Deer Season and Hunting Laws by State

deer hunting, hunting laws, deer season, deer seasons by state, when does deer season start

It’s that time of the year again. Hunting season is back and it definitely gives every hunter out there a buzz that only deer hunting can provide.

Getting out there in the woods, smelling the fresh air, savoring the silence, and waiting in anticipation for a deer to show up… all these things are positively refreshing. What a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, where you have the smog, the traffic and the pressures of work.

Indeed, prepping for the hunting season is exciting. Just remember to apply for the appropriate license and necessary permits for your state.

If you have been wondering when hunting season begins in your area and how to get a license, read on. We have a list of season dates and other hunting laws for all 50 states, in alphabetical order.

Contents hide
1 Hunting Laws By State

Hunting Laws By State

Alabama Deer Hunting Laws

Hunting season: October-February, depending on the hunting zone and method. Here is an excerpt:

Antlered Bucks by Stalk or Dog Hunting

Zone A: Nov. 22 – Jan. 15
Zone B: Nov. 22 – Nov. 30 and Dec. 11 – Jan. 25

Antlered Bucks Stalk Hunting Only, No Dogs

Zone A: Jan. 16 – Jan. 31
Zone B: Jan. 26 – Feb. 10

All-game license required to hunt deer.
Lifetime hunting license available.

Alaska Deer Hunting Laws

Hunting season: August 1 to December 31, dependent on the hunting unit, weapon, and many other considerations.

To see the specifics, click here.

Hunting regulations

Alaska has complicated hunting regulations and there are plenty of requirements that you need to meet. Apart from the hunting license, there are harvest permits, harvest reports, and sealing requirements. Non-residents of Alaska also have to meet the guide requirements. Click here to read more.

Arizona Deer Hunting Laws

Hunting season: October to December

For licenses and permits, download the latest hunting regulations issued by the government of Arizona.

Arkansas Deer Hunting Laws

Hunting season: October to December, depending on the hunting method, area, type of deer, etc.

Archery for Zones 1; 1A; 2; 3; 6; 6A; 7; 8; 8A; 9; 10; 13; 14; 15; 16; 16A; 4; 4A; 4B; 5; 5A; 5B; 11; 12; 17: Sep 27 – Feb 28

Modern Gun, Christmas Holiday for Zones 1; 1A; 2; 3; 6; 6A; 8; 8A; 9; 10; 14; 15; 16; 16A, 7; 4; 4B; 5; 5B; 11; 4A; 5A; 12; 17; 13: Dec 26-28

California Deer Hunting Laws

General Season Dates, Zone A (South Unit 110 and North Unit 160): Aug 9 – Sep 21
Archery Season Dates, Zone A (South Unit 110 and North Unit 160): Jul 12 – Sep 7

Colorado Deer Hunting Laws

Aug 30 – Sep 28 (Archery)
Sep 13 – 21 (Muzzleloader, by draw)
Oct 18-26, Nov 1-9, Nov 12-16 (Rifle)

Connecticut Deer Hunting Laws


State Land: Sep 15 – Nov 18, Dec 24-31
State Land – Bowhunting Only Areas: Sep 15 – Dec 31
Private Lands (All Zones): Sep 15 – Dec 31
Private Lands (Zones 11-12): Jan 1 – Jan 31

Delaware Deer Hunting Laws

Hunting season dates:
Sep 1 – Jan 31 for Archery and Crossbow
Oct 10-18, Jan 26-31 for Muzzleloaders
Nov 14-22, Jan 17-24 for Shotguns
Oct. 3, 4, 20, 24, 25, 27, 31 and Dec 13 – 20 for All weapons but only antlerless deer can be hunted.
Jan 3 – 10 for Handguns
Nov 1 for Youth/Non-ambulatory disabled

Florida Deer Hunting Laws

Zone A

Archery: Aug 2 – 31
Crossbow: Aug 2 – 31
Muzzleloading gun: Sep 6 – 19
General Gun season: Sep 20 – Oct 19, Nov 22 – Jan 4

To see the whole schedule, click here.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission website has more information on licenses and permits.

Georgia Deer Hunting Laws

Archery: Sep 13 Oct 10
Extended archery (selected locations): Jan 2-31
Primitive weapons: Oct 11-17
Firearms, Northern Zone: Oct 18-Jan 1
Firearms, Southern Zone: Oct 18-Jan 15

Permits, licenses and passes, visit the Georgia Department of Natural Resources website.

