Hunting on the Brazos River

Hunting on the Brazos River

Hunting season is here. As Texans are itching to get out and enjoy the chase, many are disappointed to learn that, with the exception of specific waterfowl blind permits, hunting is not allowed on Brazos River Authority property.  And since the number of duck hunting blinds are limited, where can you go to bag that duck, dove, deer, or feral hog?

You can hunt in the Brazos River or any of its tributaries! Here’s information on where you can go and what you need to know. 

All rivers within the State of Texas are considered public property, which means they are open to hunting. However, you need to be aware of the state laws and regulations governing those areas. 

Duck hunting zone map

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) regulates hunting on the river and at other locations throughout the state. You are allowed to boat, wade or even walk the riverbed, but stay clear of trespassing onto private property. 

State law considers the riverbed public property up to the gradient boundary, below the vegetation line. State law also prohibits people from firing weapons onto or across private property without the owner’s approval. 

Motor vehicles, including wheeled and tracked vehicles, are prohibited in Texas riverbeds, including the Brazos River. 

TPWD has released updated game and fishing regulations that will remain in effect throughout the 2022-2023 hunting seasons. 

TPWD also released a new app for Texas hunting, fishing, and boating that has a list of the updated hunting regulations that took effect on September 1 on their home screen.

Significant changes to waterfowl hunting are: 

  • Veterans and active-duty special waterfowl hunting season was established to occur concurrently during the youth-only season in all duck zones.
  • Daily bag limit restrictions removed on hooded mergansers.
  • Merganser and duck daily bag limits have been combined into a single aggregate daily bag limit.

Duck season begins in late October and early November, depending on the zone. Legal shooting hours for both duck and dove season is from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.  

While dove season opened on September 1, for the North and Central Zones of Texas, hunting in the South Zone begins on September 14. There were no changes to dove hunting regulations or zones this year. 
Whether you are hunting deer, duck, dove, quail, or turkey, hunters should ensure that they have the necessary paperwork and permits before hunting. Hunters born before September 2, 1971, must also carry proof they have completed a hunter safety course. 

Dove hunting zone map

If you plan to hunt on the Brazos River, be mindful of people living along the river and other hunters that may be in the area. Also, be sure your chosen location is outside areas that do not allow hunting, such as inside city limits or near BRA or US Army Corps of Engineers-owned reservoirs. Many areas north of these reservoirs may look like river property but due to elevation are part of the reservoir. This also applies to areas just below the dam structures. Make note of restricted areas and do not hunt or fire across these areas. Be sure you are not on BRA or Corps-owned property before hunting. 

Be sure you have legal access to the riverbed and heed no trespassing signs to avoid charges. 

To learn more about hunting dates, permits, and other pertinent hunting information, visit these sites: