Is it Legal to Hunt Deer or Other Wildlife on Your Own Property in Texas?
We may live in the most free nation on Earth but that doesn't mean we can do whatever we want. Rules and laws do need to be in place to prevent total anarchy. Some people just don't understand that and will do any and everything in their power to resist those rules or laws. But knowing these rules and laws can prevent a huge headache. That's why I'm here to let you know how Texas views hunting on your own property in Jacksonville, Canton or Gladewater, Texas. It's not as simple as you think.
Hunting Seasons in Texas
Hunting seasons vary throughout the year. Deer season is usually in October, there is a squirrel season that runs October to February, dove season kicks off in September and many, many more throughout the year. See the full 2023 - 2024 hunting schedule at tpwd.texas.gov. You can be penalized by game wardens for hunting any animal out of season.
But what if you are own your own property?
Well, it's not as simple as you think. You would think you would be able to hunt any animal if it were to wander onto your property. The thing is, you can't. The State of Texas says that "All wild animals, fur-bearing animals, wild birds, and wild fowl inside the borders of this state are the property of the people of this state" (Parks and Wildlife Code, Section 1.011(a)). What this means is that you do not own the wildlife that is on your property therefore you cannot hunt that wildlife or charge a fee to hunt that wildlife without a license or outside of the respective season.
All wild animals, fur-bearing animals, wild birds, and wild fowl inside the borders of this state are the property of the people of this state. - Parks and Wildlife Code, Section 1.011(a)
Same can be said for any waterways in the state of Texas, all forms of aquatic life belong to the people of the state. That's why you need a license to hunt or fish. Even on your own property, you will still need the respective license.
Laws are the Laws No Matter How Dumb We Think They Are
Some would say this is government overreach and should just mind their own business. To be honest, I don't trust the government any more than you do. Having said that, I understand why laws are in place no matter how dumb I think they may be. We must follow them or face the consequences.