Hawaii Deer Hunting Laws

2015 Hunting season:

Archery Only Hunt February 21-28
Muzzleloading Hunt March 7-8 and March 14-15
General Rifle Hunt every Saturday and Sunday, starting March 21 and ending May 17, 2015

To read more, click here.
To get your hunting license, log on to the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife website.

Idaho Deer Hunting Laws

Idaho is very particular with its unit maps and has created the hunting season around them. In general, however, the season begins in September and ends in November.

Illinois Deer Hunting Laws

Firearm: Nov 21-23, Dec 4-7
Muzzleloader: Dec 4-7, Dec 12-14
Archery: Oct 1-18
Late-winter Antlerless: Jan 1-4, Jan 16-18
Late-winter CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease): Jan 1-4, Jan 16-18

Indiana Deer Hunting Laws

Urban: Sep 15 – Jan 31
Youth: Sep 27 and 28
Archery: Oct 1 – Jan 4
Firearms: Nov 15 – 30
Muzzleloader: Dec 6 – 21
Special Antlerless: Dec 26 – Jan 4

Go to the official site for licences and more details.

Iowa Deer Hunting Laws

Youth: Sep 20 – Oct 5
Disabled Hunter: Sep 20 – Oct 5
Archery: Oct 1 – Dec 5 and Dec 22 – Jan 10
Early: Oct 11 – 19
Late: Dec 22 – Jan 10

First: Dec 6 – 10
Second: Dec 13 – 21
Nonresident Holiday: Dec 24 – Jan 2

For regulations and licenses, visit the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website.

Kansas Deer Hunting Laws

Archery Special Authorization: Sep 1-14, 2014, Jan 12-31, 2015
Youth and Disabled: Sep 6-14
Youth and Disabled, Fort Riley: Sep 6-14, Oct 10-13
Archery: Sep 15-Dec 31
Archery Fort Riley: Sep 15-Dec 31
Muzzleloader: Sep 15-28
Pre-rut Whitetail Antlerless: Oct 11-12
Ft Leavenworth: Nov 22-23, 27-30, Dec 20-21
Firearm Smoky Hill: Nov 25 – Dec 6
Firearm Ft Riley: Nov 28-30
Regular Firearm: Dec 3-14
Antlerless Whitetail Special Extended: Jan 1-18
Firearms, Whitetail Antlerless: Jan 1-11
Archery Whitetail Antlerless, Extended, DMU: Jan 19-31

For hunting licenses, visit Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.

Kentucky Deer Hunting Laws

Hunting season dates are dependent upon the weapon to be used, the game (antlered or antlerless) as well as the hunting zones.

Archery, all zones (1 through 4): Sep 6, 2014 to Jan 19, 2015
Crossbow: Oct 1-19, Nov 8 – Dec 31
Modern gun/Muzzleloader: Nov 8-23, Nov 8-17
Pure Muzzleloader: Oct 18-19, Dec 13-21, Dec 19-21

For the fine print, click here.

Louisiana Deer Hunting Laws

Louisiana has 10 hunting areas and aside from the different weapons, there are also set dates for hunting with dogs. As a result, hunting dates can begin as early as September and as late as January.
For more details, refer to the 2014-15 Louisiana Hunting Regulations.

Maine Deer Hunting Laws

Firearms: Nov 3-29
Residents only: Nov 1
Youth: Oct 25
Archery: Oct 2-31
Muzzleloader: Dec 1-6, Dec 8-13
Expanded Archery: Sep 6 – Dec 13

For more details, view or download the 2014 Maine Hunting Seasons guide.

Maryland Deer Hunting Laws

Maryland has designated different hunting seasons for two types of deer: the whitetail and the sika.

Massachusetts Deer Hunting Laws

Archery: Oct 20 – Nov 29
Shotgun: Dec 1 – Dec 13
Primitive Firearms: Dec 15 – Dec 31

For the complete guide including licensing information, check out the 2014 Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife Guide.

