Hunting

 

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a hunter wearing camouflage and orange aims with a crossbow in the forest
Hunting with a crossbow

NPS Photo

Hunting season at Big Thicket National Preserve runs from early October to late February. With a free permit, hunters can harvest white-tailed deer, feral hogs, squirrels, rabbits, and waterfowl from designated hunting units 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.

  • A valid Texas hunting license is required.
  • Only 1 permit per person. If you plan on getting permits for family members, they must be present to receive a permit.
  • Choose a hunting unit (see list below). Hunters may hunt only in the unit 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 Units

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

 
 

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

Starting January 1, hunters may hunt feral hogs in any hunting unit of the preserve—except Lake Bayou—through the end of the winter squirrel season. 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.

2021-22 Hunting Seasons and Legal Means

Deer

Seasons Dates Legal Means
Archery-only Oct 2 – Nov 5 archery
General Nov 6 – Jan 2 archery, shotgun (buckshot or slug), muzzleloader,
rifle (straight-walled cartridge)
Muzzleloader Jan 3 – Jan 16 muzzleloader
Early Youth-only Oct 30 – Oct 31 archery, shotgun (buckshot or slug), muzzleloader,
rifle (straight-walled cartridge)
Late Youth-only Jan 3 – Jan 16 archery, shotgun (buckshot or slug), muzzleloader,
rifle (straight-walled cartridge)

Hog

Seasons Dates Legal Means
General Oct 2 – Dec 31 archery, airbow/bow gun, shotgun (buckshot or slug),
rifle (.17, .22, or straight-walled cartridge), muzzleloader
Special* Jan 1 – Feb 27 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 2 – Feb 27 archery, rifle (.17 or .22), air gun/air rifle, shotgun (birdshot),
muzzleloader

Waterfowl**

Seasons Dates Legal Means

Early Youth-only

Nov 6 – 7

non-lead birdshot shotgun

General

Nov 13 – 28
Dec 4 – Jan 30

non-lead birdshot shotgun

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

 

Trapping

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

Last updated: October 4, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

6044 FM 420
Kountze, TX 77625

Phone:

409-951-6700

Contact Us