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Texas Hunting

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Written by:  Devn Schumacher 

May, 10 2021

Texas' large size favors its hunting scene with the availability of small and large games during the hunting season. Some of the most common games in the state include Javelina, alligator, deer, pronghorn, and plenty of small games.

Texas Hunting Regulations

Like all other states in the nation, hunting, and trapping is regulated in Texas with laws and requirements that hunters must compulsorily follow.

Some of the most important hunting regulations in Texas include the following:

Hunting License in Texas

Before you can hunt any game in Texas, you must obtain a state hunting license. Texas has various licenses for resident and non-residents hunters. It is a prohibition to hunt without a valid state hunting license.

Tagging Requirements in Texas

It is compulsory to tag certain animals after hunting them. Some of such animals are deer and turkeys. Hunters must know about all tagging requirements for the games they want to take and the animals must be tagged appropriately to avoid violations.

Before hunting games like turkeys and deer, hunters must first purchase their hunting tag. After hunting the game, the tag must be attached immediately, and this must be before the animal is transported from the hunting field.

Hunters must also mark their tags with the necessary details like a date, a zone where the hunting took place, and every other important information. After tagging the game, the tag must be left on the carcass when it is being transported for storage or to the hunter's home. Also, the tag must remain on the carcass while the hunter is still in camp.

Checking and Validating Tags

It is compulsory to validate game tags for animals like turkeys and deer. The validation must be within at least 72 hours of taking the game. It can be done with the Texas game check system.

Tags can also be validated by calls or via the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. Hunters who harvest deer in certain Wildlife Management Areas can validate their deer tag within the WMA if there is a check station available. It is the responsibility of a hunter to know if a WMA has a deer check-in station and if the station is available for the hunting period.

Hunter Dressing Requirements in Texas

Orange and pink are the accepted colors for certain game animals in Texas like white-tailed deer, and it does not matter the type of hunting firearm that is used. However, the amount of pink or orange color accepted for the hunting will vary based on hunting types and if the hunter is on Texas public hunting lands or private lands.

Some of Texas’s hunting cloth regulations in the state include the following:

Hunters that are on private lands in the state are allowed to wear at least 400 square inches of the required pink or orange color in body parts like chest, back and head. They can also wear an orange or pink cap of the required inch size according to this regulation.

Hunters that are harvesting deer in the legal deer firearm season must wear the minimum 400 square inches required of the pink or orange color either on their head, chest, or back.

Hunters that take games from stands or elevated floors in private lands areas of the state do not need to follow the dressing requirement. But there is an exception if private land allows the use of hunting firearms. In this case, they must adhere to the minimum 400 square inches for the orange or pink color to be worn on their head, back or chest when they are going to the stand or elevated floor, and when they are coming down.

Archery hunters that are taking games on hunting lands that do not permit the use of firearms are not required to abide by the dressing regulation.

Hunting Bag Limits in Texas

Hunters must abide by the bag limit for the game they want to take and the hunting season they are a part of. Bag limits are enforced to restrict the number of specific game animals that can be taken in a hunting season.

Bag limits may either be daily or seasonal, based on the type of animal. Daily bag limits will restrict the number of games that can be taken within a day. Seasonal bag limits will restrict the number of games that can be taken within the start date and ending date of a hunting season.

Bag limits are defined by the Texas Parks and Wildlife, and they vary based on the number of species that are available for that year. Violating bag limits will carry penalties which could be a fine or license revocation.

Open Carry While Hunting in Texas.

Open carry during hunting is legal in Texas. Also, while bow hunting, you can make use of any caliber of firearm.

Texas also has hunter harassment laws for the protection of such activity within the state.

  • Nobody, in the state, shall involve in activities, on wildlife and in waters owned by the government or private individuals, where a license for hunting activities is available to carry out the following:
  • Disturb lawful hunting of wildlife animals by hunters, or aquatic animals by fishermen, to prevent the taking of such animals.
  • Disturbing animals in the wild by engaging in activities or erecting a barrier that will affect animal behaviors in such a way that interferes with hunting.
  • Disturb any hunter or fisherman that is lawfully carrying out his or her activity with the intention to dissuade or discourage them from carrying out such activity.

Trespass of any wildlife or aquatic body with the intention to violate any section of the hunter harassment law.

Trespass on any unnavigable water body that is privately owned, with the intention to hunt any animal without gaining permission from the landowner.

Texas Hunting License, Permits, and Tags

Texas hunting licenses are issued based on the age and residency or applicant, there are also licenses available for military members. Permits and tags are issued to give hunters access to take specific game animals.

Texas licenses, permits, and tags available in the state include the following:

Basic Season License

This license will allow holders to take games in various hunting seasons in Texas. However, you cannot make use of this license to take big games. It is available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $15 and $150 respectively.

Big Game License

This license will allow the taking of various big games during their hunting season. It is available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $14 and $150 respectively.

Bow Hunting License

Hunters that want to make use of archery to take games in Texas must purchase this license. It is available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $10.5 and $26.

