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Deer Hunting in Texas

Antler Nation, Texas Deer Hunting, Deer Hunting in Texas




Est. Whitetail Population


No. Licenses Sold Annually


Deer hunting license is $25. Archery endorsement is $7. Annual public hunting permit is $48.

Resident hunting license and deer permit


Deer hunting license is $315. Archery endorsement is $7. Annual public hunting permit is $48.

Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

197 2/8"

Taken by Alberto Bailleres and is currently ranks No. 48.

Record B&C Typical Stat


Total B&C Typical Entries

284 3/8"

Taken by an unknown hunter in McCulloch County in 1892.

Record B&C Non-Typical Stat


Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

Image: ImageBy_Dennis_W_Donohue_TX

Check out the latest info for Texas. Image by Dennis Donohue

Season Dates (2023):

The Texas archery season is Sept. 30 to Nov. 3 for all but two counties. Muzzleloader season runs Jan. 8 to 21 for 90 of 254 counties. In the North Zone, the general season runs Nov. 4 to Jan. 7, and in the South Zone, it runs Nov. 4 to Jan. 21. The special late season runs Jan. 8 to 21 in the North Zone and Jan. 22 to Feb. 4 in the South Zone. Youth season is open Oct. 29 and 30 and Jan. 8 through 21. These are the dates set when published. Check the TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT WEBSITE to confirm.

The Grade: B

Each season, more deer are taken in Texas than in any other state, partly because of its size but also because of the abundance of animals and outstanding habitat. Comparatively, Texas has little public land. For the most part, it takes money for a lease or an outfitted hunt to enjoy the best of Texas deer hunting. For that, the grade slips to a B.

Still, there is good opportunity. BIG TIME TEXAS HUNTS, for example, provides chances to win premium guided hunt packages with food and lodging provided. Few other states have programs like that.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

The Lone Star State is 95% private, but there are many PUBLIC TRACTS AROUND. WMAs are the obvious choice. Also, think about U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ground. And don’t forget about Texas’ PRIZED DRAWN HUNTS. The TEXAS PUBLIC HUNTING MAP is a great resource.

South Texas and the Western Rolling Plains are especially known for consistently producing quality bucks. In this region, there are plenty of 5-½-plus-year-old bucks that score well into the 130s and 140s, but the occasional Booners live there. Hunters looking for a true trophy might consider Brooks, Dimmit, Duval, Jim Hogg, Frio, Kenedy, Kleberg, La Salle, Maverick, McMullen, Refugio, Uvalde, Webb, and Zavala counties. These lead the way in top-end deer.

If quantity is the goal, focus on the Texas Hill Country. According to TPWD officials, about 2.37 million deer inhabit that area — the highest deer density in the state. In fact, Llano and Mason counties boast deer densities exceeding 290 deer per 1,000 acres. Grayson, Irion, McCulloch, Shackelford, Sutton, and Tom Green counties are great big-buck locations to try, too.

Finally, several recent changes affect Texas hunters. There are increased antlerless opportunities in 43 counties. Air-powered guns and arrow guns (air bows) are now legal weapon types. And CWD zones have been established in Val Verde and Kimble counties.

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