Texas Hunting Seasons 2023-2024: [Updated Schedule]

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If you are planning on visiting Texas in the hunting seasons 2023-2024, there are some things you should know before you go. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has released its hunting season dates for the latest season. So, here are few things to know ahead of your hunting season preparation.

We aimed to create the most clear guide possible regarding Texas hunting seasons. If you want to know when the seasons are, what the rules and bag limits are, what the licensing requirements are, and where to discover useful links? The information provided in this guide will interest you.

What’s new for the 2023-24 Texas hunting season?

New for the 2023-24 Texas Hunting SeasonDetails
Tag Checking RequirementsEvery year, Texas hunters must check their tags. Hunters are checking their tags less due to GPS-enabled locators and deer monitoring apps.
Reduced Check OptionBackcountry hunters without GPS locators can hunt for a season without being tagged under the "reduced check" option. This option gives hunters more flexibility while adhering to regulations.

TX Hunting Season Updates and Changes 2023-2024

CategoryUpdates and Changes 2023-2024
Chronic Wasting DiseaseNew CWD zones established in Bexar, Frio, Gonzales, Hamilton, Sutton, Washington, and Zavala counties.
CWD zones in Duval, Gillespie, Limestone, and Uvalde counties have been reduced in size.
More detailed zone boundaries, requirements, and checkstation operating hours information will be available.
Buck & Antlerless DeerMandatory harvest reporting remains in effect for buck and antlerless deer in Collin, Dallas, Grayson, and Rockwall counties.
Reporting requirement extended to antlerless deer in 21 south central Texas counties.
Feral HogsNew rules allow aerial wildlife management permit holders to conduct nighttime hunting of feral hogs with drones.

Texas Hunting Season
Texas Hunting Season

Texas hunting season in 2023-2024

Over 1 million acres of wildlife land in Texas, including TPWD-owned property, land leased from other state and government agencies, forest products companies, and land that individual owners support. The Annual Public Hunting Permit enables year-round hunting for white-tailed deer, wild pigs, doves, quail, turkey, birds, rabbit, fox, and more on nearly one million acres. For excellent native animals and foreign species on TPWD-managed areas and specifically leased private lands, drawn hunts are available. For novice hunters, TPWD and associate organizations provide managed hunting workshops and routine (Daily) Permit Hunts for small game and wildlife. They include supervised, drawn hunts for adult and youth shooters, E-Postcard selection hunts, and special hunt package drawings.

Deer Season in Texas

White-tailed Deer
SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesZones
Special Late8-Jan-2421-Jan-24North
Special Late22-Jan-244-Feb-24South
Archery30-Sep-233-Nov-23252 of 254 counties
Muzzleloader8-Jan-2421-Jan-2490 of 254 counties
Mule Deer
SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesZones
Archery30-Sep-233-Nov-2359 of 254 counties

Pronghorn Season

Pronghorn SeasonZonesHunting Start DatesHunting End Dates
General41 of 254 countiesSep. 30, 2023Oct. 15, 2023

Javelina Season

TX Javelina SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End Date
General (North Zone)1-Oct-2325-Feb-24
General (South Zone)1-Sep-2331-Aug-24

Squirrel Season

TX SquirrelHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesZone
General Season1-Oct-2325-Feb-24East Texas
General Season1-May-2431-May-24East Texas
General Season1-Sep-2331-Aug-24Other open counties
Youth-only Season23-Sep-2324-Sep-23East Texas

Texas Upland Game Birds Season

Pheasant season

Pheasant seasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesZones
RegularDec 2-31, 202331-Dec-23Panhandle

Chachalaca Season

Chachalaca SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesZones
Regular28-Oct-2325-Feb-24Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr & Willacy Counties

Quail season

Quail season SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesZones

Turkey Season

Rio Grande Turkey seasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesZones
Fall4-Nov-2325-Feb-24Brooks, Kenedy, Kleberg & Willacy counties
Fall Youth-only28-Oct-2329-Oct-23North
Fall Youth-only8-Jan-2421-Jan-24North
Fall Youth-only28-Oct-2329-Oct-23South
Fall Youth-only22-Jan-244-Feb-24South
One-turkey counties1-Apr-2430-Apr-24
Spring Youth-Only23-Mar-2424-Mar-24North
Spring Youth-Only18-May-2419-May-24
Spring Youth-Only9-Mar-2410-Mar-24South
Spring Youth-Only4-May-245-May-24
Eastern Turkey seasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesZones
Spring22-Apr-2414-May-24East Texas

Texas Migratory Bird Season

Dove Season

TX Dove SeasonHunting Dates
Regular (North)Sep 1, 2023 - Nov 12, 2023
Regular (North)Dec 15-31, 2023
Regular (Central)Sep 1, 2023 - Oct 29, 2023
Regular (Central)Dec 15, 2023 - Jan 14, 2024
Regular (South)Sep 14, 2023 - Oct 29, 2023
Regular (South)Dec 15, 2023 - Jan 21, 2024
Special White-winged Dove DaysSep 1-3, 2023
Special White-winged Dove DaysSept 8-10, 2023

