For Texans, deer hunting is a rite of passage, a sport, and/or a popular pastime. Living in the city or urban areas, there are not many options for serious deer hunters, unless they lease land specifically for hunting. These deer leases typically are in the hill country or other places far away. However, you can hunt deer and other wildlife right here close to home. The Sam Houston National Forest allows hunting with very few requirements. Let’s look into the requirements so you can be sure that you are within the limits of the law.
The first permit you need to obtain is a state hunting license. You can get one from Wal-Mart or any sporting goods store. Additionally, you can order one online here. A resident of Texas can purchase a hunting license for $25. You can also buy combination licenses for fishing. Senior license and youth licenses are much cheaper at $7 a piece.
Annual Public Hunting Permit
Then you need to purchase an annual public hunting permit. It is good for the entire year. Therefore it allows you to hunt on public lands. There are many other animals that you can hunt in the Sam Houston National Forest, but you need to always ensure you hunt during their appropriate seasons. You can purchase this permit for $48 here online. This permit not only allows you to hunt, but also to camp, hike, and fish in public lands. It also opens all of Texas’ public lands to you, not just the Sam Houston National Forest. There are over one million acres in this state alone!
Where Hunting is Allowed
Sometimes the easiest way is to show you. Therefore here is a link to the hunting map of the Sam Houston National Forest. Notice that there is NO hunting in or around Lake Conroe or in any of the recreational areas. There is also a relatively small spot for bow hunting. Become very familiar with the map to ensure that you are legally hunting.
What to Do if you Harvest a Deer
You must bring the tagged, field-dressed deer to the Deer Hunting Station off of FM 1375 just west of New Waverly. They will give you a metal tag, which makes the deer fully legal. There is also an information close by in case you have any additional questions.
You need to abide by all statewide deer hunting rules. In addition, you have to wear hunter’s orange for obvious reasons. Other hunters need to see you. You also cannot have a deer stand nor deer feeders set up.
Deer hunting in the Sam Houston National Forest is relatively simple and inexpensive. Compared to the costs of leasing land and other expenses, it is quite affordable. Growing up in a home rich with a history of hunters, I can appreciate the desire to be in nature and literally provide food for your family. We eat venison almost as much as we eat chicken or beef. So in that spirit, we understand the desire to bring home the venison! Good luck, hunters!