What You Need to Know
Public Hunting 2016-17
On this page:
- Introduction & Acknowledgements | PDF
- Important Changes for 2016-17
- Special Reminders
- Disclaimer of Liability & Release
- Legal Game, Means & Methods
- Bag & Possession Limits
- Prohibited Acts
- Additional Information & Restrictions on USFS Units
- Youth Hunting Information & Regulations
- Hunter Education
Important Changes for 2016-17
- A fishing license will now be required to fish from the bank of a Wildlife Management Area if fishing is allowed in the Legal Game Box.
- More E-Postcard hunts are now available through the Public Hunt Drawing System. There are no application or permit fees to apply for the postcard hunts, but adults selected for the hunts are required to purchase an Annual Public Hunting Permit and all hunters must have a valid Texas hunting license to participate. Hunters must apply at www.tpwd.texas.gov/drawnhunts.
- Twin Buttes Reservoir – TPWD recently entered into an agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and the City of San Angelo (City) to bring Twin Buttes Reservoir and the surrounding lands, totaling nearly 13,000 acres, into the TPWD Public Hunting Program beginning in the 2016-2017 season. This three-way partnership will increase law enforcement presence on the property along with increased opportunities for wildlife habitat management. The City will maintain operations and management of the BOR owned property, but will now have the support of TPWD administering their structured public hunting program.
- The use or entry of permanent hunting blinds on Caddo Lake Wildlife Management Area (Unit 730) is prohibited. View Executive Order 14-005 | PDF
Important: For the most up-to-date information on changes to the public hunt schedule or access and availability of department public lands, sign up for e-mail updates or follow us on Facebook. Individuals can also call 800/792-1112 menu 5 (Wildlife), selection 1 (Wildlife Information).
- Hunting License: A hunting license and any required stamp endorsements are required to hunt any public hunting lands.
- Hunter Use Survey: Located on the inside front cover of this booklet is a Public Use Scorecard for you to log your hunting information. A random sample of hunters will be selected and mailed a survey to complete and return to TPWD. You will be asked information relative to days of use and game harvested by you on individual units. This information is very important to assist with monitoring populations, harvest, and evaluating use of the areas. If you receive a survey, please take the time to complete the survey and return it to TPWD. Your participation is greatly appreciated.
- Maps: The maps in this Map Booklet and on the department’s website are the only maps of public hunting lands that TPWD provides indicating hunting areas and designated roads open to permit holders. Maps in this publication can also be found at the TPWD website on the Public Hunting web page. Caution, maps purchased from other sources (U.S. Forest Service, COE, etc.) may include private roads that are not accessible by permit holders. Study the maps closely to avoid trespassing on private property or private roads when accessing, using or leaving public hunting lands. Many public hunting maps have aerial formats and GPS coordinates. These enhanced maps can be found on the Texas Locator Map of Public Hunting Areas and Find a Public Hunting Area & Legal Game page.
- On-site Registration: Many units in this booklet require on-site registration (OSR) for entry or participation in certain activities. OSR involves signing in and depositing Part A of the OSR form at a registration station immediately upon arrival at the unit and depositing Part B of the OSR form at the sign in area when leaving the unit. OSR forms are provided at the registration station, in the back of this booklet, and on the website.
- The U.S. Forest Service offers a limited number of permits to hunt antlerless deer during the general open season on Alabama Creek WMA, Bannister WMA, Moore Plantation WMA and Sam Houston National Forest WMA. Hunters wishing to apply for antlerless permits must apply online at using the Drawn Hunt system by September 20, 2016. Only one application per hunter allowed. Adult and youth permits are available. Only those drawn will be notified. Postcards will no longer be accepted by the U.S. Forest Service or TPWD Austin Headquarters.
