Hunting Seasons in Texas

Matt Johnson
Matt JohnsonPublished: January 24, 2023
Hunting Seasons in Texas

Hunting Seasons in Texas for 2024

Update: We've updated all of the dates of the various Texas hunting seasons for 2024. These dates are accurate per the TPWD. However, as always, if you find an error please let us know.


Texas is a great place to hunt, offering both an expansive range of beautiful landscapes and a wide variety of hunting opportunities. With plenty of game including white-tailed deer, turkey, waterfowl and more, there's something for every hunter; however, that also means there are various hunting season dates in Texas and staying on top of them can be a chore.

The state is well-known for its generous bag limits and tight regulations that help ensure the sustainability of its wildlife populations.

Whether you're looking for an adrenaline rush on a big game hunt or a relaxing day spent in search of small game, Texas has it all. To help you get ready for the Texas hunting season, we've put together the most comprehensive list of Texas hunting season dates. You'll find the hunting season start dates, antler restrictions if there are any, and tons of other information so you can start hunting legally.

So grab your archery equipment (or whatever you hunt with, your hunter education card, and let's discuss the Texas hunting seasons.

Deer hunting season in Texas.

We're starting off with the big one: deer hunting season. In Texas, deer hunting season runs roughly from October through January, but the dates can vary slightly by region, species, and age (youth vs adult). When the deer hunting season starts, it's like a wild race of all the game hunters heading out to their blinds with their side by sides. It's quite a site when you're out on the roads. The Lone Start State definitely takes it's deer hunting season serious and Texas deer season [cgv season] is no exception!

Keep in mind that while we're discussing Texas deer season, and yes Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has jurisdiction over every Texas hunting season, each county has individual regulations and season dates for how to hunt deer.

Mule deer.

Mule Deer in Texas

Mule deer are slightly larger than other species of deer, with bigger ears, smaller tails, and a forked antler structure. The antlers have multiple points that grow from a central branch instead of one point. They're easily one of the favorite game species in Texas.

Bag limits for mule deer are set by the county, and the annual bag limit is two, with only one of them being a buck. On Managed Lands Deep Program (MLDP) properties, the annual bag limit does not apply for Texas hunters.

Antler restriction for mule deer bucks applies in several counties: Andrews, Armstrong, Bailey, Briscoe, Castro, Childress, Cochran, Collingsworth, Cottle, Dawson, Donley, Floyd, Foard, Gaines, Hale, Hall, Hardeman, Hockley, Lamb, Lynn. Lubbock, Martin, Motley ,Parmer ,Randall ,Swisher ,Terry ,Terrell and Yoakum.

Legal buck deer are defined as having an outside antler spread of main beams greater than 20 inches, but any buck with an unbranched antler, such as a spike, is NOT legal to harvest unless the outside spread of the main beams is at least 20 inches wide. The restriction does not apply within any Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) zone.

Season Zone Dates
General Panhandle Nov. 18, 2023 - Dec. 3, 2023
Trans-Pecos Nov. 24, 2023 - Dec. 10, 2023
Archery 59 of 254 counties Sep. 30, 2023 - Nov. 3, 2023

White-tailed deer.

White-Tailed Deer Season in Texas

Probably the most common deer species in Texas and one of the favorites with mule deer, white-tailed deer are known for their large ears and tails. Their antlers consist of one main point with multiple tines coming off the main beam.

Just like mule deer, limits for white-tailed deer are set by county, with the annual limit being five and only three of them being a buck.

In certain counties, a limit of two legal bucks applies, however only one may have two branched antlers and an inside spread of 13 inches or greater. A legal buck deer is defined as a buck deer with at least one unbranched antler or an inside spread of 13 inches or greater. It is unlawful to take more than one buck with an inside spread of 13 inches or greater or with two branched antlers. The distance from the tip of one ear to the other can be used as a guide to help estimate the inside spread; if it extends past the ears, it is likely to be at least 13 inches.

White-tailed deer harvested and tagged with a hunting license in select counties during any open season (archery, general muzzleloader, and youth) must be reported within 24 hours using the “My Texas Hunt Harvest” mobile app (iOS and Android) or browser.

