Predators & Small Game
Texas has tons of deer, some big bucks and a solid Antler Nation report.
Season Dates: The Texas archery season opens on Oct. 1 and runs through Nov. 4 statewide. In the established 208 North Texas counties the general muzzleloader and rifle seasons run from Nov. 5 to Jan. 1, and in the 30 established South Texas counties those dates run from Nov. 5 to Jan. 15.
The Grade: B
Anyone who has been chasing whitetails for any length of time knows that the Lone Star State is a whitetail mecca, and every season it spits out some true-blue monsters. But with 97 percent of the state under lock and key, you pretty much have to pay if you want to play come fall. However, because Texas is loaded with such a heavy dose of private land opportunities, a good, reasonably priced whitetail hunt with a mixed bag of other game species such as hogs, turkey and exotic animals thrown in, can be found for the hunter on a budget.
For the public land enthusiast, an annual hunting permit ($48) gives you access to nearly a million acres of state parks, U.S. Forest Service lands and state wildlife areas that are scattered across the state. Although these are a step below the private land option, public land still provides an opportunity at the Lone Star State’s heavy deer numbers.
Antler Nation Knowledge: Although often overlooked, Texas does offer some exceptional whitetail opportunities on highly managed public lands for those willing to roll the dice. These draw-type hunts typically have high success rates on a number of species throughout the state and with an application fee of only a few bucks, it doesn't hurt to put your name in the hat.
Record B&C Typical
Taken by Tom McCulloch in Maverick County in 1963 and is currently ranked No. 40 of all time.
Total B&C Typical Entries
Record B&C Non-Typical
Taken by an unknown hunter in McCulloch County in 1892 and is currently ranked No. 9 of all time.
Total B&C Non-Typical Entries
Est. Whitetail Population
No. Licenses Sold Annually
Deer to Hunter Ratio
Resident license and permit