Do You Need a Hunting/Fishing License on Your Own Land In Texas?
A man's home is his castle. This doctrine goes back hundreds of years. In Texas, by extension, property rights are treated very seriously in Texas law.
According to Texas law, you do not need a hunting or fishing license to hunt or fish on your own property. This can be found in Section 61.021 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code. A Texan and their immediate family members may hunt or trap on their land or land they have leased for the purpose of hunting or fishing without a license.
This includes species such as feral hogs, coyotes, armadillos, beavers, raccoons, and many others. It is important to note that landowners must follow all other hunting regulations and restrictions, such as bag limits, season dates, and legal hunting methods, even when hunting on their own land without a license.
Nothing in law is that simple, however.
There are exceptions. In Texas, all wild animals, birds, and fowl in Texas are considered the property of the state, and hunting or fishing for them without a hunting or fishing license is generally prohibited under Section 42.002(a) of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code. This is true even on your own land.
All this doesn't seem very clear. In general, hunting or fishing licenses are required to hunt or fish any species that are not considered pests or varmints on private property in Texas. Coyotes, feral hogs, animal-threatening livestock, or people on your property are fair game.
White-tailed deer, turkey, and migratory game birds require licenses and permits. In some situations, private landowners may not need a permit but would still need a license.
Private landowners are generally allowed to hunt white-tailed deer on their property without a permit, but there are exceptions in certain counties and situations. With wild turkeys, hunters must possess a valid Texas hunting license and a turkey hunting permit. In some situations, private landowners can hunt turkeys on their property without a permit, but exceptions exist.
Migratory birds are even more complicated.
With all the regulations and rules, you would almost need a lawyer in your hunting party. To stay within the law, it is never a bad idea for private landowners in Texas who plan to hunt on their own property to consult with qualified Texas Parks and Wildlife Rangers or a qualified legal professional to ensure they are in full compliance with all laws and regulations.
Otherwise, you may find yourself being hunted by the police.