Primitive Firearm Hunting License

Hunters that want to make use of primitive firearms to take games in Texas must purchase this license. It is available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $10.5 and $26.

LA Duck License

Hunters that want to take LA ducks must first purchase this license. It is available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $5.5 and $25.

Federal Electronic Duck Stamp

To take migratory fowls and ducks in Texas, you need to purchase a federal electronic duck stamp. It is available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $27.22.

Wild Texas Stamp

This stamp is compulsory for anyone that does not have a valid Texas license and wants to hunt or fish in the state. It is available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $9.5.

One Day Wild Texas Stamp

This stamp is compulsory for anyone that does not have a valid Texas license and wants to hunt or fish in the state. It is valid for one day and available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $2.

Senior Hunting and Fishing License

This is a combination license available for senior residents of Texas. The age requirement to apply for this license is at least 65 years. It costs $5.

WMA Hunting Permit

To gain access to some Wildlife Management Areas in Texas, you need to obtain a WMA hunting license. It is available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $15.

Small Game and Migratory Bird Permit

This permit allows holders access to hunting small games and migratory birds in the state. It is only available for non-residents, and it is valid for 1 day. It costs $29.

Deer Hunting Permit

This permit allows holders access to hunting deer in Texas. It is only available for non-residents, and it is valid for 1 day. It costs $36.

Turkey Hunting Permit

This permit allows holders access to hunting turkeys in Texas. It is only available for non-residents, and it is valid for 1 day. It costs $36.

Hunting Preserve Permit

Hunters with this permit will be allowed access to hunting preserves in Texas. The license is always available from the 1st of October to the 30th of April. It is only available for non-residents, and it is valid for 1 day. It costs $15.

5 Days Native Basic Trip Permit

This permit is only available to non-residents and it is valid for 5 days. The permit allows them to take various games except for big games. It costs $15.

5 Days Native Big Game Trip Permit

This permit is only available to non-residents and it is valid for 5 days. The permit allows them to take various only big games. It costs $14.

Texas Fishing Licenses, Permits, and Tags

Fishing licenses, permits, and tags available in Texas include the following:

Hook and Line Fishing License

Residents that want to harvest fishes with hook and line need to purchase this license. It is not available for non-residents. It costs $2.5

Basic Fishing License

People that want to fish in various Texas water bodies need to purchase this license. It is available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $9.5 and $60 respectively.

Saltwater Fishing License

This license allows holders to harvest fishes in salt waters in Texas. It is available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $13 and $30 respectively.

One Day Basic Trip License

This fishing license is valid for one day. It is available for non-residents at a cost of $5.

One Day Basic Saltwater License

This fishing license is valid for one day. It is available for non-residents to harvest fish in saltwater at a cost of $17.5.

Cans and Buckets Fishing License

To harvest fishes with cans and buckets in Texas, you must purchase this license. It is available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $10 and $40 respectively.

Crab Trapping Permit

To trap crabs in Texas, you must obtain a crab trapping license. The required number of crap to be harvested for this license is 10. It is available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $15 and $60 respectively.

Crawfish Trap Permit

To trap crawfish in Texas, you must obtain a crawfish trapping license. The required number of crap to be harvested for this license is 35. It is available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $15 and $60 respectively.

Slat Trapping Permits

To trap slats in Texas, you must obtain a crab trapping license. The required number of fishes to be harvested for this license is 5. It is available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $20 and $80 respectively.

Texas Hunting Season

Texas hunting seasons are based on the game animals and the hunting weapons used to take them.

The 2020/21 hunting season for various wildlife in Texas includes the following:

Texas Deer Hunting Season

  • Archery Hunting Season (19th of September to 31st of January)
  • Muzzleloader Hunting Season (10th of October to 31st of January)
  • Firearms Hunting Season with No Dogs (17th of October to 24th of January)

The various seasons for deer hunting in Texas are different for Texas hunting zones. Hunters should confirm specific dates for their hunting season from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Website.

Texas Alligator Hunting Season

  • General Hunting Season (10th of September to 30th of September)
  • Alligator hunting in Texas is based on the state hunting regions.
  • Texas Mule Deer Hunting Season
  • Archery Hunting Season (3rd of October to 6th of November)
  • General Hunting Season (21st of November to 13th of December)
  • Mule deer hunting in Texas is based on the state hunting regions.

Texan Pronghorn Season

  • General Hunting Season (3rd of October to 11th of October)

Texas Javelina Hunting Season

  • General Hunting Season (North: 1st of October to 28th of February. South: 1st of September to 31st of August)

Texas Wild Turkey Hunting Season

  • General Hunting Season (2nd of April to 2nd of May)

Texas Small Game Hunting Season

  • Raccoons Hunting Season (Open Season)
  • Opossum Hunting Season (Open Season)
  • Bobcat Hunting Season (Open Season)
  • Squirrel Hunting Season (3rd of October to 28th of February and 1st of May to 23rd of May)
  • Rabbit Hunting Season (3rd of October to 28th of February)
  • Quail Hunting Season (21st of October to 28th of February)

Bag limits for small games vary based on the animal. Hunters are to visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website to learn about the bag limits for games that they want to take.

