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Hunting in Texas: Animals to Hunt Year-round

By    |   Thursday, 04 June 2015 01:17 PM

Texas has some great hunting, but only certain animals are open to being legally taken year-round. All hunters in Texas are required to have a hunting license, and the requirements for a license are specific to passing a hunter education class, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 

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Furbearing and exotic animals can be taken year-round if culled by recreational hunters. Exotic animal in Texas are defined as grass-eating or plant-eating, single-hoofed or cloven-hoofed mammals not indigenous to Texas and include ungulates from the deer and antelope families introduced into the state.

While there is no bag or possession limit or closed seasons on exotic animals or fowl on private property, it is illegal to hunt without a valid hunting license, hunt on a public road or right-of-way, hunt on private property without landowner permission, and to possess an exotic or the carcass of one without the owner's consent. Public hunting lands may have restrictions, however.

If you are a qualified hunter and wish to hunt animals year-round, here is a list of what you can look for. Some do have some seasonal restrictions based on region.

1. Small Mammals
Small creatures that can be hunted year-round include rabbits and hares, which can be hunted in Texas year-round without penalty as can squirrels, except in East Texas where its season runs from early October though late September and the whole month of May. Other year-round hunts include those for flying squirrels, ground squirrels, porcupines, and prairie dogs. You can't possess or sell armadillos, but you can harvest them. Badgers, beavers, foxes, minks, muskrats, and nutria can be harvested all year, along with opossums, otters, raccoons, ring-tailed cats, and skunks can be taken as well.

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2. Large Mammals
Large animals with no closed season that can be hunted on private land include, but are not limited to feral hogs, Aoudad sheep, axis deer, elk, sika deer, fallow deer, blackbuck antelopes, nilgai antelopes, and Russian boars. Large cats, such as mountain lions and bobcats, are open game. As of 2015, coyotes are currently under statewide rabies quarantine.

3. Large Exotic Birds
Large exotics, such as ratites like emus, ostriches, rheas, and cassowaries, are open year-round.

4. Reptiles and Amphibians
Frogs and certain turtles can be taken anytime.  Others are protected. 

Learn more from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department or Texas Hunt Lodge.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Texas has some great hunting, but only certain animals are open to being legally taken year-round.
hunting, texas, animals, year-round
Thursday, 04 June 2015 01:17 PM
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