Michigan Deer Hunting Laws

Early Antlerless Firearm: Sep 20-21
Liberty Hunt: Sep 20-21
Independence Hunt: Oct 16-19
Archery: Oct 1 – Nov 14 and Dec 1 – Jan 1
Regular Firearm: Nov 15-30
Zone 1: Dec 5-14
Zone 2: Dec 5-14
Zone 3: Dec 5-21
Late Antlerless Firearm: Dec 22 – Jan 1

Minnesota Deer Hunting Laws

Archery: Sep 13 – Dec 31
Firearm 1A: Nov 8-23
Firearm 2A and 3A: Nov 8-16
Firearm 3B: Nov 22-30
Muzzleloader: Nov 29 – Dec 14

For your licensing needs, visit the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources hunting license website.

Mississippi Deer Hunting Laws

This state has 3 hunting zones and 8 different hunting methods. Hunting dates are also spread out; some start in October, others in November, December, or January. Therefore it is best to view or download the file from the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks site.

You can visit this site for your hunting license.

Missouri Deer Hunting Laws

Archery: Sep 15-Nov 14, Nov 26-Jan 15
Firearms: Nov 15-25
Firearms and Alternative Methods: Dec 20-30
Firearms, Antlerless: Nov 26 – Dec 7
Firearms, Youth: Nov 1-2, Jan 3-4

For hunting permits, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation website.

Montana Deer Hunting Laws

Archery: Sep 6 – Oct 19
Two-Day Youth Hunt: Oct 16-17
General: Oct 25 – Nov 30
Archery, Backcountry: Sep 6-14
General, Backcountry: Sep 15 – Nov 30

For licenses and permits, visit the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks website.

Nebraska Deer Hunting Laws

Archery: Sep 1 to Dec 31
Firearm: Nov 15-23
Muzzleloader: Dec 1-31

Nevada Deer Hunting Laws

The state has many considerations when it comes to hunting and scheduling.
For a complete guide on the deer hunting seasons and regulations of Nevada.

New Hampshire Deer Hunting Laws

Archery: Sep 15 – Dec 15
Youth weekend: Oct 25-26
Muzzleloader: Nov 1-11
Firearms: Nov 12 – Dec 7

New Jersey Deer Hunting Laws

Hunting information on New Jersey can be viewed or downloaded here.

Just follow the links for licenses and permits.

New Mexico Deer Hunting Laws

Like other states, hunting season in New Mexico is between September and January. For more details.

New York Deer Hunting Laws

Deer hunting in New York depends greatly on the hunting zones and the hunting dates are built around them. To know more, click here.

For permits and licenses go to the NY Department of Environmental Conservation website.

North Carolina Deer Hunting Laws

Eastern Deer Season
Archery: Sep 13 – Oct 3
Blackpowder: Oct 4 – 17
Gun: Oct 18 – Jan 1

Central Deer Season
Archery: Sep 13 – Oct 31
Blackpowder: Nov 1 – 14
Gun: Nov 15 – Jan 1

North Dakota Deer Hunting Laws

Bow Season: Aug 29 – Jan 4
Gun Season: Nov 7-23
Muzzleloader: Nov 28 to Dec 14

Ohio Deer Hunting Laws

Archery: Sep 27 – Feb 1
Muzzleloader, antlerless: Oct 11-12
Youth Gun: Nov 22-23
Gun: Dec 1-7
Muzzleloader: Jan 2-5, 2015

Oklahoma Deer Hunting Laws

Archery: Oct 1 – Jan 15
Youth Gun: Oct 17 – 19
Muzzleloader: Oct 25 – Nov 2
Gun: Nov 22 – Dec 7
Holiday Antlerless Gun: Dec 19-28

For licenses, visit the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation website.

Oregon Deer Hunting Laws

Cascade Buck Area: Oct 4-17 & Oct 25 – Nov 7
Coast Buck Area: Oct 4 – Nov 7

To apply for a license, visit the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Pennsylvania Deer Hunting Laws

The state is open to hunting between September and January. To find the exact dates per location.

Rhode Island Deer Hunting Laws

Archery: Sep 15 to Jan 31
Muzzleloader: Nov 8 to Nov 30
Shotgun: Dec 6 to Dec 21
Prudence Island: Sep 15 to Jan 31

South Carolina Deer Hunting Laws

Game Zone 1
Primitive Weapons: Oct 1-10
Gun Hunts: Oct 11 – Jan 1
Either-Sex Days: Nov. 15, 22, 29

Game Zone 2
Archery Only: Sep 15-30
Primitive Weapons: Oct 1-10
Gun Hunts: Oct 11 – Jan 1
Either-Sex Days: Oct 11, 18; Nov 15, 22, 29; Dec 27; Jan 1

For the other game zones, head over to the South Carolina deer hunting rules and regulations page.