Texas Wildlife Games and Fishes

Wildlife and games found in Texas include the following:

Texas Deer Hunting

There are plenty of white-tailed deer in Texas, and the state sustains them for hunting pretty well. This is why white-tailed deer is the most common game taken by hunters in the state. They are well distributed in the state and you can find them in almost all areas.

Texas Turkey Hunting

Turkey hunting in Texas is more common today than it was in past decades. Wild turkeys are distributed in almost all parts of the state and can be found in every suitable habitat. Thousands of hunters are estimated to take part in turkey hunting season in the state every year.

Texas Alligator Hunting

Alligator hunting in Texas takes place in water bodies areas of the state like swamps, rivers, canals, ponds, and lakes. Hunters qualify to take alligator via a lottery system, and only those chosen will be granted an alligator license and tag. To hunt alligators on private lands, you must either be the landowner or obtain permission, but you must have the state alligator license and permit tag.

Texas Duck Hunting

Duck hunting in Texas takes place in wetland areas of the state like ponds, rivers, and lakes. Hunters with access to wildlife refuge areas can also hunt ducks there. Ducks tend to stick to the shallow part of water bodies.

Texas Dove Hunting

Mourning Dove hunting in Texas is very common, and it is the most popular species of dove found in the state. They can be found in trees where they perch or even on phone cables outside residential areas. They also roam the grounds a lot, especially when looking for food.

Texas Bobcat Hunting

The only wildlife area where bobcats can be found in Texas is the Texas bobcat refuge. Bobcats inhabit wooden areas of the state and are only the species of wildcat found in Texas.

Texas Quail Hunting

Quail hunting estimation in Texas takes place in the state every year. Although the numbers are a decline from previous years, they are still better compared to other states. The decline of quail hunting in Texas is a result of the degradation of habitat due to farming activities in Texas.

Texas Raccoon Hunting

Raccoons are well distributed in Texas and this is because they can survive in most habitats of the state. You can find them in thickly forested areas, woodland regions, and pine areas. Hunters recognize raccoons because of the black mask on their face and their tails’ distinctive yellow and black color.

Texas Shooting Ranges

Some of the shooting ranges open to public use in Texas include the following:

  • American Shooting Centers.
  • Bandera Gun Club.
  • Bracken Rifle and Pistol Range.
  • Bullet Hole Shooting Range.
  • El Passo Skeet and Trap Club.
  • Eagle Peak Shooting Range.
  • Dos Amigos Sporting Clays.
  • Cisco Gun Club.
  • Cedar Ridge Range.
  • Capitol City Trap & Skeet Club.
  • Ysleta Gun Club.
  • Waco Skeet & Trap Club.
  • Victoria Skeet and Trap Club.
  • San Antonio Gun Club.
  • San Angelo Claybird Association.
  • Rose City Flying Clays.
  • Maxey Rifleman Gun Club.

Texas Hunting Land for Sale and Lease

Hunting lands for sale in Texas include the following:

  • Rocksprings, Texas (Edwards County) 192.52 acres.
  • 175 acres east of Centerville. Great combination tract with a good mix of woods and pasture in Texas (Leon County).
  • 84 acres’ land for lease, has a nice mixture of open pasture land, trees, and water in (Lavaca County).
  • 478.54 acres high-fence deer ranch in Huntsville, Texas (Walker County).
  • Affordable hunting/recreational tract with water and electricity. Great for a weekend cabin and family. Menard, Texas (Menard County) 28.86 acres.
  • Langtry, Texas (Val Verde County) 1,011 acres.
  • 50 acres for sale between rock springs and Sonora (Sutton County).
  • The Newby Hills Ranch is rich in history, wildlife, and natural resources. Rocksprings, Texas (Edwards County), 35.13 acres.
  • Oak Bend Ranch is between Sonora & Rocksprings & is covered with oak-lined draws and seasonal creeks. Rocksprings, Texas (Edwards County), 51 acres.

Hunting lands for lease in Texas include the following:

  • Long-term and year-round lease for the Tennessee 2020/21 hunting season within about 50 miles from Hood County, 100+ acres for 2-3 people.
  • West Texas Aoudad Hunts Aoudad hunts are now available at the Crane Lane Ranch located just west of Del Rio, Val Verde County, 12,000 acres.
  • Remote ranch located off FM1017 South of HEBBRONVILLE about 5 miles at the end of a ranch road. Good brush, with two tower blinds & old ground blind & feeder pens available. 3 Hunters needed.
  • Great property surrounded by thousands of acres, for mature deer hunting and elevated box stands with a high line clear cut where several mature bucks in Jasper County.
  • 1300-acre deer lease in Newton county outside of Burkeville close to the Toledo bend dam camper sites available electric is figured in with lease money, in Newton County.
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