2018-2019 White-tailed Deer Seasons & Regulations

Archery Only
All counties with an open season Sept. 29 - Nov. 2, 2018
General Season
North Zone Nov. 3, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019
South Zone Nov. 3, 2018 - Jan. 20, 2019
Youth-Only
North Zone Oct. 27 - 28, 2018
Jan. 7 - 20, 2019
South Zone Oct. 27 - 28, 2018
Jan. 7 - 20, 2019
Muzzleloader
Jan. 7 - 20, 2019
Special Late
North Zone Jan. 7 - 20, 2019
South Zone Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2019

Buck Deer

A deer with a hardened antler protruding through the skin. Deer with antlers completely covered in velvet (protruding through the skin) are also considered buck deer. A buck deer must be tagged with a buck deer tag or applicable tag or permit. For tagging purposes, all other deer are antlerless deer, regardless of sex.


Statewide Bag Limits

Bag limits are established by county. No person may exceed the annual bag limit of five white-tailed deer, no more than three of which may be bucks. The annual bag limit does not apply on MLDP properties. Find your county to view specific limits.


Special Antler Restrictions

Antler restrictions apply in certain counties. In these counties, the bag limit is two legal bucks, but only ONE may have an inside spread of 13 inches or greater. In these counties, a legal buck deer is defined as a buck deer with:

  • at least one unbranched antler; OR
  • an inside spread of 13 inches or greater(does not apply to a buck that has an unbranched antler).

It is unlawful to take more than one buck with an inside spread of 13 inches or greater or having two branched antlers (i.e. a person who takes a buck in violation of the antler restriction regulation is prohibited from subsequently harvesting any buck deer with branched antlers on both main beams in that county during that hunting season).

The distance from the tip of one ear to the tip of the other ear, when the ears are in the “alert” position may be used as a guide to help estimate the inside spread. If the inside spread extends past the ears, it is likely to be at least 13 inches.

Definition of a point: 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 to determine if there are antler restrictions.

Determining Inside Spread

To determine if a buck has an inside spread measurement of at least 13 inches, look at the distance from ear-tip to ear-tip on a buck with ears in the "alert" position.

Definition of a 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.


CWD Check Stations

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal deer disease that has been discovered in white-tailed deer and mule deer in localized portions of Texas. In order to detect and manage this disease, the department has designated CWD zones within which the intact, unfrozen head of any white-tailed or mule deer harvested by a hunter must be presented at a TPWD-designated check station within 48 hours of harvest.

Find check stations and view CWD zones.

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 additional or updated information see the CWD information pages, call any TPWD office or call 1-800-792-1112.


Tagging a Deer

A tag from the hunting license of the person who killed the deer or turkey must be correctly and legibly completed (including name of property and county) and immediately attached to the animal (exception is properties with issued tags such as MLD tags). See how to properly tag a deer.

The hunter MUST:

  • use the specific type of deer or turkey (for example, buck tags must be used only on buck deer, antlerless tags on antlerless deer, etc.)
  • have the month and date of kill clearly cut out on the tag by notching the respective month and day. Do not “ink out.”
  • immediately complete, date and cut out the appropriate hunting license tag after a deer is harvested but before the deer is field dressed, moved or tagged.
  • for white-tailed deer, immediately before moving carcass, complete the log, in ink, on the back of the hunting license. Asterisks in the log indicate bucks with an inside main beam spread of at least 13 inches. Failure to complete the log as required may result in a fine not to exceed $500 for each deer improperly logged.

Completion of the log is not required for mule deer, or for white-tailed deer or mule deer lawfully taken under a MLDP tag, TPWD Special Drawn Public Hunt permit, or on a Big Time Texas Hunt.


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 to view hunting seasons.


White-tailed Deer Youth-Only Seasons

  • Age Restriction: ONLY licensed hunters 16 years of age or younger are eligible to participate in youth-only deer seasons.
  • Youth-only seasons may run concurrently with other seasons (Archery, Muzzleloader, Special Late) but do not prevent any person from lawfully hunting under the provisions established for those seasons.
  • Any lawful means may be used, except in Collin, Dallas, Grayson, and Rockwall counties, where lawful means are restricted to lawful archery equipment only (crossbows prohibited except for youth with upper limb disability).
  • Bag Limits, take of antlerless deer, and special requirements:
    • In Bell (E. of I-35), Delta, Ellis, Falls, Fannin, Franklin, Freestone, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Limestone, Milam, Navarro, Rains, Smith, Titus, Van Zandt, Williamson (E. of I-35) and Wood counties, the bag limits, requirements for the take of antlerless deer, and special requirements are the same as the period Nov 22-25 for each respective county (County Listings table, pgs. 82–97).
    • For the remainder of the state, the bag, tag and permit requirements are the same as for the first two days of the general season in the county (see County Listings).