Best Hunting Texas Has to Offer

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Did you know that there are around 1.2 million acres of public land where you can find the best hunting Texas has to offer?

You’ll definitely catch something big in the Lone Star State, from the javelinas and alligators to the whitetail deer. In fact, the state is known for having one of the best deer hunting opportunities in the US, but there are restrictions and requirements to consider.

South Texas Whitetail Buck emerging from the brush. - Texas View

What You’ll Need to Start Hunting in Texas

To start your hunting journey, you’ll just need to finish the hunter education course. After that, you’ll need to buy a hunter’s license.

So, let’s take a closer look at how the process will go.

Completing the Hunter Education Course

If you’re born after Sep. 1, 1971, you’re required to take the Hunter Education Course to be allowed to hunt in the state. That includes all Texans and out-of-state hunters. Fortunately, the course is available both online and in a class.

The fee for this class is only $15, and the minimum age is nine years. Moreover, the basic course is around six hours of instructions, including skill exercises, a review, and a small test.

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The Hunter Education Course covers all the hunting and outdoor safety measures that you need to follow, as well as the core standards of using a firearm. It also explains hunting responsibilities and wildlife conservation.

Plus, we highly recommend that you take an extended course that covers essential topics like outdoor survival and first aid.

Buying a Hunting License in Texas

After covering the course, you’ll still need to buy a hunting and fishing license. Don’t fret; the process is really simple, and you can even buy the license online in person or order it by phone.

There are different types of licenses, and most of them are affordable. So, you can choose a suitable license depending on your age, residency status, and desired duration.

How to Keep Up With the Rules and Regulations for Hunting in Texas

Hunting is a fun activity, but there are some rules and regulations that you need to follow at all times. Otherwise, you’ll risk safety and legal repercussions.

Each state has a special set of guidelines that are updated regularly. So, before you start hunting, you need to familiarize yourself with the hunting regulations in Texas, as well as stay up to date with any changes.

On the plus side, you can find all the rules and regulations in the Texas Parks & Wildlife application: Outdoor Annual.

The application is free for both iOS and Android, and it’ll help you find hunting land, see the latest news, and even apply for licenses and permits. Moreover, you can even use it without an internet connection, so it’s an all-around convenient tool for any hunter in Texas.

Wild Rio Grande turkey ruffled up. - Texas View

Animals You Can Hunt in Texas

There are a lot of game animals in Texas that make a great harvest. The list includes pronghorn, javelina, squirrel, desert bighorn sheep, alligators, whitetail deer, and mule deer.

Here are some of the most common options to consider for your hunting adventures:

Whitetail Deer

Deer hunting is incredibly popular in Texas, especially with the huge deer population. There are currently about four million whitetail deer throughout Texas.

In fact, Texas is so overpopulated with deer that you might run across one in an urban area. As an estimate, hunters harvest around 500,000 whitetails each year in the Lone Star State.

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While hunting alligators takes great skill, it’s one of the most popular harvests in Texas. The eastern parts of the state are particularly brimming with big reptiles. Unfortunately, you can only harvest alligators on private property.

Mule Deer

The mule deer, scientifically known as Odocoileus hemionus, is different from the white-tailed deer. As it happens, Texas has around 250,000 mule deer that you could harvest. While they don’t have the unique look of the white-tailed deer, they’re still great game animals to consider.

Common Birds You Can Hunt in Texas

Asides from hunting animals, it’s also possible to look for birds. However, this usually takes skill and excellent aim.

Here’s a list of game birds that you can hunt in Texas:

  • Turkey
  • Ducks
  • Quail
  • Chachalaca
  • Dove
  • Waterfowl
  • Pheasant

Non-game Hunting Animals to Avoid in Texas

Hunting non-game animals is unlawful. So, you need to stick to game animals only. You can hunt some of them on private property by lawful means. However, there are some restrictions on hunting non-game animals on public hunting lands.

The common non-game animals in Texas include:

  • Armadillos
  • Turtles
  • Bobcats coyotes
  • Flying squirrels
  • Ground Squirrels
  • Mountain Lions
  • Frogs
  • Porcupines
  • Prairie dogs
  • Rabbits

Where to Hunt in Texas

The best places to hunt in Texas depend on the season and the game you want to hunt. Generally, the brush of south Texas is the best place to find deer, while east Texas is known for alligators and waterfowl.

All in all, the Lone Star State is one of the best states you can hunt in for a reason. It’s home to many exotic game animals as well as beautiful wildlife and scenery.

So, no matter the location, you’ll definitely have a good time. Yet, since it’s the second-largest state in the US, you might need to narrow down the best spots for hunting.

The best hunting cities in Texas include:

  • San Angelo
  • Brady
  • El Dorado
  • Quanah
  • Ingram

Hunting in Texas: FAQs

Is there a limit to how many whitetails I can hunt in Texas?

Yes, there’s a limit to keep in mind here, and it varies in each county. However, you can’t exceed the limit of five whitetails in a year. Plus, a maximum of three of those five can be bucks.

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Can I hunt on my own property in Texas without a license?

Whether you’re hunting on public or private land, all hunters in the Lone Star State are required to buy and carry a hunting license.


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Christian Linden Texas View Headshot 3 - Texas View
Author at Texas View | Texas View

Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.

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