Duck Season

TX Duck SeasonHunting DatesZones
RegularOct 28-29, 2023High Plains Mallard Management Unit
RegularNov 3, 2023 - Jan 28, 2024High Plains Mallard Management Unit
RegularNov 11-26, 2023North
RegularDec 2, 2023 - Jan 28, 2024North
RegularNov 4-26, 2023South
RegularDec 9, 2023 - Jan 28, 2024South
Youth/VeteransOct 21-22, 2023High Plains Mallard Management Unit
Youth/VeteransNov 4-5, 2023North
Youth/VeteransOct 28-29, 2023South

Goose Season

Goose SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesZones
Early Canada Goose9-Sep-2324-Sep-23East
Light & Dark Geese4-Nov-234-Feb-24West
Light & Dark Geese4-Nov-2328-Jan-24East
Light Goose Conservation Order5-Feb-2410-Mar-24West
Light Goose Conservation Order29-Jan-2410-Mar-24East

Rails Season

Rails SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesZones

Gallinules Season

Gallinules SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesZones

Moorhens Season

Moorhens SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesZones

Snipe Season

Snipe SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesZones
Snipe Common Season4-Nov-2318-Feb-24Statewide

Teal Season

Texas Teal SeasonDetails
Opening Day of Teal Season9-Sep-23
Season Length16 days (September 9 - September 24, 2023)
Daily Bag Limit6 teal
Possession Limit18 teal
Blue-Winged Teal Estimate5.2 million (above the required threshold)
Special Early Teal SeasonTexas offers a special early teal season in September.

Woodcock Season

Woodcock SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesZones

Sandhill Crane Season

Sandhill Cranes SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesZones

Rabbit Season

TX Rabbits and Hares SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End Dates
Regular (Statewide)No closed seasonNo closed season

Alligator Season

TX Alligator SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End Dates
General (22 Counties & Special Properties)10-Sep-2330-Sep-23
General (All Other Counties)1-Apr-2430-Jun-24

TX Hunting License

Texas hunting licenses are required for anyone who wants to go hunting or fishing within the state. Depending on the animal being pursued, the hunter’s age, and their place of residence, different hunting licenses, badges, and permits are required. Hunting licenses and permits are available in Texas in various categories, including resident, non-resident, elderly, youth, lifetime, and military. Texas hunting licenses can cost more or less depending on your age and where you live. Residents spend $7 for children and elders and $25 for adults for the same registration, compared to $315 for non-residents. For $1,800, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department also sells lifetime residents combo licenses for hunting and fishing.

ParticularsTexas Hunting & Fishing Licenses on sale starting Aug. 15th
Start Date15-Aug-23
End Date31-Aug-23
Licenses Sold AnnuallyOver 2.7 million
Available LicensesAnnual digital licenses, Youth Hunting, Lifetime Hunting and Fishing tags, Exempt Angler tag
Online PurchaseAvailable for digital licenses through online purchase only
Lifetime Super Combo DrawingA drawing for three Lifetime Super Combo licenses; $5 per entry
Entry Deadline30-Sep-23
Purchase OptionsOnline, phone (1-800-895-4248), license retailers

Texas Public Hunting Areas Interactive Map

An internet utility called the Texas Public hunting Areas Interactive Map lets people look at over one million acres of openly available hunting land in Texas. The map shows various shooting locations, such as privately held properties rented by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and wildlife management areas, state parks, national wildlife refuges, and state parks. (TPWD). Users can verify the times and kinds of games provided in each place while viewing various base maps. The TPWD gives guided hunting seminars to expose new hunters to the sport and chances to register for monitored, drawn hunts through the Public Hunt Drawing System. Overall, Texas shooters will find this chart to be a useful tool.

