animals (excluding turkey) (not valid for white-tailed or mule deer including MLDP tags, pronghorn or bighorn sheep). Acceptance requirements exist.|
|Nonresident 5Day Special Small Game/Exotic Hunting||157||48||Non-resident||Five days nonstop (valid hunting dates will be printed on the license when issued). Valid for hunting any game, non-game, fur-bearing, alligators, javelinas, and exotic animals (excluding turkey) (not valid for white-tailed or mule deer including MLDP tags, pronghorn or bighorn sheep). Acceptance requirements exist.|
|Non-resident Banded Bird Hunting License||120||27||Non-resident||Banded bobwhite quail, partridge, pheasant, and mallard ducks only on privately owned properties. Upland and migratory bird endorsements have requirements.|
TX Deer Bag Limits
It’s important to adhere to the bag limits and regulations to ensure a sustainable deer population and maintain the integrity of the hunting experience. Here are the key points to remember about the Texas deer hunting bag limit.
- The statewide bag limit for whitetail deer is five deer per hunting season.
- Hunters are limited to taking a total of three bucks across all counties.
- Bag limits may vary by county, so it’s important to check the regulations for the county where you are hunting.
- These bag limits do not apply to properties enrolled in the Managed Lands Deer Permit (MLDP) program. MLDP properties have their bag limits set by the landowner or manager.
Best Places to Hunt Deer in Texas
Here is a list of some hunting locations in Texas where you can hunt deer:
|Texas Deer Location||Type of Deer|
|Big Bend Ranch State Park||Mule deer (Note: Carmen Mountains whitetail cannot be hunted here)|
|Guadalupe Mountains National Park||Mule deer, elk|
|Hill Country||Whitetail deer|
|Houston County||Whitetail deer|
|San Angelo State Park||Mule deer, white-tailed deer|
|Sam Houston National Forest||Whitetail deer|
|South Texas||Big Whitetail deer|
|Texas Hill Country||Whitetail deer|
|West Texas||Mule deer|
|North and East Texas||Kansas whitetail|
|East and Southeast Texas and along the Gulf Coast||Avery Island Whitetail|
|Kiowa and Rita Blanca National Grasslands||native pronghorn with thin legs; often misidentified as antelope|
|Cross Timbers||Whitetail deer|
|Piney Woods||Whitetail deer|
Before deer hunting in the area mentioned above, ensure you have the proper licenses, permits, and knowledge of the regulations by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Regulations for Deer Hunting in Texas
Texas deer hunting ordinances vary by county. Here are a few things you should remember.
- County-level regulations are often established for youth seasons, special late seasons, restricted areas, bag limitations, and antler restrictions.
- All Texas hunters born after September 2, 1971, must complete a hunter education course.
- Both online and in-person options are available, and certification must be carried out when hunting.
- Texas has a 9-year-old minimum hunting age, and those under 17 must take in-person instruction.
- For individuals over 17 who have not yet taken the course, a deferral of up to a year is possible (only once for non-residents)
- In Texas, a hunting license may be purchased without providing proof of completion or certification from a hunter education course.
Tagging A Deer
Tag each deer you capture as below:
If you have a paper license:
- Remove the tag and fill it out shortly after shooting the deer.
- Affix the tag on the deer, making sure it is visible.
- Keep the tag clean by placing it in a bag.
If you have a digital tag:
- Utilize the app to identify the animal.
- Download the app before going to the field.
- Attach a handwritten tag to the deer corpse using a waterproof tag (e.g., duct tape and a sharpie).
- If you have data, the app will provide a confirmation number after you submit the harvest report.
- If you don’t have data, write down your name, hunting license customer number, and the time and date of harvest and replace them with a confirmation number when it becomes available.
FAQ related to Texas Deer Hunting Season
How to Report a Deer Harvest in Texas?
In Texas, you must submit a harvest report in specific locations, such as after shooting deer. The deadline for harvest reporting is 24 hours after completion. This may be accomplished in two ways: either a web portal or a specific mobile app. This yearly reporting duty, however, is open to amendment. As a result, determining whether or not you must submit a report is critical.
Where is the best whitetail hunting in Texas?
All around the state of Texas, you may see white-tailed deer. White-tailed deer have been found in 252 of the state’s 254 counties. White-tailed deer may be found in every open area in South Texas, making any ranch suitable for hunting.