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Types of Hunting Licenses in Texas
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A lifetime hunting license in Texas is a great option if you plan on hunting every year, but there are plenty of other options if you do not want to make a commitment to a lifetime license yet. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) issues many types of licenses that you can buy to suit your fishing, hunting and trapping needs.

A regular license allows an applicant to take most types of birds and mammals, but it is important for hunters to check exactly which species they are allowed to take with each type of license. Whether a hunter buys an out of state hunting license or gets a resident permit, he or she may need to purchase additional tags to hunt certain types of wildlife that are more closely monitored, which is usually covered in hunter education courses. In the sections below, hunters can learn more about the different types of hunting licenses in Texas and discover which permits are required before getting out in the field.

Texas Resident Hunting License Options

Resident hunting licenses in Texas are available for those who have lived in the state for at least six months prior to buying a license. It is important to understand that a general non-resident hunting license will usually come with the same privileges and requirements as a resident license, but licenses for residents generally have lower fees. In order to qualify for a resident license, a hunter needs to provide three different documents or credentials showing his or her residency in the state. A driver’s license, voter registration certificate, vehicle registration card, utility bill, property tax statement or other similar documentation can satisfy this requirement.

Once a hunter proves his or her residency, there are a variety of licenses available. The most common types of resident hunting licenses in Texas include the following:

  • General hunting licenses, which give a hunter permission to take most types of wildlife.
  • Trappers licenses, which are required before trapping or shooting furbearing wildlife in Texas.
  • Combo packages, which include a hunting license, fishing license and certain fishing endorsements.
  • Super combo packages, which include a resident hunting license, fishing license and the endorsements required for archery, bird hunting and red drum fishing.
  • Lifetime hunting licenses, which grant a hunter lifelong permission to hunt. These licenses can be combined with lifetime fishing licenses.

Click here to get your informative guide to hunting in Texas.

Non Resident Hunting Licenses in Texas

A hunter will need to buy an out-of-state hunting license in Texas if he or she does not qualify for a resident permit. Non-residents can purchase several of the same licenses as residents, but the licenses available to non-residents tend to be more specific and come with limited privileges. For example, there are a variety of temporary hunting license options for non-residents that allow them to hunt specific types of wildlife only during certain seasons. The most common licenses available to non-residents include:

  • General hunting licenses, which allow a non-resident to take any legal bird or mammal including deer.
  • Non-resident spring turkey licenses, which grant permission to hunt turkey only during the spring season.
  • Non-resident special hunting licenses, which can be used to hunt exotic animals, legal game birds (excluding turkey) and all other nongame animals.
  • Five-day special hunting permits, which are temporary hunting licenses that grant the same permissions as the annual non-resident special license above.
  • Non-resident trapper’s licenses, which are required to trap or shoot furbearers.
  • Non-resident banded bird hunting permits, which give hunters permission to shoot banded game birds on private hunting lands.

Senior and Youth Hunting License Choices in Texas

The TPWD offers several types of hunting permits that are only available to seniors and youths. If you are younger than 17 years of age or older than 65 years of age, it is important to understand how your residency will affect your eligibility for a senior or youth license. Note that a senior hunting license in Texas is only available if you are a permanent resident of the state. You can still get a hunting license if you are a non-resident older than 65 years of age, but you will do not qualify for special rates. Instead, you must purchase a license at the regular rate for out-of-state adults.

When it comes to youth hunting licenses in Texas, any hunter younger than 17 years of age will receive the same benefits as a resident, regardless of where he or she lives. Youths can purchase a license at a discounted rate as long as they are younger than 17 years of age on the day that they buy their permit. When an applicant gets a youth permit, he or she does not need to obtain endorsements to hunt specific types of wildlife except for reptiles and amphibians.

Texas Military Hunting License Benefits

If you are a veteran or an active duty member of the military, the TPWD provides a few different hunting license benefits. First, you can qualify for a free super combo or regular hunting license package if you are an active duty military member living in Texas or stationed in the state. If you are not a permanent resident, you simply need to have been stationed in Texas for at least six months prior to your application for a license.

Second, you can get a free disabled veteran hunting license if you are a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of at least 50 percent. You do not need to be a Texas resident in order to get a free license as a disabled veteran. Note that free military hunting licenses usually do not include all of the stamps or tags you need to hunt any type of wildlife. For example, you should expect to buy a federal duck stamp even if you qualify for a free license.

Types of Hunting Endorsements in Texas

Whether you have a lifetime hunting license, an annual permit or a combo package, it is important to remember that not all licenses will grant you permission to take any type of bird or mammal. To hunt certain species, you will need to obtain additional stamps or permits, which are usually referred to as “endorsements” in Texas. Common types of hunting license endorsements in TX include:

  • Upland game bird endorsements.
  • Archery hunting endorsements.
  • Migratory game bird endorsements.
  • Reptile and amphibian endorsements.
  • Endorsements for fresh or saltwater fishing (required for certain hunting license combo packs).