Texas Hunting Regulations

  • Within the confines of private land or upon private water, it is prohibited to pursue mammals and non-migratory game birds from a motor vehicle, powerboat, yacht, or from any other moving device.
  • Hunting game animals and game birds are permitted with calling devices, recordings, and electronically enhanced sounds. However, using electronic calls to pursue migrating game birds is prohibited except during the Light Goose Conservation Order season.
  • Live decoys cannot be used when hunting migrating game birds, but baits can stalk both game mammals and game birds.
  • Air rifles and arrow weapons can target alligators, game animals, furbearers, rodents, and non-migratory game birds (except for the eastern turkey).
  • Only with a Wildlife Resource Document (WRD) is it possible to transfer lawfully captured wildlife or marine resources, and the WRD has to be affixed throughout the entire transfer procedure.
  • Any legal handgun may be used to pursue game mammals and non-migratory game birds, except rimfire ammo, completely automatic weapons, and muzzleloader deer seasons, which are limited to muzzleloading weapons only.
  • The use of canines to capture wildlife birds is prohibited.
  • It is against the law to shoot a gun across a property line or on a public road, stalk remotely, use nets, or pursue deer with canines.
  • Some public and private areas, including parks and animal preserves, forbid hunting.
  • Specific rules must be followed when using projectiles for hunting, such as the need to use broadhead hunting tips and the ban on incendiary, doped, or poisoned shells.
  • For information on falconry permits and laws, call (512) 389-4481.
  • For labeling directions, hunters with digital permits and tags should visit tpwd.texas.gov/digitaltags.
  • Except for vintage or novelty firearms made before 1899 or copies of such firearms that do not use rimfire or centerfire ammo, guns are usually banned from having criminals who have been convicted of a crime.
  • Keeping a deer or pronghorn with the reproductive glands removed is forbidden unless it has been at least quartered and reached its location. A finished Managed Lands Deer Program (MLDP) Tag, Antlerless Mule Deer Permit, CWD Check Station Notification, or TPWD Drawn Capture Permitted Deer Badge are acceptable forms of sex proof, as are the heads of buck deer with antlers affixed, antlerless deer, pronghorn, and buck deer with horns removed.
  • A Category 1 business handler must input the body into the cold storage journal and document the county and property of capture before removing the evidence of sex from deer or pronghorn.
  • Without evidence of sex, it is illegal to own a pheasant. The proof of sex must travel with the pheasant or turkey until it gets to its location and is processed.
  • White-tailed deer, mule deer, moose, and red deer can all contract the deadly Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in specific regions of Texas. To identify and control this illness, the government has named CWD Zones.
  • To remove any portion of an animal from a CWD Zone, hunters must transport their animals to a TPWD checkpoint within 48 hours of harvesting mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, or other foreign CWD-susceptible species within the CWD Zones.
  • Body pieces must be disposed of properly to prevent pollution and the spread of CWD. In any CWD Zone, hunters are advised to leave any inedible portions at the location of the kill, discard them in a dump, or bury them at least six feet underground.
  • Federal law forbids placing food where shooters attempt to capture migrating game birds.
  • The hunters are responsible for determining whether a location has been lured.
  • Hunting of migrating game birds is permitted over growing fields, artificially cultivated flora, and typical soil protection techniques.
  • Certain kinds of firearms, traps, and signals are prohibited when pursuing migrating game birds.
  • Until they arrive at the possessor’s home, all migrating game birds that have been caught must be marked.
  • The entry of migrating game birds from Mexico or Canada is subject to limitations.
  • For information on regulations or license requirements, waterfowl shooters using public waterways should contact their neighbourhood TPWD Law Enforcement office.

Read more information on Texas’s hunting regulations on tpwd.texas.gov

Texas Seasons, Licenses, & Maps for Hunting

Texas has a difficult-to-navigate licensing structure that makes hunting without a license extremely challenging, as well as a short and pricey hunting season. The high cost and shortage of hunting licenses at U.S. borders creates an issue for non resident hunters.

Hunters can use the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s “Hunting Maps” on Google Maps during the season. Using this resource, sportsmen can learn more about popular game species in Texas and locate prime shooting areas near them. It will also encourage more print, internet, and video media ads centered around wildlife as a tourism attraction, which will help shooters better comprehend where to locate wildlife. By year’s end, Game Charts will be available in North Texas, Central Texas, and South Texas.

TX Hunting Seasons FAQ

When do the 2023-2024 hunting season start and end in Texas?

Depending on the type and region of the wildlife being pursued, the start and finish times for the 2023–2024 shooting season change. For example, East Texas’ general hunting season for game animals lasts from October 1, 2023, to February 25, 2024, and from May 1–31, 2024, while it lasts for other open counties from September 1, 2023, to August 31, 2024.

What animals can be hunted in Texas during the 2023-2024 hunting season?

The types and locations of the wildlife being pursued determine the creatures that can be shot in Texas during the 2023–2024 shooting season. While upland game birds like dove, quail, and pheasant have distinct seasons, game mammals like deer, turkey, and pronghorn can be pursued year-round. On the Texas Parks and Wildlife website, you can find the complete catalog of creatures and their corresponding seasons.

What are the bag limits for deer hunting in Texas during the 2023-2024 hunting season?

In most counties, there is a five-deer maximum bag limit for white-tailed deer during the regular season, with a maximum of three bucks allowed.

Do I need a hunting license in Texas during the 2023-2024 hunting season?

To shoot in Texas during the 2023–2024 hunting season, a hunter must possess a current hunting registration. A Texas Parks and Wildlife facility or an approved licensed vendor is where you can buy a license in person, over the phone, online, or both. Age, citizenship status, and the kind of wildlife being pursued are all variables that affect the particular authorization needed.

What can be hunted throughout the year in Texas?

An Annual Public Hunting Permit allows entry to 180 state-designated public hunting areas. With permits and rules, squirrels, rabbits, javelina, alligators, and migratory birds can be taken year-round in Texas. White-tailed deer and bighorn sheep hunting seasons are also regulated. Before chasing any mammal in Texas, check the local and species-specific laws.

Can you buy a hunting license in Texas without a driver's license?

Yes, in Texas, getting a hunting license without a driver’s license is possible. A photo and state-issued ID showing you’re over 16 are needed to get a license. You can buy a license from a game warden or wildlife agency if you’re 16 or older and not a condemned felon.

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