Head South for Crossbow Hunting in Texas (you won't be disappointed!)

Head South for Crossbow Hunting in Texas (you won’t be disappointed!)

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Bowhunting is among one of the fastest growing types of hunting worldwide. Texan hunters who have tried and mastered hunting with other weapons find themselves drawn to it because of its ties to the past, and the promise of a new challenge. And if you live in Texas, you might want to get some crossbow hunting done in Texas.

Texans like the advantage of hunting with a crossbow is that you can cock it ahead of time, reducing your movement in preparing for the shot.

Naturally, crossbows are also much quieter than a firearm, so they won’t scare animals away for miles should you miss an initial shot. Once a privilege reserved only for archery hunters with upper body disabilities, Texas now allows anyone to hunt with a crossbow.

Can You Do Crossbow Hunting in Texas?

Yes, it is now legal for anyone to participate in crossbow hunting in Texas.

No longer reserved for just the disabled.


Archery Only v. General Hunting Season

Texas has archery-only seasons for turkey, mule deer and white-tailed deer in the Fall.

You can hunt with a crossbow during archery season, but you’ll need an archery stamp endorsement to do so.

You can also hunt any game animal with a crossbow during general season with no archery permit required in most counties.

Those in North Texas: if you’re hunting in Collin, Dallas, Rockwall or Grayson counties during general season, you’ll need to get an archery permit to proceed.

Here is what the Texas Parks and Wildlife about Crossbow Hunting in Texas ⤵️

It is now legal for anyone to use a crossbow during both the Archery Only and General Seasons. You do not need a doctor’s statement anymore to use a crossbow during the Archery Only season on private property. The Texas Legislature passed this new law in 2009. Regulations in Grayson County and some unit of public hunting lands still restrict crossbow use during the Archery Only season to persons with permanent upper limb disabilities.”

Here are the crossbow regulations:

It is legal for any licensed hunter to use a crossbow during the archery only open season except in the following counties: Dallas; Collin; Rockwall; and Grayson Counties. Only certified disable hunters may use crossbows to harvest deer during the archery only open season. Disabilities that qualify are the permanent loss of use of arm, hand, and/or fingers which causes persons to be unable to use a recurve, compound, or longbow.

  • All individuals with a legal permit may harvest game birds or game animals with crossbows in all counties, including those listed above during the Eastern spring turkey or general open seasons.

  • Individuals must purchase an archery stamp to harvest deer during the archery only open season. An archery stamp is always required in Dallas; Collin; Rockwall; and Grayson Counties to legally harvest deer.

  • Crossbows must have a draw weigh which is not under 125 pounds.

  • The stock of a crossbow must be at least 25 inches long.

  • Crossbows must be equipped with a mechanical safety.

  • Mechanical broadheads are legal.

  • Bolts and/or arrows may not be treated with any type of chemical. It is illegal to equip them with explosive devices.

  • Broadheads must be at least 7/8 of an inch wide upon impact. They must feature two cutting edges. Only broadheads which begin to open on impact are legal.

  • Bolts and/or arrows which feature judo, field, or target points are legal in Texas.

  • It is legal to use telescopic sights in the state of Texas.

  • No artificial light, reflected or casted, which illuminates prey may be used to harvest game birds or animals. Certified vision disabled hunters may legally use battery scoping devices which project a dot or light inside the scope only. These hunters only may also legally use laser sighting devices or pin sights for archery equipment.


Where are the Top 5 Places to Bow Hunt in Texas?

Texas is 94 percent privately owned, but the opportunities for bow hunting on public land are rich and abundant.

Besides 50-plus wildlife management areas owned or operated by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, hunting is available on more than 70 tracts owned by the Texas General Land Office, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service and a number of other government agencies and private entities.

In addition, TPWD annually leases approximately 150 public dove hunting areas from private landowners. In all, more than 1.5 million acres are open to public hunting.

Head South for Crossbow Hunting in Texas (you won't be disappointed!)

1.   Angelina National Forest

A permit is required. Annual Public Hunting Permit in wildlife management area only; antlerless deer permits by drawing.

The Game includes: Deer, feral hogs, eastern turkeys, waterfowl, squirrels, rabbits, quail, doves


2. Big Thicket National Preserve

A permit is required.

You can obtain this permit in person in July; first-come, first-served basis

The Game includes: Deer, squirrels, rabbits, feral hogs, waterfowl


3. Whitney Lake

A Corps permit is required.

The Game includes: doves, quail, squirrels, rabbits, waterfowl, deer, feral hogs, turkeys. Please note that deer hunting is by archery only.


And read this about Texas Hunting trips

Texans are avid and extremely proud hunters.

And both men and women are enthusiastic about crossbow hunting (see these awesome women’s crossbow picks here).

The state is particularly famous for its large-antlered white-tailed deer, but hunters can also pursue alligators, javelinas, wild pigs, mule deer, pronghorn, squirrels, turkeys, waterfowl, and upland birds, especially quail.

In addition, many Texas ranches have large populations of imported non-native animals, including nilgai, axis deer, blackbuck, aoudad, and even a wide variety of African game such as zebras and oryx. In most cases these exotic animals can be hunted year-round on private land.

Much of Texas is brushy and thick, making for challenging hunting despite the large and abundant game populations.

For this reason, hunting, especially for whitetails, is often done from permanent blinds, and baiting is popular, especially with the use of automatic feeders, which are legal in the state of Texas.

Currently, Texas has an overabundance of feral hogs, and because they are unprotected, exotic, non-game animals, they may be taken by any means or methods at any time of year.

There are no seasons or bag limits, however a hunting license and landowner permission are required to hunt them. Texas requires 400 square inches of fluorescent orange to be worn by all hunters when hunting on public hunting grounds.

Orange is not required on private land, but is encouraged.

A Texas hunting license is required for hunting any species in the state.


About the Author Pink Crossbow

Jen loves the outdoors and enjoys exploring a wide-range of activities. A mother of 3 whose seen far too many friends suffer from cancer, she believes Pink Crossbow reflects a sport for LIFE. It's a reminder that archery belongs to everyone regardless of age, size, or gender...and real enthusiasts aren't afraid to wear pink!

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