Hunting Means and Methods in Texas

Hunting in the great state of Texas is an exceptional way to obtain fresh meats naturally fed, and avoid the meats pumped with hormones and consuming food devoid of proper minerals and vitamins. There are many who enjoy the art of hunting both game birds and game animals. In the hunting community, there are those who have become seasoned and are experts. On the other side of the spectrum, the beginners still understanding the rules and regulations, along with gaining the experience to becomes masters. When utilizing the various hunting means and methods, it is necessary to become familiar with what is restricted, and what is legal.

Texas Heritage Protection would like to clarify these means and methods for your hunting experiences.

Using Firearms:
– Most game animals and birds are permitted to be hunted with legal firearms, except the following:
– White-tailed Deer
– Mule Deer
– Desert Bighorn Sheep
– Pronghorn Antelope
These animals are strictly prohibited from being hunted with any caliber rim-fire ammunition.
– When hunting the Eastern Turkey during the spring season, shotguns are the only firearms authorized. Rifles and handguns are strictly off limits.
– Pellet guns or any other air firearms are illegal for the use of hunting any game animal or bird. The only exception is a squirrel. However, when hunting squirrels with an air rifle, the firearm must be engineered to be fired from the shoulder and must be able to project a .177 caliber of a minimum of a 600 feet per second velocity muzzle without using a spring air or other non-ignited compressed gas.
– Utilizing fully automatic firearms is NOT legal.
– For hunting migratory birds, shotguns are the only acceptable firearm to use.
– Any lawful firearm may be used to hunt non-game animals.
– Magazine capacities are not restricted to game birds or animals, except for migratory birds.
– NOTE: A convicted felon from anywhere, may not legally own firearms, even for hunting events in the state of Texas.

Using Crossbows or Archery:
– Archery or crossbow equipment may not be used to hunt deer during the Muzzleloader-Only Deer Season.
– Non-game animals are permitted to be hunted with archery or crossbow equipment.
– Longbows, Compound Bows or Recurved Bows, have no minimum draw requirements.
– Crossbow minimum requirements are:
• Minimum pull of 125 pounds.
• Mechanical safety.
• Stock is not less than 25 inches in length.
• Use of telescope sights are lawful.
– Crossbows are legal for any person to use during the Archery-Only Open Season in all counties except the following:
– Collin
– Dallas,
– Grayson
– Rockwall
In these counties, no person may use a crossbow to hunt deer during the Archery-Only Open Season unless the hunter has an upper-limb disability and has in their possession a hard copy physician’s statement that certifies the extent of the disability. An upper-limb disability is classified as a permanent loss of the use of fingers, hand, or arm in a manner that renders the person incapable of using a longbow, compound bow, or recurved bow.
– Any person is permitted to use a crossbow in any county to hunt game birds and animals during the general open season and Eastern Spring Turkey Season.
– To hunt deer during the Archery-Open Season, a person is required to have an archery endorsement.
– Projectiles used in archery hunting are strictly forbidden from being poisoned, drugged or explosive.

Methods That Are Restricted:
– It is unlawful for any person engaging in hunting or shooting activities, to knowingly discharge their firearms that allows the projectiles cross property lines, unless property owner gives written consent.
– For animals or birds located in Texas, it is illegal to utilize computer-assisted remote hunting facilities or weapons.
– Artificial light is not permitted to use during hunting. The only exception is battery-operated scoping devices that projects lights or dots within the scope.
– Hunting traps are not permitted.
– Dogs are illegal to hunt deer. Fines and jail time are the consequences.
– Aircraft are only permitted for hunting with authorization from the department.

Methods Lawful in Hunting:
– Non migratory animals or birds are allowed to be hunted from motor vehicles, power or sail boats or any floating devices within the boundaries of private property or private water. Migratory birds are permitted from being hunted from a boat in public waters under specific circumstances.
– Dogs are lawful to hunt any game bird.
– Baiting is legal for game and non-game animals, and game birds on private property, with the exception of turkey in several counties in East Texas, and migratory birds throughout the state.
– Decoys are lawful for to hunt game animals and birds. However, no person may utilize live decoys for hunting migratory birds.
– Calling devices including the following:
• Manual operated.
• Mouth operated.
• Recordings.
• Electrified amplified.
These calling devices are all permitted during hunt game animals and birds, only under special regulation, however, can electronic calls be used to hunt migratory birds.

Texas Heritage Protection has compiled the above to help educate all hunters in the state of Texas. Ignorance will not get you out of fines or other punishments for not following the legal hunting means and methods!