Texas Deer News

Mule Deer Relocated in West Texas to Help Boost Population March 26, 2015 Gilmer Mirror
... TPWD and their partners plan to translocate an additional 100 mule deer to the Black Gap WMA/ECLCC area in 2016, and will continue to monitor their movements, habitat utilization, survival, and causes of mortality through 2017...

In a multi-year effort to boost mule deer populations in parts of Far West Texas, biologists are capturing and relocating female deer, or does, to help replenish herds after the drought of the 1990s. - March 24, 2015 Texas


S.A. development forcing many deer to move March 25, 2015 Texas, KENS 5
... "People think they are trapped, but if you take a Google image and you look, we do have what we call wildlife corridors throughout the city," ...  [see video below]

Support legislation to preserve our hunting heritage March 25, 2015 Texas, Orange Leader
... A disturbing trend in Texas and across the nation is drawing attention from hunters and non-hunters alike – raising deer in captivity, much like livestock, and then releasing them to be hunted as little as 10 days later...  HB 2471, which would require that pen-raised deer only be released from captivity in the spring, when climatological and physiological factors are most conducive to a smooth transition to the wild...

Influence of white‐tailed deer population density on vegetation standing crop in a semiarid environment BL Crider, TE Fulbright, DG Hewitt, CA Deyoung…Texas, - The Journal of Wildlife …, 2015...
Diet selection theory predicts that selective foraging by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) may reduce palatable and nutritious plants when high-quality food resources are available or deer densities are high... Variable and limited rainfall had a more pronounced effect on variation in vegetation standing crop than white-tailed deer foraging regardless of food resource availability or deer density. Vegetation responses were more complex than can be predicted by traditional theory on diet selection in part because of the pronounced effect of variation in rainfall on vegetation standing crop ...

New trend in hunting leases March 23, 2015 Texas, North Texas e-News
...  in the late fifties and throughout the sixties, the idea of leasing land for hunting was still a relatively new concept ... Here is the way the new deer lease plan works ... “We have found that most families can only hunt two or three times each season," continued Walker. "Most don’t have the leisure time to set up and keep feeders filled, etc... We plant the food plots and keep the feeders going ...

TPWD looks to revamp MLD, LAMPS programs March 22, 2015 Texas, Tyler Morning Telegraph
...  the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Managed Lands Deer program has been a success would be a huge understatement. Involving 10,000 properties, about a third of the state’s deer habitat is enrolled in the program... “What we are talking about doing is doing away with MLDs and deer harvest assistance program (LAMPS) and going to an automated program...

CWD remains in Hueco Mountains — One positive test this season March 19, 2015 Texas, Lone Star Outdoor News
... Chronic wasting disease was detected in only one of 222 tissue samples that were collected from hunter harvested deer and elk from the Trans-Pecos ...  The disease has been detected in only seven animals, all within the Hueco Mountain area, indicating a disease prevalence of 10–15 percent within that population...

... Residents in The Woods subdivision are worried after at least two deer have turned up dead after being shot near homes... Police continue to investigate the shooting...

Proposed hunting, fishing amendment has plusses, minuses March 15, 2015 Texas, Tyler Morning Telegraph
... Since Texas hunters and fishermen are already protected by laws, a constitutional ammendment might be overkill... Another real concern is that prior to a November statewide vote there will be a conversation about the amendment...

Antlers just the tip of deer debate March 8, 2015 Texas, Houston Chronicle
... There are now more than 1,250 breeders raising an estimated 110,000 deer in Texas, operating with permits issued by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department...
Watching from the sidelines is veterinarian Dan McBride of Burnet, 64, a founding member of the TDA, who said ... "God made the perfect wildlife animal when he made the white-tailed deer," ...

The Impact of Feral Hogs on Deer February 25, 2015 Texas, Hogman-Outdoors
... In addition to restricting food sources, wild hogs have the potential to carry several diseases which can be threatening to deer ...  Perhaps the worst threat feral hogs pose to deer comes in a threat to their young. Hogs are known for preying on fawns...

Man runs over deer for "free meat" February 17, 2015 Texas, KETK
... A Henderson County game warden received a call from the Chandler Police Department stating a caller witnessed a person run over a white-tailed doe in a neighborhood, and then threw the deer carcass in the bed of his truck and sped off. Another caller informed the warden he had seen a doe in the bed of a truck with only the hindquarters missing...

Don’t neglect deer feeding program February 12, 2015 Texas, Longview News-Journal
... a good basic feeding program will act as the fertilizer to help your deer and deer herd grow. Supplemental feeding coupled with planting is the best strategy ... A mineral feeding station is another good idea. Some areas may benefit from an artificial watering ...