- Whooping Cranes: This symbol has been placed on maps of certain public hunting areas where whooping cranes have been seen. Public hunters need to be aware that whooping cranes might be present in or fly through these public hunting areas. Texas is the wintering location for the last wild whooping crane population in the world. Traditionally, these endangered birds have wintered in wetlands near Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Aransas County; however, in recent years, whooping cranes have also wintered in other Texas counties. For more information on whooping crane identification, visit www.tpwd.texas.gov/whoopingcranes. There are heavy fines for accidental and/or intentional shooting of whooping cranes, so “be sure before you shoot!”
- Litter: Please pick up all trash including shotgun hulls and boxes.
- Refer to the “Prohibited Acts” section and “Questions and Answers” section for additional information on the use of horses, vehicles, and ATVs.
Disclaimer of Liability and Release
The Annual Public Hunting permit and/or the Limited Public Use permit allows entry upon designated public hunting lands for hunting and other approved outdoor recreational activities. These designated public hunting lands are owned by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department or are leased by Texas Parks and Wildlife from private landowners. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and/or the private landowners may not know what conditions exist upon the designated public hunting lands, the number or proficiency of other participating hunters or other users thereon and, as such, they do not make any warranty or representation of any type, kind or character whatsoever as to conditions existing or that may hereafter exist upon the designated public hunting lands or as to the suitability or non-suitability of the designated public hunting lands for hunting and/or other approved outdoor recreational activities. Any person entering upon the designated public hunting lands does so at their own risk and acknowledges, recognizes and agrees that all hunting and other approved outdoor recreational activities are potentially dangerous in part because of the use of firearms by hunters of varying degrees of proficiency and conditions of nature.
In consideration of being permitted to access the designated public hunting lands for hunting and other approved outdoor recreational activities, I, the permitee, and as the authorized supervising adult of any accompanying minor, personally assume all risks associated with entering the designated public hunting lands, whether foreseen or unforeseen, and unconditionally release and hold harmless Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, its commissioners, directors, officers, employees, volunteers, agents and representatives, and any participating private landowners, their respective directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, members, partners, and affiliates, from and against any and all liabilities, costs, expenses, claims, and damages for which Texas Parks and Wildlife and/or any participating private landowner might otherwise become liable by reason of any accidents, or injuries to or death of any persons, or damage to property, or both, in any manner arising or resulting from, caused by, connected with or related to the presence of any such person upon the designated public hunting land, regardless of how, where, or when such injury, death or damage occurs even if caused by the negligence of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department or any participating private landowner.
I, the permittee, have read this release and understand all its terms. I understand that by engaging in any activity authorized under the Annual Public Hunting permit and/or the Limited Public Use permit, I execute this release voluntarily with full knowledge of its significance.
Legal Game Species, Means & Methods, Bag & Possession Limits
All public users must obey regulations listed in the Map Booklet or posted at an area. Regulations concerning seasons, bag and possession limits, and the means and methods of taking wildlife resources, will generally conform to those established by the TPW Commission or the Executive Director, along with those in effect for the county or counties where individual units are located except where specific exceptions are made in this publication or posted at an area. Additional information concerning hunting seasons, bag and possession limits, and lawful means and methods are found in the current Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Annual, Migratory Game Bird Digests, and Furbearing Animal Regulations. Updates will be posted on the APH page as they become available. Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification is required for hunting any type of migratory game birds.
Legal Game Legends
Each map has a Legal Game legend or box, which will list the legal species that may be hunted, special regulations, and important notices about access to the unit. In some cases, there may be more than one legend or box on the map. These regulations may vary from those established for the county in which the property lies. It is important to read and follow the Prohibited Acts and the information in the Legal Game legends to insure a safe and legal hunting experience on public hunting lands.
Legal Game Available
- White-tailed Deer
- Feral Hogs
- Sandhill Crane
- Rail, Snipe, Gallinule, and Woodcock
- Predators (bobcats and coyotes only)
- Rabbits and Hares
If a species or season is not listed in the Legal Game Legend, there is no hunting allowed for that species or by that particular means on the unit. Example, if there is only an archery deer season listed, then no gun hunting is allowed for deer on that area.
Dogs may be used for hunting squirrel, rabbits, hares, furbearing animals, predatory animals, and game birds (other than turkey) on most units during the open seasons. See the Prohibited Acts section for rules and regulations concerning the use of dogs and area maps for further restrictions.
