Hunting Definitions

Valid Sep. 1, 2023 through Aug. 31, 2024.

Active duty
Full-time military service in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, Reserves, National Guard or Texas State Guard; includes full-time training duty and attendance while in active service at a school designated as a service school by law or by the Secretary of the military department. 
Note: Veteran Waterfowl and Active Military Waterfowl season definitions differ.
Aggregate limit
A daily bag or possession limit composed of more than one species or a single bag limit that applies to a group of counties.
Any mechanical or other device used for flight; this includes unmanned aerial vehicles (aka drones). Aircraft may not be used, or any attempt, to hunt, locate (including wounded animals), photograph, count, harass, drive any animal without a department-issued permit.
Air gun
A device that fires a bullet solely by the use of unignited compressed gas as the propellant.
Annual bag limit for alligator, deer, pronghorn, turkey or javelina
The maximum number of these species that may be lawfully taken by a hunter during a license year.
Antler Point
A projection that extends at least one inch from the edge of a main beam or another tine. The tip of a main beam is also a point.
Antlerless Deer
A deer with no antler point protruding through the skin or a deer that has no antlers.
Arrow gun
A device that fires an arrow or bolt solely by the use of unignited compressed gas as the propellant.
Something that intentionally or unintentionally lures any wildlife resource. Includes, but not limited, to salt, grain, minerals, or other feed, directly or indirectly placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered. Does not include scent attractants for animals. It is unlawful to use game fish or any part thereof as bait.
Baited area
Any (public or private) area where bait is found. For migratory game birds, this could include adjacent properties. There is no set distance from a baited area that a bird/animal may be hunt- ed if the flight path or behavior is altered by its placement. It is the hunter’s responsibility to know if an area is baited. These areas are unlawful for all migratory game birds and eastern wild turkeys and Public Hunting Land.
Buck deer
A deer with an antler point protruding through the skin or a deer with antler growth in velvet of greater than one inch.
Buck Pronghorn
A pronghorn with black cheek patches below the ears.
To take or kill and includes an attempt to take or kill.
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species is an international agreement between governments to ensure that international trade in wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
Closed season
For any species, the period of time, if any, when fishing or hunting that species is not permitted.
Daily bag limit
The maximum number of game animals/birds that may be lawfully taken or possessed by a hunter in one day. No person shall possess more than one daily bag limit while in the field or traveling to or from the field.
A 24-hour period of time that begins at midnight and ends at midnight.
Causing damage or destruction to property, commercial crops or native environments.
Edible condition
Fit for human consumption, but does not include any portion of a game bird, game animal, or fish that is bruised (“bloodshot”) by a bullet, shot, or arrow; otherwise destroyed as a result of harvest; decayed or rotting; or obviously infected or diseased.
Final destination
The permanent residence of the hunter; the permanent residence of any other person receiving the animal/bird carcass part of an animal/bird carcass; or a Type 1 cold storage or processing facility.
Final processing
The cleaning of a dead wildlife resource for cooking or storage purposes. For a deer or pronghorn carcass, the term includes the processing of the animal more than by quartering.
To capture, trap, take, or kill, and includes the act of attempting to capture, trap, take, or kill.
Immediate consumption
The preparation process for a carcass portion to be immediately cooked and eaten. This would not include processed portions stored while marinating for later consumption.
Lawful archery and crossbow equipment
Long-bows, recurved bows, compound bows, or crossbows.
Legal shotgun for migratory game birds
Shotguns not larger than 10-gauge, fired from the shoulder, and incapable of holding more than three shells. Shotguns capable of holding more than three shells must be plugged with a one-piece filler (plug) which cannot be removed without disassembling the gun, so the gun’s total capacity does not exceed three shells.
Legal shooting hours for all game animals and nonmigratory (upland) game birds
The period from one-half hour before official sunrise to one-half hour after official sunset. For information on sunrise/sunset hours: visit Sunrise Sunset Calendars
Legal shooting hours for migratory game birds
The period from one-half hour before official sunrise to official sunset except during the Special Whitewinged Dove Days (noon to sunset). For information on sunrise/sunset hours: visit Sunrise Sunset Calendars
Includes but is not limited to cattle, horses, mules, sheep, goats and domesticated/non-feral swine.
The alteration of natural vegetation or agricultural crops, including but not limited to mowing, shredding, discing, rolling, chopping, trampling, flattening, burning and herbicide treatments. Only lawful for dove hunting, not waterfowl or cranes. Manipulation does not include the incidental distributing or scattering of grain, seed or other feed after removal from or storage on the field where grown.
Migratory bird preservation facility
A stationary facility designed and constructed to store or process game birds.
