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Duck hunting in Texas is one of the most popular seasons among hunters across the state. When November hits, hunters flood into fields, ponds, lakes, rivers, and the coast, shotgun in hand. If you’re new to duck hunting regulations in Texas, here are all the regulations from bag limits to zones and dates for the 2023 duck hunting season.

Regular Season Texas Duck Hunting Dates

High Plains Mallard Management Unit

Regular: Oct. 28-29, 2023 & Nov. 3, 2023 - Jan. 28, 2024 Youth/Veteran: Oct. 21-22, 2023

North Zone

Regular: Nov. 11-26, 2023 & Dec. 2, 2023 - Jan. 28, 2024 Youth/Veteran: Oct. 21-22, 2023

South Zone:

Regular: Nov. 4-26, 2023 & Dec. 9, 2023 - Jan. 28, 2024 Youth/Veteran: Oct. 21-22, 2023

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Texas Duck Hunting Season: 2023 Requirements

How people hunt ducks can vary greatly across the state but the same basic rules apply. For a hunter to legally hunt ducks in Texas, they must buy a license if they are 16 or older. Additionally, hunters must purchase a Migratory Bird Endorsement and Federal Duck Stamp. With those few things out of the way here is what you need to know about Texas duck season.

South Texas Duck Hunt

Texas Hunting Zones

In Texas, every game animal has a season, bag limit, and other regulations that can vary by geography. The geographic regions are known as zones. In Texas, there are three main zones known as the High Plains Mallard Management Unit, South Zone, and North Zone. The zones are defined on the TPWD website as follows:

Duck Hunting Zone Map

Duck Hunting Zones (Image Credit: Texas Parks & Wildlife)

High Plains Mallard Management Unit:

West of a line from the International Toll Bridge at Del Rio, north along U.S. Hwy. 277 to Abilene, State Hwy. 351 and State Hwy. 6 to Albany, and U.S. Hwy. 283 to Vernon, east along U.S. Hwy. 183 to the Texas-Oklahoma state line.

South Zone:

South of a line from the International Bridge and U.S. 277 Spur at Del Rio, east along U.S. 90 to San Antonio, east along IH 10 to the Texas-Louisiana state line.

North Zone:

Remainder of the state.

2023-2024 Texas Duck Seasons

Hunting Ducks in Texas can be done during 3 different seasons: September Teal Season (statewide), Youth Season, and Regular Season. TPWD lays out the various seasons as follows.

September Teal

Statewide: Sep. 9-24, 2023

Youth-Only

High Plains Mallard Management Unit: Oct. 21-22, 2023

North Zone: Nov. 4-5, 2023

South Zone: Oct. 28-29, 2023

Regular Season

High Plains Mallard Management Unit: Oct. 28-29, 2023 & Nov. 3, 2023 - Jan. 28, 2024

North Zone: Nov. 11-26, 2023 & Dec. 2, 2023 - Jan. 28, 2024

South Zone: Nov. 4-26, 2023 & Dec. 9, 2023 - Jan. 28, 2024

Other Key Texas Regulations for Texas Waterfowl Hunting

Legal shooting hours:

30 minutes before sunrise to sunset

Mottled Ducks are off limits:

For the first 5 days of the regular season in each zone. Dusky Ducks aka Mottled Ducks

Dailey Texas Duck Bag Limits

Early Teal

6 total specimens

Regular Duck

6 total specimens of which include no more than: 5 mallards (only 2 hens) 3 wood ducks 2 redheads 2 canvasback 1 scaup 1 pintail 1 “dusky” duck (mottled duck, Mexican-like duck, black duck and their hybrids are closed the first five days of the season in each zone)

Coots

15 specimens

Possession limit: 3 times daily bag limit