White-tailed deer bag limits are the total number of deer that may be harvested for all seasons combined. You must have the appropriate license tag or USFS Antlerless Deer Permit in order to take a deer from these units. Several public hunting areas have antler restrictions. Refer to the individual unit maps for more information.
On units which have a spring season for Eastern turkey, all harvested turkey must be reported to the department via mobile application within 24 hours of harvest. Harvested turkey may be field dressed but must otherwise remain intact. To report a harvested turkey or download the mobile reporting application, go to tpwd.texas.gov/turkey.
Unless otherwise specified for a specific unit, shooting hours for feral hogs, rabbits, and hares will be restricted to daylight hours only, and furbearers and predators may be taken anytime day or night (unless restricted in the Legal Game box).
The bag limit for frogs OR bullfrogs per 24-hour period (midnight to midnight) is 25.
Black bears have been seen on or around some public hunting lands in East and West Texas. Hunters are reminded that black bears are protected and may not be harmed or killed. Please report black bear sightings or mortalities to the appropriate wildlife district office.
The following abbreviations, words and terms, when used in this publication, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
Airboat - A boat propelled mechanically by movement of air, including, but not limited to a fan, propeller, or jet.
All terrain vehicle (ATV) - Any vehicle meeting the definition of an ATV under Transportation Code, §663.001. A defined ATV means a motor vehicle that is: equipped with a saddle for the use of the rider and a passenger, if the motor vehicle is designed by the manufacturer to transport a passenger; designed to propel itself with three or four tires in contact with the ground, designed by the manufacturer for off-highway use by the operator and not designed by the manufacturer for farming or lawn care.
Authorized supervising adult - A parent, legal guardian, or individual at least 18 years of age who assumes liability and responsibility for a minor.
Baiting - The placement of minerals, vegetative materials, or other food substances used as an attractant for wildlife.
Big game - Native species of deer, turkey, and exotic mammals.
Camping - the use of public hunting lands for overnight accommodation, which includes sleeping, the storage of unattended personal possessions, or the use of a motor vehicle as lodging.
Concurrent hunt - A hunt that maintains the same permit requirements, hunt dates, means and methods, or shooting hours or combinations thereof, for one or more species of animal, as designated and subject to any special provisions.
Daylight hours - The period from 30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset.
Designated campsite - An area identified by signs or Public Hunting Lands literature for camping and camping activities.
Designated road - A constructed roadway indicated as being open to the public by either signs posted to that effect or by current TPWD Public Hunting Lands maps and leaflets and not identified as a closed road by signs, gate, or blocked at entrance, but does not include county or state roads or highways. Disabled person—A paraplegic or a person who possesses a state-issued placard or license plate issued to that person under the provisions of Transportation Code, Chapter 681.
Exotic mammals - Non-indigenous (non-native) wild mammals, including but not limited to exotic ungulates, feral goats, feral sheep, feral hogs, European wild hogs, and crosses thereof.
General season - A specified time period or designated days within a specified time period, during which any legal means or methods (as designated) may be used to take the designated species.
Hunt - To capture, trap, take or kill and includes any attempt to capture, trap, take or kill.
Immediate supervision - Control of the actions of a minor by an authorized supervising adult issuing verbal instruction in a normal voice level.
Limited Public Use (LPU) Permit - A permit, valid from issuance date through the following August 31, which allows access to designated wildlife management areas and public hunting lands at the same times that access is provided by an APH permit.
Loaded firearm - A firearm containing a live round of ammunition within the chamber and/or magazine or, if muzzleloading, one which has a cap on the nipple or a priming charge in the pan.
Minor age participant - An individual less than 17 years of age.
Motorboat - Any vessel being propelled by machinery, but does not include a boat being propelled solely by paddle, pole, oar, or wind.
Motor vehicle - A self propelled vehicle that can be used to transport persons or property on a highway as defined by Transportation Code, Chapter 541.
