Mule Deer Seasons & Regulations
- Archery Only
- General Season
- A "buck deer" is a deer with a hardened antler protruding through the skin. A "spike buck deer" is a BUCK with no antler having more than one point. ALL OTHER DEER ARE ANTLERLESS DEER. A spike buck must be tagged with a buck deer tag from the hunter's hunting license or applicable permit.
- White-tailed Deer - Except for deer taken under MLD permits, no person may take more than five white-tailed deer or more than three bucks (all seasons combined) in one license year. Bag limits in individual counties may be less (see County Listings).
- Mule Deer - The annual bag limit is two mule deer with no more than one being a buck (all seasons combined). See County Listings for antlerless permit requirements.
After Killing a Deer
- Also applies to pronghorn, except for License Log)
- After a deer is killed and before the deer is field dressed or moved, the appropriate hunting license tag or permit (MLDP, LAMPS, etc.) must be immediately filled out and dates cut out (See Tagging Deer or Turkey).
- Additionally, if a hunting license tag is used, then the Hunting License Harvest Log must be legibly completed (see Hunting License Harvest Log for White-tailed Deer).
- A hunter may transport a deer to a final destination (see Definitions), provided the deer is tagged and proof of sex accompanies the deer (see Proof of Sex).
- A hunter may skin and quarter a deer (two forequarters, two hindquarters, and two backstraps) and possess for transport, provided the quartered deer is tagged and proof of sex accompanies the deer. (See Cold Storage or Processing Facility for exceptions).
- A deer may not be processed any further than four quarters and two backstraps (example, steaks, hamburger, chili meat, etc.) until the deer reaches a final destination, except for immediate consumption in camp.
- The four quarters and two backstraps are the only parts of a deer required by law to be kept in edible condition. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department encourages all hunters to continue to keep other portions of the deer (trimmings from the neck and rib cage) in edible condition. Edible condition does not include any portion of a game animal, game bird, or fish that is: bruised by bullet, shot, or arrow, or otherwise destroyed as a result of harvest; decayed or rotting at the time of harvest; or obviously infected or diseased at the time of harvest.
- The tag must remain with the portion of a deer the hunter possesses. If any portion is transferred to another person before it reaches a final destination, then the transferred portion must be accompanied by a Wildlife Resource Document. See also Transfer of Wildlife Resources.
Processing in Camp
- You are allowed to quarter a deer or antelope in camp, but tagging and proof-of-sex requirements continue to apply until the wildlife resource reaches a final destination (see Definitions).
- Deer or antelope may not be processed beyond quarters in camp unless the camp qualifies as a final destination.
- While in camp you may remove and prepare a part of a wildlife resource if the removal and preparation occur immediately before the part is cooked or consumed; however, all tagging and proof of sex regulations apply to remaining parts and those parts may be transported to a final destination.