Buck and antlerless deer harvest reporting is mandatory in Collin, Dallas, Grayson, and Rockwall counties while antlerless deer harvest reporting is mandatory in Austin, Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Comal (East of I-35), De Witt, Fayette, Goliad (North of US 59), Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hays (East of I-35), Jackson (north of US 59), Karnes , Lavaca , Lee , Travis ( East of I-35 ), Victoria ( North of US 59 ), Waller , Washington , Wharton ( North of US 59 ) and Wilson.

Season Zone Dates
General North Nov. 4 , 2023- Jan. 7, 2024
South Nov. 4, 2023 - Jan. 21, 2024
Special Late North Jan. 8-21, 2024
South Jan. 22, 2024 - Feb. 4, 2024
Youth-Only North Oct. 28-29, 2023 & Jan. 8-21, 2024
South Oct. 28-29, 2023 & Jan. 8-21, 2024
Archery 252 of 254 counties Sep. 30, 2023 - Nov. 3, 2023
Muzzleloader 90 of 254 counties Jan. 8-21, 2024

Pronghorn.

Pronghorn Deer

Pronghorn are distinguishable from other game species by their characteristics of a white rump patch and thin black horns. They live in the dry regions of Texas.

The harvesting of pronghorns in Texas is permitted by landowners or their agents in Trans-Pecos, Permian Basin, and Panhandle by permit only. Once the pronghorn is harvested, the hunter must immediately attach the permit to the tagged animal. They must then report the harvest to Texas Parks & Wildlife Department within 24 hours.

Season Zone Dates
General 41 of 254 counties Sep. 30 - Oct. 15, 2023

Game hunting seasons in the Lone Star State.

While deer season is undoubtedly a favorite in the Lone Star state, there are different species of game hunting that can be enjoyed throughout the year. You might want to check out some of these species before the hunting season start dates.

Javelina.

Texas Javelina Hunting Seasons
Season Zone Dates
General North Oct. 1, 2023 - Feb. 25, 2024
South Sep. 1, 2023 - Aug. 31, 2024

Squirrel.

In Texas, the bag limit for squirrels is 10 in general season counties (East Texas) and 10 during youth-only season. In counties with year-round season, there is no bag limit.

Season Zone Dates
General East Texas Oct. 1, 2023 - Feb. 25, 2024 & May 1-31, 2024
Other open counties Sep. 1, 2023 - Aug. 31, 2024
Youth-only East Texas Sep. 23 - 24, 2023

Alligator.

Texas Alligator Hunting Season
Season Zone Dates
General 22 Counties & Special Properties Sep. 10-30, 2023
All Other Counties Apr. 1, 2024 -June 30, 2024

Rabbits and hares.

Rabbits and hares may be hunted year-round on private property with no bag limit or possession limit. Hunters are not limited in their choice of hunting methods, as long as the method is legal. This makes it easy to plan a successful hunting trip without worrying about running afoul of local regulations.

Upland game birds Texas hunting seasons.

Texas is one of the best places in the country for upland game bird hunting. The state offers a variety of hunting seasons, ranging from teal and dove season to turkey season. Whether you're looking for a short-term hunt or a longer concept, Texas has something to offer every hunter.

The varied habitat in the state also amplifies the thrill of the hunt as you attempt to locate and bag your prey. With its vast selection of upland game birds, Texas is certainly an ideal destination for hunters.

Turkey

Rio Grande Turkey Hunting Season in Texas

Texas is a hunting paradise for turkey hunters, offering two distinct species of wild turkey: the Rio Grande Turkey and the Eastern Turkey. The Rio Grande Turkey is most commonly found in southern parts of the state, whilst the Eastern Turkey can be found further north and east. Both Texas turkey seasons typically run from late-November through early-March, with separate bag limits and regulations for each species. During peak season, hunters flock to Texas in search of these impressive birds, often setting out in the early morning hours to scout locations with good flocks. Hunting Rio Grande and Eastern Turkey in Texas can be an incredibly rewarding experience that guarantees outdoor adventure and memorable hunting trips.

