Texas Deer Season 2023-2024: Latest Hunting Schedule, Rules, Licenses & Bags!

Texas allows hunters to engage in some of the finest deer hunting in the nation as one of the top hunting locations in the United States. With different times, weight limits, and rules based on the zone and county, Texas’s forthcoming 2023 deer season looks interesting for shooters. There’s no question that Texas’s 2023 deer season will offer plenty of thrill and adventure for everyone, whether you’re an experienced shooter or a novice. This post will give you a thorough overview of the forthcoming Texas deer season so you’ll be ready for your upcoming hunting trip.

Texas Deer Season 2023

The season for White-Tailed Deer

Texas White-Tailed DeerStart DatesEnd Dates
General (North Zone)4-Nov-237-Jan-24
General (South Zone)4-Nov-2321-Jan-24
Special Late (North Zone)8-Jan-2421-Jan-24
Special Late (South Zone)22-Jan-244-Feb-24
Youth-Only (North Zone)28-Oct-2329-Oct-23
Youth-Only (North Zone)8-Jan-2421-Jan-24
Youth-Only (South Zone)28-Oct-2329-Oct-23
Youth-Only (South Zone)8-Jan-2421-Jan-24
Archery (252 of 254 counties)30-Sep-233-Nov-23
Muzzleloader (90 of 254 counties)8-Jan-2421-Jan-24

The season for Mule Deer

Texas Mule DeerStart DatesEnd Dates
General Season (Panhandle)18-Nov-233-Dec-23
General Season (Trans-Pecos)24-Nov-2310-Dec-23
Archery Season (59 of 254 counties)30-Sep-233-Nov-23

Elk Season

The ideal time to shoot elk in Texas is during the rut in September and October, but hunting elk throughout the year is legal because there is no restricted season there.

The season for Texas pronghorn

Texas Pronghorn SeasonStart DateEnd Date
General (41 of 254 counties)30-Sep-2315-Oct-23

License for hunting deer

The normal resident hunting license ($25) and the senior resident hunting license ($7; accessible to citizens 65 and older) are available to inhabitants. Both permits are available for buy online or from accredited merchants. Young shooters can lawfully engage in hunting activities in the state by purchasing a $7 Texas Youth Hunting License, which is accessible to citizens and non-residents under the age of 17. Popular other licenses are listed below.

License TypeCost
Recreational Hunting License$25
Resident Combination Hunting and Fishing License$32
Lifetime Resident Hunting License$1,800-$2,400
Resident Hunting Lease LicenseSmall: 1-499 acres: $250
Medium: 500-999 acres: $500
Large: 1,000 acres or more: $750
Resident Super Combo License$68
Out-of-State Hunting License$315

Note: You can check the TPWD website for a list of hunting licenses and permits.

Tagging Requirements

Deer hunting requires the license badge to be correctly completed and affixed to the animal immediately. The deer’s particular species must be identified on the marking, and the month and date of the death must be scratched out. Before the deer is field dressed, relocated, or marked, the proper hunting license marking must also be filled out and cut out. On the bottom of the hunting license, a record must also be filled out in pen, except for mule deer and deer captured under specific licenses.

Before connecting the hunting license to a killed deer, thoroughly studying the tag use description is crucial. When marking a deer, the tag must be fastened so it won’t be harmed, disfigured, or misplaced during handling or transit. The animal must still have the proper identification or pass on it until it reaches its location and is quartered. If the head is removed from the corpse, the identification or authorization must stay on the body, and the authority must carry a Wildlife Resource Document.

Bag Limits

Counties set white-tailed deer load restrictions in Texas, which may change based on the hunting area. Each hunting season has a five-deer statewide bag limit for white-tailed deer, with a maximum of three males. However, MLDP buildings are exempt from this restriction. It is crucial to review the laws in the area where you intend to shoot because deer bag restrictions can differ.

