Archery Deer Hunting Season Opens in Texas

There is another sign that fall is in the air, despite the continued summer-like temperatures in Texas---this weekend marks the start of archery-only deer hunting season across the Lone Star State. Weeks after bird hunters started dove hunting, bow hunters now have a crack at the state's estimated 5.3 million white-tailed deer.

Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) is preparing for a robust deer season, thanks to the conditions. "It started last fall, with all of that rain and then the moisture continuing through the winter, into the spring and into early July this year---as a result, it set up the conditions for the deer to have a great habitat," says Alan Cain, TPWD's Big Game Program Leader. "So the bucks were able to grow good, quality antlers this year, and we're starting to see that already as folks are out there doing some preseason scouting."

For Houston-area deer hunters, it's best to head west. "Around Llano, Mason, Kerrville---that is one of the highest deer densities in the state, in the Hill Country over there," says Cain.

There are some changes this year, specifically a new requirement that hunters report all antlerless deer harvested in 21 south-central Texas counties. More details on all the rules and regulations are in the TPWD's Outdoor Annual.

Archery-only deer season continues through Nov. 1. General deer season starts Nov. 2 and runs through Jan. 5 in North Texas and Jan. 19 in South Texas. There are also youth-only seasons Oct. 26-27 and Jan. 6-19. "We have a little over a million licensed hunters in the state, and roughly 800,000 to 900,000 deer hunters of that," says Cain. "We expect the numbers to be about the same this year."

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