Break out the blaze orange – white-tailed deer general season opens Nov. 7 and the forecast looks good. Texas’ whitetail population exceeds 5.5 million, making it the largest in the country. In areas with high deer populations, like the Edwards Plateau and Cross Timbers Region, TPWD recommends hunters use doe tags.
Hunters should refer to the Outdoor Annual for deer hunting regulations including statewide bag limits, specific county limits and antler restrictions. Don't forget to carry proof of Hunter Ed in the field. If a hunter has misplaced it, a free copy can be obtained.
Hunters who harvest white-tailed deer within CWD Zones are required to bring the animals to a check station within 48 hours. The My Texas Hunt Harvest app can be used to locate check stations and report a harvest.
New for the 2020-21 deer season, CWD zones have been established in Kimble County and Val Verde Counties.
Test results earlier in 2020 revealed 15 CWD-positive deer among the free-ranging native populations, in addition to 24 CWD-positive deer associated with deer breeding facilities and their release sites. CWD was discovered for the first time in Val Verde and Kimble Counties. All other new positives were within existing containment zones.
Hunters are asked to review CWD information on carcass movement restrictions and area testing requirements prior to hunts and to continue to have deer tested to help biologists with statewide sampling. Early detection is critical to managing and containing CWD.
To expand hunting options, walk-in hunting is available on more than 1 million acres of land that has been leased from federal and state agencies, industry and private landowners. The fee to access public land is a $48 Annual Public Hunting Permit. Anyone under age 17 can access these areas for free with a permitted adult.
Paperless check-in is an option for many public hunting sites. Look for "eOSR" at the area information station, then use the My Texas Hunt Harvest app to complete on-site registration.
To help keep public hunting lands safe, anyone who uses them in daylight during any gun hunting season is required to wear blaze orange.