Off-highway vehicle (OHV) - An all-terrain vehicle (ATV), off-highway motorcycle, or any other four wheel drive vehicle not registered to be driven on a highway.
Off-road vehicle (ORV) - An ATV, a utility vehicle, a vehicle that may not lawfully be operated on a public roadway, or any vehicle that is manufactured or adapted for off-road use.
On-site registration (OSR) - The requirement for public users to register at designated places upon entry and exit from specified public hunting lands.
PHL - Public Hunting Land
Predatory animals - Bobcats and coyotes.
Recreational use - Any use or activity other than hunting or fishing.
Small game - Game birds (other than turkey), squirrel, rabbits and hares, furbearers, predatory animals, fish, frogs, crayfish, and other legal wild fauna not classified as big game.
SNA - State Natural Area.
SP - State Park.
Unattended - Gear, equipment, or floating conveyances not within 200 yards of the person responsible for the gear, equipment or floating conveyances.
Waterfowl - Ducks (including teal), mergansers, coots, and geese.
WMA - Wildlife Management Area.
Wildlife resources - Game animals, game birds, furbearing animals, alligators, marine mammals, frogs, fish, crayfish, other aquatic life, exotic animals, predatory animals, rabbits and hares, and other wild fauna.
Youth - Individuals age 16 or younger for hunting all species, except for waterfowl during the Special Waterfowl Season for Youth Hunters dates established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Youth hunters during these Special Waterfowl season dates must be age 15 or younger to participate.
Important - In addition to the other applicable statutes or regulations, a person on Public Hunting Lands commits an offense if that person:General Access to the Units
- fails to possess a valid permit, hunting license, and appropriate endorsement;
- possesses a firearm, archery equipment, crossbow, trap, snare, or other device for taking wildlife resources on public hunting lands and does not have the permit required to take wildlife resources on the concerned unit;
- enters an area identified by boundary signs as a limited use or restricted zone and fails to obey the restrictions on public use posted at the unit or contained within this Map Booklet;
- enters an area identified by boundary signs or on the unit map as a restricted zone;
- fails to perform on-site registration or report to a departmental check station as required for certain units and species;
- trespasses on or shoots into adjacent privately-owned property without the landowner’s permission;
- enters the hunting area when access is restricted.
- is under the influence of alcohol or consumes an alcoholic beverage while engaged in hunting activities, or publicly consumes or displays an alcoholic beverage.
- fails to visibly wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange material with orange headwear and at least 144 square inches appearing on both chest and back during daylight hours at times when hunting with firearms is permitted. Exempt from these requirements are: (1) authorized department personnel and landowner employees, (2) persons hunting turkey or migratory game birds, (3) persons within the enclosed passenger compartment of a motor vehicle, (4) persons within a designated campground, designated vehicle parking area, designated boat launching facility or departmental check station, and (5) persons other than hunters on COE properties.
Notice: to archery hunters and recreational users: You must wear hunter orange during daylight hours at any time when firearm hunting for any species is authorized on the unit. Many units allow firearm hunting year-round for rabbits, and firearm hunts for squirrel and dove often are conducted concurrently with archery deer hunts.Hunting
- takes any species, sex, or type of wildlife resource not designated as legal game as shown in the Legal Game Legend section;
- takes or attempts to take a game animal or game bird other than during legal shooting hours of the open seasons and by the means and methods established by the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation and the Migratory Game Bird Proclamation, or as otherwise provided for a specific unit in these webpages;
- takes or attempts to take a furbearing animal or predatory animal other than during the open seasons and by the means and methods established by the Statewide Furbearing Animal and Trapping Proclamation or as otherwise provided for a specific unit in this Map Booklet;
- takes or attempts to take a feral hog, rabbit or hare other than during daylight hours of the open seasons and by the means and methods provided for a specific unit in this Map Booklet;
- takes an antlerless deer during the general open season on wildlife management areas jointly managed by TPWD and the U.S. Forest Service (902, 903, 904, and 905) unless that person possesses on their person a USFS antlerless permit, if they are required.