South Dakota Deer Hunting Laws

South Dakota’s hunting season needs to be read to the letter. Click here to view all the details.
For licenses, visit

Tennessee Deer Hunting Laws

Unit A and Unit B:
Archery (includes crossbows): Sep 27–Oct 24, Oct 27–Nov 7
Muzzleloader and Archery: Nov 8–21
Gun, Muzzleloader and Archery: Nov 22–Jan 4
Young Sportsman: Oct 25–26, Jan 10–11

For the Unit L schedule, visit the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency website.

Texas Deer Hunting Laws


Archery Only, 59 counties: Sept 27 – Oct 31
General Season:
Panhandle, 40 counties: Nov 22 – Dec 7
Southwestern Panhandle, 14 counties: Nov 22 – 30
Trans-Pecos, 19 counties: Nov 28 – Dec 14


Archery Only, All counties with an open season (238): Sep 27 – Oct 31
General Season:
North Texas, 212 counties: Nov 1 – Jan 4
South Texas, 30 counties: Nov 1 – Jan 18
Youth-Only, All counties with an open season (238): Oct 25 – 26, Jan 5 – 18
Muzzleloader, 58 counties: Jan 5 – 18
Late Antlerless and Spike:
North Texas, 106 counties: Jan 5 – 18
South Texas, 30 counties: Jan 19 – Feb 1

For the full list, click here.
To apply for a license, click here.

Utah Deer Hunting Laws

Hunting season – September to November

Hunting licenses can be purchased online and they are valid for one year or 365 days.

Two types of hunting licenses:

Basic hunting license – you are allowed to hunt small game including waterfowl and upland game. This license is a requirement to apply for a hunting permit to hunt deer.

Combination license – same as basic but with the addition of fishing.

Vermont Deer Hunting Laws

Youth Rifle Deer Hunting Weekend: Nov 8 – Nov 9
Rifle Deer Hunting Season: Nov 15 – Nov 30
Bow & Arrow Deer Hunting: Dec 6-14
Muzzleloader Deer Hunting Season: Dec 6-14

Virginia Deer Hunting Laws

It is best to visit the site as the dates can differ based on the hunting method and area:
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Click here for license information.

Washington Deer Hunting Laws

This state has 3 types of deer: the black-tailed, white-tailed and the mule deer. And there are plenty of designated hunting areas. Click here to see the full schedule.

For information on permits and other important info, click here.

West Virginia Deer Hunting Laws

Buck: Nov 25 – Dec 7
Archery: Sep 28 – Dec 31
Antlerless, Split Season: Oct 24-26, Nov 25 – Dec 7, Dec 19-21, Dec 28-31
Muzzleloader: Dec 9 – 14
Youth/Class Q/QQ/Class XS Split Season: October 19, Dec 26-27

For licensing, click here.

Wisconsin Deer Hunting Laws

Archery and Crossbow: Sep 13 – Jan 4
Youth deer hunt: Oct 11 – 12
Gun: Nov 22 – 30
Muzzleloader: Dec 1 – 10
Central Forest and Central Farmland Zone antlerless hunt: Dec 11 – 14
Southern Farmland Zone holiday hunt: Dec 24 – Jan 1
Gun hunt for hunters with disabilities: Oct 4 – 12

For more details and hunting licenses, click here.

Wyoming Deer Hunting Laws

Wyoming has a lot of hunting areas, quotas, and limitations. To see the comprehensive list.

For license information, visit the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website.

Want to know more? Check out these related articles:

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 31, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

3 Responses to :
Deer Season and Hunting Laws by State

  1. StarvinLarry says:

    Just a suggestion-maybe include info about the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact,and let people know that if they violate hunting laws in one state-they lose hunting privileges in around 40 other states besides the one they broke some obscure hunting law/reg in..
    Study the hunting laws,be sure you are hunting legally-so you can continue to do so.

    Wikipedia has the list of member states here…

    Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

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