Here’s what you need to know about white-tailed deer season in Texas

Make the most out of your hunt this year

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources advises deer hunters to be prepared for big changes to DNR deer check stations this fall. (David Kenyon, Michigan Department of Natural Resources)

SAN ANTONIO – The weather is getting colder and fishing is getting tougher by the day, but don’t worry — it’s now white-tailed deer season in Texas!

If you’re gearing up to go after the premiere game animal in the state, here is everything you need to know.


According to Texas Parks and Wildlife officials, the agency sold more than 1.24 million hunting licenses in 2019 and license sales are up in 2020.

It’s clear Texans — whether it’s a first-year hunter or a seasoned professional — see hunting as an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while staying COVID-19 safe.

Click here for more information on hunting licenses and what you need to do to get one.


While the season has already been underway in the state for archers, the general season for white-tailed deer runs from Nov. 7, 2020 - Jan. 3, 2021 in the North zone and from Nov. 7, 2020 - Jan. 17, 2021 in the state’s South zone.

For more information on the hunting season, tagging requirements and harvesting, click here.

Big rack, big money

According to TPW officials, white-tailed deer hunting generates an estimated $1.2 billion in holistic economic output in the state and $15.7 billion nationwide.

Between costs for gas, license fees, lease fees, hotels, food and retails, that’s a lot of dough.

You can also enjoy the spoils of the hunt by enjoying the culture around the experience itself, like books, cooking and old hunter’s stories. True or untrue, it’s a good time.

How do I know it’s a white-tailed deer?

The deer gets its name from its iconic tail, so, the easiest way to tell if its a white-tailed deer is if you see white under the tail.

The long tail is used as a sort of signal to other deer. Mule deer, also found in the state, do not have this feature. Their tail is also much smaller and comes in a variety of colors and tans.

Where are they?

White-tailed deer inhabit most of the state — all but two of Texas' 254 counties in the state — and can be seen in almost every setting imaginable.

You might even get lucky seeing one in your front yard or at a local greenspace. But where is the best place to hunt and harvest your own trophy buck?

Click here for a list of public hunting locations in the state.

The list includes wildlife management areas, state parks and approximately 120 dove and small game areas leased from private landowners.

Want more?

For a full guide on whitetail deer by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, click here.

Related: ‘Above average’ deer hunting season expected in Texas, TPWD officials say

About the Author:

Jakob Rodriguez is a digital journalist at KSAT 12. He's a graduate of Texas State University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The University Star.