Hunting Roosting Turkeys is prohibited at all times, and releasing turkeys is also not allowed without authorization from the department. A Tag from the Hunter's license must be correctly and legibly completed including name of property and county and must be immediately attached to the animal upon harvest. All hunters are required to have a Upland Game Bird Endorsement, and those with digital licenses should refer to Super Combo Digital Tags for tagging instructions. Harvest Reporting is mandatory in all counties with a 1-bird bag limit, and instructions on how to properly tag a turkey can be found online.

With all of the options, we think you're going to love the Texas turkey season 2024.

Hunting Rio Grande Turkey Seasons

Season Zone Dates
Fall North Nov. 4, 2023 - Jan. 7, 2024
South Nov. 4, 2023 - Jan. 21, 2024
Brooks, Kenedy, Kleberg & Willacy counties Nov. 4, 2023 - Feb. 25, 2024
Archery-only Sep. 30, 2023 - Nov. 3, 2023
Fall Youth-only North Oct. 28-29, 2023 & Jan. 8-21, 2024
South Oct. 28-29, 2023 & Jan. 22, 2024 - Feb. 4, 2024
Spring North Mar. 30, 2024 - May 12, 2024
South Mar. 16, 2024 - Apr. 28, 2024
One-turkey counties Apr. 1-30, 2024
Spring Youth-Only North Mar. 23-24, 2024 & May 18-19, 2024
South Mar. 9-10, 2024 & May 4-5, 2024

Hunting Eastern Turkey Seasons

Season Zone Dates
Spring East Texas Apr. 22, 2024 - May 14, 2024

Pheasant

Hunting pheasant in Texas is an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Pheasants can be found throughout the state in areas like woodlands, scrubland, prairies, and grassy fields. The best time to hunt them is early in the morning as they tend to be most active during this time.

In Texas, the daily bag limit for pheasant is three cocks and possession limit is nine cocks. An Upland Game Bird Endorsement is required to hunt pheasant and proof of sex must accompany the carcass until it's processed. Instead of proof of sex, a receipt from a taxidermist or Wildlife Resource Document (WRD) from the landowner may be obtained and contain name of hunter, date harvested, whether deer antlered/antleress and turkey/pheasant sex. It is illegal to hunt pheasants with any cable, chain, rope or other device connected to moving objects.

Season Zone Dates
Regular Panhandle Dec. 2-31, 2023

Quail

Quail hunting in Texas is a popular sport and pastime throughout the state. These birds are typically found in grassy fields and open woodlands, where they forage for seeds, insects, and other small critters. A hunt usually begins shortly before sunrise and lasts until mid-morning or early afternoon.

The daily bag limit for Bobwhite Quail, Scaled Quail, and Gambels Quail is 15 birds per person. The possession limit is 45 birds per person. There is no open season for Mearn's (Montezuma) Quail.

Season Zone Dates
Regular Statewide Oct. 28, 2023 - Feb. 25, 2024

Chachalaca

Hunting Chachalaca in Texas is a thrilling experience. It's one of the few states in the U.S. known for having a large population of the species. In south and central Texas, Chachalacas can be found in areas of open woods or scrubby grasslands with trees providing cover. A hunt typically begins an hour or two before sunrise, when they are most active, and usually lasts until late morning or early afternoon. Be sure to bring a reliable shotgun with non-toxic shot so you can make the most of your hunting experience.

The daily bag limit for Chachalaca is 5 birds per person and the possession limit is 15 birds per person.

Season Zone Dates
Regular Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr & Willacy Counties Oct. 28, 2023 - Feb. 25, 2024

Migratory game birds Texas hunting seasons.

Texas is home to many different species of migratory game birds. From waterfowl like ducks and geese, to upland game birds like grouse and pheasant, the Lone Star State offers Texas hunters a variety of bird hunting opportunities year round. Just make sure you have the necessary hunting licenses.

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department regulates hunting season dates for game birds to ensure they remain plentiful and healthy. So if you're in the mood for some bird hunting, be sure to check out the official dates set by the TPWD to hunt your favorite species.

Dove

In Texas, the legal shooting hours for dove are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset; during the special white-winged dove days, shooting is allowed from noon to sunset. All migratory game bird hunters must have a hunting license and a Texas Migratory Game Bird Stamp Endorsement in order to hunt any migratory game bird (waterfowl, Coot, Rail, Gallinule, Snipe, Dove, Sandhill Crane, and Woodcock).