TX Deer Hunting Regulations

  • Hunting bag limits help deer numbers survive. Texas counties set white-tailed deer bag limits. White-tailed deer have a five-per-year bag limit with three males. MLDP (Managed Lands Deer Permit) sites are exempt.
  • Hunting animals, birds, frogs, and turtles in Texas require a license with some exclusions. Coyotes are outliers targeting cattle or domestic animals, wild pigs on private property with landlord permission, and fur-bearing animals with a commercial trapper’s license. Landowners or agents can take unwanted fur-bearing animals without a license, but they cannot acquire, sell, or keep any part of them.
  • Antlerless deer harvested during archery, youth-only, muzzleloader, or the four antlerless deer days during the general season in specific Texas counties must be reported to the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife within 24 hours. Austin, Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Comal (East of I-35), De Witt, Fayette, Goliad (North of US 59), Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hays, Jackson, Karnes, Lavaca, Lee, Travis, Victoria, Waller, Washington, Wharton, and Wilson are the counties that must report. The report can be filed online or via the “My Texas Hunt Harvest” mobile app (iOS and Android).
  • A male deer in Texas is a deer with a solid spike or velvet-covered antlers. For marking, any other deer, regardless of sex, is antlerless. Buck deer tags are required for hunters.
  • In some Texas areas, hunters can only take two legal deer, but only one can have a 13-inch inside spread. These areas define a legal buck deer with at least one unbranched antler or a 13-inch inside spread. (except for bucks with an unbranched antler). During that hunting season, those counties cannot take more than one deer with a 13-inch inside spread or two forked antlers. Measure the distance between the alert ears to measure the inside space. A point is a protrusion that spans at least one inch from a main beam or time, including the top.
  • Hunters should measure the deer’s “alert” ears to determine if a male has an inside spread of at least 13 inches.
  • A point in deer hunting is a one-inch projection from a main beam or tine. Topics include main beam tips.
  • Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) kills certain Texas deer types. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department CWD Zones spot and handle the illness. Before moving any part of a CWD-susceptible animal out of these zones, hunters must get a CWD ticket from a TPWD check post within 48 hours. Report symptoms of CWD-susceptible animals to area Texas Game Wardens or Wildlife Biologists. New CWD zones and rules may be added without notice. CWD websites or (800) 792-1112 have the latest changes.
  • Hunters can only take antlerless and unbranched deer in some areas during the Special Late Season. (bucks with at least one antler with no more than one point). Points are projections that reach at least one inch from the edge of a main beam or time, including the main beam tip.
  • Youth-only deer seasons are for 16-year-old approved hunters. They can run jointly with other seasons and use legal means except in certain areas. The bag limits, type of bucks that can be harvested, tagging requirements, and any special requirements for taking buck or antlerless deer during the youth-only season are the same as the first two days of general season statewide for that county, except for antlerless take in certain counties where the bag limits and requirements are the same as Nov 26–29. Bag, tag, and permit regulations are the same throughout the state for the first two days of the county’s general season.
  • In Forest Service, National Recreation Area, and Corps of Engineers, hunters must obey federal and state laws. Antlerless deer can only be taken during archery, youth-only, and 4-day seasons in Montague and Wise counties’ LBJ National Grasslands. Archery, muzzleloader, and youth-only seasons apply to antlerless deer in all other US Forest Service areas.
  • They were hunting in the US. US special drawn game permits allow antlerless deer. The hunter must decide if the Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers, or River Authority lands have extra rules. TPWD manages Alabama Creek WMA, Bannister WMA, Caddo National Grasslands WMA, Moore Plantation WMA, and Sam Houston National Forest WMA for the Public Hunting Program.

FAQ related to Texas Deer Season

When does the general deer hunting season begin in Texas?

Texas’s regular deer hunting season runs from November 5, 2023, through January 16, 2024.

Are there any other deer hunting seasons in Texas?

Yes, Texas has youth-only and archery-only deer hunting seasons. The 2023 and 2024 archery-only seasons run from September 15 to November 10 and November 22 to January 15, respectively. East Texas’s youth-only season will occur on September 24 and 25, 2023.

Can I hunt with a rifle during the archery-only season?

No, only archery-specific tools may be used during the archery-only season. Rifles and firearms are allowed during the regular deer hunting season.

James Ellis

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