Hunting

 
 
 
 
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

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. Limit 1 permit per person.

To get a permit, you must:

  • Have a valid Texas hunting license.
  • Have a valid state-issued driver's license or ID (not required for children under 16).
  • Pick up your permit in-person at the visitor center. Parents and legal guardians may pick up permits for their children under 16.
  • 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
County Map Notes
Beaumont 200 Hardin download map a.k.a. "The Island"
Beech Creek 150 Tyler download map
Big Sandy Creek 400 Polk download map
Jack Gore Baygall 400 Hardin download map
Lake Bayou 50 Orange download map waterfowl only
Lance Rosier 900 Hardin download map
Neches Bottom 150 Jasper 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 29, 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.

Axis Deer

Axis deer have not recently been detected in Big Thicket hunting areas, but if encountered, may be hunted following the same rules and regulations for feral hogs and reported in the "Notes" section of your hunter harvest report card.

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.

2023–24 Hunting Seasons and Legal Means

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

White-Tailed Deer

Seasons

Dates

Legal Means

Archery-only

Sep 30 – Nov 3

archery

Early Youth-only

Oct 28 – Oct 29

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

General

Nov 4 – Jan 7

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

Muzzleloader

Jan 8 – Jan 21

muzzleloader

Late Youth-only

Jan 8 – Jan 21

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 29

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 areas (except Lake Bayou).

Rabbit

Season

Dates

Legal Means

General

Oct 1 – Feb 29

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

Squirrel

Season

Dates

Legal Means

General

Oct 1 – Feb 25

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

Waterfowl (Duck, Merganser, and Coot)

Seasons

Dates

Legal Means

Youth & Veterans

Nov 4 – Nov 5

non-lead birdshot shotgun

General

Nov 11 – Nov 26
Dec 2 – Jan 28

non-lead birdshot shotgun

 

 

Trapping

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

Last updated: April 3, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

6044 FM 420
Kountze, TX 77625

Phone:

409-951-6700

Contact Us