Game warden: Deer shot illegally in Lynn County February 11, 2015 Texas, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
... a buck early Saturday morning that appeared to have been shot and left to die. The deer was in a pasture near the intersection of FM 400 and County Road 18, just north of Tahoka...  call 1 (800) 792-4263 (GAME)

New Braunfels, 2 charged after deer slain within New Braunfels city limits February 11, 2015 Texas, Valley Morning Star
... Police investigating reports of gunfire near downtown New Braunfels (BRAHN'-felz) have arrested two men who had three dead deer in their truck...

Mule Deer Foundation February 5, 2015 Texas, The Fort Stockton Pioneer
... The species has not adapted well to changes in its environment. As urban areas continue to spread at a fast rate and more people build homes in rural settings, mule deer and their habitat will suffer. With interstates expanding and the Texas drought, the species has not been able to adjust, making it crucial for wildlife support to be able to assist ...   Emmett Burroughs ... realized that the species was taken for granted...

Buck found in pen near Goldthwaite, released by wardens January 30, 2015 Texas, Lone Star Outdoor News
... After the buck succumbed to the anestesia, the group loaded the deer in the warden’s truck for relocation...  It remains to be seen if the buck will be able to make it in the wild...

Wildlife biologist counts antler inches instead of deer on hunt, mule deer January 24, 2015 Texas, Tyler Morning Telegraph
... Found across the Trans Pecos region and portions of the Panhandle, mule deer are Texas’ other deer. They don’t exist in nearly the numbers that white-tailed deer do, and a conservative attitude by landowners concerning the deer has meant limited hunting options....

Captive Deer Hunting Operations Under Scrutiny In Rural America January 22, 2015 Texas, International Business Times 
    Some farmers in rural America have taken to flipping their land from growing crops to breeding whitetail deer for a lucrative hunting business that some wildlife officials are cracking down on... “We feel we are approaching a $1 billion industry,” says Chase Clark, president of the Texas Deer Association ... About half of states already prohibit deer from being sold across borders ...

... About 30 years ago, the practice of construction high (game-proof) fences became popular in Texas.  The reason for building these high fences was to create an environment where the overall quality of the animals could be improved... decide exactly which bucks he wished to harvest each season and assure that he had mature bucks to harvest in upcoming years... 

Comments sought for expanded hunting at wildlife refuge January 19, 2015 Texas, Valley Morning Star
... Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge is accepting comments through Feb. 6, on a proposal to expand hunting ...  a maximum of 20 rifle and 40 archery permits for the 2,400-acre La Selva Verde tract for white-tailed deer, feral hog and nilgai hunting ... Comments should be sent to chris_perez@fws.gov

...  Some people in Georgetown say their neighbors are feeding wildlife ... All council members agreed on Tuesday was to write up a possible ordinance...

...  Land in Texas is about 97 percent privately owned and money from hunting leases help landowners make a living off their farms and ranches.  I’ve seen many ranch owners that used to raise cattle, sheep and goats turn away from livestock and groom their lands for wildlife...

Deer season winds down this weekend January 1, 2015 Texas, Longview News-Journal 
... Texas has 256 counties and all but 18 have some type of deer season. Some are shorter, some are longer ...The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department conducts surveys and counts throughout key time periods to determine any proposals or recommendations for changes...

Boone & Crockett asks to be left out of high-fenced deer scoring December 31, 2014 Texas, Tyler Morning Telegraph
... The Boone and Crockett Club doesn’t like high fences and pen-reared deer... The organization recently passed a resolution saying it doesn’t want its scoring system used to score high-fenced deer...  It has never allowed deer taken behind a high fence into its book ...

2014 Texas hunt to rank high December 31, 2014 San Angelo Standard-Times
... Showers that fell on West Texas ranchland ... served wildlife trying to get through a tough winter very well... TPWD wildlife biologists say that fawns born early in 2014 for the most part will survive, continue to develop, and add to the 2015-16 deer herd registry...

Tyler's Hunt takes over North Texas lead December 27, 2014 Texas, Tyler Morning Telegraph
... East Texas continues to lose its reputation of not being able to produce quality deer, and Smith County continues to improve as a deer-hunting location despite its increasing urbanization...