When purchasing a hunting license, hunters must indicate that they intend to hunt migratory game birds by answering a few questions and be HIP certified. Leg bands must also be reported to www.reportband.gov.

Season Zone Dates
Regular North Sep. 1, 2023 - Nov. 12, 2023 & Dec. 15-31, 2023
Central Sep. 1, 2023 - Oct. 29, 2023 & Dec. 15, 2023 - Jan. 14, 2024
South Sep. 14, 2023 - Oct. 29, 2023 & Dec. 15, 2023 - Jan. 21, 2024
Special White-winged Dove Days South Sep. 1-3, 2023 & Sept. 8-10, 2023

Goose

Goose Hunting in Texas

Hunting geese can be a thrilling, yet challenging endeavor. It is important to be aware of the regulations and laws that accompany the sport, as some areas have restrictions on when hunting season is allowed and how many birds may be harvested in one outing.

Locating the birds before they take flight, staying out of sight of other hunters, and utilizing all available resources like camouflage gear and blinds are essential for successful hunts. The right preparation can make all the difference when it comes to tracking down these majestic creatures.

For the Western Zone, daily bag limits for dark geese are 5 birds with no more than 2 white-fronted geese, and for light geese there is a 10 bird daily bag limit and no possession limit.

In the Eastern Zone, there is a 5 bird daily bag limit for Early Canada Geese with an aggregate daily bag limit, and for dark geese it is also 5 birds with no more than 2 white-fronted geese and for light geese there is again a 10 bird daily bag limit but no possession limit.

During the Light Goose Conservation Order, regulations established through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Conservation Order allow unlimited taking of light geese with legal use of electronic calls, unplugged shotguns holding more than 3 shells being allowed, and shooting hours from one-half hour before sunrise until one half-hour after sunset. Taking any other species of migratory game birds during this order is unlawful.

Season Zone Dates
Early Canada Goose East Sep. 9-24, 2023
Light & Dark Geese West Nov. 4, 2023 - Feb. 4, 2024
East Nov. 4, 2023 - Jan. 28, 2024
Light Goose Conservation Order West Feb. 5, 2024 - Mar. 10, 2024
East Jan. 29, 2024 - Mar. 10, 2024

Duck

Hunting ducks in Texas is an exciting and time-honored tradition for many. From the start of early Teal season through falconry season, waterfowl hunting offers a unique experience in which hunters must remain up to date on their daily bag and possession limits, as well as species-specific regulations.

Early Teal season has a 6-bird aggregate bag limit, whilst regular duck season has a 6-bird bag limit, including no more than 5 Mallards (2 of which may be hens), 3 Wood Ducks, 2 Redheads, 2 Canvasback, 1 Scaup, 1 Pintail and 1 "Dusky Duck". Coot has a daily bag limit of 15 and possession limit of three times the daily bag limit. During falconry season the bag and possession limits shall not exceed 3 and 9 migratory game birds respectively.

All migratory game bird hunters in Texas must have a current hunting license and a Texas Migratory Game Bird Stamp Endorsement. Additionally, waterfowl hunters 16 years of age or older must also possess a valid Federal Duck Stamp and be HIP certified. This information can be provided when purchasing your hunting license by answering a few questions to the clerk to indicate that you intend to hunt migratory game birds.

Season Zone Regular
Regular High Plains Mallard Management Unit Oct. 28-29, 2023 & Nov. 3, 2023 - Jan. 28, 2024
North Nov. 11-26, 2023 & Dec. 2, 2023 - Jan. 28, 2024
South Nov. 4-26, 2023 & Dec. 9, 2023 - Jan. 28, 2024
Youth / Veterans High Plains Mallard Management Unit Oct. 21-22, 2023
North Nov. 4-5, 2023
South Oct. 28-29, 2023

Sandhill Cranes

Hunting Sandhill Cranes in Texas can be a thrilling and rewarding experience. Each year, hundreds of hunters flock to the plains of South Texas with hopes of bagging one of these majestic birds. With their wingspan reaching up to six feet, Sandhill Cranes can make for an impressive trophy for any hunter who is lucky enough to land one. Hunting them requires skill and patience, as they are known to be quite elusive. But when it comes time to retrieve your prize, nothing can compare to the feeling of accomplishment you will get from taking down a Sandhill Crane in Texas.

