Season Dates (2021):
The Texas archery season is from October 2 to November 5 for all but two counties. The muzzle-loader season runs from January 3 to 16 for 90 of 254 counties. In the North Zone, the general season runs from November 6 to January 2, and in the South Zone, it runs from November 6 to January 16. The special late-season runs from January 3 to 16 in the North Zone and January 17 to 30 in the South Zone. Youth season falls on October 30-31 and January 3 to 16. These are the dates set when published. Check out deer hunting boots here
The Grade: B
Each season, more deer are taken in Texas than in any other state, partly because of the size of the place — but also because of the abundance of animals and outstanding habitat. Comparatively speaking, Texas has very little public land. For the most part, it takes money spent on a lease or outfitted hunt to enjoy the best of Texas deer hunting. For that, the grade slips to a B.
Still, there is a 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 the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ground. And definitely 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 Boomers do 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 the quantity is the goal, focus on the Texas Hill Country. According to TPWD officials, an estimated 2.37 million deer inhabit that area — the highest deer density in the state. In fact, both 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 are established in Val Verde and Kimble counties.