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Learn About Texas Hunting Licenses

A Texas hunting license is required before you can take most types of birds and mammals in the state, including both game and non-game species.

The only situations in which you do not need a hunting permit are when you are a qualified landowner who needs to hunt certain species that are causing a nuisance to your property or livestock.

Hunting licenses are issued by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, otherwise referred to as the TPWD or the DNR. There are many different types of licenses available from TPWD, allowing you to get the exact credentials you need to hunt.

Obtaining a DNR license is easy to do online, over the phone or in person. Most licenses require that you pay a fee, but there are a few types of licenses available at no cost. For example, if you are a disabled veteran or a current member of the armed forces, you may qualify for a free license to fish and hunt. A DNR hunting license usually allows you to hunt for an entire year, but there are also temporary licenses as well as lifetime licenses.

Currently, most temporary licenses are only available to non-residents, while lifetime permits are only sold if you are a permanent resident of Texas.

Regardless of the type of license you obtain, note that it may be necessary to buy additional stamps or permits, also known as endorsements, before you can hunt specific types of animals or birds. For example, you will need an endorsement to shoot migratory birds or to take amphibians and reptiles.

How to Get a Hunting License in Texas

If you are wondering how to get a hunting license in Texas, it is easy to obtain the credentials you need. Licenses are provided by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) online, by phone and in person at various locations.

Whether you order an online hunting license or pick up your credentials in person, it is important to know that a license is required before you can hunt most types of birds, mammals and amphibians.

Licensure is required for everyone who wants to hunt or trap in Texas, but you may be able to get a free permit if you meet the eligibility requirements.

Even if you do qualify for a free license, you still need to obtain one from the TPWD rather than hunting without a permit. In the sections below, find everything you need to know about Texas hunting permit credentials and find out how to buy the licenses and endorsements you need to hunt.

Types of Hunting Licenses in Texas

A lifetime hunting license in Texas is a great option if you plan on hunting every year, but there are plenty of other options if you do not want to make a commitment to a lifetime license yet. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) issues many types of licenses that you can buy to suit your fishing, hunting and trapping needs.

A regular license allows an applicant to take most types of birds and mammals, but it is important for hunters to check exactly which species they are allowed to take with each type of license.

Whether a hunter buys an out of state hunting license or gets a resident permit, he or she may need to purchase additional tags to hunt certain types of wildlife that are more closely monitored, which is usually covered in hunter education courses.

Hunter Safety and Education Courses in Texas

Taking a hunter safety course in Texas is required under many circumstances before you can get a license to hunt.

Even when taking a hunter education course is not mandatory, the classes can provide valuable information that helps improve your chances of success while increasing your level of safety in the field. Classes cover a wide range of topics that are beneficial for new and experienced hunters.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) offers a few different types of courses that hunters can enroll in. Some classes are mandatory before a hunter can get a license, but others are optional courses that experienced hunters can take to advance their skills further.

The TPWD also offers a deferral choice for qualified hunters who are not ready to take their courses yet. Below, learn more about each of these hunters education options and discover how to enroll in the correct class.

Texas Hunting Laws and Regulations

Learning the Texas hunting season for different species is important before you get out in the field, but there are a variety of other rules and regulations you need to follow as well. Hunting regulations are set by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), which is also responsible for issuing licenses and monitoring the harvest of wildlife.

Many hunting laws remain the same from one year to the next, but it is also possible for TWPD to enact new policies each year. For example, seasons and bag limits can change annually, and certain hunting areas may open or close each year based on the current population of wildlife.

For that reason, it is important for all hunters, no matter how experienced, to be aware of the current regulations. In the sections below, learn more about hunting seasons in TX and discover all of the regulations hunters need to know before planning a trip.