Nongame, Exotic, Endangered, Threatened & Protected Species

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

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Nongame Species

A hunting license is required for the take of nongame species. There are no closed seasons, bag limits or possession limits; and, they may be hunted at any time by any lawful means or methods on private property. There may be restrictions for certain species of nongame animals, including possession limits (see below). In addition, be aware that public hunting lands may also have additional restrictions. If hunting at night, as a courtesy please contact your local game warden.

Nongame Animals

Includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Armadillos
  • Bobcats
  • Coyotes
  • Flying squirrels
  • Frogs
  • Ground squirrels
  • Mountain lions
  • Porcupines
  • Prairie dogs
  • Rabbits and Hares
  • Turtles (freshwater)

Endangered, Threatened and Other Protected Animals

In Texas, animal or plant species of conservation concern may be listed as threatened or endangered under the authority of state law and/or under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). It is unlawful for any person to hunt threatened or endangered nongame species. To sell or purchase goods made from threatened or endangered species, proper documentation must accompany the goods. See a list of threatened and endangered species in Texas.

Protected Birds

All indigenous birds (including, but not limited to, raptors and songbirds) are protected by various state and federal laws and may not be killed, taken from the nest, picked up, or possessed for any reason, and their feathers may not be possessed or sold (except for the unprotected birds listed in the Non-Protected and/or Exotic Species section). Arts and crafts may not include these protected species under any circumstances. A federal depredation permit may be issued to individuals who have evidence clearly showing certain protected wildlife is causing serious damage to commercial agricultural, horticultural, or aquacultural interests, or presents a threat to public safety. For more information, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website.


May not be hunted, killed, possessed, purchased or sold; however, bats may be moved, trapped, or killed if inside or on a building occupied by people. A person may transport a bat for the purpose of laboratory testing if there is a rabies or white-nosed syndrome (WNS) concern. Excluding bats from buildings is discouraged from May 1 – August 15 when young are unable to fly and may be entrapped. Please report suspected WNS cases to TPWD by email.

Black Bears

Black bears are listed as a state-threatened species by TPWD. They are protected and cannot be hunted or killed. Please report black bear sightings or mortalities by calling (512) 389-4505. For more information, see bear safety on the TPWD website.

"Canned Hunts" (Dangerous Wild Animals)

No person may kill or attempt to injure a dangerous wild animal (African or Asiatic lion, tiger, leopard, cheetah, hyena, bear, elephant, wolf, or rhinoceros, or any subspecies or hybrid of these animals) that is held in captivity in this state or that is released from captivity in this state for the purpose of being killed, nor may any person conduct, promote, advertise, or assist in the hunting of a dangerous wild animal.

Non-Protected and/or Exotic Species

On private property, there are no required means and methods of take, state bag or possession limits, or closed seasons (hunting hours) on exotic animals, exotic fowl or other species not included in any of the previously addressed categories.

Exotic Animals and Fowl

An exotic animal is any animal that is not indigenous to Texas, including but not limited to aoudad sheep, axis deer, elk, sika deer, fallow deer, red deer, and blackbuck and nilgai antelope. An exotic fowl is any avian species that is not indigenous to Texas and is also not protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, including but not limited to ratites (emu, ostrich, rhea, cassowary, etc.). Hunting License required.

It is unlawful to:

  • hunt an exotic without a valid hunting license (Class C misdemeanor);
  • hunt an exotic on a public road or right-of-way. (Class A misdemeanor);
  • hunt an exotic without the landowner's permission. (Class A misdemeanor); or
  • possess an exotic or the carcass of an exotic without the owner's consent (Class A misdemeanor).

Feral Hogs and Coyotes

  • Hunter Education requirements apply.
  • No hunting license is required to hunt feral hogs on private
    property with landowner authorization.
  • No hunting license is required to hunt depredating coyotes on private property with landowner authorization.
  • Transportation and release of live feral hogs is unlawful, unless in compliance with Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) regulations. The TAHC regulates the movement of feral swine for disease-control purposes. For more information please call TAHC at (800) 550-8242 or visit the Texas Animal Health Commission website.

Mountains Lions

Mountain lions are classified as nongame animals; they are not protected and can be harvested at any time. Please report mountain lion sightings, harvests or mortalities to (512) 389-4505.

Unprotected Birds

Birds not protected by any state or federal law include European starlings, English sparrows (house sparrow), feral rock doves (common pigeon), Egyptian geese, Muscovy ducks (except in Hidalgo, Starr, Zapata counties) and Eurasian collared-doves; these species may be killed at any time, their nests or eggs destroyed, and their feathers possessed. Hunting license required.

Nongame Collection Permits

Permit for dealer to collect nongame wildlife. More information about nongame permits is available.

Nongame Collection Permits
Permit Eligibility Item Fee Availability
Resident Nongame Collection Permit Texas resident 548 $19 Buy online
Non-resident Nongame Collection Permit Non-resident 550 $63 Buy online