In Texas, a hunting license, Texas Migratory Game Bird Endorsement, Harvest Information Program (HIP) Certification and Federal Sandhill Crane Hunting Permit are required to hunt Sandhill Cranes.

The permit can be obtained in person at TPWD Law Enforcement offices or TPWD headquarters in Austin, by phone at 800-792-1112 or 512-389-4820, or online with a $5 administrative fee. Identification of Sandhill Cranes includes gray feathers with dark wingtips that may appear white in some light, long neck, 5 foot wingspan, slow wingbeat and flocks of 2 to hundreds.

Do not confuse them with Whooping Cranes which are endangered and have bodies that are pure white except for a red patch on the head and a black “mustache”. Wingtips are black and it has an 7.5 feet wingspan.

Season Zone Dates
Regular A Oct. 28, 2023 - Jan. 28, 2024
B Nov. 24, 2023 - Jan. 28, 2024
C Dec. 16, 2023 - Jan. 21, 2024

Rails, Gallinules and Moorhens

Rail Hunting in Texas
Hunting Rails in Texas is a magical experience! Look and listen closely as you spend time in the woods and you're sure to come away with a great sighting.

Hunting Rails, Gallinules, and Moorhens in Texas is an exhilarating experience unlike any other. These birds are known for their beautiful colors and their unique call echoing through the woods of Texas. With a little patience and luck, you can come away with a successful hunt.

Texas has bag limits and hunt hours for hunting Rails, Gallinules, and Moorhens. To hunt any of these birds, you must have a valid Hunting License and a Migratory Game Bird Endorsement. In addition, waterfowl hunters must have a Federal Duck Stamp and be HIP certified if aged 16 or older. Bag limits vary from species to species with hunts limited to half an hour before sunrise to sunset.

Season Zone Dates
Regular A Oct. 28, 2023 - Jan. 28, 2024
B Nov. 24, 2023 - Jan. 28, 2024
C Dec. 16, 2023 - Jan. 21, 2024

Teal

In Texas, the daily bag limit for early teal is 6 birds (made up of blue-winged, green-winged and cinnamon teal). The daily bag aggregate is three times the daily bag limit. Legal shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset according to specific sunrise and sunset computations. To hunt any migratory game bird in Texas, a Hunting License and Migratory Game Bird Endorsement are required. Additionally, those aged 16 or older must have a valid Federal Duck Stamp and be HIP certified by answering a few simple questions when applying for the license.

Season Zone Dates
September Teal Only Statewide Sep. 9-24, 2023

Woodcock

American Woodcock in Texas

Hunting Woodcock in Texas requires a valid hunting license and Migratory Game Bird Endorsement, along with a Federal Duck Stamp and HIP Certification for those 16 or older. The daily bag limit is 3 birds, with a possession limit of 9 birds for the regular season, and an aggregate of 9 birds in possession ever during falconry season. Hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until sunset.

Season Zone Dates
Regular Statewide Dec. 18, 2023 - Jan. 31, 2024

Snipe

In Texas, marksmen can hunt Wilson's Snipe (Common snipe or Jacksnipe) from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Hunters need to have a hunting license and a migratory game bird endorsement for hunting Snipe, as well as a Federal Duck Stamp and HIP Certification for waterfowl hunters 16 years of age or older. The Daily Bag Limit is 8 birds with a Possession Limit of 24 birds. Hunters must indicate their intent to hunt migratory game birds when purchasing their license to receive HIP Certification.

Season Zone Dates
Regular Statewide Nov. 4, 2023 - Feb. 18, 2024

We hope you were able to get all of the information you need regarding the Texas hunting seasons. We're always trying to keep this information as accurate and up to date as possible since so many hunters come here looking for Texas turkey season 2023 and Texas deer season 2023-2024. So we stay on top of the popular game animals.

Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson

Master Outdoorsman

Matt is a seasoned outdoorsman with expertise in fishing, hunting, and wildlife. With a Master's degree in Wildlife Science, he combines his passion for nature with conservation efforts, sharing his knowledge through his writing for Fish and Game Report.

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