Mule Deer2023-2024 Seasons & Regulations

Season Dates & County Regulations

Archery Only

All counties with a general season
Sept. 30 - Nov. 3, 2023
Brewster, Pecos, Terrell Counties
Sept. 30 - Nov. 3, 2023

General Season

Nov. 18 - Dec. 3, 2023
Nov. 24 - Dec. 10, 2023
Brewster, Pecos, Terrell Counties
Nov. 24 - Dec. 10, 2023

Bag Limits

Bag limits are established by county. No person may exceed the annual bag limit of two mule deer, no more than one of which may be a buck. The annual bag limit does not apply on MLDP properties.

Find your county to view specific limits.

Definition of Buck Deer

A deer with an antler point protruding through the skin, or with antler growth in velvet greater than one inch. For tagging purposes, all other deer are antlerless deer, regardless of sex.

Special Antler Restriction

Antler restriction for mule deer bucks applies in Andrews, Armstrong, Bailey, Briscoe, Castro, Childress, Cochran, Collingsworth, Cottle, Dawson, Donley, Floyd, Foard, Gaines, Hale, Hall, Hardeman, Hockley, Lamb, Lynn. Lubbock, Martin, Motley, Parmer, Randall, Swisher, Terry, Terrell, and Yoakum counties:

  • a legal buck deer is defined as a buck with an outside antler spread of the main beams of 20 inches or greater.
  • any buck with at least one unbranched antler (e.g., spike) is NOT legal to harvest, unless the outside spread of the main beams is at least 20 inches in width.
  • mule deer antler restriction does not apply within any CWD zone.

Terrell County Check Station

TPWD requests hunters to voluntarily present the entire head (intact) of any buck mule deer harvested in Terrell County to a designated check station to help assess the experimental antler-restriction regulation.

Check Station
Stuards Deer Processing
1944 Hwy 90 East
Dryden, Texas
(432) 244-9917

Dates and Times
November 25 - 27
December 2 - 4
December 9 - 11
9 A.M. - 7 P.M.

Measuring Outside Spread

The average ear-tip to ear-tip spread of mule deer bucks standing in the alert position is 21 inches, as shown in the buck illustrations. The outside spread is estimated in a similar manner; however, the measurement is taken by using the outside spread of the main beams, as shown by the black arrows/dotted lines below.

outside spread of 20 inches or greater is legal but smaller outside spreads or at least one unbranched antler are illegal to harvest

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

CWD is a fatal disease that has been discovered in white-tailed deer, mule deer, and elk in localized portions of Texas. To detect and manage this disease, the department has designated CWD Zones.

Hunters who harvest mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, or other exotic CWD-susceptible species within the CWD Zones are required to bring their animals to a TPWD check station within 48 hours of harvest. Hunters must check each animal harvested and receive a CWD receipt before taking any part of that animal from the CWD Zone, including any meat or quartered parts.

Additional regulations may apply and additional zones may be established without prior notice anywhere in the state upon discovery of CWD. The department will make every effort to publicize the designation and location of CWD Zones and check stations, as well as any special regulations that may be adopted following the publication of this notice. For the latest updates, call (800) 792-1112 or visit the CWD information pages. A hunter who harvests a CWD-susceptible species outside a CWD Zone and wishes to have the animal tested for CWD should contact a wildlife biologist in that area.

Please report any symptomatic CWD-susceptible species to your local Texas Game Wardens or a Wildlife Biologist.

Find check stations, view CWD zones and learn more about CWD.

Tagging a Deer

Hunters in possession of a digital license and tags should refer to Digital Licenses and Tagging for tagging instructions.

A tag from the hunting license of the person who killed the deer must be correctly and legibly completed (including name of property and county) and immediately attached to the animal (exception is properties with special-issued tags such as MLDP tags).

See how to properly tag a deer.

Special Late Season

In counties with a Special Late Season, harvest is restricted to antlerless and unbranched antlered deer (a buck with at least one antler that has no more than one point). A point is a projection that extends at least one inch from the edge of a main beam or another tine. The tip of the main beam is also a point.

Find your county for detailed regulations.

Youth-Only Seasons

Only licensed hunters 16 years of age or younger are eligible to participate in youth-only deer seasons.

See Youth-Only Hunting Regulations

Find your County for Youth-Only Hunting Seasons

Restricted Areas in Counties & Federal Lands

It is the responsibility of the hunter to be aware of unlawful means and methods in specific county areas and applicable regulations on federal lands.

See Restricted Areas in Counties & Hunting on Federal Lands

Related Hunting Regulations

After Killing a Deer

Proof of Sex

Processing in Camp

Cold Storage, Processing and Taxidermy

Chronic Wasting Disease

Transfer & Importation of Wildlife

Restricted Areas in Counties