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Texas Hunting Season 2023

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Texas Hunting Season 2023


The 2023 Texas Hunting Season was my 3th season to put in some serious effort into my new favorite hobby. The season always kicks off on September 1 with the opening of dove, shortly followed by the early teal season, followed by Archery whitetail deer.

For the start of the dove season, I made some easy upgrades to my hunting gear, and got a few dove decoys, including one battery powered motion decoy. Most of my bird hunting experience has been walk and stalk quail and pheasant, where decoys are not used. For dove, duck, goose, and sandhill cranes it’s a necessity.

2022 Hunting Season in Texas

Dove Hunting

I wasn’t able to make it out on opening day morning this year, but decided to brave the stupid hot weather and headed out to Lake Granger for an opening day evening hunt. My first stop was at the closest unit, and I made a quick hike through the wooded are next to the San Gabriel River. It’s not the best place to set up for dove, but it was just too hot to sit out in the sun. It was mainly a scouting trip, with a slight hope of running into a dove or two. 

While I didn’t see any dove, I did get to see a large bull up close taking a nap by the river. I also scared up a small herd of deer. There was also a cow having a fit that her young calf would not walk up an embankment on the river. Finally, the area where the river enters lake Granger, there were a large number of cranes. I made one last stop at the location where I shot my first rabbit, and after a few long hot hours of hiking around, I decided to hop in the air conditioned car and drive around and check out the other units I had not expired before.

On the north side of the lake, there was a small track of public hunting land that was situated between some ag fields and a shallow arm of the lake. This was obviously the prime dove hunting spot and it was already packed with hunters with full blinds and decoy setups. Too many fellow hunters for my comfort, so I drove on to check out the last unit of the lake.

As the sun was setting, I found what looked like a nice spot just underneath the dam. I got my blind and decoy’s setup in a field next to a large wooded area. As dusk hit, there were some birds around, and I gave my duck call a few tries at some birds in the distance. Without a proper dove call, I tried to use my iphone to play some dove coos I found on YouTube.

While there were not an abundance of birds, I did get two decent shots off at some dove, but both were misses. I have always been a pretty decent shot with a shotgun, but these dove seem kinda hard to hit, and I have also not been to the skeet range in a long while. After my two misses, I’m going try pretty hard to make it to the range before I head out for early teal and duck and goose season.

Hunting Ducks, Geese, and Cranes

For the past few years, my main goal of the hunting season has been to land a big game animal, either a deer or a hog, on public land. While still one of my goals for the year, in 2023 I have decided to put a little more effort into bird hunting. Lake Granger is the closest place for teal, duck, and goose, but I have not seen very many birds out there in my time at the lake. Some of the lakes in the Northern part of Texas have a better reputation for bird hunting. Lake Summersville is filled with waterfowl, but the pond that is supposed to be the legal hunting grounds is probably bone dry, and its access is super tough.

To read about our Early Season Teal Trip from last year, Click Here!

On my short list of places to bird hunt this season

  • Sam Houston National Forrest
  • Going to Pay an outfitter for some Ducks and Geese
  • Quail in Big Bend
  • Caddo National Grassland for ducks
  • Sandhill Cranes in San Angelo
Hunting in Texas

Applying for Tags

Doe Tag for Sam Houston

The past few years we have been applying for a variety of tags for hunting deer, exotics, and hogs on public land in Texas. Last year we both landed Doe Permits for the Caddo National Grassland units, this year I drew a doe tag for Sam Houston. So the start of bow season is a must for this massive unit 3 hours from my house.

Drawing Tags

We spend a little more money trying to draw some nice public land hunt lottery tags, and are starting to build some points up in a few categories. It will be a few years for us to have any realistic chance as some of the less competitive either sex deer tags, and the chances of ever getting a nice exotic tags are slim.

Draw Hunt Deadlines for the 2023 Texas Hunting Season

  • Nation Forrest Deer Sept 1
  • Most other Deer Sept 15
  • Most Exotic Hunts October 15

E-post card hunts for the 2033 Texas Hunting Season

There are about 20 free draw hunts in Texas; that is you don’t have to pay the $3 for your raffle ticket. One of them is a cool place for bow deer right near my house, which is a yearly no brainer. 

Form more information about draw hunts, visit the Texas Wildlife’s website:


Archery Hunting for Deer

Last year I made it out to a few new places and now have a decent section of locations that I know well and have seen deer before.  Some of the spots I’ve seen big game:

  • Caddo National Grass lands
  • San Angelo
  • Marlin Lake
  • Sam Houston National Forest
  • Waco Pipeline
  • Granger Lake

Deer Hunting with Guns

There are far less options for hunting deer with the old boom sticks on public land in Texas that with a bow. Caddo Grasslands and Sam Houston are general season walk in with your Public Land Permit, you have to apply for the draw for the doe tag on both units. You can hunt deer with slugs in a few more spots, Twin Buttes in San Angelo being the more popular and biggest hunting land available to the public in Texas. They also have some exotics there that are open for the spring hunting season

Hog Hunting

I am trying to hold out hunting big game on small ranches until I get my first big game animal on public land, but patience is starting to fade. I have seen a few more hogs than deer, and have been very close to a shot. Hopefully a few more days out in the spring after deer hunters have left the area might make it easier this year. If I don’t get a hog early before the deer gun season. I have started to go out baiting for them, and plan on getting some trail cameras.

Hunting Gear Upgrade for 2023

  • Dove Decoys
  • Thermal spotter
  • Muzzleloader
  • Deer Blinds
  • Motions Duck Decoys
  • Duck Blinds

Texas Hunting Season Dates for 2023

WhiteTail Deer

  • General North Nov. 4 , 2023- Jan. 7, 2024
  • South Nov. 4, 2023 – Jan. 21, 2024
  • Special Late North Jan. 8-21, 2024
  • South Jan. 22, 2024 – Feb. 4, 2024
  • Youth-Only North Oct. 28-29, 2023 & Jan. 8-21, 2024
  • South Oct. 28-29, 2023 & Jan. 8-21, 2024
  • Archery 252 of 254 counties Sep. 30, 2023 – Nov. 3, 2023
  • Muzzleloader 90 of 254 counties Jan. 8-21, 2024


  • North Nov. 11-26, 2023 & Dec. 2, 2023 – Jan. 28, 2024
  • South Nov. 4-26, 2023 & Dec. 9, 2023 – Jan. 28, 2024


  • Early Canada Goose East Sep. 9-24, 2023
  • Light & Dark Geese West Nov. 4, 2023 – Feb. 4, 2024
  • East Nov. 4, 2023 – Jan. 28, 2024
  • Light Goose Conservation Order West Feb. 5, 2024 – Mar. 10, 2024
  • East Jan. 29, 2024 – Mar. 10, 2024

Sandhill Cranes

  • Zone A Oct. 28, 2023 – Jan. 28, 2024
  • Zone B Nov. 24, 2023 – Jan. 28, 2024
  • Zone C Dec. 16, 2023 – Jan. 21, 2024
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Check back soon for our Texas Hunting Season 2023 Blog.

We are going to try to post for most of the trips we make for the 2023-2024 Texas Hunting Season.

Texas Hunting Season

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