When is Deer Hunting Season in Texas?

A lone deer standing next to a tree in winter, waiting for deer hunting season in Texas

Hunting is a time-honored tradition that helped build our great nation and many in the US still rely on the practice to provide for their families. In years past deer of every variety could be hunted year-round, but this led to over-hunting and thinned herds to dangerously low numbers. Some species were all but hunted to extinction. In order to conserve these species to ensure they could be enjoyed for generations to come, the states began enforcing hunting seasons on species that were most at risk. Hunting seasons have changed drastically over the years as conservationists tested various theories. Today there is a lot more that goes into determining the hunting season than choosing an arbitrary set of dates. 

How is a Hunting Season Determined?

Hunting seasons help maintain a species’ population at an ‘ideal size’. This ideal population size varies from year to year. It’s determined by how many deer the local habitat can support along with resource availability. To maintain ideal population sizes, a state must know roughly how large the population is and the herd’s breeding habits. Once the state Parks and Wildlife Department has an estimate, they review the data. This is how they determine when the season can begin. Specifically, they’re looking at the distribution of the age and sex of the population as it relates to mating season.

If there aren’t enough mature bucks at the beginning of the mating season the opening date for the hunting season may be pushed back. Delaying the opening date of the hunting season ensures that the mature bucks have plenty of time to mate with as many females as possible before being harvested. Conversely, if there are too many mature males at the beginning of the mating season, hunting season may begin earlier. This ensures the harvest of more mature to prevent unsustainable population growth.

Hunting Season May Vary Across Texas

As mating seasons vary from region to region, the opening date of the hunting season will also vary. Texas is the second-largest state in the union, covering more than 260,000 miles of fertile grasslands, marshes, mountains, prairies, and woodlands. For a little perspective, Texas is 10% larger than France and nearly twice as big as Germany. This single state accounts for a little more than 7% of the country’s landmass. It also offers some of the most biodiverse hunting lands in the United States. Being such a large state, Texas is divided into two different regions; the North region and the South region. Depending on conditions, the deer hunting season in Texas’s North region may be different from the season in the South region.

When Is Deer Hunting Season In Texas?

The deer hunting season in Texas is divided into a couple of different categories with their own separate opening and closing dates. Despite these differences, deer hunting season in Texas typically falls within the following months:

  • Archery – September/November
  • General Season – November – January
  • Muzzleloader – January
  • Youth Only – October/January
  • Special/Late Season – January – February 

These dates may vary depending on the species of deer you plan to hunt so be sure to check with the Parks and Wildlife Department before planning your trip. However, it may surprise you to know that there are a variety of species in Texas that have no seasonal restrictions and can be hunted year-round. 

Here at Squaw Mountain Ranch we offer more than 30 species of native and exotic game from 5 different continents. Five of those species are deer. Our deer have some of the best genetics in the state and produce trophy animals every year that any hunter would be proud to put on display. 

Deer Hunting Restrictions by Type

  • Axis Deer – there are no seasonal restrictions on hunting Axis deer in Texas, however, we do recommend planning your trip for sometime between May and August to ensure you have plenty of hard horned bucks from which to choose.
  • Elk – there are no seasonal restrictions on hunting Elk in Texas but we do recommend planning your trip for sometime in August if you would like to take down a buck while it is still in velvet, or for some time between September and February if you prefer a hard horned trophy.
  • Fallow Deer – there are no seasonal restrictions on hunting Fallow Deer in Texas but we do recommend planning your trip for sometime between September and February for a hard horned trophy. 
  • Whitetail Deer – there are seasonal restrictions on hunting Whitetail Deer in Texas.
    • Archery – September – November
    • General Season – November – January
    • Muzzleloader – January
    • Youth Only – October/January
    • Special/Late Season – January – February
  • Red Stag – There are no seasonal restrictions on hunting Red Stag in Texas but we do recommend planning your trip for some time between September and February for hard horned trophies.

Types of Hunts

Our carefully maintained grounds at Squaw Mountain Ranch allows hunters the ability to take down trophy animals in a safari-style hunt from high rack vehicles, from the comfort of modern blinds, or engage in an old fashioned spot and stalk. We not only allow hunters to choose their method of hunting but their method of take as well. We have expert hunting guides that will customize each hunter’s experience according to their level of experience, preference of hunting technique and weapon.

Hunters are able to choose from Bow Hunt, Rifle Hunt, Pistol Hunt, or Black Powder Hunt and our expert hunting guides will be able to tailor your trip around any applicable deer hunting season restrictions. We also offer long range shooting instruction for beginner or returning hunters looking to improve their aim. 

Things to Remember

Before heading out for your next deer hunt in Texas it is important to make sure you are properly prepared. Preparation is key to ensuring nothing gets in the way of a successful hunt. 

  • Safety First – be sure to complete a hunting safety course. Hunting is a relatively safe hobby but it never hurts to stay up to date on the latest safety recommendations.
  • Hunting License – all hunters must have a valid hunting license, including youth hunters. 
  • Weapons and Clothing – Be sure your weapons are clean and in good working order. Be sure to check the hunting regulations for the county you will be hunting in to ensure your ammunition is legal to use. You will also want to ensure you are prepared to handle whatever weather Texas might throw at you while on your trip. Rember, deer are most active when the temperatures are cooler, so you’ll want to have a quality jacket and gloves. 
  • Preparation – Unless you plan to field dress your kill yourself, be sure to make appropriate arrangements ahead of time. You will also need a cooler large enough to transport the meat and cape home with you. Frozen bottles of water will keep your meat cool longer than bagged ice.

If you plan to hunt with us at Squaw Mountain Ranch your only necessary equipment is your weapon(s) and ammunition, personal effects, large cooler, and valid Texas hunting license. 

Call Squaw Mountain Ranch at (830) 275 – 3277 to begin planning your next trip during deer hunting season in Texas.

Don’t miss our Updates

Subscribe and get Seasonal hunting tips, promotions and much more for free!