Natural vegetation
Any non-agricultural, native or naturalized plant species that grows at a site in response to planting or from existing seeds or propagule. Natural vegetation does not include planted millet. However, planted millet that grows on its own in subsequent years after the planting is considered natural vegetation (only natural vegetation may be manipulated for waterfowl and crane hunting.)
A person who is not a Texas resident (see proof of residency requirements). Non-residents under 17 years of age are considered residents for the purchase of the youth hunting license (Item 169).
Non-toxic shot
Any shot type that does not cause sickness or death when ingested by migratory birds. Approved shot includes steel, including copper, nickel or zinc-coated steel, bismuth-tin, tungsten-iron, tungsten-polymer (i.e., moly-shot), and any other nontoxic material approved by the Director of the USFWS.
Normal agricultural planting, harvesting, and post-harvest manipulation
A normal agricultural planting or harvesting undertaken for the purpose of producing and gathering a crop, or manipulation (including post-harvest) after such harvest and removal of a crop, that is conducted in accordance with official recommendations of State Extension Specialists of the Cooperative Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Includes commercial harvest, loading and unloading. Does not include the broadcast spreading of seed that is normally drill-planted.
Normal stabilization practice
A planting for agricultural soil-erosion control or post-mining land-reclamation conducted in accordance with official recommendations of State Extension Specialists of the Cooperative Extension Service of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
Open season
The period of time during which it is lawful to pursue, hunt, take, or attempt to take a specified animal, bird, or fish. The dates in this guide are opening and closing dates for the open season which includes all dates between them.
Permanent residence
One’s principal or ordinary home or dwelling place. This does not include one’s temporary abode or dwelling such as a hunting/fishing club, or any club house, cabin, tent, car, truck, or trailer house used as a hunting/fishing club, or any hotel, motel, or rooming house used during a hunting, fishing, pleasure, or business trip.
Possession limit (hunters)
The maximum number of any animal or bird that may be possessed by any person at any place. This limit only ceases when a bird or animal is legally finally processed or reaches its final destination. Final processing may only occur at final destination or cold storage facility.
Pre-charged pneumatic
An air gun or arrow gun for which the propellant is supplied or introduced by means of a source that is physically separate from the air gun or arrow gun. Note: Air guns or arrow guns powered by CO2 canisters are NOT pre-charged pneumatics.
Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana)
In this document, “pronghorn” means “pronghorn antelope.”
A deer or pronghorn is considered quartered when the forequarters, hindquarters, and back straps have been completely severed from the carcass.
A person who has lived continuously in Texas for more than six months immediately before buying their license, officially documented members of the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas or members of the U.S. Armed Forces (and their dependents) on “active duty” anywhere. A person who claims residency in any other state for any purpose and is not an officially-documented member of the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas or a member of the U.S. Armed Forces (or dependent) on active duty is not a resident.
To transfer the ownership or the right of possession of an item to a person for consideration and includes a barter and an even exchange.
A low floating device concealing a person below the surface of the water. Sinkboxes are unlawful.
A label attached to a harvested resource (such as animal, fowl, fish). The type of license (physical or digital) may affect the type of tag authorized for use.
Upland game bird
Wild turkey, wild grouse, wild prairie chickens, wild pheasants of all varieties, wild partridge, wild bobwhite quail, wild scaled quail, wild Mearn’s quail, wild Gambel’s quail, chachalacas.
Any watercraft, other than a seaplane on water, used or capable of being used for transportation on water.
Ducks (including teal), geese, mergansers, and coots. Does not include Sandhill Crane.
Wildlife resource
Any wild animal, wild bird, or aquatic life.
Wildlife Resource Document (WRD)
A document that allows a person to give, leave, receive, or possess any species (or part of) of legally taken game birds, game fish or game animals; WRD must contain:
  1. name, signature, address, and hunting license number of the person who harvested or caught the wildlife resource;
  2. name of the person receiving the wildlife resource;
  3. description of the wildlife resource (number and type of species or parts);
  4. date the wildlife resource was harvested or caught; and
  5. location where the wildlife resource was harvested or caught (name of ranch; area; county).
Wounded deer
A deer leaving a blood trail.
A person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released there from under conditions other than dishonorable. Note: Veteran Waterfowl and Active Military Waterfowl season definitions differ.
Youth (for the purposes of participation in Youth-Only hunting seasons or special youth events)
Any person 16 years of age or younger. For the federal Youth Waterfowl Weekend, the youth must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age (adult is required to accompany the youth during special youth-only duck season, but is not required to be licensed). To hunt waterfowl, all persons 16 years of age and older must have a Federal Duck Stamp.