- baits wildlife (see Definitions) on public hunting lands, except when performed in conjunction with the use of traps or snares for taking furbearers and predatory animals, or as otherwise authorized by the department for a specific unit, activity and time period;
- hunts over a baited area except as authorized by the department for a specific unit, activity, and time period;
- uses a trap or snare to take feral hogs or any wildlife resource unless under contract with the department or cooperating landowner;
- uses a trap or snare to take furbearers or predatory animals, except as authorized on specific units during the period from November 1 through March 31;
- fails to visibly and legibly mark each trap or snare with the document number of the trapper's current Annual Public Hunting Permit;
- sets a trap or snare within 50 yards of a designated road or public hunting lands boundary or within 400 yards of a designated campsite;
- uses deadfalls or lethal chemicals for taking wildlife resources;
- uses recorded or electric calling devices to take wildlife resources other than furbearers and predatory animals or except as provided for any Special Migratory Conservation season;
Notice: The use of scent lures simulating animal odors is not considered baiting.Means and Methods
- possesses a loaded firearm within or on a motor vehicle except as provided for a disabled person;
- possesses a loaded firearm within a designated campsite, designated vehicle parking area, designated boat launching facility or departmental check station;
- discharges a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow from, onto, along, or across a designated road or designated campsite;
- uses or displays a firearm or archery equipment in an obviously unsafe or threatening manner;
- possesses buckshot on public hunting lands, except as authorized by the department for a specific unit, activity and time period;
- uses or possesses shotshells or loose shot other than non-toxic shot while hunting waterfowl;
- uses a firearm that utilizes rimfire ammunition in taking deer;
- uses a rifle, handgun, or a shotgun with slugs to take a game bird;
- uses a firearm to take deer during the archery only deer season;
Notice: The prohibited acts and other public hunting regulations do not in any way restrict a person having a concealed xii handgun license from possessing a concealed handgun, loaded or unloaded, on public hunting lands in strict accordance with the concealed handgun laws.Vehicles, Airboats, and Horses
- enters a unit of public hunting lands with an equine (horse, mule or burro) unless that person has in their immediate possession a completed VS Form 10-11 (Texas Animal Health Commission) showing that the equine has a negative Coggins test within the previous 12 months. The documentation required by this paragraph shall be made available for inspection upon the request of any department employee acting within the scope of official duties.
- uses or possesses a horse, mule, burro or any type of riding stock or pack animal on public hunting lands at any time, except on units 901, 902, 903, 904, and 905; or as provided in this Map Booklet for a specific unit or in accordance with group equestrian events which are scheduled and authorized by the department;
- uses or possesses a horse, mule, burro or any type of riding stock or pack animal on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lands that allows equestrian use and does not possess either the APH or LPU Permit;
- uses a motor vehicle, ORV, OHV, or ATV on a road, in an area, or at a time when such use is restricted to disabled persons (see DEFINITIONS), unless that person is in possession of a state-issued disabled parking placard or license plate or assisting such a person (see pages xiii-xiv for USFS restrictions);
- does not confine motor vehicle use to designated roads, except parking is permitted on the shoulder of or immediately adjacent to designated roads, and as provided for a disabled person or for a person directly assisting a disabled person (see USFS restrictions); Note: persons directly assisting a disabled person must remain within normal voice distance.