     A premise in ungulate foraging theory is that animals become less selective and expand the breadth of their dietary niche as the availability of palatable forage declines with increasing herbivore population density or drought ... For white-tailed deer, the idea that dietary niches expand in response to increasing population density is not robust across environments. In semiarid environments, variation in precipitation has a much stronger influence on dietary niche breath and intraspecific diet overlap of deer than population density does...  

Drought opens Texas ranchers' eyes to income options December 23, 2014 Texas, Macro Insider
...  The fourth-generation rancher is exploring alternative incomes to ensure his enterprise can survive another hit from Mother Nature [drought], which includes leasing portion of his land for quail, deer and antelope hunting...

Ranchers Fed Up with Poaching December 22, 2014 Texas, KRGV
... “A deer is worth a lot of money...he really is. To me and to the man that pays me to take him hunting,” ... Anyone wanting to report poaching can call 1-800-792-4263.

Keep Texas Wildlife Wild December 16, 2014 Texas, Gilmer Mirro
... There are less than 1,300 deer breeders in the state, and for the past decade, they have spent millions on lobbying efforts seeking more liberty with the people’s deer. Despite outcries from Texans and hunters alike, the breeders have gone largely unopposed... Current law allows for captive-raised deer to be “hunted” just 11 days after they are liberated from captivity...


When hunting isn't very sporting December 13, 2014 Texas, Waco Tribune-Herald
...  The “hunter” flies in on his corporate jet to a Texas ranch, hops in a Jeep and drives up to a genetically engineered trophy buck, released from captivity as little as 10 days prior. The “hunter” shoots the deer, loads up the antlers, gives the meat to whoever will take it ... Hunters and Texans agree, this is not hunting...

Acorns cause deer hunters to struggle early across Texas December 10, 2014 Texas, Tyler Morning Telegraph 
...  in East Texas. “Everyone I am talking to said nothing is eating corn because the acorn crop is so heavy.”  The same is true in the Hill Country...  the entire harvest appears to be down, and that it will be difficult to catch up before the end of the year...

There’s no monopoly on big-antlered deer in Texas December 9, 2014 Texas, Star Telegram 
... The success of intensive deer management has greatly changed the landscape for hunting leases and real estate in Texas... The ability of a manager to select a pairing of a buck and doe has greatly enhanced the ability to improve antler genetics without sacrificing the health or vitality of the deer... Texas land is about 97 percent privately owned. That means conservation of wildlife habitat depends on the motivation of private landowners ...

...  Texans for Saving Our Hunting Heritage today announced the launch of a coalition that seeks to expose unethical practices within the deer breeding industry that threaten animal health and welfare, human health and welfare and our hunting heritage... Legalize the sale of venison, which violates the Public Trust Doctrine and can lead to market hunting; Take authority for oversight of deer breeding away from Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and grant it to the Texas Animal Health Commission; ...

All is as usual when the deer feeder dispenses food. Except there is one deer that seems to be pissed off at me watching and stomps her foot to display her displeasure! - December 7, 2014



...  Shelby County game wardens received a tip of a buck possibly being shot off a roadway. When they went to investigate, they found a truck with fresh blood all over the tailgate. They then found a 10-inch spread 8-point buck. After further investigation, the game wardens issued an arrest warrant and the owner of the truck was placed in jail...

Texas game warden frees two deer entangled in rope December 5, 2014 Texas, Fox San Antonio
... Two deer in Texas dashed away from a clothesline pole after a game warden cut a nylon rope that entangled the animals by their antlers. [video below] ...


Abundant whitetail deer threaten Bastrop State Park's rebirth December 2, 2014 Texas, San Marcos Mercury
... said Jamie Hackett, the park’s superintendent. “Since the fire, it is much more open, and there are lots of things growing. There are new oaks and shrub sprouts. Deer love to eat that, so their population is on the rise, and with that we want to make sure we keep a healthy and balanced ecosystem.” ... adult and youth hunts will be allowed ...

Deer Expert Questions Success of Management December 1, 2014 Texas, Texas Deer Association
...  The 2013 deer hunt once again was a disappointment to many hunters across the nation, as deer numbers and habitat conditions continued to deteriorate. Since the late 1980s, Dr. James C. Kroll (aka “Dr. Deer), one of the world’s top deer authorities, has warned this would happen under what has become known as Traditional Deer Management...  most deer herds indeed are declining, harvest numbers are down, herd losses to diseases are up, hunters are increasingly unhappy, and habitat quality appears to be suffering as collateral damage...

Deer hunting season starts December 1, 2014 Texas, West Texas News
... Some changes have been made in the season's format this year for hunters who hunt within Wildlife Management Units 4A and 4C. Under these sections, only antlered deer can be taken from December 1 to 5...

