Can I Hunt with My Pistol in Texas?

How Can I Hunt with My Pistol in Texas in Texas Leander, TX

Outdoor enthusiasts in the Lone Star State routinely purchase more than a million hunting and fishing licenses each year, according to If you happen to be a licensed hunter in Texas, you probably already know it’s a good idea to have a dependable hunting rifle, which is what’s commonly used for most types of hunting-related activities. However, if you’re an avid handgun user, you may be wondering if this type of gun can also be used for hunting in Texas. Here’s what you need to know about hunting with handguns in the Lone Star State, brought to you by the firearms education professionals from Online Texas LTC, a top provider of Texas LTC online classes.

The Short Answer Is Yes

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department states that “any legal firearm” can be used for hunting in the state of Texas. This includes handguns as long as you have the right certification and required training. Hunters under the age of 17 will also need a Youth Hunting License.

But You Must Be Hunting Game Animals or Birds

You can’t just randomly hunt any animal or bird in Texas with a handgun or other legal firearm. The TPWD points out that hunting is specific to game animals and nonmigratory game birds. Your selection with hunting possibilities of this nature in Texas includes:

• Mule deer and white-tailed deer
• Pronghorn antelope
• Squirrels
• Sheep, antelope, and alligators
• Bobwhite quail, grouse, and pheasant
• Mallards, woodcocks, and grey geese

Note: European starlings, English sparrows, and feral pigeons are migratory birds that are exceptions in Texas—meaning these birds can also be hunted.

Fully Automatic Firearms Are a No-Go

Texas doesn’t allow the use of fully automatic firearms for hunting of any kind in the state. For instance, a handgun-style machine pistol wouldn’t be acceptable, since it’s self-loading and fully automatic.

Magazine Capacity & Other Factors

Texas doesn’t limit magazine capacity for handguns and other legal firearms you prefer to use for hunting. Silencers can also be used for hunting purposes in the Lone Star State. Other federal, state, or local guidelines applicable to silencers must also be kept in mind.

Reasons to Go Hunting with a Handgun

As mentioned earlier, a handgun isn’t often the go-to firearm choice for avid hunters. That said, there are some valid reasons to use a handgun when you go hunting in Texas. One possibility is for instances when your target animal or bird isn’t fully ready to be safely captured and transported. With a situation like this, a handgun can provide added protection as you approach your target game and see that it’s still moving.

Whether you use a handgun for hunting, self-defense, or competition, make sure you have the proper training to do it safely. You can count on the firearms education pros at Online Texas LTC for the highest-quality training available. Whether you’re looking for LTC proficiency testing or you want to take a Texas online LTC course, call us today at 512-675-2124.

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