What do you need to hunt deer in Texas?

Deer Hunts with a Guide
January 21, 2019
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When it comes to hunting deer in Texas there are certain things you should bring along and certain rules you should be aware of to have the most success. When you want to hunt deer in Texas, you should know what types of hunting equipment are best, the regulations, requirements, and information about hunting season in Texas.

Let’s take a look…

Hunting Season in Texas

Before you start getting all of your gear together you need to know when the best time of year to go hunting in Texas is.

Prime hunting season in Texas runs concurrent with breeding season meaning the best time to hunt is late October through early January. This time of year is when whitetail deer are very active and on the move. This makes them easier to find.

While keeping the time of year in mind when hunting, you also want to keep the time of day in mind when hunting so that you’ll have the best success rate. Before the rut, deer are typically nocturnal. During that time, the morning until about 10 a.m. and in the evening, after 4 p.m. are the best times to hunt because deer are usually sleeping during the day. During the rut, deer are everywhere at every time of day. But, that doesn’t mean you should run out at 4a.m. to go hunting. Legal shooting hours for hunting deer in Texas are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

Requirements for Hunting Deer in Texas

Just like driving, hunting in the state of Texas requires a license. Residents and non-residents alike can get a hunting license via the Texas Park & Wildlife Department. If you were born on or after September 2, 1971, you must complete the required hunter education program. Hunter who are over the age of 17 are able to take the course online to meet the requirements.

Texas Deer Hunting Regulations

There are certain rules in place in Texas when it comes to hunting deer. It’s against Texas law to hunt on any public roads or on the right of way of any public roads. Here are some other don’ts when it comes to hunting deer in Texas:

  • Don’t hunt animals from a motor vehicle or powerboat
  • Avoid the use of recordings, calling devices, or electrically amplified calls to hunt game animals
  • Don’t use bait or decoys to hunt game animals

Besides basic deer hunting rules, there are also limitations when you hunt deer in Texas on public land.

It is unlawful to surpass the annual limit of five whitetail deer, with no more than three bucks. Also, because the bag limits are set by each individual county, it’s important to research county regulations for the area in which you’ll be hunting.

Certain counties also have antler restrictions. In some places there is a bag limit of two legal bucks. Only one of those can have an inside spread of 13 inches or greater. If you’re unsure what a legal buck is, it is a deer that has:

  • at least one unbranched antler; OR
  • an inside spread of 13 inches or greater (does not apply to a buck that has an unbranched antler)

Hunting Equipment Needed to Hunt Whitetail Deer in Texas

If you’re thinking of going hunting in Texas, there is certain equipment you’ll need in order to be successful besides your hunting license. Here is a list of things to bring along:

Camouflage clothing: The easier you can blend in with the surroundings, the better success rate you’ll have. You’ll also want to have a sturdy pair of boots. You never know what lurks in the woods or what kind of conditions you’ll come across. Having comfortable, waterproof, warm boots is the way to go.

Blinds or Tree Stands: If you plan on using any blinds or tree stands as part of your hunt, do your research and be sure you have all the necessary equipment.

Cooler: You’ll need a cooler to transport your deer meat once you’ve had a successful hunt.

Although it’s not required, it doesn’t hurt to take a hunter training course, especially if it’s your first time out. These courses can give you more tips so that you have a successful hunt.

Texas Deer Hunting Weapons

Choice of weapon: Decide whether you’re going to use a firearm or bow to hunt, make sure you have plenty of supplies. This includes ammunition and a good number of bows. Once you’re out, you don’t want to have to go back to base to reload.

Each type of firearm is accompanied by its own set of regulations. Game animals can be hunted using any legal firearm except:

  • Fully automatic firearms
  • Shotguns
  • Rimfire ammunition
  • Muzzleloader
    • A Muzzleloader is a firearm that loads through the muzzle as apposed to breech-loaded firearms. Cap and ball firearms, where the powder and ball are loaded into a cylinder are not muzzleloaders. There are usually seperate hunting seasons restricted to muzzleloaded firearms only.

Bow hunters cannot use explosive or poison tips. They must use broad-headed arrow tips.

Any convicted felons also cannot have a firearm, even if they were not convicted in Texas. It is also against the law to take any deer or parts of a deer that were hit by a car. Legal shooting hours for deer are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

Hunting deer at Squaw Mountain Ranch

Squaw Mountain Ranch is the perfect place to hunt deer in Texas. During a whitetail deer hunt at Squaw Mountain Ranch you’ll find one buck to every doe. This allows hunters to select from a variety of deer during their hunt. The staff at Squaw Mountain strives to accommodate every hunter, including those with physical disabilities. There are a variety of hunting packages for every skill level and preference to choose from. No matter which package you choose, we do our very best to ensure a fair hunt resulting in a trophy any hunter would be proud to display.

If you are planning a trophy hunt at Squaw Mountain Ranch, you need to bring your rifle and ammo, hunting clothes, a Texas hunting license, cooler to transport meat and any other desired personal items.

Call Squaw Mountain today at 830-275-3277 to find out more about the variety of white tail deer hunting packages available.

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