Living the good life together: Manage rangeland for cattle and deer November 30, 2014 Texas, Bryan College Station Eagle The eagle 
... Cattle and deer compliment each other in native range utilization, primarily because they eat different types of plants. On an annual basis, a white-tailed deer's diet consists of 52 percent browse (woody plants), 36 percent forbs (non-woody broad-leaf plants) and 12 percent grass. The annual diet of cattle is 7 percent browse, 12 percent forbs and 81 percent grass. ...

Texas Axis Deer Hunt - Axis Deer November 30, 2014 blogspot.com
... The axis deer is very prevalent in the Texas hill country ... also referred to as a chital deer from their native country of India, Which means spotted in Hindustani. They have a Tan Colored coat with white spots and they stay spotted all their life. The Spots on the adults will actually get brighter as they get older...

... fire that ripped through 32,000 acres of Central Texas three years ago... “Since the fire, it is much more open, and there are lots of things growing. There are new oaks and shrub sprouts. Deer love to eat that, so their population is on the rise ... 

Injured Deer Seeks Refuge in Flour Bluff Backyard November 27, 2014 Texas, KZTV Action 10 News
... his left front hoof missing ... Her grand niece and nephew have become friends with the deer and now feed it...
... A new group called Texans for Saving our Hunting Heritage is calling for limits on the way Texas whitetail deer are bred for hunting... We're using extreme animal husbandry practices to create massive antlers in a factory farming-type scenario." ..

Mule deer season opens Friday November 26, 2014 Texas, Bigbendnow
... Wildlife officials are reminding mule deer hunters and landowners in Far West Texas about the testing protocols required in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Management Plan. ... A map of CWD zones ... 

The Antler Reality November 25, 2014 Texas, Texas Deer Association
... One has only to look at the newsstand to see that antler size has become an integral part of our hunting heritage. Hunting magazines, antler scoring systems, big buck contests…and countless other pieces of evidence prove that antler size matters. The addition of social media to the consciousness of our society has only fueled the passion that modern hunters have for antlers... Pricing per acre on deer leases and real estate is not based on the quality of venison harvested. The monetary value of hunting can be influenced greatly by the antler quality of deer (real or perceived) on a property... The real success of deer breeding is based on two simple principles: selective breeding and increased fawn production ...

Be responsible as crane, mule deer seasons open November 23, 2014 Texas, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal 
... Chronic wasting disease was first found in Texas in Hudspeth and El Paso counties two years ago and the disease appears to be limited to those remote areas thanks in large part to hunter diligence, restricting unnatural movement of deer and ongoing measures to monitor and sample for evidence of the disease ... in that area ... present the unfrozen head of the deer to a designated check station ...

Mule deer season arrives in Lubbock County, hunters ready November 21, 2014 Texas, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
...  The mule deer bag limit ... is one buck per season — no female deer may be shot. Hunting licenses accompany tags with space for hunters to describe the game and its kill date... “Tagging the deer means it’s a lawfully caught deer.” ...

There's no better time to hunt deer across East Texas November 20, 2014 Texas, Longview News-Journal
... Nov. 22 is the apex of the breeding activity for deer in our neck of the woods... South Texas deer do not get into peak activity levels until around Christmas... fawns are born after an average of 200 days gestation period ...

Port Mansfield, Tourists warned to be careful around South Texas deer November 16, 2014 Texas, Star Telegram 
... Norm Lavelle loves the deer he feeds ... he was gored last January ... Authorities are warning residents and tourists to be careful when they are around deer during the rutting season, when the deer become more aggressive...



County’s first mule deer season opens Saturday November 14, 2014 Texas, My Plainview
... Hale, Castro and Lubbock counties would have their first mule deer season in modern times starting Nov. 22-30 ... Shawn Gray, of the TPWD mule deer and pronghorn program, told the Herald that he believed the mule deer populations were healthy enough and could support a buck-only season ...

... Texas' Managed Lands Deer Permit program has become a victim of its own success ... One problem is the explosion of program participation and the resulting overwhelming of the modest corps of state wildlife agency staffers charged with its administration and monitoring ...

'Unicorn deer' found on two continents November 13, 2014 Texas, KHOU 
...  a hunter shot an elderly roe deer bearing a single, centered antler in the forests of Slovenia ... both antlers had fused into one ... in Washington state in mid-October ... it turned out to be a doe with a single antler...