- hunts from a motor vehicle, except as provided for a disabled person;
- parks or leaves a motor vehicle unattended anywhere other than in designated parking areas or designated road;
- operates an all terrain vehicle (ATV), off-highway vehicle (OHV) or off-road vehicle (ORV) on public hunting lands and is not (1) a disabled person or directly assisting a disabled person, (2) on a designated ATV, OHV, or ORV road or trail, (3) otherwise authorized by the department to do so, or (4) compliant with the safety requirements for ATV use as set by the Texas Department of Public Safety (ATV only); (see USFS restrictions);
- operates an Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) on public lands without the required OHV decal; decal requirements are waived for disabled persons;
- uses an airboat within the boundaries of public hunting lands, except as provided by executive order or by written permission of the department;
- uses a dog to hunt deer or turkey;
- uses a dog to hunt feral hogs and other exotic mammals unless specifically allowed for in the Legal Game Legend on the unit maps;
- uses a dog to hunt furbearers or predatory animals during daylight hours within an open general season for deer on public hunting lands;
- fails to keep all dogs in designated campsites confined or leashed;
- constructs or places a hunting blind, stand, tower, or platform within 50 yards of any designated road, marked unit boundary, or designated campsite;
- constructs a permanent blind, stand, tower, or platform
- leaves a hunting blind, stand, tower, or platform in place for more than 72 hours or uses metal nails, spikes, screws, or bolts to attach such structures to the timber;
- leaves personal gear, equipment (including decoys), or floating conveyances unattended for more than one hour following the close of legal shooting hours.
Note: this does not apply to gear or equipment left within a designated camping area or for specific activities scheduled by the department.Camping
- camps or builds a fire anywhere other than in a designated campsite, except on units 901, 902, 903, 904, and 905 where this restriction applies only from the day prior to the opening of the archery deer season through the day following the close of the general deer season;
- causes, creates, or contributes to excessive or disturbing sounds beyond the person's immediate campsite between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.;
- establishes a camp and leaves it unattended for a period of longer than 24 hours;
- establishes a camp for more than 14 consecutive days on the same unit of public hunting lands, or for more than 21 days in a 30-day period;
- fails to deposit refuse in designated containers or remove it from the unit;
- writes on, scratches, or otherwise defaces natural features, signs, buildings, or other structures;
- disturbs or removes plants, wood, rocks, gravel, sand, soil, shell, artifacts, or other objects from public hunting lands without proper authorization;
- fails to obey regulations posted at the unit or listed in this Map Booklet;
- fails to comply with instructions on permits or area/unit leaflets; or refuses to follow directives given by departmental personnel in the discharge of official duties.
- engage in any activity not specifically authorized by order of the executive director or regulation of the commission;
- leaves feathers or bird parts within designated parking areas or near livestock watering facilities.
Additional Information & Restrictions in Effect on U.S. Forest Service Units
In addition to the prohibited acts listed on pages xi-xii, the following information and additional restrictions, apply to hunters and those accompanying hunters on U.S. Forest Service Units. In instances where these additional restrictions and rules appearing elsewhere are in conflict, these additional restrictions will prevail.
General Information and Access
- Only hunters are required to possess the $48 Annual Public Hunting (APH) Permit.
- The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Units are: Unit 901 (Caddo Grasslands), Unit 902 (Moore Plantation), Unit 903 (Bannister), Unit 904 (Alabama Creek), and Unit 905 (Sam Houston National Forest).
- Boundaries of USFS units are marked with wildlife management area. The maps in this Map Booklet are the only maps of public hunting lands that TPWD provides. These maps are the only maps that indicate the hunting areas and designated roads that the permit holder has access. Maps purchased from the USFS include private roads that are not included in your access as a permit holder.
- The USFS has implemented and created a new Motor Vehicle Use Map for each of their properties. Visit www.fs.usda.gov/texas/ for the most current map containing roads available for motor vehicle use.
- All hunters and those accompanying them in the field during daylight hours are required to wear a minimum of 400 square inches of hunter orange with at least 144 square inches appearing on both the chest and back at all times; additionally, wearing hunter orange headwear is required. Those exempt from wearing hunter orange are individuals hunting furbearers or predators at night, wild turkey during the spring season, doves, ducks, geese, woodcock, or other migratory game birds. All National Forest and Grassland visitors are encouraged to wear daylight fluorescent orange when pursuing recreational activities during the fall/winter hunting seasons.
- Individuals may not discharge a firearm or any other implement capable of taking human life, causing injury, or damaging property as follows: (1) In or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site or occupied area, or (2) Across or on a National Forest System road or a body of water adjacent thereto, or in any manner or place whereby any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result in such discharge.
- A Special Use Permit issued by the USFS is required to conduct paid guide services on USFS lands.
