Texas is a great place to go trophy hunting for a variety of animals including deer, elk, mountain lions, and wild hogs. Texas has some special rules about what animals can be hunted as trophies though so make sure you know before you head out on your hunt! This blog post will help get the information you need to make sure you have all the right gear and knowledge for your next successful trophy hunt in Texas.
What Animals Are Trophy Worthy?
In Texas trophy hunting animals include deer, elk, mountain lions and wild hogs. For deer hunters the buck must have a minimum of four points on one side or six total to be considered trophy worthy.
Elk are hunted for their large rack as well so in Texas they need at least five points per rack or it is not worth hunting that animal. Mountain cats can also be hunted and killed but only if you have a bear permit with them being an extra cost over your regular hunt license fee (which is $62). Wild pigs are important game animals because their population has been growing rapidly due to recent weather changes in Texas which mean they’re no longer just pests, but now more predators than prey animals.
Texas Rules for Trophy Hunting
Some of the rules for trophy hunting in Texas are that you need to be the minimum age of 16 and have paid for a hunting license. You must also follow all general rules that apply to hunting in Texas including but not limited to:
In order for an animal taken during open season (either archery, rifle, or muzzleloader) to qualify as a trophy game animal pursuant to TEX. PENAL CODE § 42.12(a)(20), it shall meet the following two requirements:
The deer hunter may only kill one buck per day with no more than four points on one side OR six total points;
Mountain cats are hunted similarly to other big game animals such as elk and deer because they’re worth money if killed legally during its appropriate hunting season.
- Depending on the length of your hunting trip, most trophy hunters will have the following gear with them:
- Field glasses or spotting scope
- Backpack with first-aid kit, rain gear and extra clothes.
- Map case to help navigate unfamiliar territory; GPS unit with up-to-date maps of the area if available.
Also, hunting can be done with a crossbow in Texas during specific seasons. The hunter must have a general statewide deer license and current small game and turkey licenses. A person who hunts for any big game animal other than white tailed deer (e.g., elk) may not hunt that same type of animal on the day they take their antlerless whitetail buck trophy pursuant to TEXAS PENAL CODE § 42A12(a).
Wild Pig Trophy Hunting
Trophy hunting for wild pig in Texas can be done during the feral hog week. A person must have a general statewide deer license and current small game and turkey licenses to hunt for wild pigs in Texas.
Feral Hog Week (Oct. 15-21)
Hunting Feral Hogs
Hunting Feral hogs is usually done during the feral hog week. A Texas resident must hold a general statewide deer license, current small game and turkey licenses to hunt for wild pigs in Texas.
The hunter may use any legal weapon or archery equipment that is allowed during the open season of hunting white-tailed deer with bow & arrow gear as well as longbow, recurve and crossbows. It is illegal to take any wildlife not listed on this permit including but not limited to: coyotes, bobcats, foxes; reptiles (including rattlesnakes), alligators; frogs/toads; opossums; raccoons – except those taken under Furbearer Hunting restrictions unless taking them pursuant to an approved Wildlife Management Area Permit issued by TPWD.
Elk Trophy Hunting in Texas
Elk trophy hunting in Texas usually begins in October and ends in January. In order to be considered a trophy, the elk must have an outside antler spread of at least 50 inches or more with both beams measuring 16 points or greater on one side.
Deer Trophy Hunting in Texas
Deer trophy hunting in Texas usually begins in October and ends in January. In order to be considered a trophy, the deer must have an outside antler spread of at least 30 inches or more with both beams measuring 12 points or greater on one side.
Bighorn Sheep Trophy Hunting in Texas
Bighorn sheep trophy hunting is permitted year-round under this permit type but it does not begin until after Nov 15th each year. A minimum buckhorn size for any ram taken shall be 16″ long (measured from tip of horn to inside bend) by 18″ wide (measured across horns). The hunter may take no more than two rams per season.
Areas To Hunt in Texas
Some of the best areas in Texas to hunt include the Texas Hill Country, East Central and Northeast Region of Texas. The Texas Hill Country is best for hunters interested in hunting deer, turkey and wild hogs. The East Central Region of Texas is best for hunters interested in hunting deer, javelina, coyotes and quail. The Northeast region of Texas has a richer mix of wildlife including white-tailed deer, black bear as well as feral hog populations.
Bow Hunting in Texas
Bow hunting is extremely popular in Texas due to the high population of white-tailed deer. Texas is home to several bow hunting clubs that offer memberships for a fee, which includes access to private land and exclusive use privileges.
Hunting for trophy animals in Texas can be extremely fun and rewarding for all hunters alike. Most often, hunters are awarded with a sense of accomplishment and personal growth.
- Understand what Texas has to offer for the trophy hunter in terms of animal populations, hunting seasons, gun type requirements, licenses needed as well as necessary gear.
- Know where you can find deer, turkey and wild hog hunts before deciding which region to go hunt in. – Consider joining one of Texas’ many bow hunting clubs if this is your preferred method of hunting. These provide memberships that include access to private land and exclusive privileges when it comes time for bow season!
- Have fun on your next Texas trophy hunt!