Hunting Means and Methods

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

Lawful Means and Methods

It is legal to:

  • hunt animals and non-migratory game birds from a motor vehicle, powerboat, sailboat, or from any other floating device within the boundaries of private property or upon private water.
  • use calling devices (including manual and mouth-operated), recordings, and electrically amplified calls to hunt game animals and game birds. Electronic calls may not be used to hunt migratory game birds except during the Light Goose Conservation Order season.
  • use decoys to hunt game animals and game birds. No person may use live decoys when hunting migratory game birds.
  • bait for game animals, nongame animals, and upland game birds, except for Eastern turkey and migratory game birds. (Baiting is unlawful on most public property. Please check specific regulations for that public property.)
  • trap nongame/exotic animals (such as feral hogs, rabbits, etc.) on private property.
  • use dogs to aid in the hunting of any game bird.


Game animals and non-migratory game birds may be hunted with any legal firearm, except:

  • Rimfire Ammunition (of any caliber) may NOT be used to hunt white-tailed deer, mule deer, desert bighorn sheep, or pronghorn.
  • Fully Automatic Firearms
  • Shotguns are the only legal firearm that may be used during spring Eastern turkey season.
  • Magazine Capacity (number of shells/cartridges allowed): there are no restrictions on the number of shells or cartridges a legal firearm may hold when hunting game animals or game birds (except migratory game birds, see Legal Shotgun).
  • Muzzleloaders: muzzleloader deer seasons are restricted to muzzleloading firearms only: any firearm designed such that a bullet/ projectile, and powder can be loaded only through the muzzle (as opposed to breech-loading firearms). A cap and ball firearm in which the powder and ball are loaded into a cylinder is not a muzzleloader.
  • Suppressors (aka “silencers”): may be used to take any wildlife resource; however, all federal, state and local laws continue to apply.

Air Guns and Arrow Guns

Alligator, game animals, furbearers, squirrels, and non-migratory game birds (except eastern turkey) may be hunted with air guns and arrow guns provided:

  • alligators, bighorn sheep, javelina, mule deer, white-tailed deer, pronghorn, and turkey (except eastern turkey) may be taken only with pre-charged pneumatic arrow guns, or pre-charged pneumatic air guns.
  • pre-charged pneumatic air guns must fire a projectile of at least .30 caliber in diameter and at least 150 grains in weight with a minimum muzzle velocity of 800 feet per second or any combination of bullet weight and muzzle velocity that produces muzzle energy of at least 215 foot pounds of energy.
  • squirrels, pheasant, quail, and chachalaca may be hunted with air guns that fire a projectile of at least .177 caliber (4.5mm) in diameter producing a muzzle velocity of at least 600 feet per second.
  • arrows or bolts used with an arrow gun must conform to the same standards for projectiles for archery.
  • arrow guns may not be used to hunt deer or wild turkey during archery season.

For more information see Air Gun and Arrow Gun Regulations.

Archery and Crossbows

  • Only lawful archery equipment prescribed in this section may be used for taking game animals or game birds.
  • Lawful archery equipment includes compound bows, crossbows, longbows, and recurved bows.
  • Lawful archery equipment may not be used to hunt deer during the Muzzleloader-Only Deer Season.
  • Lawful archery equipment is lawful for non-protected non- game animals.
Longbows, Compound Bows, Recurved Bows
  • There is no minimum draw requirement.
  • Lighted pins, sight magnification, overdraw rests, and devices that allow a bow to be locked at full or partial draw are lawful during any season when lawful archery equipment may be used.
Projectiles (Arrows and Crossbow Bolts)
  • While hunting game animals and game birds, a projectile may not be poisoned, drugged, or explosive.
  • When used to hunt turkey and all game animals other than squirrels, a projectile must be equipped with a broadhead hunting point. An archer may have arrows/bolts with field, target, or judo points in the quiver with the broadhead hunting points.
  • There are no restrictions or minimum requirements on arrow or bolt lengths, arrow material, arrow weight, lighted nocks, broadhead lengths or diameter, number of cutting edges, broadhead material, or mechanical broadheads.


Please contact (512) 389-4481 for information on falconry permitting and regulations or see Wildlife Diversity falconry permits information.  See migratory game bird regulations for open seasons and daily bag limits.

Unlawful Activities

It is unlawful to:

  • knowingly discharge a firearm causing a projectile to cross a property line, unless the person owns both sides of the property line or has obtained written permission from the owner of any land crossed by the projectile.
  • discharge a firearm on or across a public road or hunt from public roads.
  • use a computer, or operate a facility that uses a computer, to assist in remote firearm or archery hunting, if the animal being hunted is located in Texas.
  • hunt with the aid of artificial light of any form that casts or reflects a beam of light onto or otherwise illuminates a game animal or bird; exception: hunters with legal blindness, or hunters who have a documented permanent physical disability that prevents them from using traditional firearm sighting devices may use laser sighting devices.
    • Hunters with blindness must possess a physician’s signed statement attesting to legal blindness; and be assisted by a licensed hunter at least 13 years of age who is not legally blind. Legal blindness is defined in section 62.104 (c) of the Texas Government Code.
    • Hunter education and licensing requirements still apply to hunters with legal blindness, hunters with a documented permanent physical disability, and persons assisting hunters with blindness or other disability.
    • All hunters may use battery-powered scoping devices that project a light or dot only inside the scope or pin sight lights on archery equipment.
  • use traps to hunt game birds or game animals.
  • use dogs to hunt deer in this state.
    • No person may possess a shotgun and buckshot or slugs while in the field with dogs on another person’s land during an open deer season in Angelina, Hardin, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, and Tyler counties.
    • No more than two dogs may be used to trail a wounded deer in all counties; however, in Jasper, Newton, Sabine, and San Augustine counties, a person may trail a wounded deer with no more than two leashed dogs held by the person in control of the dogs. A “wounded deer” is a deer leaving a blood trail.
  • use aircraft (including drones, except by activity-specific permit) to hunt, locate (including wounded animals), manage, harass, drive, trap or photograph any wild animal.
  • hunt on Public Hunting Areas without the required permits.
  • hunt in a subdivision on lots 10 acres or less in an unincorporated area of a county if prohibited by local ordinance. Contact local county clerk and ask about §235.022, Local Government Code.
  • hunt anywhere by means or methods that have been prohibited by county or city ordinance.
  • hunt on any area named as a wildlife sanctuary, nesting, or propagation area.
  • hunt in state and/or national parks or refuges except during scheduled hunts or under other special state or federal policies.
  • hunt any wild animal or wild bird on or over privately-owned land that is submerged under public freshwater due to seasonal or occasional inundation or submerged under saltwater above the mean high tide line. The property must be posted to indicate that hunting is prohibited.
  • hunt any wild animal or wild bird, including exotic animals, on foot or from a vehicle on any public road or road right- of-way, or a boat on public water, except that migratory waterfowl may be hunted from a boat or any floating craft (except a sinkbox) under certain conditions.
  • possess a firearm if a convicted felon, with limited exception. Texas law allows the possession and use of a muzzle loading firearm if it is an antique or curio firearm manufactured before 1899, or is a replica of an antique or curio firearm manufactured before 1899 that does not use rimfire or centerfire ammunition. For questions regarding the possession and use of firearms by convicted felons, refer to Texas Penal Code Ch. 46 and/or seek guidance from legal counsel.