- The U.S Forest Service performs various habitat management activities including prescribed fire during the year. The Forest Service is not responsible for stands/blinds damaged or destroyed by such management activities. For more information contact the local USFS office.
Antlerless Deer Permits
- You must be in possession of a USFS Antlerless Deer Permit to take antlerless deer during the general season on Units 902, 903, 904, and 905, that are wildlife management areas jointly managed by TPWD and the USFS.
- USFS antlerless deer permits are not required during the Archery Only, Youth Only, or an established Muzzleloader Only season on USFS units.
- The USFS offers a limited number of permits to hunt antlerless deer during the general open season on Alabama Creek WMA, Bannister WMA, Moore Plantation WMA and Sam Houston National Forest WMA. Hunters wishing to apply for antlerless permits must apply online using the Drawn Hunt System. The deadline to apply is September 30th.
- Only one application per hunter allowed. Adult and youth permits are available. Only those drawn will be notified by email. Postcard and email applications will no longer be accepted by the U.S. Forest Service or TPWD Austin Headquarters.
Mandatory Deer Check Station
In order for the USFS units to obtain valuable harvest information, all deer harvested on certain days must be checked at a designated deer check station and receive a metal harvest tag. Deer must be field dressed prior to check-in. See unit maps for more information on when check stations will be open.
ATVs and Horseback Riding
- There is only one designated OHV trail on the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas and that is the Multiple Use Trail located in the Sam Houston National Forest. The Sam Houston National Forest offers 85 miles of multiple-use trails which may be utilized by registered Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs). ATVs are prohibited on all other units. Information on ATVs and OHVs on the Forest may be found at: www.fs.usda.gov/activity/texas/recreation/ohv
- There are no special riding provisions or exemptions for disabled persons on U.S. Forest Service lands.
- Recreational horseback riding is allowed on all USFS units year-round.
Vehicle Traffic on Forest Service Units - Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM)
The MVUM is a requirement of the Travel Management Final Rule and reflects travel management decisions on each forest. The MVUM displays National Forest System (NFS) routes (roads and trails) or areas designated open to motorized travel. The MVUM also displays allowed uses by vehicle class (highway-legal vehicles, vehicles less than 50 inches wide and motorcycles), seasonal allowances and provides information on other travel rules and regulations. Routes not shown on the MVUM are not open to public motor vehicle travel. Routes designated for motorized use may not always be signed on the ground but will be identified on the MVUM. It will be the public’s responsibility to reference the MVUM to determine designated routes for motor vehicle use. The MVUM will be updated annually to correct mapping errors or discrepancies and update travel decisions. The MVUM is a black and white map with no topographic features. It is not a stand-alone map and is best used in conjunction with a Forest Visitor Map. The MVUM is free to the public at each local Ranger District office and at the Supervisor’s Office. The MVUM list is also available for download and sections of these maps may be printed from your home computer. Visit the National Forest and Grasslands in Texas homepage www.fs.usda.gov/ texas and click on the Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) link located on the right side of the page under "Quick Links."
Camping is restricted to developed campgrounds, designated hunter camps, and designated camp sites only from one day prior to the start of the Archery Season until one day after the end of the General Gun Season. During other times, persons may camp elsewhere in the USFS units in compliance with orders of the Forest Supervisor.
Road Closures and Parking on the Units
Some USFS unit roads may be closed to vehicular traffic on a seasonal basis. As a permit holder, you retain the right to walk into the unit and utilize it for authorized activities although access may temporarily be less convenient.
NOTICE: Some portions of the U.S. Forest Service units are designated as “Wilderness Areas” and prohibit use of motorized vehicles, except for wheelchairs if designed solely for use by a mobility impaired person for locomotion, that are suitable for use in an indoor pedestrian areas.
DO NOT BLOCK roads, gates, trails, or entrances to service roads with parked vehicles. Be sure that your parked vehicle does not impede the flow of traffic or present a safety hazard. Your vehicle may be ticketed or even towed if necessary to allow emergency access.
