January 31, 2023

New Texas Deer Hunting Rules – 13 Inch Beams

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Matt Williams for the Texas based Daily Sentinel, is reminding hunters that the 2006 archery season for deer begins on September 30th with some new rules. Among the new rules is a two buck bag limit in certain counties. It’s not quite that simple though and hunters need to pay very close attention or it could become quite costly. Here is part of Williams’ explanation.

Deer hunters in the aforementioned counties can take two bucks this season. That is a one buck increase as compared to previous seasons. However, the extra buck in the bag comes with a catch. Antlers on buck deer must now meet a certain criteria to be considered legal.

A legal buck must have at least one unbranched antler, OR and inside spread measurement between the main beams of 13 inches or greater. The buck bag limit is two bucks, no more than one buck with an inside spread of at least 13 inches. Violate the new law and you could wind up on the receiving end of a costly citation.

TPWD’s reasoning for implementing the antler restriction is to reduce the harvest pressure on young bucks and improve the overall age structure of the buck herd by allowing more deer to reach at least 3½ years of age before they become legal to shoot.

Biologists believe a more natural, older age structure among the buck herd will breed some positive biological and sociological implications. Among them are a more defined rut, a shorter breeding season, increased fawn survival and, ultimately, increased hunter satisfaction.

The experts are pretty confident about the claims, too. That’s because the antler restriction has already worked wonders in a host of other counties.

This should prove interesting and hunters need to get some practice recognizing 13 inch spreads.

Tom Remington