...  approved acceptance of a land donation to create the new 14,037-Acre Yoakum Dunes Wildlife Management Area in Cochran, Terry and Yoakum Counties near Lubbock ... The primary impetus for the WMA is conservation of the lesser prairie chicken ... will also provide important habitat for ... mule deer....



Southwest Texas deer crop expected to be great this year November 9, 2014 Texas, Abilene Reporter-News
... “Though it hasn’t been a year with a lot of moisture from the beginning, when we really needed it, the moisture came, from Memorial Day on,” ... “Every hunter that comes to the region spends about $2,000 to hunt an average of 13 days,” ...

Telling a deer's age may take more than just looking at the antlers November 8, 2014 Texas, Tyler Morning Telegraph ·
... use some of the basic antler characteristic like wider inside spread and more points. You can tell more about a deer’s age from that than you can from body size, neck and wrinkles ... Statewide there was a lack of a fawn crop in 2011. This has resulted in the lack of 3ᄑ-year-old bucks and does this year...

Whitetail deer breeding season peaks at different times across Texas November 8, 2014 Texas, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal 
...  In the Rolling Plains, most does were bred from Oct. 8 to Dec. 30, and study areas showed a peak date of Dec. 3 in northern stretches of the region and a peak of Nov. 20 in the south... South Texas had the latest rut with breeding dates ranging from Nov. 9 to Feb. 1 ... 

 ... set out on Halloween to hunt a West Texas buck dubbed Funky D. ... The idea is to kill management bucks early, before they get a chance to breed and pass along poor antler genetics. Funky’s antlers, shaped the same as last year’s, definitely qualify as poor genetics ... 

Hunters urged to help CWD from spreading in Texas November 2, 2014  Lubbock Avalanche-Journal 
... Chronic wasting disease is not prevalent in Texas, having only been discovered in the remote far western reaches of El Paso and Hudspeth counties ...  New Mexico is among the states where the disease has been confirmed ...  The real threat remains the unscrupulous individual attempting to make big bucks by illegally smuggling deer ...

Texas Data:  Over 4 million deer in 2014. An estimated 3.8 million white-tail deer in 2013 before deer hunting seasons, 39 deer per 1,000 acres on average.  About 3.7 million in 2012.  The population rose or at least remained about stable in 2014 as a result of relatively good weather.  South Texas had good rains and a mild summer.  Eastern Edwards Plateau had more rain than the west.  The mast crop was spotty in East Texas. Little fawn production in  2011 as a result of the severe drought, almost as low in 2008-2009.  About 110,000 deer raised by deer breeders in 2015. 
     The population trended upward from 2004 to 2010 with the white-tail population estimate of 3.46 million. The record setting 2011 drought resulted in low fawn recruitment and the population dropped. Drought also into 2012, but a good acorn crop.  Improved weather in spring 2014 improved fawn survival and deer health. Generally good fawn recruitment, over 45 percent, in 2007, 2010, 2012, and 2013. No fawn production in the panhandle in 2011 and 2012.  A few hundred thousand mule deer, population generally on the decline.  About 6,000 Axis deer in the wild who have escaped from hunting ranches. Introduced in 1932 from southern India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.  In 2013, hunters took 625,567 deer, 330,535 bucks and 295,032 does.
     The Hill Country has the highest deer population, an estimated 2.1 million deer, or 113 deer per 1,000 acres.  The Post Oak Savannah and Cross Timbers regions each have about 400,000, or 35 and 37 deer per 1,000 acres. South Texas has a much lower estimated deer population, about 230,000 deer.  The state average is about 39 deerf per 1,000 acres.  Texas maintains good deer demographics, with over 60 percent of bucks killed 3.5 years or older.  Before antler restrictions, this group was only 30-35 percent of the harvest.  Screw worms were a problem for deer, but in the mid-1950's they were mostly eradicated by releasing sterile male flies and the white-tailed deer population became abundant where they had rarely been seen.
     An estimated $1.5 billion annually related to Texas deer hunts, $2.2 billion including deer breeding and tourism according to a Texas A&M study.  A hunting success rate of about 70 percent in 2013.
     Chronic Wasting Disease was first detected in far West Texas, the Trans-Pecos,  during the summer of 2012 in the remote far western reaches of El Paso and Hudspeth counties near the border with New Mexico. 

Useful links:
- Texas Hunting Regulations   - Chonic Wasting Disease Management in Texas
- DeerAustin.Org for information on deer management in Austin, Texas 
- American Deer & Wildlife Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to the growth of the deer and wildlife industry, and to help educate the public and youth on conservation and wildlife issues.
- Texas Parks and Wildlife

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