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.
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.
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.
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.
Axis deer (also known as chital) were unexpectedly introduced into the Big Sandy Creek Unit in late 2022; hunters are encouraged to dispatch this exotic species when found. Hunters are required to follow white-tailed deer seasons and legal means for axis deer. A Big Sandy Creek permit is required to hunt for any deer species in that area.
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.
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.
*During the special hog season, hunters may hunt feral hogs in any of the hunting units (except Lake Bayou).
Squirrel and Rabbit
Waterfowl (Duck, Merganser, and Coot)
Hunters can get a free trapping permit to trap feral hogs and furbearing animals. Trapping Information »
Last updated: March 11, 2023