Not many places exist that can rival duck hunting in Texas. Because of it’s very mild climate, numerous swamps, lakes, and rivers, and it status as a migratory bird flyway, duck hunting in Texas is some of the best available. There is much public land for the hunter to choose from when searching for a hunting destination, and the laws in Texas regarding hunting are relatively simple and straightforward. Be sure to research before your trip though as many rules change from year to year.
One reason why duck hunting is so popular in Texas is because the state has a long duck hunting season. Firearm season runs generally from late October until the end of January. It is important to put safety first though while out in the field; because of Texas’ popularity, it’s common to find many hunters on public land both on weekends and throughout the week. In order for the state to maintain their plentiful duck population, there are a few laws to abide by.
The most important rule on a duck hunt is obeying bag restrictions. These restrictions are put in place to protect the population of ducks; if they are over-harvested their population could plummet which would severely affect hunting seasons for many years to come. The general rule is five ducks per person per day. Some species are different, so be sure to check for exact details, but generally only two scarp, two redhead, and two wood ducks are allowed per day; and only one hen mallard, or one pintail, or one canvasback, or one “dusky back” (mottled, Mexican, or black duck or their hybrids), per person per day. Any ducks that are not listed are five per day. Depending on the area and season, there also may be laws regarding baiting. A new hunting license will be required every year, unless a lifetime license is bought. In general, a license is not necessary for those under the age of 17.
Another law that varies depending if the hunting will take place on private or public land is the use of hunter orange. It is not required, though highly recommended while on private land; public land requires four square inches of hunter orange clothing. Due to the popularity of duck hunting in Texas, be sure that safety in the field is always a top priority, and be prepared to limit out on your Texas duck hunting trip!