Hunting

 
 

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a hunter crouching in the woods aiming a shotgun
A shotgun is one of several legal means allowed for hunting in Big Thicket.

NPS Photo / Ian Kessler

Hunting season at Big Thicket National Preserve runs from October 1 to February 28. With a free permit, hunters can harvest white-tailed deer, feral hogs, squirrels, rabbits, and waterfowl from designated hunting areas of the preserve.

Get Your Permit

Hunters can pick up a free permit at the visitor center beginning September 1 of each year. Permits are issued first-come, first-served.

  • Every hunter must have a valid Texas hunting license.
  • Only 1 permit per person.
  • Any hunter seeking a permit—regardless of age—must be present to get a permit.
  • Choose a hunting area (see list below). Hunters may hunt only in the area listed on their permit (exception: see Special Hog Season below).

Hunters with Disabilities

Hunters with documented disabilities may qualify for a special use permit that allows the use of an ATV, UTV, or RTV in certain areas. Please contact us for more information.

Hunting Areas

Big Thicket offers 7 areas of the preserve for hunting. Each area has a limited number of permits available. See the park map for the location of each area.

Hunting Area Total No.
of Permits
Map Notes
Beaumont 200 download map a.k.a. "The Island"
Beech Creek 150 download map
Big Sandy Creek 400 download map
Jack Gore Baygall 400 download map
Lake Bayou 50 download map waterfowl only
Lance Rosier 900 download map
Neches Bottom 150 download map
 

 

Regulations

Big Thicket National Preserve observes all hunting regulations set forth by the state of Texas. Regulations specific to Big Thicket National Preserve are listed on our hunting regulations page.

Special Hog Season

From January 1 to February 28, hunters may hunt feral hogs in any hunting unit of the preserve (except Lake Bayou). This applies to feral hogs only. Other game may be hunted only within the unit specified on the permit.

Lake Bayou

The Lake Bayou Hunting Area is located in the Beaumont Unit. Comprised primarily of marshlands, it is open only for waterfowl hunting and requires a boat to access.

Hunter Report Card

Return your "Hunter's Report" card by April 1 following the end of hunting season. You can drop off your card at the visitor center or mail it to us. Hunters who do not submit their report card by the deadline will not be eligible for a permit the following season.

2022–23 Hunting Seasons and Legal Means

Refer to state of Texas regulations for species-specific seasons and bag limits.

Deer

Seasons

Dates

Legal Means

Archery-only

Oct 1 – Nov 4

archery

Early Youth-only

Oct 29 – Oct 30

archery, shotgun (buckshot or slug), muzzleloader,
rifle (straight-walled cartridge)

General

Nov 5 – Jan 1

archery, shotgun (buckshot or slug), muzzleloader,
rifle (straight-walled cartridge)

Muzzleloader

Jan 2 – Jan 15

muzzleloader

Late Youth-only

Jan 2 – Jan 15

archery, shotgun (buckshot or slug), muzzleloader,
rifle (straight-walled cartridge)

Hog

Seasons

Dates

Legal Means

General

Oct 1 – Dec 31

archery, airbow/bow gun, shotgun (buckshot or slug),
rifle (.17, .22, or straight-walled cartridge), muzzleloader

Special*

Jan 1 – Feb 28

archery, airbow/bow gun, shotgun (buckshot or slug),
rifle (.17, .22, or straight-walled cartridge), muzzleloader

*During the special hog season, hunters may hunt feral hogs in any of the hunting units (except Lake Bayou).

Squirrel and Rabbit

Season

Dates

Legal Means

General

Oct 1 – Feb 28

archery, rifle (.17 or .22), air gun/air rifle, shotgun (birdshot),
muzzleloader

Waterfowl (Duck, Merganser, and Coot)

Seasons

Dates

Legal Means

Early Youth-only

Nov 5 – Nov 6

non-lead birdshot shotgun

General

Nov 12 – Nov 27
Dec 3 – Jan 29

non-lead birdshot shotgun

 

 

Trapping

Hunters can get a free trapping permit to trap feral hogs and furbearing animals. Trapping Information »

Last updated: December 3, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

6044 FM 420
Kountze , TX 77625

Phone:

409-951-6700

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