For More Information About a National Forest
A list of official orders/prohibitions issued by the Forest Supervisor for the National Forests & Grasslands in Texas can be at www.fs.usda.gov/texas.
These orders describe the prohibitions, closures, and regulations for the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas and are subject to updates and changes. Maps are not attached to the orders, but may be obtained by contacting the Forest Supervisor’s Office in Lufkin. Questions regarding these orders or requests for copies should be directed to USDA Forest Service, 2221 N. Raguet St., Lufkin, TX 75904.
For more information visit the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas website or contact the following offices. www.fs.usda.gov/texas.
- 2221 N. Raguet St.
- Lufkin, TX 75904
- 111 Walnut Ridge Rd.
- Zavalla, TX 75980
- 1400 U.S. 81/287
- P.O. Box 507
- Decatur, TX 76234
- 18551 Hwy. 7 East
- Kennard, TX 75847
- 5050 Hwy. 21 East
- Hemphill, TX 75948
- Toll free: 866/235-1750
- 394 FM 1375 West
- New Waverly, TX 77358
- Toll free: 888/361-6908
Youth Hunting Information and Regulations
All participants in youth hunts must possess a hunting license, any required stamps, and HIP (Harvest Information Program) certification if hunting migratory birds.
Adult supervision of minors is required during public hunts. When hunting on public lands, youth under 17 are required to be under the immediate supervision of a duly permitted, authorized supervising adult, age 18 or older, who is licensed to hunt in Texas.
- Youth under 12 years of age must remain within normal voice distance of an adult supervisor.
- For youth ages 12 to 16 who have received hunter education certification, the requirement for immediate supervision is relaxed to the extent that the supervising adult is required only to be present on the public hunting unit.
Please note that this hunter education requirement is different than the statewide requirement and is in effect for all public hunting lands under the administration of TPWD. The supervising adult is responsible for the actions and liability of the youth.
A Quick Reference Chart is included on each Public Hunt Region Map to assist in locating those public hunting areas which will offer youth hunting opportunities this season. Refer to the chart and the Table of Contents to locate an area. All of the youth hunt information is found on the unit maps. Special regulations and notices of applicable rules that will be in effect during the hunts are listed in the Legal Game box, or on some maps, in a separate Special Regulations box.
YOUTH ONLY HUNTS: During the hunts listed as Youth Only, only youth under 17 are authorized to hunt. Youth participating in the Youth Only Waterfowl season established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must be age 15 or younger.
YOUTH/ADULT HUNTS: Each group must contain a youth under 17 years of age to participate. During the hunts listed as Youth/ Adult, the supervising adults as well as the youths will be allowed to hunt.
YOUTH HUNTS BY POSTCARD RESERVATION: Click here for more youth hunting opportunities by postcard drawings.
Every adult hunter (including out-of-state hunters) born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, must successfully complete a Hunter Education Training Course. Minimum age of certification is 9 years and cost is $15.If you were born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, and you are:
- under 9 years of age, you must be accompanied*.
- age 9 through 16, you may successfully complete a hunter education course, or you must be accompanied*.
- age 17 and over, you must successfully complete a hunter education course; or purchase a "Hunter Education Deferral," and you must be accompanied*.
Hunter Education Deferral (cost: $10) Allows a person 17 years of age or older who has not completed a hunter education program to defer completion for up to one year. A deferral may only be obtained once and is only valid until the end of the current license year. A person who has been convicted or has received deferred adjudication for violation of the mandatory hunter education requirement is prohibited from applying for a deferral. Take the course by August 31 of the current license year and receive a $5 discount off the $15 course cost.
* Accompanied means: By a person who is at least 17, who is licensed to hunt in Texas, who has passed hunter education or is exempt (born before Sept. 2, 1971), and you must be within normal voice control. Proof of certification or deferral is required to be on your person while hunting.
Note: Certification is not required to purchase a hunting license.
For course information, please consult the TPWD Hunter Education section or call toll-free 800/792-1112 (menu 6) or call 512/389-4999.