Is It Legal To Hunt Any Animals In Texas Without A License?

The short answer is yes, but the real answer is that there are only a handful of animals you may hunt without a license in Texas. And even then, there are certain caveats you must follow.

Here are all the animals you can hunt without a license in Texas, and the rules you must follow to do so.

Feral Hogs


Feral hogs are an invasive, non-native species that wreaks havoc on Texas agriculture and wildlife. They also pose a real threat to humans. When they are in packs they have killed people in Texas, and hitting them on highways can be quite deadly as well.

You may hunt feral pigs without a license; however, you must only hunt them on private property with the landowner's authorization. You can shoot pigs, but trapping feral pigs requires a hunting license.



You may hunt coyotes, but only if they have attacked, are about to attack, or are currently attacking livestock, fowl, or another domesticated animal. In essence, you may only hunt a problem coyote that is presenting an active danger to your animals.

Depredating Fur-Bearing Animals


This one requires a little explanation. Depredating means the animal is causing the "loss of, or damage to, agricultural crops, livestock, poultry, wildlife or personal property."

Specifically, the "fur-bearing" animals this refers to are badgers, beavers, foxes, minks, muskrats, nutria*, opossums, otters, raccoons, ring-tailed cats,  skunks, and civet cats. Larger animals like a coyote are technically "fur-bearing" but not for Texas Parks & Wildlife's purposes.

There is a caveat: you may not sell any portion of this animal's body, nor may you keep it. This rule likely exists to prevent people from claiming a mink, fox, etc., is a "nuisance" and then selling its fur for a coat.

*Nutria, an aquatic rodent, is a particular problem in coastal Texas. This invasive species diet has led to the erosion of wetlands- an ecologically sensitive area of Texas that is simply not replaceable once it's gone. They also do damage to crawfish and rice ponds.

Like feral hogs, they should be hunted to extinction in this area (sadly, easier said than done) as they simply do not belong here and our ecology cannot handle their destructiveness.

Want to hunt something else? Get a license! The fees are quite modest, in my opinion, and they ensure that an animal (besides these nuisance critters) is not over-hunted.

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