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Looking for a new hobby? How to start hunting in Texas

Looking for a new hobby? How to start hunting in Texas

If you want to start hunting in Texas, you are going to need to devote some time and money. Texas requires you to complete courses and have a state-issued hunter’s license. Rifles and camping gear can cost several hundred dollars so make sure you are ready financially before you take the plunge. It’s not a hobby to be taken lightly, but it is rewarding. Here’s a quick guide to get started in hunting this upcoming season. 

Take a basic Hunter’s education course

Anyone who wants to start hunting in Texas will need to complete a hunter’s education course. These courses have certain restrictions on how they can be taken. If you are under 17, you must take an instructor-led course. This may result in you going to a class with 6 hours of instruction or taking a portion of the course online and completing a “field day”. A field day will give you real-world experience in dealing with nature and live-fire practice. 

If you are over 17, you have the option to choose between an instructor-led course or an online-only course. However, training with a firearm must be done on your own time. Take that into consideration if you just start hunting in Texas this year. These courses will teach you about Texas hunting laws and general hunting safety. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as violating the law could lead to a serious penalty.

Know basic hunting regulations

Other than your hunter’s education course, you will need to be familiar with your local laws. Find outdoor hunting regulations for the specific country you will be hunting. There could be laws on anything from clothing to the scent you use. It’s important to look at these rules when you start hunting in Texas because it may determine where you hunt. Not only that, but those rules will also determine if you have to field dress an animal, tagging, transporting, and disposal of remains. These rules can also change depending on the type of animal you are hunting. There is a huge difference between shooting hogs on your property and killing a deer. If you are hunting in a group make sure everyone has the proper paperwork before you start hunting in Texas.

Buy your hunting license

You can purchase a hunting license online or in an outdoor store such as Academy. Everyone who wants to start hunting in Texas needs one. You can usually buy your hunting license as a combo with a fishing license. You will be required to pay a license fee as well as proof of residence in Texas for over 6 months. Also, you will need 3 items of proof that can be found on the purchase requirements website. Some licenses require endorsements for some activities. There are archery, migratory game bird, upland game bird, freshwater fishing, and saltwater fishing endorsements. The license fee goes to pay conservation efforts such as restocking fish, managing wildlife, habitat restoration, and other services.

Plan your hunt and gather supplies

If you are new to hunting you will need to consult some experts about hunts. Do you want to camp while hunting or just do a morning hunt? What about the type of animal are you going to hunt and what firearm is needed? These are all questions you need to consider when you start hunting in Texas. You’ll want to make sure you have proper safety gear and tags for any animals you plan to kill. Also, know whether or not you are going to be camping.

The best place to seek advice is from experienced hunters, game wardens, and firearm experts. If you can, try teaming up with a long time hunter to show you the ropes. You’ll know whether or not you will need to field dress a deer right after the kill or if you will have someone do that for you. Consider if you do kill something, how you plan to get that animal out of the woods. Consult your local taxidermist on preserving your kill to be mounted. Before going out to hunt you need to have plenty of practice with your firearms. Know your tools inside and out. 

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