When Does Bow Season Start in Texas (2021 – 2022 Guide)

By Andy Ryan


Posted at
bow hunting

When does bow season start in texas? If you’re asking yourself this question, you’ve got a lot of hunting to do. Here’s the annual schedule you can check!

In general, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department allows for the hunting of different animals during different seasons. Some of these seasons are general while others are reserved for only archers or only young hunters. The exact dates of a hunting season depending on the type of animal and the area of hunting.

All these tables can be found at the bottom of the article but as an example here is the most popular whitetail deer season table.

GeneralNorthNov. 6 – Jan. 2
GeneralSouthNov. 6 – Jan. 16
Youth-onlyNorthOct. 30-31 & Jan. 3-16
Youth-onlySouthOct. 30-31 & Jan. 3-16
Special LateNorthJan. 3-16
Special LateSouthJan. 17-30
Archery252 of 254 countiesOct. 2 – Nov. 5
Muzzleloader90 of 254 countiesJan. 3-16
Always make sure that these tables are up to date and accurate, you can do this by going to the texas hunting and fishing regulations website by using this link.

Seasons by Category

In this article, we provide you with up upcoming hunting seasons of each animal by their zone. Some of these seasons are general, whereas others are particularly reserved for archery. There are also some youth-only seasons that only allow young people to hunt.

Public Hunting & Drawn Hunts

The Annual Public Hunting Permit allows access to about 1 million acres of public land for hunting nearly all year round. Also known as walk-in hunting, this permit allows you to hunt feral hogs, white-tailed deer, turkey, dove, quail, and squirrel. There are more than 180 hunting areas available for hunting. These areas include state parks, wildlife management areas, and about 120 dove games and small game areas privately owned by landowners. (1)

The Regular Daily Permit can be availed for waterfowl hunts and some small games. You can get a regular permit at the hunt area where they are issued on a first-come-first-served basis.

The Public Drawn Hunt System allows a limited number of individuals selected based on a random draw to hunt a variety of animals. Both adults and youth hunters can apply for a drawn hunt.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department also partners with private organizations to offer training workshops to new hunters, introducing them to the hunting experience. These workshops also aim to provide hunters with skills and knowledge to hunt successfully in the field. (2)

Game Animals

Texans famously have a lot of enthusiasm for hunting. The white-tailed deer with its large antlers is what Texas is famous for but there are lots of other animals that are hunted here. These animals include wild pigs, alligators, mule deer, javelinas, pronghorn, turkeys, squirrels, and waterfowl.  There are also a lot of upland birds such as quail that can be hunted.

A lot of ranches in Texas also have populations of imported species that are not native to Texas. Most notable of these animals are axis deer, nilgai, aoudad, blackbuck, and some animals of African origin such as oryx and zebras.

For each of these animals, there are certain areas in Texas where they can be hunted and areas where they are not allowed to be hunted. These areas are different for each animal and the maps can be found on Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website.

This article provides a table for each animal you can hunt. The tables also provide the zone the animals can be hunted in and the dates between which these animals can be hunted.

Legal Considerations

Before you start your hunting, there are some laws you should be aware of. Not all hunting practices are legal. But the following practices and methods are explicitly legal.

  • It is legal to use decoys while hunting game animals. However, you cannot use a live decoy to hunt migratory birds.
  • It is legal to use dogs to help you hunt.

Any firearm is legal except the following;

  • Rimfire ammunition,
  • Shotguns (except during spring eastern turkey season)
  • Fully Automatic Firearms
  • Suppressors (suppressors are only allowed as long as they comply with all state, federal and local laws)
  • Muzzleloaders

Airguns and arrow guns can be used to hunt furbearers, alligators, game animals, squirrels, and all non-migratory birds with the exception of eastern turkey. However, there are several conditions to using airguns and arrow guns that can be found on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website.

Archery and Crossbows                                    

The following regulations apply to bows and crossbows being used to hunt.

  • Only archery equipment that is lawful (as described by the regulations on the TPWD website) is allowed to be used for hunting any game animals.
  • Longbows, recurved bows, compound bows, and crossbows are included in lawful archery equipment.
  • Lawful archery equipment cannot be used during Muzzloader-Only Deer Season to hunt deer
  • The lawful archery equipment is lawful to be used to hunt non-protected non-game animals.

The detailed regulation for archery and crossbows can be found on the TPWD website.


GeneralNorthOct. 1 – Feb. 27
GeneralSouthSep. 1 – Aug. 31

Mule Deer

GeneralPanhandleNov. 20 – Dec. 5
GeneralSW PanhandleNov. 20 – Nov. 28
GeneralTrans-PecosNov. 26 – Dec. 12
Archery59 of 254 countiesOct. 2 – Nov. 5


General41 of 254 countiesOct. 2-17


GeneralEast TexasOct. 1 – Feb. 27 & May. 1-31
GeneralOther open countiesSep. 1 – Aug. 31
Youth-onlyEast TexasSep. 25-26

White-tailed Deer

GeneralNorthNov. 6 – Jan. 2
GeneralSouthNov. 6 – Jan 16
Youth-onlyNorthOct. 30-31 & Jan. 3-16
Youth-onlySouthOct. 30-31 & Jan. 3-16
Special LateNorthJan. 3-16
Special LateSouthJan. 17-30
Archery252 of 254 countiesOct. 2 – Nov. 5
Muzzleloader90 of 254 countiesJan. 3-16

Upland Game Birds


RegularCameron, Hidalgo, Starr & Willacy CountiesOct. 30 – Feb. 27

Pheasant Season Dates

RegularPanhandleDec. 4 – Jan. 2


RegularStatewideOct. 30 – Feb. 27


Rio Grande Turkey

FallNorthNov. 6 – Jan. 2
FallSouthNov. 6 – Jan. 16
FallBrooks, Kenedy, Kleberg & Willacy countiesNov. 6 – Feb. 27
FallArchery-onlyOct. 2 – Nov. 5
Fall Youth-onlyNorthOct. 30-31 – Jan. 3-16
Fall Youth-onlySouthOct. 30-31 – Jan. 17-30
SpringNorthApr. 2 – May 15
SpringSouthMar. 19 – May 1
SpringOne-turkey countiesApr. 1-30
Spring Youth-onlyNorthMar. 26-27 & May 21-22
Spring Youth-onlySouthMar. 12-13 & May 7-8

Eastern Turkey

SpringEast TexasApr. 22 – May 14

At the time of writing the Texas website for game and fishing was down and we could not complete these tables so we have provided a link below.


(1) public land – https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/public-lands
(2) private organizations – https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/social-sciences/private-organizations